Daysong Graphics
Bitter Chivalry

Fourteen years and more.

Daymonde gulped down another swallow of wine and stared at the folded missive on the table next to him, its seal broken.

Altnik, his fellow Son of the Gift, had certainly not broken his silence of so long for naught.

“Papa, may I come in?”

At Finmarr’s repeated knocking on the door, Daymonde set his cup on the table, shoved both it and the flask aside. He was sick of wine. Even more sick of the drunken swirl of his thoughts over the past hours.

Would you truly want to see your papa if you knew the truth?

Daymonde aimed the thought at the boy, hoping against hope—but as he already knew, no response came.

No sign of an awakening Gift in his eldest. By Fiona, his traitorous mind amended.

With a sigh, he opened the door.

Long dark hair framed the tall lad’s sober face, his eyes glinting blue, a youthful reflection of Daymonde himself. Concern, affection, and apprehension pulsed from Finmarr as he stepped into the chamber. “Papa, are you well?”

I will never be well again, Daymonde wanted to say.

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F is for Fatal

“You’re going to get caught, you know. You’re going to get caught cheating, and then the dean will have no choice but to expel you.” Anger grew in David’s belly as Jack hunched over the desk, placing the finishing touches on his crib sheet.

“Whatever, man. You’re just jealous because I’ve got a better grade point than you do.”

“But you don’t!” David took a deep breath. There was no point in yelling at Jack, especially since this was their first year rooming together, and they were only midway through the semester. Jack was studying to be a lawyer. He’d try reasoning with him instead. “Your grade point is not better than mine. You cheated. I came by my three point six honestly, through hard work.”

Jack straightened and held up his prize. “Which is why this is such a fabulous idea. No hard work for me, buddy. No time. I’ve got a party to go to tonight. No way I’m gonna miss it sitting in my room studying for some stupid history test.” Rising, he grabbed his jacket from the back of his chair and jammed the crib sheet into the pocket. “You boring pre-med students can do what you like. Me? I’ve got a date.” He laughed and clapped David on the shoulder then tossed the jacket over his bed before heading to the bathroom for a shower.

The rage that had been building ever since David discovered Jack’s habit of writing crib sheets and then swallowing them boiled until he shook. Knees weak, he sank onto the chair Jack had vacated. It wasn’t fair. Jack had good looks and his family’s wealth on his side. David attended the university on a scholarship. He couldn’t risk getting expelled the way Jack did. He’d lose everything.

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