Chapter 1 Page 3

ripplenudeThe creature gazed down at Eaglette unhappily, then she made a “tsking” noise and shook her head. It would have almost seemed like a sad movement if there hadn’t been a gleam of impish glee in the strange woman’s golden-green eyes.

My name is Ripple, and you are trespassing human. Don’t you know this lake is mine? What do you have to say for yourself?” Her voice was shrill and youthful. There was a distinct forceful tone of someone who is used to getting her way. She sounded like a little princess, ordering her servants around.

Eaglette rose to her feet and smiled in spite of herself. She couldn’t help it, the creature was shorter than her by at least a foot. Even so, Ripple met her gaze as though she were the one looking down on the huntress. She got the feeling this creature could probably level cities with one of those piercing looks, but she was just so darn cute. Somehow, Eaglette didn’t think she minded being chastised by the lovely creature.

Why are you smiling?” She demanded, stomping a petite foot on the pebbles. “You drank from my sacred waters. I demand payment.” Then she crossed her arms and pouted, looking even more petulant.

Eaglette covered herself with her dirty shirt, but she wasn’t really certain she should have bothered. This tantalizing creature was nearly naked herself. If there were a time and place for modesty, this was not that time or that place.

Are you a nymph?” asked Eaglette, “Are you a water spirit? Where did you come from?” Her curiosity was overwhelming, but the creature seemed more annoyed by this than ever.

Stop asking questions. Only I can ask questions. You are in my domain puny human. I demand payment, where is my payment?”

Fine, Little Princess of the lake. What kind of payment are you asking for?”

I am not little,” Ripple’s face turned a royal shade of forest green. “I’m older than you by a hundred years at least, and I’m a guardian, not a princess. I’ve been taking care of this place since before the gates were closed. I was a gate tender, but now all I have left is this lake. This lake which you have desecrated. So pay up, human, or else I’m going to get really angry.”

What do I owe you?” Eaglette asked, trying to wipe the smirk from her face.

For the drink of water you stole, I want a kiss,” Ripple said.

Her determined scowl almost made Eaglette burst out laughing. Almost. The huntress leaned over, puckering her lips, and waiting for the impending kiss.

No, human,” Ripple corrected sternly. “Not here,” she pointed to her lush lips. “Here,” Ripple spread her legs slightly, and gestured to a place that should have been more private, but was very much exposed to the beautiful nearly naked creature.


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