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Gideon’s Light Excerpt
Iris shook her head. “I don’t know why I told you that.”
She removed one of each chess piece from the board, demonstrating how each piece moved while telling him what it was called. As soon as she finished introducing him to the last piece, the pawn, he pointed to the queen.
“This game is much like reality. The only female, surrounded by many males, is the most valuable.”
Iris shook her head. “Well, actually the king is considered the most valuable.”
Gideon’s gaze narrowed. “That assumption does not follow logic. He cannot be more valuable because without her, he is lost. He no longer has a reason to protect himself, to live. Where I am from, there is only one female for every 500 males, and warriors like me have no one. Our females are life-giving, precious. Without them, we would cease to exist.”
Iris could hardly close her mouth, shocked and moved by his revelation, more questions forming, multiplying.
“Do you have a…female?”
“No. A female would be wasted on me. I am only a warrior – always expendable.”
Before she could respond, he motioned toward the game. “Let us play.”
Gideon’s matter of fact assessment touched Iris, his heavy voice tinged with sadness. She wanted to know more about him. “Since this is your first game, you can make the first move.”
After moving his pawn, Iris noticed Gideon seemed to be waiting for her to start eating, so she obliged him, cutting a piece of steak and popping it into her mouth.
He frowned slightly, but followed suit, hesitating when he picked up one of the shrimp.
Iris picked up a shrimp and removed the shell, demonstrating again.
“I take it you don’t eat steak and shrimp where you’re from?”
“No.” He smiled, his bright green eyes lighting up the entire room and turning Iris’s insides to liquid.
She watched him, so mesmerized by his humility coupled with the power he exuded, she didn’t notice she’d stopped eating, gazing at him with her chin resting in her palm, elbow propped on the table.
Embarrassed, she laughed lightly and glanced down at her plate.
She moved her knight on the board, capturing one of his pawns. “So, do you like it?”
“Yes. It seems I like everything that is forbidden.”
He wasn’t a big talker by any standards, but the innuendo in that statement was impossible to miss.
She remained silent for a time, deciding what to ask him next, and quickly noticed his mastery of the game, his moves those of a chess master as he cornered her. Am I one of the forbidden things you like?
“What? I thought you’d never played before!”
Gideon glanced at the chessboard before gazing into her eyes, the powerful green of his eyes penetrating deeper as if he saw everything, every fear, every desire, every secret.
He shrugged. “This game mimics my life. I have had more practice in battle than you could fathom…and I read the directions while you prepared our meal.”
Iris watched him, hoping he’d say more.
Moments later, after playing silently, Gideon finally spoke again.
Iris frowned, not used to being beaten so quickly, then threw her hands in the air. “Who cares about the game? Tell me about your life.”
Iris couldn’t ignore her reaction as the corner of Gideon’s luscious lips tilted upward slightly, the smile gone a second later, eyes narrowed.
She wanted to dive across the table and taste every delectable inch of him. The desire was so foreign, the images in her head embarrassed her, so vivid she felt like they were projected on a big screen for Gideon to see. Surely visions and feelings so intense could not be confined to her mind alone.
“What would you like to know?”
Iris busied herself with the chessboard, arranging the pieces in starting position again instead of looking at him when she spoke. “Everything.” She tried to keep her voice light, whimsical. “Start by explaining the whole ‘my grandfather was an angel, but I’m not’ thing. That sounded pretty important.”
Iris stood, removing their dinner dishes from the table, questions tumbling over one another as she became overwhelmed by the enormity of the situation again. Gideon hadn’t been particularly forthcoming with information about himself so far, but one question stood above the rest.
He brushed her hand, the heat from his body enveloping her when he suddenly transported behind her, his chest touching her back. “I have considered the same thing. I do not know, but something about you draws me.” His statement was matter-of-fact.
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