Rule of Three Blogfest Story Part Two and By the Pale Moonlight Giveaway

Now we come to Ayten's point of view...

The first part of my story for the Rule of Three Blogfest featured Cem Sultan, finally confessing his love for the maiden Ayten, a guest at his temporary home in Renaissance.

This blogfest runs all month; each Wednesday we'll have a new post exploring the relationship between three characters in the created town of Renaissance. The setting is the same for all of us, but everything else - genre, characters, etc. - are our own.

And today's post is belongs to Ayten. My word count is 594, and I was inspired by these three prompts, given by the blogfest hosts:
Someone is killed or almost killed.
A relationship becomes complicated.
A character lies to another on an important matter.

Ever since we arrived in Renaissance, we've been feted. I felt like idle lady of the court yesterday; choosing my gown for the masquerade, rifling through a stack of silk ribbons, sitting perfectly still -- with not even any needlework -- as my hair was piled higher and my neckline tugged lower than I'd ever dared. And that's nothing to say of the masquerade itself, when both Prince Cem and Devran Bey...

But that was last night. Today we've joined an expedition to the Roundeli Mountains, alongside a Professor, and a woman - apparently in Renaissance, there's no bar to a woman holding whatever position she chooses. Imagine! I could continue my father's business, use all my trader's skills, perhaps open my own merchant's booth in Smyrna.

I'm far from the Ottoman Empire now, though, travelling under Rosa and her husband's protection, as part of Devran's retinue.

I've been avoiding explaining to you about Devran. It's hard for me to speak coherently. Every time I mention his name, images crowd my mind.

There was that time I poked my head up through the hatch, only to see him on deck in nothing but his long shirt, washing, with two sailors pouring buckets of water over his head. His hair was plastered to his head as his shirt was to his shoulders, and --

Then there was last night, at the masquerade. I hid in a curtained alcove to rest my feet, and he came to offer me a cup of sherbet. His fingers brushed mine, and then he asked me to dance. I'd never dreamed that men and women could dance together like that. These Renaissance customs are very new to me.

So these images crowd my head, and I find it difficult to speak. Worse, now there are thoughts of Prince Cem that intrude and I --



Devran's voice rings down the cliffside in a scream so sharp it's as if he's torn my name out of his chest and thrown it down to me.

I've caught on a stiff bush, thankfully, but my sleeves are torn and needles prick my legs through the linen of my skirt. I can hear them up there, berating our guide for not warning us about the treacherous footing.

I try not to look down, and to breathe evenly. Somewhere down in the depths of the gorge I can hear rushing water tumbling along a stony bed.

The guide has a length of rope. Still they argue above; they do not trust the guide, and Prince Cem declares that he will come down himself.

I say nothing. I will not speak until there is solid ground under my feet once more.

Devran stands on the edge, not arguing, not even speaking, simply staring. Our eyes meet for an instant, or so I think. The sun shines bright and hot, so that the very air shimmers and his face is indistinct.

There's an inch of ledge beneath the bush. Cem steps aside onto the rock and winds the rope about my waist. His hands are steady and don't touch me at all, even as he knots the end. Of course, not with all those faces looking down.

I'm hauled up and stumble a little, clutch Rosa's arm as they lower the rope for Cem.

I can see the expression on Devran's face clearly now. He looks as though, if I tripped again, he'd rush over and taken me in his arms.

But I stand up straight. "I'm all right," I say. The lie burns in my throat.


Hope you liked it! Meanwhile, today is Rosa's birthday! She would be - counts on fingers and toes - 538 years old today. Happy birthday Rosa! It's also - not coincidentally - the day that a sailor, let's call him Santiago, Rosa's father, spotted land on Columbus' first voyage.

You know, next year is the 520th anniversary of Columbus' first voyage. Wouldn't it be exciting if I could promote Out of the Water at the same time? Even though Columbus only appears very briefly, at the beginning. He's also mentioned very briefly, at the ending, of the sequel, the story about Ayten, which I've begun tentatively calling Verse, Venice and Viziers.

I mentioned Jennifer Hendren's By the Pale Moonlight the other day. Here's the book trailer:

Enter Jen's contest to win a copy! You can also enter through the All The World's Our Page site. Ah, YA. What would I do without you?


Misha said…
I love your story. It's one of my favorites. :-)
alberta ross said…
I'm beginning to like this girl very much - are you keeping this bit in the book?
alberta ross said…
meant to ask have you read the Lymond deries of Dunnet's?
Deniz Bevan said…
Squee! Thanks Misha and alberta! The Ayten-Cem-Devran triangle is definitely in the book but these scenes may or may not actually take place. Well, the masquerade probably will.
I've read the first Niccolo book but not Lymond yet!
The story continues! I enjoyed reading your second entry in the blogfest. :)
Reka Sang said…
it really got complicated, which way will her heart sway, as of now looks like the Vizier's son may win....we will have to wait to find out I guess. Very enjoyable.
Trisha said…
Hi Deniz, here is an award for you:
Nadja Notariani said…
Ayten is one of my new favorite characters. You've created a wonderful love-triangle, Deniz. I cannot wait to read next week's entry and for the conclusion.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks so much Eagle, Reka and Nadja!
And thanks for the award, Trisha. Can't wait to play with that in my Sunday post.
Kurt Hartwig said…
I missed the story last week so catching up for the first time now. Shift in perspective made me think at first that Cem is pretty clueless/dangerous - especially since he's figured out Devran's angle. Is Devran who we get next week?
Colleen Chen said…
LOVE LOVE LOVE both Part 1 and 2. The different voices, the descriptions, the construction! I'm bookmarking your blog for further perusal, if you don't mind. :)
Deniz Bevan said…
You guessed right Kurt - Devran next week!
Aww, thanks so much for the kind words Colleen! Off to follow you :-)
Anonymous said…
Ah, how I enjoyed your 2nd part of the challenge. You used the prompts beautifully! I can't wait to see how your story continues next week.

By the way, my 2nd chapter is online, too.
Anonymous said…
Those are fun characters! I'm looking forward to hearing from Devran in the coming week. Thanks for visiting Renaissance with us.
Daina Rustin said…
That was close! Saved by two handsome men. I wonder who she will choose. Looks like Devran might be her favourite, for now, but my money is still on Cem. Waiting impatiently for Devran's part :)
li said…
ooooh, a smidgen of heat in this bit :-) Anxious for them to get whre they are going and see what develops.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thank you treelight, Chris, Daina and li! [happy dance]
Donna Hole said…
This is exciting. I'm loving this story because it is sorta sweet and complicated both.

Deniz Bevan said…
Aww, thanks Donna.
Ditto the above Deniz, this is beautifully complicated and you have a real talent for flowing prose too.
Not sure if my last comment worked so apologies if this is twice.

Have to ditto the above, beautifully complicated tale you have here. And you have a real talent for flowing prose too Deniz.
Anonymous said…
Great work.

Sorry it took me so long to get to it. I deleted 10 posts from my Reader last Wednesday and I'm just now able to figure out who I missed. That linky list is a lifesaver. See you tomorrow!
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks to both of you!
I'm still making the rounds myself...
Michael Di Gesu said…
I really like her voice and strength. I also love the way you set a scene and this time period is great.

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