About TATE

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Let's take a sneak peak at what you'll find in book two about Tate.

WHO IS TATE?

Tate is a Venshii. Venshii's are hated, abused, used as slaves and gladiators. Tate fought in the arena for most of his life as one of the top gladiators. Now, he's working for the council. Tasked to find and bring to Eon two Venators. 

Strengths; Proficient with all weaponry and fighting techniques. Cool headed under pressure. Excessive strength.

Weakness; No supernatural abilities

EXCERPT

   “You’re in a good mood. Considering.”

   She knew that voice. Rune scrambled to her feet and rushed at the bars, pressing her face against them to see down the corridor. A familiar, hulking shape lumbered toward her. 

   “Tate! I’m so glad to see you.”

   “After that outburst, you’re lucky they decided to place you in the cells reserved for high bloodlines.”

   “This is the royal treatment?” Rune glanced at the bare floor behind her and whispered, “Really?” She pulled herself back up tight to the bars. “Have they agreed to let me out?”

   Tate plodded forward without response. When he arrived at her cell, he turned to face her, his feet shoulder-width apart and his hands gripped together at the waist in a military stance. With the torch backlighting him, his blue skin appeared nearly black. “No.”

   “Wha—did you come to break me out?” she asked hopefully.

   “No.”

   She huffed. “Then why are you here?”

   “To talk.”

   “To talk?” Rune pushed off the bars. “I don’t need to talk. I need to get out of here so we can go after Grey.”

    “This is going to be harder than I thought.”

   “What is that supposed to mean?”

   “Well . . .” Tate relaxed his stance and pulled a knife from his belt, examining it in the low light. “I had hoped that being locked in there might put you in a receptive mood.”

   “Being angry, cold, and worried doesn’t usually make me receptive. Is that what works for you?”

   Tate grunted. He moved back and leaned against the far wall. Sliding down to a crouch, he balanced on the balls of his feet and proceeded to clean his nails with the tip of the blade. He calmly moved from one finger to the next, cleaning, checking, wiping the blade on his pants.

   “Fine! What do you want to talk about?”

   “Sit.”

   She rolled her eyes, but she sat.

   Tate kept his head down, glancing up to make sure she’d listened. “You’ve shown yourself to be passionate. That’s good. I hope you and I can find some worthy causes to direct your passion at. But you’ve also shown that you don’t fully think things through.”

   Rune opened her mouth to object, remembered that she was sitting in the dungeon because she’d barged into   the council room after being warned by three different people, and shut it.

   A ghost of a smile passed over Tate’s lips. “Even more importantly, you’ve not realized that you’ve entered a world where multiple cultures collide on a daily basis. And not one of those cultures is similar to yours.”

   Rune frowned. “How is that possibly the most important thing?”

   Tate tapped the knife against his legs, his face pinched in thought. “In your world, you are at the top of the food chain. You fear nothing. You bow to nothing. You have not had to learn boundaries and respect for creatures stronger than yourself.”

   “You want me to learn to respect the things that can kill me? I should be able to manage that.”

   “One would think,” he motioned. “But here you sit.”

   She scowled. “Point taken.”

   “But this is more than respecting things that are dangerous. It’s also about cultures, history, customs. Knowing what to say and do and how to respect those customs. Not choosing to break the rules because—in your mind—the need justifies the action.”

   “Isn’t that what we just did a few day ago? Going after the werewolves like we did? Disregarding the council?”

   “Yes, it is.”

   “Then what’s the difference?”

   “I needed to see what you both were made of, so I took a strategic risk based on my knowledge of the council’s most likely reaction. Turns out, it was a foolish risk. Hindsight.” He shrugged. “But I also knew, as I mentioned upon our return, that the council was not to be tested again for a while. That we needed to do as they asked, not make waves, show them your value. And somehow, the only lesson that either of you learned was to disobey if you felt fervently about something.”

   “But we’re here to help. And Grey’s in trouble.”

   “And we’re back to this again.” He jabbed at the cell with the knife. “How helpful are you in there?”

   Rune pursed her lips in annoyance.

   “Well?”

   “Not very.”

   “Exactly. Your training will be intensive. But learning to throw and jump and fight is no more important than learning that, in this world, you have not earned your place yet. And until you do, you must act as those individuals who do not have places—with more restraint and submission than you are accustomed to. You must learn the culture and the customs. If you do not, I am warning you now, the council will send you here only so many times before they decide you’re not worth the effort.”

   Everything about that—being submissive, learning her place, and earning rights based on bloodlines and the ability to kiss someone’s ass—chafed. But there wasn’t a whole lot she could do about any of it while sitting in the dungeon . . . or dead.

   “I understand.”

   “Good. Ready for your first lesson?”

   “Sure. Why not?” She motioned to the bars. “I’m not going anywhere.”

   He leveled the blade, looking down the steel with disapproval.

   “Sorry. Yes, I’m ready.”