Authors: Mireille Chester
Tags: #fantasy paranormal shapeshifters magic dragons elves healing strange world parallel universe creatures animals monsters weapons battles quelondain
The Chosen One Trilogy:
A Quelondain Novel
Copyright © 2010 by Mireille Chester
Published by Mireille Chester
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I would like to thank first and foremost my
husband, Kyle, for his constant
My sister, Dom, for being my chief
My mom, for reading the first few pages of
manuscript and then putting it away, telling me
she would read it when it came out in
My friends and family who stood behind
Ma tante Dede, without whom I would never
found Baico Publishing;
And last but definitely not least, a huge thank
the publishing team at Baico for making this
dream come true.
To my husband, Kyle, for the constant
even when he would read out loud over my
knowing it annoyed the hell out of
The tiger lay in the sun, its tail
twitching lazily. It took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Its
eyes were half closed. The spring sun was always the best. Not too
hot like in the summer, but always warm enough to thaw a creature’s
bones after a cool night. A fly landed on the big cat’s ear and it
shook its head, irritated.
The breeze was soft and barely moved
the long grass it was laying in. The tiger settled back down and
gave a low, satisfied purr. The sky was clear, the sun was warm,
and its stomach was already full even though it was before midday.
It had a feeling today was going to be a good day.
It’s hard to believe that at one point
life had seemed dull. Boring. Average and uneventful. That was the
way I liked it. I went through my routine one day at a time with no
extra fuss. Life was so uneventful that for the most part, I didn’t
even dream. Or at least, I didn’t have any dreams that I could
remember. I got just enough excitement for me. It wasn’t the kind
of excitement most people craved, but there is a small group of
people out there who know what I’m talking about. A few whose
hearts jump a little and makes them smile the instant they step out
of their vehicle and the breeze pushes the smell of horses, straw
and dirt toward them. My two hours of excitement... and peace. Two
hours where all I had to do was concentrate on the muscles moving
under me and the wind blowing my hair back. I know to some of you
it seems odd, but those two hours were mine and mine alone. No
university, no homework. No care in the world. My own little piece
My routine was fairly basic. Get up
Monday morning, have a shower, eat breakfast, and head to school
where I sat and suffered for eight hours. I was taking my first
year of veterinary medicine. Now don’t get me wrong... I loved my
course. The reason I said I suffered was because those eight hours
stood in my way before I could head to the riding arena to see
Dodge had been my thirteenth birthday
present. A goofy looking weanling with long legs and soft eyes. He
had stood in his stall looking up at me with a big green bow tied
around his neck. He was perfect.
I had been riding since I was eight,
and begging for a horse since I could talk. Before I had been able
to get my horse, my dad had told me I had to prove to him that I
was going to stick with it. That hadn’t been hard to do. I can’t
begin to count the arguments we’ve had about the fact that I spend
most of my free time with Dodge.
So now Dodge was ten and I was
twenty-three. He had grown into a beautiful and muscular horse.
Milk chocolate brown with black mane and tail and not a spec of
white. The perfect bay.
But I’m rambling on about Dodge now. I
tend to do that. Get me talking on any topic that includes horses
and I can go on for hours. So where was I. Right. My life was just
how I liked it. Just me and Dodge. It wasn’t that I wasn’t
interested in men. I had had one fairly serious relationship that
had lasted a year and a half. At least, it had been serious to me.
When I think back on it now, it’s hard to believe I had thought he
was perfect. That was until I loaned him my truck for a weekend and
I found a very nice pair of lacy underwear that didn’t belong to me
under the seat the next day. I’d had a few other boyfriends, but
most of them didn’t understand why I would rather go to the barn on
a Friday night instead of going to the bar. The thought of going
out and being paraded around just wasn’t my thing and I’ll admit
that some of it probably has to do with my personal image of
myself. I don’t put myself in the beautiful people
I have slightly wavy dark brown hair
that falls to the middle of my back. It is never done. I prefer
ponytails and baseball hats. I also don’t have the greatest body.
I’m 5 foot 4 inches tall, slim and pretty fortunate that I don’t
have to work to stay that way, but am lacking in the chest
department. I don’t dress to flatter. My wardrobe consists of
wranglers, t- shirts and tank tops. Oh. And one dress that my dad
made me buy for my cousin Chantal’s wedding when I was seventeen
which has been worn as little as possible since then. I think my
best features are my eyes. They’re a deep green with weird gold and
grey specs and long eyelashes. No mascara for me. Well, no makeup,
period. I always end up smearing it because I forget I have it
I guess the best way to describe myself
was a bit of a loner. I didn’t have many friends. I spent the best
part of high school with my nose stuck in a book. When I wasn’t
reading or drawing, I was riding. I even skipped my high school
graduation party because there was a horse show the next
After high school, I had gone off to
work on various ranches, which specialized in anything from
breeding and showing reiners, to trail riding in the mountains, to
taking care of eight hundred mares on a PMU farm where they
collected pregnant mare urine for the estrogen in women’s birth
When I was done gallivanting from one
farm to another, I decided it was time to get serious and pick a
career. Vet med had been the obvious choice and I thoroughly love
Then came the day that changed
everything. It was a Friday. I woke up in the morning, took my
shower, and had my breakfast. I then suffered through eight hours
of school. When the last bell rang at five o’clock I ran to my
truck, an old white dodge one ton, and headed out of town to my
favorite place in the whole world.
As I drove up to the stables I could
see the staff bringing in the horses for the night. I glanced over
at the single pens and saw Dodge waiting his turn
I looked back to the barns and saw
Shaynna. Shay was a five years younger than me and was looking
forward to her high school graduation in a few weeks. She was the
kind of girl who was beautiful and new it, but still didn’t mind
getting a little dirty. Her blond hair was short and spiky, her
eyes blue. She was always done up.
Together we walked towards the pens.
Dodge nickered when he saw me and I smiled. Shaynna stopped at
Macho’s pen and put his halter on. Macho was stunning. He was
sleek, black and massive. Her family was into show jumping and he
made Dodge look like a shrimp.
Both horses haltered, we walked back
towards the barns.
“What do you think, Shay? Should we
head to the bridge today?”
“Sounds like a plan!” she
I tied Dodge to the outside of his
stall and grabbed the brushes from my tack box. When he was brushed
and saddled I went out to meet Shaynna and Macho in the outside
ring where she was talking to her instructor. I saw her nod when
she saw us coming. Macho ambled over to the fence.
“Hey,” she said. “Do you mind if we go
to the bridge tomorrow? Anita is giving an extra lesson today to
anyone who wants it and with our first show of the season next
weekend, I’d like to get as much practice in as
“Sure. Not a problem. I’ll just do the
short trail today. Maybe the ropers will be here when I get back
and I can give them a hand with the chute. Is Shawn coming
tonight?” I asked about her boyfriend.
She shook her head. “No. He had to work
I turned Dodge towards the trails that
started behind the barns. The second longest trail was my favorite.
It went over an old bridge and on either side of the river were
flat, grassy banks. I loved packing a book and a bag of chips and
just hanging out there while Dodge ate grass.
I was in such a daydream state that I
never noticed when I passed the turn off for the short trail until
I got to the bridge.
“We better keep going, Dodge.” I patted
his neck. “Shaynna will worry if we take too long getting
We crossed the bridge and turned left
where the trail forked.
“Tomorrow we’ll take the other one.
We’ll have all day to play here.”
I nudged him into a trot to try and
make up for the time we had lost taking the longer trail. After a
short while I pulled him to a stop, noticing a new fork in the
“That’s funny. No one said anything
about them adding trails...” my voice trailed off because the trail
didn’t look like a new addition. It was narrower than the one I was
on and slightly grown over. A new trail would have been clean cut.
Yet I was positive that it hadn’t been there before.
I turned Dodge towards the left trail
that would take us back to the barns. He balked and pivoted towards
the right hand trail.
“Come on, buddy. We’ve got to head
Dodge perked his ears up and looked
down the trail. I followed his gaze and caught my breath. Farther
up the trail, on the ridge of a hill, was a man. He stood as still
as a tree. The sun broke through the trees and made his dark brown
hair look like it was on fire. His shaggy curls rustled in the
breeze. But what caught my attention were his eyes. Even from this
distance they bore into mine. Green met blue and locked. I started
to feel light headed before I remembered to breath.
“Holy shit!” I whispered to
As I inhaled, he tensed. I think I must
have blinked because when I focused on the top of the hill again,
he was gone.
I closed my eyes and shook my head.
“Did that just happen?” I asked Dodge. I was pretty sure it had
though I was known to daydream a lot. “Probably just a hiker taking
advantage of a beautiful day,” I told myself. Still, it was weird
about the trail.
Dodge swished his tail.
“You’re right. We better get
We picked up a nice steady canter and
made our way towards the arena
When we walked back into the yard
Shaynna was leading Macho out of the outdoor ring. She waved at
“How was your lesson?” I
“Great! I think we’re ready for next
“That’s awesome. You guys will do
great.” I swung off of Dodge and started walking to the barn with
“How was your ride?” she