Exclusive Excerpt from Unpredictable Fate
by Jessamyn Kingley
Chieftain Kalthekor Valzadari set the phone down in its cradle with a ferocious frown. He worked every day to treat people with kindness, even when it was not reciprocated. However, he had never been an adult that allowed someone to walk over him as the cranky centaur he’d spoken with had tried to do with his accusations. Kalthekor attended his advisory panel meetings on Fridays with awe that he’d been selected as one of the few people considered that important to the Office of the Emperor.
Each week he was assigned bills which he personally handled, and the numbers were logged into his phone, and he backed it up by sending himself an email. While there was always the chance an error was made, this particular offering from the always troublesome Alpha Panthera had created a lot of acrimony, so he could clearly recall volunteering to handle the nonsense. As Kalthekor shut off his computer for the day, he sincerely hoped the archon spoke with his employee, so he didn’t run around accusing others of stealing his bills.
Striding out of his space after flicking off the lights, Kalthekor smiled at his office assistant, who was packing up his things to leave.
“That guy was something, right? He seemed annoyed that I wasn’t an elf,” Walker Draconis said. Several months ago, an executive from the Valzadari Beading Company had been hired by the new President of Draconis Enterprises. Zinlyar had been a wonderful employee, but Kalthekor understood that he could not pass up the opportunity to work side-by-side with his mate. When the Emperors had suggested Kalthekor look for a replacement within their company, as they were restructuring, he’d accepted eagerly. His former assistant was promoted to fill Zinlyar’s shoes, and Kalthekor had hired Walker in his place as well as another dragon for a higher executive position.
“I think he was annoyed in general. For some reason, he was convinced I usurped him on a Council bill.”
Walker snorted. “He’s calling the wrong office. You don’t make mistakes like that.”
“I definitely try not to,” Kalthekor responded, and the two strolled over to the elevator after locking up the entire office suite. It was a relatively small space, as he handled the Council stuff with as little staff as possible. He’d hired talented people who were thorough, which pleased him, and the rest of the Valzadari worked for their ancient company headquartered just outside of Las Vegas. His elves preferred to live there, so he’d set up schools and helped them get into other elven ones when necessary since it was traditional, and his people had never strayed from their customs. Because they expected their leader to do the same, his own son attended a mixed elven elementary school close to his condo.
“Have a good night, and say hi to Pyxlevir for me,” Walker said as they left the elevator in the garage and headed for their vehicles.
“You too, and I’ll give Pyxlevir your message,” Kalthekor returned with a smile. The light of his life was the tiny six-year-old boy who Kalthekor couldn’t wait to see, so he climbed into his car and drove toward the same building he’d lived in since he’d walked away from Tamlisyr. He parked and after securing the vehicle, sent a text message to the Grand Warlock to let him know he was rounding the corner in the direction of the designated magical teleporting area.
When he got there, Dra’Kaedan was waiting with Brogan at his side. Kalthekor was hugged tightly by both and greeted warmly. “Ready?” the Grand Warlock asked.
Closing his eyes, Kalthekor nodded. “Yes.”
He was suffused with a floaty feeling, and mere seconds later the ground was solid under his feet again. Before he could even lift his lashes, a small body crashed into his legs.
“Hi, Dad,” Pyxlevir offered as he wrapped his arms around Kalthekor’s waist.
Running a hand over the careful braids Kalthekor was going to redo the following evening as Pyxlevir’s hair had grown, loosening the style, he hugged his only child back. Using embellishments had only been a part of his life since his son was born. Kalthekor used to dress severely and keep his mane free of them, but he’d opened his eyes to every possibility, thanks to Pyxlevir and the D’Vaire family Evlithar had made them both part of. “Hello to you. How was school?”
“Good, I did all my homework already.” Pyxlevir grinned up at him. He was a smart child who spent most of his time with adults, giving him an extensive vocabulary, and everything about him made Kalthekor proud. “I practiced my word list with Lorcan, and he got two Elvish words wrong. He says they must’ve changed it since he was a kid, but I think he’s bad at spelling.”
“It could be regional,” Lorcan muttered as he frowned. The demonic elf might appear mad, but his eyes were dancing with humor.
“I spelled them right, and the Cwylld didn’t live that far from the Acwellan, anleydir,” Talfryn responded, using the Elvish word for beloved as a term of affection for the man he adored.
“As my mate, you should support me in everything,” Lorcan grumbled.