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Frozen Memories: Heirs of Ethra

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dark
possessive
contract marriage
forced
arranged marriage
arrogant
dominant
kickass heroine
magical world
first love
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Blurb

The trip through the portal to Ethra is extremely draining for first-timers, usually, draining them unconscious. It's when Mina awakens alone in a dark Amthirion saturated cell, that she realizes the long-awaited trip to Ethra will not be as welcoming as originally assumed.

My feet carried me as far away from the bar as could be managed. It was only when my heels scraped against the smooth stone behind me that I realized I had backed away as far as I could.

Why...why was this fear taking hold of me? Why could I not fight it? There was something painfully familiar about the theme of this place that burned a hole through my will to push past my fright.

When I closed my eyes to push out the anxiety, a flash of my past pulsed through my mind’s eye. There was a cell, dank and smelly-the floors saturated with water that had just been used on me with a power washing hose.

“Alright, Frost,” I heard so clearly as if I was there...as if this wasn’t a walking memory in the deep recesses of my mind forcing me to remember my torture-this voice not to be confused with the one that I had not a moment ago heard greeting me.

“No!” I exclaimed frightfully, gripping my hair panic-stricken. The full details of my past life had never been completely delved into, but the scars of the past would still find their way to the forefront at times in small traumatic...and painful memory flashes. “I don’t-I don’t want to see this again!”

“You are a troubled one,” The man said at the other side of the bar.

I gathered my composure enough to return attention to the current situation at hand-to this male standing in the dark before me as opposed to what I knew to be a terrible reminder of a treacherous memory.

“What...what do you want?” I managed to finally spit out.

The man standing before the bars, his eyes aglow in teal blue stared at me in eerily long silence before a dry chuckle barely parted his lips. “I think I’d be more inclined to ask you this question, my pretty little femlin.”

Femlin? I had never before heard such a term. I could only assume that this was a term from Ethra. Suddenly, I wished that I had further ventured into the memories that I had declined to explore when offered by Keyvah. Wait! Keyvah! Amorah! Max! Everyone! Where had they gone!?

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Prologue
    When my eyes finally shot open, I shot upright, my lungs inhaling instinctively as if I had been held underwater without air. I clutched my chest, part of me hoping that I could physically touch my heart in hopes to slow my rapid palpitations.      Once I finally caught a steady rhythmic breath, I finally was able to survey my surroundings, and immediately, I began to notice the incessant sound of a pipe leaking somewhere nearby. It was dark, and if I was being honest, my mind was still trying to readjust to consciousness.     “Where am I?” My whisper echoed through the solitary, confined space that I was in. From the looks of the steel bars standing five feet away from me, I was in a cell-but, not just any cell. No, this cell...the Amthirion was exuding from the bars like a dry and heavy heat-the power and potency of it far more intense than any that I had experienced in the past. This Amthirion was something special.     I turned over, palms to the ground to feel an almost sand-like dirt beneath my hands, soft and black in its near crystalline form as I struggled to push my weak self from off of the ground. After exhausting what little energy I’d had, my breath suddenly unsteady again, I weakly stumbled towards the bars, mentally preparing myself for the pain of being near such poisonous steel while simultaneously trying to remember what had happened before I’d awakened to this strange place, and most importantly...where was everyone else?     The last thing that I remembered was the spacial force of the portal catapulting everyone into darkness, swallowing us whole. Surely, no one could gather a moment to process the whirlwind of whiplash and disorientation experienced before we were spat back out.     I blinked rapidly as after that moment things became significantly less clear to me. With the constant idea of not knowing playing back and forth in my mind...the idea of being trapped...imprisoned...it began to awaken feelings that I had long since forgotten. What if someone comes to take me? What will they do to me? Will they test on me? Experiment? I am weak from the Amthirion...I can’t-what if-     My words were suddenly cut off by the sound of footsteps approaching. At first, I thought to sink back into the darkness, this sudden need to run and cradle myself in a ball...it frightened me. This fear that I felt...that I hadn’t experienced in such a long time had suddenly become crippling.     Before I could realize what I was doing, my body was steadily transitioning into flight mode as I backed away from the cell, my hands trembling violently in anticipation of who this could be.     “Hello, there.”      My feet carried me as far away from the bar as could be managed. It was only when my heels scraped against the smooth stone behind me that I realized I had backed away as far as I could.      Why...why was this fear taking hold of me? Why could I not fight it? There was something painfully familiar about the theme of this place that burned a hole through my will to push past my fright.     When I closed my eyes to push out the anxiety, a flash of my past pulsed through my mind’s eye. There was a cell, dank and smelly-the floors saturated with water that had just been used on me with a power washing hose.     “Alright, Frost,”  I heard so clearly as if I was there...as if this wasn’t a walking memory in the deep recesses of my mind forcing me to remember my torture-this voice not to be confused with the one that I had not a moment ago heard greeting me.     “No!” I exclaimed frightfully, gripping my hair panic-stricken. The full details of my past life had never been completely delved into, but the scars of the past would still find their way to the forefront at times in small traumatic...and painful memory flashes. “I don’t-I don’t want to see this again!”      “You are a troubled one,” The man said at the other side of the bar.     I gathered my composure enough to return attention to the current situation at hand-to this male standing in the dark before me as opposed to what I knew to be a terrible reminder of a treacherous memory.     “What...what do you want?” I managed to finally spit out.      The man standing before the bars, his eyes aglow in teal blue stared at me in eerily long silence before a dry chuckle barely parted his lips. “I think I’d be more inclined to ask you this question, my pretty little femlin.”     Femlin? I had never before heard such a term. I could only assume that this was a term from Ethra. Suddenly, I wished that I had further ventured into the memories that I had declined to explore when offered by Keyvah. Wait! Keyvah! Amorah! Max! Everyone! Where had they gone!?        “Where are they?!” I hissed in exclamation, my fear turning into a need to assure that the ones that I had arrived with were safe. “Where are my friends?!” I demanded. “My brother!” Nixon! I had just found him-my flesh and blood. I  simply could not afford to lose him again.      “As I said before, my sweet,” The long lean man had said through raspy words. “I am the one to ask the questions.”      He took a step closer, the moonlight showing through the solitary barred window outside of my jail cell displaying his features more clearly. His hair was white, receded significantly on the sides but not enough for his waist-length hair to be out of place. The white-haired stranger’s height was inhuman in comparison to my mere 5’2.     “You are the one who opened the portal to us!” I reasoned in exasperation. “So answer me!” I growled angrily. The idea of finding out where the others were was becoming the top priority over my post-traumatic stress at this point. I had gotten so enraged, it was easily forgotten that my surroundings were spiked with a lethal dose of Amthirion steel.      I hadn’t realized how close I suddenly was to the man standing on the other side of the bar until my hands touched the steel, sending a prostrating pain through my body. The excruciation nearly shocked my senses into stillness but my determination refused to allow my sedation from the toxic steel.      Something else suddenly kicked in at that moment; a fierceness that I had, again, long forgotten and very barely remembered. It was a survival instinct.     “Amthirion steel,” The mysterious male said to me in a boasting manner as he took a step closer. “I wonder if you’ve ever felt such pain,” He grinned. “If nothing else, it proves that you, at least, are of Ethra. However, it also proves, that you are a deserter...a betrayer of our kind and your life...is not worth-”     Before he could finish his sentence, adrenaline kicked in, enabling me the strength to push my hand through the bar of the toxic cell. He cackled with amusement, my hand unable to reach him as one probably would in a typical situation.     “I assume you did not think this all the way through, little femlin.” He heckled.     But I did. With a sneer, I aimed my palm up towards his neck and used whatever mentality-based strength I had to get him to me. Before he could register what had happened. His tall form had aggressively slammed down to his knees, and his body welcomed itself into my hands. I could not hold him long, but hopefully, long enough to make him understand that I was not to be underestimated.     “Ho-how?!” He struggled through choked words, his hands gripping at my hands. It was taking all of my strength to keep my hold on him. I estimated that only another two minutes give or take, and I would not doubt lose my strength.     “I know...Amthirion,” I hissed at him. “Now...where...are my friends?” He seemed to be so shocked, he could not answer me. “Where are they?!” I commanded again.     “Y-you’ve been separated!” He hissed.      “Tell me where you’ve put them!”      “If-if you kill me! You will most assuredly suffer!” He warned.     I did not have the strength to kill him-not at the moment. “Tell me-” He had been working on loosening my grip this whole time and finally my two minutes were up. He finally snatched my fingers away from his neck and immediately pushed himself back and across the floor as far away from me as he could get.     “You!” He shakily said, his voice a little raspier than before with the help of my formerly clasped fingers. The corner of his lip uneasily upturned, quivering in sudden apprehensive amusement. “I will have to watch you...little femlin,” He said and quickly got up from the stone floor to immediately take his leave.     With his presence now gone, I was yet again, alone, and dare I say even more fearful than before. My friends...my family...where are they?

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