Excerpt from Chapter 1 of “Raven” by Hannah P. Simmons. Artwork by capprotti.deviantart.com
Caden turned his head so that his ears were acutely directed towards the palace, listening for the approaching guards. His chest rose and fell with exaggerated effort as he tried to slow his breathing. He was resolved to hold his breath if necessary. The palace guards were more beast than human. Their sight was the least important of their senses. No, they hunted men by listening for their heavy breathing, by feeling along in the dirt for an imprint or inhaling deeply to discover a scent. They were creatures of the king’s creation, and were to be feared. And now, they were close. Too close.
Idiot! Caden told himself. You’re supposed to be the best.