Stories Published by 'SaddleRider'

A Mage Born Ch. 03 - Epilogue

A mage apprentice endures a trial by fire.

Hanah and Dina stayed on their horses as they were asked to do, but looked at each other quizzically as the one named Bryana silently dismounted her own and walked forward into the distance. The horses were often skittish with this part of things. The animal sense dealt better with mage fire and other tangibles than the bending of reality, which didn't mean they liked any of it, it was simply a...

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A Mage Born Ch. 02

A mage apprentice endures a trial by fire.

Dina reached the place she lived with her husband after a long, but uneventful walk. She didn't call it a home anymore, as it had stopped being that a while ago, but the walk was pleasant enough in that it let her reprieve last a bit longer. She was increasingly angry with herself as she made her way through the streets... She should have done more to dissuade Hanah from whatever her plan was and...

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A Mage Born Ch. 01

A mage apprentice endures a trial by fire.

Note: There is only a hint of sex in this chapter. *** It was a nice day in Erette. There was a thin layer of clouds that spread across the sky, serving only to dapple that sky in a more pale blue than the usual and contrasted against the gaps between those clouds. The temperature was surprisingly comfortable for the time of year, but that wouldn't last long. Soon the transitional rains...

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Of Hearts Bound Ch. 03

In Errette, bonds run deep with the help of magic.

Deres slowly pulled the door closed behind him, holding the handle down so there would be no click to potentially pull his daughter Khylen out of her half-sleep before she could fall to it the rest of the way. She quibbled about bedtime the same as every other child that ever lived, but, once settled in, she enjoyed the quiet time with those who loved her with fairy tales and chat about the day...

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Of Hearts Bound Ch. 02

In Errette, bonds run deep with the help of magic.

A tiny march of days later Neral had made her way to the queen's chambers as she had more times than she could count, both formally and informally, so no one paid much attention when she made her way there again. There were eyes on her of course. There were guards that could be seen, ones that could not, and guards that could be seen to look nothing like guards at all. She knew all of them by...

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Of Hearts Bound Ch. 01

In Erette, ties can bind with a little help from magic.

"What I would like to do," my queen," General Neral Jaye began as she pointed to various points north along the river, " is enhance protection of the villages by spreading troops more evenly along the border." Her finger danced across the map. "Smaller forts here, here, and here would be populated with rapid strike units. Coupled with the new observation towers, bandits should have a significantly...

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Rebirth Ch. 02

Dr. Samuels finds more than a distraction.

Author's Note: There's a hint of incest between the twins here. I didn't tag it such because it's both only implied and fleeting. I warn you here in case even that is beyond the pale for you. * Everything was so beautiful. Rainbows layered upon themselves and the bands of color entwined like the double helix of DNA and they climbed and weaved through the gaps created by the...

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Rebirth Ch. 01

Dr. Samuels finds more than a diversion.

It was a grand meal, though Samuels could always expect that from the small, quiet Italian restaurant she often found herself when she ventured from the facility. Enough people knew about the out-of-the-way place so that business was healthy, but it wasn't overwhelmed. It was clear to her that patrons knew what they'd found and simply didn't want to share it far and wide and spoil it, and there...

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A War Dawning - Epilogue

House Jaye races to save the world from the tyrant Mareth.

Epilogue If the bar that Elan found herself in in Idros could be said to be the height of class and modernity, the bar the assassin known in this part of the world as Wyrnn was the opposite. It was a dead end in the small town and usually attracted those at the dead end of their lives, whether it be physically or emotionally. Broken bodies and broken lives made their way here to while away...

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A War Dawning Ch. 07

House Jaye races to save the world from the tyrant Mareth.

Author's Note: Plot resolution here. No sex. Chapter Seven Neral Jaye rode with an odd sense of calm. She had her army behind her. It was by no means all of it, but the formations were substantial. A token force had remained in Erette and the populace enlisted should the Draleth have sent a force to try to sack the city. The rumors of the fire from the sky had not been dispelled and...

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A War Dawning Ch. 06

House Jaye races to save the world from the tyrant Mareth.

When Ariz heard from Dennet, it was a most pleasant surprise. He'd made use of the merchant's services often over the past decade and he'd always come through in spectacular fashion, providing anything from rare wines to finely crafted jewelry, and anything in between. Dennet had an uncanny ability to anticipate the man's needs. There would occasionally be the pleasant surprise of a rare wine or a...

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A War Dawning Ch. 05

House Jaye races to save the world from the tyrant Mareth.

Author's note: There will be some hack and slash peppered here and throughout the rest of the story. I'm skimping on the gore factor simply because it's not what most people are coming to the story, but it's still relevant to the story so it warrants inclusion. Also, there's no sex to be had in this chapter. * The word had reached Mareth in the middle of the night with his...

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A War Dawning Ch. 04

House Jaye races to save the world from the tyrant Mareth.

Lystra hadn't left her work in days, save walks around the compound. Even now she ate at a small metal table to the left of the console that had now taken up the whole of her life. She forced herself to eat, not looking at the meal really because it was pretty lavish all things considered. Here she was eating well and living well while her people suffered. Drax came back with stories. There were...

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A War Dawning Ch. 03

House Jaye races to save the world from the tyrant Mareth.

Bryana closed the last book just as there was a knock on the door to break the silence. She was almost glad of it as it cut off the impending sigh of frustration. "Come." Deres entered with Elan just behind and he looked upon her with sympathy. He knew that look, and he let her have a bit of silence to continue to work through her frustrations before offering, "You look annoyed." "Very...

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A War Dawning Ch. 02

House Jaye races to save the world from the tyrant Mareth.

Bae, rather than cause a panic, not only within the castle, but the kingdom as a whole kept a tight grip on the people moving in and out and the information they had and imparted to others. Beyond the healers and the White Guard now all but surrounding her, even the cleaning staff was sent away, told that the queen and the Guard were planning maneuvers. The queen's right hand couldn't use such a...

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A War Dawning Ch. 01

House Jaye races to save the world from the tyrant Mareth.

Neral Jaye's evening was setting up to be a most pleasant one as she padded barefoot to her room in nothing but a simple white gown. The house now was settled and quiet for the evening, save a few members of the house staff that preferred to do their work in the quiet hours before the rush of the day or those that were simply nocturnal and lived for the night in general. But the members of...

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A War Dawning Ch. 00 - Prologue

House Jaye races to save the world from the tyrant Mareth.

Prologue "Your father will be here soon," Drax reminded her gently and with a small smile. Lystra looked up from her workstation just long enough to meet the gaze of the wiry, powerful man with the grizzled salt and pepper beard, balding head and the cutting dark eyes. "I'll be ready, don't worry. Well, not 'ready,' ready, but that will be soon enough, I think. I hope." Drax gave a...

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Hotter with a Blue Bonnet on it Ch. 03

A woman seeking the interview of a lifetime finds more.

The deep fog that that the alarm pulled Kate from this morning wasn't so much a fog as the sensation of her mind being buried in layers of thick cotton that she had to claw herself from to reach the button with a slap that not only turned off the alarm but flipped it through the air and onto the floor. Her limbs felt leaden and she didn't want to move at all, not because she felt ill, or...

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Hotter with a Blue Bonnet on it Ch. 02

A woman seeking the interview of a lifetime finds more.

The alarm beeped, cutting through the fog of sleep that Kate was buried in. She rolled onto her belly, the white sheet wrapping around her more tightly, clinging to her nude form as her muscles protested the movement, her arm stretching to quiet the alarm. After two fumbles, she ended its call and lay there for a moment in the dark contemplating her surroundings. There was a wet spot on the...

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Hotter with a Blue Bonnet on it

A woman seeking the interview of a lifetime finds more.

Kate McCallum upped the volume on her car stereo, not only because it was a good song, but because she wasn't entirely sure when she'd get a chance to listen to real music again, so she figured that she should get in what she could in the time she had left. After this it's probably banjos and harmonicas; or maybe jug bands. No doubt guitars are the work of the devil. Whatever craziness they...

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Succession

A scientist races against time to save her life's work.

She knew there wasn't a lot of time. It had been decades since she'd seen patients, as she'd moved on to research almost with the first opportunity, but she had a pretty good idea of the damage the bullet in her left side had done. She was certainly keenly aware that it was allowing the life to seep from her. She could feel it in the stickiness of the blood on her once green blouse. She...

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The High Cost of Free Play

Amber gets chosen to help test a very special slot machine.

This story takes place in the same universe as "The Audit" and "In-Flight Entertainment." Amber focused on her game for the most part, but did glance up now and again. Well after midnight in a casino on the Vegas strip, it was sparsely populated, but by no means empty. It would be a few more hours yet before the floor would be all but deserted as the destitute and hungover dragged...

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An Apocalypse Rising: Epilogue

A group of warriors try to stop an evil sorceress.

The weeks passed and spring finally gave way to summer, the cold bite of the nights finally giving way to warmth aplenty and spikes of humidity that could make being outside uncomfortable. This day though, was not one of those. The sky was cloudless and, looking out her window, Neral looked forward to being out in it. She had shed her uniform today in favor of a pale blue sundress with her softest...

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An Apocalypse Rising Ch. 10

A group of warriors try to stop an evil sorceress.

Goddess, it looks so fucking hot. Neral fought to keep herself to herself, but it was like trying to climb up a muddy hill. One moment there would be enough sense of self that she could rationalize all the reasons that they had to stop, not the least of which being that the witch was on her way, but then the ground would slide out from under her in the form of Elan's feathery kisses down her...

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An Apocalypse Rising Ch. 09

A group of warriors try to stop an evil sorceress.

"Give you my mind?" Anna wasn't sure she heard correctly. "I hope you're not suggesting I become some version of them." she sniped. Maylin shook her head. Her irritation made her slip in her efforts to heal Dalen slightly and the other grimaced in pain. "I'm sorry, Dalen." Anna moved to the entry to keep an eye out as Maylin spoke. Her fingers dipped downward now and then to get to the...

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An Apocalypse Rising Ch. 08

A group of warriors try to stop an evil sorceress.

Chapter Eight Neral hated waiting. She hated it even though it was a sizable part of her job. Lots of mundane tasks, between long stretches of waiting for the few minutes of murderous frenzy to begin. So she would have hated it even if she hadn't been waiting for her husband to scout a path and into the fortress ahead. "He knows what he's doing just as well as I do." She knew...

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An Apocalypse Rising Ch. 07

A group of warriors try to stop an evil sorceress.

Chapter Seven A bed. Goddess, how good it felt to have a bed again, and to be warm and fed with well-prepared food. Bryana could count the ways life was good just now and go on at length about each. The feeling of being in a hot bath with Mistress as they caressed, pawed, nibbled, and licked one another was glorious enough, but seeing the empty little handmaidens look on with lust and a hint...

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An Apocalypse Rising Ch. 06

A group of warriors try to stop an evil sorceress.

Author's Note: There is a scene of potentially unappealing gore. It's intentionally not particularly descriptive, but it's there all the same. You'll have a good idea when it's coming and its end is clearly marked. Chapter Six A fitful sleep on their horses did not help Neral Jaye's mood. It was reaching the point where Neral was wondering if Kress and her group might...

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An Apocalypse Rising Ch. 05

A group of warriors try to stop an evil sorceress.

The party moved on as the first rays of dawn peeked through the thickening blanket of clouds. The wind found some force and bite as the front drew nearer to them. Neral knew there would be rain sooner rather than later and she shivered in anticipatory dread. She conceded to herself that it was likely a combination of things. There was always that tension when she knew they were heading into a...

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An Apocalypse Rising Ch. 04

A group of warriors try to stop an evil sorceress.

Drexa moved through the corridors of what she had come to look upon as her underground castle with a relaxed glide. All was proceeding as it should, which allowed her a moment to revel in the power she now wielded. The fools of her old home never understood. They were too comfortable in what they had built. Balance was all they cared for, whether it was balance between them and the land they had...

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