Red Winter by Annette Marie EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Status: Available for Free Download
- Author: Annette Marie
- Language: English
- Genre: Fantasy Romance
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 2 MB
- Price: Free
Emi stood at the head of the path. Somewhere among the trees was the
shrine where she would spend her last two months as a mere mortal.
Behind her, the car she’d exited rumbled quietly, the humming of the
engine the only sound in the still air. The dirt road wound up the gentle
slope of the mountain, but the heavy blanket of colorful leaves suggested it
was seldom travelled beyond this point. Thick tree trunks lined the road like
a towering fence, the barrier broken only by the path just beyond her toes.
A car door slammed and she started, tearing her eyes from the dark
corridor through the trees. Her escort opened the trunk and pulled out two
simple suitcases. He walked around the car and dropped them in the dirt
beside her with a thud. She frowned at her luggage, then at her escort.
“Thank you, Akio,” she said politely anyway.
The path drew her gaze back. A chill breeze rushed across her, tugging
at her long hair, and her breath puffed out in a white haze. It was only midautumn but the wind had the cold taste of winter. Gray clouds stretched
between the rolling mountain peaks, dimming the late afternoon light.
Leaves rustled and crunched beneath approaching footsteps. Emi
smoothed her hair and shook out the long, billowing sleeves of her kimono
so they hung more gracefully. As she folded her hands neatly in front of her,
three figures materialized out of the shadows and hurried down the path.
The group was led by an elderly man with weathered skin and a wide
smile. His dark purple robes—the traditional garb of a kannushi, a priest of
the shrine—fluttered about him with minimal dignity. He rushed toward
her, arms outstretched, but before she could panic that he might try to
embrace her, he shuffled to a stop and dipped into a deep, respectful bow.
“My lady!” His crackling voice warbled with excitement. “It is an
honor, such an honor. Welcome to Shirayuri Shrine. Our home is small and
humble—nothing like you’re accustomed to, I’m sure—but everything we
have is yours to—”
The car door slammed again, cutting the kannushi off. Emi turned,
bewildered to see Akio back in the driver’s seat. The engine revved as he
pulled a sharp U-turn and accelerated back down the road. Heat rushed into
her face as she gaped after the vehicle. She spun back to face the kannushi.
“My apologies for the rudeness of my escort,” she stammered. “I—I’m
not sure …”
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