Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Pledge by Gwynneth White EXCERPT TWO

EXCERPT TWO: Meet Jared and Sophia . . .

Jared nodded at Sophia and Kezeah without any sign of recognition. With two

of his Pledged up front and two at their rear, he marched them down the corridor to a

flight of stairs. Once at the bottom, he ducked beneath an archway, opening onto to a

gloomy, narrow tunnel. Erin, never keen on dark, claustrophobic spaces, took a deep

breath and paused.

“C’mon,” Seth said. “The sooner we walk through it, the quicker we get to the

other side.”

“What happens if what’s on the other side is even worse?”

“Then you’ll know for sure that the dead guys are leading this expedition,”

Seth said, wanting to deny the painful burning in his heart that reconnected him with a

cursed Jared. He grabbed Erin’s arm and pulled her into the passage.

They’d taken no more than two tentative steps along the uneven floor when

Sophia stopped. “Commander, I am not walking through this snake-hole!”

Jared turned back to look at her. With none of the fear or diffidence Erin and

Seth expected from a boy with limited to exposure to girls – especially beautiful ones

– he answered, “Of course, my lady. You’re from Norin, where I understand you live

in grass huts.” He gave a sardonic smile. “But don’t despair, you’ll soon get used

to bricks. Even our own Outcasts have learnt not to flinch at the sight of them.” He

continued down the passage.

Seth’s mouth dropped at Jared’s rudeness; this was so foreign to the Jared he

had seen just moments ago in his vision. It just added to his anger at Reuel’s Curse.

The Pledged at Sophia’s rear prodded her back; she gave him a fierce look and

started walking.

For Seth and Sophia, both taller than Erin and Kezeah, negotiating the

tortuous twists and turns of the tunnel was no easy matter. Stooping, cursing each

time they bumped their heads on the rough ceiling, they struggled after Jared, but he

kept up the merciless pace until they reached a dark staircase.

Her temper now as short as her breath, Sophia stopped walking and locked

her arms across her chest. “Having just cracked my skull open, you now expect me to

scramble up those treacherous stairs too. No doubt hoping I’ll fall and break my neck.

Well, forget it. I’m not moving.”

“Sophia!” Kezeah whispered, jabbing her in the ribs as she stepped gingerly

onto the first narrow step.

Sophia ignored her. “Only savages and rats live in places like this.”

Jared’s eyes narrowed. “Savages and rats, you say, my lady?”

Sophia set her face into a cold stare, locking her hypnotic blue eyes on his.

He surprised her by holding her gaze. “I hate to disappoint you, my lady, but

Lord Rustus, Lord of the Household, under the direction of the Overlord himself, has

chosen your apartment. Surely you don’t question their judgment in this matter?”

“As a matter of fact, I do.”

“In that case, I’ll gladly pass on your concerns. If that’s what you really


“Enough, Sophia. This isn’t a fight you can win.” Sophia’s Guardian had

joined them.

  These excerpts are issued by Swallow Press for use by bloggers participating

in launch and blog tour of Pledged by Gwynneth White. Any queries can be

addressed to Andrew at

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