Under a Velvet Cloak (Incarnations of Immortality, Book 8)
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The eighth book in Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series. It is the year 500 AD. Kerena, a beautiful young girl living near King Arthur's Camelot, is apprenticed to Morely the Seer. Morely teaches her fantastic magic, but when he mysteriously disappears, Kerena finds herself out on the street and must resort to prostitution to survive. Kerena prospers as a skilled courtesan until she is taken into service by Morgan le Fey, the sorceress sister of King Arthur. Kerena's knowledge of magic grows as she is required to carry out nefarious deeds for the evil Lady Fey. One of her missions is to seduce Sir Gawain, Knight of the Round Table, to prevent him from locating the Holy Grail. But Gawain and Kerena fall in love and she conceives his child, a child she discovers is cursed to die an early death. Using her Seer abilities, Kerena tries to locate the fabled Incarnations of Immortality, seeking their aid in removing the taint from her baby. Rebuffed by all seven major Incarnations, Kerena vows revenge. But revenge against such mighty immortals would require an even greater power...
touching, but he was methodical. Almost immediately the discomfort diminished; the balm was helping. “Thank you.” “Now you must learn to guide the horse.” He set a cloth bit in the horse’s mouth with reins coming back to her hand. “Be gentle, always; Service knows the signals. Draw right to turn him right, left to turn him left. Draw both to make him halt. Shake them to make him start.” She tried the signals, and they worked; the horse was well trained and responsive. She was in charge now, at
draw on? She found it impossible to focus on that; she was too busy achieving the effects themselves. If she focused on the process, she lost it. She needed a less direct way. “The library,” Vanja said. “The what?” “The vampire library of the occult. It has existed as long as vampires have, all the ancient information preserved. There should be answers there.” Kerena found herself getting to like the vampire girl for more than her body, just as she had once gotten to like Molly in the
created according to the template for the ideal man.” “True, in every respect.” Well, now. Kerena was experienced in recognizing male interest, and he was confirming it. Sex was not something promoted in Heaven. “I know a private place not associated with your business.” “That would be appreciated.” “This way.” She phased down and led the way rapidly back to the warren. When there, she split into two, and her second self went to locate Morely or Vanja and ask them to protect the privacy of
tryst. She liked to pretend to be seducing him for the first time, and he liked to play along. She even winced at his penetration, though it never hurt later. Somehow the reenactment never got dull. Along with the drops of blood on the cloak was a fresh stain of sex. His presence was there by the cloak, along with someone else. Kerena could not fathom the other; it was strange and magical, resistive to her Seeing. Female, but otherwise obscure. But Morely would not have done it with a strange
correctly, it would give her a better than even chance of winning. That was the edge she needed. She came at him during the blue fog, focusing on both his arms to-gether. She got one, but missed the other, and that gave him an opening. He lifted his free hand and dropped its loop over her head. It became snug, and her entire body became inert. “Fool!” he said. He assumed the form of a bear, pulled her close, and penetrated her unresisting body. Only her head was free. She screamed piercingly.