This week’s teaser comes from Bloodlust: A Gladiator’s Tale, first book in my Domains of the Chosen series.
Ravius Vergerus, aka Ravishing Rude Ravius, is a long-time acquaintance of Gavin introduced in a Gladiator’s Tale. His cheerful nature compliments Gavin’s introspective demeanor. He figures into the upcoming book, Bloodlust: Seeds of Ruin as well.
“I’m telling you Ravius: it was luck.”
“No, it was instinct Gavin. We’ve been drilling since we were six years old, little brother. We’ve fought hundreds of training duels with live weapons; moves like that are second nature to us, little brother.” Ravius’s voice dripped cheerful self-assurance; an annoying trait in Gavin’s view. “Your body and subconscious knew how to position the spear even if your conscious mind did not command it.”
“Ravius, I’m pretty certain the Spike Hound impaled itself on my spear accidentally,” responded Gavin, trying to show his exasperation.
Ravius Vergerus was one of Gavin’s classmates from the Campus Gladius, where young gifted were trained in magic and where they both had decided to become Gladiators. He was slightly shorter than Gavin, with a wide tangle of blond hair, dark blue eyes, and always smiling as if the world was one big joke, at least in Gavin’s mind. The two had met Ravius in a pairs training duel when he was fourteen and the other had spent the last three years of training taking Gavin “under his wing”. Ravius was smart, bold, a little egotistical, and always trying to break the quiet Gavin “out of his shell.” Ravius also called anyone he spoke to “little brother” or “little sister”, even if they were larger than he was; this too, irritated Gavin… he had a good two inches over Ravius.
Gavin did not seek his company; Ravius was over-fond of talking and did not seem to understand that some people enjoy quiet solitude, are serious by nature, and that introversion is not an aberration that should be cured. Gavin had hoped that Vergerus would forget about him after graduation, but this was apparently not to be. He’d come to Gavin’s second match and had gone out of his way to help him make a full recovery afterwards. Now Gavin was having trouble reconciling his distaste for Ravius with the fact that the man was showing himself to be a true friend; he was beginning to wonder if his aversion to the blond Gladiator’s friendship was a reflection of his own internal conflicts and not true dislike.
Upon further thought, he resolved to be nicer to Ravius. Perhaps true friendship required that he accept the other person’s foibles. Besides, it would be useful to have a training partner.