#WereEVENT – Interview with Grigori de Forest from Mystery Stallion by Kate Hill


Castle de Forest is nestled in the woods on a mountaintop overlooking the village of Oakforest. For generations the de Forest family has ruled here, passing on leadership from father to son. That legacy almost ended with the passing of old Lord de Forest. Long ago he had sent his only son into slavery, hoping that the boy who bore “the marks” would be wiped from the memory of Oakforest.


Grigori de Forest had escaped the nightmare colony to which his own father had banished him and upon the old man’s death, claimed his birthright.


Now, standing in the lush field behind his castle, the unusual striped Horseman grants an interview to hopefully put rumors of his evil nature to rest once and for all. His cloven hooves move restlessly for a moment, then he stands still, his piercing eyes–one blue and the other so pale it appears almost white–stare with such intensity that this interviewer can’t help feeling a bit nervous.


It’s obvious Grigori wants to get on with it, so without hesitation, we begin.


Lord de Forest, is it true that during your exile you fought as a gladiator in a slave colony?


Grigori: It is true. When my father sent me into slavery, I had to adapt to the ways of the gladiatorial colony or die.


Some people believe that your unusual characteristics are a sign that you possess evil magic. Is there any truth to that?


Grigori: Think about what you just said. If I possessed evil magic, would I have remained a prisoner in a gladiatorial colony?


That’s a reasonable answer. Since your return, how have the people of Oakforest treated you?


Grigori: Most still fear me. The contempt they had for me as a child hasn’t diminished, but it seems their fear of me has increased, except for one woman.


Yes, your maid, Violeta. Some say she is more than just your maid.


Grigori: [Glaring.] Violeta is more a lady than anyone in this village. If I find out who has been spreading rumors about her, they will have reason to fear me after all.


My intention isn’t to sully her reputation, but I’m curious to know if she means more to you than just a servant and if it’s possible that she might actually become the lady of the castle?


Grigori: It’s true I care very deeply for Violeta and would marry her in an instant, but I don’t want her made miserable being the wife of a. . .of a Horseman with my marks.


Why do you care so much about Violeta?


Grigori: She’s the most decent, compassionate, beautiful woman I’ve ever known. She showed me kindness when no one, not even my own family, did.


If you could send the people of Oakforest a message, what would it be?


Grigori: I’m not your enemy. If you’re fair with me, I’ll be fair with you. However if you strike me, I’ll strike back. Believe me when I say I make a far better ally than a foe. Threaten me at your own risk.


The interview draws to a close and as I make my way down the winding forest trail back to the village, I hear the sound of massive wings beating overhead.

mysterystallionmedMystery Stallion

by Kate Hill

Book 7 of the Horsemen Series
From Ellora’s Cave


Long ago a striped Horseman lost his heart to the only Horsewoman ever born. Feared and rejected, he allowed his bitterness to destroy them both. Since then, no striped Horseman has ever known love. . .until now.

Sold into slavery by his father, Grigori de Forest arrives home twenty years later to reclaim his birthright. Now lord of a land where superstitious villagers despise and fear him because he bears “the marks”, he intends to live alone in his family’s ancestral castle.

Grigori de Forest soars through the sky, his black and white striped beast-half vivid against the background of blue.


Will the people ever accept him, or is it inevitable that violence will erupt between the superstitious villagers and the master of Oakforest? If it happens, will he be alone in the fight, or will Violeta stand beside him?



Violeta intended to refuse Grigori’s offer. Yes she’d agreed to fly with him in the morning, but only because she’d have the entire night to prepare and think over her decision.
She hadn’t expected to ride him now, but he stood staring at her with those penetrating eyes, waiting for an answer.
The very thought of sitting on his back, feeling his tall, strong body close to hers, almost took her breath away. She wanted to fly with him, not simply as a means of transportation but because she desired contact with him.
“Do you need to rest for a while?” he asked.
“No. Thank you. I’m ready.”
“Then I’ll shift shape and meet you in the great hall.”
Violeta nodded. She left the study and made her way downstairs. While she waited for him, she glanced around the hall. Dark, square-shaped places on the wall above the enormous fireplace hinted that portraits–probably of de Forest ancestors–had recently been removed.
The sound of hooves on stone nabbed Violeta’s attention. She turned to the ramp leading from the second floor. Grigori, in all his Horseman splendor, strode down it and approached Violeta. He had removed his shirt and revealed a torso even more gorgeous than she’d imagined–lean with well-defined muscles. Even from a distance she noticed old scars marking him. His striking black-and-white striped coat covered his tall, sleekly-muscled beast-half. Pure black wings folded against his sides. Unlike a usual Horseman tail, Grigori’s was partially covered in short, striped hair that turned into flowing black tendrils at the tip.
“I apologize, Violeta, but I have neither saddle nor harness. Are you able to ride without tack?”
“Yes I’m an able rider,” she said. “Other than a halter, I never used saddle or bridle on my horse before I sold her.”
“Very well.” He walked to a bench so she could reach him easily. “You may mount.”
Excitement buzzing through her, she stood on the bench and placed a hand on his equine back. He felt warm and hard beneath his short, coarse coat and she longed to stroke him. Though difficult to see among his stripes, scars similar to the ones on his human torso marked his beast-half.
She wondered how, after what he’d suffered in slavery, he could allow a human on his back. She’d heard horrible stories about the abuse of captive Horsemen, how in the mines some were literally ridden to death.
Once astride him, she shifted her weight to a comfortable position–difficult considering her powerful attraction to him. Though she wore a thin loincloth beneath her dress, her bare thighs hugged his equine sides. Her passionate thoughts sobered when she got a close look at his scarred flesh. The marks crisscrossed his broad shoulders and back. Violeta’s fingertips hovered over an especially thick scar, then she curled her hand into a fist. Simply because he offered her a ride didn’t give her leave to touch him any way she wanted to.
“You may hold on to me,” he said. “I know it’s not easy to ride without tack, but once we’re in the sky I’m a fairly smooth flyer.”
“I’m sure you are,” she murmured.
Grigori glanced over his shoulder at her, but she found she couldn’t meet his gaze, not while bombarded by sexual thoughts.

About Kate

Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, a short erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels.
When she’s not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out and spending time with her family and pets.
Kate also writes under the pen name Saloni Quinby. She enjoys hearing from readers and she can be contacted at katehill@sprintmail.com. Visit her online at http://www.kate-hill.com.


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