A couple of weeks ago for Trans Awareness Week, some members of the group were posting snippets of their work that had trans characters. I had set my snippet up in advance, so I couldn't participate then, but I did promise to share a snippet with a trans character soon so I thought I'd do that today. This is a snippet from a fantasy romance that is set to be published by NineStar press next year. It isn't connected to my Tournai series (new series! yay!), and I'm currently writing the sequel. In this story, it is arranged for Edmund, a prince and his father's heir, to marry Hollis, queen of a neighboring kingdom, to secure an alliance. But when he goes there to live and prepare for the wedding, he finds himself developing a friendship and then falling in love with her brother, Arden. And as if that isn't complication enough, there is lots of political intrigue and an assassination attempt against Hollis for which Edmund is blamed. Arden has to rescue him, and while on the run, they have to figure out how to keep both kingdoms out of war and find a way to be together. Edmund is cisgender and demisexual; Arden is transgender and bisexual.
I've given you more (a lot more) than six sentences here, which I know breaks the rules (sorry!), but I wanted to give you a little more to set everything up. This is the first time Arden appears. He and Hollis are talking about the marriage arranged for her with Edmund.
“Yes. I’ve considered all the options. The council has too, if you trust them more than you do me.”
Arden turned from the window at the snap in his sister’s tone. “Hollis. You know I trust your judgment, and you know I support you as my sister and my queen. I just want to make certain this is what you really want. You’re arranging a marriage for yourself with someone you’ve never met.”
“What I really want?” Hollis’s voice lashed out, sharper than before. “Of course it isn’t. I don’t want to marry a man I’ve never met and be required to have his child to secure an alliance. I don’t want to have to constantly be on my guard, hoping that once I’m married to him and carrying his child that he won’t try to undermine my rule. I don’t want any of that, but it’s what I have to do. For Aither.”
Arden opened his mouth and closed it again as he tried to figure out what to say. Hollis was standing behind her desk—the desk that until half year ago had belonged to their father—glaring at Arden. Her green eyes, twins of Arden’s own, were narrowed. That, along with their height, was the only resemblance between them. Hollis’s hair was long, golden, and wavy, the mass of it pulled up and back in complicated braids and then left to rain down her back. She’d been meeting with her council all morning and was dressed for it in a blue gown with full sweeping skirts.
Arden had not been at the meeting. As such, he’d been dressed for a day with his books. “I didn’t mean that. I only worry for you. If you believe this is the best way, then I’ll do all I can to support you.”
“It’s the only way. Father was assassinated, possibly by someone from Tycen, possibly by someone within the court. I’m in danger. We need this alliance as much as Thalassa does.”