Unraveling destiny the f.., p.16

Unraveling Destiny (The Fae Chronicles Book 5), page 16

 

Unraveling Destiny (The Fae Chronicles Book 5)
 



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  “He has a Goddess at his side; he will not fall to you, Dragon whelp,” she countered. “Do you have any idea how powerful Synthia is? She could be in here with us right now and you’d never know it until your blood covered this very floor. You can’t ward against her, no one can. You think she’d allow him to walk into your trap alone? She’d spot those wards inside that forest; she’d see them miles before they ever reached them. You’re a fool; take your people and leave. Live—he won’t care that you are alive, Blane, trust me. Just go. Before it’s too late.”

  “He’s the Horde King; he won’t walk in, Ciara, he’ll sift. By then, it will be too late for him to turn back. He’s a cold-blooded killer—I know, I was there when he slaughtered my people. He killed my people; my mother was raped and killed by some of his men as I watched them from where I was hidden by my mother’s maid. I won’t run from him, not again. Last time I was a mere lad; now, I’m a man who will pay him back for what he did. I won’t allow it to happen again.”

  “He was following orders. He has always regretted what he was forced to do to your people,” she whispered softly. “He killed our father not long ago. He made sure that the real killer paid for his deeds.”

  “He took that monster that drove your father mad into him. It’s only a matter of time before he follows his own father’s steps and destroys what little remains of this world. He didn’t kill him because of his deeds, he killed him because he craved power; we’ve heard it whispered from the very day he killed his sire. Killing Alazander doesn’t absolve him of his crimes. Those who he killed were innocent; they didn’t deserve to die like that, or to be left for the carrion birds,” he growled, his blue eyes filling with ice that were laced with hate as he watched Ciara swallow against the malice she saw in his beautiful, watery depths.

  “My brother’s beast is his own, not my father’s. I know what he is. I was there the day he killed my father. I saw what happened and why it happened. Ryder isn’t what you think he is,” she replied carefully, watching the Dragon as he moved even closer to her. “Do you think our monster of a father was any kinder to his children? He used us; he tore my brothers down until they had no choice but to do as he bid them, and if they fought against him, he would kill whoever they were closest to. He tortured them, but Ryder is not our father; they’re nothing alike.”

  “And you’d lie to protect him,” he hissed.

  “I’m Fae, asshole. One hundred percent High Fae royalty and you know it. I can’t lie!” she growled and glared at him. “I’m telling you the truth!”

  “Who says the Fae can’t lie? The Guild? How do you know that isn’t something they fed to the Guild so that they would buy it? If I was the High Fae of old, I’d have told them the same thing. Takes out torture, now doesn’t it? They’d buy anything they told them because of course, the Fae cannot tell a lie.”

  “You’re the most stubborn asshole in this entire world! Would you listen to me?” She growled as she struggled against the chains that held her.

  I frowned. He made sense, because if I was the Fae, I’d have told them that too, even if it wasn’t true.

  “The more you fight, the more you drain what little strength you have left, Ciara,” he said smoothly as his crystal blue eyes slowly trailed over her breasts where the tattered dress failed to hide her ample cleavage, which moved with every angry breath she took. “If I were you, I’d reserve that energy. I have no plans of feeding you or falling prey to your seduction, temptress.”

  He wouldn’t feed her, but I would. My power left no residue that could be traced, nor would it be felt by anyone in this camp.

  I watched as he moved to the flap and turned back around. His eyes narrowed and I could see the muscle in his jaw working as he decided what to say.

  “I didn’t ask for this, but I won’t allow that monster to have another opportunity to harm anyone else. To destroy any other caste of Faery. You are innocent, but so were my people. So were the infants that were killed to prevent them from becoming pets for the Horde King’s sick pleasure. The people out there?” He pointed outside of the tent. “All of them are survivors or their children. We have to kill that monster. We have waited, bided our time, and that time is now. Don’t move too much, Princess. Your blood gives me no pleasure,” he gritted out before he turned and exited the tent.

  I waited and watched as Ciara lowered her head and looked at where I had been standing before.

  “You have to go, Synthia. You have to keep my brothers away from them. They will fight to the death, and none of them will win. I can’t live knowing that it was my actions that bring down these people or the Horde King. I know he won’t stop looking for me, but he has to.”

  “Did they create the problems with the portals?” My voice was barely above a whisper.

  “No. They don’t bother themselves with the problems of Faery. They do, however, steal women, as they have only a few of their own. Dragon births are typically male, and since most of their females were lost in the Battle of Dragons, they now take them from villages that won’t be noticed by the Horde and mate with them. I think it’s why there aren’t thousands of them here right now. What you saw out there are the ones who were either away when the Horde attacked, were wounded and left for dead after battle, or were just small children that escaped. From what I have overheard, they have a few small encampments now, scattered in rough locations that most wouldn’t dare to think to look in. Most are not inhabited by creatures because of the locale. Dragon Aery is what they call their new home, and Blane is their born King. He was there the day Ryder slaughtered the Dragons; he watched him do it.”

  “The chain, I think I can get it off of you.” I kept my voice low as I contemplated what she’d told me. I had been probing it, my eyes catching minute details of the chain, but then it glowed as she hastily interrupted me.

  “You can’t,” she hissed. “It’s set to slice me in half should it be tampered with. I’m a trap, made to lure the Horde here to watch me die as they try to free me from it. Blane isn’t a bad guy; he’s damaged. He’s endured a lot, and I think I can reach him, Syn. I just need time. The chain, however, I believe is one of the relics my brother is looking for.”

  “If that’s the case, it’s a pretty fucked up relic. Ciara, I’m not leaving you here,” I snapped.

  “You are because you have to,” she whispered frantically as tears slid down her cheeks. “Promise me you won’t let my brothers come. Keep them safe. I will get free, I promise.”

  “If he doesn’t feed you, you’ll weaken and waste away. There is a lot of emotion in this camp. Anger, pain, resentment, hate; it’s not enough to keep you going for long,” I growled as I struggled against the emotions warring inside of me. I couldn’t get this close and just leave her, but the more I looked at the chain, the more the details of it became apparent. It couldn’t be removed from her. Not by anyone except the person who put it there. Worse than that, the thin belt she was wearing had some kind of beacon in it, like a tracker. Probably a fail-safe in case she did manage to escape.

  “He will feed me,” she replied confidently. “I’m going to break through to him, and I’m going to make him see I’m flesh and blood, just as he is. You have to go now. Please, trust me. My brothers don’t; they think I’m weak because I was born female, but I’m not. I can do this, and end this war before it really starts.”

  I frowned and placed my hand on her shoulder, pumping power into her and feeding her enough to last a while. The wards on the tent started to glow, so I lessened the amount of power I was giving her. Her hair grew fuller, lusher in color as I fed her. The dark circles beneath her eyes vanished and her body filled out a bit, no longer starved for nutrients. Her flesh looked healthier now and, just to screw with his head a little bit, I cleaned her up and glamoured a fresh top and skirt on her body that would leave her midriff and the chain exposed.

 
I stepped back and watched as the violet glow in her eyes subsided from the feeding. I shook my head, unsure if I could do as she was asking, but I did trust her. I knew her; she was strong and stubborn, as her brother was. If she could end this war before it got to our doorsteps, it may be worth it.

  I hugged her briefly and whispered close to her ear, “Ciara, I will come back for you. I will figure out how to remove that chain and I will come to get you. You have a very short window of time; I can’t watch your brothers endure failure as they come home without you for much longer. Do what you can, but I will be back. Understood?”

  “He comes,” she whispered, and I moved to the flap, pushing myself against the tent’s side as men rushed in with weapons drawn. As they moved in, I moved out with one last look at Ciara as she smiled as the Dragon King entered with his own guards close at his heels.

  “She did it,” one of the men cheered from inside the tent. “I told you she was too vain to remain dirty,” he snickered as he grabbed her arm and turned it over. “Vanity is a bitch, Ciara.”

  “Is it?” she purred as her eyes lifted to their King’s. “Or was it something else?” she smiled saucily.

  “Ready the weapons and have the men prepare to fight the Horde, should they come for her,” Blane gritted out coldly.

  I swallowed, and prayed to the Gods that Ciara knew what she was doing. I’d kill them all before I let them touch Ryder. Every single last one of them.

  Chapter Seventeen

  I was standing on the balcony that was off of our bedroom chambers as I waited for Ryder to come to bed. Guilt washed through me as I considered what I had agreed to. I’d left Ciara in the care of Ryder’s enemies, and I hated it, but I understood where she was coming from. She wanted to prove her worth, but at what cost?

  She wanted to stop a war, but what if she gave her life to do it, and we still ended up at war with the Dragons? I rested my arms on the wall of the balcony and looked over the magnificent view as I tried to make sense of everything that had happened over the past year, and especially the last few weeks. I was burning up with secrets that I hated keeping from Ryder. I hated lying to him, even if it was to protect him from those who might try and hurt him.

  “You’re thinking too hard.” The deep timbre of his voice made me jump. I turned around and gave him a small look of annoyance. I hated when he sifted in without warning. “Worried about the wedding?” His hands captured mine and pulled me close.

  I swallowed and shook my head. “There’s something I need to tell you and I need you to not freak out. I need you to trust me,” I murmured, then nibbled my lower lip and peered nervously into his golden eyes.

  “Synthia, we have no secrets,” he growled. “I keep nothing from you.”

  “I know we don’t, which is why I have to tell you something. I need you to not freak out or go caveman on me, okay? I made some promises, and I don’t want to start our marriage with any secrets between us.”

  “What are you hiding?” he demanded sharply. “What secrets?”

  “Do you trust me?” I murmured softly, fighting the tightening of my throat as I watched the war of mistrust play across his features.

  “Synthia,” he warned.

  “Do you trust me?”

  “Yes, of course,” he snapped.

  “There is an Original Witch beneath the Guild. That is why the Seattle Guild isn’t backing down, and if other creatures knew she was there, they’d come to try and take her from us.”

  He nodded. “I knew that,” he replied and I blinked. “Synthia, I’m not stupid. I know my enemies and I make it my business to try and figure out what they hide from me. The Seattle Guild sent Enforcers to take me out the first week I entered Tèrra in the guise of the Dark Prince. So, I took them out before they became a problem. I also made a move for the Elders at the Guild who gave the order, and they sang before Ristan used the first blade on them. He has been following Elders around the Seattle and Spokane Guilds for years and found out about her existence quite a while ago.” His fingers lightly traced my lips as he tried to gauge how shocked or angry I might be at his tactics. “You know who I am, what I am, so don’t get mad that I will retaliate against my enemies; otherwise, some might think I am weak.”

  “I found her,” I blurted after I’d digested the news that he’d murdered not only those who had been sent to kill him, but the ones who gave the orders as well. I couldn’t blame him for that. I would have done the same, since the Guild standards are kill or be killed, and that some of the Elders had called some pretty self-serving hits mixed in with legitimate Guild hits over the last century.

  “The Original Witch; you just said that,” he prompted with an easy smile when he was sure I hadn’t been upset that he’d killed Guild members.

  “Ryder, I need you to promise me you will trust her, and that you will trust in her. I need for you to not ask me where she is.”

  He was still for a moment, then he stepped away from me. “You found Ciara,” he said stiffly.

  “I did.” I nodded. “She’s alive, and she’s safe.”

  “Where is she?” he growled and when I stepped closer, he took another step away from me. I stopped and snorted as I looked up at him. “You will tell me where my sister is, now.”

  “No, I won’t. Because you will charge in there like some fucking maniac and try to save her, but if you do that, you will watch her die. So no, Ryder, I won’t tell you where she is. You can call off the wedding if it’s what you want, but I can’t tell you where she is just yet. I’m sorry, I love you too much to do that.” I turned and left the balcony, listening to his heavy breathing as he struggled with what I’d told him.

  I wasn’t starting our lives together with other people’s lies. I also wasn’t sending him into that trap, nor could I bear for him to watch his sister be torn apart by some magic chain the moment he entered that tent, because I wasn’t sure he’d come back from something like that as the same man I loved. I had also promised Ciara, and for some reason, I trusted her abilities.

  I sifted out our bedroom and into the main hall, and was heading towards the garden when he grabbed my arm and spun me around as Ristan and Zahruk entered the room.

  “You will tell me where my sister is!” he demanded. “It’s not your fight, and you have no right to keep it from me; I am your King!”

  “No, you’re not,” I mumbled as I struggled with my anger. “I was raised human, and while I admit you are King here, you don’t get to order me around, Fairy. I am not telling you where she is!”

  “Flower…” Ristan hesitated as Ryder interrupted him.

  “Ask her where Ciara is,” Ryder growled, his tone raised in anger.

  “Yes, ask me where she is, Demon, and I will tell you nothing. Not a word more about her whereabouts than I have already told him! Tell that pompous asshole brother of yours that she’s bait. They have her rigged as a fucking trap for him and the rest of you overprotective cavemen; they are hoping you will all march in there like Rambo so they can get all of you. So no, I won’t tell him shit until I figure out how to get that belt off of her.”

  “What belt?” Zahruk interrupted, his calm and calculating demeanor slipping at the mention of Ciara.

  “The one that will rip her apart should anyone from the Horde touch her or try to move her. The room where she’s being held is warded for the Horde, not just as an alarm, but to immobilize anyone from the Horde as well.” I took a deep, calming breath and shook my head slightly, trying to sort my thoughts. “I know where she is, but I don’t know how to get her out of there without getting her killed. Until I do, no one is going in. She is surrounded by an army, Fairy. I won’t lose you and if you hate me for it, fine. You can hate me, but you will at least be around to do so.” I poked at his chest angrily. “They might not be able to kill you, but I am sure there are other thin
gs they can do to you that would be equally as awful. I still have nightmares of the Mages stuffing you full of iron. I’ll be in the garden keeping my promise to the tree if you need me, because promises are something I try my hardest to keep. I danced on the line of breaking two today,” I said with a gentle resolve to my tone. “That’s more than I have broken in my entire life. So hate me or don’t, hell, cancel the wedding—that’s your choice, but I won’t lose you to them. That is something I just won’t do. So I’m going to figure out how to free her, and when I do, I will tell you where she is. Until then, you all need to have a little faith in her because she pretty much ordered me to leave her there. You raised her, all of you. She isn’t defenseless, and she’s a lot stronger than you all think she is. Give yourselves and her a little credit, because you trained a warrior while raising her to be a lady. I’m not sorry that I can’t tell you where she is right now, because I know she’s going to show you what she is made of. She’s just like you: stubborn, pigheaded, but loyal and brilliant.”

  I started walking away as Zahruk turned and followed Ryder as he headed to the war room. I knew instinctively that Ristan trailed behind me as I pushed through the gates that led to the gardens and rushed through the main greenhouse, out into the open night air. I exhaled a shaky breath as I sat on one of the main benches that overlooked the Elder tree saplings.

  “Flower, you left her behind,” he accused with a hint of frustrated anger lacing his tone. “So explain the rest of it to me.”

  “You think I wanted to leave her there? If I’d had a choice I would have knocked her stubborn ass out and brought her back with me. I can’t get the chain off of her, and if she moves in any way it perceives as a threat, it tears her skin. But, she never flinched or showed an ounce of pain. Ciara thinks it’s one of the fucking relics you guys are looking for. I think she’s probably right, but I won’t know for sure until I hit the libraries and look that thing up. I hated leaving her, but she’s stronger than any of us give her credit for; she told me to go so she could stop us from going to war.”

 
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