Unraveling destiny the f.., p.17

Unraveling Destiny (The Fae Chronicles Book 5), page 17

 

Unraveling Destiny (The Fae Chronicles Book 5)
 



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  “Who has her?” He motioned for me to scoot over and sat on the bench next to me. If anyone understood what I was doing right now, the Demon did, even if it was his sister who was at risk right now.

  “The King of the Dragons,” I whispered as I closed my eyes. “Ryder’s going to leave me, isn’t he?”

  “No; he’s upset, but he’s not stupid.”

  “I can’t lose him,” I replied as I looked at Ristan and found him observing me as he waited patiently for me to spill the rest of what was running through my mind. I leaned my head against his shoulder and exhaled a long breath. “They blame him, unfairly, but I get it. I understand Blane’s reasons. Blane is the Dragon King, and I guess he watched Ryder slaughter his family. I know that need to avenge those who were unjustly killed.” I swallowed and looked at him. “He’s me, but with a dick.”

  Ristan laughed, but his smile faltered and he shook his head. “Then you also know we have to kill him before he moves against Ryder.”

  “I know,” I sighed sadly. “I can get back to where she is. The wards surrounding the camp and Ciara didn’t detect me, probably because he’s only trying to catch Horde Fae, but I don’t think his revenge will end with him. I think that if we have to kill them all, history will repeat itself yet again.”

  “Sometimes I think we are stuck on an endless loop, one we don’t have the power to stop,” he said thoughtfully, and nodded his head to the side as if listening to something. “Ryder’s waiting for you in your room, Flower. Be gentle with him; he isn’t used to being one step behind, and you finding her first bent his ego a little, considering you weren’t even looking for her as far as he was concerned.”

  “She’s not just your sister anymore, Demon, she’s my soon-to-be sister-in-law, and do you really think I wouldn’t go looking?” I stood and turned to look at him.

  “No, I just figured you’d have tried sooner, but we’ve had something flying at our heads from every which way for weeks, and you’ve had to send your own children away to keep them safe.” He made a little noise as he stood and took a few steps towards the greenhouse. “You pick your battles, Synthia, you always have. If you say she can’t be rescued until we figure out how this chain works, I believe you. I say we, because you aren’t alone in this. Dristan and I know the libraries pretty well, and we can help you find what this thing on her is and how to disable it. The question is how long do you think it will be before this Blane figures out we aren’t coming and he kills her and sends her home in pieces?”

  “She’s not who he blames,” I shrugged. “He blames Ryder. I don’t think he’ll harm her. Scare her, yes. But she’s smarter than even I thought she was, and I think he and the rest of you have all underestimated her. He left her filthy and in rags, yet she knew if she used her magic you’d find her. She is waging war with her brain; you all should be proud. It’s more than I would have figured out, had I been in her place.”

  “Your would-be King grows impatient,” he smirked and nodded when I grinned. “Synthia, you told him he wasn’t your King in the main hall with the servants present.” He laughed when I frowned. “Go to him, tell him how you really feel; the truth this time, eh?”

  “Thanks, Demon,” I groaned as I watched his image blur as he sifted out.

  I sifted into the bedroom and discovered an angry Ryder pacing the floor. Each stride was painful to watch, knowing that I could put a quick end to this, and yet Ciara deserved a chance at trying to prevent bloodshed her way. She knew how much the demise of the Dragons bothered Ryder, and if she could find a way to make peace between the Dragons and her brothers, I was willing to give her that chance, even if they weren’t.

  I moved towards the bed and paused, considered what I should say, what I could say, and found myself at a loss for the right words.

  “I made a vow too. A vow to protect her from anyone and anything the moment she was born, Witch. She’s my responsibility.”

  “I respect that.” I nodded slightly and turned to look at him. “She’s with the Dragon King.”

  “What?” he snapped and I frowned as the color drained from his face. “He’s long dead…you saw, there was nothing left of the Dragons.”

  “Yeah, well, the Dragons I saw earlier today were pretty convincing, and I’m not talking about shifters that can hold the form for a few minutes. I saw one transform and take to the sky. They survived. The Dragon King’s son escaped the day you guys attacked. And let me tell you, he’s waited a very long time to pay you back for it.” He grabbed my shoulders and I could tell it was taking everything he had not to shake me.

  “Synthia, where the hell is he holding her? He will kill her!” The wild look in his eyes was pure fear for his sister.

  “No, he won’t kill her, because he needs her alive to lure you to her. He won’t hurt her if he thinks she’s serving a purpose, which gives us time to figure out how to get that belt off of her. She’s fed, and she told me to leave. She’s not hurt, but she could be if we run in there without a plan. The place she is being held is warded; if you go, you will be caught. Worse than that, you’d get there in time to watch her die. I am not completely sure, but I think that belt is some kind of relic, and if anyone tries to take that thing off, she will be torn in two. So there. Now you know, Fairy. You can’t save her by charging in there like you want to, so I need you to trust me, and we will figure this out together. You and your brothers can stop searching, but I would recommend you continue to send out patrols every day that look like they are still searching. I also know that the Dragons had nothing to do with the portals, which puts us right back at where we were.”

  “Synthia, what if he hurts her because I didn’t come?” He struggled against the instincts he’d fine-tuned over the past millennia. He wanted to rush in and save the day, but he couldn’t.

  “He looked like it hurt him when she moved the wrong way and the belt drew blood.” I cringed inside as he stiffened. Oh, yeah, he did not like his baby sister being hurt in any way. “He doesn’t enjoy causing her pain, but he would if he thought it would hurt you. She thinks she can reach him and prevent him from seeking revenge against you. I don’t buy it, but it is possible. People who survive horrible things can forgive the ones who caused them pain,” I murmured as I moved closer and stood in front of him. “I blamed you for what happened to my parents. I also forgave you for being Fae. I fell in love with the one creature I hated most in any world.”

  “You didn’t forgive Faolán,” he argued.

  “I actually had to. Not for him, but for me and also for you. Hate is dark, and it was strangling me. I had to forgive him to love you. I chose you, Ryder, and I’d do it every time. Madisyn also needed me to forgive him. So I did, but I know he has to die; it’s about self-defense and survival now. He has to die so that my children are safe.”

  “You never told me you forgave him.” I caught a thoughtful look of wonder on his face as he pulled me close and kissed the top of my head.

  “I couldn’t; I couldn’t admit that I’d forgiven a monster. Not out loud, but for Madisyn I had to try and show her that I did. The moment I actually did, though, I felt like a weight had been lifted from me; like the light was turned back on and that it no longer could touch me. So I have to think that if I can stop hating someone who has done me so much wrong, there is hope for Blane.”

  “You know his name?” His voice was tight as he loosened his hold and looked down at me.

  “Well, I didn’t sit down to tea with him, Fairy,” I snickered as I slapped his arm playfully. “I observed him because if I had thought he’d hurt her, I wouldn’t be here without her, belt or no belt. So I watched him and the way he was interacting with her, and I think if anyone can reach him, it’s Ciara.”

  “You think she will be okay until we figure out how to save her?” He glanced at me, almost fearing to hope that she would be all right without his
intervening.

  “I do, because she’s Ciara, and she’s got the stubbornness of you plus your cool head, the quick wit of Ristan, and the fierceness of Zahruk running through her veins. She’s a part of all of you because you raised her. Trust her, and I promise to keep an eye on the situation but only if I can be sure that you will stay out of it—just until we can figure out how to get her out alive.”

  “I trust you, Witch,” he muttered as he turned me around and kissed the back of my neck softly. “But I’m still spanking you for being reckless.”

  “You think you can?” I taunted and backed away from him, the wicked grin playing at the corners of my mouth enough to show him I’d fight to save the pain he intended to inflict on my hind end.

  “Indeed, Synthia. I think I can,” he grinned.

  “Ryder, if you spank me, so help me Gods!” I warned as he began to stalk me slowly, as if I was his prey.

  “You kept secrets from me, Pet, there has to be a consequence,” he explained calmly. “Now, I had planned to take you slowly for hours, but now I think a little torture is in order, a little pain mixed with pleasure…or a lot,” he grinned as he reached for me and I sifted across the room to keep away from him.

  “Game on, Fairy,” I smiled and sifted again before he could catch me.

  Chapter Eighteen

  I watched as Madisyn continually wrung her hands. There had been absolute bedlam since the moment I’d awoken this morning. It was our wedding day, and everyone was on edge. Security inside the castle had been beefed up, and I had guards stationed at my door. No one was comfortable because there were too many creatures squeezed into the castle today.

  “You look beautiful, Sorcha, doesn’t she, Adam?” Madisyn said, forcing my eyes to lift from my trembling hands to meet Adam’s. “I meant Synthia, I’m sorry. It’s just that today my daughter is truly here.”

  “She’s the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a while,” he agreed, taking pressure off her mistake, even though he himself was handsome in a morning coat styled tuxedo with a black tie and gray vest, his hair neatly pulled back.

  Mine was piled elegantly atop my head. The silver crown that kept it caged had blood red rubies at each raised peak. Silver bracelets that matched the bands around my biceps tinkled musically every time I moved. I had just enough makeup to enhance my features, and yet it looked natural. The dress wasn’t the one we’d selected together, but a last-minute surprise that Madisyn glamoured on me—and I could have sworn the sneaky Fae Queen was going to start crying if I didn’t give in and wear it. This one was a creamy white taffeta and had an open back with cross straps and organza ruffles that flowed beautifully to the floor. The front had a deep V-neckline, and the veil was sheer and edged with almost transparent lace that had been used in Madisyn’s own wedding so long ago.

  I stood up from the small vanity and turned to Madisyn and Adam, who waited with me as the guards did a perimeter search before it was time to walk down the aisle and marry my Fairy. My nerves were everywhere; my heart hammered against my chest as I considered what I was doing.

  I still wasn’t afraid to bind myself to Ryder; I loved him. It was something I knew to the very fiber of my being. I wasn’t afraid of spending the rest of my very long life with him; for me, there was no other option. He was mine. The rest wasn’t of importance as long as we had that. I was nervous and edgy because so many things could go wrong today. We had so many creatures set to be inside the castle that, if anyone who wished us ill wanted in, it would be easy to do.

  “Nerves, Syn?” Adam moved closer and handed me a glass of red wine.

  “No, not about marrying him,” I replied softly. “I love him. I’m just worried about everything else that could go wrong today.”

  “We all are.” He gave me a small smirk as I accepted the glass and his hand, and he gripped mine with enough force to reassure me. I pulled my hand back and set the wine on the table that had refreshments on it. “Larissa would have loved this,” he smiled, and his eyes twinkled fondly at me. “She’d have been going crazy that you were going to be a queen.”

  “She would have; she would have tried on all of the crowns by now. She would have loved it here, probably more than any of us.”

  Larissa would have planned the entire wedding with Madisyn; she would have loved it. Ever since we’d been kids, she’d always had her shit together, and she had been the one who wanted the kids, the big wedding, and the prince. Not me. I swallowed the lump that formed in my throat as I tried to recall what she looked like. It was as if time was erasing my beloved friend from my mind.

  “I don’t remember what she looked like,” I whispered through trembling lips. “Adam.” I turned to look at him with tears in my eyes. “I can’t remember what Larissa looked like.”

  “Big green eyes, the color of the greenest spring grasses in existence.” His voice was gentle as he reached out and touched my face. “Chestnut hair that couldn’t be tamed,” he smirked. “It was so wild that she had to pin it up before she could sleep at night. You remember how much she complained about it? It never did what she wanted it to, and yet every morning it looked perfect, as if she’d spent hours arranging it instead of the few minutes we were allowed to ready for missions. Not a single strand looked out of place, and you use to tease her about it, because she always looked ready to go to war the moment she rolled out of bed.”

  “She was always so prepared.” I tried to pat at the corners of my eyes to make sure I wasn’t tearing up. “Her makeup was never off, nor did she ever look exhausted like the rest of us.”

  “No, she was always refreshed from what little sleep we’d gotten,” he laughed.

  “You remember her pink pajamas with the frogs?” I laughed.

  “Oh God, they were falling apart,” he snorted. “They did hug her ass nicely, though.”

  “Pervert,” I laughed. Tears blurred my vision and I chewed my lip as a sob escaped. “I miss her. I want her here with me today so badly.”

  “You’ll ruin your makeup,” he chided as he stepped closer and hugged me tightly. “She would have given anything to be here if she could have.”

  “I know, but there’s not a day that I don’t think of her and miss her being a part of this.” I swallowed as I pulled away and carefully wiped my eyes.

  “We all miss her,” he agreed.

  “Synthia, it’s almost time,” Madisyn interrupted as she opened the door and spoke with the guards for a moment. “I need to take my place.” She motioned for Adam to follow her. “Adam will wait for you and your father at the doors of the throne room, just like we practiced.”

  “Okay.” I pushed up on my tiptoes to kiss Adam’s cheek before hugging Madisyn, who beamed in response.

  “You are a sight today. One that the lands will speak of until the end of time,” she said roughly before she wiped at her eyes and smiled. “Thank you for allowing me to do this for you.”

  “I wouldn’t have it any other way.” I dabbed at the corners of my eyes as I watched them leave. Once the door was closed, I exhaled and moved back to the vanity, staring at the reflection of a stranger.

  I watched as my image shimmered to the look I wanted. For a moment, I was me when I’d been no more than an Enforcer, glowing blue glyphs enhanced with the invisible ink, then my image shimmered to the girl I’d been upon first arriving in Faery. The Heir brands swirled upon my flesh, fanning out as they fought each other for dominance upon my flesh. They climbed my arms in thin lines to form a mixed colored Celtic knot of womanhood on my shoulders. The place where the stars for my guardians had once rested as a reminder of what I’d lost. One for each life I’d lost in my childhood. My eyes closed and, when I opened them, they were the brilliant azure and lilac colored ones I’d inherited after Transitioning. Delicate thin black lines surrounded my irises, the tricolor of Fae royalty. I opened my mou
th, watching as the delicate fangs extended. This was what I was supposed to look like, this was me.

  “There she is,” I whispered at the reflection, watching as the brands struggled for dominance. Dark red, gold, black, and silver pulsed along my arms as power radiated from each strand. The white ink of the Guild pulsed as well, glowing strong and sure even against the Fae brands. It had been a long time since I’d seen them or anything that I’d had since before coming to Faery. That girl was still in there, but she wasn’t the same.

  I reached up and began pulling the veil over my face as a knock sounded from the door. I moved to it without thought as it opened and Lasair walked in. He looked regal in his suit, but his eyes looked different today. He nodded to the guards and directed them to wait for us in the outer hallway to guard our entry into the main hall.

  Once inside, he turned violet and cobalt eyes on me and smiled as he slowly looked me over. His smile, however, gave me pause, and the hair on my nape stood up in awareness that something was wrong.

  “Lasair?” I looked at him speculatively, trying to figure out what was off as he smiled a generous smile at me, his brilliant eyes seemed to twinkle.

  “Sorcha, my sweet, is something amiss?” he asked, revealing perfect teeth.

  “Not at all, Faolán,” I growled as I watched him. His eyes narrowed and he grinned, and as I watched him close the door, I swallowed the urge to scream for help. “I knew you’d get the message I sent out.” I watched as he locked us into the room.

  I wasn’t afraid of him. I wouldn’t be afraid of him any longer. He’d taken up too much of my life with worrying about where he was, or what he was doing. He was insane, and the only way to protect myself and my babies, was to take him out of the equation.

 

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