Unraveling destiny the f.., p.2

Unraveling Destiny (The Fae Chronicles Book 5), page 2

 

Unraveling Destiny (The Fae Chronicles Book 5)
 



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  “Agreed,” Ryder stated. His hand brushed against mine, his fingers threaded with mine and he brought my hand to his lips and kissed my knuckles. “Day by day, Witch,” he reminded me as we exited the bedroom.

  The Elite Guard waited in the Great Hall, probably having grown impatient for us to make our way to them. Ryder pulled me closer and nodded to the men, probably using the mental link with his brothers that I’d lost the ability to use over the last couple of weeks. Something had blocked me from being able to channel it, which we blamed on whatever was going wonky in Faery. That or it was because my new powers were playing hide and seek with me as I tried to learn how to use them correctly.

  “You go ahead; let me know when it’s safe to bring Synthia,” Ryder ordered.

  Once the men sifted out, I turned and glared at him. “I’m not made of glass, and I don’t break easily.”

  “I know, but we don’t have babies around right now who will cry when I do this,” he murmured, pushing me against the wall and brushing his lips against mine. Gentle at first, yet that heat grew, as if it was connected to everything inside of me that made me a woman. I growled against his lips as I deepened the kiss, missing the feel of him against me without the babies’ radar going crazy and the inevitable fussing that would break out. His hands cupped my ass, and he lifted me as his mouth made my inner hussy scream for more. Loud coughing behind us forced me to release his lips, a saucy smile and muffled laughter bubbling in my throat as Ristan watched.

  “By all means, continue. I’ll just stand here, watching,” Ristan commented. “If need be, I’ll be happy to give some pointers as well.”

  “I bet you would too, pervert,” I groaned.

  “Most definitely, Flower,” he laughed. “If you two are done fucking around, the area is clear and we are ready for you.”

  “Indeed,” Ryder growled, pressing a kiss to my forehead. “The babies can remain with the handmaidens tonight.”

  “Let’s see what is happening with whatever the hell is wrong. Afterwards, we can take a long stroll at the Fairy Pools.”

  I let my legs slowly drop to the floor before I curled into Ryder’s protective embrace as we sifted and the landscape of our new location materialized in front of me. My eyes took in the disturbance; my stomach dropped and tears burned my eyes. This was worse than I could have ever imagined. My hands trembled as what I was seeing came fully into focus.

  “That is Spokane,” I whispered. “How is Spokane in Faery?” I demanded, unable to compute what the hell my eyes were seeing.

  “Step back and look again,” Ristan said grimly, his usual cockiness absent from his tone.

  I stepped back and exhaled as the magnitude of it hit me. The portal looked new, and it was huge. There was nothing stopping the Fae from leaving Faery, or the humans from entering this beautiful but deadly world.

  “What about the other portals?” I asked, trying to wrap my mind around what this meant for both races.

  “There is one more like this one; the permanent ones seem to be unaffected,” he informed us carefully. “The one near the Pavilion seems stable. This one and the other are behaving like something triggered them to open and grow; nothing we do is working to stop it from happening. We’ve tried combining magic, and it only makes them grow more rapidly. Without knowing what the catalyst or spell was that triggered this, it’s hard to prevent more from opening and growing. Besides magic, we’re at a loss for how to stop it. At the rate they are growing now, we won’t be able to effectively guard them for much longer,” Zahruk interjected, his luminous blue eyes probing mine for a moment before turning to gaze intensely at Ryder.

  Ryder looked at the portal for a few moments and raised both hands towards it. He closed his eyes and cocked his head to the side, as if he was concentrating. A small crease appeared on his forehead as the edges of the portal took on a golden tinge that glowed brightly for a few moments, then faded away as his hands seemed to lose their grip and slid to either side of the portal he must have been envisioning in his mind. Ryder shook his head in disbelief and tried again, only to have the same result.

  “Portals tend to feel much the way that fabric feels; I can tear one open or seal one with little disruption. I can feel this portal, but it won’t allow me to manipulate or pull it in either direction,” he said warily.

  “Ristan and Cailean said the same thing when they tried. The portals you open are far larger than the ones they create, so we were hoping that you could close this one.” Zahruk tore his eyes away from Ryder and looked at me. “Synthia, perhaps you might be able to stop it from growing. Your magic seems to work differently than ours does.”

  “I blow shit up, Zahruk, or did my last mishap slip your mind so easily?” I snapped in frustration. “I can’t use my powers properly, and what happens if I try and I make it worse?”

  “It doesn’t hurt to try,” he countered. “We lose nothing by trying, and right now I’m not sure it could get any worse than it already is. There’s a damn open door that leads in and out of Faery—it can’t get much worse than that.”

  I looked at the portal and nodded. He was right: what could it hurt to try? I was connected to the land, and I could feel it—something larger than I could explain was working to open these portals. I closed my eyes, drew power from Faery to me, and sent out feelers. I whispered the spell I’d learned from the Guild for strength.

  Old habits, but with the gaping hole between worlds, I needed every trick in my bag to be strong enough to heal the damage. I called on Danu, on Hecate, and whoever else I could remember for strength and courage, and I prayed to the Gods of old for any added blessing with the spell.

  Nothing fucking happened.

  I opened my eyes and shook my head, only to find myself glowing with an iridescent blue hue that I’d seen once before—on Danu, when she’d been pissed.

  “Shit,” I yipped as I felt the intense power flowing through me. “Not sure I’m in control here. You guys…should probably back up,” I whispered. I turned, aimed my hand at the portal, and power shot from my hand and through the portal, hitting a building that began to crumble as the beam of power hit it. “Not good,” I groaned, pulling the magic back to me, watching as the world seemed to hit rewind and the building went back to the way it was, stone by stone, until it was in the condition it was in before I’d screwed it up.

  “Gods,” Ryder whispered, “did you see that?” he asked of no one in particular, and I turned to look at him.

  “Yeah, I saw it, but I’m not sure I believe it,” Zahruk replied.

  “Flower, aim your hands at the edges of the portal and try it again,” Ristan directed.

  I turned and aimed my hands at the portal and let the power loose from my fingertips, and sound echoed through me, right before we were all thrown backwards by an invisible power shift. I turned and glared at the portal, gasping as it grew in size. As we watched it almost tripled in size until it was the length of a football field.

  “Just great,” I mumbled. “I broke Faery.”

  “You didn’t break it,” Zahruk offered in my defense, trying to ease my guilt. “If the Horde discovers there’s a way out…”

  “They already know,” I interrupted. “They have to; it’s the only thing that explains the reports we have been getting of Horde creatures wreaking havoc in Tèrra. I just don’t understand why the portals would be continuing to grow. What if they found a spell or way to eradicate the very fiber of Faery and take away the thin veil between the worlds? Ristan told us he’d seen a new portal that wasn’t a part of this world before; what if more than the two you know of are opening up and spreading like this one?”

  “If they are, we haven’t found them yet,” Zahruk gritted out. “Last week we did a portal check to see if any had been opened by magic not linked to Faery; there was nothing. When we did our weekly check this mornin
g, we found this one and the other one both wide open—and yet there was no trace of magic or taint of the Mages. We tried a few things to close them but nothing worked. The more we tried to close them, the larger they grew. We wanted to exhaust all options before we brought it to you, but with the rate they’re growing, we couldn’t wait any longer.” Zahruk frowned, worried as much as I was about what these portals could mean to both worlds.

  “You were aware of this hours ago and yet you’re just telling me now?” Ryder demanded.

  “We wanted you to have at least a little time together before we brought another problem to you. We exhausted every idea we could think of before dragging you out to see this.” Zahruk shrugged his shoulders and exhaled a helpless sigh of frustration.

  “We can cancel the wedding; at least until we can figure this out,” I mumbled. “Faery comes first.”

  “We’re not cancelling the wedding,” Ryder growled. “That is not an option. It gives the people hope. We can manage this. Don’t argue with me,” he added quickly when I opened my mouth to do just that.

  “We could do it right now. We could gather everyone today and just say our vows,” I offered. I knew he wouldn’t do it. Madisyn had been looking forward to it, and Ryder wanted me to have the big wedding that would make a statement to all of the Fae Castes. I also wondered if some of the pressure for this whole lavish wedding thing was what he was raised with. Normally, in their world, royal weddings were never for love; typically, they were for political gain and had to be grand affairs. Oh, he said all the appropriate things, like he wanted to give me a wedding that I always wanted—or what he thought I wanted—and I loved him for it, but this was our world. I didn’t need some big ceremony to know he was mine, or to prove that I loved him. I just did, and it was as simple as that. I’d be fine saying our vows barefoot in a meadow, as long as he was beside me.

  “I’m giving you a wedding, one to rival the history books. I promised both of your mothers that I would do this properly, and we are doing it. We’ve been through worse shit together,” he whispered. He leaned down and kissed my cheek. “I’m marrying you properly, and I am getting that honeymoon. When the wedding is over, no one will question your position, or which world you belong to anymore.”

  I raised a brow and frowned. “Someone has?”

  “A lot have; most don’t think you’re truly a Goddess. A few have already been dealt with,” Ryder announced.

  “You killed them for questioning me?”

  “I’ve killed for a hell of a lot less, Pet,” he smirked. “Besides, if I let them live after bad mouthing my queen, others would do so as well. I can’t show weakness—this is the Horde. The Horde is ruled by strength and fear.”

  “You know if you kill them, more will just come forward with a worse theory or opinion,” I stated, and he smiled coldly.

  “Let them,” he grinned.

  “Fine, we will do the damn wedding. We have too much to do, and all at the same time. We need to start rebuilding the Guild. We need to get teachers in place and a strong group inside of it to protect it from anyone who challenges our right to lead it. We fix this mess with the portals—and once we do all that, we hunt Faolán down like a fucking dog, agreed?” My eyes locked with his in silent battle; a subtle nod was the only agreement he gave.

  “Fucking bloodthirsty wench,” he whispered as he narrowed his eyes on my lips. “I love it when you talk like that. Reminds me of the saucy little Witch who walked into the Dark Fortress and shook my fucking world like a snow globe.”

  “You know what a snow globe is, but you don’t know who Elvis is?” I laughed.

  “We need to get back to the Castle and figure out what to do about posting more guards at the portals. If any humans get in, this world would consume them before we were even aware they were here,” he affirmed as he watched me, ignoring my Elvis dig.

  “I’ll try seeing if Danu will answer my call,” I said, turning to look at Spokane through the portal that continued to widen as I watched it. “We’re going to need a lot of help if it continues to grow like this.”

  “If it continues at the rate it is, Faery and Tèrra will be one world before we even have a chance to stop it.”

  Chapter Two

  I paced the length of the bedroom as Ryder leaned against the wall. It was tense between the two of us, and my hands continually balled into fists as I tried to formulate a plan inside my head. The portal was now roughly the length of North Spokane and too big to guard, not that we could even spare the manpower. Doing so would leave the Horde’s castle unprotected, and we were already at war.

  “You think this is the best option?” His golden eyes tensed and a slight frown line graced his forehead.

  “No, but do you see another way?” I asked as I held my hands up helplessly. “How long before the Horde creatures that chose not to follow you leave Faery, or the people your father pissed off notice that there’s a fucking hole they can sneak through that is open and unguarded?” My voice was off, filled with pain and uncertainty of what I’d asked him to accept.

  “Synthia, we have time to wait for Danu,” he offered.

  “No, we don’t. She’s vanished, and that scares me, and now there are ginormous holes in Faery and we have no idea of how to fix said holes. We can’t let them stay here. You told me many times that the Horde will seek out a weakness and use it against you. They have three now. I won’t stand around and watch the Mages—or any of our other enemies—come in to take them from us, because by now you and I know that they’re aware of the huge ass holes in our world. Everyone expects us to send them to Danu, so we won’t. We will switch tactics—we’ll send them to the Blood Kingdom, and they will remain there until the wedding. No one can know except those who absolutely need to know, and that list only includes those with direct access to the babies. Only your brothers—and out of them, only the few who you trust knowing where we have sent the babies. Madisyn and my father will guard them with their lives, we know that. It’s the last place in the world anyone would expect us to send them.”

  “And if they grow and we miss it?” His voice filled with pain as he considered losing whatever we had of their precious childhood.

  “Then we miss it,” I whispered through a lump in my throat. “I don’t know what Destiny has planned, but I do know that, as their parents, we can’t allow them to remain where they are—in danger. They know we love them more than anything else in this world, but so do our enemies. I think we should send Cailean—and probably Sinjinn—with them to hide and protect them. I need to get the Guild up and running. You have an entire kingdom to run. If too many get out of Faery, the entire world is going to know Faery is weak and unprotected. You told me once that ruling has to be your priority, and that shouldn’t change. I get that now, Fairy. I get that you gave me away because you loved this world enough to sacrifice your own happiness for it. I can’t ask you to change that now, not when Faery needs you the most, nor do I expect you to ignore your duties. I’ve already called for Madisyn and my father; they’ll be here within the hour. I need to ready the babies to travel, and you need to ready Cailean and Sinjinn and keep everyone else away from these rooms.”

  “I love you.” He moved closer and wrapped his arms around me. “I hate the idea of being away from them, but you’re right. They’re the one thing that can be used against us and we can’t chance it. Not with those portals growing by the hour. If they made me choose between you and the babies, and this world, it would be my family every time.”

  “Pray to the Gods that they’re merciful, and that they allow them to remain babies a little while longer. Madisyn will bring them home for the wedding, and for now, we pretend they’re still here. We lock down the floor and keep only those who need to know aware of what is happening. Makayla will go with the babies and Darynda will remain here. They would realize something was amiss if
Darynda left, but Makayla is new. For this plan to work, we will have to come to their room and stay inside for the times we normally visit them. We pretend everything is the same, and hope our enemies think it is.”

  It seemed like we always had enemies crawling out of the woodwork, ever since Ryder had ascended to the throne. It had been a tense few months, with only minimal attempts on his life, and no one had been bold enough to make a move for his children, but sacrifices were about to be made to protect this world, and I wasn’t stupid enough to assume that I would make it through unscathed. I was sending the babies away to protect them, but also to protect myself from doing the unthinkable. If they ended up in the hands of the enemy, I’d do anything to get them back. I’d destroy worlds to keep them safe, and the thought terrified me to my very soul. They were more than a weakness, they were everything to us.

  “I’ll get Sinjinn and have him bring Cailean. I’ll also call for a war counsel with only the Elite Guard, which won’t seem amiss considering what’s happening,” he whispered as his fingers threaded through mine, and he tugged me closer. “You prepare our children to go visit their grandparents, and we will figure this out. I promise you, they’ll only be gone for a few days.”

  *~*~*

  “Here.” I glamoured another baby outfit for Darynda to pack as I mentally screamed for Danu to reply. “Kahleena can’t sleep without her bear. Ristan got it from some boutique in France, and she adores it. Please make sure it’s packed as well.”

 
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