Unraveling destiny the f.., p.21

Unraveling Destiny (The Fae Chronicles Book 5), page 21


Unraveling Destiny (The Fae Chronicles Book 5)

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  “Why do you guys get all the action and I have to stay home?” I pouted as I wondered why Ryder hadn’t shared any of that with me.

  “Because you will be Queen of the Horde,” Zahruk said without any attitude in his tone. “We can’t lose both of you, so one must remain in the residence at all times.”

  “Here they come.” Ristan moved in closer to my side. “Chin up, Buttercup, you got this,” he muttered as he took my slender, elegant swords and handed me his dual bladed ones. “You can count on rounds two and three being to the death; you’ll need iron.”

  Ristan was one of the few Fae creatures I knew of who could use or wield iron blades easily. He’d moved so quickly that I wasn’t sure anyone else had noted the switch. I moved closer, as several males stepped forward. The ringing sound of steel being drawn brought my hands to the blades at my sides, and I smiled as the biggest one moved in. He had to have been over nine feet tall, with short gray hair all over his body, and his face looked a little like an ape, but I knew from experience that everything they said about the bigger the guy, the harder they fall was true.

  I drew my blades the moment the grey man lunged, dropped to my knees and sliced his legs at the knees. His screams tore through the air, and I rolled with the blades as I came back up, swinging in a wide arc, which sent his head sailing into the crowd that watched us.

  A gang of Powries came at me all at the same time, forming a circle around me. I grinned and swung, swords cutting through flesh like butter because Ristan’s blades were always sharpened correctly and ready to go. Grunts and cries sounded as I spun, not bothering to stop. I sliced, stabbed, and massacred the evil little bastards, until I was standing before the Horde, bathed in the blood of their so-called leaders, victorious.

  “Choose again. This time, I suggest you take a few minutes to think about it first,” I demanded as I turned and moved back to my allies, glancing at them as they gave me a wide berth. Not even Ristan spoke as blood ran in rivulets from my flesh to the ground, pooling at my feet.

  No one came forward; the Horde stared at me, soaked in their leaders’ blood. They bickered and pushed each other towards me, but none came forward. I waited, giving them the chance to choose or follow me. After a few moments passed, I tried again.

  “Your King needs your aid, you can give it or you can be hunted down and slaughtered like the faithless dogs you are behaving like. You will follow me into battle, or I will let loose the hounds with your scent.” I could sense Zahruk, Dristan and Aodhan moving closer to me, giving credence to my threat. “They will hunt you down; not even hell can save you once the hounds have your scent. I demand an answer within the next ten minutes or we begin hunting. Do you understand me?” I shouted. When no one answered, I growled and let loose an immense amount of power that surprised even me. My hands lifted to the sky and then slammed down.

  The entire Horde that had gathered at the main gates was on their knees, bowing in the dirt. I slowly pushed my hands further down and imagined smashing their smug faces into the earth. I heard gasps of pain and surprised cries as joints cracked, and I could hear the ground buckling from the pressure I was exerting on these creatures.

  “Yes!” one of the males shouted. “I yield. I’ll bow to you, my Queen.”

  I smiled, allowing him to rise. One by one they begged for mercy and rose, spattered with the dirt and mud of this world. I exhaled and closed my eyes as the crowd continued to pledge themselves to me. I’d done it; I’d brought the Horde to their knees. I’d had to use my power, but hey, it was a win, and we needed one right now.

  “Ready your strongest warriors and prepare them for battle,” I shouted victoriously. I turned and looked at Zahruk, who wore his usual dour expression, as if this was exactly what he expected to happen. Then I glanced at Ristan, who nodded with something akin to pride in his eyes.

  “You were born for this, Synthia,” he murmured softly. “I don’t think the Horde has ever begged mercy before.”

  “The Horde has never met me. At least, not in this capacity. They’ll know who is to wed their King when I finish here. That much I promise you. Besides, I’ve faced worse odds before when I was a Witch.”

  “Yes, but you’re not a Witch, Goddess. You are ours now. They will follow you anywhere you or Ryder asks them to go,” Zahruk said. “The Horde will once again, follow their King into battle—willingly.”

  “Zahruk, hate to break the speech, but until I get Ryder back, let’s not worry about worlds. I want my fucking Fairy back, and I want him now.”

  “Tomorrow we ride, Flower. The United Castes of Faery,” Ristan grinned. “This should be interesting; someone better make some fucking popcorn to bring along.”

  “Demon, that sounds like a wrestling league and not at all official-like,” I warned as I stared him down, and then blanched from the coppery scent of my new perfume. “Get this shit off me, my magic is tapped.”

  “I kinda like you in red, Flower. It’s kind of a rose hue, and suits you very well.”

  “Demon…” I growled.

  “Fine.” He grinned as he waved his hand and I was finally cleansed of the sins of the day. I’d just killed seven Fae; seven less who could help us. Seven who had families somewhere, maybe even children? It was a win, though, and right now, we needed it.

  “Take me back to my chambers,” I whispered as I trembled with the need to be close to Ryder. “I need to rest before we head out to pick a fight with the Guild.”

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  The bed smelled of him; the room and the rooms that adjoined our bedroom all smelled of him. Everything in this place held memories of him. I wanted to drink it in, like the first time I’d seen him. Those eyes had held me prisoner more than he ever had. If I closed my eyes, I could still recall the first time he touched me, the electrical shock that shot through me at his touch. He’d sent a ripple through my tightly controlled world. He’d made me feel things I hadn’t wanted to, and at the time, I had hated him and everything about him.

  I let my hand slide to my midsection; my fingers splayed across it, and I swallowed guilt. A deep part of me had known what would happen with having such an over-the-top wedding. The Demon tried to warn me about what was surely to come, and he didn’t even need to have a vision to call that one for me. We knew what would happen once the announcements were made. The announcements that we had wanted to reach Faolán’s ears had done their job.

  Pain was a fickle bitch, settling deep into my bones as the reality of what had happened sank in. I’d killed; I’d ripped a man’s throat out with my teeth. It wasn’t the act of killing that bothered me; it was the emotions that came with it. I’d felt sick the moment the showdown had ended, the nauseating scent of copper still lingering upon my skin. The sour taste of bile clung to the back of my throat and no amount of water or wine could wash it away.

  I let what I had done sink in, and thought about what I might have to do to get Ryder back. I’d do anything—anything and everything it took to get my beast back. I knew how the Guild worked; they would cut him to pieces if they thought it would give them any answers about the Horde. I’d seen the dissected remains of the Fae they’d captured before, as well as the Guild’s failed science projects as they’d tried to create monsters that could stand against the Fae.

  Ryder couldn’t be killed, but he could be tortured, much like his brother was, if not worse. He could be in pain right now, and there was nothing I could do. The helpless feeling was making my senses go haywire, and my heart was hurting.

  I rolled over on the bed, hating the sick feeling that rushed from my belly, which resulted in me with my face over the toilet, spewing what little I’d managed to eat and drink after ripping the throat out of the Horde’s self-appointed spokesperson.

  I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand and glamoured my body clean; the taste of fresh mint filled my
mouth. I moved back into the bedroom, my mind in total chaos as I considered the Guild’s next move.

  I was halfway to the bed when my stomach fluttered and turned over, and I rushed back to the bathroom. I emptied my stomach again and gave in to the urge to bathe. I’d been living as Fae, but sometimes I craved the comforts of things like a bath, or just to do things without the magic I was growing accustomed to.

  I filled the bath with lavender bath beads and crawled in, inhaling the comforting scent that agreed with my stomach. I ran my hands over my legs, stomach, and breasts as a sob exploded from my throat. I closed my eyes, slid beneath the water, and let out a scream that I’d been holding since I’d discovered he was gone. Tears burned behind my closed eyes, but the scream felt soothing to me, even if no one heard it.

  I sat up in the bath and wrapped my arms around my naked legs. Hours had passed since Ryder had been taken, and there was no sign of anything being off in the human world. I’d sent scouts to watch the Guilds, all of them. So far, it was business as usual at the Guilds and not a hint of what was happening to Ryder. If they held him there, they were doing a good job of hiding it.

  I took comfort in knowing that there wasn’t any weapon that could kill him, other than the one Madisyn had thought would do the job. That tiny toothpick of a knife wouldn’t have killed him. We hadn’t known that at the time, but what if the Mages had found a way to do it that we didn’t know about?

  Anything was possible, and that was what terrified me. The Guild had resources that they kept hidden, they had allies hidden in the shadows and, if I was right, they had awoken some pretty bad-assed Witches that were hell bent on destroying their world.

  A knock sounded from the door and my eyes moved in that direction, but I didn’t answer it. I knew who it was. Zahruk was a constant at my side since Ryder had been taken, willing to do whatever it took to keep me safe. I glanced at him as he came closer and stopped at the bathroom door, only to move just inside the room and pause as his eyes took in the sight of my naked body.

  “I’ve summoned those who you asked me to,” he announced, unaffected by the sight of my nakedness. “You should dry off so we can meet with the others in the war room.”

  I stood up, watching as his eyes slid down my body without a single ounce of heat. Zahruk would fall on his own sword before he touched anything that belonged to Ryder, including me. I accepted the towel he held out as he wrapped it around me.

  “I’ve sent the handmaidens away; however, I am capable of helping you get ready,” he offered quietly.

  “I do know how to manage without them,” I replied as I moved into the bedroom.

  “You need to feed,” he said offhandedly; his body language seemed awkward as he scratched the back of his neck. “I’m not Ryder, but I know he’d kill anyone else who tried to feed you.”

  “I don’t feed from sex,” I smiled weakly at the impassive look on his face.

  “I know, but Ryder mentioned that sometimes you grow weak when the world is in pain and with the fractures…he said you take comfort in it. That you can think clearer after it,” he said.

  “Do you want to fuck?” I asked pointedly.

  “No, not particularly, and not with you, no offense,” he exhaled deeply. He raised his hands and shook his head a little. “But we need you at your best for this, and I just found you pretending to be a human in a bath. So, if my dick is the key to your brain remembering what is at stake, then yeah, I’ll fuck you.”

  “My brain is fine,” I replied sharply. “I took a bath because I kept throwing up pieces of the creature that I tore the throat out of just a little bit ago. So, no—thank you, but no, I don’t need your dick to feel smarter. I’m pretty sure it would make me feel anything but smart.”

  “Was that a compliment?” he smirked.

  “Not really, but I guess your dick could make women act foolishly. I’ve witnessed it enough times,” I answered with a smirk. “The only dick I want is attached to your brother, so if you’re offering to get me laid, get him back here.”

  “Thank Gods,” he laughed nervously.

  “You were seriously offering to have sex with me?” I laughed weakly and shook my head. “Look at you, Z, offering to give it up to be helpful and shit.”

  “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get him back. You’ve known him for a minute compared to us, and he’s our King. Before that, he’s my brother. He’s saved us from shit countless times. So yes, if it took me offering myself as a sacrifice, I’d lay down my life for his.”

  “Well, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, because being stabbed by you once was enough for this girl.” I glamoured my version of the Elite Guard armor on and smirked at him. “I’ll feed you, though,” I offered, and before he could say no, I reached out and touched the side of his face. Power erupted into his system and I watched his eyes grow wide, then hooded as I fed him with a small taste of my power. He was watching over me, and I had no intention of waiting for him to fuck someone so that he could feel like he was fully capable of being my right arm, aid, and guard all rolled into one. We had too much to do and not enough time for him to indulge in a proper feeding.

  “Gods,” he moaned as he tried moving, only to fall to his knees as I watched him with a knowing smile. Ryder could reach climax this way, but I had no intention of making this sexual. I did, however, plan on giving him enough power to get him through the next few days. “Stop it, Witch,” he grumbled. I pulled back, and swallowed more bile as I started to feel lightheaded. “Are you okay?” He struggled to his feet as the question left his lips. I blinked past some stars that seemed to be obscuring my vision.

  “Fine, I’m fine,” I murmured as I forced my body to relax, and the spinning in my head stopped. “I think that guy might have eaten something poisonous.”

  “It’s possible,” he mumbled as he moved me towards the door. “We should find Eliran.”

  “No, they’re waiting for us in the war room; we go now,” I ordered, not waiting to see if he followed as I inhaled deeply of Ryder’s scent that lingered in the room before leaving it. “Better not tell him you saw me naked,” I smirked.

  “It’s a body. I’ve seen thousands of them. I’m Fae. Honestly, I think that human modesty is absurd and oftentimes false,” he explained. “Ryder knows my feelings about it; he may have adopted your silly human logic, but I have no place for it.”

  “Silly human logic?” I repeated thoughtfully, turning to look at him over my shoulder before I snorted.

  We entered the room and I paused, noting that Ristan seemed agitated, while the others seemed anxious. My eyes slid over to Alden, who was poring over papers with Lucian, while Adrian and Vlad whispered about something in the corner.

  “Gentlemen,” I said as I took my seat and looked around at the faces. “I know most of you have yet to leave or sleep, but there are a few things we need to discuss.”

  “Such as?” Alden asked as he shuffled the papers aside and gave me his attention.

  “The Seattle Guild would anticipate that it would be the first place we would go to look for Ryder. Before we take an army there, we need to be sure they are actually holding him at that Guild. We also have no idea what the Seattle Guild has up their sleeve. They normally do not walk in and take someone, not on this scale. We know they had help, but we don’t know for sure who it was. These are things we can’t leave to chance. I know the National Guild used to do experiments with the Fae that went far beyond what was done at the local Guilds. Where was it done?” I asked Alden directly.

  “There is a lab, deep in the mountains of Alaska. Once they are sure the Fae are harmless, they move them to other locations to be studied in a controlled environment. I don’t think they would take him there, not when the Seattle Guild has a similar lab deep beneath their building. The lab was carved out of a large iron pyrite deposit under the Gui
ld, and they added large quantities of powdered iron to the cement mix that they poured into slabs for the walls, so that if someone of the Fae persuasion tried to get in, they wouldn’t sense it until they’d become too weak from the iron to fight back.”

  “That’s going to be a problem.” Ristan whistled.

  “Not for you,” I said, turning to look at him. “I’m going to need Sinjinn on this, so I need you to take Olivia and go to the Blood Kingdom and watch over my babies. I also want you to take the children we brought out of the Spokane Guild with you too. In fact, Demon, take any of the young who need shelter. We cannot take chances with the young, not when there are so few of them left.”

  “I’m needed here with you,” he snapped, his eyes narrowing on me as I faced him.

  “You are needed to protect my children so that I can focus. You’re worried about Olivia, and that worries me. She refused to stay where you took her and came right back here. I need to know they are safe, all of them. You would give your life to save them, and we all know it. I want Liam and Sinjinn with me for this, so that leaves you to protect my babies.”

  “Flower,” he started to protest, and I shook my head. “Fine, but if you get in trouble, you call for me.”

  “Deal,” I acknowledged.

  “Now, I need a five-man team to do some recon, and they will need to be able to get in and out without worrying about metal allergies, so to say.”

  “I can go,” Alden said softly, and I shook my head.

  “No, you cannot,” I argued. “You are needed to run comms; Zahruk has a bunch of shit that will help us, and so he will be coming with to show us how to use them. I’m thinking of Elijah and his buddies for recon. I want everyone wired with communications, video, and armed to the teeth, but not to the point that they draw unwanted attention. I’ll also need someone to help me lure an Enforcer away from the Guild so we can interrogate him and see what he knows. Enforcers are made aware of every threat that could factor in with a target or an asset the Guild has. We catch one and make him tell us what he knows.”

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