Unraveling Destiny (The Fae Chronicles Book 5), page 24
“So you can destroy the world as the Guild plans to do? So you can restart the human race in your image because you find this world flawed? Fuck you. Do your worst,” he growled. I took pause at his words and the ugly anger buried deep in his tone.
“That’s not what I want.” I observed him carefully as he cocked his head to the side and gave me a look that clearly showed that he didn’t believe me. “I’m going to guess you know something about what’s going on with the holes that lead from Faery into this world, correct?” His posture stiffened with the change in line of questioning. “I’ll take that as a yes. Tell me what you know about them,” I demanded, as he swallowed slowly, considering my questions.
“You first, Goddess,” he rasped.
“My name is Synthia,” I began softly, wondering if he’d give me his name in return. Baby steps in trust were sometimes the smartest move. When he remained silent, I nodded. “Your name is?” I persisted.
“Does it really matter to you what my name is?” he enquired, watching me, watching my reaction. When I remained firm, he relented, giving a stubborn sigh of rebellion. “Fine, it’s Derrick.”
“Well, Derrick the Druid, I have no intention of destroying any world. I am the Goddess of Faery and soon-to-be Queen of the Horde Fae. I was in the middle of my wedding when the Guild attacked us and stole the love of my life from the Horde stronghold,” I stated, observing as he swallowed nervously at the mention of the Horde. “The Guild isn’t strong enough to accomplish that kind of feat alone. You see, it started with the portals of Faery failing, easy enough to blame on the weakening of the world alone, but that wasn’t what made them grow. I think I know what they did, and I don’t think they were prepared for what they got. The Guild isn’t stupid, but they have a little management issue going on these days. There are Mages hiding in the ranks of the Guild, and it seems as though they have unofficially taken over a few of the Guilds. From what we can tell, they have been in control for a while now. I believe they woke a couple of those Witches and told them we were holding the one sleeping below in Faery. Now, you and I both know they aren’t like Guild Witches at all. They are Hecate’s children; Demi-Goddesses, which is probably why you are so keen on keeping them in stasis.” At his slight nod, I continued. “I think the Mages encouraged those Witches to open the portals, and I’m pretty sure that the Mages wanted us to think it was because Faery is weakening, which at first glance, we may have bought. After all, the Mages have been sneaking into Faery on and off for a while now, poisoning the world.” At his stunned look, I had to smile weakly. Clearly, this was news to him.
“What the Mages didn’t count on was that when the Witches cast their spells to open the portals, they also weakened them. Once they were weakened, they continued to expand and grow at a rapid rate. I don’t think the Mages comprehend how deep the need for revenge runs with these Goddess-like Witches, and in the Mages’ blind hatred of the Fae, they gave those Witches the opportunity they needed. You see, the one thing the Mages don’t seem to get is that, if Faery dies, its inhabitants will come here. There are too many creatures in Faery that are too dangerous for this world, and what the Horde was charged to do was to keep them in Faery and away from the Humans. The Mages have been doing their best to poison Faery for a long time. Now they have stolen the King of the Horde and opened the portals. Their reckless actions are going to destroy this world, not just Faery, which I am sure is what those Witches are counting on. Right now, Faery is pouring Fae out of those portals and causing Humans to panic. We can’t prevent it, not with how large those portals are. They used those portals as a distraction. Another thing you may not know is that the Mages made a pact with a very powerful Fae who had his own agenda and, with his and the Witches’ help, they invaded the Horde Kingdom and took its King. I’m sure the Mages thought they could control him and use him to their benefit. The reality was, he was using them, and once his agenda had been fulfilled, he would have killed them. They are very fortunate he is dead now. So, as you can see, we have no intention of destroying this world. We are trying to save Faery and this world too. We’re planning to rebuild this place, and create a new Guild, one that can protect this state from the Fae invading, and eventually we will build in other areas, such as New Orleans, where that Guild has also fallen. I am not the bad guy here and neither are they,” I said with a sweep of my hand towards the Fae who protected me. “I want to fix what the Mages broke, but to do that, I need my head in the game. I need my Fairy back. He’s my anchor, and without him, I don’t know if I will even want to save this world.”
“And you’re sure they have him?” he inquired, finally getting to his feet.
“I know they have him, and I know why they took him. They were sending us a message, one that said they weren’t afraid of us. I plan to answer that message with one of my own.”
“What you have told me clarified a good deal, and changes things quite a bit,” he sighed warily as he looked at me speculatively, then surprised me with a cocky smile. “You have no idea what I really am, do you?” His eyes seemed to smile as they began to glow from within.
“According to a certain Mage’s memories, which I hope are reliable, you are supposed to be a Druid,” I answered, watching him closely as I let the butterfly dissolve for now.
“Not really; I am a Paladin. There are a few of us who take on the guise of Druids, just in case the Guild has need of us, we can reach out to the rest of the Order. While I understand your plight, you must understand that what you’re asking of me is considered blasphemy by the Paladin order.”
“But you can wake her, can’t you?” I probed. I didn’t care if he was a unicorn who farted rainbows if he could wake her up. I’d send in the brain sucker and take the spell from his mind. As much as I preferred him to be forthcoming, I wasn’t taking no for an answer.
“I can, because I helped put her into stasis. My line is very old, and we live by a very strict code.”
“And does your code state that you can’t help the Fae?” I asked carefully.
“The Fae have been a nuisance since the dawn of time,” he admitted with a soft snort of amusement.
“And the Gods, are they also on the list of people you don’t help?” At this question, he tilted his head as though he was considering how much he could tell me.
“That is something I am not at liberty to speak of,” he muttered as he frowned for a moment. “What you’re asking, though, it could cause worse problems. If those Witches are allowed to reunite as a full coven, they will rain down hell upon earth.”
“Oh, honey, hell’s already here. We have Fae pouring in; we have some pretty nasty Demons hiding in a quaint town nearby, waiting for hell to open its gates, and the Mages have declared war on the Fae. You can’t hide your head in the sand. This world? It’s on the brink of a war unlike anything that’s come before. Help us, so we can help this world,” I said with meaning.
“I still can’t help you,” he answered.
“Why not?” I countered, growing frustrated.
“Because we had help—and a lot of it—when we put them in stasis. The Guild, Druids and Paladins united in the effort to put them under. It’s hard to explain, but there might be a way for you to help me, Goddess. You can give me some juice.”
“Elaborate on exactly what ‘give me some juice’ means?” I asked skeptically, waiting and analyzing his every move. This guy was a lot older than I’d originally thought he was, and a lot stronger than he looked. There was no way I was sexing him up to donate juices or powers, though.
“Nah, not like that, little vixen,” he laughed, and the sound echoed through me. He snapped his fingers and I stepped back as I felt the immense power that rushed into the large room we stood in. It sizzled, popped, and I felt like my hair stood up from the electrical current that briefly emanated from him. I expelled a breath as I took him in. His hair was now silvery blon
“What the fuck just happened?” I glanced at Ristan, who looked as dumbfounded as I currently felt.
“No fucking clue,” he murmured. “That’s a new one to me. The Paladin Knights that guarded your uncle wore armor, so I never got a good look at them—and they must have been shielding their power.”
“We are shadows,” Derrick said softly, a cocky grin on his sexy lips. “You have not seen our true selves because we don’t want to be seen. My birth name is Callaghan, first born son to Douglas of the Paladin Knights.”
“I’m still Synthia.” I smiled weakly. “Daughter of Danu, the Goddess and creator of Faery. I was raised in this Guild. I was an Enforcer, and now I’m a Goddess because my recently deceased brother tried to give me a shady C-section in some sort of freaky Mage ritual that was supposed to steal my birthright as the Blood Heir and give it to him. Didn’t work out like he thought it would.” I shrugged. “Now I am the Goddess of the Fae, and soon to be the Horde Queen. Now that we got the fun stuff out of the way; time’s getting short and I really need you to wake up the Witch sleeping below so we can trade her for the Horde King.”
“You best not be yanking my dick unless you plan to get it off, vixen.”
“Do I look like I’m yanking your dick?” I asked with a frown. “Ryder is the King of the Horde, first born son of Alazander.”
“It’s true, then. You must be the one we have heard of. The one who birthed the first set of triplets ever born to Faery—a very dark omen follows you. The part of your story that you don’t know is that what had happened to you is all part of an omen that was shared with the Paladins centuries ago.”
“I swear to Faery if you say my kids are bad omens, I will cut your tongue out. My kids are not an omen.”
“No, they’re not. It has nothing to do with your children, and everything to do with what follows their birth. Many things were pushed into motion when you were brought back. Everything in Faery has some sort of myth attached to it, but the omen I spoke of, that’s the kind of shit legends are created from. Only when the Horde and the Gods produce the three, shall the portals let loose and the Fae be free. Worlds will combine, chaos shall reign.”
I turned and looked at Zahruk, who gave me a nod, as well as Ristan, who followed his lead. I hadn’t heard anything about this kind of myth.
“You’re saying the birth of my children ruined the portals, and it had nothing to do with the Original Witches?” I asked.
“On the contrary,” he disagreed. “They opened them, but only because you gave them the keys to do it.”
“They can’t be both. They can’t be the key to fixing Faery, and the key to destroying it.”
“But they can; it just depends on how you define fixed. You said it yourself: Faery is sick because it was poisoned long ago, and the periodic poisoning continues. Faery is a life force of its own and, logically, to keep itself from dying, it needs to heal itself. It needs this world to feed from, just like the Fae need the humans. Hecate’s Witches just sped up the process, probably without knowing it. I think you are right to assume that they opened them as a means for revenge. However, that part of it won’t happen. We won’t allow it to, and this is how I know it. You and I, Synthia, we are destined.”
“For?” I asked carefully.
“You have a rather empty Guild, and I have Knights who will want to help you succeed in policing the Fae, if what you said is true. There’s more, though; if I agree to help you, you’d need to help me hunt down a few baddies too,” he stated carefully. “Ones who are also hell-bent on destroying this world. And don’t worry about the rules and laws of the Gods, for even they will agree that these creatures need to be put down.” I looked at him sharply, and then quickly looked at my Fae protectors so I wouldn’t give anything away. How did he know about the rules and laws of the Gods that Destiny had been lecturing me on?
“How bad are we talking?” I asked, checking my nails, which were painted I Can Never Hut Up OPI.
“Are you afraid you’re not up for the task, Goddess?” he mocked.
“No, I’m wondering if I can accomplish it before lunch,” I answered with a smile. “It’s a deal, Callaghan, but only if you wake her up.”
“Deal, but you have to shake on it.” A dagger materialized into his hand and he nodded at me with a smile. “I’m sure you heard there was a blood cost to put them in and keep them in. It was a lot of blood. I’m hoping that the blood of a Goddess will be enough to get her out.” He sliced his palm and held the dagger out to me.
I stared at his hand and hesitated. I looked up to find his eyes glowing with an eerie flame from within. I had a feeling that once I did this there would be no backing out. I was already putting everything on the line…I took the dagger and sliced my own palm. I reached out and shook his hand, wincing as his hand clasped mine and power flared between us, sealing the deal.
“Welcome to the new Guild,” I smirked. “Now, let’s go wake up that sleeping Witch, shall we?”
We started down into the maze of new hallways, through the winding staircases, and into the library of the Guild that had yet to be fixed. Once inside, Callaghan gave a loud whistle at the destruction that was next on the list of renovations. We continued on until we entered the sacrificial chamber and made our way down the staircase, to the chamber where the ghosts had gathered. They were no longer needed, and they deserved eternal rest for their sacrifice. I paused and looked at Ristan, who nodded, and I smiled.
“It’s time to sleep, ladies,” I announced, wiggling my fingers as I lit the flames and carefully wrote runes that would release them from this place on the walls. Ghosts needed to be able to complete whatever unfinished business they had. “Are all of you ready to get out of here, or is there anyone who needs a bit of closure? I’ll help, if any of you do.”
“We just wish to finally rest,” one stated softly. I nodded and closed my eyes, whispering the spell to release them from this tomb.
“You’re free,” I stated, feeling the eyes of the Paladin and the others on me. A bright light momentarily blinded everyone in the chamber. I rubbed my eyes, trying to clear the black blotchy spots away and was able to focus enough to see that the ghosts were no longer bound here.
Callaghan sighed and made his way to the glass box that held who we knew to be one of Hecate’s daughters. He touched the glass and smiled faintly, as if he recognized her.
“Did you know that not all of the Witches we put into stasis were evil?” He shook his head sadly. “It was all or none. If we spared the ones that weren’t evil, they would have done everything in their power to revive their sisters. Hannah is this one’s name; her only crime was supporting her sisters. Your plan is to give her back to them; it could make her evil.”
I stared at Callaghan and wondered if it changed my position. Nope. They were her sisters, so it wasn’t like I was handing Sleepy Beauty over to strangers. If she wasn’t evil, it would make hunting her sisters down easier if we had an insider. I smiled at the Paladin weakly. “Let’s wake her up.”
Callaghan glanced around the room and noticed the wards etched there. He moved to one of the walls and laid his hands on the cold stone surface. Blue flames lit up the walls of the chamber. The Leylines hummed with untold power, and the earthy scent was overwhelming to my heightened senses.
“Whoever placed these wards sure didn’t want them to come down,” Callaghan grumbled as he began to work the wards. He’d removed his shirt, and thick coils of muscles
“It will take a little while, but…” He hesitated as he seemed to consider something else. “No, it’s layered. I can do this,” he muttered as he moved his hands around.
I couldn’t remove them; I couldn’t even make out their structure, as they weren’t like anything I had seen before. The one thing I could sense for sure was that these wards were ten times more powerful than the ones the Guild Elders typically placed. These ones were triggered to bring the ceiling down, should anyone attempt to remove them. I also noticed a few traps that I hadn’t seen the last time I’d been in this chamber. We’d been lucky that the wards we placed hadn’t triggered alarms inside the room.
“They’re down,” Callaghan announced as we watched the blue flames shoot higher. “Now to wake her up; she’s not going to be happy. You will need to hold her or she will probably teleport.”
“We brought something to prevent that,” Zahruk interrupted, and glamoured a golden cuff around her wrist. He looked at me and then Callaghan grimly. “It was a gift Danu gave to the Fae a long time ago to protect them, should Hecate ever meddle in their affairs. It won’t hurt her, but will contain her magic and most likely piss her off,” he said, stepping back, giving Callaghan room to work.
He whispered words in another language and the flames moved higher, licking the walls and causing the entire room to sway with the words as he reached a crescendo. My body buzzed with raw power, as if the spell was reaching for it and trying to tap the energy.
AMELIA HUTCHINS SERIES:
Other author's books:
- Unraveling DestinyEscaping DestinyFae Chronicles 01 - Fighting DestinySeducing DestinyTaunting DestinyDeath Before DawnClaiming the Dragon KingA Demon's Dark Embrace
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