Unraveling Destiny (The Fae Chronicles Book 5), page 28
Once outside, the ground shook. The bombs in the lower levels that Lucian and his men hadn’t found detonated one by one, until the top floor erupted in deafening noise and explosions. I began to fall as strong hands wrapped around my waist and took me to the ground, covering my body with his.
I stared into Zahruk’s unblinking eyes as debris rained down around our bodies. I turned my head, finding golden eyes watching me with worry. Lucian shouted something to Ryder, but I couldn’t hear him. I was falling, as if I couldn’t stop myself as my eyes watched stars burst behind my eyelids.
I’d done it; he was out and alive. I felt the exhaustion as it slammed against me. I let my heavy eyes close as the pain took me over the edge to oblivion.
“How far along was she?” Ryder’s voice pulled me from sleep. I blinked, barely aware of where I was.
“Not very far along at all, but with how much she was pushing herself, I’m not surprised she didn’t notice it,” Eliran answered.
I closed my eyes, listening as they spoke around me. Ryder was in bed with me, his arms wrapped around my body, holding me tightly. Those arms were more comforting than a thousand narcotics. They took the pain away, kept it at arm’s length. This man was worth whatever the Gods demanded in price.
“And will she heal?” Ryder’s tone was soothing as I drifted between sleep and wakefulness.
“She’s already healing at a rapid rate. It’s incredible how fast she heals, faster than any of us can.”
“Will she be able to have more?” Ryder enquired hesitantly, and I blinked.
“More what?” I asked without meaning to. Exhaustion made my tone more irritable than I’d intended to sound. I’d known I’d pushed my body to its limits. I’d remained alert and awake the entire time he’d been away from me. I was still exhausted, tired to the point that I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
“Children,” murmured said with a hint of anger in his tone.
“Huh?” I was confused as to why it would matter at this moment in time. “Why are you even asking that? Of course we can, but not right now.” I opened my eyes to find him leaning over me, studying me.
“You miscarried, Pet,” he explained softly. “You were pregnant.” He squeezed me for comfort as I closed my eyes and swallowed.
“I wasn’t pregnant; I couldn’t be.”
“You were; you were at least a few weeks along, judging by the size of the child. Remember, Fae pregnancies are shorter than human ones, and who knows how fast gestation will be now that you are a Goddess. That’s why you lost so much blood and blacked out. We had to wait for your body to heal itself, because nothing I did helped; in fact, it made it worse. You lost a lot of blood, and you’ve been out for days.” Eliran’s voice, as always, was gentle and calming.
“How many days?” I asked woodenly.
“Three,” Ryder answered as he lightly kissed my forehead. “I called for Danu, but she didn’t respond. We had done everything we could think of to wake you up, and Eliran tried to stop the miscarriage but nothing worked. I’m sorry, Synthia.”
I blinked back tears as I heard the pain in his tone. I struggled to sit up, but I was still exhausted. “It’s the price the Gods demanded,” I whispered. “To get you back, I had to meddle with the human world. I interfered directly with that world. I killed in it. I was warned that there would be a price if I did it.” A sob ripped from my chest as I turned to look at him. “I didn’t know; I didn’t have any idea that I was pregnant. I was so stressed out, and I couldn’t think past getting you back.”
“You had no idea that you were pregnant?” Eliran blurted, his eyes filled with disbelief. “You were a few weeks along. Haven’t you had a cycle since the triplets were born? There should have at least been some symptoms.”
“I haven’t had one since I got pregnant with the triplets.” I blushed as I looked at Ryder. “You knocked me up again?” I glared. “I thought we had a talk about that?” I’d lost a baby, one I hadn’t even known existed. “I don’t…I don’t feel anything,” I cried as guilt washed over me. I didn’t feel sorry for the loss, or that I’d sacrificed it for Ryder. “How…why don’t I feel anything?”
“Because I blocked the pain they wanted you to feel,” Destiny commented from the doorway, forcing all eyes to her. “You didn’t do this for a selfish reason. What you did, you did out of blind love, and Danu asked me to protect you because you have a bigger purpose to serve, should you agree to it. I can’t have you messing up my plans.”
“Your plans?” I repeated, noting how Ryder’s arms pulled me closer.
“I need you to come with me, please. There’s someone who wants to say goodbye,” she sniffed softly, tears shining in her eyes.
“She’s leaving, isn’t she?” I tried to force the heaviness in my heart to remain out of my voice.
“Yes, she is. We don’t have time to waste if you wish to see her,” Destiny explained softly. “You will have lifetimes to cherish your beast, but I’m afraid it’s time to say goodbye to your mother.”
I rose up enough to sit, leaned over, and kissed Ryder on his forehead. “I’ll be right back,” I assured him as I started to get out of bed, not caring that I was naked. I felt soft cashmere covering my body as I struggled to stand and gave Ryder a smile of thanks as I accepted Destiny’s hand and we vanished.
Danu lay on a chaise in a brilliantly lit garden that was filled with rare, exotic flowers that I’d never seen before. The buds covered the lush greenery, creating a glow effect for each rare flower. To the left of the garden was a sparkling pool, lotus blossoms and lilies floated on its surface, and without asking, I knew she’d created Faery to mirror her own lush, magical garden. The buds of the flowers opened, released an intoxicating fragrance into the air, and closed.
“Beautiful, are they not?” she asked, and I noticed the sun shining on her beautiful face.
“I don’t care about your damn flowers,” I growled without managing to hide the fear in my tone. “I can’t lose you; I just got you. I don’t accept that there’s no way to save you.”
“You’re not losing me.” She shifted to get a better look at me. She looked just like me. Platinum curls fell below her shoulders, and azure blue eyes locked with mine. “You’re my daughter.” She laughed, but it sounded forced. “Where do you think your beauty came from?”
“This is the real you, no magic?” I questioned, taken aback by how much we looked alike. I moved to a large rock that had a smooth surface and sat beside her.
“Over the years, there have been a handful of beings who have known my true form. You are now one of them. I can no longer use glamour,” she explained, waving it off as if she’d just said there would be no rain tomorrow or something mundane. “I’ve lost the ability to use magic as well. Destiny said I have only a short time left, so I sent for you. I was told of the loss you suffered for interfering to save your intended mate, and I am sorry for that. No mother should lose a babe, but we knew telling you of the child wouldn’t have made much difference. You are my daughter, after all.”
“Destiny told me she stopped me from feeling the loss,” I replied.
“She is still blocking the emotion you should be feeling with the miscarriage,” she confessed. “I asked her to do it, but then again, I have something to ask of you. Something that is selfish, but facing mortality is something I’m finding is worse than death.”
“You and your riddles,” I mused. “You knew this would happen, so why do it? Why pick me over yourself?”
“I’m a Goddess, yes, but I am your mother,” she said, as if it made sense. “I would do it again in a heartbeat. You’re my creation, and my most treasured one, at that. I sacrificed my life for you, but also Faery by loving you enough to save your children. They were the key to fixing it, yes, but als
“Can’t they be closed?”
“No, but Faery won’t merge with Tèrra, not as you think it will. Faery has been opened to Tèrra, but as it draws from their world to heal itself, it is also healing the damage they have done to their own world in return. Eventually, a solution will present itself; speak to the Stag, he will guide you. Enough about that,” she crooned, switching direction and interrupting my train of thought. “My time is near, and I must ask you something of great importance.”
She leaned over and whispered into my ear. I closed my eyes as tears rushed to them, burning them as what she asked sent my world spiraling around me. I nodded and pulled away.
“Yes,” I agreed without having to consider it.
“I love you, Synthia. I will always love you. I’ll always be with you. I promise you that. In everything you do, and everything you are,” she assured me as she nodded at Destiny. I looked at Destiny as she nodded and smiled at me.
“We must hurry; say your goodbyes, ladies,” she ordered.
I made my way through the lush grasses of the glen, as the sound of one of the streams that fed the Fairy Pools became louder. It was calm here, and so beautiful; the memories of this place were ingrained in my head. This was where Ryder took me after the Wild Hunt, where we were first together. This was where we made love, if you could call it that. Our first time had been savage, but then everything with Ryder was. He was alpha male to his core, and I loved that about him. I’d wanted it, even though I’d been terrified of accepting what he made me feel.
He’d made me face my feelings, made me accept what I’d been terrified to admit. Our relationship had started out turbulent; the most hair-raising rollercoaster ride imaginable. Although this path hadn’t been an easy one, I couldn’t imagine life without him.
When I’d lost him, I hadn’t been able to breathe. He was my air, the very stuff I needed to live. We’d faced losses, battles, and so much more together. Death had tried, and lost against us. The price for being together hadn’t been easy to pay, but it had been worth every hardship we’d faced to be together.
“I hate to disappoint you, but this won’t work. Not like this.” Ristan shook his head as he surveyed the landscape surrounding the Faery Pools. “It will leave us exposed. We can’t guarantee that it wouldn’t be attacked. I have a different location in mind for the ceremony. As far as the reception goes, your idea does have some merit.”
“Just some?” I shot him an offended look as he shrugged. “The honeymoon. Now that’s what I’m looking forward to.” I grinned as I gave him an exaggerated wink, which made him snort.
“I’m just glad you planned to have your honeymoon away from the castle,” he replied as he smirked knowingly. “Gods know when you two go at it, the entire power grid and magical field around the castle is high voltage.”
“You can feel it?” I gasped.
“What did you expect, Flower? You’re a Goddess of Faery; your mother is a fertility Goddess. When you two fuck, even the flowers feel it. Last night, they bloomed. You know, the ones that only open once a year were awakened by the power you two gave off. The willows wept, and the animals—don’t even get me started on what they did together. When you’re happy, the land feels it, but when you mate, so too does the land around you. You’re a part of it.” He pushed some of his hair away from his face and looked back at the glen. “Have you heard from her lately?” he asked uncomfortably.
“Yes. I saw her briefly yesterday,” I said softly. I watched a line in his brow crease, as if my words touched a nerve. “Will you ever tell me what you had with her?”
“It’s complicated,” he muttered, turning away from me.
“I got that much figured out, Demon. You love her, though,” I said, watching him. His shoulders tensed and I smiled. He had loved her, at least he did until whatever it was between them had come to a boil. I had no doubt that he loved Olivia with everything he had to give, but at one time or another, he had been in love with Danu.
“She gave me a child,” he shrugged offhandedly. “One I will spend the rest of eternity wondering if it is really mine or hers.”
“It is yours, and I can tell you what it is if you’d like,” I offered. More often than not, I was discovering my new powers by accident. How I knew what the sex was, I wasn’t sure. Perhaps it was because their child was tied to our land, and I was tied to the baby through it.
“You know what we’re having?” He turned around and stared at me with a closed-off expression. “How can you know for sure it’s ours and not another seed she planted?”
“Because the baby is part Demon and part Angel,” I explained. “Oh, I’m pretty sure she could have shaken up a Dangel cocktail, but why would she? It doesn’t make any sense why she would do something like that rather than to give you back what was taken from you. Your baby is tied to the land, as you are. By the way, the baby doesn’t like the pickles Olivia keeps eating. I can’t blame it, though. She’s been dipping them in hot sauce and peanut butter.”
He smirked and nodded. “She’s had some wild cravings.”
“Pickles in hot sauce and peanut butter are mild in comparison to her craving for a human heart. I’m going to guess, and say that the little Demon is growing with a hankering for blood. Although, her reaction to having such a craving was fucking awesome,” I laughed as I caught the grimace on his face. “It’s yours; Danu wouldn’t do that to you. She told me she fixed it because she owed you some debt.”
“A debt,” he snorted. “That is sort of a mild way of simplifying it, and I am not quite sure you understand what Danu would and would not do,” he growled as his eyes turned hard. “I was her lover. Well, one of them.”
“I figured that out a while ago, but what I don’t know is why you hate her so much.” I dipped my toes into the soothing pools.
“I don’t hate her.” He tilted his head back, as though he was taking comfort from the warmth of the sun, and sighed. “I may be angry with her and resent what she has done to me, but I can’t hate her. I was bound to her, and yes, I loved her. For almost eight hundred years, she put me through hell. Any female I cared for, or could have possibly even loved, she killed,” he gritted out, and my blood turned to ice.
“I’m sorry,” I murmured, carefully watching him. “I can’t understand why she would do that to you. The only thing I know is that she isn’t like we are. I’m just beginning to understand the things that she was responsible for and the choices she had to make. Most of what I have seen so far is pretty fucked up. She also let you go, Ristan. She let you find love with Olivia, and if you had loved another, you wouldn’t be where you are today. Maybe Destiny is right; maybe everything we go through is so that when the pieces fall into place, we are ready for them. Look at me and Ryder: I wanted to punch him in the throat when I first met him. Now, I can’t imagine my world without him.”
“Flower, she didn’t let me find love with Olivia, she was trying to kill her, Cyrus just succeeded in the act. I demanded for Danu to release me from her service. I was at my limit as to what I could take from her, and honestly, I think she feared what I would do if she didn’t release me. I know a good deal of what was going on, yet there was a lot that I was never allowed to see. She wouldn’t let me help her. I would have, had she asked. Instead she used me as a tool; albeit a very useful tool. Loyal, so fucking loyal,” he said as he shook his head grimly. “But she wouldn’t, or couldn’t reciprocate that sense of loyalty. She knew how I felt, and I must admit, my centuries with her had many good t
“You must have felt like you were taking a big chance helping me,” I murmured, and my throat tightened at his stiff nod.
“Oftentimes I would get a warning before she struck. It seemed odd that she was almost encouraging me to look out for you, and I figured it was because you were meant for my brother.” He shook his head sadly. “When I found out you were her daughter, it all made sense.”
“Why didn’t you say anything to me?”
“To what end? What good would have come from it? You’re still so new to this world and learning to navigate it.” He breathed out heavily. “You were so happy having not one, but two mothers all of a sudden. I didn’t want to taint anything for you by trying to explain how benevolent your mother could be and at the same time, how malevolent she could be. Two extreme faces of the same coin,” he explained.
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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