Davina, p.20
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       Davina, p.20

         Part #3 of Immortal Prophecy series by Tijan
 
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  He heard the dip in her voice, how it grew husky, and his chest tightened at the sympathy he knew would be in her eyes. He couldn’t look at her.

  “I have to go.”

  “But Da—”

  He pulled away and rasped out, “I know.” He had to stop her. She couldn’t say Davy’s name, because Davy wasn’t really lost. She couldn’t be . . . he couldn’t think that way. His voice hardened. “I have to go to kill our enemies.”

  She started to reach for him again, but he went to the edge and dropped to the bottom. Sensing their leader, his men that had been on the battleground turned toward him. They didn’t know yet, but they soon would that he was no longer their leader. He was compromised, but until he really was under The Immortal’s power, he had one more battle to wage.

  Pulling out his sword, he started in the direction that he saw The Immortal fly. She was seeking The Mother Wolf, that was where the rest of their enemies would be. He didn’t look behind him, but he registered that the Christane wolves were turning to follow him. Christian and Pippa had followed him, as everyone did.

  Wren, Bastion, and the new arrivals remained behind. They had their own mission.

  It was done. Roane felt it in his gut. The Immortal had won, and he hadn’t even known there was a fight for Davy until she was smack in front of him, kissing him. He knew she was different, but he didn’t care. It was Davy. She was finally in front of him. He could hold her. He could taste her, touch her, inhale her. But, it had been too good to be true. There’d been something off about her, he felt that in the back of his mind, but he turned it off. He didn’t want to question how Davy came to be. He was just glad she was there . . . and then the other shoe dropped.

  It wasn’t her.

  And now, as he led his army into the forest with his sword ready in his hand, The Immortal was swirling around inside of himself. He wasn’t sure if it was even him in there, or just her. He felt under her control, but there was a small tunnel. He felt Davy before. She was still in The Immortal. If he could get to her, if there was a way of breaking her free, he had to take it, but for now—they crested the last hill and below them, they could hear the screams.

  The Immortal had already arrived.

  It was chaos. Hundreds of Benshire wolves were dead on the ground. The image was almost as bad as the battleground they just left, but there was an army missing. Roane searched the woods. The Romah vampires were there. It wasn’t just the Benshire line. Jacith had brought his oldest and most powerful vampire family.

  “No!”

  Christian and Pippa stood next to him, but the rest of the Christane wolves streamed around them. They began to attack the rest that still lived, but before the first could lunge in the air, a bloodcurdling scream went through the air. It went through everyone, sending chills down their spines.

  At the top of the next ridge stood The Immortal and The Mother Wolf. One in her white dress and the other in her blue robe.

  A deep roar ripped from Christian. “No. She’s mine to kill.” He surged forward. “NO!”

  Davy looked over at them. He hated to call her that, but he loathed to keep referring to her as The Immortal. It was a grand title that she didn’t deserve. She wasn’t grand. She wasn’t anything except a monster, who took the real Davy away.

  She was holding The Mother Wolf up with one hand at her throat. Genuine confusion flashed over her features as she looked from Christian to the woman in her grip. She held her up higher. “You wish to kill this one?”

  Pippa started crying. Lucas heard her sniffling from the other side of her brother. He closed his eyes—this stranger who had Davy’s body was so cold.

  Anger was mounting in Christian and he nodded, stiffly. “Yes.” His tone softened, but only a little bit. He was holding back the rage.

  The Immortal—Roane couldn’t call her Davy. It was too painful to think of her name—met his gaze. She was weighing her options. Her head tilted to the side and her long dark hair swept over her face from the wind. She was impervious to the weather. It was normally hot and humid where they were in Central America, but a cold front moved into the air. The temperature dipped low. The werewolves and vampires, who were impervious to weather as well, were starting to shiver. And through it all, The Immortal was immune to all of it, even the blood that seeped around her bare feet.

  He looked around—so many bodies, so much death. The river would run red from the blood that night, but this was what they all signed up for.

  War. Death. Carnage.

  The Immortal still hadn’t decided what to do with The Mother Wolf. She turned back and brought the older woman closer to her. She was studying her like she was a new creature for her to understand.

  “No.” Roane started forward.

  Recognizing his voice, The Immortal looked again. More confusion crossed her face, but she didn’t say anything. She held her comment and waited.

  “What are you doing?” Christian reached for Roane.

  “I’m going over there.”

  “No, Lucas.”

  “Don’t. Please.”

  The last was a whimper from Pippa, Davy’s friend. Roane’s stomach clenched, but he moved out of Christian’s reach. Lowering his voice, he said, “I’m going to her. Someone has to try to contain her.”

  “Contain that?” Christian’s statement was a whip, lashing at him.

  “Yes.” She was too powerful to allow on her own, and he had no idea if he could control her. He could try, at least. He had to try. “None of ours can get hurt.”

  “One of ours already did.” Pippa was glaring at Davy’s body. Her own growl began to build in the back of her throat.

  Roane started forward again, but he said as a goodbye, “I’ll ask her to leave The Mother Wolf for you, but return home after that.”

  “Lucas—”

  “I mean it!” He glared at them before turning away once again. “Leave. Go home.” “Go and be alive . . .” he thought before crossing the distance until the next ridge.

  The Immortal was waiting. She had heard his thought and she asked now, in his head still, “Is that what you think will happen? You will die.”

  He faltered just beneath the hill she stood upon. He held her gaze, never wavering. “Either my body will die or my soul will. Either way, all is lost.”

  “Nothing is lost. It’s just a new life. That is all.”

  Everything was lost, but he held back those words. She heard them, a darkness flashing in her eyes, but both let it go. He gestured to The Mother Wolf. “My friend has come this entire way to kill her.”

  He remembered the stories spoken about The Mother Wolf.

  “The Alpha went to The Mother Wolf . . .” Pippa said.

  The Mother Wolf knew about Davy . . . she was connected to The Immortal.

  He remembered when he first saw her. There, in the middle of five Goliath-sized wolves and four Romah guards in full armor, was a woman.

  He knew who she was.

  This was The Mother Wolf, the one that Christian told him about. She was stunning. Black hair fell free and loose past her shoulders. She wore a blue and silver robe. The colors were striking, matching the air of strength she was emanating. Her eyes were dark. Her lips were bright red, curved into a half smile, and her head was raised in a confident and authoritative manner, but that wasn’t all that clung to her—magic.

  She had been so powerful then. And now, her arms hung limply, her head fell back as if she were a doll, and her eyes were dull. They were almost lifeless. The Immortal had done this. It was a shock.

  She was nothing now. She was weak.

  The enormity of The Immortal’s power shouldn’t have surprised him, but it did. And with each action that showed even more power, a part of his hope died inside of him. Swallowing painfully, he asked, “Why did you go after her?”

  “She has his magic.” The Immortal peered at The Mother Wolf again. “It’s inside of her. He planted it in her and I need to follow it to where he is. He must
die. He is the only one who could be troublesome to me.”

  Roane continued to feel his insides spilling out over him. “You mean he’s the only one who could match your power.”

  “No.” She snapped back to attention. “Never. He is no match. He is beneath me. It’s why he is hiding. All his magic, it’s everywhere. It’s in the wolves. It’s in his vampires. It’s in the ground . . .” A light gleamed in her eyes. “The ground. He’s underground.” She focused on Mother Wolf and placed her hand between the woman’s breasts. The Immortal leaned closer, peering where her hand was and she began to say under her breath, “You are in her. I can feel your magic. There is a path. I . . . must . . . follow where it goes . . .” And, at the last word spoken, the air shifted.

  Roane could feel a heaviness, as if something was poured into the atmosphere around them. Then, The Immortal uttered one word, “Ignite,” and an explosion happened. He covered his eyes. The light was blinding, but when he looked back, Mother Wolf was hanging in the air. The Immortal had suspended her there and a light shone from inside of her. A string, or a line, moved out from Mother Wolf’s body and he turned, tracing it all the way down the hill they stood on, through the valley of the second battle, and past where Christian and Pippa stood.

  The Immortal came down to stand beside him. She was watching the trail. “It goes back to the water. He is back there.”

  She started forward.

  A surrealness had come over everyone. There were few of the Benshire werewolves alive, but those who still survived ceased fighting Christian’s pack. As The Immortal walked past them, they moved apart. An opening cleared for her and she left, either unmoved or indifferent to the fear that everyone had for her.

  He looked back to The Mother Wolf, but she was still in the air. There was no fight left in her.

  Christian and Pippa hurried to his side once The Immortal was gone from their eyesight. Christian peered up at his enemy. The corners of his mouth turned down, and he remarked, “The victory in battle has lost its appeal.”

  Pippa looked up at him. “You need to kill her. You can’t let her live through this.”

  Christian’s frown deepened. Roane could hear the regret in his voice when he replied, “I won’t, but it’s not an honorable death anymore. I’m merely ending her suffering.”

  “Roane.” The Immortal spoke in his head. “Come.”

  He had to go, but he said to Christian, “Thank you for being my ally.”

  Pippa moved around so she could see him squarely. “You’re leaving?”

  “Roane.”

  “The Immortal.” He gestured in the direction she had gone. “She’s calling me.”

  “That’s annoying,” Christian bit out.

  Roane laughed. There was nothing else to do. There were no other reactions to feel. All he could do was laugh, because at the very least, it was annoying.

  He rested a hand on the Alpha Wolf’s shoulder and lowered his head in a small bow. “Our time has come to an end. I hope to see you on the other side one day.”

  He started to pull back, but Christian covered his hand with his. It was a rare gesture, but before Roane could do anything or say anything, the Alpha Wolf pulled him in for a hug. It was brief. Each clapped the other on the back; they had come a long way. There’d been mistrust and a reluctant aligning with each other. They loved the same woman, but now they were on the same side. They had another similar enemy.

  Christian stepped back. “Go get your woman back.”

  Roane swallowed a lump. Davy . . . He couldn’t think about her. Those thoughts were erased and he stepped aside to face Pippa. “Thank you. I know you came to help your friend.”

  Tears were trailing down her face. The younger wolf lifted a hand and wiped at some of them, but they were replaced with new tears. Roane didn’t think they would end soon, and he had to admit that he wished he could cry alongside her. Instead, he murmured, “If I can, I will save her.”

  “You are lying to them,” The Immortal chided him. “You know she is lost. Do not give them false hope.”

  He thought back, “They will fight otherwise. I am saving their lives.”

  He waited, but there was silence from her end. Pippa hugged him, and then he left them. He walked on the same path The Immortal had gone, and once he was gone from their eyesight, he heard one last bloodcurdling scream.

  The Mother Wolf was dead.

  LUCAN

  He stood at the highest point among the Mori lands.

  The winds had shifted. What he thought was his greatest enemy was now his greatest ally. Another Mori came to stand beside him and he spoke, knowing it was Jiyama’s father, “The thread has become her own entity.”

  The elder Mori glanced at him. There was a pause and the air was heavy with tension. It was known that Jiyama was gone. Her body was never found. None sensed where her essence was, and stories of how another Mori was killed at the hands of The Immortal had spread fast. Another Mori witnessed the murder, but he had retreated to share the information. He hadn’t engaged. When the rest of the Mori realized their new danger, a council had been called. Warriors were placed near the outer edge of their land to report back the events that were unveiling beyond their river’s boundary.

  Lucan heard about the transformation, and he was told how The Immortal had seemingly cast a spell over his brother.

  Jiyama’s father, Jeoji, asked, “What will happen now?”

  Lucan grunted. “If I had to guess, my brother’s friends will want to come here.” Jeoji turned to him, but Lucan added, “We created this. We unbalanced the thread inside of her. They’ll want us to help fix it.”

  “We?” A warning growl. “You created this problem. We had nothing to do with this.”

  Lucan turned and faced the Mori’s leader. They were face-to-face, eye-to-eye, and while one held all the power and magic of a Mori vampire, the other was more dangerous. Lucan was human. He remained in his weak vessel because of one thing: the thread. He wanted that thread inside of him, and he knew that he would be told of visitors traveling their way. What he predicted would come true. His brother’s friends would seek him out, and he would help them because at this moment, their wishes co-aligned. All of them wanted The Immortal contained. Afterwards, that was another issue, but he said to Jeoji now, “Do not play the ignorant fool. I was one of you. You and your men traveled with me in search of the thread. You and your men, my brothers too, helped me capture my brother’s lover. You have known since the beginning my wish for the thread. It is why you allowed the child to come into this clan. Do not act innocent. You have shed blood, just as I have.”

  Jeoji was older, wiser, but he knew Lucan spoke the truth. Blame fell on his shoulders, perhaps more because he never stopped this one. “My daughter loved you.” He let that sentence hang between them. His daughter, who was missing. His daughter, who had been so curious about the thread-holder. His daughter, who would never leave without telling him or her mother. His daughter, who he thought would marry this man standing in front of him.

  His regrets were deep, and he added one more to the pile. He pulled his robe tighter over himself and glanced to where the war was still going on. “We have heard their screams. We can smell their blood. We can even feel their pain, and all of them were wiped out by one being that we set free. Capturing The Immortal is on our shoulders. We will assist you by whatever means you find necessary. That creature must not be allowed to remain alive.”

  There was an unspoken message between them, and Lucan accepted it. There was no proof, but Jeoji suspected him of his daughter’s death. They would help him take The Immortal down, but afterwards he would be cast out. It was the way of their clan. He’d be exiled once again, but it wouldn’t matter.

  Lucan would get the thread. He would get that power, even if he would die in the process. It had become his sole obsession. He turned to go, but said over his shoulder, “Lower the shield. Allow my brother’s friends in.”

  ROANE

  H
e trailed behind The Immortal. She kept going, past the first battlegrounds and farther down the beach. The Mother Wolf was killed, but the line that led them to Jacith still existed. He didn’t know how that was, but he didn’t question it. The less he thought, the better, but he couldn’t stop waves of grief from
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