Davina, p.21
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       Davina, p.21

         Part #3 of Immortal Prophecy series by Tijan
 
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  crashing over him. They came one at a time and every one was suffocating. He couldn’t breathe so he kept going, sometimes blindly. He kept going. This thing, whatever she was, continued ahead. He knew she was aware of the suffering inside of him, but she paid him no attention.

  “It is not because I do not care.” She paused, and turned so she could see him from one eye.

  He stopped, but he said nothing.

  She kept going, “It’s because there was no other way. You don’t comprehend it. No one does.”

  “Comprehend what?”

  “My existence.”

  They were coming to a waterfall. Roane heard the water falling earlier, but the sound was nearly deafening now, even to him. Still, he could hear her fine as she walked around a pile of large boulders. They were setting out on the bank, and as she circled them, he saw there was a trail that led underneath the waterfall.

  “He’s undergound.” Her words came back to him, and he understood. Jacith was beneath everything. He was in the cave below the waterfall. The Hunter in him was telling him to pull back, proceed with caution, but The Immortal didn’t have the same instincts. She walked freely without a care for herself. She spoke with the same freedom, speaking loudly, “Since I was created, I was always contained and hidden within a human. My creator did that because humans were thought to have the compassion to restrict me. That wasn’t true. What they had to restrict me was their weakness. I couldn’t exist if they did, and since it was their body, they were the host. They contained me. All that changed with Lucan and his coven. They weren’t pulling me free of Davy. They were changing her. She was turning into something that wasn’t human anymore. When that happened, I was able to get a foothold in her. I’ve been steadily gaining a foothold in her ever since.”

  She dipped underneath the water and held a hand up. There was nothing hanging to be lit, but small bursts of fire floated in the air, lighting their way.

  He asked as he followed, stepping onto the damp rock path, “What did you mean before? What is it that no one understands?”

  She paused. Just beyond her shoulder, the light was brighter as if they were about to step into a large opening in the cave. A low baritone voice was chanting in there, and Roane could feel the magic all around him. It was thick, sending shivers up and down his back. The hair on his neck stood up, but this was The Immortal’s show. If she wasn’t worried, he didn’t think he needed to be.

  Or he hoped.

  Her eyes flicked over his face before the corner of her lip lifted up. “It was never about me becoming one with Davy. It was either me . . . or her. That was the question. Always.”

  He frowned. “What do you mean?”

  “I couldn’t exist if she did.”

  She waited, letting that statement linger.

  Roane cocked his head to the side. His frown deepened. But that would mean . . . Understanding and horror dawned on him at the same time. “You—you were planning this the whole time.” He felt gutted.

  Her slight grin turned smug and she stepped around the corner into the larger open area. “You are right.” Her gaze trailed to the man chanting in the middle of the cave.

  Roane couldn’t move forward. Everything in him was locked in place. He needed to run, but he was the Hunter. He was a vampire. He was Lucas Roane. He did not run, but right there, in the realization that The Immortal had been planning this move all along, he knew survival meant running.

  He jerked around, as if he were actually going to go. He tried making himself . . . He couldn’t.

  The Immortal laughed. It was a soft graze against his ears and he winced, instantly hating the sound. “You’ve been looking for Jacith. You said it was because he was the only one equal to you, but . . .” He couldn’t bring himself to say the rest. His gut was saying otherwise. One didn’t seek out their enemies first. No. One would seek out an ally first, and she’d been seeking out the sorcerer since she came to be.

  This wasn’t enemy territory to her.

  She wasn’t cowering. She wasn’t sneaking. She wasn’t even being cautious.

  She stood, right in front of one of the most feared sorcerers since Roane had been alive and there was no fear.

  He finished as all of his insides threatened to spill out of him, “. . . he’s not your enemy, is he?”

  “No.” A full smile stretched on her face, and she turned around.

  Jacith had his eyes closed. He was wearing a similar robe as The Mother Wolf, blue and silver. The hood was pulled low over his face so his eyes were shielded, but his power was immense. It rippled through the cave. His arms were stretched out as he continued to chant, he allowed them to continue their conversation, until he sensed The Immortal’s attention. His eyes opened and a smile appeared on his face.

  The sight sickened Roane.

  Jacith lowered his arms and his head at the same time. He bowed to The Immortal. “As we meet at last.”

  He held a hand out, and The Immortal took it, letting him hold it as he looked back up. She echoed, “As we meet at last.”

  The two shared a smile before Jacith removed his hood.

  Roane had never met him, but he heard about him. Everyone had. Jacith was tall in his vampire body, but once the hood left his head, he grew in height. He stood at another four inches, towering over the both of them. His hair was black and gray, all mixed together and his eyes were a clear blue. A white line shone around his irises, but Roane had a dreaded guess that that was The Immortal’s influence over him. She was assisting him with magic in some way.

  “Lucas Roane.” Jacith tucked his hands to his chest, his robe’s sleeves hanging low to the ground. He moved around The Immortal and approached. He scanned him up and down. “You are every bit as powerful as she said you would be.”

  Roane needed to get out of there. As fast as possible. He began to move backwards, an inch at time.

  The Immortal studied him alongside Jacith. She folded her arms over her chest and nodded. “He is. The Hunters are close by. His tattoo is alive. I can feel it.” She glanced to him. “Can you?”

  Jacith’s eyes narrowed, a mere fraction of an inch. “Of course, I can.”

  “Really?” Her grin turned smug, just the slightest hint. “He has power. We can draw from it.”

  As she spoke those words, Jacith’s eyes lit up. An eager gleam grew bright, and he moved forward. Roane went still. He was a prey to the sorcerer. He was focused on getting out of there, but at the cold sliver that rang down his back, he reassessed the situation. Hunters. His tattoo. They could draw his power, the last shoe dropped then.

  “You promised him my power.” Roane didn’t even ask. He knew that was what happened. It was the only thing that made sense.

  Surprise and pride flashed over her features. “You’re smart, Lucas. Yes, I did.”

  “All that you said before, about how I loved you, all of that was a lie.”

  “No. That was the truth. You do love me. I’ve been drawing you to me for decades. The thread-holder before Talia would’ve found you, too, if she had been smart enough to realize her wishes weren’t her own.” She spoke dryly, a wry twist at her lips, “She was more accustomed to females so when she began dreaming of you, she knew something was wrong.” Her eyes grew hard. “But I will have my time with that thread-holder. I know she is waiting. Her time is soon, but until then, everything else was a lie.” She shook her head. “I don’t love you, Lucas. I’m not a crazy, besotted weakling like the others. You have power. You have lots of power and you will be giving all of that power to Jacith.” She glanced at the sorcerer. “He was very keen to get his hands on you. That was my part of the deal. I was to deliver you to him.”

  “How?”

  Roane wasn’t sure he wanted to know, but he asked anyway.

  “Your brother helped so much, but I needed more power to break free from Davy. Every time she was unconscious, and there were a lot of times your brother’s coven made her pass out from pain, I called onto Jacith. I drew
him to me. He loaned his power to me and here I am, returning it to him. You. You are my payout.”

  “This is a joke, right?”

  Jacith was advancing on him. His sick delight was making Roane’s stomach roll over. He couldn’t defeat the sorcerer and he knew he couldn’t defeat The Immortal. A brief thought of ending it his way, his power intact, flashed through his mind.

  “Don’t!”

  He met her gaze. “Why not?”

  “Because—” she glanced to Jacith, but his back was completely to her. He was focused only on Roane. Her eyes narrowed and a cold wall fell over her face. She thought back to him, “Because you were my bait for him. That’s why.”

  “Bait?” He couldn’t keep up with the changes. A new alliance was popping up every other minute. He asked her in his mind, “What do you mean by bait?”

  “Wait.” Her voice was calming. “You will see.”

  As Jacith grew closer, Roane was backed up into the wall. He didn’t feel the cold wetness of the rock behind him. Jacith’s eagerness was rolling over him, overwhelming him. The sorcerer reached up and gripped Roane around the throat. At the contact, Roane gasped. His blood was on fire. Every inch of him was burned and he felt his insides being sucked out. Jacith was drawing on his power.

  No matter what she said, this was the end.

  Roane closed his eyes. He didn’t know if the sorcerer was in his head or not, but he made himself think of Davy. He tried to talk to her. “Davy. I love you. Can you hear me?” As he spoke, his hand reached for a dagger tucked behind his back. His hand found the handle and wrapped around it, gripping it tight. A tear slipped from his eye. “Davy, I don’t know if you can hear me or not, but no matter our ending, we’ll have the next life together. A new chapter. I promise.”

  He imagined she was there. She was standing in front of him. He could hold her. He could rest his forehead to hers and whisper, “I love you so very much, to the deepest parts of my soul. You, Davina, you make me an honorable man. You are why I have fought in this life and you are why I will continue to the next. I love you . . . wherever you are.”

  She was there, gripping his hands with hers. Her tears mixed with his and she whispered back, kissing him at the same time, “I love you, too. I will be there. I’m waiting for you, Lucas. Come to me. Come to me . . .”

  They were kissing. They were hugging. They were happy—and at the last thought, he pulled his dagger out and plunged it into Jacith’s stomach. The sorcerer jerked back, a thunderous roar ripping from him. Lucas was unfazed. He pushed up from the wall and held onto the dagger with a better hold, then he pushed it as deep as he could. His hand was inside of the vampire, and knowing it wouldn’t be enough, he thrust his other hand and wrapped his fingers around Jacith’s heart.

  No creature could live without a beating heart.

  He yanked it out.

  The body crumbled to the floor, but his other hand held onto the dagger. The Immortal screamed, and in the midst of it all, Lucas held the sorcerer’s heart in his hand and the dagger in his other. A feral smile adorned his face as he met The Immortal’s horrified eyes.

  He said, “Oops.”

  Then, he threw the dagger at her.

  “NO!”

  She deflected the dagger.

  It flew right at her, would’ve landed smack center in her chest, but The Immortal lifted her hand. The dagger stopped and flew right back at him, except it sheathed itself into the cave wall behind it. Roane froze, his eyes wide at how quick her response was. She rushed to Jacith’s side, and placed her hands on his chest.

  Roane didn’t say a word. She could’ve killed him with the dagger, but didn’t. She could still kill him, but after that one scream, she was concentrating. Resting on her knees, her eyes closed, she remained perfectly still.

  Roane stood there. He needed to run, but he stayed. He needed to see what she was doing, and when a black coloring formed under her hand and began to move up her arms, he had a good idea. She was absorbing all of Jacith’s power.

  Roane turned to go. It was time, but before he could even form the thought, she opened her eyes, pure black, and said, “Stay.”

  An invisible wall slammed in place. He couldn’t get through. Hitting it only hurt his hand. It felt like ten cement walls glued together. Vampire strength couldn’t stand up against magic. He waited, leaning against the wall as The Immortal continued to pull the rest of Jacith’s magic into her. When she was done, the black coloring was gone except as she stood and opened her eyes once more. They were still black.

  Her hair billowed out behind her. She didn’t say a word and Roane didn’t think she could. The magic was settling inside of her, and another few seconds, her normal chocolate brown eyes snapped back into place. Her hair rested against her back again and her normal coloring came to her face.

  Jacith was different. He was a corpse with a giant hole in the chest. A second later, his body burst into flames. He really was dead now. He couldn’t come back from that.

  Roane grunted. “If I knew it would’ve been that easy to kill him, I would’ve done it a long time ago.”

  “You’re a fool,” The Immortal spat at him, waving her hand in the air again.

  The invisible wall fell from behind him and Roane caught himself. She swept past him, and he followed behind. “What do you mean?” He was waiting for the wrath to come out on him, but she kept heading back toward the waterfall.

  She said over her shoulder, “Everyone has a weakness. Jacith’s was just like a normal vampire. You had to get close to him in order to kill him, and that was my mistake.”

  He was still waiting for her wrath.

  Sensing his thought, she said, “I wanted to kill Jacith. That was why I gave you my power.”

  Wait . . .

  “What?”

  She glanced back, rolled her eyes, and turned back. “Everything I’ve said to you was a lie since I broke free. Everything, Lucas.”

  “You told me that I loved you.”

  She said, “You don’t.”

  “You told me that Jacith was your enemy.”

  “He wasn’t, but he was at the same time.”

  “You told me that you were going to offer me to him as a payback.”

  “I was. That was my plan.”

  He frowned and stopped walking. “I don’t understand.”

  “You don’t have to.” She kept going. When he didn’t resume following, she gestured to him and commanded, “Come.”

  His feet and legs started moving. Roane had no control over them. He sighed. There was a lot that he couldn’t control anymore, but the one thing he could—his murderous rage. He wanted to kill.

  He wanted to kill her.

  LUCAN

  Lucan stood underneath a tree, just behind his brother’s friends and downwind from them. They were all lying toward the top of a hill, peering at the Mori on the other side. He had been notified of their presence and circled around, taking a tunnel underneath so he could sneak up, but as they all lay plastered to the ground, he didn’t have to be stealth.

  They were talking too much. A blind elephant could’ve have snuck up on them.

  “So,” one of the humans cleared his throat, speaking up. He pointed over the hill. “Just so I get this straight, the four of you were captured by this dude in there.”

  No one responded. A beat passed and Gavin said, “Yes.”

  “He tortured you guys—”

  “He tortured Davy.”

  The human nodded. “The psycho chick that killed that one other cute chick, right?”

  Wren glared at him. “Do you have a point?”

  “Yeah. I mean, why are we heading back there when we should be leaving?” The human propped himself up on his elbow, lying on his side. The other human was still behind him, but he was facing the rest of the others.

  Lucan frowned. There didn’t seem to be fear on this human, just curiosity and a dry sarcasm. He sniffed the air. There was another smell to him, too. Something .
. . he couldn’t place the smell, but it clung to both of the humans heavily.

 
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