Part #3 of Immortal Prophecy series by Tijan
“He wants to take that power out of me, and if he succeeds, I’m dead. He doesn’t care. If he’s this good and great person, the one that you love so much, would he do that?”
“A man should be ruthless to protect his loved ones.”
I snorted. “Are you blind? Or just dumb? Your family saved his life. You have power in you that he wants. Of course, he’s not going to show you the real Lucan. He’s ruthless, but he’s also a psychopath. Every day his witches come in here and torture me. Every day.” I swung my gaze around. “And where’s Kates? Does she know about her? Why do I always smell her blood on you?”
“Enough!” Lucan growled as he launched himself at me. He ripped open the cage and was inside the next instant. His hands wrapped around my throat as he flew us against the back end. When the cage tipped over and his hands loosened a fraction, I shot my hand against his chest.
Then everything halted.
My heart skipped a beat, and I blinked. Nothing moved. No one breathed, no one twitched. Nothing. I’d frozen time again and I turned toward Jiyama. Her eyes were wide, fearful, but her hands remained at her side.
She wasn’t scared. I wedged myself out of Lucan’s hold and edged closer to her. There was a look in her eyes, deep in them. Confidence. A shiver broke over me and something whispered in the back of my mind that I hadn’t uncovered the tip of the power inside of her. But from what I had seen and felt, it sent chills down my back.
“Uh . . .” Lucan’s finger cracked the air. He was fighting against the time freeze.
I didn’t have much more of it so I whirled around and was in the hallway. Everyone stood in place. I had done that. It hadn’t been contained to only my room. Then, with my heart pounding, a loud rushing sound in my ears, I stopped and tried to concentrate.
I needed to find the rest. Even Kates. The Immortal rattled inside of me. A small burst of air came from me. It formed a tiny cloud and as it started down the hallway, it bounced back to me. Slowly, with my heart pounding and my limbs shaking, I started to follow.
It took me down another hallway, through door after door, until a last one opened. A dark stairway led downstairs and I went down, weak in the knees. These were the moments when I needed Roane to hold my hand. He would know where to go, how to do it, and I would never feel my fear.
I felt it now. It railed inside of me. And that was when I realized I had merged with The Immortal, but it was only a tiny bit. She was angry and hissing inside of me. She was screaming for me to hurry, but I didn’t. I inched downwards, step after step, and prayed the time freeze wouldn’t loosen.
It wasn’t far after that until the small cloud darted around another corner. There they were.
Gavin and Gregory were held on one side while Tracey and Wren were across from them. They seemed so tired. My heart pounded even more and I hurried past them. Nothing. There were more cages, but none with Kates. Where was Kates? And why did I care? But something told me it wasn’t right. She should’ve—he had her blood on him. Every day, he came to me with her blood on him. I shuddered as I remembered the look of twisted delight in his eyes. What was he doing with her?
Oh goddess. What do I do?
I ran back to them and tried to open the door. Nothing. It didn’t even jar against my force and I closed my eyes in defeat. My blood was pumping furiously through me and I sagged against the cage. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do anything.
I steeled myself and shook my head. There had to be another way.
“I can free them. You know this.”
I whimpered to myself, “No. There has to be another way. Not like this—”
“Let me, Davy!” The Immortal screamed and lunged herself at me. I gasped and my arms flew out. She was battling for control again, and she was winning.
“Yes!” She lunged again. And again. Each time she drove farther into me.
As I readied myself for another launch, I already knew the battle was done. So I turned my head in slow motion and looked at Gavin. Worry lines circled his eyes. His shoulders had drooped, maybe in frustration? His own surrender? I swallowed a painful knot in my throat. I hadn’t considered what torture they had done to them. Then there was a bleak emotion in me. Did I want to know? Would that give The Immortal more power over me? The angrier I got, the weaker in my compassion I became, the stronger she grew. She was taking over.
And it was done. Everything shot through me at once. Visions blasted in my head. Lucan had cracked another finger through the time freeze. Jiyama was freed, but she watched him in a calm curiosity. I felt Gavin’s fury and his determination. Gregory was worried for his friend, who sat in front of him. Wren was anguished. I felt her fear for Roane, her loyalty to him, and the love for the blonde vampiress beside her. And Tracey—she shifted inside of herself and met my gaze. She was frozen on the outside, but she was aware in the inside.
She gave me a haunted smile. A tear slipped down. “My niece is here. Leave me.”
I jerked in shock. We were communicating on another level of consciousness. “We can’t leave you behind.”
“I will be fine. Tell Wren that I love her.” She bowed her head to me. “I must stay for my niece. Talia would want me to do this.”
It was done. She had decided. I nodded. “This is why you came to us, isn’t it? To find Talia’s daughter?”
Tracey gave me a sad smile. “It is, but it was healing for me to connect with Wren once more.”
There it was, the finality. I had no idea what was going to happen in the future, if we would become free or not, but I felt it. Tracey wouldn’t be returning, no matter the outcome. She had another road to follow.
It went without saying. I said it anyway. “Wren loves you.”
“She does, but she needs Roane more than my love.” She glanced over and would’ve caressed the other vampiress’s head if she could’ve. “Her belief in him grounds her. She needs that and she knows it. She’ll always choose him over me.”
Tick. Tick. Tick.
I felt the clock beneath our feet. The time was coming. I had to make my move. I had to do it now.
The Immortal rallied again. She snarled at Tracey, “Leave us. You do not help, you will only hinder.”
Tracey’s eyes shuddered, but she surged away in retreat.
I felt Lucan’s anger. It was broiling to the top. Soon he would break through the time freeze so I hurried to the cage, closed my eyes and let go.
The Immortal gleamed as she lifted a hand. There wasn’t a command, just the will. The door unlocked and Gavin and Gregory were also unlocked from the time freeze.
“Wha—Davy!” Gavin launched himself forward and started to scoop me up.
My eyes flashed at him and he braked. The Immortal’s whites shined at him and he took a breath.
Then I waved my hand to the other door. Wren was unfrozen. Her head jerked up, and her nostrils flared. A wild look shifted over her, and her fangs protruded at me.
Then she stopped and turned back.
Tracey was still frozen.
She swung her head to me. “Undo her.”
The Immortal sneered at her. “She wishes to remain. So be it.”
“Undo her!” Her hands lifted, and her body started to arch.
She would’ve thrown herself on me, but I waved a hand. Her body slammed to the wall from my will. When she would’ve fallen to the ground, I lifted my palm. She rose in the air, and my grip was at her throat. “She remains for her niece. You knew this.”
She snarled again. “Unfreeze her—I will not—”
“You will.” I let her body fall to the ground with a thump. “Or you will die. I will not go against her wishes, not when they rally with one of my sisters.”
“Sisters?” Gavin murmured behind me.
Then I felt the crack beginning. The time freeze thread was starting to unravel. “We must go
I clasped my eyes shut a moment. The Immortal allowed me this weakness. Something broke inside of me. “We must leave her. I don’t know where she is—”
Lucan was coming.
I whirled to Gavin and gasped, “I’m weakening. I can’t—”
Gregory was at the door, then through it. Gavin started to follow, but turned back. He saw the problem and with a hardened mask over his face, he swept past me. Picking up Wren, he carried her to the door. I started forward, still leaving Tracey frozen when Wren shouted, “At least let her escape on her own, or do whatever she wants. At least—” The growl melted into a forlorn look. As Gavin paused, right before the door, her shoulders dropped. She finished, “At least, let her decide.”
I felt inside of myself. I didn’t have much magic, but I nodded. “Go!” I yelled at them and unfroze Tracey at the same time.
She jerked out of place, but she knew what was going on. A resolved expression crossed her face. She nodded to me. “Go.”
“Go.” She surged forward.
I wavered on my feet. The magic was leaving me so quickly. My knees were weakening, an entire wave of exhaustion was rising up over me. It was going to crash soon. I felt its impending arrival.
The blonde vampire saw my dilemma and she cursed under her breath. I felt Lucan coming. He was roaring my name through the building, making even the cages shake from his fury. I looked back at the door. I knew then, I wouldn’t be able to make it. If Gregory, Gavin, and Wren got free, that was good. I wasn’t going to be with them. I had nothing in me to evade Lucan and his army.
Then, abruptly, Tracey soared to me. She grabbed me up and was running with me. I looked up at her. Her head was down and focused, but as she darted through the door, her eyes shifted to mine. She was getting me to safety. I nodded, thinking in my head, “I’m sorry.”
Her lips pressed together. She didn’t say anything, but I felt the sadness inside of her, and she thought to me, “Rest, Davy. I’ll carry you the way.”
We raced down a hallway and soared past a door. I was so tired. The wave was crashing down on me, but I lifted my head. I felt Lucan coming toward me. He sensed my presence. He knew we were going fast, but Tracey wasn’t fast enough. He was coming—the door exploded in the air and he was there. He was barreling after us. I closed my eyes and transcended above us. The Immortal was quiet, more than she had been the entire time. I didn’t have enough energy for this, so I knew she was doing this.
We weren’t as one anymore. We were almost two separate beings, and she felt my distress. She was lifting me up. My body was in Tracey’s arms, but I was up and I could see Lucan racing to catch up.
We were doomed. He was faster than Tracey was, but I had to try to help. I had to try, at least.
“Rest, Davy.” I felt The Immortal’s words. The anger was there, but held off. It was as if she knew I had tried, and then, my head started to fall back. I watched myself as my body grew limp in Tracey’s arms. She glanced down, her alarm picked up, but she didn’t stop. Her fear gave her a small boost of speed, but it still wasn’t enough.
Lucan was almost there.
“Davy.” The Immortal was at my side again. She laid a hand on my shoulder. “Rest.”
And, as if her words had magic over myself, the world started to grow black. My eyelids fell, suddenly so tired, but I saw The Immortal gazing down where I was in Tracey’s arms. Wind began to pick up. The walls of the hallway started moving around, and then we were gone.
I had fallen asleep.
Christian stared across the bonfire at the man he never understood. Lucas Roane was a vampire. They were all alike, but this one never did as he predicted. He loved a woman. He left her. He lost her, so he fell in love with the new thread. Next he chose to declare a war for the woman. And when she was taken from him, the old vampire he knew would’ve found another woman. This Lucas Roane sought an alliance with his enemy. They went together for this Immortal, for the woman the legendary Hunter thought he loved.
And then he glanced to his side. His sister sat there, content, as she munched on a chicken leg he roasted over the fire for her. Pippa was the younger sister no one understood. She scurried away from fights, hid in the shadows when confronted, and was so eager to escape away to a school far away. Then she called for them and she wasn’t the same woman. She had grown. She stood upright when spoken to, she met each attack with her own fierceness, and she rallied them all when she heard a friend was in need.
It was the same woman. They both loved the same woman, though not in the same way.
Christian looked down at his lap and gripped his water again. His confusion didn’t matter. He would go to this woman. He would rescue her and he would do it without protest. His sister believed in this woman and he would forever be grateful. He was given a new sister, one who loved herself, was proud of herself, and who made him proud as well. He would fight for whoever managed that feat.
“You’re thinking too loud.” Pippa glanced up as she bit into the chicken leg again. She grinned.
“That’s what being older and wiser means. We think a lot.” He draped an arm around her shoulder and pulled her close. A tender smile came to him. “Good thing I have you with me.”
She nudged him with her elbow. “I keep you on your toes.”
“I do.” She was solemn as she held her older brother’s gaze.
From across the fire, Lucas watched the exchange. A part of him tore inside, but there was no outward reaction. He sat as a statue and his face never moved. He was a stone, had been since Davy was taken. But something softened in him as well. Davy would’ve liked to see her friend happy, and she seemed to be with her older brother.
And then a woosh sounded behind him. Saren took the seat beside him. Her blue leather crinkled in protest as she lowered to the piece of tree. She glanced at him, looked where he watched, and sighed in disgust.
“You humans are all the same,” she snorted, rolling her eyes.
Lucas gave her a restrained look. “I am a vampire.”
“You’re still human.”
“I eat humans.”
“You drink blood. It is different. You still feel. You let those feelings overtake you. You’re still human.” She nodded across the fire. “As are they. They are worse.”
“Vampires act like they’re better than humans, but they know deep down they aren’t. They’re worse. You all are vain and weak, but werewolves feel their arrogance is fulfilled. They think they’re the greatest creatures on earth, all because they are still human, they have mortal lives if they want them, and they think they’re in control of everything.” She snickered. “Davy always talked how wolves were the best to be around. They repressed everything; she didn’t have to feel their emotions.”
A grin teased over his face. “That sounds like her.”
She mirrored his amusement, but looked over and it faded. She stared with an intensity now. It drew him to ask, “What?”
Her mouth tightened. “Why did you leave the witch with Mavic?”
His jaw slackened at her words and he whirled to her. It happened so fast, faster than in the blink of an eye, and his hand clasped onto her arm. “How did you know about him?”
She never blinked. “I’ve been watching you since Davy insisted she was in love with you. She was a fool,” she spat out. “You’re both fools.”
His fingers loosened. Just a little. “What do you know about Mavic?”
“He is a traitor. He is the worst scum underneath the dirt on my shoes. I want to squash him into the earth until his loins burst and his body bleeds dry. I want to—”
He lifted his hand free. “Okay. I got it.”
She drew upright. The embers in her eyes burst into flame. “What are your plans for the traitor sorcerer?”
Roane shot her an annoyed look.
“I did not stalk.” She squared her shoulders back. “I do not stalk.”
One of his eyelids twitched.
She frowned. “I hunted you. I did not stalk you. Hunt. That’s more . . .”
Davina by Tijan / Romance & Love have rating 4.2 out of 5 / Based on42 votes