Davina, p.7
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       Davina, p.7
 

         Part #3 of Immortal Prophecy series by Tijan

  close to becoming murderous, but he kept his arm next to his side. He had to, or he’d kill the other being, whatever Saren was.

  She didn’t answer. It was her turn to become silent.

  He asked the second question. “Is that possible?” If the thread left Davy, she’d die. She told him that herself, but hearing that it could be ripped out of her . . . he couldn’t think of the possibilities. If he did, he would leave this army and get to her on his own. Nothing and no one would get between them, even his own allies.

  “No.”

  He relaxed. Slightly.

  She added, “Not normally because Davy merged with the thread. She became The Immortal, but the witches are strong. They’re powerful and they’ve been able to unbalance the merge.”

  Roane shook his head. “What does this mean?”

  “This means . . .” she hesitated.

  For the first time since he met her, Saren looked uncertain. That sent a slice of panic through him. If she was nervous . . . No. Even before the thought entered his mind, he turned it off. He had to stay with his army. He couldn’t arrive without them. Lucan had an army of Mori. He wouldn’t be any help to Davy if he showed up alone.

  “Speak!” he snapped.

  “This means.” She lifted her head back up, rolling her shoulders back to a ready position. “We don’t know.”

  “We?” The more she talked, the more Roane was questioning why she was needed. “Who else are you connected to?”

  “My sisters.” She closed her eyes. The flame disappeared for a second, but when her eyelids lifted, Roane saw thousands of flames in them. It wasn’t just hers. And they were all different colors. Blue. Pale green. Sunlight yellow. A pastel shade of pink. They were all there and they were waving back and forth as one unit. The longer he stared at them, the stronger they grew. They began to take over Saren, moving past her eyes and moving along the rest of her body. Within seconds, her entire body was lit up with all of the colors, then the flames began to sizzle and meet the air. When they stopped, she was standing in front of him, completely on fire.

  She spoke, but it wasn’t her voice. It was thousands of voices, all speaking as one. “We are one. The past, the present, and are awaiting our future sister.”

  “You’re . . .” Roane shook his head. “What? What are you?”

  “We are the last carriers. Each of us has had the thread inside of us.”

  “But . . .” That meant Talia was there.

  And, as if reading his mind, Saren’s body shifted. The blue leather changed into a shimmering white dress and her blue-tipped black hair transformed into deep auburn curls. The flame didn’t lessen or change, but it was Talia’s body in front of him.

  “Are you—” His eyes roamed over her, taking in every aspect of her. The small dimple in her cheek, the curve of her waist where his hand used to rest so many times. “Talia?”

  She nodded, a small and impish grin appearing. “It’s me. Saren stepped back and is allowing me to come through, but it’s not for long. We’re all here, Lucas. All of us together. It’s such a glorious event.”

  “Glorious?” The end of his mouth dipped down.

  “It is. All of the thread-holders are united, and we’ve been waiting.”

  “For what?”

  “For one purpose.”

  “And that is?”

  “To help the last thread-holder. She will need us when she battles the only threat to The Immortal line.”

  “Jacith,” Roane breathed out. His own flame of fury started inside. He knew the sorcerer was mounting allies against them. “Is he close?”

  “He’s close to Davy. He’s talked with her.”

  His fury lit up, like gasoline had been thrown onto it. “He was close to her?”

  “Only his spirit. Not in body. He can’t do much to her, not unless he’s in closer proximity. There are some limits to Jacith’s power.”

  “But he’s tried to hurt her?”

  “Not yet. She was weakened from the witches. He’s underestimating her right now.”

  His rage lessened, just a bit. “How do you know all of this?”

  “Because we watch, Lucas. All of us together. We’re everywhere, watching, listening, protecting. Saren is the one chosen to be here in body, but we’ve all connected as one.”

  Roane had been around enough in the world to know that every being, no matter how powerful, had limitations. The Immortal was no exception. While that was in the back of his mind, he asked, “Christian is here. Would you like to talk to him?”

  “No.” The impish smile returned. She lifted and pressed her hand to the side of his face. She cupped his cheek. “I came forth because of you. Thank you, Lucas. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for loving Davy as a separate entity. And thank you for taking in my sister.”

  “Tracey?” But as he said the name, he knew that was who Talia meant.

  She nodded, a wistful sound coming from her. “She will find my child and raise her. When she does, and when you’re reunited with Davy, I’d like to come forth again. I’d like to talk to Davy and my sister.”

  He nodded. The wolf would be pissed when he told him that Talia could’ve spoken to him and declined. Roane was looking forward to passing along the message.

  “I must go now.” Talia waved a hand at herself. “Saren is balking by how long this is taking. We wanted to show you that we’re all together. We’re here to help Davy and to be reassured. We will be victorious. You don’t have to worry. I know you still will, but we, also, are watching out for your soul mate.”

  “Thank you, Talia.”

  She nodded, her eyes growing fond. As if she couldn’t help herself, she leaned forward, then wavered. She paused, but her eyes grew determined and she closed the distance between them. Her hand fell from the side of his face to his chest and she leaned forward until her lips pressed against his cheek. She whispered, “Be assured, Lucas. Not all is as it seems. You will have more on your side than you realize.”

  Still standing there, he felt a tear fall from her eyes onto his cheek, but he felt her distancing. It was changing again. And as soon as Saren had taken over the body, her eyebrows arched high and she sucked in her breath, realizing the closeness Talia had been standing. Her eyebrows snapped down and a scowl formed, but before she could spew something out, Roane’s hand was at her throat.

  He did what he’d wanted to do since he met her.

  He snapped her neck and let her body fall.

  DAVY

  I was up shit creek.

  It had been three days since I woke from our escape and in those times, it was me, myself, and I. A.k.a. no Immortal. I hadn’t tried to use any powers, just because I didn’t know if I was ready to admit we were sans Immortal powers. I didn’t want Wren to use that as an excuse to make us leave completely to find Roane. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to see Lucas. I did. Badly. It was Kates. No matter how she betrayed us¸ I could still hear her screams. They’d been bloodcurdling and I knew they’d haunt my nightmares. I needed to know what happened. If Lucan forced her to betray us or if she did the backstabbing all of her own free will.

  Either way—I needed to know, and we weren’t going anywhere till I did.

  Gavin lifted up the tarp and peered inside. When he saw that I wasn’t lying in bed, his eyes warmed and he came in, carrying some logs in his hands. “You’re sitting up.”

  I nodded. “I am. I was considering doing some yoga planks even.”

  He stared at me and cocked his head to the side. A beat passed, then he nodded. “You’re teasing me.” He grinned.

  “Yes, Gavin.” I wish I hadn’t been. “I was joking. No. Sitting up is the best I can do right now.”

  “That’s good.” He put the logs in the corner before placing the last one in the fire pit. “Your body needs to rest as long as possible.”

  “Wren doesn’t think so.”

  Gavin was somber. “Yeah.” He sighed. “She fears the Mori will find us, and we can’t def
end ourselves properly against them.”

  Which was true, and I could be putting them in even more danger. I needed to tell Gavin, at least one person about my problem, but I didn’t know how he’d react. As he turned and left again, I knew I needed to figure out what was going on with me. At least, to know my limitations, if I had any powers or if it was just my empathic self, like the old days.

  I closed my eyes and tried to sense—well, anything.

  I needed to know that the thread was still in me and that I hadn’t let everyone down, but as I tried to feel outside of myself . . . I was picking up Gavin’s restlessness. He was anxious, wary, and fearful. There was a small amount of concern emanating from him. I knew it was about me, and I tried to pick up his thoughts.

  There was . . . nothing.

  I couldn’t hear his thoughts, and holy crappola . . . that sucked.

  Okay. Power from The Immortal was gone. What else was gone, and I kept sensing farther out until I hit Gregory. He was farther away like he was on point, and as I slipped inside of him, I felt . . . nothing. I was met with a cement-like wall. He was feeling stuff. I could pick it up, but it was slight like the tiniest of ripples on a smooth surface. That was when I realized that he was just waiting.

  I pulled away from him, searching for the other two, but I couldn’t find them.

  Without realizing it, I was up and moving out of the cave. I lifted up the tarp and stepped outside. I could feel Gavin’s surprise, but he didn’t say anything. I kept going, past where I felt Gregory standing, guarding. I wasn’t really seeing as I walked forward. I was fully focused on my empathic abilities. I trusted that extra sense to help guide me, and I was moving beyond the camp. I kept going until I felt a cold breeze against my face and heard the sounds of water rushing past me.

  I was by a river, but there was still no Wren or Tracey. Gregory and Gavin were trailing behind me, but both kept quiet. They were letting me do my thing. It was later. I wasn’t sure how far I walked, perhaps half a mile when I picked up the first traces of anger.

  Wren.

  I thought that immediately, but no—I was wrong. It was Tracey. Talia’s daughter flashed in my mind, and two things happened at once. An overwhelming surge of relief crashed down on me. My knees buckled from how strong it was, but I caught myself. I needed to know what else I could still do. Tracey was thinking about her niece, then I felt how torn she was. She wanted to leave . . . and I heard her thought, “I should leave tonight. Davy is too spent. It’s not fair for the human child. She shouldn’t tax herself—” Her thought abruptly stopped, and I cried out.

  Was it me? Had that brief power left me again? But no, I grew aware of another vampire. This one had even more rage, mixed with love, yearning, and misery that had me blinking back tears.

  This was Wren.

  The two began to converse, but when it turned personal, I left. Wren knew Tracey was planning to leave. She didn’t want her to go. That was the last I heard before I returned back to myself and looked around for the first time.

  I turned around. Gavin and Gregory were standing with their backs to each other. Both had a hand on the swords they wore, ready to pull them out for a fight if necessary. They had been guarding me.

  “I’m sorry,” I said to both.

  Gavin’s hand fell from his sword. He shook his head. “Don’t be. It was good to see you out and about again. I was starting to worry.”

  I nodded to him. “I know you were.”

  He laughed.

  I let the sound wash over me. It was refreshing to hear it because it was genuine. It wasn’t forced or restrained. In that one brief moment, there wasn’t the weight of the world on us. I heard all of that from Gavin, and I was envious. I wanted that brief respite, and I wanted to experience it in Lucas’s arms, but that wasn’t going to happen.

  “Did you find Wren and Tracey?”

  “I did. They aren’t far.” But I wasn’t sure. I gazed around. I couldn’t see any traces of our camp either. “I think . . . Where are we?”

  “A mile from camp.” Gavin gestured to the other side of the river. “Those two are a mile farther. I’m surprised you didn’t see them, though. You were only sensing them?”

  “Uh . . .” I scratched my forehead. This was the opening I needed. I could reveal the truth about The Immortal, but even as quickly as I realized I should tell them, I knew I wasn’t going to. The words died in my throat and instead, I said, “Yeah. I was using my empathic ability.” I gave him a reassuring smile. “I’m still trying to let myself rest.”

  Gavin nodded, accepting my answer and started back up the trail. “We should get back. We’re safer from a higher vantage point.”

  As he took the lead, I watched him, and my gaze went past Gregory’s. I was going to keep watching Gavin, but I saw a knowing look in Gregory’s eyes. Our gazes caught and held, and for the first time in a really long time, I felt exposed. I felt like he could see through me, like Roane used to be able to.

  He knew.

  I don’t know how he knew, but he did.

  He said, quietly so Gavin wouldn’t hear, “Just keep resting.” There was more unspoken to his statement, and I felt it. I needed to rest, but if my powers didn’t come back fully—a decision would have to be made.

  He added, looking down the river, “The Mori, when they come, will be coming from there.”

  A knot formed in my stomach.

  He said, “They’ll come so far, sensing outward with their sonar ways. Then, when they find that they’re close to us, they’ll fan out and come at us from all angles. They’ll be on us before we’ll know. That’s how they are. They move as one being and they strike as one. No one has bested a Mori vampire. We got out because of you. I don’t know if you realize you helped us, but you did. There was a whole group of them, and we strolled right past them, like we were invisible. Only one being that could do that.” He nodded to me. “You.” His eyes narrowed, inspecting me. “And judging by the shock on your face, you had no idea, did you? You helped us, and you helped you and Tracey. It’d make sense if you were taxed.”

  That knot doubled. Taxed, was that all it was? I hoped so. God, did I hope so.

  “But they’ll be coming.”

  I looked down. We didn’t have long. That was what he was saying. “One more day.”

  “You think you can handle an entire Mori army in one day?”

  I felt slapped by his disbelief, but it was because he was right. I wouldn’t . . . I’d have to go alone. I couldn’t take them with me into danger. I could cloak myself. If the Mori hadn’t realized they were there, three very powerful vampires, maybe I could do the same for myself. I could wait one more day, work on being able to cloak myself, and once that happened—I’d leave on my own. That was what I would do.

  I looked back up and said, letting the Goliath-sized vampire see the truth, “One more day, then we’ll go.”

  “For what it’s worth,” he said quietly. “I’m rooting we won’t have to leave.”

  The knot moved up to my throat, forming into a lump. I whispered back, “Me, too.”

  The meeting was set in a back corner of a restaurant. As the wolves strode past them, in their human forms, the customers were clueless to the danger so close to them. They laughed, drank, ate, and conversed. They flirted. Others fought. All were clueless, except a few. As the wolves walked by, one after another, they surrounded the most important wolf, their Mother Wolf.

  She was dressed in a white dress with a blue robe covering. It wasn’t a robe that one would wear at home. It wasn’t comfortable or made with the purpose not to be seen. This robe was extravagant. It was made of silk with gold trimmings lining the edges. As it draped over her head, a jewel hung from the tip and it dangled above her forehead. The other wolves kept their eyes forward. They weren’t there to play with humans. The lesser ones, the human servants, were at the end of the line. Their heads were bent forward, and their shoulders were slumped down. One was right behind Mother Wolf, holding
the end of her robe and dress so it didn’t get dirty from the floor.

  A hostess led them, but she didn’t hold any menus. Her head was held high, and she walked with purpose. She wasn’t in fear of the wolves, though she knew who they were. She had been told to stand at the front of the restaurant and wait for the other supernatural beings. And as the wolves came into the restaurant, the other human hostesses shrank back. They didn’t know what beings the wolves were, but they knew they were something other than human. The power came off them in waves. The only reason the other customers were clueless was because a spell had been cast over the customers. They
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