Elemental Heir : Book 1 Of The Elemental Heir Series

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Chapter 68

I had no idea how long I had been below the water, or more importantly, how much power the Sirens had drained from me. For few moments, all I could think about was how incapacitating the freezing water felt as it enveloped me, stabbing me to the bone with it’s icy fingers.

After those first few moments, I panicked, overcome with fear because I was under water and this meant that I could not breathe. How long had been down here with no supply of oxygen? I flailed uselessly against the iron grips that held me, gaping around myself in horror. The water tasted of salt, and fish as it rushed into my mouth.

I could not breathe. But... My lungs did not burn...

After another few, horrific moments, I realized that this was because I was not human anymore. I was immortal, unable to die due to lack of oxygen. Being unable to breathe would not kill me... But it sure as hell was not comfortable, and every instinct in my body told me it was wrong. I couldn’t smell anything without breathing, and being without that sense was a disadvantage.

I didn’t like it, but at least I knew I wouldn’t drown. This realization, although odd and still so unfamiliar, calmed me enough to think past the shock. My brain moved on to greater threats, and I began pulling desperately at the hands that held me still. They were like steel traps.

Not because they were particularly strong...

But because they had already drained so much of my physical strength.

I blinked, nearly blind in the dark water, trying to see how many enemies there were. There were several of them holding onto me, their teeth attached to whatever area of flesh that they could reach.

I could only see one Siren who was not draining me. The one floating in front of me, the one who smiled as it watched me with cruel amusement. It was the one who had been hypnotizing me, I was sure of it.

Gods, it had overtaken my mind so easily...

Was Dristan right? Was I too weak to do this?

'Of course he was right.' The siren in front of me said pleasantly.

I blinked at the creature, confused. It’s lips had not moved, and yet I could hear it speaking to me. I bared my teeth at it, suddenly aware that it was still inside of my mind.

It cocked it’s head, studying me. Strings of dark hair floated around it’s head, encircling it like a black, ghostly crown. 'Such strong emotions, you have... It is rare, and so much fun to play with.' It said into my head.

A rush of bubbles escaped my mouth as I tried to shout an insult at the vile creature. It’s disturbing smile widened in answer.

'Your anger only further proves my point... So weak...' It crooned.

My vision blurred and I shook my head, fighting the waves of fatigue that were growing stronger with each passing minute. The water would not kill me... But the Sirens could. If I did not do something soon, I was going to die here. My heart hammered against my ribs as adrenaline began pulsing through my veins.

I screwed my eyes shut, trying to ignore the frigid temperature of the water and the painful sets of sharp teeth pulling at my skin. Inwardly, I reached into the deep pool of magic that lived inside of me. I could tell right away that it was dangerously low. My teeth gritted in frustration.

I had to locate the rune...

I opened my eyes, sending out a wave of searching power. The water around me pulsated strangely with the force of it and the Siren in front of me bared it’s teeth. I heard a low hiss inside of my mind as it stared at me.

'Don’t bother,' The siren snarled. 'You are far too weak to-'

But the wave of power I had sent out came rushing back toward me, colliding with me almost violently, and I did not hear the rest of the Siren’s sentence. The dark water shuddered around us and I grinned maliciously at the Siren who was now gaping at me in disbelief.

The rune was close. Very close. Somewhere to the left of where we were now. I could feel it, could hear it’s silent whispers. It’s ancient powers seduced me. I could hear it’s unspoken plea with each beat of my heart, as if it were already part of me.

Thud. Thud. Thud. My heart thrummed.

Come find me. Come find me. Come find me. The rune begged.

I reached inward once more, my eyes still locked with the Siren. The source of my power was horribly depleted... But it was not empty. I had been training every single day for months, building up my stores of magic, deepening my supply.

And that training was about to pay off.

It had to.

I would not give up.

The Siren’s milky eyes widened as it prodded around my mind, and I was certain that it was aware of everything that I was doing, and feeling, and thinking. The other Siren’s seemed oblivious to what was happening as they fed on me, as if they were in some deep trance...

Mentally, I plunged my hands into the deepest pits of my power and clutched my fists around it. ′I will give you one chance, and one chance only...′ I thought, hoping that the Siren could hear me. ‘I do not wish to kill you. Give me the rune and stand down now. If you do, I will leave in peace.’

The Siren’s face fell for a fraction of a second, as if my words had sparked fear in it’s heart. But it was gone in an instant, replaced with a sharp toothed grin. ‘You are nothing but a foolish little girl... Even if I knew what rune you speak of, I would not give it to you. I will enjoy watching you die.’

‘I am not a foolish little girl.’ My grip tightened around my power. ‘I am Princess Brenya Avery Alemaund of the Rune and Elemental bloodlines, the last Elemental, and the rightful heir to the throne. And I will not be killed by the likes of you.’

I flexed my fists, ready to unleash hell upon the Sirens, but...

‘Stop this now, or your mate dies.’ The siren in front of me grinned.

I paused reflexively, gritting my bared teeth.

‘He has flown all this way to find you... How romantic...’ The Siren sneered. ‘Two of my people are stalking him right now as he searches the beach for you. If you yield, I will spare him. If you fight, all I have to do is say the word, and he will die.’

‘You lie.’ I snarled, not buying a single word.

I had been so easily fooled last time. I would not allow this vile creature to make a fool of me again. I was not weak. I would prove Dristan wrong. I was strong enough for this and I would prove it.

‘Oh, yes... Yes, I do... I lie quite well... But I am afraid that I am not lying this time.’ The Siren said coldly. ‘I’ll prove it to you, if you wish.’

‘I think I’ll take my chances.’ I hissed, tightening my grip around my power. I was going to blow this monster straight out of the water and burn it alive.

‘I feel terribly sorry for Dristan if his mate would so easily gamble with his life.’ The Siren tutted, shaking it’s head with mock sorrow. Then it smiled at me. ‘But if you’re certain, then I will not object to devouring the both of you today.’

She turned her face away. ‘Drain him.’

My heart dropped as a terrible sound erupted from somewhere far away. I looked up, toward the surface of the water that seemed miles and miles away... Then there was another sound. I could tell that it came from above the water. It was the sound of my name being called out, followed by a scream of pain, and I almost inhaled a mouth full of water as I recognized the voice.

‘Dristan!’ I called mentally.

‘Can’t you see that I speak the truth?’ The Siren asked sweetly. ‘Can’t you feel the bond? Couldn’t you feel it the moment he set foot on the island? Or were you too preoccupied being a weak, selfish, scared little girl to notice?’

I stared at the Siren in horror. It had to be lying... How could he have followed me? I left no trail, there was no way he would know where I was.

‘Dristan?’ I whispered down the bond, begging the gods for him not to answer.

‘Brenya...’ His familiar voice answered. He sounded relieved an terrified all at once. ‘I’m so sorry... I tried... I tried...’

I could feel his pain through the bond. I could feel the sets of teeth that were buried in his skin, just as there were sets of teeth buried into me. They were draining both of us, now...

‘Dristan... Is it really you?'

I sobbed silently, my head tilted back as I stared helplessly up toward the surface high above. Bubbles steadily escaped my open mouth and floated away, like balloons to the sky.

'It's me... I followed you...' He answered, his words taught with tortured pain.

No, no, no, it couldn’t be true... But what if it really was him? They couldn’t fake the mate bond, could they? They weren’t that powerful?

But if they could get into my head, that meant they could probably imitate the mate bond. I could hear the Siren's voice in my mind just like I could hear Dristan's. How could I know if it was real or not?

Another anguished cry rung out from above the water. I could feel his pain, could feel it as if it were my own... And I suddenly didn't care if it made sense or not.

‘Let him go!’ I begged, and I knew that the Siren could feel my will to submit as I did. ’I’ll do anything, please don’t hurt him!”

The Siren cocked it’s head at me, it’s smile growing. ‘Fine... But first, let go of your power.’

Oh, no... Oh, no... War raged inside of my head and my heart. We couldn’t both die here... But he would never leave if he knew I was going to die. How could I convince him to listen?

‘Dristan... Please... Listen to me.’ I begged silently, loosening my grip on what was left of my power. ‘You can find another way to defeat the king. I know you can. But if we both die here, there will be no future for our people. They’ll let you go if I surrender... So please... Let me go. I need you to go back to our people.’

Silence answered me, though I could feel his pain on the other end.

‘They need you!’ I begged. ‘Please... I love you, Dristan, I will always love you... But you have to let me go.’

I could feel his hesitation, his denial... And then, I could feel his resolve, and it cut me to my core. I squeezed my eyes shut, preparing for his answer, knowing he would never listen...

‘You’re right....’ He whispered into my head. ‘Of course, you’re right... I will go, and I will take care of them... You will not die for nothing, Brenya. You can let go... I love you.’

My eyes snapped open, locking onto the Siren’s. It’s cloudy, white eyes widened with surprise as my fists clutched onto my power, more fiercely than they had before.

All of my doubt was gone. I smiled, and if there had been oxygen, I would’ve laughed in it’s face. It moved backward in fear as I lifted my chin.

‘A valiant effort...’ I thought wryly. ‘But my mate would never leave me to die.’

And I erupted.

(Dristan’s POV)

“Dristan, you mustn’t go further!” Aella shouted into the winds as I soared past her.

I ignored her, beating my wings harder, pushing my body faster through the air. It wasn’t as if I had to outrun her. She couldn’t stop me if she tried.

I was more afraid of what she would say. Afraid that she’d give me some sort of logical reason as to why I should not go to the island in the distance. Some reason why I shouldn’t go and find my mate...

I didn’t want to hear it.

I could already feel Brenya on the other side of the mate bond. Anxiety rippled through me as I realized that her consciousness didn’t feel quite right. She was there, but she wasn’t. It was a shadow of her.

“Come back!” Aella’s voice pleaded, already so far behind me that I coldly hardly hear it.

I breathed in and out steadily with each beat of my wings.

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh.

In, out, in, out, in, out.

I had to keep a level head. I needed to remain calm. I could not show or feel strong emotion. I had to let my mind go blank so that the Sirens would not be able to use it against me.

It was easier to do in my dragon form, but I could not completely erase my more human feelings. My mate was here somewhere, and something was wrong. And no matter how skilled I was at suppressing my emotions in this form, terror still found me.

Details of the island became more obvious as I drew closer. I dared not fly too low for fear of the sirens taking over my mind before I got the chance to feel the place out. I stayed high, circling the island three times.

I called her name down the bond between us and was met with a strange silence. She did not answer me, but I knew that she was here, somehow. It was as if she couldn’t hear me. But I could feel her here.

Something was very, very wrong.

I had to find her. Now.

The sharp eyes of my Dragon swept every inch of the island again and again, but we found no trace of our mate. I could feel panic rising in my chest but I grabbed hold of the emotion before it could get out of control and pushed it down, down, down. Until there was nothing left but my dragon's natural instinct to find Brenya.

I was on the eastern side of the island, beginning to feel discouraged and frustrated, when a strange force suddenly rippled through the waters below me. The surface of the water shuttered outward from a point near the northern part of the island. I could tell where it came from by the direction that the water rippled.

With renewed determination, I growled, and pushed my wings even harder, flying toward the direction that the strange force had come from. It had to be her. It had to be.

I was nearly there when the second force hit me. Whatever it was, it was powerful enough to nearly knock me out of the sky. My dragon yelped in surprise as the rush of power exploded out of the water and slammed into his wings.

He immediately tucked his wings into his sides and spiraled to the left, trying to dodge the large waves of energy that we’re now steadily shooting out of the water. When we were out of the range of fire, we leveled out.

I stared at the waters below in wonder. My dragons stared with me, now hovering in the wind, both of us to stunned and confused by what we saw to do much more than that.

A mountain of sand had literally risen from the water.

Atop that mountain sat what I could only describe as an ancient ruin. I could tell by looking at it that had once been glorious and beautiful. But now... It was nothing but the ghostly remnants of what used to be a beautiful city. And I knew that it was the Lost City of the Sirens.

The gray, stone buildings were caked with crustaceans and sea moss. Some were so deteriorated that they looked like nothing more than massive rocks, while others still resembled pointed towers. There were many indentations in the stone formations, as if they had once been adorned with intricate carvings and artwork. But time, along with the current of the ocean, had worn the stone down and made the carvings impossible to decipher.

Another explosion from the water snapped my attention away from the massive, ruined city that had emerged from the dark water. My eyes widened as I realized that the sea was literally parting in front of my eyes.

The water parted slowly, forming a path that led from the ruins, down into a large circle of sand about two hundred feet away. Because the ruins had been literally lifted from the water, the path that now stretched before it slanted downward.

My dragon snarled in distress when our eyes fell upon what was at the bottom.


She stood in the center of the circle of sand, dripping with sea water and shivering violently. Her skin was so pale it was nearly translucent. Her lips were a startling shade of blue.

There were about a dozen Sirens surrounding her. Several of them looked as if their teeth were attached to her skin. Blood dribbled down her arms and legs, away from the Siren's mouths.

They were biting her. Draining her...

My muscles tightened. I was coiled and ready to dive down and rip them off of her... But as the seconds passed, the sirens begin to fall away from her, one by one.

I soon realized that it was because of the lack of water.

Sirens needed water to survive. It was their one weakness, aside from silver.

They fell away from her, flailing on the sand around her like fish out of water. They clutched at their necks, their gills flaring, and even from the distance I could hear their screams of distress.

As soon as the last siren fell away from her body, she wasted no time. I watched from the sky as she sprinted up the sandy pathway, the walls of parted ocean looming around her. She bolted toward the resurrected city of ruins, her face awash with determination mixed with pain.

Even after she'd been dragged to the bottom of the ocean and drained for gods knew how long, she had still managed to fight off the hallucinations and use her power to lift the lost city out of the water.

I watched her in awe. If I'd ever had any doubts about her power, they were long gone now.

She moved slower than she normally would, and I soon realized that this was because she had been drained more thoroughly than I'd thought. She had been significantly weakened, but still, she did not give up.

She was nearly halfway up the path when suddenly, a siren exploded out of the wall of water and tackled her to the ground. Brenya went down, wet sand flying around her body as she hit the ground. The siren, though holding her tight, screamed in pain as it was exposed to the dry air.

I watched proudly as my mate flipped onto her back and used both feet to deliver a powerful kick to the Siren's stomach. Still, the Siren held tightly to her. It tried to sink it's teeth into her skin again. I was about to dive down to help her, but I stopped when Brenya lifted her hand and shot a stream of brilliant, orange flame straight into the Siren's face.

The Siren let go, screaming in agony on the sandy pathway as it's body blazed. Brenya scrambled to her feet and bolted again, running up the sandy hill. She was limping now and I could tell that she was reaching her limit as the walls of water began to quiver above her.

She wasn’t going to make it.

As that thought crossed my mind, my Dragon let out a mighty roar. As the piercing cry echoed through the skies, she lifted her face and locked eyes with my Dragon. For a moment I thought I saw relief in her eyes, but it was quickly replaced with anger and suspicion.

I dove, no thoughts in my mind aside from keeping my mate safe. She seemed to regain some of her composure, and began sprinting faster than before. I shifted in mid air, exploding into a golden glow of leathery wings, and arms, and legs.

My feet hit the ground at the same time that she reached the surface. With a cry of exertion, she fell on all fours onto the sand as the parted waves collapsed behind her. Her body relaxed on the sand as the waves caved in behind her, as if a gargantuan weight had been lifted from her.

I could only imagine the amount of focus and power that she had been using to keep the water at bay. How much of her power had been drained? How close was she to the bottom of the pit of her power?

“Brenya!” I called out in concern, sprinting across the thirty feet that stretched between us.

Her head snapped up, surprise dancing behind her eyes, as if she had forgotten that she had seen me driving toward her only seconds ago.

She scramble to her feet, crouched in a defensive position. All of her weapons were gone...

She bared her teeth at me and hissed, stopping me in my tracks. I held my palms out toward her in a gesture of submission, as it I were cornering a wild animal.

I had no idea what the Sirens had put her through. I had no idea of the terrible visions they had planted in her mind. But I could tell by looking at her, I did not want to know. She looked like a feral beast, and as I stared into her eyes, I hardly recognized the person staring back at me.

“Brenya, baby, it’s me.” I whispered, taking a small step closer.

" You just don’t fucking give up, do you? “She hissed, raising her left palm. A ball of fire formed inside of her hand and I knew that she meant to throw it at me.

I raised my palms higher, trying to ease her defense. "I know that you have no reason to trust anything that you see right now... I know that it probably doesn’t make sense that I am here. But it is me. I need you to trust me so that I can get us both out of here alive.” I explained as calmly and as quickly as I could.

Her eyes narrowed. “You’re not real."

"I am." I nodded.

"Dristan does not know where I am. It’s not possible. I left no trail behind me." She growled.

I half smiled at her, taking another step toward her. She took a step backward, her expression angry. "You did leave a trail, you just didn’t realize it." I pointed to her raised hand that’s still held the ball fire. "The ring... It is the same ring that I gave to Andromeda.”

Her eyes widened a fraction and she glanced at her outstretched hand. Confusion crossed her face, followed by realization. She looked back at me her expression torn. She still did not seem to believe me.

"The tracking rune..." She said quietly.

"Yes." I nodded, smiling weakly.

"No... No, your lying..."

“Please, Brenya, it’s me! I am here, and I love you! Let me help you!” I begged, taking another step toward her.

"I don’t believe you!“ She screamed.

Words, it seemed, would do no good here. I had to prove to her who I was. What could I show her that the Sirens could not imitate? What can I show her to make her see?

“You’re just another Siren, trying to trick me!” She choked, stumbling backward.

“No.” I stared into her eyes and reached out to the indestructible, steel core that connected our souls together. Her eyes widened as she felt it. I took one more step.

She did not back away this time.

“I am your friend.” I said, throwing every ounce of truth in me down the bond with the words I spoke.

“I am your fiancé.” I said, sending her flash images of my memory of her face when she said yes to my proposal.

“I am your mate.” I said, stopping a foot away from her.

I stared down into her wide eyes, willing every ounce of love that I had for her to shine down the bond and into her mind. She gasped at the detailed images I sent her, all of which were of her.

I showed her her face the first time I’d seen it, so beautiful, determined and curious. I showed her all of my stolen glances that first two weeks we were together. I showed her glimpses of all the nights I’d spent awake, watching her sleep peacefully, vowing to myself that I would never let anyone harm her.

I showed her things that I knew no Siren would ever be able to copy to the perfection of my memory. She stared into my eyes, studying them more closely than I’d ever seen her study them before. I wanted to reach out and stroke her face, but I remained still, afraid she would not except the truth.

“Your eyes....” She finally whispered, staring deeply into me. "They tried, but... They couldn’t fake your eyes...”

“Could they fake this?” I breathed, closing the distance between our bodies. I wrapped one arm around her back, pulling her tightly against me. My other hand cupped her face and I leaned in, brushing my lips feather light against hers.

Her scent filled my senses. Her warmth beneath my touch calmed me instantly, as if I’d been holding my breath for an eternity and finally inhaled a breath of precious oxygen. I sent that relief down the bond, sent every facet of my love for her into her mind.

I could feel her though the bond. I could sense my own scent enveloping her, soothing her, disarming her. I could feel her certainty as she gasped with understanding and kissed me with blinding desperation.

‘It’s you, its you, it’s you...’ She whispered down the bond as she molded her body to mine.

‘It’s me.’ I echoed, burying my face into her hair.

She sobbed against my chest, clutching handfuls of my shirt so tightly that I thought she might rip it right off. Gods, what had these monsters put her through?

“We need to move.” I said, pulling her away to look into her eyes. “We need to get out of here. They will recover quickly.”

She sobered, blinking the tears from her eyes. “The rune. “She whispered. “We have to get the rune.”

“Where is it?”

“It’s close. I can feel it.” She looked toward the rocky ruins, craning her neck backward. She extended a long finger, pointing to the tallest, crumbling tower among the wreckage. “It’s at the top of that tower somewhere.”

I followed her gaze, straining my keen eyes to see through the sunlight that streamed through the cracks of the tower above. Atop what was left of the angled roof of the tower she pointed to, something shiny glinted.

I took her hand, squeezing it tightly, and I turned back to her. “Get on my back. I’ll fly us up. And no matter what happens, do not let go of me.”

She shook her head warily, glancing back at the water, and then to my face. “Dristan, they’ll try to separate us. They’ll try to trick us.”

“I know...” I nodded, scanning the silent water. “But they can’t fool us if we stay together. Don’t focus on anything else aside from me and the rune. We are stronger together. Do you understand?”

She nodded her head violently. “Yes.”

“Good. Get on.”

She scrambled to my back. I had to help her hoist herself up in her weakened state. Once her chest was settled against the space between my wings, her legs locked around my waist. She snaked her arms around my neck, and I held her arms in place securely so she would not fall.

I bent my knees, readying to take to the skies, when a sudden voice made me pause.


I gasped, and pain lanced across my heart as the voice of my father spoke from behind me. “Son, is that you?”

Brenya’s arms tightened around me. “Dristan, what is it?” She whispered, her tone tight with worry. She couldn’t hear the voice...

I struggled to pull breath into my lungs as the voice spoke again. “Son... My son...”

“Whatever it is,” Brenya said softly into my ear. “It’s not real, Dristan.”

I let out a trembling breath, trying to hold onto her words. “Focus on me. Focus your attention to my weight on your back. Listen to my voice.” She instructed, calming me. “It’s not real...”

I nodded, squeezing my eyes shut.

“Dristan...” My father’s voice begged.

Brenya pressed her lips to my neck, giving me strength... And the voice behind us faded into the wind.

“Dris... Dri.. Dr....”

I let out a breath of relief as the voice went silent. But my relief was short lived when another voice sounded from directly in front of me.

“She was supposed to be mine, you know.”

My head snapped up, my eyes wide with disbelief and instant fury at the sound of Ronan’s voice. His gaze locked with mine and a reflexive growl ripped out of me as he smiled. Every muscle in my body tensed.

“I would’ve made her scream in ways you couldn’t ever possibly hope to.” He taunted, tilting his head to the side. “There is nothing I wouldn’t give to run my tongue between her legs.”

“Shut your foul mouth!” I snarled.

There were hands on my face, from somewhere behind me. “It’s not real! Dristan, it’s not real!” A beautiful voice reminded me, faint but audible.

I shook my head, screwing my eyes shut.

“I’m going to bind you in iron, Dragon Lord, and force you to watch while I rape that whorish mate of yours.” Ronan’s cruel voice continued. “You’ll see how she’ll learn to love it... How she’ll beg to wrap her lips around my cock.”

“It’s not real, I’m right here! Dristan!” The beautiful voice called again.

“You’ve always known that she lusts for me, deep down... You know that she’s fantasized about sinking onto me, riding me like a-”

“I WILL KILL YOU, RONAN!“I bellowed.

I lunged, ready to rip his head from his body, but something stopped me in my tracks.

Brenya was suddenly in front of me. How had I forgotten she was here? I hardly had time to process anything before she grabbed my face and crushed my lips with hers. My muscles, which had been poised to kill a moment before, relaxed instantly.

She pulled away, pressing her forehead to mine. “IT. IS. NOT. REAL.” She said, enunciating each word clearly.

My brows furrowed, and I pulled her to me, suddenly remembering exactly where we were and the danger that we were in. She had jumped off of my back and forced my mind back to reality by kissing me. I nodded fiercely, clutching her to me.

“Move. Now!” She demanded, hooking her arms around me. “Fly!”

I picked her up, wrapping her legs around my waist as I kicked off of the ground. My wings beat powerfully, sending sand flying in every direction, as we shot into the sky. I held her tightly, her chest flush against mine, as I sped toward the tower.

Several, piercing, inhuman screeches followed us from the ground. I didn’t dare look back.

“You brought me back...” I said, still reeling from Ronan’s disgusting words, but able to think past them.

“You were right!” Brenya shouted above the howling wind, her face buried against my neck. “We’re stronger together!”

I hugged her tighter against myself. “You are my anchor, Brenya.”

She pulled back slightly, her hair whipping around her smiling face. She cupped her delicate hand to my cheek. “And you are my compass.”

I grinned and kissed her chastely. “We’re almost there! Can you see it?” I asked, pointing to the roof of the slanted tower.

Something sparkled beneath the beating sun, and as we drew closer, I realized it was a large, pearl colored seashell. It was embedded into the stone roof, iridescent, and surrounded by smaller, white gemstones.

“I see it!” She called, craning her neck to the side. “Get as close as you can!”

I careened us upward, shooting toward the rune like an arrow, and at the last moment, flared my wings out. They caught the wind like a parachute, stopping us a mere three inches from the slanted, stone roof.

She turned to look at me as she reached out to wrench the seashell free of the stone. She smiled victoriously as her fingers dug into the hard material, as if it were butter, and yanked it out. I grinned back, about to push away from the building and fly us to safety...

But Brenya’s eyes darted behind me and widened with terror.

“What the hell is that?!” She yelled fearfully.

I threw a startled glance over my shoulder, pulling her close to me, ready to protect her from whatever threat she saw coming for us.

But I saw nothing there.

Nothing but the silent sky, and the still ocean that stretched endlessly below.

“What is it?” I asked, turning back to study her face.

“Look out!” She screamed.

I had no time to stop her before she leapt out of my arms and threw a massive shock wave of power out into the empty air. Panic sent ice through my veins as I felt her consciousness disappear through the bond, like the light of a candle being snuffed out.

I knew immediately that she had been trying to protect me from another one of the Siren's visions. Whatever power she’d just used against her terrible hallucination had been the last of what little magic she’d had left.

Her limp body plummeted through the air, toward the rugged, rocky ruins below. The seashell that held the rune left her hands, free falling through the empty air beside her.

“NO!” The roar left my lips, a defiant cry.

I dove.

I speared through the air, faster than I’d ever moved before. Faster than I’d ever known I could move. I caught her with ease and snatched the shell out of the air.

I leveled out just in time to avoid the jagged rocks. I tucked my wings in, spiraling between two narrow buildings, and shot out toward the sky again.

“Brenya!” I yelled, cried, begged, as I held her lifeless body to my chest. "Brenya!"

She was unresponsive. I felt for her with my mind, but was met with nothing but black, empty abyss. Her power was completely drained.

No, no, no....

I choked back tears of rage, denial, and anguish as I raced away from the island.

The haunting, inhuman laughter of the Sirens followed me, sticking to my heels like shadows, before finally fading into the distance.

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Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.