Chapter 120 - Goodbye
It took three days to get the humans down the mountain, and four of them died on the way. Two taken by what followed them, and the other two succumbed to shock and exhaustion.
They reached the little town just as dawn arrived and ran across the town square to the barricaded inn with the Valern baying behind them like a pack of dogs. If they were on their own, Alena and Rowan would have stood their ground.
The light chased them to the door of the inn like a wall of fire when one human stumbled and fell. She was young, barely older than Sarah, and without thinking, Rowan flitted back to her just in time to rip her away from an attacker.
Rowan picked the girl up and rushed with her to the inn with the sun mere inches behind her. She pushed the girl through the opening, but when she followed, her arm was exposed to the sun for mere seconds. Siriana noticed.
Alena and Robert were in the room next door, and Siriana took Rowen’s arm to inspect it wordlessly. It was all there in the expression on Siriana’s face, and Rowan came to a decision she knew would cause her much pain.
She could not return home with Alena. Siriana saw what she should not, and Siriana wasn’t the woman she was before. Belvare had broken things in this princess that could never heal.
Rowan saw the fear in her eyes, the distrust, and the unrest it stirred when the sun touched Rowan, and she didn’t burn. Siriana knew Belvare’s blood had tainted Rowan, and she would use the fact to stir unrest against Alena, something they couldn’t afford just then. She was too vampire to think that Alena’s pure blood could be tainted in the same way, but in her eyes, Rowan was still the halfling, the Damphir as Belvare had been. They would all come to this conclusion with the same arrogant mindset.
Rowan knew she could use this to her advantage. If she disappeared, they would allow Alena to take her rightful place. Belvare’s blood, Victor’s sword, and her lineage would give her enough power to rule on her own. Those who challenged her would soon realize she had become Victor’s equal, and his better.
Rowan waited until they were all asleep and then she slipped into the sunlight. She carefully, and unobtrusively blocked Alena from her mind. She knew there was only one place on earth she could go and not be found; where she and her child would be welcome, even if Belvare had somehow fouled their blood.
She glanced back only once, and her heart tore as she left her sister behind. She left Alena a note that did the love she felt for her sister, no justice.
I have no place in the life you are about to enter into and I need space. I cannot do this without Marcus. Forgive me, and if you love me, don’t look for us.
She did not have to use much imagination to know Alena would be furious, but she would understand. They knew each other too well, and Alena would figure out the truth.