Chapter 121 - Future
Alena woke to find Robert beside her. Something felt off, and it took a moment for her to figure out she couldn’t sense Rowan’s presence.
“Did Rowan leave?” She asked with an utter lack of emotion that made Robert frown as he held the tiny note out to her.
“Yes, she saved a human, and Siriana saw the sun touch Rowan’s skin. I heard her speak to the others, and they think Belvare infected Rowan with his evil. They also think that your bloodline is still pure,” Robert informed her and Alena frowned.
“So Rowan left to save me,” she said as she read the words Rowan left for her. “Fool,” Alena said as she started to crumple the note, but then flattened it back out. It was the only physical thing she had that belonged to Rowan.
“She loves you. She knows you need to take Victor’s place. You cannot live like an outlaw, and she wouldn’t want that for you. Go home, Alena. Do what you must. She will return when your place is secure, and she’s ready,” Robert said, and she frowned at him.
“I don’t want to do this without her, Robert,” Alena admitted, and he nodded.
“I understand, but you’re doing this for the both of you and the baby she carries,” Robert reminded, “but you’re also doing this for Victor, Helena, and Marcus,” he played the one card she couldn’t deny.
“She went to find Ariana,” Alena said as she rose to her feet, and packed her things. “Come, Robert, it’s time to go home,” Alena said, and he frowned at her.
“I cannot go with you, my lady, they will kill me,” Robert reminded her, and she stared into his eyes.
“You are my witness that Belvare is dead. You are under my protection, and whoever harms you will find an enemy in me they cannot defeat,” Alena said in a matter-of-fact voice, and Robert didn’t doubt her words.
“How will we get to your home?” He asked as he followed her outside to the secluded spot where Alena and Rowan left the horses on that long-ago night. Marcus left them in the same spot when he left to save them. Alena’s mare approached her and nickered. It had been months since last she saw this horse, but it seemed like a lifetime.
“Hi girl, did you miss me?” She asked, and the horse pushed against her shoulder in search of treats. This small, reassuringly normal thing almost broke the control she had over her emotions. She’d never felt more lonely in her life, and she would do whatever she had to, to make sure that Rowan and the baby could return. Nothing else on earth mattered to her as much as what remained of her family.
Her mind touched on the subject of her dead child, and she shied from the memory. She could never think of her little girl without feeling as if someone was tearing the heart from her. Robert touched her shoulder as if he sensed her thoughts.
The day she met this man, she thought she would hate him, how ironic that he turned out to be their ally and their friend. She briefly touched his hand before she led him to the hollowed rock where Marcus hid the saddles as they once did.
The realization that she would soon see Byron and Sarah briefly brightened her thoughts, but then she realized she would have to tell them that Marcus was dead, her child was dead, and Rowan might not return for a very long time. Still, she would find comfort in their presence.