Chapter 55 - Deep Secrets
They were all on the deck and soon they would reach the calmer waters near the coast. It was uncertain what they would find when they got there, and even if they found something, it would be difficult to trace.
Marcus kept his eye on Rowan all evening, and she seemed preoccupied. She often glanced at him and Alena as if she wanted to say something, but whatever occupied her, kept her quiet. She wasn’t quite herself since her experience with the past.
“Rowan?” Marcus asked quietly as she came to stand near him and for a second he thought she would pretend she didn’t hear his voice.
“Yes?” She finally asked, and he almost sighed with exasperation. Rowan proved stingy with her deepest, darkest secrets.
“You’re hiding something,” Marcus intoned as he stared into the darkness.
Rowan’s night vision painted everything in an eerie green glow, and she allowed it to settle back to black. She still felt the eerie presence of the past, saw his face with the same clarity, sensed his evil with the same acute perception. She recalled the way Frederick felt when he awoke from the sway the blonde man put upon him.
When Rowan woke, she knew she needed to tell Marcus and Alena that she could help with their search, but her past made it hard for her to return to the people she would need to approach. She suspected that they might hate her, but the stakes were too high for her to consider her comfort above their lives.
All night she dreamt of the castle, the blonde man, and many people who came to her in flashes, calling her name as if they asked for her help. Her instincts told her they were dead, but why they thought she could help them, confounded her even more.
“The people he mentioned, those who watch?” She didn’t need to explain. Rowan observed him watching her, and she realized he would protect her if that were at all possible, which was why she feared to share this information with him. She couldn’t risk his life. The thought of his death made something inside her ache.
“The Sentinels,” Marcus provided with cautious curiosity.
“Yes, I know of someone,” Rowan supplied with some hesitation. The situation didn’t leave her with any other choice
“A Sentinel?” He asked, noting the way she struggled to decide whether to tell him.
“Someone who might help,” she corrected, and he suspected how much it took for her to admit this.
“Things have changed since our paths last crossed,” Rowan warned with sincere concern, and he appreciated that it meant much more than the obvious. “He might be hard to persuade,” she admitted, and her eyes turned to where the land should soon appear.
“We will try,” Marcus decided, and she nodded. He observed her from the corner of his eye. A small frown marred the perfection of her brow, and her trouble gazed saw nothing of the night. Her attention turned inward, and interest made him wonder what troubled her, but he didn’t ask.
Rowan revealed things when she felt ready to share. Whatever history lay between her and this sentinel, appeared deep-rooted. With Rowan it wasn’t any longer a matter of trust, she trusted him and Alena, she just found it hard to open up.
Marcus wondered if he would ever truly know her. If there would always be parts of her, she kept to herself. Rowan intrigued him, and at first, he thought her a child, but that wasn’t accurate.
In some ways, Rowan seemed more mature than Alena, but in other things, she possessed a naivety that charmed even Alena. In all honesty, he hated Victor for what he did to his daughters.
Victor never ranked as his favorite person, but the more they revealed of their lives, the more Marcus wished he knew this while Victor still lived, he would gladly have hastened the man’s demise.
Rowan noticed how pensive Marcus became, and she wished she could tell him everything, but some things cut so deep that she dared not allow those wounds to open up. She loved him for not asking the questions that burned in his eyes.
“Then it’s settled,” Marcus said, and she nodded.
Rowan knew that Alena overheard every word of their conversation, despite standing so far from them. She noted the tension in Alena’s manner when she mentioned the sentinels, but just like her, Alena too carried her share of secrets.
Rowan felt guilty for withholding things after they promised Marcus there would be no more secrets between them, but some things were too dark to share. She never wanted Marcus to look at her with hatred in his eyes, or disgust.
She valued the fragile bond between them. He didn’t understand, and neither did Alena. They regarded her as a child, but how could they fathom the things she did to survive on her own.
They must never guess the power someone gained over her when they learned what they must not. Marcus and Alena didn’t conceive of the damage inside her. Ariana did. She saws it all, but Ariana wasn’t like other people. Her secrets would shake the foundations of their knowledge. Rowan sensed these things when they shared blood, but like her, Ariana had the ability to block her thoughts from any intrusion.