The War Room. It was one of Malice’s favorite places in the whole of the Null. Exciting things happened within those walls and she was always ready for some excitement.
“You are all here, because this is a mission that requires each of your skills.” Lord Eroch started, standing before them in his rose gold armor. Nyx and Euphamia, Zahara and Markus. Hell, even Navina and Lync were there.
“Whoa, wait just a bloody minute.” Nyx started, “Where the hell is Madrina? Shouldn’t she be here? Being the Warden and all.”
“I’m more interested in why he’s wearing battle gear!” Euphamia chuckled beside him, her fingers busy, tightening the last of her boot straps.
“Uh, yeah! Wanna let us know what the hell is going on?” The Demon added, and he too, now stood glaring at the Lord of Darkness; and oh did he look scary.
Over six feet of battle hardened, rose colored armor, covered his massive arms, legs and chest; flashes of red and orange flames covering his breast plate like the fires had swallowed his soul. On his back he wore a quiver, filled to the brim with arrows; and at his feet lay the bow.
Long black hair tied back from his face, his brow furrowed as if his mind and heart were filled with concern.
“You said we were here for a reason, Father, what is that reason? Where are we going?” Zahara let out, standing real close to her Vampire.
“To Vash!” Her Mother’s voice echoed throughout the room, and then the light appeared, followed by the female herself. Lord Eroch took to her side, kissing her cheek and whispering something into her ear as they all waited to hear more.
Vash, was a forbidden world. Lady Ellaria had made it so, after she had caused the Vashian’s to leave their home world and seek out another.
’They have ruined the paradise I gave them! Their greed so strong, their anger towards each other, too great! They have traveled far from the path that was set out for this world, and it shall have to be corrected if we are to maintain balance! ′
The Lady of Light had done a lot of things, ’To maintain the balance! but had she known then, that in trying to prevent a war in the past, she had most certainly caused the Kalvashian uprising that was happening now and only enhanced their progression into the enemy’s clutches?
Kember spoke of such an uprising. Tanin and Kion had told them as much, before they were shipped off into the dungeons below. Most of the Kalvashian people had been rescued or had been killed; but those who had been captured, had come to believe what the enemy had told them.
Ellaria was now their enemy, and they would try and turn as many of their people as they could.
‘She sent us away so she could start again! She took our homes from us, murdered those who refused to leave, and for what? Balance?
No, my friends, she did it because she is a God, and Gods think that they rule it all! We worshiped her, and she took from us, everything. We adored her, and she ravaged our lands and brought death to thousands.
No, I will never worship another false God! I will never allow another to abandon my people, and I have help!’
Help? Brainwashing and war, were help?
“Malice?” Lord Eroch’s voice caught her attention, and brought her mind back to reality.
“Are we boring you?”
“Point, slash, dodge the blood! I hear you!” She sighed, and slinked towards a chair.
“I may be ass backwards tired, but I’m with ya!”
“Ass backwards in better than no ass at all!” Nyx chuckled, and Malice shot him a grin.
“I could still lay you out flat!” She added with a soft chuckle. Lay him out flat and climb on.
Whoa now! This was the war room, not some sleaze hut but Nyx’s giggle from across the room had her shaking her head. Fucking Demons!
“Are we done?” Mia rolled her eyes at them, and then turned back to her Mother.
“The Ice Fields are dangerous, and there are Werewolves in Rhodan.”
“There are Shadows in Seldan...” Nyx added in.
“And you will avoid both cities, at all costs!” Lady Ellaria glared at them both.
“There will be no little peeks, no innocent glances... You will both, keep yourselves far away from Roselle and her so-called, Mother!”
Wow! That was one intense, emotional outburst, and then the glare she gave Lord Eroch, before Mia continued in her reply; ouch!
Malice couldn’t help but wonder just how much trouble he had gotten into for that little stunt and would have to ask Mia about it later. “
Fine!” Nyx growled back.
“The Ice Fields are still dangerous!” Mia argued, “No one goes that far North!”
“Precisely! But I am confident that you will be able to navigate them!” Her Mother smiled at her.
“Thanks! I think?” Mia grumbled and crossed her arms over her chest.
“Malice? You will go with her...” Lady Ellaria called out, and Malice nodded her head as she sat in her chair.
“As will Nyx...” She paused again as he nodded his head with a sly grin on his face.
“There will be dancing tonight, my Lady!” He replied. “I am sure there will be!” She smiled back at him, and turned to Zahara.
“You will go, as they will need your vision! There are too many questions on Vash; too many, hidden images.” Zahara smiled in return.
“I too, will go with them!” Markus cut in, “I fight best in the cold!” He added with a grin.
“As I thought you would!” She smiled at them both as his arm went around Zahara’s shoulder. There was no way the Vampire wasn’t letting his female go anywhere alone.
“What about the Angel?” Malice let out, “Where are Nissa and Madrina?” “Madrina will be staying to watch over Kember, and Nissa will be staying with her.” Lord Eroch cut in, before anyone could say anything else.
“And Kalin?” Navina inquired, “When Kember wakes, will she remember what, they, wanted her to remember? She’ll freak if she sees Kalin here!”
“Kalin will be leaving shortly!” Ellaria replied with a sigh, “There is a place for her among the Isles, she will be safe and waiting for Kember to come to her!”
“Thank you!” Malice replied with a nod. “If she doesn’t know the truth, it is best that we keep them apart for the time being!”
“So, who else is going?” Nyx asked, eyeing Lync up and down. “We are bringing the, what do we even call you, my brother?” He cocked a brow at the male who stood quietly behind Navina.
“I don’t know, but when I find out, I’ll let you know!” Lync chuckled, and put his arms around Navina.
“But I go, where she goes! No questions, no arguments!” “As any true mate would!” Lady Ellaria smiled with a nod of approval.
“Yeah, we’ll figure you out soon enough! In all honesty, we’d be stupid to leave you behind! We’ll need that bad ass in you, to hold back all the fuzzies we find along the way!” Lord Eroch bellowed, but no one else was laughing.
“What do you mean, we?” The Demon choked out, when all else remained silent.
“Lord Eroch, will be joining you all!” Lady Ellaria told them with a smile,
“No questions, no arguments!” She added, when Mia began to protest. “
We have governed from within the council chambers for far too long. It is not enough that the world knows we are out there; it is high time our kind truly stepped in to deal with what is out there. The people will not follow if we do not put our faces on the front lines to guide them! ”
“Our, Faces?” Zahara cut in, “You too?” “There is another matter I must deal with, but trust in the fact that I will not be alone!
There are ‘others’ who accompany me, for what was once a way to glance at time, has become nothing more than a guild of mind numbing traitors and the council has seen fit to investigate once and for all.”
“You’re going after the Order!” Malice cut in, and Ellaria smiled, not that it relieved any of the tension in the room. First Eroch, and now Ellaria; they were taking this battle and reigning it in.
“You always were smart, but even you, Malice, will need some help! Which is why I have arranged for someone to meet you there! She will guide you through the Ice Fields!”
Well, wasn’t this just peachy. With everyone in an uproar, the room echoing with Why’s and You Can’ts, it was beginning to dull her senses. Who was out there? Who was she?
“Enough!” Malice let out, unable to concentrate with all that racket.
“The Lord and Lady have said their peace, and their words are unbreakable.” She sighed,
“So let’s get this show on the road! I’m itching for a snowball fight!”
“Thank you!” Lady Ellaria smiled, as the light filled the room and she disappeared, the others following close behind her, shaking their heads.
Oh, this was going to be such fun, Malice thought to herself as she readied in her room, they would be bringing Kember back here soon, and she would be waiting for Malice to return from Vash; right there in that very bed.
Malice couldn’t help but grin as she changed the color of her armor to the variegate sections of white, gray and silver. She looked quite sharp with her blonde and silver hair; very much like the Queen of Winter, as her husband’s people had named her.
“Perhaps turquoise accents?” She giggled, adding a hint of color to her eyes, hair and silks, so she wouldn’t look like a walking snowdrift.
“Wow, Mal, look at you all regal like!” Came Nyx’s soft voice and she deployed her wings in the same color pattern; nearly knocking the oaf off balance.
“The other day, when you said I should get down off of Eroch’s throne, something about not being the Queen of Darkness?” She eyed him up and down,
“Well I’ve had many names in many lands, but My favorite comes from Reh’s people, the Israelites. In Hebrew, Malka Juoref, or, the Queen of Winter! I think it is, don’t you?” She howled and blew him a kiss.
“You ready?” It was cold and wet, with snow falling all about them as they trucked on. Deep chasms greeted them on one side, and a sheer cliff on the other; but they all continued forward, hoping to meet their guide.
“You know, Father? If you’d just tell us who we’re looking for...” Zahara started, but Lord Eroch just laughed and shook his head.
“And ruin the surprise?” He grinned over at Malice.
“No, I made a promise to your Mother!” “
We’re out in the middle of nowhere, who in their right mind lives out here?” She went on, shivering against Markus.
“Just a little further!” Her Father laughed again,
“She can’t be far!” But his mood changed as they turned the corner and came across a large ice patch.
Stay where you are!” He warned them, and taking two steps forward, he lifted a chunk of ice, and hurdled it towards the middle.
A moment later, he was back by their sides, watching as the whole patch of ice fell away and the rocky chasm beneath was revealed.
“Holy, Mother of all Fucks!” Nyx let out, and Eroch laughed,
“You think that’s bad, just wait until we get to the ice falls!”
“That’s not normal!” Euphamia cut in,
“No way!” “Who could have dug all that out, and covered it in ice?” Lync growled, searching the area for intruders after such a loud commotion; but there were none to be found.
“The village folk speak of a people, a people so insane, they chose to live in the North. They built their fortress way out there somewhere; some place, not even we have been able to find.”
Lord Eroch paused a moment, “But for some reason, somehow, your Mother has managed to arrange a meeting with them.”
“And that is supposed to make me happy?” Mia let out as she pointed towards the chasm. “We could have been killed!”
“Euphamia, nothing makes you happy!” He replied with a chuckle, “Except hunting, which is, what we’re doing!” He reminded her.
“You know me so well!” She grinned, and stepped ahead of him, one foot at a time as she led them along the edge of the sinister looking pit.
Once across, it wasn’t too hard to climb the snow banks and trek across to the treeline in the horizon; except, the treeline kept getting further and further away.
“Are we even going the right way?” Zahara inquired, and Mia stopped short. “
Would you like to lead?” She snapped back. Her darkened mood was apparent to them all.
“Maybe I would?” Zahara took a step towards her, and Nyx almost lost his shit. That right there, yeah, that never happened. No chance that Zahara would ever step to Mia like that; and yet she just had.
“What the fuck, Zahara?” He growled, and Markus growled back.
“That is, my, mate!” The Vampire warned. “Then you should put a muzzle on her.” Mia hissed, just as her Father grabbed Nyx and Lync grabbed Markus, and both were tossed in the snow drift to the side.
“Anyone else want to go for a dip?” Lord Eroch asked, “Or are you done, giving in to their madness?” He added, lunging to block a swing that Zahara had thrown.
“You’re kidding me right now, right?” Mia snapped back at her. “ENOUGH!” Their Father bellowed, giving them both a good slap across the face.
“What the fuck?” Mia turned on him, about to take a swing, when the haze cleared from her eyes.
“Oh my...” But she stopped short, and turned away.
“Don’t even think about it, Euphamia! It’s their way of getting to you, making sure you don’t get close enough.” Her Father’s voice lowered, but he made no move towards her.
“To what?” Nyx asked for her, dusting the snow from his shoulders as his markings took on their glow.
“Everything!” He chuckled, and turned towards the tree line once more.
“Seriously?” The Demon huffed,
“They almost kill each other... and you... Ugh! Fuck it!” “You expected more?” Zahara glared at him.
“Zahara? Come!” Her Father beckoned for her, and Malice stood there, stunned.
“What the fuck, just happened there?” She let out, and Navina shook her head as they stood side by side.
“I truly, do not know!” She muttered, and turned to Lync.
“Don’t look at me, I just toss when I’m told!” He laughed, and ushered for them to continue on across the vastness of snow and ice behind the Dark Lord.
“Where the hell is this, she?” Malice grumbled, ruffling her feathers as the winds whipped past. Who was she?
“How are you feeling?” Kember heard the words, but she couldn’t seem to get her eyes to open.
“Like hell!” That was Madrina, and it seemed as if she were talking to someone, but that voice, she just couldn’t make out. Why couldn’t she open her eyes? Why couldn’t she move?
“It requires a lot to create life, Madrina!” The voice laughed,
“But you will see that in time, life will be what you hold dearest to your heart!”
“Maddy?” She called out, relieved that her voice worked, sort of. She had a voice, but her throat was dry and she gagged with each word that followed.
“Kember?” Madrina replied, and she felt the cool cloth on her forehead.
“Damn, I’ve had, the craziest, of dreams!” Kember groaned, bringing her hand to rest on her eyes.
“I bet!” She heard her friend reply, as the room grew brighter and brighter.
“Can you open your eyes, Kember?” It was Ellaria who spoke to her and she could feel the female’s warmth against her skin.
“I...” She mumbled, “No.” And the panic set in. Why couldn’t she see?
“It will take a few days, Kember! Let your sight heal as your mind does! There are many questions, I know, but rest and relax; and know that all is well!” The Lady of Light assured her.
Or almost assure her. Ellaria’s voice had done what it could to ease the tension within Kember, but the idea of not seeing had scared the crap out of her.
“Thank you!” Kember managed to let out, just before she heard the door close.
“Madrina?” She blurted out, her own voice rising as she started to panic.
“I’m here!” Madrina smiled at her, or at least, she thought she was smiling.
“I’m not going anywhere!” She giggled, and crawled into the bed next to her friend.
“Seems like only yesterday, it was the other way around. You lying here all sick and me trying to make you feel better...” Kember muttered with a sigh.
“I’m still sick!” Madrina sighed, “But it’s a good sickness!”
“No sickness, is a good sickness!” Kember shook her head, and the fog swished around in her mind.
“Especially this one! How long is it said to last?” “I can imagine!” Madrina laughed, “Being stuck in bed, not able to see the cakes and cookies before you.”
“Shut up! Are you serious?” Kember let out.
“Lemon squares and berry turnovers, chocolate logs and summer pies...”
“Those little cream puffs? With the shaved chocolate on top? Oh Gods, Madrina!” She whimpered and shook her head.
“You can be such a Bitch!”
“Well, someone has to keep you on the level with all the sympathy you’ll be getting!” Madrina teased,
“You want one?” “I shouldn’t! I’ve been trying to lose a few pounds!” Kember sighed, “It’s probably for the best!”
“Right! Because Malice would care if you stuffed your face and got fat!” Madrina laughed, though it was cut off as it sounded like she had tossed something in her mouth.
“Why would you... Uh, I’m lost! Why would Malice care either way?” Kember was glad she couldn’t see, her eyes had no way of giving her away; but what about that flush she felt in her cheeks and between her thighs at the mere mention of the Valkyrie’s name?
′Malice...′ and the shivers shot through her.
“You okay?” Madrina asked with a mouth full of... Kember had no clue.
Still confused?” “I can call Malice back?” Madrina offered. “You sure you don’t want one?”
“No, to both your questions. Yes, to explain whatever it is you’re babbling about?”
“I’m not babbling, I’m eating!” She giggled, “And if you don’t want any...”
“No no, I’m good! Go ahead!” Kember laughed, and she wanted to tease her about gaining a few pounds.
But...” “But what?”
“I uh, need to use the bathroom!”
“Oh! I can call Nissa?” Madrina told her, and Kember felt so useless.
“Will he pour me a bath, too?” Kember mocked her and then let out a sigh,
“I’m sorry! Can you just...” She grumbled, pulling the blankets away.
“Can you help me to the bathroom, please?”
“Yes, of course!” Madrina replied, taking her hand.
“Do you still want the bath?”
“It might help!” Kember smiled, or at least she thought she was smiling. The muscles felt like they were working properly.
“Guide me!” Kember told her and felt her fingers against Madrina’s a moment later.
“Go slowly! There is no telling if your eyes were the only side effect!”
“I feel fine, Madrina! I just can’t see!” She told her, setting her feet on the ground and rising for her first few steps.
“It’s like a fog all about me!” She went on,
“The room is there, but it is shadowed, and your faces are darkened, blurred.... Shit!” Kember hissed, after stubbing her toe.
“Fuck, me! This is going to take some time!”
“Easy now! I got you!” Madrina giggled,
This reminds me...” “Academy, second year!” Kember cut in. “The bartender at the lounge,Kentin? No, Kortell!”
Keentin!” Madrina laughed. “You drank so many of his concoctions.”
“He was just starting out, and so, very cute! How could I resist helping him out?” Kember giggled, “But mixing drinks, was about all he was good for!”
You were so sick!” Madrina laughed again, bumping into a chair that sent them both tumbling to the floor.
“Fuck!” Kember let out, as she felt the edge of the side table impact with her cheek; right below her left eye.
“Damn, that’s gonna leave a mark!”
“We broke the chair!” Madrina giggled, and it was all they could do to stop, giggling, by the time the door swung open.
“Madrina?” His voice sounded so worried, and she felt the floor shudder beneath his boots.
“I’m alright, Nissa.” Madrina sighed, “Come, help me up!” She added, and Kember felt the weight lift off her legs. It was then she opened her eyes, or rather, the fog had lifted and the light blasted her. “
, me!” She shouted. “What? What is it?” Madrina rushed back to her side, helping Kember rise from the floor.
“It’s so bright!” “You can see?” Her friend inquired.
“She couldn’t before?” Nissa added, a little take back. “No, she could not!” Madrina grumbled, hoisting her off the ground. “Easy now!” Nissa called out, and Kember felt his hand on her wrist, guiding her arm around his neck, and another came under her legs.
“Up we go!”
“Hey now...” She protested, as he carried her back to the bed, sat her down on the edge, and made his way back to his mate. He took her face in his, gazing into her eyes before kissing her hard.
“You and I, need to talk!” He growled at her, and his scent filled the room.
“And I need a bath!” Kember pointed out, rising from the bed once more.
“So...” But there was no answer, as Madrina giggled and the male led her from the room.
“What the hell?” She asked the empty room, and felt the walls closing in on her.
“It’ll be getting dark soon!” Lord Eroch told them, “We should camp up ahead!”
“No one said anything about camping!” Zahara grumbled, keeping her eyes on her sister before her.
“We’ve been walking for hours now, is there no rest for the wicked?” Mia grinned, and her Father laughed.
“Just a little further!” He told them, as they came around another bend, and another snow drift piled high against a cropping of trees.
“Wait!” Malice called out to them, feeling the oddest of sensations run through her. She had felt it before, but not for quite some time now, and as she scanned the horizon, a sly grin slid across her face.
“Malice the Avenger, First Sword of the Justicar, Queen of Winter?” The voice shot out from the vast white that surrounded them, echoing off the surrounding hills.
“Sounds like home!” Malice laughed, as a deep throated growl emanated from behind her, and exploding out of a snowbank to her right, was a huge wolf with silver lined fur.
The thing was massive, damn near the size of a bull; and everyone took a stand to fight. Both Mia and Nyx rushed forward, only to have Malice stop them with a raise of her hand and a laugh as it made its way towards them, changing before their very eyes, into a dark haired version of Malice herself.
“Hello, Mist!” Malice grinned at the female as they embraced and pulled away to let Mist look at Mia and the rest; especially Nyx. “
Oh, be still my beating heart!” The female with the dark hair let out, her armor shining in the sunlight.
“Is he yours? Can I “borrow” him?” She laughed, eyeing the Demon up and down.
“He is quite the catch, my sister!”
“Your sister?” Mia let out, cocking a brow at Mist.
“Who else?” Mist laughed, sliding a sword from her hip, and running the blade through a swatch of cloth.
“What? You can’t see the resemblance?”
Oh, I can see the resemblance!” Markus rolled his eyes, and the female glared at him.
“I had a Vampire once, couldn’t quite acquire a taste for him!” She sighed, “But he was funny!”
“HA HA!” Markus shot back. “Mist?” Lord Eroch called out, “You are to be our guide?”
“I am, my Lord!” She winked at him and he chuckled.
“Are you ready?”
“As we’ll ever be!” He laughed, and held his hand out for her to lead the way, and at first she started off, but then she stopped.
“Just a minute!” Just as Malice had, her sister, Mist, raised her hand, ushering for them to stop, as another emerged from the snow ahead of them.
“Who is that?” Malice inquired, but Mist was ignoring her as the new arrival delivered his message. He was tall, dark skinned and had no hair to speak of beneath the hood he’d tossed back; the sun gleaming off the top of his head. He spoke in tongues that Malice could not understand; fast and full of repeats. Something about an intruder, and a call for aid from a Lady...?
“My Lord?” Mist called out as she returned to them, and the male that once stood before her, had disappeared.
“Where the hell did he go?” Nyx let out, scanning the distance. “
I don’t like this!” Mia added, watching as Malice’s sister spoke to her Father.
“She is concerned,” Malice told them, “The look on her face...”
“Euphamia?” Lord Eroch called out, “Malice?′ “What’s going on?” Mia replied.
“What’s with all the secrecy?”
“Your Mother requires my assistance!” He told her, and looked towards Malice, and then Mist.
“I trust that you will show your sister the way to keep?” Her inquired, “
There is one inside who has answers we seek!” “The Kor’Mhia do not speak with just anyone, my Lord!” Mist shook her head,
“But I will deliver them the keep, nonetheless!” “Very well!” He shook his head, and then he was gone.
“You know, where are we going?” Mia cocked her brow at the female.
“You may treat her, as you treat me, Mia!” Malice smiled at her, “She is family, and there is no greater bond!”
Malice laughed, throwing her arm around Mist, and the two of them walked off ahead of the others.
‘Hello?’ ‘Hello!’ Kember replied. ‘Who’s there?’
So, this was creepy, in an odd, dream-like fashion. The room was dark and cold, the light from the fire dimming with each passing moment.
‘Hello?’ She called out again, feeling the soft fabric against her skin as spun about.
‘Hello!’ The voice replied.
‘Who are you?’ Kember inquired.
‘Where are we?’ Last thing she remembered, she was in the bath, and there was a loud crash from the hallway. But she wasn’t in a tub now, she felt no water about her skin, just the cool air all about her as she took a few steps.
If she was still in her room, well, Malice’s room, which was where they had moved her to for comfort, then there would have been a door.
‘Bingo’ She called out, her hand on the handle.
‘What is Bingo?’ The voice inquired. ‘A game?’ Kember replied, ‘
Where are you?’ ’Inside ″
‘Well, I need to check something.’
‘Outside! It is cold outside...’ The voice replied, taking on a more feminine tone.
‘I just have to check on something, out in the hall!’ Kember told her, whoever she was.
‘It is not wise! It is cold out there, and he will know you are here!’ ‘Who will?’ She asked, but there was no reply and with the silence forever taunting her, she opened the door.
The cold blast hit her, whipping at her hair as she stood on the edge of a cliff covered in snow. Gone was the door she had just opened. Gone was the warmth of what had been.
What was that? Far off, in the distance? Like a handful of tiny little specs, and before them, the most breathtaking fortress she had ever laid eyes on. Tall watchtowers crept up out of the snow, the glass shining like ice as the sun bore down upon it.
She was watching them all, weaving through the rough terrain, on a path that would lead them to the front door. Who was she watching? Where were they going? What was this place? The snow began to circle around her, and the image changed before her eyes, swallowing the travelers whole in a fit of rage.
Something was coming.
“Kember?” Okay, that voice sounded, so very real; and close.
“Kember? Where are you?” It was the Angel, Nissa; his voice muffled by the closed door.
“In here!” She called back, realizing after, that she was still in the tub. Crap! She was naked, and the water was... cold.
Nissa?” She called out again,
“Can you bring a towel?” The door opened and slammed into the wall, and the tall male with long white hair and a tunic that reminded Kember of the Roman court of Old Earth, stood before her.
“Are you alright?” He asked, out of breath and sweating as if he’d just run a marathon. “
Uh, yeah!” She laughed,
“Are you?” She added, pointing to the towel behind him. “And if you wouldn’t mind turning away...”
“Shit! Have you any idea how long you’ve been there?” The Angel grumbled as he turned to face the wall, holding the towel out behind him.
“An hour, maybe two?” She laughed again as she rose from the tub and climbed out.
“What’s the big deal? I didn’t drown!”
“Well that’s a relief!” He sighed sarcastically and shook his head. “The whole Null has only been put on high alert, and Lord Eroch himself has returned.
Madrina?” “I didn’t know he’d left!” She finished toweling off, and grabbed hold of a robe that hung on the back of the door. “
As for Madrina, she’s not here!” “He went with the others to Vash!” Nissa shook his head, trying to keep his eyes covered.
“And what do you mean she’s not here?” “
They what?” Kember mumbled. “They’ve been gone all day! Madrina never told you?”
“I haven’t seen Madrina since you stole her away!” Kember grinned, and made her way out to the bedroom.
“What is wrong with you? Why are there guards in my room?” She asked, stopping short in front of the two burly males in tunics, sporting some pretty amazing wings.
“They are here to protect you...” Nissa replied, “... and Madrina. She was coming to see you, and then going to lie down for a while!”
“She didn’t come here at all! I’ve been in that tub since you left; though I must have fallen asleep.”
“You slept through that?” One of the guards let out, but Nissa had his attention right quick, and was bellowing orders.
“Take a squad to my room, leave no door unopened, no pillow unturned! Find me, my mate!” He told them, and they nodded their heads before exiting the room.
Holy hell! That was Kember’s inner voice talking, as she was afraid to say anything at that very moment. The Angel looked like shit! His bright white wings and hair, a dingy gray as the life all but drained out of him; replaced with anguish and worry.
His diamond colored eyes had lost their sparkle, but his feet kept perfect timing as he paced about the room; tightening the straps of his armor and fidgeting with his hair. “
What did I miss?” Kember finally let out, pulling on a pair of sweats and a hoodie as Nissa paced and growled some more. Nissa grumbled and shook his head, mumbling as if planning his strategy right then and there. Focused. Determined; and despite the way he looked, still incredibly gorgeous.
“Nissa? Talk to me, what’s going on?” She urged him out of his babbling spell.
Where is Lord Eroch?”
“Hunting!” The Angel replied, dropping his hand to his sides and balling them into fists. “
And I must join him!” He added and made for the door.
“Not...” Kember cut in, grabbing him by the arm. “...until you tell me what the hell is going on! What is with you people and all your fucking secrets?” She huffed and rolled her eyes as he turned to face her.
“Lady Ellaria set out this morning to bring the Order under control...” He told her but then shuddered and shook his head.
“It didn’t work, did it?” Kember muttered. “Oh, it worked; but now the enemy is in an up roar! The Insid are claiming that our Gods have intervened, and so shall theirs!
The Kalvashians are a divided race, with some joining sides with the Insid, some joining sides with us, and others who plan to take Vash back as their own.” He threw his hands up, and that was just the cake; you ready for the icing? The Council wasn’t even there!”
What do you mean, it wasn’t there?” “
The ruling body of the Order, just vanished!” His eyes were glaring deep into her own, and that eerie feeling was creeping up her back.
“Fuck, off!” Kember groaned, her hand coming in for an epic facepalm as Nissa rubbed at his brow and let out a hiss.
“That’s what I said!” He grumbled.
“Where did they all go?”
“Fucked if I know!” He told her and started edging towards the door again.
“There’s more, isn’t there? Some Things happened here, that’s what the guards are for? Isn’t it?”
“Someone opened the cell’s on three!” His voice was so low, and the shudders that ran through her almost knocked her on her ass.
“Yeah, nice little cherry for the top of our fucking shit storm!”
Bloody hell! She had never heard Nissa go off like this; not even when he was lounging with Nyx. Something, well, everything, was setting him off.
“Lord Eroch has been contacted!” A voice called from the now open door, as Kember tried to sort it all out. She was confused.
Why the prisoners on three? Why not nine? Or twelve? At least those assholes were worth something, the bounties on their heads were extravagant.
The prize just for ‘rescuing’ one of them; now that was worth dying for, for some. The third level though?
“You ready?” Nissa called to her from the door, and pressing the little red button on the back of her hand, she deployed the black silk and shiny silver armor that Malice had given her.
“I’m ready!” She told him, and then snuck past him into the hall. “How many are there?” “Two left, last I heard; but I had to break off and make sure the two of you were alright!”
“And where was Madrina?” “I thought, she was with you!” He glared at her, “She left me, to come see you; just before I got word of the intruder. Maybe half an hour ago! Said she wanted to check in on you before she turned in for a nap!”
“And you let her go off, on her own?” Kember shook her head at him, “Really?”
“I sent two males to check on you both, they said you were in the bath, they had heard the water running and left you alone!”
"And Madrina?” She asked, trying hard to keep up as he sailed down one set of stairs and across the common room towards another.
“I don’t remember! There were people running everywhere, orders flying and blood... Oh fuck, Madrina!” He stopped short, letting out a soft whimper, and then took off even faster.
“Nissa? Slow down?” Kember called after him, but he was already shouting at the guards who stood outside his door.
“What do you mean, it’s locked? Unlock it?” He growled, his feathers ruffling as he glared at them.
I told you to find me, my mate! Not wait outside her fucking door; FIND HER!”
“Of course, Sir!” One o them let out as the other wrestled with the lock.
“Madrina?” Nissa bellowed as he stormed into the room,
“Madrina?” He called for her again, but she wasn’t there. “Where is she?” He shouted back at the guards, tossing the blankets and pillows.
“She was here, I could smell her...” He went on, huffing and puffing as if finding her was everything to him.
“Check the bathroom!” Kember told him, and he was at that door so fast, but it too, was locked. He knocked twice, and then called her name, only to hear the toilet flush and the water in the tub begin to rush from the faucet. “
Madrina?” He called her again. “Madrina? Are you in there?” Now, Kember had seen males going crazy for their mates before, but the Angel was damn near hyperventilating as he waited for a reply; it was actually quite pathetic to watch. What the hell was wrong with him? Watching him, was like watching a raging beast trying to get to a female in her heat.
“Nissa? Let me try? She hasn’t been feeling well!” Kember reminded him.
“Fuck! I know!” He grumbled, and took a few steps back.
“I know she’s in there, but she won’t fucking talk to me!” He ran his hands through his hair.
“Earlier...” He started, looking as if he were about to break down, “That moment we shared, was one of many, over the period of the last few days.”
“Come again?” Kember cocked a brow at him. “She’s been so needy!” He sighed, “And when she’s not needing my body she’s getting sick, and won’t even let me touch her! It’s insane, Kember!”
“Let me talk to her!” She tried to assure him it would be alright, ushering him out of the room before she returned to the bathroom door; alone. It was hard, but Kember knew there was no way Madrina would open the door if she was feeling ill again; not while Nissa was there.
“Madrina?” She called out to her friend. “Madrina? It’s me, and we’re alone now!” It was a few minutes before the water stopped, but the door eventually opened.
“Kember?” The voice replied, sounding so confused; and terrified. “Madrina it’s me, it’s okay, he’s gone!” The door opened a little further and the light from within shone out into the room. Kember made her way in, only to find Madrina huddled in the corner by the toilet; covered in sweat and holding a swollen mass that was her belly.
“Oh Gods!” Kember let out, closing the door and locking it behind her. Well, now that explained Nissa’s issues, the male had gone into Daddy Mode; but.... what the fuck? She looked to be at least five months; but how? One didn’t go from being ‘not’ pregnant, to being ‘holy shit’ pregnant!
“I...” Madrina started, “I don’t know what happened, Kember!” Madrina let out, tears tripping her face as she ran her hand over the roundness.
“I...” Kember tried to reply, but she too was at a loss for words. Madrina had looked perfectly fine, not even two hours ago! What the hell was this? How could she come to look as if she were...
“I swear, Kember! I don’t know what’s going on...” She cried out, and Kember hit her knees beside her.
“Did you know you were pregnant?” Kember inquired, taking Madrina’s free hand.
“Yes!” She admitted through the tears. “Malice told me, a few weeks ago! But this...” She rubbed her belly again, “I can feel them moving...”
“Them?” Kember’s mouth hit the floor. “Oh Gods!”
“Mother says there are two inside of me!” Madrina smiled, but then the fear returned.
“Then we have to get you to your Mother, she’ll know what to do!” Kember replied as calmly as she could.
“Let’s get you up!” “I can’t go out there!” Madrina’s eyes lit up in horror. “Not like this! Oh, Kember, he’ll see me.”
There were tears now, and the soft sniffles that accompanied them. Bloody hell!
“Madrina? Does Nissa know?” Kember managed to choke out, holding Madrina’s hand even tighter.
“I was trying to find the courage to tell him.” Was all she heard before the tears started again.
Fuck! So Madrina was pregnant, and Nissa, had absolutely no fucking clue, as to why his hormones were all hell bent out of shape. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck!