Torrents of Fate

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Chapter 8

Evie tumbled off the hill with a shrill.

Her dress caught on a stump, and she reached up to grab it in a fray attempt to pull herself up, but it ripped, dumping her into the muddy creek below. As her body vibrated from the pain and chill, she wriggled in anguish. With deep, shaky breaths, she fought to steady the pain ripping through her. The black liquid sloshed against her exposed wounds, and Evie cried out in agony.

She crawled out of the creek, and collapsed on her back, gasping for air as blood spilled from the cuts and abrasions on her arms and legs. With half her dress ripped off, she was nude up to the waist, revealing a delicate, almond skin that shimmered in the moonlight.

The nasty gash on her side did not deter her, whatever this was, it was nothing to worry about. Once, during a hunting trip with Ethan, she fell off the Crowe Cliff and slipped into Uweka’s deep blue but walked away unscathed. If she could survive that, she’d make it through this.

But, where was she?

Tall bare-backed trees covered the hill above, and nothing else was visible save the long, dark creek she just crawled out of. As her hunting instincts kicked in, she looked around for a way up–she needed to get above ground.

With each step, the pain ripped through her, and after four steps she slouched against the hillside.

Her side was splattered with blood spurting from the wound, and if the bleeding continued, she would pass out. With trembling fingers, Evie tore a piece off what remained of her dress and pressed it against the wound. Her vision glitched against the pain as she bit down the cry. She swatted at the hair sticking to her face and surveyed the eerie landscape.

It was the scene of her nightmares, many of which ended in death. The only way out was up the hill and climbing that rocky hillside with her wound was impossible.

Why, in Orin’s name, wasn’t she healing?

It was the only darn ability she had, what was wrong with it now? Gritting her teeth against the tremor in her body, Evie lowered herself to sit on the ground. Perspiration gathered on her brows and slid down her cheeks with the dirt. The wind, an ashen scent of rain and lilies, travelled to her.

By the gods! Who was that silver-haired lady who dragged her here? It was the same woman from her reoccurring dreams. Sniffling a little, she wiped her nose against her rapidly lowering heat.

If she didn’t return to the mainland soon, she wouldn’t be able to leave the Brox. That woman would pay dearly if the Eye of Ulrich left without her.

She feared for a moment that she would bleed to death in this cold, dark and desolate forest. What happened to Eli and the rest of her protection? Of course, they were nowhere to be found now that she actually needed them. She shook her head with a scoff. Her one regret was that she hadn’t gotten off the Crowe island sooner. It may never be possible for her to have that life of adventure she desired or be there when her mate escaped the lair.

Perhaps things would have been different if she and Andrea had met under better circumstances. She was convinced, though, that she would not stay in Broxbridge with him. She had to leave Lethuoca at any cost even though she’d been stupid enough to linger for the damn ceremony. None of this would be happening if she’d just stowed away like Samara suggested.

Why had she felt the nagging desire to witness the Christening anyway? To die here, was that it?

Evie peeked at her wound and groaned in agony. With nothing to cauterize her wound and her inability to heal, it was only a matter of time. Her spine tingled with a sense of impending doom, but she shook it off.

If she didn’t snap out of it, she would definitely die here. She’d heal once she gathered her strength. There was silence for a moment as her eyes closed under the weight of her lids. Then she awoke with a start when those moon eyes ravaged her dream.

A pair of razor-sharp canines loomed in her face as her eyes snapped open, and Evie’s breath caught in her throat as she stared wide-eyed at the black wolf snarling at her.

Black fur?

Her lids were drooping, and it took almost all of her remaining strength to keep them open. Was it really Andrea? No, she was hallucinating; he entered the lair with the others. As her vision blurred, she watched the wolf shift back into his human form and hurry to her.

She felt his warm fingers against her throat before he bent over and arms of steel lifted her effortlessly up, and snuggled her against firm, bare skin.

Evie breathed in his familiar scent—lilies.

“Andrea?”

She barely made out her words before her body slouched in his arms, her head nestled against his chest.

* * *

As she pulled the double doors to Evie’s bedroom shut, her long silver locks bounced with each motion. Then she walked over to Evie in the middle of the room and conjured a portal beside her.

Evie stood wide-eyed by the portal, while her mother snagged a box from her turquoise dresser and hurried over with her stuffed black bear.

“Take this and get to Aenta.”

She squeezed the little golden box into Evie’s hand and spelled a charm around Evie’s wrist with a flick of her finger.

“Come with me.” Evie’s eyes pooled with tears as she pleaded with her.

She hugged Evie and kissed her on the cheek with a weak smile. Then, she took a step back, and like her hair, her eyes sparkled silver. The portal beside Evie chimed and blared.

“Mother.” Her lips quivered as she cried, and a few tears finally spilled from her eyes.

“There isn’t time for this, Evie! Get to the Moonshine and tell Aenta what happened here. She’ll know what to do.”

The Luna Yonder shook again, and Evie squeezed her mother in a fierce hug amid the hellhounds now growling out in the hall. She pushed Evie gently into the portal, and it snapped shut.

“You have work to do, child.” Her words echoed through the portal to Evie. 

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