Valkyrie III: Song of Darkness, The Novel Edition

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Chapter Four

Robert Morant looked out the window of his room in the Tower of the White Lady. It seemed that death had missed Gil once again and he hoped the injuries he’d received would heal quickly. The male always seemed to have luck on his side, and Robert smiled as he felt a hand on his back. His females, Senna and Kara, could always sense his moods, often appearing out of nowhere when he needed them the most.
“Hey, you.” He said softly as he bathed in the comfort of Senna’s presence.
He turned to see her sister still in the bed they shared. Now who was the lucky one? To have a pair of sisters all to himself…
Barely coming to his shoulder, Senna rested her flame colored tresses against his arm as the snow started to fall outside. “Snow always reminds me of Stalingrad.” She sighed and took his hand, leading him back to bed.
“I was with the Soviet forces inside the city when the predator turned into the prey. A sniper, deadlier than any male, and every round I fired was swift, sure and final.”
Rob was reminded once again of just what Senna was. She rarely let him see this side of herself. The creature of legend, the Angel of Death. Thousands of years old, she had walked the battlefields since the dawn of man.
“I reminded the Germans that there were terrors worse than even them in the darkness. I taught them to fear the night.” She let out with a sigh, remembering, as a single tear made its way down her cheek.
Wiping it away, it reminded him that he was not the only one with ghosts who haunted him. Taking Senna in a tender embrace, holding her close, they both felt the change in the air as Kara awoke with a frown, having felt her sister’s pain. They were linked in a way, what one felt, so too did the other; which unfortunately meant that those around them would suffer the force of their emotions; doubled.
“What happened, love?” Morant said gently as he kissed the top of her head.
“I met a young woman; she’d pinned down an entire German patrol. She exposed herself to enemy fire, without fear; barely more than a child…” Her voice trailed off as she searched her memories. “She reminded me of the Valkyries, the young ones.” Senna pulled from Morant’s embrace as she sniffled. “So full of life and willing to learn.”
“It’s alright, I got you!” He pulled her back to his chest.
“I loved her. From that first moment when she appeared before me, covered in blood and dirt. Her clothes were rags, the poor thing did not even have a pair of shoes, but that did not stop the smile from lighting up her face. A kindred spirit, kept warm and sated by the fires of her vengeance. Her enemies vanquished one by one, she moved amongst the corpses taking her spoils. Like keepsakes!”
“Odd, but okay. We’re talking rings, tags and the like, right?”
“Right then and there, it was a pair of boots.” Senna chuckled. “A child lost in the chaos of war, she almost tried to shoot me, but the uniform…” She finished with a sigh. “Come with me and live, we need to go, I told her and we roamed the fields together, for a long while, until a German artillery shell took her away from me. She knew it was the end as I screamed at her to take cover. She just spread her arms as the shell came in and looked at me with a smile.”
“Goodbye Senna, were her last words.” Kara added, as she went to the table that held the wine set aside for them. She poured a glass for all three of them. Handing one first to Senna, she proposed a toast. “To the ones we have lost.” She said simply, her voice and hands shaking with fierce emotion.
Kara placed her glass on the table and his flame-haired female buried her head into his chest once more. He held her as tears uncounted, fell down her cheeks throughout the long night. Like Gil, he too hated it when his females were wrought with despair and would have stood with her a thousand years if only to offer her solace in his embrace. Such was the power and love between a Valkyrie and their Einherjar, and he relished in every moment spent with his mates.

***

“Harbor is in view, Captain!” Ahlexander called into the cabin, only to receive a groan in reply.
“The sun isn’t even up yet!” She whimpered, hiding beneath her sheets and in no condition to greet anyone, let alone the members of the Guild, with the amount of liquor still running through her veins.
Returning home was always so hard, and this visit was going to be a bitch with or without a hangover.
“You wanted it this way, remember?” He chuckled, throwing back the rest of the curtains in her cabin.
Dammit, she had, hadn’t she. She’d wanted to be docked and up the mountain before the sun crossed over the peaks. A surprise for a dear friend, and more-so, the safe transfer of her cargo into trusting hands. If anyone could fetch a place for that which was contained in the belly of her ship, this friend could.
“We dock in half an hour!” He sighed and shook his head, his eyes falling over the scene in her bed; such beauty face down and tangled between the sheet, most likely naked and in desperate need of a good…
“Has she given signal to our arrival?” Belvaya let out with a groggy voice and tried to rise from the pillows.
Yup, it was official, ale was not to be consumed before bed. It left her hoarse and hungover, and sounding like a bloody beast. If only she could remember that before she broke into the casks every night. The life of a pirate on the high seas. Why did she do this again? Oh, right, she needed purpose. The Guild, gave her purpose and the assassins she called her crew, gave her the means to accomplish her tasks. They were a ruthless, vile lot, and save for the bastard who now found himself bound to the bow of her ship, none had dared defy her.
So, what had made the poor fool turn? What, or who, had given him reason to betray her?
“What of our cargo?” She sighed one last time, rising from her bed, sure as shit, naked as the day she was born.
“Fuck!” He hissed from across the room, daring not to tread any closer.
She may have been his lover, but she was also his Captain, and the crew needed her alert and on deck; but what Ahlexander wouldn’t do to keep her on her back with her legs spread so he could slip between them. No, he couldn’t think like that. Just a few more hours and they’d be up top, sitting in the lap of luxury as they reported on their prize.
“We were supposed to get two of them!” Ahlexander groaned, running his hand down the front of his face. “Two, crates!”
Shoulder length, blonde hair and a wicked set of royal-blue eyes set above a stern jaw. He was quick and cunning, kind and oh, so gorgeous. Not bad at all for being over five thousand years old. An Einherjar of great ranking, he’d fought alongside Valkyries of all sorts; but now he was hers. He’d fought hard for her, given his all both on deck and between her sheets. He’d comforted her when the winds had blown hard against her sails with a steady hand and undying loyalty. He wasn’t her mate, she’d never see herself bound to just one man, but he was the closest anyone had ever come.
“We were lucky enough to find the one!” She told him, her hand running up each thigh as she pulled up her leggings. “A month it took us to track that ship down.”
“I know, I know, but we were commissioned for two!”
“We were commissioned to rescue the one, and look, for the other. No one knows if the second crate made it off-world!”
She knew he didn’t like where this was going, but the Mistress would understand. She was cool like that. There was no need for concern and Ahlexander knew this; but she couldn’t help but grin at his scowl. He was just, too easy on the eyes.
“We lost four men, Belvaya. Four, fucking good men, too!” He shook his head. “For what, half a prize?”
“But what a prize it is!” Belaya’s face lit up.
“I’d be more inclined to trust in those words, if you’d been kind enough to tell us what that prize was!” He cocked a brow in her direction, but the shout rang loud and clear, and a moment later they felt the pull as the anchor snagged on the sea floor.
“Then perhaps you would like to escort us up the mountain and see for yourself what we’ve collected.” She grinned at him and made for the door. “The cargo will be sent ahead; you can go with it or stay with me.”
“And where are you going?”
“Someone has to haul that traitor to the prison below!” She grinned as she left the cabin.
Something wasn’t right. Hadn’t been right since they’d set off on this last score. She’d been so secretive, not even telling him, her own second, what was in those crates. He couldn’t help but feel guilty for the traitor she meant to haul off. He’d probably gone mad with curiosity, just as Ahlexander was feeling now.
“Fuck!” Ahlexander let out with a sigh.
This was crazy. Sure, Belvaya was hiding something, she was a very secretive person, but that didn’t mean she’d gone all dark side on him. It wasn’t as if she was conspiring with the enemy.
“Load up!” He shouted to the crew as he exited the Captain’s cabin. “We have work to do.”

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