Pathen had told many a lie. How many, there was no way to tell, but Marena too had been learning some truths. She was not alone in this world, as the bastard would have her believe. She had a sister and a brother; but were they still alive? At least Malice’s sister and mother were alive; and Marena would see that they got their Malice back, no matter what happened to Marena. She just had to know if this was the truth, or a pack of savage lies designed to trap her lover even further into darkness.
“You speak of things that you cannot know!” She mumbled, moving closer to the lounge by the fire and trying hard to ignore the fact that Malice and Loki were, getting closer.
“I speak the truth! Ashlyn is alive, and she is not the only one.” He glared at her and an image popped into her head. “I have seen things. Met, people…”
Long black hair, just like her own. Eyes like Emeralds, set against soft sun kissed skin and covered in thick luscious lashes. She was beautiful. She was breathtaking in all that leather she wore; but most of all, she looked just like Marena.
“What the hell?” She heard him shout, his feet frozen to the floor and his arm still held tight in the Valkyrie’s grasp. “Malice, let me go?”
“Who is she?” Marena inquired, noting how he tugged and pulled to get free; but the Valkyrie held on tight.
“What did you do to her?” Loki growled, eyeing the dark Valkyrie up and down.
“Do you know, why Anaxa, chose me?” Marena sighed, running a finger across Malice’s lips.
“Because you’re bat-shit crazy?” He grumbled, still trying to break free.
“Among other things.” Marena smiled at him and crossed her arms over her chest. “Tell me who she is?”
“Or what? You’ll freeze me, like you did her?”
“I did nothing of the sort. Malice is perfectly fine, as is the rest of the timeline. I just took us, out of it for a moment.”
“Because I do not want anyone but you to hear me.” She grinned.
“What sort of trick does your master have planned?” Loki hissed back at her.
“I have no Masters. I have, only myself and the Host who resides within, and we are tired of this life.”
“You would betray the Eno’tai?”
“We would see our love freed.” The Host took over and Loki gasped with eyes wide. “You will leave this place and go to her sister. You will tell her she put the necklace on, and you will wait for me, to activate it!”
“Like hell I will!” He choked out, but Marena’s Host had no time for this; her hold was slipping.
“Look, we both know that Malice may ooh and ahh over your pretty little trinket, one that looks similar to her own, and yet is flawed. Even she can see the flaws, and she will not wear it for long. She would not risk the others seeing it. No, Marwolaeth would surely protest without having good reason to remain silent over the switch. That pendant will not work if it does not sit around her neck.”
“And you, are going to make sure she wears it?” He laughed. “Right, why would I trust you?”
“Because Malice does not belong here, she needs to be free, out there with her…” Marena bowed her head and the image of the female dressed in leather and bearing such a resemblance to her own self, emerged once more. “Please, tell me her name?” She asked one final time.
“She calls herself, Vina, but I can’t tell you where she is!” Loki sighed, eyeing the sadness that fell upon her.
“She is not here, and that is all that matters.” Marena closed her eyes. “Now, we must make sure Malice escapes her fate.”
“And how do you plan to do that?” Loki rolled his eyes. “Are you going to betray your masters and just hand her over?”
“Malice means to take Misthaven, though not for Pathen. You must let her get close enough...”
“She’ll destroy the place!”
“No, she will not.”
“Malice will not make it through the doors of Misthaven, not if you can trap her with that pendant first.”
“You really are insane, aren’t you?”
“You will know when it is time, Loki. You will feel the call and you must move quickly, for she will not wear that necklace for long.”
With that, her hold disappeared and Malice’s eyes darted about the room. “What the fuck just happened?”
“I was unaware I could do that!” Marena sighed and bowed her head. “I am sorry, my love. It would seem jealousy has gotten the better of me!”
“What did you do to him?” Malice looked oddly amused, despite her having been frozen.
“I, do not really know.” Marena looked about the room.
“Magnificent.” Malice grinned, stepping closer to her lover.
What they’d just passed through was more like, training houses, than a big ass estate. All of them lined up against the side of the mountain as they hung, tangled in the vines. Bridges crossed in front of a mighty waterfall, joining another set of tiny houses, and the path that led off behind it wound up alongside yet another cliff. She hadn’t seen this while soaring through the clouds.
“Just a little further, beyond the ridge!” He told her, making sure she followed closely. “The rocks are slippery!”
“I don’t need the rocks!” She giggled as her arms began to form feathers.
Dozens and dozens of thick colorful feathers. “That is enough!”
“Why?” Jayde eyed him up and down.
“Down below, when you took to the skies, there was no fear in the air. Now though, it is all I smell. We should not give the people here a reason to betray us!”
“What people?” Jayde cocked a brow and he let out a chuckle. “Like I said before, it’s just you and me up here!”
“They are watching us.”
“The Order.” Kordahn sighed. “They are looking for you, do not give them the chance to do to you what they did to the others!”
“I don’t feel anything!”
“You wouldn’t, you’re not, Kor’mhia.”
“So, only your people can see these things? This, Order?” Her feathers had melded back into her skin and her color returned to normal. “Why bring me here if it is dangerous?”
“Because once in the house, you will be protected, even from the Order.” He smiled at her and continued up the trail.
“What is this, Order? Who are they and what do they want?”
So many questions flew from her lips. Such curiosity...
“I will tell you all when we reach the estate, until then, keep your true self hidden!”
Feeling much better, Ahlexander had left the Halls of Healing and made his way out into the courtyard. Sanctuary was a heavenly place, with tall white walls trimmed in gold and fountains and rose bushes lining each path. The place was awash in red, green, white and gold; save for the sky. It was growing darker, leaving streaks of black and blue above the clouds, much like the streaks in the Witch’s hair.
‘I’m sorry, did I hurt you?’ He heard her voice in his mind. ‘I did not mean to push so hard...’
Hell, she could have pinned him down and...
No. He couldn’t think like that. He couldn’t give in to the lust. That’s what had gotten him every other time. Mist. Maisura and Belvaya. Each time he’d given in to temptation, he’d found himself in trouble. He had to stay away from them. All of them. If it walked, talked and smelled like a female, he was heading the other way. He needed a time out.
“It is good to see you up and about!” The Lady in white called out to him.
Okay, so there was one female he’d chat with. He couldn’t resist her charms, not that she’d shown him any; he just felt that he could trust her.
“My Lady!” He bowed his head as she drew near.
“Your time with Kember has proven quite beneficial!”
“In truth!” He smiled. “But I’d like to get out of here as soon as possible! I hate being cooped up!”
“I thought you might say that...” Her words trailed off as a shadow filled the skies overhead.
Large black wings descended upon them, leaves and petals floating in a mad gust of wind as he landed. Ahlex almost shit his pants when the moor spoke.
“My Lady!” He dropped down to one knee. “How fair thee?”
“I am well enough, my warrior, but may I introduce you to...”
“Lex!” He chuckled, bearing a set of pearly white teeth beneath darkened lips. “My brother has told me of this arrangement.”
“I see!” The Lady in white giggled. “Then, Ahlexander? May I present to you the Angel of Night, Montago!”
Shit, he was huge, and a commander in the Angel Guard. He’d been stationed on Earth for decades now, running a nightclub he’d heard Nephrami say; but nobody knew which one. He was very dark and very elusive, and very much so standing in front of Ahlex.
“So, what happens now?”
“You come with me!” Montago grinned. “Do not worry, I have no intention of biting you! Angel, remember? Not Vampire!”
As if that was supposed to make him feel better?
“Where are we going?”
“Back to Earth. I have someone I want you to meet.”