FOREVER KNIGHTS: #1 Emergence

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Stronghold

This time Deragan snagged the Sarabi in his taloned feet. Yanking it apart and tossing the pieces to the trees as they returned to pink skin. Returning to the human he’d been before Radix twisted its soul.

Deragan pulled his wings to his sides and dropped in a straight-legged fall. Touching ground on bare human feet, the rest of his body shifting back. He couldn’t think of clothes as he lifted the horse aside with incredible strength. Catching it’s upper and lower head in his arms he snapped its neck. Ceasing its suffering.

“Where are you hurt?” He panted as he slid on his knees next to Lacey. Choked with emotion.

She gestured with her head, to an arm twisted beneath her at an unbearable angle. She huffed in pain. “And my leg.”

Twisting, he saw her leg on the same side was shattered so badly bone protruded from the skin.

“I cannot heal this.” His eyes roved over her wounds. “It’s too much. But I’ll do what I can.” He grimaced. “It’s going to hurt.” He felt the blood seep from his face in fear and dread.

Though he was outwardly calm he was shrieking and praying for help in his mind. Unaware he’d subconsciously sent out a telepathic call to another knight.

Lacey nodded fearfully. She screeched when he ran his hands over her. Hovering a few inches above her body. Blue flakes seeped from his pores, traveling to her skin then melding in. Mending some of the bruises and broken veins inside her and helping the torn muscle in her leg ease enough he could settle the bone back into place. Eliciting another pain wrenched scream from her.


To Deragan’s shock booted feet materialized at her side. Coming from nowhere. A quick glance verified who it was.

Sebastian.

Already in his armor, he was ready for battle. Features hard as he assessed the grim situation. “What do you need me to do?”

“Get me that bag of furs from the carriage.”

Bast returned with it and dropped it next to them. Awaiting further instructions.

Deragan’s voice shook. “Get help on the other side of the mountain. Build a shelter there. Something Radix can’t trace. Hide it in the valley and have someone there when we get there tomorrow. Someone who can help her.” Deragan was already lifting her gingerly in his arms.

“You can’t get there tomorrow. You can’t fly with her.” Bast objected. “She can’t hang onto you and you could not hold her without harming her.”

“I know that!” Deragan snapped.


Do what I’ve said!

Bast shifted, realizing the best he could do was obey his Commander’s direction.

“I’ll have everything ready.” Bast swore. “But two-day’s time if you aren’t there, I will come for you both.” He warned.

Deragan gave him a quick look of acknowledgement as he tossed the bag of furs over his shoulder and gingerly lifted Lacey in his arms. Cringing as she whimpered in pain at the movement. He looked up the mountain.

I’ll carry you over it on foot.

Sebastian shook his head, knowing it was a nearly impossible feat.

There’s no alternative.

They both knew it.

With a feral roar, Bast turned and transformed into a sleek black feline. Bigger than a hound he wove into the woods. Aiming for a clearing big enough. When he found one, he ruptured the treetops as the glistening gold dragon. Heading into the sky in blinding light.

Deragan’s eyes fell to the woman in his arms. Her breaths ragged in pain. And the moment was so similar to the day he held her in Billar Canyon, that his stomach dropped.

Not this time.

I’ll find a way for this to be different. And his relentless determination pushed him up the mountain beyond the ridge where the snow began.

“I will carry you.” Deragan whispered soothingly against her sweating brow. “He’ll have everything ready. He’ll build a stronghold to keep you safe. And I will get you there.”


I know you tried to save me, Deragan. I remember all you did. How you carried me up that mountain in your arms. Fighting the cold as the storm came in.

I remember the fate of that cabin you built with your bare hands. A place to keep me through the night. I remember how you had no choice but to leave me.

I remember everything…I blame you, for nothing…

-The Fallen, ‘The Book of Immortals’


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