FOREVER KNIGHTS: #20 Watchers Gathering

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CHAVIAS - Acharius

Merwood, Dread Hideout


It’s a hard thing. Chavias thought. Transitioning from the brown wolf to lead Sabine through the dense trees and hanging vines of Merwood. To apologize to a man I’d intended to kill.

And for the harm brought upon his woman because of it. Chavias stood in the trees. A long black cloak forming around him, billowing at his feet as he determined where they were and identified the right direction.

Sabine was at his heels.

It occurred to him he wasn’t holding her hand as he often did. But his nerves were jumbled and he was trying to conceal from her, his deep worry. Chavias pushed platter-sized leaves aside to see the path.

“Why is he angry with you?” Sabine trudged behind him. Snapping over twigs and swatting leaves away as they brushed her hair and face.

“For hurting his mate. For attacking him. And for a crime long ago.”

Dearburn, his longtime friend, whom I killed in cold blood.

Bast had warned Chavias of what’d happened to Chastain when she’d fled them fighting.

The cave in.

I’d tried to keep her away from the danger. Chavias was disheartened. Wondering if either of them would ever forgive him.

Bast had warned him. “I can’t protect you from his anger. I won’t go with you on this journey. You must do it alone and except his determination.”

Chavias had agreed that’d be the way of it. He has the right to hate me.

“Tell him you saved his mate.” Sabine pressed.

“I don’t presume to think anything could inspire him to forgive me my crimes.” He put a hand to her narrow shoulder. “I can’t expect that. They may never appreciate what your gentle heart sees as greatly heroic…” He smiled tenderly at her.

An amazing heart indeed.

Her light blue eyes studied him a long moment before she nodded. Wrapping her arms around him in an impulsive hug.

Chuckling softly, he embraced her in return. The reality of her soft warmth nearly brought him to his knees. “We’re here.”

He recognized the spot where the trees would soon break for Meredith House. The place Acharius had built with his own hands to protect the two little girls he’d saved all those years ago.

“Acharius!” He called long before they were in view of Meredith Manor. Warning his former brethren of his impending arrival.

“I’m right here.” Acharius said from behind him.

Chavias turned and yanked Sabine behind him. Damn her for insisting on coming!

This will likely become a dangerous situation.

But she’d pleaded that perhaps seeing her with Chavias, might remind Acharius of his humanity.

He doesn’t think I have any.

“How’d you know we were here?”

“My wife can sense things through the trees and bushes.” Acharius tilted his head toward some near their elbow. “She told me.”

“I could’ve stabbed you in your back, were I the type.” Acharius said derisively. “It might be no more than you’d deserve.

“He deserves much better than that!” Sabine cried, trying to peer around Chavias’ elbow.

Acharius lifted a brow in a violent sneer. “What makes you think you’ve any idea what he deserves?”

“From a former Viking? That’s rich.” Chavias defended. Angered that Acharius would be cruel to her.

“Leave him alone!” A woman’s voice cried. Charging clumsily through the woods.

Acharius’ head turned with a groan. Glimpsing the redhead running wildly toward them.

Vines clambered over each other to form a wall between Acharius and Chavias.

“What are you doing?” Acharius barked. “I told you to stay in the House!”

“I knew who it was!” She cried. “I won’t let him attack you again!”

All Chavias and Sabine could see was cracks of them visible through the winding wall of vines.

“I don’t intend to harm him.” Chavias called through it.

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