FOREVER KNIGHTS: #20 Watchers Gathering

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DERAGAN - Making The Years Bearable

DERAGAN

Nora noticed Deragan’s gaze had locked on the woman standing in the back of the crowd.

She’d not moved. And was very white beneath a dirtied cloak and looked sickly.

“Who is she?” Nora asked, curious.

Our missing warrioress.

“Calisto.”

“Who’s that?”

“Raese Merlinus’ mate. She’s been missing for over thirty years.”

Since the Great Battle.

“Missing?” Nora asked, befuddled.

Yes. I don’t know where.

“We didn’t know what happened to her. We’d see glimpses of her spirit now and again but that was all.” He gave Nora a pensive look. “I must go welcome her back. Come with me?”

He offered her his slim fingered hand.

Nora beamed and took it.

He led her through the milling nights. Speaking robustly of Chavias and they stopped behind the woman.

“Captain.” She lowered her head in greeting.

A formal greeting for such a long absence.

“Come here, Little Sister.” He opened his arms.

She launched into them and he gave her a brotherly hug. Patting her back.

“We’ve missed you.” He laughed.

“I’ve missed all of you!” She sobbed. “You’ve no idea!”

At length, he stepped back to gesture to Nora. “Please meet my intended, Nora Bishop.”

“Intended?” Nora startled.

Deragan grinned wolfishly. My intent, anyway.

Calisto sniffed and dried her tears to lean forward and tease. “Perhaps she didn’t know she was your intended?”

“She knew. I just had not asked appropriately yet.” He was grinning. That deep dimple appearing in his cheek.

“Deragan!” Calisto chided fondly. “It’s quite lovely to meet you, Miss Bishop.”

Nora curtsied. “Welcome to Rosewynn, Calisto.”

“It’s beautiful.” She breathed. Looking up the walls. “Even more lovely then I remembered.”

She hadn’t seen it in many decades.

“What happened to you, Calisto?”

“I pulled Raese to safety and covered him in shrubbery. But after I fought the Cimmerii back from him, I found him gone. I looked everywhere but couldn’t find him. That evening when I went back to my hut to clean up, Radix found me there.”

Deragan blanched.

“I attempted to banish him outside the Realms of Time.”

So that’s what’d happened.

“But somehow you were banished instead.”

“Yes.”

“I thought you were dead.” He admitted. Gaze falling as he shook his head morosely.

Nora caressed his arm reassuringly.

Sensing my pain.

“I think everyone did.” She concurred. “It’s fine, Deragan. It was no more your fault then mine.”

“I’m sorry for it nonetheless.”

It was my need for vengeance that caused all of it.

“There was too much going on for you to protect us all.”

“Still, I wish I’d done more. Thought more carefully.”

“It’s all over now. Chavias kept me safe.” She tossed her head over her shoulder. “If you’d have turned him away I’d have had a word on his behalf.”

Deragan scoffed and looked over her head. “I’ve never known you to have only one.”

“Touche.” She nodded. “You know us well.”

Her gaze fell on Nora. “I must tell you, My Dear. You have the most impressive man on your hands, not that you don’t already know.”

Nora grinned. Looking up at him. “She’s impossible to not like.”

Calisto flashed white teeth. Purple eyes dancing in her hollow face.

“I think her beloved husband would agree with you.”

“We must find him, Deragan.”

“I know where he is. And I’m sure he’ll soon be on his way. Just remain and wait for him. He’ll come rushing to your arms soon enough.”

Calisto lit up like a blooming candle. “He always does.”

“Come.” Nora caught her frail arm. “We must get you out of that dirtied cloak and discuss more on my intended without his presence.”

“Certainly.” Calisto agreed.

“But first I must know,” Calisto’s gaze returned to the dark figure of the Captain of the Forever Knights. “do you know where Bast’s valkyrie is?”

Deragan’s head whipped to her. Eyes narrowing. “How do you know her?”

“She was the only one that could see me for a long time. She helped free me…And in many ways, she is my friend.”

“She is working with Radix.”

“I find that hard to believe!” Calisto reared back. “She loves Sebastian.”

“Not enough to remain loyal.” Deragan’s contempt crept into his voice.

He’s tried everything and she seems set on turning against us.

Calisto eyed him in disbelief but knew better then to argue with the Alpha.

Deragan was rarely angry but when incited he was terrifyingly fierce.

“I am rallying the men to hunt her down. Soon.” He gave Calisto a meaningful look. “To determine where her loyalties truly lie.”

Calisto shook her head. Her tone correcting but not combative. “You wish to give her an ultimatum.”

He looked at her steadily. Not denying it. That’s exactly what I intend.

“Let me go with you?”

“Fine.” He lowered his head.

She can certainly handle her own.

“We’ll go as soon as you’ve gathered some of your strength back.”

Nora took that as the indicator to lead her off.

Deragan caught Nora’s hand on the way by. Giving her fingers an affectionate squeeze.

She returned it with a smile over her shoulder.

Making all those years without her, seem a fraction more bearable then they were.

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