FOREVER KNIGHTS: #14 Broken Birds

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DERAGAN - Confronting Isabelle

Rosewynn Manor, Outside Meadowbrook, Grier


Deragan could feel her movements. Knew her approach as she returned. He sat with the window highlighting his profile. Blue gaze fixed on the doorway, though he was attuned to the sounds of the manor.

Waiting for her to come back. He crossed the Dining Hall and went upstairs.

Nora managed to get home without the help of Mistress Avery.

She’d offered enough. Or so Rhyers had said.

Nora returned to her chamber just before dusk. Pausing at the door to lean her face against the cool wood.

“You’re home.” The rumble of a low voice echoed in the hall.

She nearly leapt from her skin. Spinning around she slammed her back to the door.

His shadow was in the far corner of the hall. Near the stained-glass window. Leaning on the bench seat with ankles crossed and a heavy volume in his palms.

She recognized the strange combination of dark and light pages as well as the carefully crafted etching peeking around his fingers on the cover. “My book.”

“I led you to it. Sometimes you spoke better through inkwell and parchment than you could express in words.”

“Are you saying I wrote that?”

“It’s all written by your hand.” Gaze lifting to her, he snapped the book shut and lowered it to his side. “There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you, if you only asked it of me.”

“Why would I have written that book?”

As evidence.

“You wanted me to have something to give you, to help you remember who you are. You wanted me to use your own words to prove to you what I said.” Pausing he studied her face. Infinitely blue eyes were dark with undefined emotion.

Rising moonlight poured in the window to illuminate the floor in painted shades.

The thud of his heavy boots set her nerves on end. Drawing close, he leaned down to whisper against her face. “There’s nothing I’d deny you.”

“What do you expect me to say to that?”

“Nothing.” He stiffened with a sigh. “Nothing atall.”

What could you say?

Bracing her back against the door she watched him nervously.

He tenuously lifted a hand but seeing her tension he veered it away to put his hand on the door next to her neck. Whispering near her ear made heated breath brush her cheek. “When your hunger is too much. Just ask...”

Then he was gone. And the cold drafts in the hallway made her gasp at the chill. She was breathing heavily as she watched him round the stairs and head down.

She walked to the bed and sat on the edge to stare at the empty walls. Desolate.

Lonely nights passed. Deragan felt her dissension. She’s struggling to understand.

He walked the hallway and spotted Nora standing next to the bed in Beth’s room. Candlelight making her blonde hair seem to glow.

Beth slept peacefully.

Nora lightly turned up the edge of the pillow. Releasing a warm glow and high squeaking.

Isabelle sleeping.

It was what most fey sounded like as they slept.

Nora reached in up to her shoulder and scooted the tiny woman into her hand. As she straightened with a closed palm, Deragan backed across the hall. Submerging in the shadows.

Beth lurched to a sitting position and catching Nora’s nightdress. “Don’t hurt her! It’s not her fault.”

Nora jumped. Steadying herself, she chastised. “You almost gave me a heart attack!” Sitting on the edge of Beth’s bed, Nora reassured. “I won’t hurt her sweetie. I just wanted to talk to her. Do you mind?”

“It’s okay.”

Smiling in response Nora touched Beth’s hair along her face.

Flopping onto her side, Beth pulled the wool coverlet up around her. Running her hand along the blanket, Nora frowned.

Thicker than any they brought. I gave it to her.

Nora is wondering where it came from. He blanched. I didn’t think she’d notice.

Nora barely caught Beth’s last words. “It won’t help Nora.”

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