FOREVER KNIGHTS: #14 Broken Birds

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SEBASTIAN - Rhyers Checking On Me

WaterRose, Meadow Mountain, Grier Country

SEBASTIAN

“Elsabet.” Sebastian called from the library. Worried because she hadn’t come down in so long. As he went upstairs and eased open her chamber door, he found her absent from the bed she’d spent the last few days in.

Where is she? He spotted her in the corner. Hanging upside down, brown wings wrapped around her as she slept.

She hasn’t slept like that in years.

It made his soul ache to realize that it was her way of returning to who she’d been before Sebet. To closing herself off from the world.

From me.

“Elsabet.” He sat on the floor before her. Lightly reaching to push a wing aside from her face. Finding one large blue eye peering at him from beyond the brown flesh of the thin wing. “Talk to me.”

She moved her wing to hiss at him through gritted teeth. Using the strength of one wing to cast him back from her.

He slid across the wood floor. Automatically rotating to feet and leaning forward to balance himself as he skid. Brows descending as he shook his head in surprise.

She’s shoved me away?

He eyed her, his hurt apparent. Feeling a deep sense of betrayal at her rejection.

Why? What’ve I done now?

A small part of him understood she was suffering. But that’s not my fault.

Why take it out on me?

It was another thing she’d not done in years.

“Elsabet. I’m here. I’m hurting too. Can we not just be here for each other?”

Lip curling she sneered as she hissed again.

That’s a no. Head falling he turned and sulked from the room. Returning downstairs to the library to think.


“What is it?” Rhyers’ head spun to the doorway as he entered.

He senses my pain.

Sebastian jerked to a stop. “When did you get here? I didn’t hear you.”

Though I’m not surprised I didn’t.

“You never do.” Rhyers commented. “I was in Meadowbrook for the Captain. I thought to check on you before returning to Mane.”

Bast nodded. Walking haltingly to his red chair before the fire. Taking a seat, he absentmindedly gripped the jar of nuts loosely in his fingers. Rolling them within the jar. Skidding it over the tabletop, thoughtfully.

Rhyers watched him carefully, waiting.

“She’s rejecting my comfort.”

Me period, really.

“Does she blame you?”

Of course, she does. Why wouldn’t she?

It’s my fault.

“Yes.” Bast’s gaze fell to the floor.

“Do you?”

Need you ask?

“Yes.”

“You’re both going to have to release the blame or you won’t make it through this.”

I think we’ve already failed. Sebet was all that tied us together.

And she’s gone…That made pain wash through him and tears leap to his eyes. The thought of not hearing her laughter feeling her hug or hearing her call him daddy again shredded what remained of his heart.

How will I live without her?

“Words from a lonely man.” Bast remarked. Hiding his deep anguish.

“Lonely by choice.”

Bast shrugged grudgingly.

“Will she forgive you?” Rhyers asked.

Never. Bast shook his head.

“What are you going to do?”

“I haven’t much choice…”

“That doesn’t sound reassuring.”

“I don’t know what to do.”

“Bast,” Rhyers rose. “You’re always wise. You know what to do in every situation. It will come to you. You’ll find away to heal her…And yourself.”

Impossible.

“I’m not so certain.” He murmured.

“Bast,” Rhyers put a hand to his shoulder. “that woman does love you. It’s in her eyes when she looks at you. All of her tending us is done to honor you. If you’re the Great Protector she’s the Protector’s Apprentice. She’s done more than you’ll ever know for all of us. She’s the kindness in this cold castle.”

And Sebet was the heart of it.

“I can’t imagine this place without her…”

Rhyers gnawed his cheek. Sensing that anything that came to mind wouldn’t be best said in this instance. “You always know, if you’ve need of me you need say.”

I don’t know what I need. Nothing will fix this.

“The best thing you can do is keep tracking Radix so we know where he is. Trace his movements.”

Because I want to kill him. Bast very much understood in this moment why the Captain had impulsively led them to be slaughtered in the Great Battle, in his need for vengeance.

“I always do.”

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