FOREVER KNIGHTS: #14 Broken Birds

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SAVAGE JAXSON - The True Chavias

Rosewynn Manor, Outside Meadowbrook, Grier

SAVAGE JAXSON

“Why are we here?” Phalanx asked.

“I wanted to see why he’s gathered them here.”

“Who?”

“Their Captain.” Savage explained simply.

“We see them. Now can we go?” Phalanx shifted from where they were squatted peering over some shrubs. “This unsettles me. Almost as much as me finding my employer floating with his lover in the woods.”

“You’re fine.”

“That was not as it should be.”

Savage gave him an icy look. And twisted his body to be squatted before him. “And how exactly should it be?”

Sensing he was on dangerous ground, Phalanx calmed. “You know well I wouldn’t betray you. I’m not going to tell anyone.” He reassured.

Good. Savage turned back to peering over the bush at the treeline where it opened up to the Manor lawns.

There was a line of wolves guarding that border. Their fur ruffling as they moved back and forth. Brushing each other as they passed.

“But only Dreads float. Or demons. Or well, nothing good!”

“I wasn’t floating.”

“But I saw you!”

“I was flying. With her.”

“Well,” Phalanx tossed his arms. “suddenly that makes it okay then!” He said in a hushed voice.

Savage gave him a sideways glance. Indicating he was getting annoyed. I should’ve heard him coming.

“What exactly are you two doing?”

Phalanx slowly turned to face the man confronting them.

Savage rotated reflexively and snapped his head to meet the stranger’s blue-eyed glare.

Who is he? Savage had never seen this one before. But he could instantly tell by the colored lights surrounding this man that he was one of them.

He’s a Forever Knight. He’s with them.

A quiet one. I thought only the Tracker could sneak up on me.

“I came to see why he’s gathering you all here. What you’re protecting?”

“Why?” The other man’s furious disdain snapped like a whip.

“Truly? Curiosity.” He admitted. “I can feel he’s gathering you in two places right now and I wanted to know if it was in preparation for a battle.”

“Why? Do you intend to fight us?”

“No. I considered joining you.”

“Who are you?”

“Who are you?” Savage asked calmly.

“Marcus Teverius.”

“The Neophyter.” Savage recognized. That explained the strange look of the man. With pale skin and long white hair and eyes that seemed almost white in the evening light.

Tev’s eyes narrowed. “How do you know that?”

“I was told.”

“By who?” Tev was firing questions faster than any interrogator.

And Savage had no desire to lie to him. “Chavias.”

“Chavias?” Tev took a step back. Eying him with renewed interest. “Why?”

“Because he wanted me to find you.”

“Me?”

“All of you.” Savage said dully. Pointing to the shrub next to him. “Can I go back to watching now.”

“No!” Tev hissed. “You can stand up and meet with the Captain and we’ll see what the hell he wants to do with you!”

Good. I’d like to talk with him again. He’ll answer me. Savage sensed.

“Get up.” Tev ordered. Reaching for a hatchet at his waistband.

Savage stood abruptly. His eyes locked on the weapon.

“No!”

All heads turned to the new voice.

The Captain. Savage recognized.

Deragan ducked a few branches to walk far enough in to join them. A hand outstretched to stay Tev. “Do not draw your weapon on him.”

“Why?” Tev’s brow knitted.

Phalanx sighed and stood. “Because he’s Savage Jack. The King of Assassins.”

Tev still looked confused.

He’s never heard of me.

“If you pull that on me,” Savage nodded toward the hatchet. “I’ll kill you with it.”

“That’s what I meant.” Phalanx pointed to Savage with a thumb as he nodded toward Tev.

“Forgive me if I’m unworried.” Tev straightened.

Then you’re not that intelligent.

“He’s remarkably fast.” Deragan stepped to Teverius’ side to explain to Savage. “However, he is a whole other animal.” Deragan nodded toward Savage.

That’s a fair assessment.

“What are you doing here, King of Assassins?”

“We were spying.” Phalanx admitted.

Deragan’s blue eyes narrowed and he crossed his arms over his chest. “Why?”

Savage could feel the man’s restrained judgement as though he were a disapproving parent. “I wanted to know if you prepared for battle.”

“Why would you worry about that?”

“Because if you are, I’d like to fight aside you.”

Deragan’s arms dropped. His surprise apparent. “You certain you know the enemy we fight?”

Savage nodded.

“Oh, he definitely does.” Phalanx said. “He can fly now too.” He nodded.

Was that really necessary? Savage turned an annoyed gaze on his friend.

“Fly?” Deragan and Tev queried in unison.

“He has wings.” Phalanx was nervous now. “Well you tell them then!” He met Savage’s furious expression.

“I’m waiting.” Deragan said.

“I can manifest wings.” Savage shrugged.

“How?”

“Not sure.”

“What are you?” Deragan asked.

“No idea.”

“None of us know.” Phalanx contributed helpfully.

Very far from the fierce warrior I’ve known so many years, now that he knows I’m less human then he thought. Savage noted.

Savage waved away the discussion. “It’s clear you’re protecting something in there.” He gestured with one hand toward the house. “Will you tell me what it is?”

Deragan’s chin lifted and he looked at him a long time.

Deciding how far to trust me.

Whatever is in there, he considers very precious.

“My mate.”

Savage tilted his head wondering if he’d heard him correctly. “The Fallen?”

Deragan’s brows shot up. “Yes.”

He’s going to ask how I knew that.

“Chavias raised me.”

“What?” Deragan’s shock was written over his face. His eyes flared blue and his hair began to wave forward and back with a volition of its own.

He’s taking that as a threat to all of them.

“I’m no threat.” Savage said coldly. “Perhaps all of you should know what he’s been doing for you.”

“He’s been hunting us.” Tev expostulated.

“Yes.” Savage gave him an impassive study. “But he’s saved way more of you.”

“How?” Deragan asked. Calming. And Savage could see it in his body language.

He’s willing to hear me out. Even if the Neophyter isn’t.

“Tell me, Savage Jack. I’m all ears…” Deragan invited.

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