FOREVER KNIGHTS: #14 Broken Birds

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DERAGAN - About Bast

Rosewynn Manor, Outside Meadowbrook, Grier

DERAGAN

Nora awoke late in the night.

I suppose it could be called early. He heard her moving around in her chamber down the hall.

She made her way across the frigid floor to the window.

It was our chamber. I know every creak of every board in that room. It was why he’d offered it to her when she’d been disappointed by the filth in one of the guest chambers.

Her first night here.

He walked to the window of his own chamber and looked out to see what she was seeing. It’d been gloomy the last three days with clouds so heavy and dark they’d blotted out the moon.

There was a knock at the door.

Deragan bid them enter so quietly that only a Forever Knight could’ve heard. Only a Forever Knight could’ve come in past the wolves.

“What’s wrong, Captain?” Teverius entered, closing the door silently behind him and stepping to see Deragan’s profile.

“She’s so close but so far away.” He sighed.

“There were many happy days in this house.”

Deragan nodded thoughtfully. “Much is coming back to her. The memories pouring in on her. But still she doesn’t remember those.”

“You’re doubting. Doubting you’ll get her back. Doubting she’ll warm to you. Are they any different than the fears you always suffer when wooing her again?”

He’s right.

“No.” He admitted.

I fear failing. Losing her.

“What do you think of the King of Assassins?”

“He hardly seems old enough to command the Seditious Lot.” Tev objected.

“Yet he does.”

“He does have a presence about him.” Tev acknowledged.

“He’s a formidable adversary.” Deragan recalled their brief first meeting in the woods when the assassin had been trailing him. “Do you think he’s a danger to us?”

“No.” Tev shook his head. “I don’t like people I don’t know, as you’re well aware. But I sensed no shred of deceit in the man.”

And that’s his gift.

Teverius could feel if someone had potential for good, if they were corrupted by deceit, and if there was a soul that could be salvaged.

“They say he’s a black-hearted bastard.”

“I would believe that.” Tev commented.

“If he were one of Radix’s Targue would you save him?”

Tev was quiet as he thought it over. “He’d be the first one I salvaged.”

Despite his reluctance to admit it, Tev senses much good in the Boy. That’s good to know.

“How do you feel about him joining us in the battle to come.”

“I think if my formidable Captain says the lad is formidable, then I’d want him on our side.”

Wise words.

“You’re a very clever man, Teverius.”

“Thank you.” Tev nodded. “Are you watching the wolves?”

Deragan nodded.

Tev stepped next to him to see out as well. “Every night as the sun fades behind the Paladine Mountains…the pack comes. Obeying your call.”

“I know.”

They stood sentry next to the steps even now.

Now and again the panther would wander through them, a graceful feline.

Deragan squinted down at him. “What is Sebastian doing here?”

“He won’t go home.” Tev deflated. “We’ve all tried. He’s avoiding her grief.”

His mate.

“But what about his own?” Deragan objected.

He should be taking time to recover from the loss of his daughter.

“Avoiding that too, I suspect.”

Deragan swallowed feeling Sebastian’s pain nearly as his own. “It’s why I always feared having children of my own.”

“It’s why many of us haven’t.” Tev agreed.

The wolves waited quietly. As they had for months. Now and again attacking something near the fence or trees. Hitting so fast, they were just snapping jaws and low growls.

Sensing Nora’s presence at her window, they glanced up at her. Stilling as all faces turned to her.

My Angel.

“She must be at her window over there, huh?” Tev tossed his chin toward the chambers down the hall. He’d guessed she was staring back at them because the wolves didn’t move.

“She seems to be less afraid of them.”

“Since the night you brought her home?” Tev asked.

Yes. In wolf form.

“She’s becoming more comfortable with the pack.” Deragan commented. “She understands we guard her now. Even if she doesn’t know from what.”

From the window along the wall they saw white light begin to bloom from her chamber window.

Tev gasped. “Is that her?” He leaned further out the window to see.

“The moon is charging her.” Deragan didn’t have to see, to know. “Look at the clouds.”

They both looked up and saw the moon fighting its way from their dark barricade to send streamers down to her.

Leaning out her window she upturned her face to it.

“She says it feels like being washed in warm water.” Deragan explained to Tev who looked very confused. “Her skin absorbs it and it fuels her power.”

“What happens if the night is moonless?”

“She weakens.” He said simply. “I’m going out with them.” He told Tev.

“I’ll go with you.”

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