ACHARIUS - Who Is Radix?
Merwood, Dread Hideout
Upon returning to Meredith House from the Forever Knight Ball, Chastain asked the question Acharius had been dreading.
“Where’d you hear that name?”
“At the Ball.”
Where else? He sighed.
“I’ve never heard you mention him.” She insisted.
“His is not a name anyone should mention unless necessary. He’s pure evil. A demon.”
“A demon?” She looked worried.
Acharius told her of the Great Battle. How Raese Merlinus had been knocked from flight and never seen again. How they’d been outplayed by the demon in an ambush. “We’d little hope of overcoming Radix and all his minions.”
She adjusted on the log they sat on. Staring down the hill at the House. As she moved, blue flowers grew on the log where she’d touched it.
White ones clambered over her bare feet to curl lovingly around her ankles.
She was now so used to it she hadn’t even noticed.
They’ll let her go when she moves. He’d learned from the past.
“We lost many Forever Knights that day and even more since by Radix’s hand…Or Chavias’.” Acharius told her then of The Fallen.
The angel that dropped from the Heaven’s to give them immortality with her last breath, Nora Bishop now.
He told her as she sat huddled against his shoulder in shock of who they’d been before and since that fateful day.
She blinked fathomless green eyes up at him. “So I will age and you will stay as you are? Forever?”
He drew a long breath. “It could be. Or we could do it differently.”
Vulnerability drew his brows together as he studied her alluring features. “The Fallen could grant you immortality if you asked, and she agreed. Or-”
“She can do that?” Chastain asked in surprise.
“She can do many things!” Acharius laughed. “To hear tell from the Captain, she’s getting more powerful day by day.”
Chastain listened raptly.
“Or there’s another way.”
She scooted closer to him. Clinging to his bicep as her chin rested on his shoulder.
“I could mark you.”
“What’s that?” She blinked rapidly in confusion. “You’ve never mentioned that.”
“You know what I can turn into?”
“The wolf and the dragon.”
“Yes. If my wolf were to bite you. I’d share my immortality with you. But you’d be forever ‘marked’.”
“What does that mean?” She stiffened. Drawing slightly away. Sensing the seriousness of the topic they discussed.
“It means we’re mated and can take no other lovers. Our lives are intertwined. Yours and mine. If one of us were to be harmed the other two would suffer it.”
“I-I would l-like you to mark me…” She whispered under her breath.
“It’s more complex than it sounds, Chastain. You’d need to carefully consider such a thing for some time before deciding. It means those you might care for wouldn’t live as long as you. You’d watch them fade away.”
“You’re the only one I’ve left.”
“That too is a problem. Perhaps you should meet others. See if I am what you think I am to you.”
“I don’t want to meet anyone else.”
“Don’t.” She glared at him. Brows drawing together. “I know what I want, Acharius.”
“You should think on it.”
“How long?” She tossed her arms. “Long enough for you to vanish again?”
“Chastain…” He said sternly. “You can’t decide you want marked merely because you don’t want me to leave.”
“That’s not why.” She looked at him very seriously. “But it worries me, you always leaving when we get a bit too close.”
“We’ve been more than ‘a bit’ too close.” He grunted.
“So I see no reason why we’re not already mated. Isn’t that what we’ve already done?”
Acharius jaw gaped and he looked at her astounded.
Hell of a point.