A Familiar Face
Chastain whooshed a breath at the sight of Meralee. Recognizing her instantly. Even from so long ago. “You’ve grown so much!”
Chastain caught Mera in a tight hug.
Stunned, Mera caught a lock of curling red hair and looked at the older girl. “I remember you…You got us out.”
“No…Actually I just followed someone.” Shock set in on Chastain’s face.
“What is it?” Acharius caught her arm stunned and turned her toward him.
“I can see his face now.”
“The spirit that led us from the mushroom hut?”
“You know who it was?” Urgency entered the huge man’s voice. As he protectively pulled her closer to him.
“Yes…” She stared up at him with stunned green eyes. “Chavias.”
“Chavias!” Shock settled over Acharius’ features. He instantly recalled the day he’d thought that he would owe the individual that got her out of that hut, a tremendous debt. “The man that nearly killed me?”
“It was him, Acharius. I’m certain. His face was vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t remember why…It was because he was hazy, his features distorted then. I thought he was a wraith haunting the woods. Some miraculous salvation.”
“He was your salvation…”
Perhaps I owe him more than just my life. It was a sobering thought. Settling deep in Acharius’ soul.
A purple-haired girl approaching drew Chastain’s stunned expression. “Serdephe!”
She grinned and quickly embraced Chastain.
“You’re hair!” Chastain stared at it in shock.
“I know.” Ser pulled the heavy waves over her shoulder. “Soon after you left me in the Netherlands it changed. I don’t know why…”
“I’m rather fond of it.” An imposing white-haired man stepped to Ser’s side to comment.
“This is Teverius.” Ser introduced.
He bowed rather coldly.
Meralee Carter was staring at Serdephe in shock.
“What?” Ser noticed her dark-eyed stare.
“I thought they were scouring the land for you. I told them you were already in acquaintance with one of our knights, but I couldn’t see who, in my visions.”
“Looking for me? Why?”
“That’s why Deragan told me to produce you.” Tev grumbled. Frowning at Meralee.
Serdephe couldn’t tear her gaze from Meralee. “You’re my little sister? The visioner?”
“Yes!” Meralee covered her mouth in shock. “I didn’t think I’d see any of you ever again.”
“Neither did I!” Chastain added with a joyous expression. She looked at Acharius in wonder. “Chavias said he’d guided them to each of his brethren for them to protect the girls. I knew nothing of your kind back then…” She murmured.
What can I say to that?
How’d he find them? Guide them?
Who has he become?
But there was no forgetting Dearburn.
Acharius escorted her back to Meredith House in her white gown.
She held his arm with one hand and her skirt from the dirt with the other. “It’s strange to imagine I’m now part of your ‘pack’.”
“Just seems a strange thing to say.”
“You’re all so strong and powerful and I’m…” She shrugged.
“If you say.” She smiled from under hooded lashes.
He lifted her over a few fallen branches. Setting her carefully on her feet.
“Afraid I might tumble?” She lifted a red brow.
“I know you. You often tumble.”
“But you always catch me.” She tipped her chin up to beam at him.
“Yes.” He nodded grudgingly. “I do.”