The ceremony was in the orange grove of Rosewynn. With the burbling fountain making a beautiful backdrop as they all stood within the trees.
Knights in their vibrant dress cloaks of white satin emblazoned with the red cross and their ladies at their side.
To Lucien’s surprise, Meralee put up no fight. Placing her hand in his and quoting the words Rhyers told her to. She’s not running away.
Does that mean she meant what she said? Looking at her gorgeous, sun kissed face he saw no trace of deception. And I’ve learned that face well.
He’d spent hours learning her every movement as he taught her swordplay and eventually moved on to train her in some basic archery.
She’s surprisingly keen on learning it all. At first he’d thought it was only in order to fight free of him. But she hasn’t tried.
She’d insisted they restore Sabias House and they’d done most of the hardwork.
The villagers were finishing the final painting and clean up while they were away.
It’ll be beautiful soon. And I’d like to take her back. Sabias had begun to yearn for the house as he saw it returning to its former splendor. And with it, happy memories.
Things I’d been avoiding for far too long.
“Lucien, I must tell you something.”
“What?” He sensed her urgency and pulled her aside to find out what she needed to say.
“There’s a woman that can see a weapon underwater. A staff with a green orb.”
“Raese’s staff.” Lucien realized brows shooting up. “It was a woman that led them to it.”
“Corn hair and green eyes. A queen of some kind?” Mera asked.
“The queen of Nightway.” He said astonished. “From what I understand.”
“Good. So, you already have it then?”
In WaterRose. In the vault.
“Yes.” He nodded slowly.
“There’s another woman that is incredibly skilled in fighting demons. The Huntress.” She emphasized.
“I saw her in your dreams months ago and sent word to the Captain. She controls a pack of dogs that hunt demons.”
Mera’s jaw gaped and she nodded slowly. “You already knew.”
“I saw it in your dreams.”
He winced and tilted his head. Reluctant to tell her in-front of a crowd. She may slap me for intruding in her dreams.
“Long story…But is that her?” He pointed toward the tall, purple haired woman next to Teverius.”
Mera gasped. “It is! I hadn’t realized-”
“Thank you for the information.” He caught her arms. “It’s very important. Your visions are important.”
“Thank you…” Her gaze roved his face avidly. “A battle is coming.”
“Have you had visions of it?” He asked urgently.
“No, just of preparations for it.”
“You must tell me as soon as you see something. Please.”
The festivities moved inside where the nights made the Ballroom shine. And soon they were twirling across the floor.
Bast crept over to steal Mera for a dance.
Giving him a suspicious eye, she took his hand.
But it was only a short time before Bast, in characteristic fashion, had cracked her cold exterior and had her laughing. Bright teeth glinting as she was spun over the floor. Long waving mahogany swinging around her waist.
Of course, he’d charm her instantly.
Her dark eyes were intent on Bast, and her expression was softening in a way Lucien disliked.
Lucien strode over to them and bowed next to them. “Might I cut in for a dance with my wife. You’ve monopolized her since the dancing began.”
“My apologies.” Bast bowed and left.
Too damn pleasant to dislike. Lucien snapped his fingers at the quartet on the dais on the corner. They initiated a waltz.
“Wife?” She lifted a haughty brow.
He tilted her back in his arms. “What? Isn’t that what you are?”
She rolled her eyes Heavenward. “You’re going to be gloating about that awhile, aren’t you?”
Her beautiful eyes sparkled in the light of the candelabra.
She’s a sight to behold.
“What’s that?” Mera whispered.
Following her eyeline, Lucien glimpsed a silhouette moving along the outer wall of the Ballroom. In the darkest area was the glint of red eyes.
I’ve only seen eyes that horrifying once before.
Lucien’s gaze found Bast who’d stopped dancing the moment Lucien thought the name. He heard me thinking her name.
Lucien nodded in the direction of the wall and even as Bast was rounding he aimed that direction.
“I could feel her seething hatred from here. Who is she?”
“Bast’s valkyrie.” Lucien continued the dance.
“That was her?”
“Had to be.”
“Why’s she so angry?”
“If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say she saw you dancing with Bast.”
Lucien nodded emphatically. Yes, that’s bad.
The valkyrie’s envy was a powerful thing. Lucien had glimpsed how she’d looked at Dorena, on occasion.
Lucien caught Bast’s voice rising, though he couldn’t tell what he was saying.
Bast was trailing after the cloaked figure as she aimed for the foyer. His usual smile absent.
“That doesn’t look good.” Mera said sympathetically.
“Should I feel jealous they’re seeming to get more of your focus then I am, the eve of our union?”
“They don’t have more of my focus then you do.” She looked at him levelly. “I assure you.”
“Fear not for Bast, My Sweet.” Lucien said in a hushed voice. “He has a unique way of reaching her. There might come a day yet that he’ll take her to wife.”
“That creature looked a bit wild to be wed as any woman.”
“Some might’ve said the same of you…” He grinned.
Feigning a glower, she swatted his arm.
He chuckled and pretended to grimace away. Twirling her to save himself from further attack. “You know,” He caught her back in his embrace as he danced with her. His lips brushing her temple. “the candlelight brings out the gold in your hair. Like spun silk.”