FOREVER KNIGHTS: #18 Traitorous Lovers

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MARDICHI - Time With Liasa

Dread Country


It was a few blissful days of Mardichi playing with the tiny redhead. Her tinkling laughter filled his heart with joy in a way he’d thought he’d never feel again. He lay on his back. With her lifted above him. Moving her around in the air as though she were flying while she held her arms out, laughing as the air rushed past her.


Such a wonderful word. I never got to hear Liam say it.

“Yes, Liasa?”

“When is mommy coming?”


“Do you miss her?” He stopped moving her around to look deeply into her light blue eyes.

She nodded emphatically. “I do.”

“Me too.” He whispered. Lowering her to kiss the tip of her tiny noise. “It’s going to take me a bit to go find her.”

“You should!” She squealed excitedly. Putting her arms back out to fly some more.

Soon as I find her. He thought. She’s coming back one way or another.

He’d already spent the last day and a half feeling deep remorse for taking his wife’s daughter.

She’s probably terribly worried.

And he knew full well Zuriena was a good mother. As evidenced by her mad flight to the cottage to get to her little one.

“How would you like to go to a magical place?” He whispered.

“Magical?” She blinked huge blue eyes.


“Very much!” She said breathlessly. “Would you like to see a castle made of water?”

“Ooh…” She blinked slowly. “And its king?”

Mardichi grimaced. “And it’s king.”

“Is he wise?”

“No.” Mardichi shook his head emphatically.


Mardichi shrugged grudgingly.


Mardichi grunted. “Let’s speak of more pleasant things.” Standing, he hunkered over to hang his hand low enough to take her tiny one. It fit comfortably in his massive one.

She’s like a tiny flame in my world. He thought. Seeing her like a spark of life in a dead world.

Not entirely dead. And his jaw set as he decided to take the little one up to WaterRose.

So, I can go find my other spark. He stamped down the rage that rose at the thought.

“Will ye help me?”

Bast looked a little deflated as his eyes traversed from Mardichi to the tiny little redhead holding the barbarian’s massive hand. “You know it will be difficult for me, I’ve much else going on.”

“I need ta go in search of ’er mother.”

“I thought you’d found her?” He gestured to Liasa.

“I did but then me lost ’er again.”

When I took Liasa and marched out.

“You have the hardest time keeping tabs on your woman.”

Mardichi glowered. “Is this a discussion ye truly wish ta ’ave?”

“I know where mine is! I’m very good at keeping tabs on her. Just very poor at tempting her back.”

“Well, that’s precisely what me intend ta find out.” He crouched to kiss his daughter’s forehead then cover her ears as he looked up at Bast. “If me can refrain from strangling ’er.”

Bast laughed at the jest.

“What? What did you say?” The girl blinked large doe eyes.

“Some secrets must be atween men.”

“Why?” She pouted.

“Because lasses are far too clever fer such meager issues as may plague men.”

She nodded gravely.

Mardichi stood and leaned toward Bast. “Take care. She may be the most lovely thing me ever saw.”

“She is quite remarkable.” Bast grinned and crouched before her.

“No!” Mardichi covered Bast’s eyes. “Don’t look in them, Sweet Girl.”

Bast looked up at him mockingly. “I have it quite in check this moment.”

“I didna even know ye could do tha’.” Mardichi’s hand dropped. He glowered. “After all this time?”

“It takes great concentration.” He averted his attention back to the child. “Did you have great fun with your father?”

“Oh, indeed!” She proclaimed. Swinging the large hand still holding hers.

“Did he listen to you?”

“Oh, yes!” She leaned forward to confide. “He says he’d do anything I asked.”

“Did he?”

“Yes, so I told him I want a doll as beautiful as my mother.”

Bast looked at her incredulously. “Do they make dolls so lovely?”

“I don’t…Know…” She said in shock.

“I’m no’ sure they could.” Mardichi murmured. “Well little lass,” He leaned to press another tender kiss to the red curls at her forehead. “I’ll soon return. With yer mum.”

He turned and grumbled. “Willingly or nay.”

She hopped up and down clapping. “Then go quick Daddy.” She pushed on his leg. Shoving at the huge immovable limb. “So, you may return all the faster!”

The huge man tossed his head back and rumbled with hearty laughter. A laugh Bast hadn’t heard in much time.

Bast caught up to him to speak in a low voice away from the child. “You cannot leave before the ball.” Bast said. “It going to be grand, indeed.”

Mardichi groaned.

“I’d do it for you.” Bast pointed out.

“Yea. Ye would.”

“Come Liasa.” Bast returned and waited for her to fall into step with him. “There’s someone you must meet. She will love you! Elengard!”

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