Current Reading: Prophecy – Cassandra Morgan
Inspired by: Shatter Me – Lindsey Stirling
Yes. I readily admit to being a slacker about my blog as of late. I have been busy with Shadow’s Journey revisions and work and life. I recently had a local author event at Gathering Volumes. The event went well in spite of the freezing cold and rain. If you want to see photos, check out the May edition of the Maeseloria Monthly. For those that have been waiting for the next installment of Alex and Marc, allow me to proceed. If you missed the first installment leading up to this, check out the blog post Reunion. Happy reading!
How appropriate. Alexandra thought when she observed the dawning daylight. She turned towards her brother. He leaned against the wall next to Emma’s front door with his arms folded over his chest. The look on his face was thunderous. “Years ago, Fate above, we must have been children.” As he spoke he pushed from the wall and fell into step with her. The path led away from Emma’s home. “I made you a promise that I would never leave your side again. Do you remember?”
“We were not children, brother-mine.” Alexandra responded as he took her hand. “Just naïve.” Her words were gentle, thoughtful. The warmth of his hand was much missed. In those dark catacombs the thought of her loved ones kept her alive and allowed her to keep fighting. She suspected admitting such a thing though would simply fuel the fire that burned within her brother. Emma was a curious puzzle that she would address with him soon. For now, however, Alexandra savored the warmth of Marc’s hand in hers and the familiar comfort of his mind occupying her own.
“Perhaps naïve but since we retook the kingdom, have I ever failed you?” He murmured as they took the path away from Emma’s. With a minute flex of will, he pulled them both away into the early morning light. He knew she allowed him to exert that level of control and power over her. Marcus understood her better than anyone but Nicholas, he felt. When he realized the old man was in on her scheme, the thought infuriated him that much more. The training clearing of their childhood sprawled before them when they reappeared. “I have of much to lose in light of your passing as you do.” He jerked her to a halt and turned her to face him. Marc never used force on his sister but the grasp on her shoulders bit into the skin. “What compelled you to believe you could not trust me with this?”
Their gazes clashed like fire and ice. “Are you done whining, love?” Alexandra spoke on tones so gentle that they further provoked his ire. “I did what must be done. This consequence included you and yours. I could not change that. The tale had to be believe. This was a consequence of that choice. What would you have me do? Risk the kingdom at the consequence of your tender heart?”
“For fuck’s sake Alex, do not patronize me.” He rounded on her and growled. “I have someone to lose here beyond you and she might not fucking survive my passing any more than I would survive yours.” Marc raged against the calm emerald of her eyes. Fate above, he wanted to shake some emotion into her eyes. How could she not regret this choice and all the pain the decision had caused?
“I would not insult your intelligence Marcus, however tempted I may be.” Alexandra shot back and arched a white blonde brow. “Now who is being patronizing? Riddle me this, Marcus. Were you so blind as to see that you were not the only one with a life to lose?” Without a word, Alexandra flexed her will and brought Lily to the clearing. You may be angry with both of us but you need to understand. “I have a daughter, a husband, a family just like you. Must we revisit this lesson because you now have someone so beloved to you that it terrifies you to consider losing her?”
Marc could not find words and struck as their fights so often erupted into when they disagreed. Alexandra dodged the blow and met him stride for stride by countering his physical force with her mental. “I did what I must Marcus. I will not allow you to guilt me for so difficult a decision. Yes, I could have told you but then to what end?” She asked as his knuckles pounded against the physical shell she set around herself. He would be bruised later. “What purpose would it serve beyond easing your own conscience? You were safer not knowing and we both know it. Your nature could not have kept you away from me no matter what state I was in. Your power could have been a detriment to my survival.” Alexandra scowled as she lectured him. Fed up with his constant battering of the shield instead of listening, she shoved him hard enough with her mind to send him skittering across the clearing. The temperature around them was rising as her brother, at last pushed her towards anger.
Glancing beyond them to Lily, Alexandra whipped the dagger from her belt and buried at the girls feet. The ward was activated with no more than a though. I will not have you harmed when I brought you here. Least of all by my temper. “More the fool you are to your own nature Marcus. My point was proven when you tore the realm apart because you realized I lived. The poison worked against our magic, Marcus. The same poison that killed Devin accelerates at the touch of Jade bloodlines. Of the two of us, you simply cannot allow matters to be what they will.”
“Do you hear me? Tessa could have saved him. Nicholas could have saved him but I could not and I will carry that ghost until I die. Forgive me for excluding you. Fate gave me a duty and I fulfilled it. Her brother was picking himself up from the ground and cursing. His words and his bruised pride did not move her in the least. “I will not ask you to agree with the choice or the consequences. I never have but I will be damned if you will not respect them or me and the courage it took to make them. “ Her eyes narrowed. “You promised, your honor is not harmed by my choice. You did not leave my side for you were in my thoughts every day for the last year. The thought of you and those in my care enabled me to survive.”
Marc glared though he saw both her reason and felt the air’s temperature rising between them. He did not see Lily until Alexandra build the dagger’s ward around her. His heart broke to see her standing there before he turned his attention back to his sister. “I get it, Alex. You did what duty required…truly but you have lost before sister-mine. I have not and do not intend to. Your secrets might put her at risk and I cannot abide that.” He turned towards Lily. Anger bristled in her green eyes.
As he stepped towards his beloved, Alexandra spoke. Her words were intended to turn his blood cold. “And what would you have done if it had been her and not Devin?” When he froze, she nodded to Lily and vanished from the clearing. Her dagger remained as an invitation for him to locate her later. Fate had best believe he would and they would finish their discussion once calmer heads prevailed. His was not.
“Lily.” He murmured as he met her eyes. With a thought, he disabled the ward. Once it was disabled, she came at him with a flurry of kicks and strikes that caught him off guard. He wrapped her up in his arms. He absorbed each blow though he would be bruised later. She could stab him at this point for all that it mattered.
“You’re an idiot, my lord. A Light blasted fucking idiot.”