Blood Love (God Wars Book 4) (10 page)

BOOK: Blood Love (God Wars Book 4)
13.25Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

We sat in Ashe's solarium, with windows all around the turreted space and plants scattered throughout, making the space inviting. Comfortable chairs and sofas were also placed strategically so a magnificent view of the groves could be had from almost any angle.

By we, I meant Kay, Kevis, Ashe, Corent, Trevor, Bill and me. Trajan and Kooper were teaching the reptanoids hand-fighting techniques somewhere in the groves.

"All anybody has to do is read that awful book," I pointed out.

"What awful book?" Kay turned to me.

"This awful book." I used up some of my precious reserve of strength and
a copy of
Torture in Texas
into my hand. "I know you can read this, I just warn against it. And looking at the photographs," I added.

"Oh, no. That was you?" Kay shuddered as I showed her the cover. "I couldn't read it—before. It just looked too horrible."

"I don't recommend doing it now, since you have Kalia's memories, too," I said. "Why don't you talk about things on Earth?"

"I died in a bank robbery," Kay shivered. "And then I woke up in Kalia's head. It was awful."

"Breanne said it was," Kevis agreed. "Can you tell us what was happening, or is it too painful?"

"It makes me sick," Kay said. "There was so much blood." She and I had some things in common, and none of it was pretty or comfortable to discuss in a crowd.

"Kay, may I sit with you?" Ashe asked.

"If Breanne will sit with me, too," she quavered. "This is so upsetting, and I'm terrified Kalia will wake and I'll be lost again."

"Kay needs you beside her," Kevis nodded to me.

"Then I'm coming with Breanne," Bill muttered. "She needs somebody, too."

"I won't argue that point, but there's limited space on Kay's sofa."

"I can fix that," Ashe said and held out a hand. The sofa became long enough for six people—instead of three. Bill rose, walked to my chair and took my hand. Once all four of us were settled comfortably on the sofa, Kevis began again.

"Kay, can you tell us now?" he asked gently.

"Iversti Foculis wouldn't leave Kalia alone," Kay's voice trembled as she began her story. "He wanted to make sure everybody recognized her as his property."

* * *

"Tell me about Kalia's husband," Ashe insisted, once Kevis declared the session over for the day and Fes managed to entice Kalia into the kitchen for a bowl of gishi fruit ice cream. I wanted ice cream, too, but Ashe wanted information.

"He only wanted her because he knew he could sell her. Iversti was the first—and only buyer," I said.

"If he weren't dead already," Ashe's fists clenched.

"Honey, you'd have to stand in line. My targets now are Rezil Foculis, Hordace Cayetes, those women who trained Kalia and Q'And and Q'Ind Ribalo."

"All of them are involved?"

"Yeah. Start
, dude. At least some of that information isn't tied up with a Sirenali's curse, and the rest of it I can read from Kay."

"Generally I don't do that, since there's so much temptation to interfere and potentially expose myself," Ashe gazed out the huge windows of the solarium. "But we're allowed to protect our mates, or do what we feel we must to counteract the enemy."

"I think all those people I just mentioned fall into both categories," I pointed out dryly. "I know we're supposed to do quick and painless deaths, but those women deserve to be crucified. As soon as I'm able, I'm
Changing What Was
and removing those scars she has," I added. "She deserves so much better than she's gotten."

"Bree, I know that about you, too. I wish that weren't the case. Really."

"Ashe, I wish I knew what it was like to have parents." I walked as steadily as I could out of the solarium.

* * *

The mountain lion was a ghost, as was the girl at his side. Both stared at me with unblinking curiosity. I'd misted into the groves to get away from the house for a while—and all the people in it.

"Elizabeth, Philip," I nodded to each.

"Can you see us?" the girl asked. She'd died young and her ghost still looked like the young, pretty girl she'd been. Philip, an Elemaiyan shapeshifter, had died as his alter ego, and couldn't change back while he remained where he was.

"I can see and hear you," I said. "Philip, you only have to think what you want to say—I'll understand."

"Ashe asks us now and then if we'd like to move on. We like it here," Elizabeth said. "We just wish we had our bodies back."

"What would you do, if you did have them back?" I asked.

"Make up for lost time," Elizabeth snorted. "And not like you think," she held up a hand. "I know what we were; we both do," she flung out a transparent arm to include the mountain lion. "We've learned a lot since we died. It's just that we can't talk to anyone except Ashe. Until you came along, anyway."

"Who are you talking to?"

Turning, I saw two people walking toward me. Wynn and her mate, Ace. Ace recognized me—he'd seen me in Dallas around four hundred years in the past.

"They thought you died," Ace nodded to me.

"I thought I did, too," I agreed. "How are you, Ace? Wynn, nice to meet you," I added.

"She can read just about anybody," Ace said quietly to Wynn.

"Don't worry; I keep a shield up most of the time. It's just not comfortable if I don't," I reassured the woman who transformed into a rare, unicorn shapeshifter. She and the white werewolf were a good pairing and very well suited to one another.

"Sali said you were unusual," Wynn said. "You probably know already how your talent might upset people."

"I know that very well," I agreed. "And trust me; I stopped making judgments long ago. It's just too tiring."

She laughed, and that's what I'd hoped for.

"Are you going back?" Ace asked. I knew what he meant—he meant Earth in the past.

"As soon as I have enough strength to get there," I nodded. "I intend to go back disguised, too, so nobody will recognize me. They think they have me on their radar, since they've seen me and know my name. That's just idiotic to think I'd do that again."

"You can use my image," Wynn smiled. "Nobody except the people here would recognize me. That way, you'd only have to come up with an alias."

"Really?" I studied Wynn for a moment. She was beautiful, with white-blond hair and blue eyes. "Would you mind if I shortened the hair—maybe to here?" I touched the top of my shoulder.

"No problem," Wynn dimpled. "That way, I'd feel as if I were helping the cause."

"You would be," I nodded at her. "More than you know. I was talking to Elizabeth and Philip, by the way. You have anything you want to say while I'm here?" I turned back to my ghostly companions.

"Tell Wynn I love her boots," Elizabeth said.

"Elizabeth says she loves your boots," I relayed the message.

"Really? I had to order them, and sizes are always iffy when you order," she replied. "It's so much trouble to ask Ashe to take us away from here, so we'll be safe."

"Someday, if I have anything to say about it, that won't be a problem," I told Wynn. "Philip, Elizabeth, if I live over all this, we'll talk about fixing your problem, too."

* * *

"She's in the groves; I just heard from Ace," Trajan growled.

"She had to be somewhere—she can't leave SouthStar," Bill said. "It would be nice if she'd tell us she's going walkabout, though."

"She has many things to consider, and worries about them—and us," Corent said. "I agree that it would be nice for her to tell us where she is, but so many things weigh on her and that's adding one more task to an already lengthy list."

"It worries me that she's in so much danger," Fes said.

"She's planning to go back; you know that, don't you?" Trajan said. "I can't go back with her, because I'm there already. At least Trajan one-point-oh is back there."

"Bill one-point-oh, too," Bill nodded.

"As am I," Trevor sighed.

"I'm not," Kooper began.

"We not, either," Chazi, Bekzi and Perzi chorused.

"I'm not there, but what might a cook do?" Fes tossed up a hand.

"I'm not there, either, but I could hinder her instead of helping," Corent agreed.

"I'm going if I have anything to say about it," Stellan huffed. "If she won't take me, I'll ask one of the Larentii to do it. I think Graegar or Barrigar would be willing."

"How soon?" Chazi asked. "We ready."

"She still isn't very strong," Trajan said. "Who wants to help me track her down, so I can take her through some exercises?"

* * *

I'd only walked a quarter mile after misting away from Wynn and the others before the mate contingent showed up. Trajan hauled me up one-handed and folded me back to his dojo. He let me know how grumpy he was over my disappearance by forcing me to do push-ups and lift weights.

"Better than I thought," Trajan said when I found myself on the mat again, my back pressed against the heavy canvas.

"Thank goodness something's not pissing you off," I muttered up at him.

"You think I'm pissed?" Trajan tapped his chest in disbelief. "Baby doll, you haven't seen me pissed."

"This isn't going well," I slapped a hand over my eyes. Trevor, the unflappable, eternally reserved vampire, snickered nearby.

"Come on," Trajan held out a hand.

"Really?" I misted myself upright. "You haven't seen me pissed either, mister." I stalked away, leaving him and the others staring after me.

* * *

"Breanne, they're worried." Kevis sat on the side of my bed. I was still in a snit and sat with my back against the massive headboard, staring at the wall and closet door straight ahead.

"Look, I don't need any head fixing at the moment," I snapped.

"My mother is worried about meeting you," Kevis said, surprising me.

"What?" I turned and stared at him. He was now staring at my closet door, his green-gold eyes troubled and a frown wrinkling his forehead.

"She's sort of afraid, actually. She heard that you can read people, and she's worried about her past."

"Because she was mistreated when she was small, too." I made it a statement and not a question.

"She won't even talk to me about most of it—I have some information from Brock, but that's it."

"Look, tell her I'll keep my shields up. I sure wouldn't want anybody picking through my memories," I sighed. "There's no need for her to be uncomfortable. I think I'm uncomfortable enough for both of us."

"There's no need for that. Graegar and Barrigar will be there, plus a lot of other Larentii, if I know them at all. I think all the Saa Thalarr are coming, but they're just regular people. Besides, you'll have your mates there, and I sure wouldn't want to get Trajan, Stellan, Trevor or Kooper riled up," Kevis turned to offer a smile. "Or the reptanoids, either. Or Bill. Or Fes or Corent. I don't know exactly what Corent might do, but bad fruit for a hundred years might be in the offing."

"Kevis, stop, you're making me laugh," I snickered.

"My work here is done," he said and rose. "Dress comfy. Like for a pool party." Kevis folded out of my bedroom while I considered what to wear.

* * *

Navy walking shorts, a white tank top and sandals. That's what I found in the closet. "This better be good enough," I mumbled, hoping all the other women wouldn't be wearing sundresses and hats.

"That looks nice," Bill walked into my bedroom, the reptanoids right behind him. "Ashe is ready to take us. He's bringing Kay, and she only agreed to go because you are."

"I hope he's ready to hold her hand," I said. "Doesn't he see that this may be too much for her?"

"I think all the healers will gather around her and trust me, a healing sleep can be placed if necessary. I'm hoping she'll feel comfortable soon."

"I'm hoping I'll feel comfortable soon," I muttered. "I'm as ready as I can be. Lead the way."

* * *

Ashe's Journal

"Sweetheart, they won't bite. They just want to make you feel welcome," I said as Karzac, Joey, Franklin and several other healers walked toward us. Kay practically quaked at my side while Breanne, standing nearby, went pale. I was beginning to realize how much courage Bree actually had, to be afraid and struggle every moment to overcome it.

, I whispered into her mind.
Nobody here will hurt you

* * *

Breanne's Journal

"Mom, Aunt Devin, this is Breanne." Kevis sounded proud as he introduced me to his mother and his aunt.

"Hello," I smiled and worked to recall my manners.

"She's shaking, Kevis," Grace announced as she took my offered hand.

"She does that, Mom. I gave you a copy of the book," he sighed.

"I couldn't look past the first few pages," Grace admitted.

BOOK: Blood Love (God Wars Book 4)
13.25Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Timothy 02: Tim2 by Mark Tufo
Jail Bird by Jessie Keane
The Courtesan by Carroll, Susan
Cam - 03 - The Moonpool by P. T. Deutermann
Unwanted Fate by A. Gorman
BEFORE by Dawn Rae Miller
Blowback by Emmy Curtis