Read Laura Jo Phillips Online

Authors: The Gryphons' Dream: Soul Linked#5

Laura Jo Phillips

BOOK: Laura Jo Phillips
6.32Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

The Gryphons’ Dream

 

Book Five of the Soul-Linked Saga

by

 

Laura Jo Phillips

 

Copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Honsinger

 

Cover art/design Copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Honsinger

 

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

DEDICATION

 

As always...

 

For my husband.  For all you do, all you put up with, and all that you are, Thank You from the bottom of my heart.

 

For Mom, Grandma, and Great-Grandma---Thank you all for the creativity you passed along to me, as well as the heart to do something with it.  There is a little bit of each of you in these books, just as there is a little bit of each of you in me.

 

The Vulpirans’ Honor

Book Six of the Soul-Linked Saga

by

Laura Jo Phillips

Available Fall 2012

 

A Sneak Peek

Will be available to read online soon.

Look for it at:

www.laurajophillips.com

 

And

 

Look for

Berta’s Story

Coming Soon

 

 

 

Other Books by Laura Jo Phillips

 

The Dracons’ Woman

Book One of the Soul-Linked Saga

 

The Lobos’ HeartSong

Book Two of the Soul-Linked Saga

 

The Katres’ Summer

Book Three of the Soul-Linked Saga

 

The Bearens’ Hope

Book Four of the Soul-Linked Saga

 

Coming Soon

The Vulpirans’ Honor

 

Visit the home of the Soul-Linked Saga online at:

www.laurajophillips.com

or email Laura Jo at:

[email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

Prologue

 

Aisling Ametsa struggled to open her eyes, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t do it.  She paused for a moment, trying to figure out why.  The last thing she remembered was standing in Berta’s bedroom in the desert compound, watching with horror as the bedroom door flew open without warning, hitting Berta so hard that the older woman fell to the floor, unconscious.  After that, she had only vague memories of being dragged out of the house by a couple of unfamiliar men, her fear for Berta uppermost in her mind.  After that, nothing.  

They’re coming.
 
They’re coming now.  Wake up!
 

Who are
they? she wondered in surprise.

The question slipped away, and she focused again on trying to open her eyes.  After a few moments she realized that, not only couldn’t she open her eyes, she couldn’t move at all.  Nor could she hear, or smell, or feel anything around her.  She couldn’t even tell if she was lying down or standing up.

Her heart began to race with fear as she strained with everything she had to awaken from what had rapidly become a nightmare.  But her efforts were wasted.

Why can’t I move?
she wondered frantically. 
Or wake-up? 
She began to feel as though she were drowning in a dark sea of something too soft and too resilient, like cotton balls or pillows.  Panic set in, but not even that could drag her out of the deepening nightmare.  Eventually the darkness crept back into her mind and her thoughts faded to silence.

****

Olaf Gryphon crossed the Jasani skyport with his brothers flanking him; Rudolf, the youngest brother, on the left and Randolf, the middle brother, on the right, each half a pace behind him.  At just six feet in height, the nearly identical triplets were considered rather short by Jasani standards, with broad, stocky bodies that bulged with muscle.  Like their bodies, their facial features were also broad and strong, with wide cheeks, hooked noses and deep set eyes that gave an instant impression of ferocity.  Their eyes were the distinguishing characteristic between them: Olaf’s were olive green, Rudolf’s dark brown, and Randolf’s light golden brown. 

The three men attracted a lot of stares as they stalked through the skyport with their olive green hair flowing loosely down their backs, but they didn’t seem to notice.  They were too intent on getting to the gate assigned to the
Kontuan
before the ship completed its docking procedure.

The Bearens had sent a lot of news from Earth to Jasan over the past few months.  The first message had been unbearably sad, telling of the death of their beloved Princess Lariah’s sister, Ellicia.  All of Clan Jasan had mourned with their grief stricken Princess, and then worried with their Princes for Lariah’s health.  When the crisis had passed, and the news spread that the Princess’s grief had not caused her to lose the male triplets she carried, all of Jasan had breathed a sigh of relief.

Only then did they begin to allow themselves to address the other part of the Bearens’ message.  The part that told of Ellicia’s three infants who were, incredibly, impossibly, Clan Owlfen.  One of the Lost Clans had been returned to them, and all of Clan Jasani rejoiced.

Then had come the news that the babies were gravely ill.  That had been one of the darkest periods for Clan Jasani since the Dark Time itself.  Clan Jasani business had come to a screeching halt for weeks as every Clan member made his way to the Hidden City to join in a solemn and sober vigil while awaiting news of the infants’ fate.  When the long awaited message had arrived announcing that the illness had been identified, and that the babies were recovering, the roar of happiness and relief had shaken the very mountains.

As the eldest of all Clan Consuls, the Gryphons had requested, and been granted, the honor of meeting the
Kontuan
upon its arrival at the Jasani skyport, and escorting the Bearens and their party to the Dracons’ ranch to visit the Princes and their Princess.  In deference to the honor and privilege bestowed on them, they had rushed their new air transport through assembly so that it would be ready in time for this day.

Never had Olaf felt such excitement and hope for the future of his people as he felt when he and his brothers stepped onto the
Kontuan
to welcome the Bearens home.  He was surprised and pleased to see that Jackson, Clark and Rob Bearen were waiting to greet them.  He bowed, then extended his hands to Jackson with his forearms crossed.

“I greet you, High Consul Bearen,” Olaf said formally.

Jackson stepped forward, his own forearms crossed, and clasped hands with Olaf, while his younger brothers, Clark and Rob, did the same with Rand and Rudy.

“I greet you, High Consul Gryphon,” Jackson replied.  This was the ritual greeting between warriors, signifying that their lives were all entwined, and that they must always watch each other’s backs.

After the formal greetings were completed Olaf stepped back and smiled.  “We would also congratulate you, Jackson, Clark and Rob, on the finding of your Arima.  We wish you every happiness.”

“We thank you, Olaf,” Jackson said.  “I don’t think we could possibly be happier.  Come, we will introduce you to our Arima, and our sons.”

“We would be most honored to meet them,” Olaf said.  “All of Jasan has eagerly awaited this day.”

Jackson beckoned Olaf to walk with him, then turned and began leading the way through the
Kontuan
.  As they walked, Olaf considered whether or not to ask the question that he was burning with curiosity about.

“What would you like to ask?” Jackson said, glancing sideways at Olaf with a grin.

 “I apologize,” Olaf said.  “I do not mean to be rude, but I could not help but notice the silver mark on your forehead.”

“It is the sigil of Clan Owlfen, and the mark of the Sentinel,” Jackson replied.  “The Sentinel is the guardian of the Owlfen.  It is a long story which we will share later, but, in short, we had to agree to accept their guardianship for ourselves before they could take the babies
beneath their wings
, as they say.  If we had refused, the boys would have died.  The Sentinel will also guide us in the ways of the Owlfen so that we may teach the boys.  They will grow up to be true Clan Owlfen.”

Olaf was so stunned that he stopped walking.  Jackson took a couple of steps before he realized that Olaf was no longer beside him.  He turned back with an expression of surprise.

Olaf raised his fist to his heart and bowed solemnly.  “The Consuls of Clan Bearen are worthy of great honor,” he said.  “All of the Clans of Jasan owe you much for your sacrifice.”

“I thank you, Olaf, but in truth, it was not so difficult,” Jackson replied.  “It was necessary to preserve the lives of our sons.  We could not do other.”

Olaf resumed walking alongside Jackson, still shocked by the risk the Bearens had taken.  It was no small thing to risk angering the shadowed ancestors of one’s Clan by following the ways of another Clan.  By such an action, the Bearens made it clear that the infants were
their
sons, and that they would risk anything for them.  Olaf felt a familiar, empty ache within his chest at the thought of he and his brothers having children of their own to love and teach and raise.  Long had they dreamt of such a blessing.

“We appreciate you and your brothers coming to meet us today,” Jackson said. 

“It is our honor and privilege,” Olaf said  “You have accomplished much in the short period of time you were gone.  Much that is of great import to all of our people.”

“We cannot take credit for events that occurred without effort on our part,” Jackson said. 

“Blind Sight?  The location of the Xanti home world?” Olaf asked with an arched brow.

“Those are both thanks to Hope, not us,” Jackson replied.  “The boys are thanks to Ellicia and Harlan.  Even finding our Arima was thanks only to Ellicia.” 

Olaf chuckled softly as they stepped into an elevator and waited for their brothers to join them.  “As you wish, High Consul Bearen,” he said, his green eyes sparkling with rare humor.

Jackson returned Olaf’s chuckle.  A lot had happened during their stay on Earth, that was true enough.  They had sent messages relating much of it back to their Princes before leaving Earth.  But they had saved the more sensitive information until they were close enough to Jasan for direct communication, without the use of relay stations or buoys.  Those were the only types of transmissions that they could secure absolutely, a requirement before they felt safe in revealing that they knew the location of the Xanti home world, and that they were able to break through the Blind Sight system. 

The elevator doors opened and Jackson led the way down one more hall before pausing to open a door.  Olaf stepped into what appeared to be a stateroom that had been converted into a large, cozy sitting room with several chairs, tables and sofas.  There were several women in the room, but the first that Olaf noticed was a woman with dark red hair sitting motionless in a chair near a far corner.

There were so many other people moving around and talking that Olaf wasn’t sure how he’d even noticed the woman sitting quietly by herself.  He only knew that the instant he stepped into the room, he was riveted by her.  A strange sensation raced through him when he looked at her.  A sensation that he could neither identify nor explain. 

The woman’s head was bowed, her eyes hidden by long bangs, but even so, he knew he had never seen her before.  She was not the least bit familiar but, at the same time, he felt as though he
should
know her. 

A woman with shoulder length dark hair and large grey eyes moved to stand beside, and slightly in front of, the sitting woman, blocking his view of her.

“This is Aisling,” she said, a note of defensiveness in her voice that warned Olaf his staring had not gone unnoticed.  He bowed to the woman who had spoken.

“I apologize,” he said.  “I meant no offense.”

Karma studied Olaf’s face for a long moment.  “I apologize.  I feel protective toward Aisling,” she explained, stepping back beside Aisling and resting one hand lightly on her shoulder. 

“What is wrong with her?” Olaf asked, noting that the red haired woman had not moved in the smallest degree.

“She has a Controller,” Jackson said.  “One of the more common types.  We brought her to Jasan so that Saige and Summer can remove it.”

The knowledge that this woman, Aisling, had a Controller in her brain sent Olaf to the brink of a blood-rage so quickly that it was only his surprise at its suddenness that kept him from it.  He turned to look at Rand and Rudy and saw that they were having the same reaction.  He shook his head in confusion.  If he hadn’t known better, he would have said the woman was their Arima.  But if she were their Arima, their mating fangs would have descended at their first scent of her, and that had not happened. 

***

They’re
here!

Aisling struggled toward consciousness again, beginning to grow angry at her inability to force her body to obey her commands.  She needed to wake up.  It was more important than anything had ever been in her life, though she had no idea why.  It was all so confusing.  And frustrating.  She wanted to scream and cry out, but she couldn’t even force herself to draw a deep breath and sigh.  This time, when the darkness began to creep back, she welcomed it as a way to ease her frustration.  She couldn’t hear or speak or feel or move.  And she had no idea who
they
were.  With one final mental scream of anguish, she slipped beneath the darkness once more.

***

“Is something amiss, Olaf?” Jackson asked, concerned by the intense expressions on the faces of the Gryphons.  He would have sworn they were all three fighting a blood-rage, though he couldn’t think why.  Unless...,

“Is she your Arima?” he asked in a hushed voice.

Olaf’s olive green eyes met his own, and Jackson saw the confusion in them.  “No, she’s not,” Olaf said with a brief shake of his head.  “But I cannot deny that she makes us feel...something.  I don’t understand it.”

“When we met Ellicia Daniels, on Earth, we felt an instant connection with her,” Jackson said.  “It was not the same as a connection with one’s Arima.  It was more like the connection between siblings.  We were very confused by it as we’d never heard of such a thing happening before.  Do you feel something like that?”

 “No, that’s not it,” Olaf said with another shake of his head.  “We don’t feel a connection to her at all.  We just feel as though she is familiar.  Or should be.” 

Olaf reluctantly tore his eyes from the woman in the corner and turned to face Jackson fully, forcing himself to smile.  “I apologize for becoming distracted,” he said.  “We came here to meet your family.”

Jackson got the hint and guided Olaf toward Hope, who sat on a sofa holding an infant in her arms. 

“Hope, these are the Gryphon Consuls, Olaf, Randolf and Rudolf,” Jackson said.  Each of the Gryphons bowed as his name was spoken, fascinated by the unusual woman, and the infant in her arms.

“Olaf, this is our Arima, Hope, and our son, Harlan Owlfen,” Jackson said proudly.

Hope looked up, startling Olaf with her clear turquoise eyes.  Her face was not what one would call classically beautiful, but she was beautiful nonetheless.  Harlan had one of Hope’s three long thin braids held tightly in his tiny fist, and Olaf noted that both the braid, and the infant’s hair, were the same shade of white.  The other two braids were different colors, one dark red, and the other golden brown.  The rest of Hope’s hair was dark blonde and lay over her shoulder in a long, thick braid.  She had the same silver mark on her forehead that the Bearen brothers had, as did the baby she was holding.

BOOK: Laura Jo Phillips
6.32Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Mating Fever by Crymsyn Hart
Hex Appeal by Linda Wisdom
04.Die.My.Love.2007 by Casey, Kathryn
The Tree by Judy Pascoe
Outlander (Borealis) by Bay, Ellie
One Tiny Miracle... by Carol Marinelli
How To Steal a Car by Pete Hautman