The Sword and The Prophet (A Syren Novel) (10 page)

BOOK: The Sword and The Prophet (A Syren Novel)
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Chapter 10
A
srah’s eyes were closed, and she

leaned into the soft down that covered the small sofa that she’d been shown to in the Queen’s sitting room. She had been taken immediately from the main transportation pavilion directly to the Palace of Swords. She’d been welcomed by the small group of women who worked at the palace as part of her sister’s personal attendants, and been able to take time to bathe, and refresh herself for a few moments before they’d begun the journey to the Kingdom of the Peacemakers. She knew that the meeting between her and her sister and brother-in-law was going to be brutal, and she expected no less.

She heard commotion in the hallway, and stood as the door flew off of its hinges. Rather than cower, or hide, Asrah fell her knees in submission, bowed her head, and raised her hands, palms up, to her King as he strode through the door.

“Asrah! Where are my children!” Jackson saw her kneeling on the ground, and flew to her. He did not acknowledge her position on the ground, and yanked her to her feet. He was in full Syren rage, his fangs bared, and eyes black as onyx.

“They’re on Earth!” Asrah screamed. She laid her right hand on Jackson’s chest and poured her emotions, memories, and fears into him. The weight of her captivity, and the extent of her abuse of his children poured into Jackson. He flung her away from him, and slammed his fists against the wall. The shattering could be heard throughout the palace.

Asrah climbed off of the couch, and once again fell to her knees. “Please your Highness, please understand that I did what I could for the survival of our species! I did it for all of Amatia Prime, not for myself. Please believe that I would never have hurt the Prince and Princess if I had not been ordered too.” Tears flowed unchecked down Asrah’s face. She couldn’t stop them, and didn’t even try. She glanced towards the door as she heard someone running through. She crumbled as her sister ran through the doorway. Their eyes locked, and Alexia sprang towards her.

Jackson saw his mate running towards Asrah from the corner of his eye, and he swiftly twisted around to catch her before she could touch Asrah. He couldn’t let the pain that he was feeling flow into his mate. He pulled all of his emotions back, and took them under guard. He looked sharply at Asrah’s bowed head, and he ducked as his mate tried to punch him in the face.

“Jackson! Let go of me now! That’s my sister. You’ve no right to keep me from her,” Alexia was seriously enraged. The sight of her littlest sister’s ravaged face made her heart clench. Asrah had only been seventeen when she’d been kidnapped along with the Prince and Princess. She’d never even transformed to her full extent. She looked worn, old, and as if she’d lived a thousand cycles of life instead of just thirty-two. Alexia stopped struggling, and felt the fire of her husband’s skin through her clothes.

“Alexia, he is not doing anything wrong. He is protecting you,” Asrah said. “He’s protecting you from me.” Asrah’s eyes held a sorrow that Alexia had never seen on any Syren before.

“He does not want you to feel the pain that I feel. He does not want you to know the extent of the evil that I have done to your children. I came to petition you for forgiveness, and if that means that you require my life to grant my petition, then I am willing.” Asrah closed her eyes and saw the beautiful face of her niece. She remembered the way Lily had smelled when she was just a baby. Her eyes would light up whenever Asrah would hold her. She could feel the smooth touch of her niece’s hand upon her face, and her heart cried a thousand tears for their pain.

“Why, Asrah? Why would you abuse them so? They are your blood. They are the fulfillment of all of our dreams. Our species has been anticipating their arrival for more moons than you or I could count. They are the purest form of Syren Power in all of the Stars.” Jackson was still gripped by rage, but his rage was eclipsed by the sorrow pouring out of the female in front of him. He wanted to strike her down, felt the need warming his blood, and calling to every part of his being. He wanted the rage satisfied, but knew that he needed to hold it in check until he could figure out the truth of what Asrah had been through.

Asrah tried in vain to stop the flow of her tears, but the years of pain that she’d been living crashed down on her. All she wanted was to see her Heart. She hadn’t even reached her eighteenth moon, and had never mated with him. She couldn’t feel him, and knew that something was wrong. Kiril had been the closest friend of the King of Swords when she had been kidnapped. They had both fostered together, being fated mates of the Princesses.

“Is my Heart here, your Highness?” She had to know where Kiril was. She needed to give him her emotions. He would see the truth in her actions. He would know her sorrow, and he would help her to heal from all of her pain.

“No, I am sorry Asrah, your Heart is not here,” Jackson told her. The rage began to recede, and his fangs pulled back slowly into his gums. His eyes began to clear, and he knelt on the carpet next to the broken female.

“Tell me why Asrah,” he asked. He brushed a lock of her dark hair out of her face as she looked up at him. Her eyes were twin pools of despair, and her mouth trembled as she began to speak.

“At first, when we were taken, I didn’t know what they intended. I knew that they kidnapped us because they believed the children were fated to have extraordinary powers, but I didn’t know why they took me.” She stopped to catch her breath. Now that it looked like Jackson was going to give her a chance to explain, she knew that she had to say exactly the right thing, and the truth, or he would surely end her life.

“We were in a transport shuttle for many moons. I don’t know how many, but it seemed like a full cycle of the moon. I was put in a small room and not allowed to see the children. It wasn’t until we got to Earth that I saw them again.” She remembered the relief she’d felt when she’d seen the smiling faces of her niece and nephew.

“We were taken to a city called Orlando. The climate there is very hot, not unlike Amatia Prime during moonrise. A female stayed with us for the first cycle of life that we were there, and I constantly pleaded with her to release us. She said that she was merely following orders.” Asrah swallowed, and looked at her sister’s face.

“I didn’t know how to escape. I had not been to another world before, or star traveled. I didn’t have any currency, and no way to transport the Prince and Princess if I did manage to escape. She didn’t hurt us. After a time, a male came and told me that I was to live with the children on Earth, and that they would be watching us at all times. He said that if I made a misstep that I would be taken away from the children and eliminated, and that they would be given to members of the Sa’Chaelle to raise. I chose to be obedient to them.” She could remember her feelings of helplessness, and tried to convey how she felt to Jackson and Alexia.

“We survived. I raised them with all of the love that I possibly could until they were in their sixth moon. The Sa’Chaelle told me then what they meant for me to do.” Asrah bowed her head. It had seemed impossible at the time to comprehend why they would want her to mistreat the Prince and Princess, but she understood now that it was so they would distrust her, and fear her. She was to mold them to be afraid, the opposite of what Syren children were taught.

“They instructed me to mistreat them. The Sa’Chaelle said that if I didn’t make them feel that I hated them, they would take them away. They said that if I didn’t purposefully hurt them that they would come back to Amatia Prime and destroy it.”

Jackson looked at Asrah, and knew in his heart that she spoke the truth. He knew that it was impossible for the Sa’Chaelle to destroy Amatia Prime, but a frightened, abused, and vulnerable female who did not possess her full Syren power would believe such lies. The Sa’Chaelle had been trying for the better part of a thousand cycles of life to destroy Amatia Prime. His heart broke for his children. He would seek out revenge, but not on Asrah. He knew the depth of her sorrow and her regret for every strike she had made against his children.

“They kept watch on us at all times. I tried to scent other Syren, but the Sa’Chaelle were there every time we would venture out of the house. They brought a pod only one cycle of the moon ago. They told me that it was time for the twins to leave. I tried to tell them to leave with my thoughts, and gave them the
instructions that I was given. They left three moons ago.” Asrah stopped talking and slumped. Her fear of her King and Queen’s disappointment of her was palpable in the room.

Jackson sat back on his heels for a long moment and contemplated everything that Asrah had said. He could feel the truth of her words and actions. He knew that her motivation for hurting his children had been fraught with fear and confusion. He knew that her sorrow was genuine, and knew also that she would willingly forfeit her life to be granted forgiveness by her King and Queen.

Alexia could not stop herself from kneeling in front of her sister, wrapping her arms around her, and pushing her love into her. She didn’t understand everything that’d happened yet, and hoped that it was not as bad as it seemed by the look on Jackson’s face.

“Whatever your deceit has been, whatever your transgression against my children, I am thankful that you are still alive, and that they are still alive. Where have they gone, Asrah?” Alexia was still reeling from the shock of seeing her sister, and learning that her twins still lived. She knew that if they were alive somewhere on Earth that she was going to find them.

“There were boxes in the basement that held letters from what the children will believe is their aunt. I memorized the address long ago to tell you. It’s on South Battery in Charleston, South Carolina in the United States.” Asrah felt relief. Her truth had shown through, and her King and Queen believed her still.

“Your Majesty, please I must know where Kiril is. I must be with my Heart,” Asrah pleaded.

Jackson looked at his wife and her sister, huddled together on the floor. He saw the hope on Asrah’s face, and he knew that this could very well be the end of her. He bent down, and laid his hand on her head. He saw her confusion, and he knew that she would be lost as soon as he told her.

“I can not tell you where your Heart is, Asrah. He has been gone the past fifteen cycles of life since your abduction. We believe that he was killed or taken prisoner by the Sa’Chaelle. He searched every moon and sun for you.” He watched as grief built in her eyes, and her face froze in crushing disappointment.

Asrah’s heart fractured. She was already beaten down, and nearly broken by the
Sa’Chaelle, but learning that her Heart, her Mate, her one love was lost forever crushed her completely. Asrah fell to the floor of the Queen’s sitting room, and wept for a
transformation that would never come.

Jackson stood up and pulled his wife up with him. “I need to make preparations to leave immediately. Stay with your sister until I call for you. We will leave within the hour.” He strode out of the room and found his father waiting in the hall.

Patrick looked at his son, “I’ve already called General Vallen. He’s on his way with Avedal One. He wanted to ready a war ship to take, but I told him it would take too long.”

Jackson walked over to his father and gripped his forearm. “Good decision. I want to be in the stars in a matter of hours. We know the children are in extreme danger. Have them ready a war ship to meet us on our return as an extra precaution.”

He didn’t know what to expect, but taking the smaller ship would enable them to arrive much faster.

“General Vallen and his soldiers will accompany us as additional security, it will be a tight fit aboard Avedal One, but there’s no other alternative at this point.” Jackson was thankful his father knew him so well. Every decision he’d made was the same one that Jackson would have made. He searched his heart, knowing that if he didn’t move fast he might never see his twins again.

His father looked at him, and Jackson moved away from the wall. “What is it?”
“You know why they let her come back here, don’t you? It wasn’t an accident.” Patrick looked at his son and knew he was thinking the same thing that he was.
“I know. They let her come home to get to me. I’m ready for the fight though,” in fact, he was relishing the prospect of getting his hands on the Sa’Chaelle who’d been responsible for destroying his twins’ lives.
“I just want you to be careful. Not waiting for a war ship could prove more costly in the end.” Full of grief, and his heart heavy, Patrick embraced his son for a brief moment before they both turned and walked away from the sad tableau of Alexia holding Asrah as she cried the tears of a Syren who wasn’t only broken, but who’d been utterly destroyed inside.

R ory watched as her homeland

became ever smaller in the distance. She was not afraid. Traveling in the darkness of the aeroship while the dual suns beat their rays heavily upon it, she felt an immense sense of peace. She knew that she was on the correct path that Amatia Prime had written for her. She thought of her future, and knew that she would need all of her strength to heal her Heart of the pain that he’d endured. She wondered what his name was. She wondered who his family was. She knew that none of the answers would be found easily.

“Princess, we’ll arrive at the Kingdom of the Sword at moonrise this eve. It would be best if you took rest in the sleeping pod until then,” the commander of the aeroship told her.

“I’ll take my rest this sun while we travel. I didn’t rest last moon, and am greatly wearied.” She followed him to the back of the ship, and smiled at him as he indicated the small room she was to use. She shut the door behind her, and rolled into the slim sleeping pod that was designed for the use of Syren females. Her eyes were heavy, and her body was fatigued, yet her heart raced for the coming moonrise. She closed her eyes and willed Amatia to send her much needed sleep.

After her rush to gather her things that morning, coupled with telling her Father and Mother a final goodbye, she was feeling especially tired.

It seemed like mere moments went by before she woke feeling refreshed, thankful that she’d been able to recharge herself with much needed sleep. She disengaged the top of the sleeping pod, and rolled out onto her feet. She would love to have been able to refresh herself before arriving at the palace, but she knew that type of luxury was not available on this size aeroship. She was nervous. She was the only female her cycle of life who had not met her Heart that she knew of. She’d been exposed to many Syren males over the cycles of her life, and had wanted desperately to feel the
connection that she knew should be there. Her first Fut’uah ceremony was when she was five cycles of life. She had attended one every three cycles of the moon until she had reached her thirteenth cycle of life. It was then that she had asked her mother to let her study without distraction, and let Amatia guide her path. If she was meant to find a mate she would eventually.

BOOK: The Sword and The Prophet (A Syren Novel)
12.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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