Authors: Missy LaRae
I got out of the bed and put my shoes back on, and walked to the door with him. He opened it up and walked across the hall to my room and knocked on the door.
“Lily, wake up! Gotta go get somethin’ to eat!” Tyler shouted through the door. He stood there for a moment before openin’ up the door. I think he was just as surprised as I was to see Michael standing on the other side of it.
The scream echoed through the chamber, and the young female sprang up from a dead sleep. Her eyes darted around, and she leaped out of bed as fast as she could. She hurriedly dressed in clothing suitable for running through the Imperial Chapel and bolted out of her room as fast as a shooting star. Her hair streamed behind her, long and thick. It was burnished silver in the moonlight, and the tendrils wrapped themselves around her arms, comforting her as she ran. She slowed as she passed the midnight Sentinels, and they put their hand over their hearts as she ran past them. She replied in kind, but couldn’t take any time to wish them good moon.
Her destination loomed in front of her, and her breathing tore from her lungs in ragged gasps. Her heart thundered, and she couldn’t focus. She knew that she had to make it to Amatia immediately.
The Sentinels guarding the main chapel heard her approach, and opened the door for her as she neared. When she was close enough for them to recognize her they both dropped to one knee and put their right hand over their hearts. “Good moon, Princess,” they said as she passed. She placed her hand over her heart and uttered the same greeting to them as she hurried through the door.
There were few females in the chapel. Those who were there sat silent, heads bowed in prayer, their silver hair wrapped around them like living blankets. Rory did not stop. She did not offer a greeting to the Mother of Dreams when she reached the altar, instead, she passed by the altar and slowed as she neared the back of the chapel. There she came to the Diamond Gate. The handles were solid diamond, and the door itself was diamond inlaid with gold and silver. The pattern within the door continued to change as the metal was a living part of the door itself. Rory gripped the handle, and the diamond fit perfectly in her hands.
“Amatia, may I enter?” She whispered. The doors pushed against her, and that was all the answer that she needed. She walked through the room, and the light coming in through the ceiling illuminated her path. Amatia Prime gave them constant light. The swaying of the chapel on its moorings soothed her, and she took a steadying breath.
“Come, Rory,” she heard faintly from the balcony.
Walking by instinct Rory bypassed the furniture scattered about, and exited through the eastern facing arch at the back of the room. Sitting on a low round stool facing the water was her Amatia; her Mother. Her hair was as silver as the great double moons themselves, and her eyes were a brilliant, clear blue. Her hair wound around her and danced in the moonlight as she stared into the night. The moorings of the chapel shifted again, and the sound of the lake beating against the chapel poured even more peace into Rory’s heart.
“Amatia,” she began. She came forward and knelt at the feet of the Queen of Dreams, “I have had a vision, Amatia.” She bowed her head and allowed her hair to pull her forward and push her onto the lap of her mother.
“I know you have,” her mother answered. She looked at her with clear eyes, and waited for Rory to speak.
“I have seen my Heart. He is in pain, and surrounded by blackness. He called to me in a dream. He held my hand, and he asked me to find him. I must find him, Mother!” Her tears began flowing freely. They were tears of pain, and of relief. She knew that it was him. She’d waited longer than any other Daughter of the Kingdom of Dreams for her Heart. All of her sisters had found their Hearts at their Fut’uah ceremonies when they were younger. They were all complete, but she was yet half of who she was to become some day. Until she paired with her Heart she would never understand the path that Amatia Prime wished for her. Until she was matched with her perfect Heart, she could not begin her final transformation. Only on the day of her eighteenth cycle of life, with the mating of Hearts, would she be able to transform into a Prophet of the Kingdom of Dreams.
“What did your Heart look like, child?” The Queen looked at Rory’s tear stained face, and wished that she could take the pain from her child, but she could not. She knew that the path for Rory was more dangerous than any of the other path’s that were written for her daughters. Rory was stronger than she knew. She had known this was the design of Amatia Prime the day that Rory was delivered into her arms. She had received a prophecy from her sister, and had known that Rory would have to seek her Heart in another Hemisphere before she would be complete.
“His hair was dark, nearly black, and he had the coloring of the Kingdom of the Sword. His face was pale, unlike the males from the Western Hemisphere, but I knew that he was a Son of the Sword. His eyes shone like blue beacons at me, and the pain was more than I could bear. I pulled out of the dream, Mother,” she confessed. This was her shame. She was so shocked by the depth of pain that her Heart felt that she had willingly let go of him. She could not forgive herself for this betrayal. Mates would never willingly abandon one another, and she knew that she would harbor this guilt in her heart until she could petition her mate for forgiveness. She wept as her Mother’s hands stroked over her hair. She raised her eyes to her Mother, and brought her hands forward for her to bless.
“Rory, you know that you are a strong daughter of the Kingdom of Dreams. You must follow your path. Amatia Prime has given you a dream to follow, and you must seek it as soon as the night begins to fade. I will inform the General of Sentinels that you require safe passage to the Kingdom of the Sword, and he will arrange to have you taken there. You are on the right path.” Celeste, Queen of the Kingdom of Dreams, ruler of the Northern Hemisphere, prepared her own heart to weep for the path that her daughter had been given by Amatia Prime.
“So soon? Do I not have time to prepare for this journey? I must pray to the Mother of Dreams for guidance!” Rory looked up at her mother with wide eyes. The last thing she expected was to be sent on her journey in mere hours.
“Daughter, it’s time you chased down the path that Amatia Prime has written for you. You have a journey in front of you that is unlike any other Daughter of Dreams. You are part of a larger design. All will be revealed to you.” Celeste stroked Rory’s hair back from her face.
“You will be a formidable Prophet for the Kingdom of Dreams, and for all Syren. You alone are able to fulfill the destiny that Amatia has written for you. You must not wait.” Celeste could feel how torn her daughter was, and her heart broke for her.
Rory stood slowly and stepped back. Swiftly she bowed low on one knee, her hair trailing on the ground. “So it shall be, my Queen.”
Celeste smiled at Rory, and watched as she stood and walked back to the Diamond Gate and passed through. She called out to her Heart and it was not long before he strode into the room, his black armor glistening as he
“What is it, my love?” The General of Sentinels asked her. He searched her pale eyes, and saw in them the truth that they had been expecting since the day of Rory’s arrival. “It’s time for her journey to begin,” he said it with a flat voice. He’d struggled for many cycles of life, worry over his eldest daughter’s unmatched state. He had been assured many cycles of life before that her destiny was different, and that it had been written. However, it was a father’s job to worry, and he did more than most.
Celeste nodded and leaned against him. Queen though she was, she would ever be tied to her Heart, and seek his comfort. Her silver hair twined about them, stroking his face, and pushing her emotions into him. Markus stroked her back and freely allowed her emotions to enter into him. He felt her pain at the coming loss of their daughter, and he felt her joy at the prospect of Rory finding her Heart.
They stayed that way until the moons dipped below the lake and the suns shone again. Markus kissed the top of Celeste’s head as he let go of her and left to make arrangements for his daughter’s journey to the Kingdom of the Sword.
transportation pavilion on Amatia Prime. She stared, unblinking, as males rushed towards her. She didn’t know exactly how long it had been since she left Earth, and she had been in a state of suspended existence until the pod regulated her body temperature as she neared the dual suns of Amatia Prime. Her descent into the pavilion put her stomach into her throat. She’d never been in human clothing during a descent, and she was sweating profusely.
“Your arrival has been completed, Your Highness,” her star guide’s voice sounded distended and warbled.
“Thank you, please release the hood,” her voice trembled with exhaustion. The full force of the afternoon sun hit her as the pod’s hood slid open. Hands reached for her, and she fell into them.
“Mistress, are you okay? Mistress?” A male cried out to her. She regarded the group of Syren males that stood around her. The shock on their faces at seeing an unchaperoned Syren female land at the transportation pavilion was evident. All of them wore the tight metallic clothing, called a khatah, that most Syren wore during day time. It was designed to pull the body’s moisture away, keeping the wearer dry, and regulate their body heat.
“Please, I need to be inside. I need something to drink,” she said. She was lifted into strong arms, and carried into the interior of the transport station to a small medical clinic. She wondered if anyone there recognized her. Surely they had not, and she was grateful for that for the moment.
A male doctor came over to her and pressed his hand to her back. “I’m sorry, we do not have any female’s here to see to your health, Mistress. Please accept my apology for this.” Asrah’s eyes filled with tears as his concern washed over her. She’d missed the love of her species. She’d missed their total acceptance, and brutal consideration of one another. She’d lived with poison invading her body for so many cycles of her life that she was incapable of even offering him her acceptance of his apology. She touched her heart in a silent thank you, and noted the withdrawal of the male who had carried her to the clinic.
“Please, just refreshment. I must see the King of the Kingdom of the Sword
immediately,” she said. She knew that her sister’s husband would take her to her Heart. She needed her Heart with her more than anything else in the world.
“Mistress, the King of Swords may not be available for your petition. He is visiting the King of the Peacemakers in the Eastern Hemisphere.” Her coloring marked her as a female of the Kingdom of the Sword.
Asrah swallowed. The lump in her throat choked her, and she gripped his hand. Syren women did not touch males who were not their Hearts unless they were related by direct blood tie. The male’s face lost all color as her pain transferred to him. Her eyes darkened, infused with her memories. Her limited power surged to the surface, and her incisors elongated. Asrah raised her eyes to him, “Tell him that Princess Asrah has come home, and that I do not have his children.”
The male’s knees buckled, and she lost her grip on his hand as he threw his head back and screamed.
Hemisphere, and King of the Kingdom of the Sword, laughed as his wife tried to smack him with her favorite shoe.
“Alexia, please, you’re not going to hurt me with something as insignificant as your shoe. Why don’t you pick something a little stronger, like a pillow?” He grinned wide as her face reddened. She flew across the room at him. She really was amazing when she was angry.
“A pillow!” Alexia launched herself at her Heart and laughed when he caught her. He’d maneuvered himself so he was directly in front of the bed before she soared through the air. It wasn’t a hard landing, but a very soft one.
“Darling, please. We’ve no time to waste picking out the perfect shoes, you know just as well as I do that my father and mother have no care for what you wear on your feet. As long as you take me back home with you, they’ll be forever grateful,” he was completely serious.
“I’m just worried we’ve been gone from home for a week, and we’re no closer to finding any evidence that the Sa’Chaelle are the ones that we’re tracking.” Alexia’s worry was easy to understand. They’d been tracking a stray convoy of smugglers for the past week, and learned they might not even be smugglers, but the Sa’Chaelle. Jackson was eager to get his hands on them. He was certain they’d kidnapped his children and sister in law when his children were only infants. He couldn’t find concrete evidence that it was them, but no one else would dare to steal the children of the King of Sword.
A knock came at the door, and Jackson walked over to open it before his beautiful mate could attempt to pull herself up from the bed. He was surprised to see his father, The King of the Peacemakers, at his door.
“Father, you needn’t come checking up on us to see if we’ll be at dinner on time. I know how strict Mother is about such things.” His face lost all humor as his father entered the room and closed the door behind him. Turning around to face his son, the King of the House of Peace lost his composure, and fell to his knees in front of his son. Reaching a hand out, Patrick grasped his son’s hand as tight as he could, and released the visions that he had been given. The emotions poured from him into his son, and his heart tore inside.
Jackson’s knees gave way as the pain of his father’s visions overtook him, and he fell onto him, one arm around the older male’s shoulder. His father’s hand was gripped in his, tight between their two chests. He was assaulted with images that he couldn’t understand, and rage shattered his heart and replaced it with vengeance. Images of his children laughing with Asrah, and images of them being beaten by her, assaulted him. Her face as she cried at night pressed into his mind, and his need for vengeance spewed out of him. Moments passed, and Jackson finally pushed himself away from his father. He sprawled on his back on the floor, gasping for air. He looked at his Heart’s concerned face as she knelt next to him. She did not touch him, and for this he was grateful. The rage in him would break her. He couldn’t let her see the devastation that he’d just been shown. Taking a gasping breath, Jackson looked up to see his father standing above him with his hand outstretched.