Bloodlines, p.35
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       Bloodlines, p.35

           Trisha Lynn
Chapter Thirty-Three

  Breaching the subject of her departure was damn near impossible. Upon seeing Loki at the table her entire speech to her parents went out the window. He looked like crap. Dark circles punctuated beneath his eyes, the usual gleam in them vacant. They were a bland green gold, the gray washing across the mixture. Instead of rings it was more of a blending of the colors, just like hazel of normal humans. She couldn't bring herself to look at him, or think of some way to broach the subject of her leaving to her parents. They chattered and complimented her, and said how much everyone had adored her last night. How excited they were to have more dinners like that, and maybe parties and balls. She tried her best to smile and nod.

  As soon as breakfast was over she dismissed herself, and thoroughly hoped that Kami had done what she needed to do. Instead of going back to her room she made her way out of the castle and to the stables, Sorryn and a Guardian, whose name she thought was Rembly, in tow.

  Once she finally stopped walking, Sorryn stood with her. “I told Loki about your dream. He's obviously not worried, but was pretty surprised that you came in worry for him. He was also completely clueless about Marla being in his room. He said he was having very deep, vivid dreams, so maybe he did not hear her enter. Which I still find odd, because he really is a very light sleeper. Apparently, that ale was more effective then he thought. But regardless nothing happened between them.”

  Adeila nodded. “I suppose it is none of our business either way, right?”

  Sorryn cocked his head, but watched as she entered the stall of the bay gelding she had met the day before when they'd visited the stables. Gulliver, she had instantly found a bond with him. She ran her hand over his well-groomed, gleaming hide and he snuffed at her hand, clearly looking for handouts.

  A few moments later a familiar female voice yelled to her from the stable door, and she called back. Kami entered the stable.

  “Ah, hey, Sorryn. So I can take over watching the Princess duty.”

  Sorryn put his hands on his hips. “I know that look in your eye, you've been up to no good. What the heck did you do?”

  Kami threw up her hands. “Nothing! I just... Want some time with my friend and since I am a trained Guardian and R.F.R.U agent, I should be able to guard her just fine.”

  “No freaking way! Not until I find out what has you looking so odd!”

  Adeila stepped out of the stall. “Kami it's okay. I trust Sorryn.” Her eyes bore into Sorryn's, asking, pleading.

  He nodded his head once. “Whatever it is, Princess, you may have my oath that I will tell no one, but please think before doing things. Anything. Secrets are never a good thing.”

  Adeila swallowed. “Kami and I were talking about the whole Loki/Marla thing that happened last night and we thought maybe she did something to him. Like drugged him, or something. So I sent Kami in to his room to check around.”

  Sorryn's eyes widened. “Princess, that's quite an invasion of privacy.”

  She lowered her head. “I know it's just, well -”

  “And it's bloody brilliant! I'm glad you guys did that because I was kind of remembering last night that it is said that Marla's mother was quite a high stationed practicing witch and Goddess knows what she taught her daughter. That's a good place to start. Loki would never suspect such things to happen to him; but I mean the girl's a complete psycho.”

  It was like a weight was lifted from her shoulders. She had no idea why his approval suddenly meant so much; maybe it was because she felt that he and Loki were very close. But she was incredibly pleased with herself that he clearly saw it as a good decision, and hoped that approached correctly, Loki would too. 

  Adeila and Sorryn both turned to Kami. The tiny silvery blonde girl looked sheepish for a second before speaking. “So the staff hadn't gotten around to clearing his water glass from his nightstand and I started there. The glass was empty, but I smelled a very distinct scent of Chysbis.”

  Sorryn whistled between his teeth, Adeila was lost. Kami piped up to fill her in. “Chysbis is a root that when crushed up can be turned into a kind of hallucinogen. People that are prone to visions sometimes use it to help them get into that spiritual mind set. Freaky-deaky kind of stuff. But of course, it is like a drug, where it has a calming effect. It can make the person go into a very deep dream state, where they don't have any clue what is reality and what is dream.”

  Adeila swallowed. “So, ah, she could have put that in his drink, but how did he not smell it?”

  Sorryn groaned. “Loki takes lemon in his water. Lemon is known to cover the scent of Chysbis, but Loki always throws the lemon out when he's done drinking. So then the smell could have come back, but by then, of course, he'd already be done with the glass. By the time Kami got to it, the scent from the root had overpowered the glass again.”

  “Right, but, guys, that's not all. I found this.” She produced a small gem of some kind. It was the size of her thumb nail and looked to be a really beautiful pink color; it shimmered in the light, turning a very light pink as the light touched it more.

  Sorryn's eyes widened. “That's a binding stone, I think. It's Xenusyte, which can come in this pink tone, a very pale blue tone, and a really light orange tone. When cut and polished down like this, many people use it in binding or marriage rituals. It's more of a figurative thing that, actually, isn't used with any true power, but it is said if certain magic is instilled in it, it can be quite powerful. It-” He blushed and looked away. “It is used by couples in the bedroom. It is said that if put under the pillow of your lover it makes them think lustful thoughts. It's like a strange natural aphrodisiac.”

  Adeila ran a hand through her hair. Kami groaned before speaking. “Is she mental? What a nut case! I cannot believe this! How the hell do we tell Loki?”

  “Tell me what?”

  All three of them whipped around, and stared as Loki walked into the stable. He was taken aback by their stricken expressions and instantly stood rigid. “I repeat, tell me what?”

  “Ah...” Kami gulped and looked to Adeila. Sorryn put his hands in his pockets and looked down.

  Well, she'd just take the blame like she said she was going to in the first place. “So, uh, I...” His eyes were dark and had centered directly on her when she spoke. She almost peed herself at their intensity. She wouldn't be sorry about this damn it! Look what they had found! That bitch was trying to put some creepy lust spell on him!

  “So I had Kami search your room because we were all really concerned about the whole Marla being in your room and you not knowing it thing.” She said it all in a rush before he could interrupt that she really hoped some of it made sense. His eyes darkened even more, and he dragged his gaze to Kami and the girl instantly looked down, chastised.

  Adeila tried to take the heat off Kami again. “I asked her to, Loki. The dream had me scared and already in a paranoid state. It was way over the line and I totally understand that now, but I had to be sure. It was just so weird. The girl gives me terrible vibes and the malicious way she said things to you made me think she'd do something. Then I found out that her mother was a witch and well my mind wandered.”

  His attention went from her, to Sorryn, then Kami, then back to her. “You found something.”

  Adeila nodded and gestured to Kami. She looked like a very terrified child who'd just been caught breaking an incredibly expensive prized vase while playing ball in the house, that she'd been told not to do a thousand times.

  “I.. Well, first I checked your water glass and found traces of Chysbis. You know it can be drowned out by lemon and we all know how you drink your water.”

  Loki looked at Kami pensively, and then nodded. She continued. “It was distinct, Loki. Just enough to make someone loopy but not too much so. I promise you. I hid the glass so the staff wouldn't remove it. So you can see for yourself. But I also found this.” She handed him the stone.

  He took it and turned it over and over in his hand. “Under your pillow.” She said the last
part under her breath.

  Loki looked pissed. Like beyond pissed. He didn't even say anything he just turned on his heel and stalked off. Once he was gone, everyone let out a breath.

  “Well, shit, that went bad.” Sorryn ran a hand through his dusty blond hair. “But it was necessary. I'm glad we told him.”

  “Er, well, he found out. But we were gonna tell him, right?” Kami turned to Adeila.

  Adeila swallowed, and nodded. Her heart ached for Loki, it was such a messed up thing to happen to someone, but at least now he knew he'd been messed with.

  The three of them spent a couple hours talking, spending time in the stables and then wandering around in the forest close by. When she realized she'd stalled enough, she headed back to the castle. Their hearts were heavy from the situation that had transpired. It was then that a Guardian sought her out and asked her to follow him.

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