Bloodlines, p.38
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       Bloodlines, p.38

           Trisha Lynn

  Chapter Thirty-Six

  So this time they traveled to the portal via horse back, and it was so much better and easier then when they'd come into Oakend. She, Loki, Sorryn, Saibol, Devrin, Ahern, and Rembly made their traveling party to the Jakdai wood portal as she'd heard it called. Befrum traveled with them but he would be bringing the horses back, as animals could not go through the portals.

  Adeila was a little sad that Kami hadn't been chosen to come back with her, but considering their “crime” history she understood why Loki had left her here. It was like a weird little punishment for both girls.

  Adeila thought back to the official good bye. There had been tears; lots of tears. She hadn't realized how hard it would truly be, and she assumed the same would be said when she left the human realm for good, because she planned too. Although she had a feeling her “adopted” parents wouldn't be quite as sad as she.

  It had been hard to say good bye to her real parents. She had grown fond of them, and had built a bond with them over the weekend that seemed built on so many things, but the first most was respect and love. She felt more bonded with them then her adopted parents she'd spent almost eighteen years with. The sorrow of that was not lost on her. She'd insisted that this was not good bye just farewell for now.

  Both the King and Queen had cried and held her, and she'd cried and reveled in the feeling of being held. To truly feel as though she'd be missed. To actually feel the aura of paternal love envelope her was something that she would miss. Something that she could never live without now that she'd felt it. She was planning on coming back as soon as her high school career was over. She would end things with Erik, say good bye to her parents and have a very sad good bye with Marissa. That would be the hardest part. Marissa was like a sister to her, and saying good bye to her for real may ruin her. They'd always had each other. It would be impossible to think of a life where Marissa would not be involved. She wondered if she could set up a human family visitation day in the Fae realm? Hmm... Now there was a thought.

  Loki stopped them when they got to the forest path beyond the meadows, and he pulled Adeila aside.

  “I meant to give this to you sooner, but well, with all your detective skills coming out and the good byes I wasn't able to.”

  She gave him a sheepish look; clearly he was still annoyed with her, about the whole going through his room thing. Oh well, he'd get over it.

  Her mind wondered briefly, again, about what he'd done about Marla. She was dying to ask him, but he did not seem like the type who would tell her if she asked. Actually she knew he wasn't. But all thoughts of Marla were gone when Loki produced a small brown box from his pocket.

  She looked at the box, then up to his face. She really hoped this was not some weird gift from the Lukkas character, who she was supposedly betrothed to, but whom no one even spoke about the entire time she'd been here.

  “This is a safety precaution. Another added layer of protection. It should suit you well. It's simple but elegant. I made it yesterday with your mothers help. I just want to make sure it works before we enter the human realm.”

  Then he opened the lid. Inside was a simple, completely silver - or some Fae equivalent to silver - ring, with an oak leaf on the top twined into the band. Nothing about it was fancy at all, but it was really beautiful in its simplicity. He pulled the ring out and pocketed the box again; he held it up to the filtered sunlight of the forest canopy. Along the inside of the slim band were inscriptions in a language she did not understand.

  Loki turned to her. “I inscribed this with an ancient Fae promise and protection oath, and your mother helped me with some of the magic. I also infused it with my blood.”

  She blanched at the thought, but tried to look normal. What exactly did that mean or entail?

  “It is made so that if you touch the ring to your right wrist where your tattoos are, it will call to my blood. It will call me to you. It is meant so that if you are in any kind of danger in the human or Fae realm that I will know, as long as the ring touches your right wrist. Even if your tattoos aren't visible in the human realm, it will still work when you touch that wrist.”

  She was taken aback. What an amazing and insanely thoughtful thing to do. It was a protection she never even considered, obviously, she also had no idea something like this could even exist.

  “It's extraordinary, Loki.” He held it out to her. As her fingers brushed his, a zinging of heated electrical current zipped up her arm and down her spine. The feeling was like fingers of warmth stretching over her. Her magic calling to something. Searching for something that was so close. It was such a weird feeling she couldn't help but look into his face to see if he felt it too. His eyes were very golden as they looked at her, but it was clear he was blanking his features. She had no idea if it was for her benefit or just his stoic self. She hoped that the feelings were coincidence, or the ring. Maybe it was the ring?

  Finally her fingers clasped around it and the magic zinged along her whole body, almost weakening her knees. It was like an explosion of sensations, all of them filled with heat, awareness and the tingling’s of desire, which was completely and absolutely ridiculous. She quickly slipped on the ring, and bit her lip. The sensations had subsided, but brimmed right there on the surface, as if hoping for her to touch the ring or the man. She wasn't sure which. She mentally shook herself and met his eyes again.

  “Thank you. This is really amazing.”

  “Well, do not hesitate to use it. If you get a strange feeling about something or someone and I am not there, call me. Please. It will keep all of us safer. We will try it before we enter the portal and again after we enter the human realm and ensure I did everything correctly, for now we should get moving.”

  She nodded, and he turned on his heel to remount his horse. She looked down at  the ring which fit the pointer finger on her left hand, which made it very easy to touch the opposite side wrist. It was really quite beautiful and something she no doubt would wear anyway, which made it quite believable as a piece of jewelry she would have bought herself. No one needed to know that oak leaves were so incredibly representative of her entire bloodline. Or the oath and magic that encompassed it, and Loki's attachment to it.

  Pursing her lips she walked back to her horse and mounted. Her eyes flitted to Loki's muscled back in front of her; she couldn't help but feel touched. It may not have been any kind of sentiment, she knew it was more of a safety thing than anything else, but the fact that he made an effort to make it into something she would actually like surprised and shocked her.

  Lost in her own mind, she did not notice the hoof beats that pounded out of step with their little party.

  “Wow! It's that golden unicorn again!” She recognized Befrum's voice, as she knew he had been one of the Guardians that had been in the mist by the pond when Loki had come to check on her while she'd been with Obysson. Her head snapped to the left where she could see the bright golden animal gallop up in the emerald forest. He was shrouded by leaves and branches, but his golden glow was unmistakable.

  The party halted as she did, and she almost collapsed off of Gulliver in her haste to get to the golden animal. As she approached him, he pawed at the forest floor with his hooves, in an obvious sign of irritation.

  She knew instantly what was distressing him. “I have to go back. Don't you see? I have to say good bye to the human world.”

  The unicorn tossed his head and snorted. His disdain for the situation was obvious. She wondered how their bond would handle the portal division.

  She walked right up to him, no longer fearing the horn or rejection. They were bonded; it was inked in her skin. He lowered his head for her to rub her fingers along it. Soothing and cooing to him the entire time. She just kept saying sorry over and over because she wasn't really sure what else to say.

  A word entered her mind. It prickled at the edge of her mind, soft but urgent. Tingling ran along her arms and spine. Danger. She looked around her to see if anyone had spoken, but
when she looked back, Obysson was gazing right at her. His russet brown eyes dark, and bottomless. Like a pool of wisdom. She gulped. There was no way he could speak in her mind, right? Then she remembered her father saying that the bond of a Unicorn was almost psychic in proportions. Could they speak to each other, mind to mind? She decided to try it. She leaned her head close to his cheek bone, her eyes delving into his, and then she thought and tried to project the thoughts to the animal. She had no idea what she was doing, but needed to try something.

  What kind of danger? Who's in danger? Danger where?

  The animal pawed at the earth again, but then her mind tingled. Danger. You.

  The sound was like an echo within her head, said in a deep, male voice. She swallowed and ran her hand along his velvety ears. I still have to go. I have to tell everyone good bye. I have to.

  With that she kissed his soft muzzle and turned away before she lost her resolve. A shimmer of a tear etched the corner of her eye, but she wiped it away. The unicorn watched her. His brown eyes dark and mysterious.

  She mounted Gulliver and clicked him forward, the rest of the party looking on with confusion. The golden unicorn reared, and then galloped away. He was clearly angry with her for not heading his warning, but what was she to do? She needed to get to the human realm. She needed to say good bye, at least. If there was no danger lurking in the shadows then she would stay. She had plenty of Guardians and agents fortifying her defense, so what should she worry overly much for?

  As they made their way to the portal, the feelings of unease crept into her every pore. She tried very hard to ignore them all and keep her resolve to move forward.

  “Alright, Adeila, let's try that ring.” Loki said as soon as they had dismounted and stepped away from their horses. She swallowed, tucked a strand of silky hair behind her ear and looked down at the ring. She felt such an attachment to the thing and already found herself touching it and twirling it. She'd always been a big ring wearer but this was something entirely different. It was a kind of comfort one didn't usually get from jewelry. Well, that was a lie. She imagined that ancient Priestesses and witches who cast spells attached to their jewelry probably did. If you believed in such things. And considering her own fairy tale she was not one to scoff at anything like that ever again.

  Loki cleared his throat, and she was pulled out of her thought process. Okay, show time.

  “So just touch the leaf to your right wrist. Anywhere is fine.”

  She looked at him. His dark hair swept across his brow with the light breeze, he wore light comfortable clothing that showcased his muscle, and his sword still adorned his waist. Many moments over the past few weeks she'd thought nothing but disdain towards him but she trusted him now. With her life. He had proven himself to her, and not even speaking of the oath that he'd taken for his life to protect hers. Nothing even to do with that. In her heart and mind she knew that even without the oath he would protect her. That was just him. Her magic relished in his nearness. The energy of it prickled along her skin, raising the flesh.

  Holding true to that trust she touched the ring to her wrist. She watched his face and a flicker of emotion swept across his features.

  “It works. Let's go.”

  She blew out a breath and exited the realm of Faerie and towards the home she'd always known, but now didn't seem so welcoming.

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