Bloodlines, p.45
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       Bloodlines, p.45

           Trisha Lynn
 

  Chapter Forty-One

  Unsurprisingly, everyone opted out of the movie.

  “Yeah, we should really get home. We still aren't fully unpacked yet.” Sorryn made a yawn, a very fake one for anyone that knew him for any length of time, but Adeila was thankful for the gesture.

  Marissa made booing noises, but said she understood. Adeila wanted out of this situation as quickly as possible and shot Sorryn a small smile when she got the chance to do so undetected. He winked back at her.

  After saying pleasant goodbyes to Sorryn and Saibol, the rest of the four piled into Loki's truck. Adeila had tried, pretty successfully, to avoid eye contact with Loki as much as possible throughout the night. She could feel his impenetrable gaze on her every time Erik held her attention or was touching her. Adeila tried not to be annoyed by the fact that she felt him looking at her. She figured it was one of several reasons, the first being that she'd told him she planned on breaking it off with Erik to make things easier for when she did return to Faerie, and two the fact that she was apparently still betrothed to someone else. This Lukkas character.

  A shimmer of anger thrust itself through her body. She had a life. She could do as she damned pleased. She was not withholding herself because of a silly betrothal that her parent's made at her birth. She pulled herself out of her thoughts, and looked up at the rear view. Loki's eyes were on the road, but within a second they met hers. She could faintly see their shimmer in the dash light glow. His power slammed into her as his eyes seared into hers. She tried not to sigh as it shimmered in the cab of the truck around them, she decided to push hers back against him. Two could play this game. The smell of jasmine, wildflowers, morning rain and evergreens filled the truck, and the air grew thick and warm.

  Erik looked around, and then opened his windows. “Shit, it got hot in here. Dude, turn down the heat or something.”

  Adeila almost let loose the giggle that came to her lips, she stamped it down but still had to look out her own window to hide the smile. Only when things simmered down between them and the warmth flooded out the open window, did she allow her eyes to drift to the rear view mirror and couldn't help the smile that reached her eyes. She was surprisingly met with one back. Loki had a smile tugging at his lips and his eyes were a very bright golden.

  She had an overwhelming thought that this was kind of like flirting in the Fae realm. Then she stamped down that thought. No way was she flirting with Loki. Nope, most definitely not, and even more likely there was absolutely no way he was flirting back.

  Sobered, she looked around. Marissa was watching them closely with a guarded and sort of wounded, confused, and speculative expression. Adeila swallowed and looked back out her window. No need for her friend to get any wrong ideas. Well, at least, not any more then she clearly must have at this point.

  Ugh! Now she'd have to do some kind of damage control about that. She was so damn tired of this concealing what she was and figuring out what everyone else was thinking. Marissa was becoming a mystery to her, and she knew it wasn't entirely the other girls fault.

  .~.

  Erik kissed her briefly before he got out of the truck. She was thankful that he was sober enough now not to make a complete ass of himself. When Marissa was dropped off it was easy to see that she was being fake nice and fake happy. It was clear that she was beginning to question Adeila and Loki's friendship. Yup, damage control was certainly going to be needed tomorrow.

  Adeila thought it would be awkward once it was just she and Loki especially after their weird magic power play, flirting situation, or whatever the heck it had been, but it wasn't. There was a comfortable silence that stretched between them.

  Finally he broke it. “Your birthday is in just a few hours.”

  She turned to him surprised he remembered. “Yup.”

  He looked at her briefly then back to the road but remained silent. She was so not going to make a big deal about her eighteenth birthday at all, so she was glad that he dropped it.

  “Tell me something about Faerie.”

  He looked at her from the corner of his eye. “Alright, let's talk about the wolves.”

  “Wolves?” Her mind instantly reeled to the dreams she'd been having that almost always involved a steel gray wolf.

  “Yes. Remember I told you a little about Wildwood wolves?”

  She nodded. She briefly remembered him voicing something about the wolves. How a girl had turned a wolf into a man, and had taken him as a husband.

  “There are several territories used by the Fae wolves. These are a species of the Faerie that can only shift into wolf form-”

  “Oh, so like Werewolves?”

  He wrinkled his nose. She found the small physical gesture disconcertingly attractive, but would never admit such a thing.

  “Never use that term in front of them. That is a human term and would offend them greatly. They are simply Fae wolves. They are shifters who can only take on the wolf form. Shifting into animal form is an incredibly rare and powerful gift within the Fae. These particular shifters can only shift into wolf form but have an incredibly strong bond with their wolf and feel its primal urges and instincts.”

  “So does the pull of shifting increase with the full moon, I know you told me, but honestly I don't remember, and do only their claws and face shift or does all of them actually shift into animal form?”

  Loki rolled his eyes. “Forget every human misconception of such strange fantasies. Although the first bit of your question holds merit, the second is just plain stupidity.”

  She pursed her lips, the broke into a small smile, but nodded for him to continue.

  “They can shift at will just like every other shifting Fae, but I do believe the pull at the full moon is almost magnetic and unbearable. Every wolf, Fae or not, is drawn by the pull of the full moon and the urge to shift, I hear, is impossible to ignore. The Fae wolf is a primal and instinctual species.”

  “How does one become a Fae wolf, other than how the girl changed her mate with witchcraft and Fae magic? Do they bite humans or Fae and turn them into Werew- ah, er, Fae Wolves?”

  Loki raised his brows at her, but was clearly pleased she was interested enough to ask questions, and that she remembered the story of Yolanda and her magically changed mate.

  “Another misguided human conception. No, Adeila, a Fae wolf cannot bite another and have them turn. It is something entirely bred into them. Only blood can make a Fae wolf. And even sometimes that bloodline, if diluted, can get weeded out. The Fae wolves, if not careful, could become extinct. That is why many kill each other for Alpha and breeding. I know one leader who took a Fae herbalist, much like Magistra, but stronger, as a wife. Many have tried to kill him because of it. The dilution of the line is something that is punishable to death. If he wasn't such a strong Alpha, he and his wife may have been killed. Lucky for them their sons are full blooded and strong shifting wolves, so now they hold the female non-wolf Alpha in higher regards. That's where the politics of the Fae world come in.”

  She put up her hands. “Before we continue into politics, I'd like to know more about shifting. Not the wolves, but other Fae. You say that shifting into animal forms is a very powerful and rare power. Does it run within my family?”

  He cocked his head, and appeared to be thinking long and hard for several moments. “Honestly, I do not believe so. Maybe within your mother’s line, many years back, but even that I am unsure.”

  “Shifting runs in your family, obviously, considering your ancestor was the Stag. Can anyone in your family now shift?”

  He swallowed and said yes, very quietly. Her eyes widened ever so slightly at his whisper and she had to ask. “Can you shift?”

  After a long pause she watched his throat swallow again and he nodded. She felt a tiny tremble of confusion needle its way into her mind. The answer she was seeking was right there in her mind somewhere. “What is it that you can shift into, Loki?”

  He let out a long sigh, and ran his free hand through
his dark hair. “A falcon.”

  Adeila's eyes widened, and her breath caught. The Gyrfalcon! All this time it was him. She knew the eyes were too human or in this case, Fae like, to be just an ordinary animal. All those times it watched her, stopped her from doing things. The entire time it was him.

  “Adeila, I-”

  “You kept that from me.”

  “Yes, but-”

  “Loki! Don't keep things like that from me. Even if it's for my safety or my own good or whatever other thing you'll say that will sound so much like my father.”

  “I-”

  “Tell me what it's like to shift.” She knew she should be madder that he'd kept something like this from her, but she just wasn't. She'd always known, deep down, that something was abnormal. She should have figured it out sooner than this. This was what he'd wanted to tell her that night at her parent’s dinner party. When he'd said to ask him again of his powers. The answer had been there, but with everything else that had happened she'd forgotten about that invitation. Instead she would learn from this mistake, and never under-estimate. She knew she could trust Loki, and she'd be a bigger person and just move on.

  He looked at her as if she'd grown two heads but he regained his composure. “It is like shedding a skin and gaining anew. It is nothing like the fables of werewolves and other shifters that the humans speak of. The falcon is a part of me. I cannot see into the mind of that animal, it does not speak to me. It does not have its own form outside of me. The shift of man and wolf, as the Fae wolf connection, the wolf has its own mind and needs and the man must give in to them from time to time. They are linked, by mind and spirit. My falcon form is completely a part of me. It is my mind, my thoughts. I change nothing but my form. I am not linked to the animal; it is just another skin for me. There is no spiritual bond, per say, just another form I take on. The freeing feeling I gain from it though is unexplainable. To be able to feel how it is to fly is something that I cannot describe, nor would I, if I could because many people would look their whole life to gain that feeling.  Shifting into our animal form is taxing and can take some energy, much different from that of the Fae wolf shifting, which is more natural and refreshing rather than draining. It is two entirely different worlds. But yes, I can shift into a Gyrfalcon, and shifting does run in my family line as you know. As of right now that is the only form I can take.”

  She chewed on her lip. It was a lot to take in, and most of it was incredibly confusing but she was trying to retain as much as possible.

  “So some Fae do take multiple forms?”

  “Yes, my father can take the form of a river otter, and a white fox.”

  “Wow, that's really cool.”

  “Yes, it is. But you cannot speak in those forms, so they are really not so useful unless you are spying or just enjoying the freeing and limitless feeling of being an animal. Seeing the world as an animal gains you a whole new respect for the world, but it is not the most useful of powers. At least not in these times.”

  “It was useful for you.” She said it under her breath, but she knew he heard.

  Loki very briefly reached out and touched her shoulder. “Honestly, I did try to tell you-”

  “No it's fine, really. I understand. A warrior cannot tell all his cards up front. It would have given away much for you. I understand, Loki.”

  When they reached her driveway she began gathering her bag and reaching for the door handle.

  “Adeila, ah, I am sorry about not telling you of my form. I looked for the right time, but it never really came.” He sighed. “On a different note, tonight was... Awkward. Please do something about the human boy. Seriously.”

  Anger struck a chord through her as it often did when this subject was breached. “Loki, you know very well that I plan to-”

  He raised a hand in surrender. “I do not seek an argument of any kind, Adeila, I am simply reminding you. Again. Anything could happen and you may not have the time to set things right with everyone, as you wish to do. If there is any inclination that your safety is in question, you know I will most certainly be throwing you over my shoulder and returning you to Faerie.”

  Her mouth was slackened slightly by his words, but instead of anger she felt solemnness. It was true. She did need to do what she had set out to do, at least where Erik was concerned. Marissa and her parents she would put off as long as possible, because she sincerely doubted her safety would ever be a concern so she was in no real rush. With Marissa she could easily formulate a tale of how she wished to move with her real parents and that is that. Dealing with her human family was another story. That was going to be a brutal ordeal where the truth would be harder to handle and dish out. And she hadn't quite decided how she would lie and say she stumbled upon the truth of her adoption. She certainly couldn't say she'd discovered her real parents were Fae.

  So she only nodded to Loki, who seemed utterly surprised at her lack of fight and she got quickly out of the truck and didn't look back.

  As she made her way to the front door she felt the magical energy of Sorryn and Ahern in the woods surrounding her home. Ever watchful.

  .~.

  She didn't feel much different as midnight struck turning it to Friday, her birthday. She had thought turning eighteen was supposed to be exciting but it really wasn't any different then how she'd felt the hour prior. Her magic simmered around her, ever growing. Maybe that had changed some. She did feel it's presence more powerfully, as it tingled its way down her arm to her fingertips, itching for release. It thrummed harder at the surface of her being, pressing at her.

  She had been vastly improving her control and she knew she not only had the Fae realm and Loki to thank for that, but herself. She was now comfortable enough in her own skin that she was beginning to do small things here and there on her own. Simple tasks where she used her magic when no one was looking. It was exhilarating, and she'd never felt more free. When she used her magic, she felt like her soul was lighter, her body freer. She, of course, would most likely feel even better if she was in Faerie, but at least she found time to practice her magic here. She knew Loki needed to give her more formal training but in the meantime she'd continue to do silly things with her magic, and get more comfortable with using it on her own. Let it become more and more a part of herself. Loki, and the rest of her Fae entourage's tips and small amount of training over the past week had become increasingly useful and she even began looking forward to it. She just hoped that Loki didn't skip out again.

  When she finally fell asleep it was deep and her dreams were filled with darkness.  Typically her dreams were filled with unicorns and wolves but the last few nights they were of dark beasts. And they were chasing her; biting and clawing at her bare feet. She woke dripping in sweat, and her heart pounding nearly out of her chest.

 
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