Bloodlines, p.61
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       Bloodlines, p.61

           Trisha Lynn
 

  Chapter Fifty-One

  “You need to learn to stop the arrow. Focus.”

  Adeila had been training with many of the Fae Guardians and Loki's R.F.R.U agents in the two weeks she'd been back in Faerie, since the incident at Rage. Each honored her with different knowledge, abilities, and different defense and offensive fighting moves. Loki had been insisting on her training well before the almost kidnapping at the club, but of course since then he had been obsessive. Pulling in many of his people to work with her. She thoroughly enjoyed it. Each person had different knowledge to instill within her, but dealing with Loki was by far the hardest.

  She grumbled, haughtily, and blew out a breath. She tightened the ponytail she had her hair in, and shook out her arms. Not that she was using her arms at all, but it felt good, nonetheless.

  “I'm going to release the arrow again, focus your mind and stop it. Mid-air.”

  Adeila closed her eyes a moment and then nodded. Trying her best to focus on the arrow, as he released it. She fished at her magic and threw it at the arrow, causing the arrow to skitter off course and thump into the ground.

  Her shoulders slumped. “I just can't get this.”

  Loki stared at her, one hand holding the mahogany colored bow, the other on his lean hip. He cocked his head at her after a moment. “I think you just need some incentive. A little persuasion to control your magic.”

  She did not like the gleam in his eye one bit, and watched as he took out the silver mirror from his pocket, and proceed to ask Sorryn for assistance.

  “What are you thinking, Loki?”

  He grinned cockily and shook his head. “You'll see.”

  She already hated whatever it was he proposed to do. Moments later, Sorryn arrived. Loki handed him the bow, and then walked towards a young oak near the edge of the clearing. He gestured both of them to follow him.

  Adeila looked to Sorryn, but he only shrugged. When they stood a few feet from him, Loki gestured to Sorryn.

  “Sorryn, shoot me.” He turned to Adeila, who already had a look of horror plastered to her face. “Adeila, stop the arrow.”

  She shook her head. “Nope, absolutely not! There's no frickin' way!”

  Sorryn cocked his head at Loki, but smiled faintly. “It's good incentive.”

  Loki threw up a hand. “That's what I'm saying.”

  Adeila whipped her head to Sorryn. He was supposed to be her voice of reason. He was easily one of her very closest friends, and she'd gone from adoring him to loving him and trusting him with her life. She felt completely easy and herself around him. Which, other than with Kami, she'd never experienced before. Typically he was always on her side. She could always count on him. Not now.

  “You’re both completely insane! I am not doing this.”

  Loki's face and voice went serious. “You are, and you will, Princess.”

  “Can't we just keep practicing?”

  He shook his head. “It's not working; you need to push your magic into control. It's gone unhinged for far too long. It needs to do what you want, when you want, but it's you that needs to gain that. You need a push.”

  Adeila's eyes were still wide with horror as she watched them, wearily. They widened even further when Sorryn nocked an arrow.

  “No, no. Please don't do this. I can't...”

  Loki raised a brow at her in silent challenge. Sorryn's voice was low as if Loki couldn't hear. “Focus, Adeila. Push your magic out to stop the arrow. Use your emotions. Bend your magic to do your bidding. Once you do it once, it will get easier.”

  “But I've only been practicing for a few hours. Usually you give me a whole day to learn something like this.” She could barely keep the whine from her voice.

  Sorryn's eyes flitted to Loki's briefly. “You must learn quicker, Adi, anything could happen, at any moment. We still haven't a concrete answer as to why there was an attempted kidnapping.”

  “But there's been no attack, no attempt in nearly two weeks.” She knew she was getting nowhere fast, when the Fae got something in their head it was impossible to persuade them otherwise, and she hated to keep trying because it made her seem so weak, but the panic she felt at this entire situation was just too much.

  Why would Loki have Sorryn shoot him with an arrow just to get a point across that she needed to learn faster, and control her magic better? It was a little drastic to say the least.

  “That means nothing, sweetheart, and you know it.” He allowed his voice to lower, and dip with understanding. His ringed midnight blue, violet and lavender eyes showed compassion and understanding.

  She sighed and closed her eyes. She pinched her fingers to the bridge of her nose. This was insane. Finally, she threw up her hands in exasperation. “Fine, if the damn idiot wants to get shot with an arrow, so be it.” She gestured for Sorryn to release the arrow.

  He smiled, but sternly said, “Focus, Adi. Allow your emotions to bend the magic. Emotions may make it easier to force the magic to cooperate. That is the entire meaning of this.”

  She took a very deep breath, slowly exhaled it and looked in on herself, feeling the bristle of energy there. It thrummed and pulsed, waiting. She pulled at it, like a thick rope attached to an anchor. She got it to the surface, ready for release. She nodded her head, solemnly, but with resolve, to Sorryn.

  He released the arrow. She used her hands to emphasize the push of power. It happened so fast. The silver of the arrow's razor edges glinted in the sunlight as it floated, poised in midair at Loki's right thigh.

  She blew out a breath and the arrow dropped, harmlessly, to the blanket of thick grass at Loki's feet.

  She sunk to her knees, head in her hands, a migraine pulsed behind her closed lids. She desperately wanted to punch both of them, for this stupid, reckless fiasco. Their faith in her far outweighed her own. But she'd felt something inside her swell, pulse and then snap when she'd thrust her hands out towards to arrow, Loki's face in her mind. Her tormented feelings for him at the forefront of her thoughts. The fact that he'd take any weapon for her made the emotions heightened.

  A humming alighted along her skin. The restless energy her magic gave off simmered. She'd finally become completely in tune and in control of it. She hated how it needed to be done, but she felt instantly lighter. She felt - aside from some small emotional upheaval the act caused - on top of the world.

  Sorryn's arms came around her, lifting her from the soft grass. “Well done!”

  She leaned into him, the smell of morning sunshine enveloping her. “I kind of hate you right now, just so you know.”

  He laughed into her hair. “You won't for long, who could? You did great, though.”

  She sniffled, but smiled into his wide chest. “It was really scary.”

  “But effective.”

  “Yeah, yeah.” She said it with a small grin, as she pulled away from him. She turned to Loki, who stood a little away from them, arrow in his hand. A faint smile played upon his lips.

  She threw him a disgusted look. “Screw both of you; I'm so done with this shit for the day.” She turned on her heel, but couldn't help but whisper, “idiots,” as she stormed off.

  The male laughter that erupted behind her had her gritting her teeth and walking faster.

  .~.

  As she lay under the giant grandmother willow an hour later, she thought back upon arriving at Faerie two weeks ago. She'd never felt happier in her life as she had when they'd passed through that portal and back to Faerie. The feeling had been euphoric. When they'd stepped onto that trail leading to Oakend, Befrum awaiting them with their horses, the forest had called to her. Beckoning her. Welcoming her. It was like  nothing she'd ever felt before. The official feeling of coming home. Both Sorryn and Saibol had returned her smile, but Loki had given her that look - the I told you so one. She'd almost stuck her tongue out at him for it. He'd only arched a brow, and the small twitch of his mouth was the only hint that he'd known exactly what she'd been thinking. She was going to try this friend
thing with him, but she was quite sure he'd make it nearly impossible.

  She'd been thrilled to be reunited with Gulliver, but her heart pounded with the aspect of her other equine friend, and she had wondered at his level of anger towards her. Did Unicorns, like Elephants, have exceptional memory?

  As they'd reached the ridge that overlooked the large valley and wildflower meadow that met with the stone walls, and towers of the village border, a feeling overcame her. A feeling more intense than that of coming home. This was something foreign and ancient. Then they'd heard hooves on the dirt path hind them, and her golden friend had shown up.

  She smiled at the memory. He'd been aloof at first, showing her his displeasure at his warning being ignored, but he'd warmed up to her, lipping at her cheek to express that he'd missed her.

  He'd trotted along beside Gulliver the entire way to the river, where they would cross and enter the castle along the side and away from prying eyes. The unicorn left them with nothing but a soft nicker and flick of his flaxen tail.

  She recalled her parent’s reaction. They'd been beyond ecstatic, but also inconsolable to the fact that she'd been so close to being kidnapped. Her father had nearly suffocated her in overbearing worry, but she hated to admit it felt really good to have someone care so deeply for her.

  She'd started each day having breakfast with them, then spent the entire morning and early afternoon training. Lunch with them, then training again until dinner. At night she spent time with Kami, Sorryn and Saibol when they weren't on missions. Typically Kami or Saibol were always around. She was quite sure that Loki made sure, for her sake; one of them was always available. The Guardians were also a wealth of information; Ahern was one of her father's very first Elite Guardian's, the lead Guardian to all of his men, and easily his most trustworthy and honorable man she’d met, he had loads of ancestry and history on the realm. Rembly, and Befrum were also the King’s Elite's. Along with two men she'd recently met; Ander's – a huge red headed man with a big beard. He looked like he came straight from a Scottish highland movie, or a Viking ship. He had a booming voice, quick wit and vulgar sense of humor. Then there was Neo – a tall, dark haired, dark skinned warrior with enchanting blue eyes and a soft voice. Her mother also had a circle of Elite's; Iya was an exotic little female half breed – half human/half Fae. She had dark skin, raven hair and earthy brown eyes. She had a dry sense of humor and a whimsical voice. She was also apparently deadly with daggers. Tesryn or “Tes” was also a female Guardian; she had long blonde hair, always tied back and big brown eyes. She was a very “girl next door” looking woman but she had heard Kami say that she was quite the formidable warrior. Adeila liked her instantly the few times she had spoken with her. The only other of her mother's Guardians she'd formally met was Felms, who was a large man with dark red-blonde hair, and soft amber eyes. She was told he could shift into a red fox and that his hearing and cunning were matched by few.

  She found herself getting to know all of them, and enjoying at least one quality from each. Each had their strong suit and she could learn something from every one of them.

  Her mother came in each night as she prepared for bed to chat and brush out her long hair. She enjoyed that special alone time with her. She was still getting used to a mother who doted upon her like Deleana did.

  She saw little of Loki except the few times he trained with her. Each of his training sessions were magic or mind related and typically left her feeling frustrated and inadequate.

  Sorryn had worked with her a bit more on throwing daggers, but had also briefly exposed her to small, light swords and bows. She had to admit, the sword felt the best in her hands. The most comfortable. She enjoyed the rhythm and dance like qualities of the movements when using a sword. Sorryn insisted she just get comfortable for now, as Loki would be her formal sword teacher, and that training would be absolute. She'd train straight with a sword for months, per Sorryn. She wasn't entirely sure if the thought made her more nervous or excited.

  She knew that Loki had been absent from her training, mostly because of work, but also because of the curse that Marla had placed on him. She had no real idea what this curse entailed, as no one had explained it to her. She assumed it was something that affected his magic, maybe made it harder to control.

  All she really knew is that Magistra had finally had a breakthrough and broke the curse. Kami had told her as much, but it had been a long, grueling process and had been far harder than they'd anticipated. It had also taken much longer. It had only been a few days since the curse had been broken. She secretly hoped that now that it had, she'd see a bit more of him.

  Her eyes fluttered open, her thoughts coming to the present again. The indigo sky above her was cloudless and color so bright it was almost painful in its intensity. The days all blended together, save for today.  She was glad she'd taken off the afternoon.

  Today had been insane. They'd pushed her hard. Maybe too hard. She'd never felt that kind of fright for someone's safety. Even at the club when she'd watched her guards wrestle with enemies, she'd not been so afraid. No, today had taken the cake on that fear, because it was up to her to stop it. Such a responsibility, such a decision was not something she was prepared for. Was that what ruling this kingdom would be like? Constant fear of what consequences your decisions may make, not just upon you but upon your people as well? A constant wonder whether you were worthy. Her mind reeled. The moment she'd stopped that arrow, she'd never felt more powerful, but she knew with power came responsibility. It would be her decision and hers alone if she was worthy for such a responsibility.

 
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