Bloodlines, p.62
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       Bloodlines, p.62

           Trisha Lynn
 
Chapter Fifty-Two

  Today she wasn't sure who she would be training with. She hoped that it was neither, Loki or Sorryn. She wasn't sure if she could train with them today, after yesterday's debacle. She'd seen neither of them since, as she'd spent her entire afternoon, until dinner time, at Gh'ehelila – the old willow. She'd just laid there thinking of the decisions she'd made, her training, her real parents and adopted, Marissa, Obysson, and magic. Then she'd written in the journal that Loki had gotten her. She'd found that it was a good outlet for her. Something to write down her jumble of confused thoughts. Writing them down allowed her to sift through them easier.

  She'd told Kami of her arrow incident, and she'd been sympathetic but not surprised.

  “Loki wants you to succeed at your training. He wants you prepared for everything. He did what he thought was necessary. Trust his judgment.”

  Adeila had felt slightly put off by the other girls flippant regard to the situation, but when she'd laid in bed that night, her mind simmering down from the hard day, she'd realized that he'd done what he thought was best, and his faith in her had clearly proven his own point. She really wanted to hit him for it, but decided she'd just never put herself in such a situation again.

  She got to the large oak and ran a hand lovingly over the bark, and tried to put the events of the prior day behind her. The leaves swayed at her touch and many floated down to her. Leaves brushed her skin as they floated to the luscious grassy floor at her feet. She flexed her mind and caught some of the leaves midair. Freezing them in time and place. She found that now it did come to her easily. Almost as easily as moving things with her mind, which had been so easy for her because she’d been doing it subconsciously for over a year. She cursed Loki under her breath for breaking through her magical barrier, and pushing her into this full capacity of magic, in such an unorthodox and brutal way, but she was pleased to see the results. She felt so much more in control, as if the magic waited; simmering there for her bidding, rather than a restless thrum of power that had nowhere to go.

  She smiled, deciding to use another of her abilities. She was pretty sure this ability had actually shown itself to her first, but she'd chosen to ignore it. Her “green thumb” as some had called it, wasn't a green thumb at all, at least not in the human concept of the phrase. It was a Fae ability. This one alone didn't take a lot of work, but combining took some concentration, because she wasn't used to it yet.

  Combining abilities was something she was just now learning to do. Sorryn and Loki had both been working with her on it, and even Devrin and Ahern had helped her. Ahern and Devrin's simple tips actually had her getting the hand of it. Ahern was the simplest guy to work with. She really hoped it was him that she worked with today, she wasn't sure her mind could handle a harder teacher. The compassion and gentle nature that she'd always thought was there, was even more so now that she'd gotten to know him more. Both he and Sorryn had almost become the elder brothers she'd never had. She'd grown close to all of her personal guards and most of Loki's team. Save for Marston, who still gave her the creeps. And Loki... Well, she had no idea where Loki sat in her heart. She trusted him with her life, felt emotions for him that were both foreign and confusing. Her feelings for him where not brotherly, but not entirely romantic either. They were just confusing, and she tried to stop thinking of him whenever she began, because she was afraid of the answers there. So instead she focused on her magic.

  She moved her hand back so she was touching the tree. Having a physical connection definitely helped her focus. She pushed her energy into the tree and felt its bright hum inside her as a response. When it matched her own, she thought in her head of what she wanted, and pushed her energy deeper. Each leaf floated up and was replaced to the tree in the spots where they had fallen from, and then new green buds sprang up across each branch. She smiled and finally took a breath. Allowing the energy in the magic to simmer around her. It was exhilarating. She could feel the power and energy within her very soul. She could also feel the energy of everything around her, pulsing, pushing, and thrumming with life. She recalled Loki's words to her on numerous occasions. Energy is in everything. Nothing is as it seems. Everything is its own energy. Particles upon particles. Nothing is solid; everything is a vibrating, thrumming energy. If you know how to manipulate that energy, then you have discovered a magic of sort.

  She could turn a single blade of grass into a rambling rose bush and even change the color to each bud, or change a tiny sapling into a full grown tree. She could do it well too, considering Sorryn had made her do it numerous times until she got it down perfectly. He'd started her on this path when he'd made her repair the damage to the tree that they'd used for knife-throwing back in the human realm. Since then he, and her mother, had overseen her training in regrowth and repair of the natural things. Her mother insisted that it was an affinity, but that Adeila's seemed more powerful than any she'd seen before, her own included. It seemed odd to Adeila that her own magic could be stronger than her mothers, but she took the praise and the training tips with stride, and found herself most happy when she was in the gardens making the roses bloom, or when she was outside in the pastures with Gulliver, repairing fallen branches, dead trees or upturned earth from the horses hooves. It might not have been a warrior's work, but she enjoyed it. The fact that she could do these things, whereas not a year ago she had deemed herself an average, mousy, nerdy, unpopular and unremarkable teenager.

  When she finally allowed her senses to take over from the magical high she was on, she noticed someone standing close by, leaning against a tree. That was something she really needed to work on. Doing magic and keeping her senses around her steady, so she didn't lose herself in the magic. Realizing how much she still had to learn was slightly daunting.

  The someone was standing only a few feet away; ankles crossed arms over muscled chest. The shadow of the forest enveloped around him and he blended into it. She could barely make out his handsome chiseled features, and was surprised by the expression on his usually guarded face. The mask had slipped slightly and she got a tiny hint of pride and surprise in the moment before he put the walls back up and over to his usual stoic mask. His golden green eyes glittered and met her own.

  Loki finally unfolded himself and stalked towards her. She couldn't help the involuntary shiver that raced up her spine as he stepped into the light.

  With everything that had gone on in the past few months she couldn't deny the fact that, even though he didn't always make her feel entirely comfortable – actually, typically she found no comfort in her feelings for him - she did in fact depend on him. Trust him. He had become a figment in her life, a constant. An ally. A friend.

  She waited for him to approach her.

  “I see you've been practicing.”

  She nodded. “Yes, I have. What are we learning today?”

  “I thought we would continue some combination abilities, but it seems you are making strides in that department. Maybe a political lesson then.”

  She almost groaned aloud, but then remembered whose presence she was in. Not a good idea, as he'd make her pay for it, somehow, probably like yesterday.

  She tried hard not to look forlorn. His mouth twitched slightly but he gestured for them to sit underneath the large oak tree that she had so recently used her magic on.

  They sat, cross legged, facing each other. He took a breath; his eyes were so golden today. Only a small shimmer of green could be seen, and the silver flakes were nearly translucent. “I'm sorry for yesterday, Adeila. Truly. I hope that you see the results and are no longer angered with me?”

  She couldn't help but smile. If he was anything, it was honorable. He'd known he'd made her uncomfortable, even though he'd never admit he was wrong, he at least was willing to apologize for how she took it.

  “No, I am no longer mad. It was... Strange, but like you said, it heeded the results you sought.”

  “We sought. You need to gain control. I understand my final decision was not entirel
y orthodox to my typical training, but things are different with you.”

  She cocked her head just a bit at him, and wanted to ask why. If it was entirely because she was the King's daughter, the heir to the throne of Oakend, or because she'd almost been kidnapped. Either way, she really didn't want to hear his reasoning, and decided for once she'd be happy about a political lesson.

  She gestured for him to begin his lesson. He bit his lip, his mind working. She couldn't help the tiny pinprick of heat in her stomach at his small, subconscious movement, but when he began to speak, luckily the heat dissipated.

  “Let's talk a bit about the different kingdoms. First, we'll speak of Ravenswood. The King and Queen. Personally, I think the Queen Neyssa is completely insane and the King Radyn is a bit of a push over, but someday you'll get to form your own judgment. Moving past my opinion, I'll let you know some facts. They have one son, his name is Logan. I've met him a few times and other then being constantly at his mother's beck and call, seems like he has a decent mind in there, whenever he is allowed to use it. The Queen seems to have the reins of the kingdom from my dealings with them, but that may just be for appearances sake. I do not know enough about the kingdom to be sure.”

  She had a small smile on her face, listening to his opinions. Often enough, with Loki, things were all facts. It was a nice change to hear him speak of, entirely, his opinions. It made her feel closer to him. To his mind.

  “It is South East if you leave from the village. Between our Kingdom and theirs is a canyon, a land bridge once connected the two, but when it eroded too much, a large stone bridge was erected in its place. Most Faeries travel via the portals within the kingdoms so they do not use the bridge, but if, for whatever reason, our portals cease to work then we are not stranded.”

  He takes a breath, and plucks at the leather binding of a bracelet at his right wrist. She'd not noticed the bracelet before. It is thin brown leather, and has a silver antler attached to each end of the leather. It's simple, but also suits him. She'd never pictured him as the jewelry type, but then again he had chosen the ring she still wore every day.

  “Ravenswood is surrounded by a dark, dreary kind of forest; complete opposite from the forest into Oakend. The creatures are more violent, the shadows seem longer. It's like walking through a cemetery at midnight, with mist engulfing the ground. There's just a sense of something watching you. It is a hauntingly beautiful land, just the kingdom is a little on the.... creepy side. The road leading to the Kingdom is lit by faerie fire lanterns with Gargoyles, ravens and Goblins carved into the ebony stone pillars holding the lanterns. The road to the village is gated by a giant arched iron gate-”

  A ringing interrupts them. A very loud ringing coming from her jeans pocket.

  Adeila scrambles up to grab the phone from her pocket, surprised that it is still working in Faerie. Loki had told her that the raw magic within the realm oftentimes screwed with the satellites that the phones receive their signal from.

  When she looks down at the name on the screen, her eyes widen, she can't contain the surprise, and her eyes flit to Loki's and then back down to the screen.

  “Hello?”

  “Adeila, honey, I know that you are away right now with your real parents, Marissa told us bits and pieces, but you are the last person I was going to call before the police.”

  Adeila's eyes widen even further, and she frowns. Her eyes flit to Loki's again.

  “What's going on, Mrs. Paige?”

  “I'm trying not to freak out, but Marissa went out with friends last night and hasn't returned. I was really hoping that she would be with you?”

  Adeila's mouth thinned, fingers of panic creep along her spine, her skin feels flushed and her heart thuds faster.

  The beginning of an emotional hurricane was descending on both women. She let her wide eyes snap to Loki again, and the emotion swimming in them had him stepping closer.

  She swallowed the lump in her throat but still had a hard time forming coherent words.

  “No, Mrs. Paige, I haven't seen her since I left two weeks ago.”

  Raw emotion on the other end of the line stirred everything within Adeila and a tear slipped from the corner of her eye. “Mrs. Paige...”

  “I have to call the police. I have a bad feeling about this.”

  “Please keep me updated. I will be there as soon as I can.”

  The phone line cut off, dead. Adeila turns her full attention to Loki.

  “Marissa has gone missing.”

  “It has been less then twenty-four hours, you know that is what the human police will say, Adeila. Do not panic.”

  Anger washes away the grief. “Loki, you know damn well that she is missing.”

  He looked to the ground for several moments, before returning his attention to her face. Those shimmering golden eyes that she'd come to read so well, were dusky around the edges. Meaning he was feeling something other than his normal stoic neutral emotion. Those eyes, she found so beautiful, were also what let her in on his inner emotion. For that she was thankful. It meant it was beginning to be impossible for him to lie to her – or dance around the truth that Faeries do.

  He lets out a breath, and his eyes meet hers. “Shit, I was afraid something like this would happen.”

 
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