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Veiled Threat(Rylee Adamson #7)(10) by Shannon Mayer

“Fine, Alex, you can come too.”

He leapt up and mud sprayed around him, splattering my pants and jacket. I wiped it off, but didn’t bother to scold him.

Within fifteen minutes, we were ready to fly. Liam shifted and put on warmer clothes, and Blaz backed from Ophelia to give them both room to take off.

I cannot believe she is here. His voice was low and I knew he spoke just to me. I shrugged; nothing we could do about it.

I know that. His voice was resigned. Was it really that bad being with her? Hell, I’d be pissed if my mate avoided me for years.

I don’t love her. It is that simple. A picture of a smaller dragon, tawny and cream colored flickered from his mind to mine. Shit. And Ophelia no doubt knew Blaz felt something for this other dragon.

It was her cousin.

I didn’t stop the groan that slipped out of me. A dragon love triangle? That was not going to be good. Wait, was?

Sorrow, thick and heavy, flowed into me. Her cousin is dead. Gone for many years.

What the hell was I to say to that? Nothing. If I lost Liam, no way I could just “move on” with someone else. Not even if someone paired us up and said it was for the best and we needed to be together.

I touched Blaz’s back, pressed my hand into his scales. “I’m sorry.”

He said nothing more, the feel of his long-buried sorrow enough to keep our thoughts to our own heads.

Liam and I tucked into the harness on Blaz’s back, and Alex climbed behind us, wrapping himself into the leather. Though we planned to see Doran and Louisa first to ask about casting out the evil spirits, at the last minute I directed Blaz to head to Portland. I could always call Doran, or even Louisa, but the ogres had waited long enough.

Blaz didn’t wait for Erik to mount on Ophelia before he spread his wings and launched into the air. A few short hours and we’d be in Portland, and I’d be facing ogres I wasn’t a hundred percent sure were on my side anymore.

Peachy.

Ophelia’s voice rippled across my mind, and by the way she spoke, she wasn’t projecting to anyone else. Curious.

May we speak, Rylee? Apparently she could be polite when she wanted.

I gave her a nod.

I am the keeper of the knowledge, the last dragon to hold information about the Blood of the Lost. Of which you are the last. If you are anything like Erik, trouble will soon find you and I will lose my chance to speak with you.

My mind whirled. If Erik was related to me, how was it I was the last?

Erik is your father’s brother. Your mother is the one whose bloodline carries the Blood of the Lost. They were an ancient supernatural, one who held much sway over the rest of the world of magic and wonder. It is why they were wiped out. They had too much power. They were the ones who created the veil.

Son of a bitch, that did not sound like it was going to help me in the “making friends” department. A question formed inside my mind but I blocked it. I didn’t do well with the whole speaking privately inside my head. Not when I would just have to fill Blaz and Liam in anyway.

“How many other supernaturals might remember this?”

Ophelia was ahead of us and she craned her head back and lifted her eyebrows at me as if to ask if I were sure.

“How many, Ophelia?” I repeated the words louder.

Her voice projected through us all, a booming echo where before it had been just above a whisper. A few of the very old ones, this all happened thousands of years ago. The blood line was thinned to a few families, barely enough to keep it alive. Your kind was not always known as “The Lost.”

“Then what were we know as?” This was too damned weird of a conversation, but it had been a long time coming.

That is beyond even myself and I have all the information anyone could have. It was a part of the systematic destruction of your kind. If you didn’t know what you were, how could you possibly return to it?

She seemed to let out a heavy sigh and a deep regret flowed through her and into me. You need to know that your kind created the many levels of the veil; your people ruled the supernatural world. And now it has come to you to bring that world together again, under your name to fight the darkness. To fight the demons. It will be the last act of the Blood of the Lost, to finish what they started, keeping the world safe from the demons who would rule it. That was why they created the veil in the first place, a holding ground for demons.

Her words stirred something deep within me and I recognized what she said for the truth it held, even if I didn’t like it so much. Liam’s hands tightened on my waist and I glanced over my shoulder. His eyes reflected what I already knew. Truth, when it came, was less likely to make us happy than we thought. Finding out who and what I really was didn’t necessarily make life easier.

My fingers dug into the leather straps in front of me, but I wasn’t really that freaked out. To be fair, in some ways this was just regurgitation of what I already knew via the prophecies I’d read. I had to pull off this coup and kill Orion or everyone was doomed. Did it really matter what my bloodline was when no one else knew or even gave half a shit. “Anything else? Any other skeletons bitching in my family closet?”

Ophelia blinked back at me, her eyes uncertain. Perhaps you do not understand the severity of the situation, Tracker.

Erik slapped her on the neck. “Spit it out, cranky.”

Blaz snickered and Ophelia glared first at Erik, then Blaz.

Pushy dicks. Fine. There is only one thing you truly need to know, if Erik would have his way. Erik threw his hands into the air and she ignored him. Seal the veils, that is what you must do to stop Orion.

Well damn, that was actually helpful. It was the first time anyone said how I was going to stop the demons. “Do you know how I’m going do that? You know, the details of this deed I’m supposed to perform?”

She shook her head, and I glanced at Blaz. “How about you?”

No, I don’t know either. Has there been nothing in those ogre-skinned books of Jack’s?

We flew through a bank of clouds while I mulled it over, moisture slicking any bare skin in seconds. I wiped my face and closed my eyes, thinking hard. When we’d been in Europe, I’d spent time reading through the remaining books of prophecy at Jack’s manor. I’d done my best to decipher the meanings, but so much was written in cryptic old English, it was difficult at best to slog through.

“No. Just lots of ‘you will be the one to stop him,’ no how to actually stop him, or any helpful shit like that. Knowing my luck, that bit is in the violet skinned book.”