When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(4) by Alexandra Ivy
Oh. Cyn grimaced. “You suspect there’s another traitor?”
“That was my first thought,” Siljar admitted. “But I believe that on this occasion the Oracles are being manipulated without their knowledge.”
That seemed . . . unlikely.
“Why are you suspicious?” he demanded.
Siljar hesitated a second before revealing what was troubling her.
“Over the past few weeks I’ve found myself awakening as if from a trance to discover I’m seated in the Council Room,” she at last said.
Cyn blinked in confusion. That was it? He’d been kidnapped and dropped naked in these caves because the old gal was becoming forgetful?
He forced himself to consider his words. Only an idiot implied that an Oracle might be going a bit batty.
“The past year has been stressful, especially for the Commission,” he murmured.
“It has. And if I was the only Oracle to experience the strange phenomenon, then I would assume that your implication that I’m suffering from some sort of mental decay was right.” Her lips twitched as he flinched at her blunt words. “I am, after all, quite old and it wouldn’t be entirely unlikely that I would accidentally transport myself to a familiar location without realizing what I’m doing.”
Cyn ignored Fallon’s barely hidden amusement at his discomfort.
“More than once I discovered I wasn’t alone.”
Cyn grimaced even as he heard Fallon suck in a startled breath.
Having Siljar suffering from an occasional blackout was one thing. To think of the entire Commission being controlled by some unseen force . . . bloody hell.
“The other Oracles didn’t know how they got there either?” he rasped.
Siljar gave a somber shake of her head. “No.”
When Fallon had opened her eyes to discover herself far removed from her fairy homeland, she’d been more annoyed than frightened.
Strange, considering that it was the first time in her life she’d ever awakened in a dark cave, stark naked, and in the company of an equally naked vampire.
Hell, it was the first time she’d ever been away from her father’s vast palace.
She should have been freaking out.
But while she’d tried to convince herself that he must be some sort of deranged beast who’d stolen her from her home for God only knew what sort of perverted reason, she couldn’t truly make herself believe he was intending her harm.
She hadn’t spent much time with Cyn, but while the massive clan chief was obviously a terrifying predator, she’d easily sensed he posed no danger.
No, that wasn’t true, she wryly conceded.
He posed all sorts of danger, not the least of which was the unwelcomed excitement that sizzled through her whenever he happened to glance in her direction.
But she didn’t for a second believe he would physically hurt her.
Not unless he believed she was a threat to his people. The tiny demon in front of her, however, had just sent a chill of terror straight down her spine.
She knew of the Commission, of course.
Unlike most Chatri, the pure-blooded ancestors of the fey, Fallon had never been content with her secluded existence. Others might be happy in her father’s royal palace, surrounded by lush gardens and meadows that were drenched in perpetual sunshine, but for her it was all too . . . flawlessly monotonous.
There was only so much perfection a woman could endure before she became bored out of her mind. Which meant that Fallon had been driven to develop a secret life just to keep her sanity.
No one among her people knew that she’d created a hidden chamber where she honed her skill at scrying until she could not only peer into other dimensions, but she could maintain several images at once.
Over the years she’d spent endless hours studying this world, fascinated by the rapidly changing cultures while her own life remained stagnant. She’d even kept up on the current fads and speech patterns, telling herself that she might have the opportunity to visit this world, even when she’d known deep in her heart that her father would never allow her to leave their homeland.
Now she wondered if she’d been mistaken in her belief that the powerful Oracles were both wise and fair leaders for the demon world.
“What would be the point of trancing you?” she demanded in confusion.
Siljar regarded her with an unblinking gaze. It was . . . creepy.
“My guess would be that they want us in the Council Room,” she said.
Fallon forced herself not to wilt beneath that basilisk stare. “Why?”
“It’s the place we gather to share information, and to settle disputes between demons,” Siljar explained, abruptly pacing across the cave with jerky movements. As if she was trying to contain her emotions. “And in extreme cases it’s where we share our power.”
“Do you think it could be a demon who is trying to influence you to judge in his favor?” Cyn abruptly demanded.
“I asked myself the same question. We are currently negotiating a land treaty between the mountain ogres and the woodland sprites.” Siljar gave a sharp shake of her head. Swish. Swish. Her white robe brushed the uneven floor. “But now I fear the plot is far more nefarious.”
“Nefarious?” Cyn demanded.
Siljar nodded. “I think someone is trying to force the Commission to combine their powers to cast a spell.”
Cyn grimaced. “Who or what could have the necessary strength to influence the entire Commission?”
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