When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(34) by Alexandra Ivy
She clenched her teeth, refusing to allow the image of being pressed into the soft ground as Cyn covered her with his larger body to form.
At the moment they were standing on the edge of a precipice. One wrong move and they’d tumble over the edge.
Not yet prepared to take that irrevocable step, Fallon licked her lips and began chatting with a burst of nervous energy.
“We tend to be a social species, as well as highly competitive, so each House hosts lavish gatherings.”
His lips quirked. “I’ve been to a few fairy clubs. I will admit that they know how to throw one hell of a party.”
She blushed. Over the years she’d accidentally peeked into a few of the fairy clubs when she was scrying, and was shocked by the drunken orgies that seemed to pass as entertainment among many demons.
“Not those types of parties,” she muttered. “We host teas and soirées and nightly balls. They’re intended to display the wealth and stature of our House, not to—”
“To actually have fun?” he finished for her, a wicked glint of amusement in his eyes.
She wrinkled her nose. “I hardly think that overindulging in spirits and having sex with multiple partners is my idea of fun.”
He reached to carefully brush a stray curl off her cheek. “Then what do you do for fun, princess?”
She hesitated. What did she do? The majority of her time was devoted to her role as princess, of course. When she wasn’t expected to join her father, she was in her rooms peering into her scrying bowls. But for fun?
She was still struggling for an answer to the simple question when she was interrupted by the chime of a distant bell.
Cyn was on instant alert, his hand reaching for the dagger that was strapped beneath his sweater.
“What is that dinging?”
“I need to check the bowls,” she said, hurrying back across the meadow.
Cyn jogged at her side, leading her back to the door hidden by the illusion. “Is the bell a specific warning?”
“Yes.” She was forced to wait while he triggered the lock before they could return to the tunnel that ran beneath the castle. “One of the Oracles left the caves.”
He led her in the opposite direction from where they’d entered, rounding a corner to reveal a staircase that led them directly to the upper floors.
Fallon never slowed as she hurried up the steps and then down the corridor so she could enter the room where she’d arranged the bowls.
Walking in a slow circle, she pinpointed the bowl that had set off the alarm.
She lowered herself until she was kneeling on the carpet, peering into the water. The images flickered across the surface, revealing a slender woman with red hair walking back into the caves.
Why would a demon leave the lair only to return minutes later?
“A Manasa demon. It must be Phyla,” Cyn murmured, leaning over the bowl.
Fallon stiffened, ridiculously wondering just how well he knew the beautiful demon. Then she gave a sharp shake of her head.
What was wrong with her? This was no time to be distracted by her childish stab of jealousy.
Focusing on her demon, Fallon touched the edge of the bowl, carefully angling the bowl to the side. The water tilted, distorting the images as they began to flow backward. As if she’d pressed a rewind button.
“Holy shite,” Cyn muttered. “How far can you go back?”
“Only a few minutes,” she said, removing her fingers from the bowl as she reached the limit of her powers.
Instantly the water settled back in the bowl and Fallon spoke a low word of command, freezing the image as she caught sight of a distinctive simmer that was barely visible among the thick trees shrouded in darkness.
“What is that?” Cyn demanded, his broad shoulder brushing hers as he leaned over the bowl.
Fallon kept her gaze locked on the bowl even as her senses were leaping with acute awareness of the man kneeling at her side.
It wasn’t fair. He shouldn’t be able to make her ache with this intense need without even trying.
“She created a breach,” she explained, wrenching her thoughts back to the vision that filled the bowl.
“Isn’t that the same as a portal?”
“No.” Fallon shook her head. “A portal is creating a passageway through dimensions that is controlled by a fey’s magic. This is a temporary rip in the space that will collapse within an hour.”
He sent her a wry glance. A silent reminder of his opinion of magic. Then he asked the obvious question.
“So why would she have created a breach and then returned to the caves?”
“If she didn’t intend to travel then she must have let something through.”
He shifted his attention back to the bowl. “Can you search the area?”
Releasing the magic from its stasis, the images flickered until she and Cyn were seeing the area in real time. Fallon gave a wave of her hand. Slowly she began a thorough sweep of the area. At first there was nothing to see but trees. And rocks. And an abandoned farmhouse.
It was Cyn who abruptly pointed at the cloaked form that was disappearing into a shallow cave that had been hidden by the undergrowth.
“There,” he muttered. “Can you follow him?”
“Aye, aye, sir,” she muttered, locking her magic on the cloaked form.
Without warning she felt his fingers lightly grasp her chin, tugging her face to meet his teasing gaze.
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