Vendetta(Legend of the Ir'Indicti,Book 4)(41) by Connie Suttle
"You know as much as I do, sweetheart. Just keep it to yourself, all right? There'll be hell to pay if Winkler hears that I told you."
"He won't know. I promise." Denise went to make Marcus a cup of coffee.
* * *
"I'll pick you up at the airport tomorrow evening," Randy said.
"I have something to tell you when I get there," Sara told him.
"I hope it's that you love me," Randy said, emboldened by the fact that he was talking on his cell and not face-to-face.
"We'll get to that," Sara suddenly sounded shy.
"I sure hope so," Randy was encouraged by Sara's answer. He stood on the sand of the public beach in Port Aransas, leaning against the fender of the car he'd purchased two hours earlier. The vehicle was smaller than he might like but it suited him and his needs. Sara wouldn't mind. The moon was close to full and rising above the waters as he spoke with Sara. Randy appreciated the path the moonlight made, as if you could walk on it to the eastern horizon. "I wish you were here right now," he said. "The moon is beautiful."
"Yeah. I wish I were there too. Love you, Randall. Bye."
* * *
Sali, you're shielded, they can't see you, Ashe assured his friend. Sali gulped as his eyes roamed the lines of opposing Elemaiya. He and Ashe stood in a grassy space between two armies as twilight deepened around them. The moon was up and stars twinkled overhead, oblivious of the war about to take place. Sali watched the line of warriors they'd passed through moments earlier. Were they aware that another army had appeared? They didn't seem to be. They're shielded, too, Ashe answered Sali's unspoken question. But if their attackers come closer, the two shields surrounding each army will intersect and both sides will be visible. I'm about to lower both shields a little early.
* * *
"My Prince!" Liridael shouted as the vampires attacked. Lengthy claws sliced out before the Prince or his trusted guard could relocate. Beldris died, his eyes staring at the rounded brick ceiling overhead. His last thought was of the skies of Morningsun, homeworld to the Dark Elemaiya. Why had he and the others thought to leave it? It no longer mattered; the light was fading. Shouts and screams around Beldris dimmed with the light, and then winked out altogether.
* * *
"Ashe," Sali whispered, terrified. The shields had come down as Ashe raised his arms and then lowered them.
Sal, now's the time for you to keep quiet, Ashe warned mentally. They can see me now. They can't see you, but they might hear. Sali nodded mutely as both sides, Bright and Dark, muttered among themselves. Here was a boy, standing between them and their enemy, and somehow the shields had been lowered without contact.
"You!" Parlethis stepped forward from the Bright army.
"Me," Ashe agreed quietly. "You represent the Bright Queen?"
"Yes. I intend to kill you, but that will wait. I want Prince Beldris to step forward or his people will die."
"Beldris is not here," Baltis came from behind his first line of soldiers to stand before them. "My brother is elsewhere."
"Your brother has been attacked in Chicago," Ashe turned to Baltis with stars in his eyes. Ashe stood in the center, Parlethis and Baltis perhaps twenty feet away on opposing sides. Baltis did not fail to see Ashe's eyes. Frightened, he wanted to step behind his troops again. He was King, however. He was expected to be braver than his bravest warrior.
"Is dead," Ashe sighed. "As you likely know, none of us can truly be in two places at once. A difficult lesson I learned only recently. The Bright Ones decided to attack your camp. Others attacked your brother in Chicago. I came because you have children here. I will not see them killed. Leave now and I will not pursue."
"I have no plans to leave," Parlethis snarled. "I will do my Queen's bidding. She asked me to destroy the Dark race and take the King's crown. I will not fail her."
"But you have young in your camp as well," Ashe turned to Parlethis. "Surely your Queen has no desire to see the children die."
"She knows this and sent me anyway. The Dark Ones have murdered too many of our race. We will not back down. I will kill you, King," Parlethis snarled at Baltis, raising a jeweled sword. Light played along its edge, causing it to glow brightly in the dim moonlight.
"I stand in your way, Bright fool," Baltis hissed. "Warriors, attack!"
Ashe pulled Sali into his mist as the front lines clashed together. Energy blasts flew and exploded. Elemaiya on both sides screamed and shouted as bodies hurled through the air. Weapons clanged and huge chunks of earth and rock were thrown and blocked. Water from the lake was doused onto both sides. Those who slipped struggled to rise again. Many still standing took advantage of the situation and fell on their enemy, until the ground began to shake beneath the feet of both armies. The quake was so violent it threw everyone to the ground. The shaking increased—so much so that none could rise again. Ashe materialized with Sali at his side at a safe distance. "Go now!" His voice boomed through the trees and across the lake. Elemaiya warriors began disappearing by the hundreds. The ground still shook. Sali, though, stared at his feet. The earth beneath him was as still and calm as anything could be.
"How?" he stared at Ashe.
"Don't break my concentration, Sal," Ashe murmured. Sali saw tall firs break and fall. The lake formed waves and engulfed many. Parents disappeared with their children, followed closely by others. Ashe's jaw tightened as he concentrated and the ground continued to tremble violently. Sali wanted to speak again but held back; frightened of the answers he might receive to the questions struggling against his clenched teeth. Finally, after roughly ten minutes of continuous ground shaking, the tremors subsided. Every Elemaiya was gone, including the dead. Ashe went limp, dropping to the ground in a heap. "Ashe?" Sali knelt beside his friend. "Ashe?" Sali was alone.
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