pdf - From the Ashes.PDF

pdf - From the Ashes.PDF by Linda Eberharter

Book: pdf - From the Ashes.PDF by Linda Eberharter Read Free Book Online
Authors: Linda Eberharter
Fiach bowed respectfully and turned to leave. Cayden blocked their path.
    His eyes were red rimmed, and his frame was leaner than she remembered. The healthy glow of youth was gone. His eyes were hollowed and empty as they strived to focus over Cilia’s shoulder.
    “Cayden, are you all right?”
    His eyes blinked rapidly as he looked around; he seemed confused to find himself where he was. The lost look on his face was disconcerting. He cleared his throat and struggled to find his manners.
    “My lord and lady.” He bowed. “Forgive me, I seem to have forgotten myself.”
    Fiach’s harsh intake of breath drew Celia’s attention to him. “Fiach, do you know something about this?”
    “He is the mate to a Phoenix.”
    “But who? How is it possible?”
    “Look at his aura.”
    Instead of the lively green flow of energy that had ensconced him on their earlier meeting, a slow black pulse seeped from around him. The taint crawled over his skin, and the area around his heart was covered by a swirling void, as if the blackened mass fed from there.
    Fiach paled. “His suit has been refused.”
    Cayden flinched when he heard the words spoken. They must have been the final blows to his pride because his eyes rolled back in his head and he collapsed onto the floor. None of the Phoenix dared to touch him. Instead, they waited on the Sidhe to rush to Cayden’s side. Rois shoved through the crowd and pushed until she was part of the inner circle. She dropped to the floor and angled his head onto her lap; she lovingly caressed his cheek then looked up at Cilia desperately.
    “What can I do?” Rois pleaded.
    The answer was simple. “Nothing.”
    “He is my son, is there nothing you can do?”
    Cilia deferred to Fiach. He shook his head and answered Rois.
    “We could sever the tie to his mate. If we do that, neither will be whole again.”
    Rois looked at him, clinging desperately to the small hope that he had handed her.
    “Do it,” she commanded.
    “Your son will not be the same as he was without her.”
    “You said yourself she rejected him. He will die without your help.”
    Cilia’s pathway hummed as she spoke with Fiach mind to mind. She’s right. He’ll die rather than live without her.
    I know.
    I don’t want to do this.
    You’re the only one who can. This will grant him the chance to love another day.
    Do you really believe that?
    I believe no force on earth or in heaven could have kept me from you.
    Cilia closed her eyes. I hope he will forgive me for this.
    Fiach squeezed her shoulder gently for support. He offered no words either way, because they both knew what she was about to do was wrong. It went against the order of things, but it was also the only way to keep Cayden alive.
    Rois’s sobbing broke through their quiet communications. It was unseemly for a Sidhe to lose face in such a manner. Cilia extended her palm to rest over the cool fabric that covered Cayden’s heart. She used her power as Neir , and called the essence of Phoenix from his limp body. When the scalding heat rushed up her arm, she hissed in pain. Fiach rubbed the sting away and watched as Cayden’s eyes opened. The boy assessed the gathering of people and his place on the floor with confusion.
    “This is most improper.” The words were delivered without inflection. His blank expression was the perfect reflection of his tone.
    Rois hugged him to her and whispered liquid syllables of thanks in his ear. Cayden allowed himself to be coddled for a moment before breaking away to sit up. Once he was upright, he pushed off the floor to stand. Everyone watched him with interest. He shrugged his shoulders to straighten his shirt and slipped his hands into his pockets before walking off in the direction of his rooms.
    “Cayden?” the question hung in the air between the mother and her son.
    Cayden turned around to face Rois. The cool silver pools of his eyes were quiet and detached. “Yes, Mother?”
    “Are you … that is … do you

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