Time Dancer

Time Dancer by Inez Kelley

Book: Time Dancer by Inez Kelley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Inez Kelley
Papa was just a boy. Am I really seeing him?”
    “Yes, Jana. You have breached your lifespan and danced backward through your blood.”
    They watched until the trees swallowed father and child. Black formed around the edges of the woods, shrinking until it existed only in a pinpoint. She closed her eyes as exhaustion seeped into her muscles.
    “I’m tired.”
    “You did well. To dance to three specific places in one dream is...magnificent. I’m very proud of you, my charge.”
    The praise touched some still trembling part inside her. She squeezed his hand. “I’m sorry I tried to run away.”
    “You wanted to aid the child but, Jana, you must believe me. Letting go is dangerous. It’d mean your very death.”
    “I understand. I’ll never let go, I promise.”
    “Nor shall I, nayeli .”
    A whirling fluttered her stomach, like when her father would hold her hands and spin her as a little girl. When the spinning slowed, Jana opened her eyes and all she saw was Darach’s face.
    They were back in her chamber, his hand wrapped tight around hers. Not even the thrill of having moved through time could keep her body from sinking into slumber, and a yawn tickled her throat. Despite the now bright morning, sleep called to her.
    “Was that real?”
    “Very real.” His voice husked deep and low, like falling night. “Sleep now. No other dreams’ll come, except those which may bring you joy.”
    He made as if to move and she gripped his hand. “Stay.”
    “If it pleases you.” He sat beside her on the mattress. His weight dipped the stuffing so that her body rolled slightly toward his. It felt comforting and intimate.
    “Something’s different. You’re talking differently, using shorter words.”
    “You’ve stolen all the cadence from me.”
    “Papa said that means a spell is truly bonding with you.”
    His hair trickled in a soft fall along the mattress, pooling in a dark puddle as he bent and pressed his lips to her hand. “Sleep, nayeli .”
    Sleep claimed her before she could ask what that strange word meant.

Chapter Five
    “Wait a minute.” Papa held up his hand. “No one is shedding any royal blood.”
    Darach ignored him. “The Segur blood must come from you, Your Majesty. Your sons’ blood is... The queen’s feline essence is very strong in them. It may lure Jana away from the call.”
    The king nodded. “Then you’ll have it. How much do you need?”
    Leather whispered on silk as Darach slid his right hand into his glove. Her father fisted his dagger hilt but stood firm behind the king’s chair. Jana pulled the soft white cloth from behind her and held it out to Darach. He took it, his fingers grazing hers. Their eyes met. They’d not spoken of the gentle press of his lips to her hand but a private smile inched along his mouth as he knelt before the king and pierced his palm with one sharp claw.
    Today Darach was back to the costume of his home realm, the open vest baring his broad chest, the green breeches molding to his ass. His loose hair slid from his shoulder as he leaned forward to press the cloth to the wound dripping from King Taric’s hand.
    Instead of her normal squeamish reaction, something in her core vibrated at the scarlet growing on the cloth. Something in a voice she couldn’t yet hear, but reached out to her through time and air. The wonder of going backward through her bloodline, seeing things that occurred before her birth, seemed almost a dream in the bright light of early afternoon.
    She’d wanted to dance through time again immediately upon waking but Darach wouldn’t allow it. Passing through the waves of time took strength and endurance. He felt it was too early but his concern grated on her. She wasn’t as weak or as fragile as he seemed to think.
    “Batu told me of the bonds but I do have questions.” Darach lifted the cloth, glanced at the still welling blood and replaced it, squeezing tightly. “The mark only appears on males. What if a daughter is

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