Warriors of Poseidon 02 - Atlantis Awakening

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midsentence and shook her head at the irrelevant thought, then looked up at the priest, whose narrowed eyes told her he was extremely anxious about Riley. "Will she be okay? And the baby?"
     
    A horrifying thought seared into her mind, and she thought she might vomit up all that ocean water she'd swallowed a few hours earlier. "I didn't—I didn't cause this with my magic, did I?"
     
    He shook his head, the grim look in his eyes softening for a brief moment. "No, you did not, though it goes far to reassure me as to your character that it would count among your concerns. Riley is having a difficult pregnancy and, for all my power, I am helpless to assist in her healing."
     
    She had the feeling he hadn't really meant to share quite that much with her, because the lines in his face deepened as he clenched his jaw shut.
     
    "Is there anything I can do to help?" she offered, knowing that if a powerful high priest of Poseidon couldn't fix it, there wasn't going to be much she could do.
     
    At least he didn't laugh in her face. He just shook his head, closing his eyes as if to keep her from seeing too much of his pain. "No, there is nothing—"
     
    His eyes snapped open. "Wait. There may be something. The history of the Nereid Temple… you are a gem singer—"
     
    "What? First my coven leaders told me I was a gem singer, but they didn't know much more than that. I'm part elvenfolk and, well, maybe part Atlantean. But what does it mean? What am I?"
    Atlantis Awakening – Warriors of Poseidon 02
    Page 80 of 296
    Ignoring her questions, he grabbed her arm and said, "Hold on." Then he swept her into his arms and leapt into the air just as Ven had done with Riley. Erin let out a hugewhoop of surprise and grabbed onto his neck with all her strength. But instead of carrying her in a cloud of shining mist, Alaric went one better and did some kind of stomach-wrenching Atlantean transporter thing. Because not two seconds later, they were touching down in front of a white marble temple inlaid with jade and sapphires and amethyst, and Erin was trying yet again to keep from tossing her cookies on the pristine lawn.
     
    A wave of sound emanating from the Temple reached out to her; tentatively, at first, and then with an all-encompassing full-body wave. "Oh!" she cried out as, with a rush of pure, diamond-sharp joy, she felt it. She, felt it The music from the gemstones soared into her and through her and she felt it, she lived it, she was one with the music, the rich, powerful symphony of the stones pouring into her soul.
     
    She stood there as the music trumpeted through her bones and blood and sinews and, for the first time since she'd been a tiny girl in her mother's arms, Erin opened her mouth and she sang.
     
    The high, clear notes of song soared into the open, airy receiving room of the Temple and Ven turned toward the doorway—toward the source of the sound—and began to walk toward it, still carrying Riley in his arms. The First Maiden of the Nereids, Marie, dropped a ewer of water with a startling clatter and, leaving it there, she rose from her kneeling position by the side of the cushions where Ven had been about to lay Riley's huddled form.
     
    Marie followed him to the doorway, but Ven couldn't have said if any of the other maidens followed in their wake. His eyes were straining to see the notes of the music, which must have been written in golden script on the air of the Temple. No sound so unbearably lovely could exist only as an intangible; no gift of such unutterable grace could vanish with the breath of the singer.
     
    Atlantis Awakening – Warriors of Poseidon 02
    Page 81 of 296
    Marie spoke from very near his right side, where Riley's head lay cradled on his arm, and her voice was hushed with awe. "The legend of the gem singer of the Nereids. She has returned to us."
     
    Ven didn't respond—couldn't respond. He followed the music, a Pied Piper's melody of enchantment calling to him.
     
    Calling him to peace

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