Fated Love(The Twisted Destiny Saga Book 4)(10)By: Franca Storm
Cora moved closer and gasped as she saw burn marks all over his chest. She reached out and touched one of them and he hissed. She pulled back quickly. “Sorry.” She turned to Nathanial and asked, “What are those? How did they happen?”
“All creatures borne of the dark—both in the human realm and the Dark Realm—have been afflicted. All those without royal blood.”
“Something that wouldn’t have happened to me if you hadn’t stripped me of my title,” Luca snapped.
“You wish to challenge me now?” Nathanial demanded.
Luca shook his head and shrank back. “No. I’m sorry.”
“Good,” Nathanial said. And then he proceeded to tell Cora about Oriana’s destruction of one of the five orbs of the Dark Realm and the resulting consequences.
“Oh my God,” Cora breathed when he’d finished. “My son and Ryan?”
“They are fine. Ryan is in the Dark Realm. He will lead his wolves to the castle to distract Oriana so that she cannot destroy any more orbs. He is allowing me time to prepare you.”
“To do what you had already intended by allying yourself with Michael and my son.”
“To kill Oriana and Vazra.”
Nathanial was taken aback. “You intend to kill your father?”
Nathanial, Haraz, Luca, and Michael eyed one another in surprise. And then Nathanial told her soberly, “You cannot kill Vazra, Cora. It will destabilize the White Realm, which would put all of us in danger.”
“I would’ve thought you, of all people, would want him dead after what he did to Marella.”
“He will feel my wrath, believe me. But I will not kill him. The bigger picture is more important, Cora. Do you see that?”
Cora released a frustrated breath. “Fine. Yes, I get it.”
“Wait,” Luca exclaimed. “You and Marella are…together?”
“She is my destined mate,” Nathanial told him. “She is with child.”
“Holy hellfire,” Michael exclaimed. “I did not see this coming.”
“You’ll have another heir,” Luca murmured.
“You are still my first born. So far, you have not proven yourself worthy of the throne. It is not too late for you to convince me, Luca. You have until she comes of age to do so. Otherwise, yes, the throne will pass to her.”
“Her?” Luca asked with a smile. “A girl?”
“Yes. You are…happy?” Nathanial asked, surprised by his positive reaction.
“Oddly, I appear to be,” Luca said with a laugh. “A lot has changed since—”
“Since you recognized your love for the princess,” Nathanial finished for him.
Luca caught Cora’s eye and looked away awkwardly.
Cora crossed to him and took his hand in hers. “It’s okay. I already know, remember?”
“I must break the bond, Luca,” Nathanial announced as he came to stand before the two of them. “I cannot risk the possibility of Cora being trapped once she enters the Dark Realm to take on Oriana.”
“I know,” Luca said sadly.
Nathanial laid his hand on Luca’s shoulder and closed his eyes briefly. Luca gasped as a vibrant glow of black power enveloped him. After a few moments, it dissipated and Nathanial pulled back. “Misuse your gifts again and I will take them from you permanently. Understood?”
“Yes. Thank you, father.”
“Fortunately for you, to break the betrothal bond, you and Cora must combine your magic. I had no choice but to restore your Vampire Prince title.”
“Come,” Nathanial said gently to Cora.
She stepped forward and he took her hand in his. With his other, he gripped Luca’s.
“Now? You’re going to break the bond now?”
“Yes. Why? Did you think it would aid you in taking the princess to your bed?” Nathanial asked. “Luca, you forget who you are dealing with when it comes to Cora,” he said, winking at her. “Besides, she is Ryan’s wife. You will find your own soon enough.”
Luca growled quietly.
Nathanial let it slide and told the two of them, “You must tap into one another’s magic. Keep it clean, Luca. Take her other hand—nothing else.”