Fated Ties (The Twisted Destiny Saga Book 3)(4)

By: Franca Storm

As soon as he did, Oriana bounded over to Ryan and wrapped her arms around him. She held him tightly in a motherly hug for a long while. “I have missed you so much, my son,” she breathed. She only pulled back when the wolf pup suddenly emitted a low growl.

“He’s on edge,” Ryan explained.

She nodded her understanding. “May I?” she asked, reaching out her arms. “I would love to hold my grandson.”

Ryan smiled at her and handed him over carefully.

“He is only a few days old, yes? How has he shifted to wolf form?”

“He was unsettled by Luca and Michael’s attack,” Ryan told her.

As Nathanial looked on at the scene in front of him, he knew immediately that something was very wrong. It was the look in Oriana’s eyes as she held the wolf pup in her arms. She was scrutinizing him, studying him. It was very discreet, but they had been married for centuries and he knew her well. As if to prove his point, the wolf pup’s quiet growls escalated to ferocious. He swiped his claws at her, drawing a deep scratch along her upper arm. Ryan rushed forward and took him from her quickly.

“Sorry. He’s never…that’s the first time he’s reacted like that.”

Nathanial eyed Marella and spoke to her through telepathy, “Wolves have the keenest senses of all supernatural species. He’s sensing something from her—some ill intention.”

Before Marella could respond, Oriana asked her, “What are you doing here in the Dark Realm?”

“The child needed someone of white magic to accompany him across the realms.”

“And you offered to come, knowing all you know about Nathanial and what he did to me?”

Nathanial growled and stepped between her and Marella. “Get. Out,” he said, seething.

“You do not command me, Nathanial!” she thundered as she called her magic to her and both her palms flashed with silver light. Silver light that was tinged with black.

“You do not use black magic in my realm, Oriana!” he roared, gripping her wrists and forcing her palms down, away from him.

Suddenly, Ryan forced his way in between them. “Mom, stop. Calm the fuck down,” he urged. He looked at her as he held Nathanial at bay behind him. “We can’t keep reliving the past, or we’re just gonna keep making the same mistakes over and over again.”

“He killed your father, Ryan!”

Ryan took her hand in his gently and she absorbed her power immediately to avoid hurting him. “I know, Mom. I know. But we have to move forward. There’s too much at stake.”

“How can you say—?”

“Because my son is the bridge.”

“I am well aware,” she said tersely, her glare fixed on the wolf pup.


“Your majesty!” a call came from the Great Hall, startling all of them.

Nathanial recognized the voice instantly. His chief advisor, Haraz. “They are here,” he told Oriana.

She reached for Ryan and ran her hand tenderly along his cheek before saying softly, “There is so much you do not know, my son.” And then her gaze fixed upon the wolf pup again. “And I am sorry, but I must do this.”

Before any of them could respond, she raised her hands, enveloping herself in a bright, silver light. And then she disappeared.

Ryan looked between Marella and Nathanial and asked, “Was that a threat?”

“I—” Nathanial began.

But he was interrupted by Haraz and his three other advisors rushing into the lounge. Haraz fixed him with an intense, expectant stare.

Nathanial eyed Marella and Ryan, telling them, “I must deal with this.” And with that, he ushered his advisors into the Great Hall, leaving the two of them to deal with the shock of Oriana’s return.


Marella stood in between the stacks on the second level of the Great Hall. She held a mammoth volume before her with her magic. It floated in front of her. She flicked her wrist lightly and the page turned at her command. After more than an hour of searching, she’d finally found the book she’d been looking for. Unification: The Bridge. Following Oriana’s unsettling parting words to Ryan, she realized she needed to know more about the bridge, his and Cora’s son, in order to try to figure out the significance of her sister’s comments. Had her words really been intended as a threat? And, if so, what had it really meant? What was she trying to do?

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