Dragon Void (Immortal Dragons Book 2)(5)By: Ophelia Bell
“Does the Wind have anything to tell us?” he asked, looking at the two huge falcons that perched upon a pair of boulders nearby. Both birds tilted their heads, listening, their profiles eerily framed by the moon behind them. If he didn’t know their grandmother, he’d consider it an ill omen to see two falcons cast in moonlight so starkly.
“Nothing good,” Iszak said. “The place is filled with sadness, pain. But none of it is ever let out.”
“Can you get a read on how many are inside? Their level of power?”
Lukas launched into the air and flew up, weaving a figure eight high above the secluded ravine. When he came back, he shifted into his full human form and dropped down to his knees, hugging himself and shaking.
Was he crying? Ked shifted and bent down beside his sister’s mate, resting a hand on his shoulder.
Lukas shook his head. “It’s not right in there. There are too many captives. Our kind chained. The hunters are there, maybe two dozen, but they’re settling in, business as usual, the bastards. The Elites are there, too. All three, but one of them seems… broken. I… I think that one is Marcus, but he isn’t the Marcus I remember.”
Ked nodded and as he pulled away, Lukas snapped one hand up and grabbed Ked’s wrist. “The three. They smell like you and your brothers. The Wind carried all their scents to me, bits and pieces of their magic. Can you explain why the fuck they smell like you?”
Aodh and Gavra tilted their large, horned heads to look at Lukas.
“You tell him, brother,” Aodh spoke in his mind. “He has a right to know the truth now that he’s mated to our sister.”
Of course Aodh would urge him to share the truth. Ked met Lukas’s gaze and relaxed his hand, moving it to the back of the other man’s head. What he had to tell them couldn’t be processed easily. He hated using his power this way, but he had to. They could hate him later, as long as they were with him now.
Slowly, he let his breath out and directed it into Lukas’s lungs. Lukas’s eyes went wide and he fell back, supported by Ked’s hand.
“I will save your sister the same way I saved my own sister, but this time, I have a few… roadblocks. The Elites are made from dragon blood. I’m only telling you this because if I don’t come out, you need to know what to expect. They have the same powers as me and my brothers, in varying degrees. They can’t fly, at least… physiology can’t be faked. Magic can be acquired, though.”
“How did they get your blood?” Lukas asked, recovering and settling against a tree trunk. Ked pulled away.
“We gave it to them.”
“You gave it to them,” Lukas repeated. “You gave what to them?”
“Our blood. Our power.” Ked closed his eyes, envisioning Nik destroying his sister and reliving the blood rage he’d experienced in that moment. He’d have given anything to heal her wholly, but he’d had nothing to give then. She’d been on the edge of death for decades, wishing for it, but never able to pass beyond due to her nature. Even the healing waters of the Glade and her sisters’ magic weren’t enough to restore her health. Too much of her blood had been lost.
She was safe now, and fully healed, but he could still envision her skin cut to ribbons and her blood collected in a myriad of receptacles scattered around the room as he carried her out. Nik was nowhere to be found, but all Ked cared about at the time was making sure Belah was safely away from her torturer.
“Why the hell would you do that?” Iszak asked, stepping into Ked’s space and glaring at him. “So you’re telling us it was never Belah, but you and your brothers who were to blame all along?”
Ked clenched his teeth and stared down at Iszak, forcing himself to resist letting loose a wave of darkness to remind the other man why they were here. Aodh stepped forward and placed a hand on Iszak’s shoulder, speaking in his low, soft tone.
“We only cared about saving our sister. She needed her blood. We negotiated to get it back. This was his price.”
“Why didn’t you destroy him? None of this would be happening if you had!”