Dragon Void (Immortal Dragons Book 2)(8)By: Ophelia Bell
Now, he had the blood of countless females. They may not be immortal, but Ked couldn’t deny the chill that ran down his incorporeal spine at the thought of what the Ultiori could possibly want with so many females. The understanding that it was Nik—the man who had drained his sister’s blood—who had orchestrated this ongoing abduction over the centuries, made his teeth manifest and clench hard together, and his fingers tighten into solid fists. Darkness flowed out of him in waves and he had to force himself to pull it back, to return to the shadows.
Ked would find a way to kill the man, if it was the last thing he did. To put an end to the abductions and the suffering.
Tonight, he couldn’t, though. He’d made a promise, and his heart lay at the end of the corridor he drifted down, his shadow shifting along the edges to avoid the dim light.
He would like to greet her as himself the first time, but it would be too dangerous to become fully solid until he got her out. He found the door and slid beneath it, letting his shadow seep through the cracks and into the corners, surveying the dark room to determine what, if any, threats were inside and what state Evie might be in before he took her out.
All he found was a pair of bodies crumpled together naked on a small bed. Their limbs were entwined as though they’d been making love, but the woman was halfway sitting up, with the man’s torso draped across her lap. She wept silently, running her fingers through his dark red hair and murmuring soft words.
Pools of blood marred the floor around the bed, and a long tube dangled from the man’s limp arm. Blood trickled slowly out of the loose end of it. The bed—little more than a small cot, really—was set into a recess in the wall, with a shelf along the back, lit from beneath and casting eerie illumination down on the scene.
Ked stayed in the dark corner, mesmerized by the sight of her. She was every bit as beautiful as her picture, but mussed and naked now. Her long hair hung in messy tangles around her shoulders, almost covering her small breasts. The man’s arms were wrapped around her hips, his head turned to one side, his cheek resting on her thighs. His skin was as pale and smooth as marble, and he was completely, utterly still.
Tears streamed over her cheeks unchecked. The words she’d been murmuring became a low, haunting melody in an ancient language Ked understood. He sank down to the floor and closed his eyes, entranced by the song that reminded him so much of the day he’d rescued his sister from the same kind of ordeal. He had no tears today, though he might have if he’d been corporeal. All he had was anguish and regret about all the things he’d done wrong in failing to see how dangerous his sister’s lover was.
He closed his eyes and let Evie’s song sink into him, owning the ache that had so long been a part of him yet had remained unrecognized. His failure as a brother in spite of his power as a leader.
In that old language, Evie sang about love so deep it went through you and wrapped around again, binding you tightly to the other person. Then she sang about how deep the loss was when half of your soul died and that binding disappeared, leaving you too weightless to exist, like gravity had suddenly been turned off and you had no way to maintain purchase on the earth.
That made Ked’s heart stop. He’d been weightless his entire life, except for that one brief moment before he’d killed the female Elite. He wanted solid ground, but he feared it, too. Dragons were meant to be airborne. Yet they had legs, and human forms.
He remained still for another moment, waiting for a lull in her song when he could take action. He needed a moment to catch his breath after his revelations.
The singing stopped.
“I know you’re there. Show yourself, please. And tell me it’s not crazy that I lose one true love and find another in the same night.”
“You’ve been listening for a while. I also know who you are, Ked, and what you are. And I know—” Evie’s voice shook. “—I know you are mine. Like he was mine for so long.” She dipped her head and kissed the bare temple of the too-still man on her lap, tenderly brushing his hair back over his ear.
Ked pulled himself out of the corner and summoned his shadows back to him. Standing before her, he manifested his human form, disregarding his own mandate that he to keep to shadows until he got her out; disregarding his desire to tear down the walls of this place with his bare hands and destroy every hunter in residence.