Sacrifice (The Gryphon Series Book 3)(99)

By: Stacey Rourke

Anger and regret swirled across Terin’s face. Without another word she sprang from the deck as bat-like wings stretched from her arms. One mighty flap was all it took for her to rise into the air and soar off into the night, leaving me behind.


Present Day

Terin’s hand slipped from my wrist and I stumbled away from her. My eyes bulged in my astonished state of disbelief. “How? How could I have forgotten all of that?”

She pressed her lips while remorse etched its harsh lines into the planes of her face. “The best the Council could figure was that she erased your memory. What you did was a truly noble act. She needed you at your absolute worst. For that to happen you had to think there was nothing redeemable inside of you.” Her gaze fell to the ground and she plunged her hands deep into the pockets of her trench coat. “We all make mistakes. You were my first assignment and I failed you. Everything you’ve endured … was because of me.” When she glanced back up her eyes were bright with unshed tears. “No matter what you think, Rowan, you’re not a villain. You never were.”

I opened and shut my mouth, but the entire English language escaped me.

From her pocket she pulled a bottle of water. Klaus’s mouth creaked open and a dry wheeze rasped from his throat. His bony hand trembled as he reached out for the life-giving water. But his hand was not the one she slapped the bottle into; she gave it to me. “Let him go. Give up the Marie Anne. You’re better than this, Rowan.”

For centuries I’d harbored this vendetta, yet she made giving it up sound like a simple, frivolous task. There was one thing that could motivate me to try, but I may have already ruined that.

My brow creased into a scowl. I searched Terin’s face for an answer I knew she couldn’t give me. “Can … can she ever forgive me?”

She raised her chin to meet my stare. “I honestly don’t know. But whether she does or doesn’t no longer matters. She needs you.”

I huffed a humorless laugh and rolled the bottle between my palms. “I told ya once before, lass, she doesn’t need me … OW!”

Terin clasped my hand in her scalding grip. Flames ignited in her irises and quickly spread until her eyes were windows to a live fire that danced and crackled within her sockets. “Make no mistake, she does need you. More than you could possibly know. They’re coming for her, Rowan, like a ravenous cloud of death, they’re coming. When they arrive, she’ll face them—alone.”

My chest expanded and a hot rush coursed through my veins. I didn’t take my eyes off Terin as I granted Klaus the mercy of the water. “Pack an overnight bag, lass. It seems our presence is required back in Gainesboro.”

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