This is a little longer than the other parts I’ve posted, but I think I’ve dragged this out long enough. As always, if you missed the other parts, part one can be found here and part two can be found here. Please read and enjoy and I welcome any and all comments or suggestions.
She came to mere moments later, but panic seized her. She jumped up, ignoring the abrupt pounding in her skull. Frantic, she looked around and saw her daughter’s door hanging open, the light blazing bright. She rushed through the door, drawing to a stop when she saw Ricky furiously tearing apart the room. Pink sheets were in a pile on the floor, books and toys were scattered everywhere as he searched. “Where is she? Where did that little freak go!” Mary saw red. She didn’t think, she just rushed him, slamming into his larger body with enough force to shove him backward and into the bedside lamp. It rocked and fell to the ground, shattering. Mary balled up her fist and drove it into his face. He swore viciously and grabbed her arms, picking her up and slamming her against the wall. She cried out as her back cracked and her wings twisted at the wrong angle. “If you make me damage these things, I will make your death slow and painful. I will take them off you while you still breathe!” he hissed.
“You bastard!” she shouted and spit in his face. It only served to make him angrier. He slammed her against the wall once more, twice.
“Be a good little slayer and let’s get this over with. Where is she?”
“Away from you!” Mary winced as his fingers dug deeper into her arms. Instinct drove her head forward until it connected with his. The crack was alarming as it split through the air. He loosened his grip but did not let go.
“Tell me where your brat is!” he roared.
“I’m right here, silly.”
All the blood drained from Mary’s face as Ricky smiled and glanced over his shoulder. Sure enough, her daughter stood there. Her small black wings were spread out, her little hands clasped behind her back. Her ebony hair curled around her shoulders and those gray eyes blinked innocently. Her expression was a shade too neutral. “Will you put my Mommy down please?”
“Of course sweetie,” Ricky said slyly, releasing Mary so fast that she stumbled as her feet hit the ground. She could only watch in frozen silence as a murderer approached her little girl, coming to one knee before her. “You’re coming with me,” he said, a false sweetness in his voice. How had she not noticed it before? When would she learn? This was all her fault.
Ricky held out his hand to her daughter. “Come on, pumpkin. We’re going someplace special.”
“Someplace where slayers are given the royal treatment.”
Mary squeezed her eyes shut, one lone tear making its way out of the corner of her eye and down her cheek.
“I know bad men when I see them. Cadeyrn told me you were bad. He said you would hurt Mommy,” the words came as fierce as any adult. Mary’s eyes shot open. Storm clouds gathered in those ancient gray eyes and a phantom wind kicked in the room. “Cadeyrn taught me its okay to protect the ones we love, even if it means someone dies.” Her angel’s expression never changed. “So long as it’s the one who threatened ours, the gods will smile their vengeance in cold blood.”
A sickening crunch made Mary jump. She watched in muted horror as Ricky fell over, his eyes staring vacantly at the far wall. Death’s aura filled the room and the spell was broken. Her daughter’s eyes went wide and tears slowly filled them. “Mommy…” Mary rushed forward to wrap her arms around her child. She squeezed tight.
“Oh my love, my little girl,” she whispered, kissing the top of her dark head.
“I killed a man, Mommy.” She heard the tears in her daughter’s voice and it broke her heart. “Cadeyrn said I had to, but…I killed him!”
Mary tried to smile but she couldn’t. “I didn’t know you could talk to Cadeyrn.”
“He comes to me on the dreamscape,” the little voice whispered. “He says that until the realms are one again and he can walk beside me again, he will have to protect me from afar. He said that he would always be watching, he would always be with me.”
The horror of what had just happened was all too real, but Mary couldn’t help but send up a prayer of thanks to the gods for Cadeyrn. Even realms away, the immortal showed his loyalty to her daughter, his soulmate reborn. The irony of the situation wasn’t lost on Mary.
Odin gave up his eye for knowledge, but the price Mary had paid was much, much steeper and tonight it had almost cost them their lives. It had cost a piece of her daughter’s innocence. The Oracle had warned her when she first became pregnant, that the little girl she carried would change not just her life, but the entire world. She warned her what the Sight would demand for Mary to know the truth of her child. She was not an Oracle, and the Sight had taken her powers as restitution for the glimpse she had gotten. She had paid dearly to know who her daughter was and who she would become.
Mother and daughter broke their embrace as the name floated over the room. Both looked around until they saw him, or rather a projection of him. Mary’s jaw dropped and her hand tightened around her daughter’s. It couldn’t be…
Cadeyrn, High King of slayers and of Aviara, their home realm, stood next to the messed up bed. His gray eyes were filled with sorrow as he took the sight in. His red hair glinted under the artificial light and his black wings were so large they nearly filled the space of the room. “I am so sorry this happened,” he said.
Mary drew in a breath as her daughter pulled away from her, standing with her spine straight and wings spread. She stepped closer and closer until she was right next to him. Her small hand went out. Cadeyrn raised his to meet hers, but her skin passed right through him. She wiped away her tears fiercely but more flowed right behind them. She was such a brave little girl.
The King came down on one knee, much as Ricky had. He gently traced the tracks of her tears, though no touch was felt. “My Queen,” he said softly. “How fierce you will be when you are grown. I can’t stay long, but I needed to see you for myself, to make sure you were okay.” He glanced over her shoulder at Mary. Mary gave him a mute nod. He dropped his hand away. “You both have a long road ahead of you, but I will be with you every step of the way, as best as I am able.” Already, his image was beginning to fade, the power that projected him across realms losing its strength. “You did well tonight, little one.” He hesitated and right before he faded completely from sight, the words came. “I love you, Regan.” And then he was gone. Regan’s bravery died with him.
She openly sobbed, sounding like any five year old whose heart was broken. Mary reached for her and pulled her into her lap, holding her close as she cried. Kissing her daughter’s head, she murmured small words of comfort, rocking her back and forth until she had cried herself to sleep. And still, Mary did not move from that floor, holding the reincarnated Queen throughout the night.