Thanks to wispfox
If it had been Tolly who showed up, Kai thought, she might have
stood a change. They had never been able to really get away from him,
of course; they’d been raising his son for nearly 12 years. But Conrad
had also never forgiven him.
Kai wasn’t sure she had, either, but that burned quietly, in a place
she didn’t look at often.
If it had been Tolly, or Mark, or one of the later members of the
cy’ree, she might have had a change of keeping Conrad with her. He had
never, after all, been the most noble, most white Knight of the
cy’Luca bunch, by his own admission.
But it was Vlad, greenest of the White Knights, and Finn and Smitty,
who showed up at their cozy cottage. When she saw the mer-man armed
for battle, great axe with a wooden-edged blade hanging over his
shoulder, she knew she’d lost him.
“They’re destroying our world.” Finn spoke over her shoulder to
Conrad. “We have to stop them.”
“L.A., ” Smitty added. “There’s a Nedetakaci in L.A., claiming to
own the place.”
Technically, the Returned were not Nedetakaci, but Kai did not think
that cy’Luca – or Los Angeles – would appreciate the distinction. She
didn’t bother wasting her breath.
“Come back in twenty-four hours,” she said instead. “There’s a guest
house out back. You can stay there.”
“Conrad,” She’d thought Vlad at least would know better.
Conrad did. He put his arm around Kai’s shoulder, like they’d never
had their problems. “The Returned will still be there tomorrow, guys.
Come back in twenty-four.”
“I didn’t think she was still Keeping you.” Smitty didn’t seem
happy, if the ears were any indication.
“She’s not, not since school. Twenty-five hours.”
She didn’t ask if he knew it was good-bye. They both knew enough
seers – and they knew visions could be mutable. So she didn’t ask, and
neither of them said the word. Their children, more perceptive than
their mother ever had been, were well-behaved, almost somber.
Cy’Luca gave her the twenty-five hours, and then they took Conrad from her.
When they returned his plaid and his blade to her, it was Luke – and
only Luke – who did so. She cried where no one could see her, and, in
her icy cy’Regine way, went about her revenge.
It wouldn’t have been fair to say that Ty was adjusting well to her
collar. It was clear captivity chafed the gregarious hermaphrodite;
clearer still that enforced silence and chastity were making it
Shahin had not worn a collar in 50 years, but she had Kept her
share, she and Emrys, over the decades. She did what she could bring
herself to do, to ease her captive’s anxiety. Still, it was two weeks
before she could allow Ty in her bed.
Ty stripped when ordered to, but the tease and flirtation had gone
out of its movements. She’d waited longer than she should have. Too
long? She didn’t want to return him broken to Regine. She still had
descendants going to that woman’s school.
“Come here, and take my clothes off as well.” She hated the hope she
saw in his eyes. She didn’t think she could give him what he wanted.
more to come!
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