Chapter no 63

A Court of Silver Flames

Nesta’s bargain had required that he go to the House of Wind for the night.

And that he could speak to her only once she spoke to him, or after a week had passed.

Easy enough rules to maneuver around. He made a mental note to teach her to word her bargains a little more cleverly.

Cassian waited until the required night had passed and then found Rhys at dawn, asking his brother to winnow him into Windhaven. Mor had reluctantly informed him she’d brought Nesta there the day before. He’d finish this fight with Nesta, one way or another. It had never frightened him. The mating bond, or that Nesta was his. He’d guessed it well before the Cauldron had turned her.

The only thing that frightened him was that she might reject it. Hate him for it. Chafe against it. He’d beheld the truth in her eyes on Solstice, when the mating bond had been like so much gold thread between their souls, but she’d still hesitated. And yesterday his temper had gotten the better of him, and … he’d start off round two by getting her to say just one word to him, so he’d be free to speak the rest.

The apology, the declaration he still needed to make—all of it.

He scented both Nesta and Gwyn at Emerie’s back door when he knocked. It moved him beyond words, that Gwyn had braved the world

beyond the library to comfort Nesta. Even as it shamed him that he’d been the cause of it.

But at his side, Rhys’s face was suddenly pale. “They’re not here.”

Cassian didn’t wait before he shoved into the shop, breaking the lock on Emerie’s door. If someone had hurt them, taken them—

No one was in the cozy room in the back. But—suddenly there were

male scents in this room, as if they’d winnowed right in.

Illyrians had no magic like that.

Except on one night, when Illyrians possessed an ancient, wild power.

“No.” He charged up the stairs, the steps rank with those male scents, and that of the females’ fear. He found Nesta’s room first.

She’d fought. The bed was shoved across the room, the nightstand turned over, and blood—male blood, from the scent of it—lay in a puddle on the floor. But the acrid scent of the sleeping ointment, enough to knock out a horse, lingered.

His head went quiet. Emerie’s and Gwyn’s rooms were the same. Signs of a struggle, but not of the females themselves.

Fear bloomed, so vast and broad he could barely breathe. It was a message—to the females for thinking themselves warriors, and to him for teaching them, for defying the Illyrians’ archaic hierarchies and rules.

Rhys came up beside him, his face white with that same dread. “Devlon just confirmed everything. The Blood Rite began at midnight.”

And Gwyn, Emerie, and Nesta had been snatched from their beds. To participate in it.

You'll Also Like