Chapter Twelve

Mia wiped the condensation from the bathroom mirror with her damp bath towel. The creature that stared back at her from the water streaked glass was as unfamiliar to her as the last face she had worn. It was her, but yet at the same time, it wasn’t.

Mia turned away from the face that should have been her own, yet was not, and instead focused on the red lines that covered half her chest. They sprouted from the flesh right above her heart and twisted outwards to cover her left side of her upper body, from her collar bone down to her hip. Alexander had likened them to the blood veins in her body, Mia saw them as a briar of thorns digging in to her flesh and trying to rip her heart out.

Her right hand came up absently to touch to spot just above her left breast. The skin was smooth against her finger tips. If she closed her eyes, she could pretend there was nothing there. But she couldn’t live with her eyes closed.

Opening them again, she took one last long look at the red lines that marred her otherwise unblemished skin, and pulled her on her fluffy pink robe. She placed the damp towel she had used to clean the glass in to the hamper and opened the bathroom door.

The bedroom was dark except for a single light coming from a small lamp on the bed side table. The quilts were pulled back on the bed but it was empty. Where the man in the bed had gone was a complete mystery. Seeing as how this was the first time he had willing let her out of his sight since he had been informed she was awake, she wasn’t not going to waste a minute of this brief bit of freedom.

She quickly pulled on underwear, a set of loose sweat pants and a long night shirt. She didn’t even spare a moment to hang up her damp robe, but threw it on the empty bed instead. She quietly opened the door and listened for any sounds before quickly ducking out. She darted in to the empty kitchen and straight to the fridge.

She was so freaking hungry. They had been feeding her beef broth and plain bread all day upon William’s orders. He explained that her body had basically been reborn and it was best to feed her simple foods until they were sure she could take more. She ate the broth and bread dutifully and then asked for real food. William said until they were sure she could hold it down, it would be broth and a slice of bread. For three meals that was all they would let her eat. She proved she could hold it down. Her stomach was perfectly fine. There was no cramps or nausea but he still wouldn’t let her eat anything else.

She had been tortured by the delicious smells of beef stew and roast chicken all day. They said she could have some tomorrow if she  made it through the night all right. Tomorrow was too far away. She was hungry now.

Opening the stainless steel door, she let out a moan of pure pleasure as she took in the loaded shelves. Food, food, everywhere, and not a drop of beef broth to be seen. She quickly pulled out the left over container of stew and took it over to the marble counter. She quietly closed the fridge door and darted over to the cabinets by the kitchen sink on silent feet. She opened the wooden cabinet door slowly, making sure not the let the hinges squeak. She was just pulling down one of the large ceramic bowls from the upper shelf when the room suddenly burst into light.

The smooth bowl slipped from her fingers and would have shattered on the ground if not for the large hands that caught it just inches away from the wooden floor. Sparkling blue eyes watched her with a mischievous grin on his lips.

“Doing a little raiding are we?” Nathaniel said as he stood up, bowl in hand. Mia guilty nodded her head. Nathaniel just let out a deep chuckle before reaching up to grab another bowl. “Well, I guess we’re of like mind then.”

He took the two bowls over to the counter were Mia had left the container of stew. He grabbed a ladle from another drawer and spooned out enough stew to fill both bowls. He covered each bowl with plastic wrap and threw them in to the microwave with a wink her direction.

“Betsy doesn’t believe in microwaving anything. If she were here right now she would have my head. The only reason this microwave is even allowed in her kitchen is because she knows I’d probably starve or snack on junk food rather than wait the time it would take to heat something up on the stove or in the oven,” Nathaniel informed her.

Mia smiled back. Before Nick, Mia had lived off of leftovers from Books and Beans, Alistair’s book shop that was currently being repaired after an attack by a rogue Omega destroyed the front of the store. She hadn’t known how to cook and either ate her food cold or right out of the microwave.

“My wife was the cook in our family,” Nathaniel told her as they waited for the food to heat up. “She loved this kitchen and was constantly making one thing or another. I was never without food, and if I ever got hungry, all I had to do was drift in here and they’re would be something waiting on a plate. It was as if she could read my mind.”

“That must has been nice,” Mia said, trying to imagine the fierce woman who had once threatened and stabbed Nathaniel with a knife, puttering around this large room. Mia had never seen what the woman had looked like. If there were any pictures of her, Mia had never seen them around the house. She had wondered about it, but hadn’t wanted to ask. Nathaniel talked about her sometimes, but there was always a tinge of sadness to his words that made Mia hesitate to ask.

“There was this one dish though that she used to make for special occasions. It used to take her a two whole days to prepare and she refused to let me or anyone else in to the kitchen during that whole time. She said it was a family secret and no one was allowed to see how it was made. She promised one day to pass it on to her daughter, but sadly we never had one and she died she before our son was married,” Nathaniel told her wistfully as the microwaved beeped to let them know the food was ready.

Mia wasn’t sure what to say so instead she sat there silent as Nathaniel grabbed a dish rag to wrap around the hot dishes and transport them across the room to where Mia sat at the kitchen counter.

“It’s too bad that she never passed on the recipe. There are some days when I crave that dish so bad, I would sell my own son just for another taste,” He said with a laugh. Mia joined in with him as he set the steaming bowl before her and handed her a spoon.

“It must have been very good,” Mia commented before spooning some of the rich thick broth in to her mouth, “What was it?”

“I’m not sure exactly what went in to it. She always said it was a little bit of this, a little bit of that. But it was savory pie filled with meats and vegetables. It’s almost like a pot pie, but the flavors are so much richer, everything just melted on your tongue and it was like pure heaven,” Nathaniel explained, his eyes closed and his face a picture of rapture as he remembered.

Mia watched him with a smile. Even after everything he had been through, Nathaniel could still remember the good. He embraced it and moved through life with a grace that she couldn’t. He had not only watched his family and first love die, he had watched his entire village be sacrificed by a mad woman. He had been cursed with immortality, forced to watch as love ones passed on and he remain. Yet, he still stood strong. He had a good, kind heart and any woman who received his love should have felt blessed. Mia hoped that his wife has loved him as much as he had loved her.

“What was this dish called?” She asked out of curiosity , “I’ve been around for a while. I may not know how to cook, but maybe if I’ve heard of it, I might be able to find someone who can make it for you.”

Nathaniel opened his eyes and smiled at her, “I highly doubt that. My wife said it was an old family recipe. Passed down from mother to daughter. It was a recipe that took years to learn to prepare correctly. She swore that only one of her sisters had ever been able to reproduce the dish perfectly.”

“Sounding mysterious,” Mia said with a laugh as she savored another spoonful.

“It was,” Nathaniel nodded in agreement, “She only ever made one serving at a time, and only I was allowed to eat it. I once tried to feed our son some when he was a child. But she slapped the spoon out of my hand before I reached his mouth. She was so mad at me. She swore that if I tried to feed our son any of the pie she would never make it again. At the time, I remember laughing asking if she had poisoned the pie and that was why she hadn’t wanted our son to eat any.”

“And did she?” Mia asked, Nathaniel’s words suddenly disturbing her.

“She said of course. How else was she supposed to take my house and her beloved kitchen away from me,” He said with a chuckled, a dreamy look in his eyes.

“Nathaniel, what was the name of this dish?” Mia asked, the spoon forgotten in her hand as she watched Nathaniel intently. He must have sensed her worry, because he suddenly sat up straight and turned his full attention on her.

He frowned at what he saw on her face but he answered her, “She called it the Lovers Bind. She said that she put all her love for me in to that pie and each bite I took would fill me with her love so that no matter what happened to her, I would always know how much I was loved.”

Mia hands began shaking as she set the spoon in to the bowl before her as carefully as she could. She pushed the stool she sat on back hard, causing the metal legs to screech across the wooden floor.

She turned away from Nathaniel and hurried back towards the room she and Nick shared. Her hunger forgotten as she rushed in to the room searching for her phone. She checked the bedside where she saw it last, but it wasn’t there. She checked her shoulder bag which someone had left sitting on her favorite armchair by the window. She didn’t even bother to search it, she just flipped it over and let everything fall out.

“Where is it?” She muttered to herself as she knelt on the floor and began to shuffle through the bag’s fallen contents.

“Mia? Are you okay? Did the food make you sick?” Nathaniel asked as he watched her worriedly from the doorway, “If you need something for your stomach, I can grab Sarah. I’m sure she must have something.”

Mia paid no attention to his words as she tore the room apart, having not found her phone in the mess on the floor. She wasn’t used to having a cellphone. She had only had one for a couple months. She had lived quite contently for a hundred and fifty years without one.  It had yet to become an essential part of her existence. She was constantly putting the damn thing down in one place and forgetting where she left it. She had never bothered to keep track of it. Someone would always bring it back to her when they found it.

But she hadn’t gone anyplace at all today. It should have been here. Where the hell was it? She began tossing pillows around the room, flinging the quilt off the bed, yet nothing.

“Nikolas!” Nathaniel called down the hall when he got no reply from her.

Mia was about ready to lift up the bed and toss it across the room to see if maybe her phone had slipped underneath somehow when she suddenly remembered Sarah telling her that her phone was nearly dead and that she would put it on the charger for her. Since they didn’t have any extra outlets in the bedroom, Sarah had told her should would plug in Mia’s phone in the kitchen outlet by the toaster.

Mia dropped the bed sheet she had yanked off the mattress and turned towards the bedroom door. She dashed past a startled Nathaniel nearly knocking him over and hurried to the kitchen counter. She pulled the phone off the charger and unlocked it. She scrolled through her contacts looking for right one. It didn’t take her long since she had only ten contacts in her phone.

She pushed the call button and brought the phone to her ear, paying no attention to the hurried group of people that ran in to the room. As soon as the person on the other line answered, she didn’t even give them time to speak and instead rushed on, “I need Delilah. Sent her to me immediately.”

“Mia? What the hell?” Marco grumbled as she heard him yawning over the phone.

“I need Delilah now. Sent her to me,” Mia repeated.

“I heard you the first time,” Marco replied, “But my sister is not at your beck and call. I can’t just have her drop everything and run over there in the middle of the night.”

“It’s not the middle of the night and I need her. This is an emergency,” Mia swore and she slammed her hand down on the granite countertop, “Your sister is the best tracker in the world and I need the best tracker in the world. Sent her to me now!”

There was silence on the other end of the line for a long moment before he let out a weary sigh, “I can’t send Delilah to you right now. She’s halfway across the country on an important mission. I can probably get another tracker to replace her, but I can’t get her there until at least tomorrow night.”

Mia gripped the phone tightly in her hand as her other hand tightened in to a fist on the counter top.

“Maybe William has a tracker you can use until Delilah gets there,” Marco offered when she remained silent.

“I need a tracker who can scent a fifty year old blood magic spell,” Mia said softly.

“Mia,” Marco replied with a heavy sigh, “Delilah is the best tracker in the world, but that might be too much for even her. What you are looking for, may not be traceable.”

“It has to be. We need it to be,” Mia said, her fist slowly uncurling as she placed her palm flat against the counter.

“What are you looking for?”

“My sister,” Mia said simply before disconnecting the call. She set the phone back down on the counter and she slowly looked up to find an audience watching her, with Nick in the forefront.

“Mia, what’s wrong?” Nick asked as he walked towards her, a deep frown on his lips.

“Lovers Bind, your grandmother gave Nathaniel a Lovers Bind,” Mia said simply. It was obvious the words meant nothing else to the others in the room but Nick understood what they meant.

“Are you sure?” Nick asked as he looked over his shoulder at her grandfather who looked between Sarah and William who just looked back at him blankly.

“Yes, the way he described it, I’m sure,” Mia replied.

“What is a Lovers Bind?” Sarah asked.

“It was a dish that my wife used to make for me on special occasions,” Nathaniel replied, frowning as he looked at his grandson and Mia.

Nick shook his head, “A Lovers Bind is a very powerful blood magic spell.”

“I’ve never heard of it and I know just about ever blood magic spell there is,” William said shaking his head.

“You wouldn’t have heard of this one,” Nick assured him before turning back to Mia, “I thought only you and Thea could preform a Lovers Bind.”

“As far as I know, we were the only two who were ever able to accomplish it. Adeline and Daphne could never perfect it, while Emily didn’t have the patience to get it right.”

“Is it possible Thea could have taught someone else before she died?” Nick asked.

Mia shook her head, “It took me years to get it right. The power required to work the magic of the spell would have been too much for any other magic user of the time. Even now, only an Omega level magic user would be able to complete it.”

“What does this spell do?” Sarah asked.

“It is exactly as it is named, it is a Lover’s Bind,” Nick explained, “Its a spell used to bind lovers. It was originally designed as a protection spell that would allow the caster to feel when the recipient was in danger. Mia’s father created it for her at the time, human mother. He feared something might happen to her when she was not in his sight, so he created a spell that would bind them together so he would know when she was in danger.”

“But there were some unexpected side effects,” Nick said as he glanced over at Mia with a warm glint in his eyes, “Mia’s sister Thea once explained it to me as allowing two souls to touch. What was meant to be one way, if done correctly, allowed the lovers to feel what the other felt, not just emotionally but physically as well. The spell though, was only temporary, and the effects would fade after time. You needed to continually renew the spell if you wanted to effects to last.”

Nathaniel frowned at the explanation, “I think you must be mistaken. Although the pie was most definitely delicious, and I did feel a sense of her love in it, I don’t think it was this spell you’re talking about. I never felt any of her emotions. If I could have, I would have most definitely eaten every last bite. That woman till the very end was a mystery. I could never tell what she was thinking from one moment to the next.”

“I said if the spell was done correctly, the both of you would be able to sense each other’s emotions,” Nick clarified for his grandfather.  “I’m quite sure that although you were unable to sense her emotions, she was able to sense each and every one of yours.”

Nathaniel just shook his head, “If this is the spell you speak of, then why wouldn’t it have been completed correctly?”

“Because it is a blood magic spell. If your wife did not what you to know that she was a blood magic user, she probably wouldn’t have been able to complete the spell properly,” William said simply as he looked between Mia and Nick for confirmation. Nick nodded.

“In order for the spell to work correctly, you would both need to consume the blood of the other,” Nick explained. Nathaniel paled at his grandson’s words.

“You mean, your grandmother was feeding her blood to Nathaniel in the pies?” Sarah asked, her mouth hanging open as she looked around the room, waiting for confirmation.

“Yes,” Nick answered after a long pause.

“No,” Nathaniel said adamantly, “I would have known. I would have sensed the magic.”

“You did,” Mia said simply, “You sensed her love and that it was the spell was designed to do.”

“No, it can’t be,” Nathaniel argued, shaking his head.

“Why? Why can’t it be? What is so bad about a woman trying to protect the man she loved?” Mia asked, a frown growing on her lips, “It is because she was like me? A blood magic user? Does the thought of loving a blood magic user sicken you?”

“Mia,” Nick scolded, “You know my grandfather has nothing against blood magic users. If so, he would have never invited your in to his house.”

“My house. This house was built by my magic and recognizes me as its true and rightful owner,” Mia corrected, earning a scowl from Nick.

“Your magic also recognized something good in my grandfather and allowed him in, rescued him and protected him, just as it has my entire family,” Nick reminded her.

“It doesn’t matter what she was. She could be the daughter of the woman who cursed me for all I care. I still would have loved her,” Nathaniel said, pain radiated through his words and Mia regretted her words. “But if what you said is true, if she was a blood magic user, it meant that for all the time we were together she hid this from me. Not just this, but so much more it would seem. And if I didn’t know that she was a blood magic user, what else did I not know? Did I ever truly know my own wife?”

“Your wife loved you. No matter who she was or who she might have been she loved you,” Mia assured him.

“How can you know that?” Nathaniel demanded to know, Mia could hear the desperation in his voice.

“Because Lovers Bind was never meant to be incomplete. It was a spell designed to be shared by two people. With the spell incomplete, she would have felt each and every emotion you felt, she would have felt your pain, your sorrow, your joy, your happiness. She would have felt everything. If you cut yourself on a piece of paper, she would have felt it no matter how far she away she was.”

“The spell is meant to be reciprocal, you’re supposed to share everything. But because the spell was incomplete, it meant that she was the one feeling everything. The stress it would have put on her mind, much less her heart must have been tremendous. But that didn’t stop her. Your safety, your life meant more to her then her own sanity and health,” Mia told him.

“But why? I’m immortal and she knew it,” Nathaniel said shaking his head.

“You are immortal because of a curse my sister placed on you,” Mia corrected. “You weren’t born immortal. You have this one life to live no matter how long it is. She knew this and she also knew that one day, there would be a danger that even  the curse could not protect you from. Your body may be near indestructible , but your soul is not. If something were to happen to your soul, you would die and she knew this.,”

“I don’t know if your wife was truly my sister or if she was one of her line. But only Thea or one of her descendants would have been capable of preforming the Lovers Bind. And whoever she was, she knew enough to know that the curse would not protect you if someone were to sacrifice your soul. This was the only way she knew how to protect you.”

“Do you truly think she could be alive?” Nathaniel asked with deep frown between his brows.

“I don’t know,” Mia said simply.

“I lived with her for twenty-six years. I watched her grow old and then I watched her get sick. She was human. I sensed no magic from her at all,” Nathaniel said shaking his head.

“Blood magic is the original magic,” William informed Nathaniel, “There is no limitation to what blood magic can do. The only limitation of blood magic is the user. The stronger and more skilled the user, the more powerful  and complex the spells. For someone like Mia and her sisters, direct descendants of the originator, there are no limitations. What they are capable of it only limited by their knowledge and skill.”

“Could you do something like this?” Nathaniel asked as he turned back to Mia.

She could only shrug, “I honestly don’t know. Do I have the power to do something like that, yes. Do I have the knowledge to do something like that, no. Of all my sisters, I rely the least on blood magic spells. I have never needed them. Blood magic is different for me then it is for them. But I am my father’s daughter. If someone were to come to me and ask for something like this, then I could grant their wish, but the blood price would be far greater than any reward they might receive from doing this.”

Nathaniel turned to William and asked him, “Do you think its possible for my wife to still be alive?”

William frowned, turning to Mia who just gazed back at him solemnly,  before nodding.

“If your wife is as Mia suspects, then yes, I would say there is a good chance that she is alive. Although I have never met the real Thea, if she is anywhere near as capable as Emily, then she would be able to do something like this. With the blood of the originator flowing through her veins, the blood price would be easily manageable.”

“What do you need to track her?” Nathaniel asked, the desperation gone, replaced instead with a spark of hope.

“Blood would work the best, but I doubt we would be so lucky,” William informed him, “After that, it would be something she kept near her or on her often. A keepsake like the ring Mia wears, something that she had on her that she treasured, that she had an attachment it. We need something that she would have transferred some of her magic to by either being in close proximity to or something that meant something to her.”

Nathaniel frowned, as he thought it over, “There might be something. A necklace she used to wear. She said it was a family heirloom passed down from one mother to the next in her family and she wanted to pass it down in ours. I remember seeing it in her jewelry box right before she passed away. Its probably still there but I haven’t checked in year.”

“Does that sound familiar to you?” William asked as he turned to Mia. She just shook her head. Jewelry was not something that was important in her family. Mia’s own wedding ring had been a simple band of gold just like the one she wore on her finger now. Besides the ring, she had owned no jewelry. Neither had Thea or Adeline. Daphne had loved anything that sparkled but she wasn’t the sentimental type. Emily had liked jewelry as well, but she had loved the envy it inspired more then she had like the actual pieces.

Besides, none of them had children besides Emily and Adeline. And they all know what Adeline’s children were destined for.  Mia had been the first one of them all to even get pregnant and she had miscarried. If Thea had had any children after Mia’s passing, she couldn’t say. She said as much to the others.

“So this would be something new, then,” William said with a slight frown.

“Not necessarily,” Mia argued, “Just something that I haven’t seen. You have to remember that as far as I know, I’ve been dead for a thousand years. A lot could have happened in that time. I’m not even sure how much longer Daphne, Adeline and Thea lived beyond me. So much could have happened that I know nothing about.”

“Where is the necklace now?” Sarah asked Nathaniel.

“I believe it may be in the attic. Juliet redecorated the whole house about fifteen years ago when Nikolas first went off to college. She stored everything away in the attic where it would be safe while they were redoing everything. When they were done, she brought down a some paintings and a few bits of furniture, but everything else should still be up there.” Nathaniel admitted.

“Should we go look for it?” Sarah offered.

“Not just yet,” William said shaking his head, Mia was about to open her mouth to argue when he continued, “It would probably be best to see if your tracker can locate it first. If the object carries enough magic to resonate with your tracker, she should be able to locate it on its magic alone. If she senses nothing, then we shall look for it by sight. At that point it could mean that the magic still maintained in the necklace is minimal and has faded over the years. But from what I’ve heard about your cousin, that should be enough for her to still track the owner if she is alive.”

“But she won’t be here till tomorrow night,” Mia argued.

“In case you happened to have forgotten, you died last night,” William reminded her drily, “The body you are wearing was just reborn. We have no idea how the body will react to your magic. Nor how long it will be able to bear up under your magic. Not to mention the fact that your sister and Ophelia Rosengard are openly hunting you, now is not the time to be wandering around the country blindly searching for a woman you suspect is your sister.”

Mia opened her mouth to argue when William interrupted her, “I realize that nothing we do or say will keep your from searching for this woman, all I ask is that your give us a day to prepare. Let me gather a team of my best men to travel with you. If this woman truly is your sister, we’re going to need as many people as we can get to protect her. Emily does not like surprises. If your sister was able to hide her existence for hundreds of years, Emily will not be happy. She not only has half of the Dragos Clan with her, but she has nearly a thousand Rosengard soldiers at her beck and call. We need to be careful.”

“With all the unusual deaths popping up in Stonehearth, Marco can’t divert any of his men to assist you, and for this excursion, Ada and Delilah will not be enough back up. Your cousins are very capable, but even they can’t protect you against a pack of Emily’s hounds and I would highly suggest that you not release your full powers until we are sure the new body can handle it.”

“Mia, William is right,” Nathaniel said. Mia scowled but she could do nothing. She could see the fierce determination in Nick’s eyes. She would not be going anywhere any time soon if Nick had his way.

“Mia, your sister would not want you endangering yourself to find her. From everything I’ve heard about her, if she is alive, she would want you safe,” Sarah added in. Mia glared at her friend and Sarah just stared back at her innocently with those all-seeing violet eyes. Sarah knew Mia wouldn’t do anything if she asked. Sarah knew how much Mia valued her friendship. Sarah wouldn’t never abuse their relationship, but if she thought she was protecting Mia, she would push it to its limits.

“It’s time for bed,” Nick said firmly as he reached over to wrap a hand around Mia’s arm. Mia turned her icy gaze on him, he didn’t even flinch against her anger. His fingers tightened around her arms and dragged her back towards their room.

She knew it was childish, but Mia felt like dragging her feet and making it as hard as possible for him to move her, but she knew from experience that he would just pick her up and throw her over his shoulder if she caused a fuss.

“Rest for the night child,” Nathaniel told her kindly as they passed him, “Tomorrow we will prepare.”

Mia just nodded before following Nick out of the room. She knew rest would not be what she would be getting. Nick was pissed and there would be no peace until he vented. If he wasn’t the other half of her soul, she would have left him long ago. He was moody, grumpy, possessive and so damn alpha male most of the time that he was impossible to live with. Emily would have killed him long ago. She didn’t love him, she loved the idea of him.

She knew Nick’s life had not been easy. Hell, none of their lives had been easy. But what happened in his childhood had shaped the man he had become. He was different from the Kai she remembered.

Kai had been beloved by his whole clan. He had been the pride of his people. The most powerful magic user born in their history. He had a loving family, parents who spoiled him, sisters who looked up to him, and a girl who had loved him since the day they first met.

Even when he chose Mia, his family accepted his decision.  They weren’t happy. When they had sent him and their most powerful clan males to the meeting with Emily and their sisters, they had expected him to turn her down. They had heard enough about her family to know that bonding with them in anyway was not what they wanted. But they also knew they couldn’t say no to Thea when she sent the request.

But the Stormrider Clan were honorable people. They agreed to the request and the would follow it to the letter. They would sent their most powerful son to the blood witches and  then they would all walk away. After all, there was no way Kai could possible fall for one of the monsters when he had Shay, the most beautiful daughter of their Clan. She was gentle and kind, and she had been born a strong wind magic user. The clan already celebrated the children they would have together.

But then Kai saw Mia for the first time and his life changed. He knew from the moment he spotted her that she was his. That she had been a created for him alone. It didn’t matter who she was, or what she was. All that mattered what that she was his.

It didn’t matter to him that he had come to meet with her sister, or that by choosing Mia, he would be making a very powerful enemy. Nothing else matter to him, but her. He was so young and so arrogant, that he never thought for a moment that she would say no to him. And truthfully, the idea had never crossed her mind to say no. She knew nothing about him. She knew nothing about the young woman he had left behind. All she knew was what she felt when she saw him. That he was her’s just as much as she was his. At a time where her life was at its darkest, he was that ray of light that gave her hope. She didn’t hesitate, she reached out and grabbed on to him and never let go.

Even after he lost everything, his family, his home, his entire clan, he still chose her. She would never forget the sight of Kai kneeling the ashes of his childhood home, the broken bloody body of his youngest sister clutched in his arms. She had stood behind him drench in the blood of clansman. She had been unable to save them. She had been too weak. She hadn’t used her magic in the years she had been living with Kai and the Stormrider Clan. She had tried to be human for him, to live among him people as one of them. They had never forgotten who and what she was, but they had accepted her for Kai. And for that, they paid with their lives.

Mia had been unable to save them, but she had been able to avenge them. None of her people had walked away that day. She had killed them all.  She had wiped out her entire clan. People she had chosen and trained, the army she built, she had killed them all just to stay at this man’s side.

She stared at Nick’s rigid back, she could feel the anger coursing through him, and the fear that hide beneath it. She loved him, she loved him so very very much. Sometimes she thought that there wasn’t a thing in this world that she wouldn’t sacrifice for him, even her own soul.

She wasn’t sure how much time she had left with him. She had wanted to believe that even if they failed and her borrowed soul shattered, that their love would be strong enough to survive. But she had seen the truth. There would be nothing of her left of her. Nick would become nothing more than a face in the crowd. He would mean nothing to creature she would become.

As much as she feared her father’s awakening, what she had glimpsed in the darkness in that one moment between life and death scared her so much more. The creature she had felt was heartless. She would strike down anyone that dared to get in her path. She was so much more dangerous then her father could ever be. Even in his madness, he still had a heart. The creature she would become would had no such weakness. The death and destruction she would leave in her path would be limitless.

She had no choice. If this borrow soul was going to shatter, she was going to be the one to shatter it. As much as the thought of soul magic sickened her, there was only one way she could ensure that Nick survived the coming battles. She just hoped that he would forgive her one day.

Next: Chapter Thirteen

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