Burning Skies Page 10

No, he’d lived too long on earth, either dimension, to think there could ever be anything between himself and Havily Morgan. But for the strangest moment he wished he could take her home, make love to her, then fall asleep curled up around her body.

With such a vivid thought, his body reacted and the coffee slid from his hand. With vampire speed he caught it before it hit the floor, splashed, and made a mess.

“Careful,” she murmured.

“Long night,” he said, his voice a hoarse whisper. He kept his gaze away from her.

He felt her hand on his shoulder. She rubbed back and forth, a real comfort, and it was all he could do to keep from either flinching or grabbing both of her arms and hauling her against his chest. Shit. He wondered if this was the way Luken felt around her.

Luken of course had been on his mind, on all the brothers’ minds. Havily’s, too, no doubt. She had a connection to Luken. He’d been her guardian during her ascension but he’d also had the worst crush on her since.

Medichi still didn’t quite get, though, how Havily had found Luken in a vision. She had related as best she could what had happened to her, that she had somehow seen the sky on fire and Luken fall to the earth.

Warning bells had gone off at her description of having a vision. The whole thing smacked not of a Second Earth power but of a third-dimension ability—and if that was the case, she could be in trouble. If, after a century as a vampire, she was now developing new powers, powers that would finally explain why the Seers a hundred years ago had insisted she needed a warrior guardian during her three-day rite of ascension, then she could be in danger all over again. Third abilities were rare on Second Earth, and Greaves would not want anyone with that level of power aligned with Madame Endelle, simple as that.

A tremor went through him when he thought of her alone in her small condo. To his knowledge the place had a mediocre security system. Also, he didn’t think she had the ability to make mist, and she certainly had no skills with a sword or even a modest ability to defend herself.

He felt uneasy. He’d have to think about her situation. Maybe there was something he could do.

“Hey,” he said softly. “I plan on visiting Luken this morning. Want to come with?”

Havily nodded. “What time?”

Medichi shrugged. “Later. About eleven I think. Given what he’s been through, he’ll need to sleep for a few hours.”

“I would really like that.”

“Then I’ll see you at the clinic at eleven.”


Yes, she was.

He was beloved,

But I could not take him to my bed.

He brought the rays of the sun to the earth

And the stars were named for his exploits.

He was as gentle as a soft rain.

But the door of my house remained closed.

I was not for him.

I belonged to the tempest.

—Collected Poems, Beatrice of Fourth

Chapter 4

“She saved your life, brother.” Antony Medichi’s deep voice filled the small clinic room.

Havily stood in the doorway and suppressed a sigh. The Warriors of the Blood were one gorgeous lot.

Medichi leaned close to the bed, his elbow resting on the top of the mattress since Luken was sitting up all the way, the automatic bed raised to support him. Luken looked deathly pale, which was so unusual for the largest of the warriors. His complexion was normally a beautiful golden color. His thick blond hair, having been protected by the cadroen, hung in waves over his shoulders and down his chest. He was naked to the waist, a thin white sheet covering his thighs. He actually looked vulnerable, despite the massive size of his pecs, his arms, and his shoulders.

Thanks to the work of the healers, his skin had lost its fiery blistered appearance. Except for his pallor, he was amazingly recovered.

He caught sight of her and smiled, his blue eyes lighting up. “Havily. Come in. Please.”

“Hey,” Medichi called to her softly. “The dragon actually let you out of her lair?”

Havily laughed as she moved into the room. She loved both of these men so much, but she found herself biting back tears.

“Don’t you look pretty in your blue skirt,” Luken said.

“Thank you.” She drew close to the bed. He extended a hand and she took it. He squeezed gently, his obvious affection for her shining in his eyes. How many times had she wished she could feel more for him than she did?

“I don’t remember much about last night—only that you were there. How did you find me?”

“Well, I’m still not sure. I think I had a vision, or something. Although right now it’s kind of a blur.” A lump formed in her throat. “I’ve never been more frightened.”

“Both Medichi and Thorne say I owe my life to you, but what I want to know is how the hell I’m ever going to repay you.”

“I was just glad to be of use,” she said, but her voice had dropped almost to a whisper. “Tell me you’re feeling better.”

“A thousand percent. You know Horace. Man of miracles.”

All Havily could do was nod. Her mind had filled once again with the horror of the night before and finding him in the Superstitions so … burned. She wanted to ask about his wings but was afraid to bring the subject up. Luken loved to fly. She couldn’t imagine him living out his life on Second without his wings.

“You know, Hav, Medichi and I have been talking about the vision you had and we can’t help but wonder if there’s something more going on here. With you, I mean. All these years, we’ve all wondered why you needed a guardian to protect you.”

“I know. Believe me, I know. I’m reminded of my failings daily.”

Luken smiled, a crooked curve of his lips. “Well, Endelle isn’t very subtle, is she?”

“As subtle as a rattlesnake … coiling and striking.”

Luken laughed then stopped. He drew in a ragged breath.

“You okay?” she asked.

He nodded. “Smoke got to me last night as well.” He nodded, cleared his throat, then continued. “The thing is, Medichi and I have been wondering if maybe what you experienced last night isn’t an onset of a new power or something. We all develop our powers at different paces. I had a bitch of a time with telepathy for the first two hundred years.

“Anyway, because you saved the life of a Warrior of the Blood”—here he jerked his thumb at Medichi then back at himself—“we’re concerned that your contribution will be noticed by, well, the enemy.”

Havily had for so long known what a disappointment she was to Madame Endelle that she couldn’t quite comprehend what these powerful warriors were saying to her. “Are you worried for my safety?” she asked, astonished.

Both men nodded.

“Exactly,” Medichi said.

“Really?” She just couldn’t fathom it.

Luken gave her hand a squeeze. “We want you set up with a telepathic link, and I think Medichi would be best to do it. That way, if you ever got in trouble, you could contact him right away and he could get to you.”

“A link? You mean like the one Endelle and Thorne share?”

“Yes,” Medichi said. “Just in case. What we know about Greaves is that he leaves no stone unturned. If he either fears you could threaten him or sees you as an asset, he’ll make an attempt to get control of you.”

“You’re serious,” she stated. She glanced at each of them in turn. She was so darn used to being the least significant person in her small group of powerful ascenders that she was having a hard time not laughing at their concern. However, they both appeared so grim, each brow furrowed, each pair of eyes staring hard at her, that a shiver traveled straight down her spine and agitated her wing-locks.

She drew in a quick breath. The decision wasn’t hard to make. These were warriors, and they’d been battling this particular enemy for centuries. If they said she was in danger, she was taking them at their word. “I’m in,” she said quietly. “But exactly how would it work?”

“When the link is set up,” Medichi explained, “all you have to do is concentrate on me then telepathically speak my name.”

You mean, like this? she sent.

He nodded. “Except that we don’t have to be in the same room.” At that he smiled. “We know you have powerful shields, which is a good indication that you can permit someone inside your head and the other way around. Have you ever gone mind-diving?”

“You mean deep mind-engagement?”

“Yes,” Medichi said. “Moving within another person’s mind.”

“I attempted it once with unhappy results.” She thought of Eric. She had once dived inside his head, a really careless maneuver, and he’d doubled over in pain. The poor man had been left with a terrible headache for three days. That a power of hers had caused him so much suffering had crushed her to no end. This was one of the major differences between Militia Warriors and Warriors of the Blood: Most Militia Warriors lacked advanced powers. Havily shifted her gaze to Luken then back to Medichi. She was struck all over again by the sheer size of these men, the Warriors of the Blood. All of them had exceptional preternatural abilities, which, coupled with their physical strength, allowed each warrior to battle a number of death vampires at any given time. They were Second Earth’s elite fighting unit. There were a total of only seven known warriors of this stature in the world, eight including Marcus.

“I knew it,” Medichi cried. “You’re untapped. I’ve been thinking it for a long time.”

“What do you mean?”

“You have major powers that haven’t emerged yet. It sure as hell would explain what happened four months ago.”

She wished more than anything that he hadn’t brought the subject up. She felt the blush begin and was completely incapable of stopping it. He referred, of course, to Warrior Marcus and what all the warriors knew to be the onset of the breh-hedden between them.

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