Fear slashed through me. But she just laughed and stroked a hand over my back.
With a quick twist of her hand, she touched the blade to her forehead, then cut through the Veil, opening it to a smooth sandy white beach that made me think of the Deep. I knew it wasn’t, but the warm air blowing through told me we were close. Maybe I could get to Finley . . . and say what? Nothing. I could say nothing.
I was trapped in a body that could not speak. That could not communicate, and only Raven, Norm, and Cassava knew the truth of what I was. I hung my head, tucking it under one wing as she stepped us through the Veil.
I had one hope left. One belief that I clung to with every ounce of strength I had left in my soul.
Larkspur. I had to believe she would find me, that she would free me from this. And until then, I would wait, I would do what I must to survive, because I was no good to her dead. I was no good to her a shivering mess of fear and doubt. I slowly pulled my head out from under my wing and Cassava lifted her wrist, launching me into the air.
“Find Raven, show him where we are.”
Her words released me from the bonds that held me so tightly to her and I sped away, across the water.
The years flowed, and at first, I thought I would gain knowledge. I watched Cassava, watched her manipulate the world from her varied hiding spots. I watched Raven as he went back to the blonde Romanian witch, Cassandra, over and over. Watched in horror when I realized she was pregnant with Raven’s child, a child she wanted, then watched as she died in labor.
Watched as he gave the child away to be raised as a human.
Watched as the enormity of Cassava’s plans made themselves known. As I saw that all she’d done . . . had been . . . mother goddess, it had been for the best. I understood now the pain she’d caused. Why she’d done it all.
And then one day, it was too much truth for me.
And I forgot who I was, forgot I had been a man. I knew only the commands of my master and the love for one woman who could save me. But she’d forgotten me, she’d left me without thought. She would love another now.
There would be no escape for me.
Yet still . . . a thread of hope through the years pulled me forward as I watched the world pass me by . . . and I was sent to Raven. In the Eyrie, he called to me, and I dove to his arm.
And I saw her.
The eyes I loved.
The soul I’d hoped for.
The woman who held my salvation in her hands.