Download Book1: Heku and Book2: Valle
Chevalier continues as Elder for the Equites Faction, while Emily finds her niche in the world of the immortal. The Encala begin a strong campaign to gain sole control of the Winchester blood, causing the Equites to strengthen their hold on Emily and Allen.
More of Emily's heritage becomes known and it threatens to alienate her from the Equites. She befriends an unusual heku, which enrages the Equites Council and again pits Emily against them.
"Damnit," Allen said, smiling.
"Want to go out today?" Emily asked, and took his hand.
She grinned at the name of Allen's horse. It had fit when he was an unbroken colt, but now as a gentle stallion, he was the perfect horse for a small boy.
She led him out to the hallway and frowned, there were no guards at her door. She knew the Cavalry was out on a mission and off her bodyguard duty for two more days, but she'd had random guards posted outside of her door since the Cavalry were made lieutenants.
Emily walked Allen through the palace, feeling a sense of freedom. She didn't pass any heku on her way out and then she remembered the Council was meeting today. They were swearing in a new Chief Enforcer, someone named Damon. All she knew about him was that he was another one of the "old ones" and Chevalier had known him for a long time.
Emily picked up Allen and threw him onto her shoulders as he giggled. He loved to ride up there. She walked the short distance to the stables and looked around, still no heku. The stable was also empty of horses, except for Patra and Damnit.
Emily slipped a bridle on Patra and let her out of the stall. She kept glancing behind her as she put on the saddle, cinched it, and then put Allen up by the horn. Emily slipped her foot into the stirrup and swung herself up behind him. She wrapped a hand around Allen's waist and held the reins with the other and then clicked her tongue, heading the mare out slowly.
She had seen the rolling hills to the west of the city, but hadn't had time to explore yet. She tapped her heals against Patra and the mare broke into a trot. The city was quiet during the day. Most of the business was done in the protection of the night. She could still hear people talking from behind their doors, and once in a while, she caught sight of a curtain pulling to the side. She was a little irritated by the peeking, but knew she was an odd sight for them.
After many turns and several dead ends, she finally found her way to the green hills. She grinned and broke Patra into a gallop. She loved the way the wind felt through her hair, and she could hear Allen laughing. It was good to get the painted mare out on the open grass. She'd been working hard getting the Cavalry ready, and hadn't gotten to stretch her legs in a while. The afternoon passed slowly as she explored the hillside and talked to Allen.
As she topped one of the hills, Patra reared angrily and Emily tightened her grip on Allen. She calmed the mare down and then saw what spooked her, someone was walking toward them. She watched as he got closer and her brow furrowed.
"Emily?" she heard him ask, and she tightened her grip so hard on Allen that he began to complain.
"Tim," she said, watching him. She hadn't seen the man since her time as a prisoner of the Valle, when he was sent to break the bond she had with Chevalier. The last time she saw him, he was fading in and out of consciousness and in pain from her torture.
He stopped a few yards from her and smiled, "I see you had a boy."
She nodded and pulled the reins, forcing Patra to take a step back, "What are you doing here?"
"I"m a donor, didn't you know?" he asked casually.
"For the Equites? What happened to the Valle?" She didn't trust him at all.
"I"m a donor for whoever needs me. I"m making a call in Council City." He slid his hands into his pockets and ran his eyes over her.
"I suggest you go back where you came from."
He frowned, "You aren't still mad, are you? That wasn't my fault! They forced me to do it."
"I don't care who forced whom, you don't belong in this city."
"Don't be mad, Emily, please. I"ve wanted to apologize for a while now, but didn't know where to find you," he said, taking a step toward her.
Emily pulled Patra back another step, "Come near me, and I"ll have this entire city on you in an instant."
"I don't doubt that. I"ve heard that your husband became an Elder."
"You heard correctly."
"I really cared about you, you know that right?" He smiled slightly.
"Oh sure, you let them torture me."
"No I didn't. They would take me away until it was time to let you go, I had no say in it." He desperately wanted her to believe him.
"But you knew, the entire time you were helping them."
"It's true, I knew, but I wasn't helping them."
"So you weren't trying to break the bond with Chev?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Ok, so maybe... but I cared about you and I fought to get back to you when you were in restraints." He slipped his hands out of his pockets and reached out for the mare.
"Get back," she said, warning him.
He pulled his hands back, "Don't be like this. It's been a long time, and now that I've found you, I want to apologize."
"Get lost, you aren't welcome in the city," she said again.