Door in the Garden of Shadows

By: April Canavan

PROLOGUE



There was nothing she could do. That’s what she would have to tell herself over and over. The battle would come, no matter what. Lives were going to be lost, and all she could do was follow orders. They were fighting to save the fae realm, but the darkness had already cracked the land into two.

There were two separate factions forming, and it wasn’t making the upcoming battle any more manageable. She tried to tell them to work together, but they were determined to bury their history and move forward alone. When they commanded her to destroy the darkness by herself, she wasn’t even surprised.

It was dangerous, and she wouldn’t let any of her covens assist her. It was a battle she would fight on her own. But in the end, the darkness almost won. She did the best she could, but there was no doubt in her mind that it would return. In the meantime, all she could do was try and convince the magical families that they needed to prepare. It was necessary to train their children, to use the power that the mother of all had given them so long ago.

Not one of them stepped forward. These rulers were content in their separate realms, not caring enough to help one another, and they grew lazy. As a result, she stopped caring. When the darkness returned, she wouldn’t help them. She had already lost so much because of these people, there was nothing she had left to give–except herself. She knew that she wasn’t going to provide them with the last part of her that was untainted.

One of her powers, the gift of eternal life that she had been granted by the mother of all was a gift that she had not even shared with her daughter, yet. She would not share it with anyone lightly. They would have to be pure of heart. Worthy of the change. She would never let the power into the hands of those that would abuse it. She would only give them the gift of true immortality when they were ready for it. There was too much at stake if it was abused.

Instead, she forced herself to think about the generations to come. Thinking about the future, she hoped that she would be able to train the younger generations the importance of working together. She feared that the day would never come when they would fight on common ground. If they could, though, nothing would be able to stand in the way of the fourteen magical realms. The mother of all had given them equal power so that none could destroy the other. Instead, their most significant strengths would be exposed only when they could learn from one another.

Inhaling deeply, she willed a vision to come to her. She let the power roll over her body, and she waited for the magic to show her what she wanted it to. She was old in the eyes of the humans already, but the Oracle did not age. She had the power to see the future, and when she could see an image of what it held, the revelation could change the world.

A woman in red, bound to the fates of all those she knows, afraid and alone. She will open the door. Fate cannot be changed; she pays her price. To let her escape without sacrificing every bit of herself would bring the destruction of the fae.

Smiling to herself for the first time in a long time, she knew it was time to talk to the young fae princess, Moira. The future was looking up, indeed. Now they just had to prepare for the years to come.





CHAPTER ONE



“Well, what did you expect to happen? You brought her here, against the very express orders of your king. She isn’t one of us, so you had to have brought her here to die.”

“What do you know about love? All you have ever done is a fight. She is beautiful, and she is mine.” The monster that had taken her was pointing in her direction and staring at a tall, blonde man. Dante, that was the name he had given her, but he was nothing more than a monster wrapped in the skin of a man. She stared at him, wishing she could crush his bones in her hands. He was stronger than her, faster. He had beaten her senseless and when she had woken; she was staring at the tall man from a slump on the ground.

“Everyone knows the Queen’s heart is weak. She’ll allow any union   so long as she thinks it is made from love.” He wanted to marry her? Disgusting. She tried to hold the vomit back but was unsuccessful, hurling all over the expensive looking leather boots that Dante was wearing. He looked down at her with hate in his eyes, and she knew that marriage was the last thing on his mind.

She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and looked at the other man, the tall man. Dante may be a small and disgusting monster, but the other was taken straight from a romance novel. Ridiculous, that these two men could be talking about her like this. She stared up at the taller one, still feeling the sickness rolling in her stomach. They were both ignoring her now, caught up in their argument, and she had no choice but to listen to them.

“You think Sarah will allow your union  ? She can see into the souls of those she rules over. Do you think your queen won’t see that you plan on killing this woman for your enjoyment? See how she knows, deep in her soul that she has come here to die? Either by your hand or mine–there is nothing you can do. Come, we’ll take the matter before the Blood Court and see how Zander likes you disturbing his bride.”

Terrified, confused, and ready to scream–instead she decided to laugh. It bubbled up inside, and before she could catch it, she was in hysterics in front of two crazy people talking about killing her and blood, and union  s. It was mad, and she must have gotten extremely drunk last night to think this was actually happening. She couldn’t stop laughing, gasping for air it continued on for several minutes. The two men just looked at her like she had grown a head. The tall one actually seeing her for the first time.

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