Marked by Destiny(105)

By: Lisa Cardiff

It took a moment for all his words to sink in, both the ones said and unsaid, and when they did, she didn’t know what to say, so she leaned her face against his chest.

“Aren’t you going to say something?” he asked, his voice gentle.

She shook her head in response.

“Why not?” he questioned, tilting her chin up to see her face. Tears glistened in her eyes. “Why are you crying?” he asked, bending his head to press his lips to hers.

Avery swallowed. “Because,” she whispered achingly, thinking of how many years she spent craving with every ounce of her soul that she would find someone who would love and accept her for who she was without any secrets. “I think I’m where I belong for the first time in my life.”

Kalen circled his arms around her. “And where is that?”

“With you.”

She felt weightless, like she was floating on a cloud, and the next thing she knew she was standing in front of a perfectly circular hill of gently sloped earth about twenty feet wide, surrounded by large, ancient looking gray stones glowing faintly like moonbeams. The mound was twice as tall as she was, covered with lush green grass and dotted with daffodils swaying invitingly in the breeze. A fine mist shimmered above the mound. She wanted nothing more than to stretch out her body and lie down on the dazzling carpet of green and gold, to let the shimmering mist caress her skin.

Avery turned to Kalen and smiled. “It’s beautiful.”

“Are you ready?”

Avery nodded, and Kalen grabbed her hand as they stepped together into the shimmering mist. There was no noise, no fear, and no pain. The transition felt almost seamless. One minute she stood next to the mound and the next she and Kalen stood in the secret world of her dreams, and she knew she was home.

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