Dark Light (Web of Light Duology Book 2)By: Kyra Dune
A dozen smooth gray stones floated in the air above the burbling brook. Seva sat on the bank enjoying the warm feeling flowing through her as she used the magic of the web. Birds sang to the evening sun, crickets chirruped in the grass, and a gentle breeze stirred the reeds by the water’s edge, making them sing.
Seva smiled. It was nice to have this peace. Nice enough to almost make her forget her escape from Star Mountain and the harrowing journey which followed. Almost. Her smile faded. She sighed. Thoughts of Star Mountain made her think of Iza and Tyde, two friends she left behind. At Iza’s insistence, but still. And of course thinking of them made her think of the blood witches. A thought certain to spoil anyone’s good mood.
“You’re getting better at that all the time.”
The sound of Valdor’s voice made her gasp, but she didn’t lose her hold on the stones. She turned and smiled up at him. “Thanks, it feels good to....” Her voice trailed off as something in his expression made her pulse flutter. “What’s wrong?”
He gave her a half hearted smile. “Am I so obvious?”
“Yes.” She rose to her feet. “Has something happened? Is it...is it Iza and Tyde?” Despite her worry, the stones remained firmly in place.
“No. There’s still no sign of them.”
Her relief was brief and mixed. “Is it the witches then?” She wouldn’t have thought the witches could have reached the Outlands ahead of the two Gari-Za, but it was possible, especially if something had happened to them along the way.
“The witches aren’t here, but this does have something to do with the war we’re all waiting on.” He hesitated, shifting his gaze from hers. “I’m going home.”
The stones clattered into the water. “What? Why?” Seva took a step toward him. “Your father--”
“Calm down.” Valdor held up both hands to stop her. “I’m not going to see my father. But I think it would be a good idea if I tried to find out what part the flyers are going to play in the war. It might be I could discover something important, something to help us. It’s something I need to do.”
And she knew why. To prove to himself his father was wrong, that he wasn’t weak or useless. That he was a man. It was so stupid. “What if you get caught?”
“I won’t. I’ll be careful. I promise.” But he still wasn’t looking at her. “Even if I did get caught, the worse thing my father would do is have me locked up. He can’t have me killed, I’m his only heir.”
He could always have another child. But she didn’t say it. For one thing, she didn’t want to basically tell Valdor he was replaceable, and for another she could see how hard this decision was for him. It wouldn’t be fair to make it harder.
“I hope you’re doing this for the right reasons,” she said.
A slight red stain crept into his cheeks. “I should go.” He started to leave.
“Wait.” She drew closer to him as she spoke, but when he turned back she found herself unsure of what she wanted to say. She only knew she might never see him again and she didn’t want things between them to end like this.
“Valdor, I...” She reached out to touch his arm.
He stiffened. “Please don’t.”
She drew her hand back. “I’m sorry. I...I thought...” Heat flooded her chest as her gaze slid to the ground. “I don’t know what I thought.”
“It’s not that I don’t...I mean, I do...It’s only you...” He sighed. “I’ve been avoiding telling you something, even though I knew I’d have to eventually. I....My father,” he said the word with a curl of his lips, “told me you might be my sister.”
“What?” Seva’s head came up. “But he told me it was impossible. He didn’t have that kind of relationship with my mother.”
“Obviously he was lying to one of us. Another of his sick games. But in case you really are my sister, I can’t...”
“No, of course not.” The heat in her chest flooded her face. “But we’re still friends, aren’t we? And friends can hug each other goodbye, can’t they?” She knew it was wrong of her to suggest it, but she needed to feel his arms around her just once. Whether or not he was her brother was something she could think about later, right now the only thing she cared about was what she felt in her heart.