Book 1|39. Not The End

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"Would you have believed me?!" Felaern snapped.

Armand was silent and finally admitted, "No, I likely would have tried to kill you."

"And you certainly would have tried to kill any offspring you felt she had through infidelity! No, her safety was only maintained in her anonymity. It was what her mother wanted."

"My mother?" Raine rasped.

Instantly, both Felaern's and Armand's attention was completely focused on her.

"There you are," I breathed in profound relief and whispered, "You came back to me."

"Always," she promised softly.

Her eyes glanced over my shoulder. I knew Felaern had come up behind me. He knelt down by her head and murmured lovingly, "Hello again, little one."

She asked, "Tell me about my mother."

He chuckled, "Alas, we do not have time for me to tell you all that I know. But for now, just know this. She loves you very much."

Raine's eyes widened and I looked at Felaern in shock. Apparently, Armand had not missed his present tense use either. He demanded, "What do you mean loves her?! Brialle died many years ago. I saw the pieces of her body. Do not tell me lies, witch. I will kill you where you stand!"

Felaern rolled his eyes and disclosed, "No, she is very much alive. I told her I would keep her secret, but no longer. Not when Raine's lineage has been proven. It is no longer necessary."

"Why...Why wouldn't she just tell me she conceived my child?" Armand asked, sounding a little lost.

"Again, would you have believed her? No, you would've killed her on the spot when you found out she was pregnant, or worse, waited for the baby to be born so you could kill it in front of her as punishment!" Felaern spat.

Armand flinched.

Felaern wasn't quite done with him as he hissed, "And in your own stupidity, you would have killed your own child! No, to protect your  child, she ran."

"But her body... I saw her body." Armand shuddered hard. I knew he was remembering that fateful day when he thought the pieces of the woman he loved had been delivered to him in a box.

"No, what you saw was her illusion. And she paid a terrible price for it. She knew you would never give her up unless you were certain that she was dead, so she found a woman who was dying in one of the local hospitals. It was easy enough for her to create the illusion to make the woman look like her. However the illusion would have been lost as soon as the subject died. The only way to keep an illusion in place for any permanent amount of time after death was for Brialle to kill the woman herself; which she found she couldn't do, so she came to me."

"I warned her that there would be consequences, but she was willing to do anything to protect the life of your unborn child. Brialle momentarily transferred her gift to me. I used it to create the illusion and then I killed the woman."

Raine shivered in my arms as she listened. I held her closer.

Felaern continued, "However, the instant the woman was killed, Brialle's gift was stripped from her. It is nature's way of balancing out an Immortal's powers. Have you ever seen an Immortal lose one of their gifts? It is not a pretty process. Over the course of three weeks, she was barely able to move as pain consumed her and the flesh of her birthmark was ruined due to the intense scarring. At one point, we even thought she had lost the pregnancy because if it, which would have meant all of her effort to protect her child would had been in vain."

He stroked Raine's hair gently and murmured, "Thankfully, that did not happen."

"But if she successfully escaped him, why did she leave me?" Raine asked, her voice breaking as tears crested her cheeks.

"Shhh, little one...She never wanted to be without you. It killed her to leave you, but she thought she was keeping you safe."

"Where is she now?"

"That question is not so easy to answer, even for me. I have not heard from her in many years," he replied sadly and then stood to his feet. "And now it is time for me to go."

Raine panicked and begged him, "Please don't leave me."

He knelt down again and stared into her eyes. His lips didn't move and I heard no sound come from his mouth, but as I watched them, I was certain he was somehow talking to her. After a long moment, she whispered, "Okay."

He kissed her on the forehead and walked out the door.

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Anyone surprised?  I was so eager to get to this point, which is probably why I haven't stopped writing in the last ten hours or so. lol. 
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