Chapter 23 - Secrets Unveiled in Lux-Mindon

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Chapter 23 – Secrets Unveiled in Lux-Mindon

"I don't like this. Not one bit," Killian mumbled under his breath. Arabella placed a dainty hand, which was equally good at both holding a sword and comforting her husband, upon his well-muscled arm.

"I know, Love. But Dhovar insists it's the only way. He's been going down to the cells for weeks but is no closer in finding out why he's hearing Yvaine's thoughts over the enchantment." Killian looked down the darkened hall. No one knew they had moved Arabella's aunt during the night besides themselves except Dhovar, Leander and Carina. The elf king had tried breaking through the imprisoned woman's fogged brain with his gift to get to the heart of the words she'd been muttering for weeks without any luck.

"It's gibberish. We should have left her where she was. There's too much at stake now if this is all a farce on her part." Killian placed his strong hand on the babe his wife carried inside her. Arabella's hand covered his as she tried to assuage his fears.

"She's secured in the most unused wing of the castle. And the Helladium cuffs, which were used on Riven by the Duke, will hold her without any chance she'll use her gifts should her strength return. Once the haze lifts, Dhovar will read her thoughts and she'll be returned below." Killian shook his head as she spoke not liking the idea even after her reassurances. "I have to know."

"I know you need answers, Bella. But that doesn't mean I must like the way we get them. Now, let's go speak with the elf king and then get you back to rest," Killian replied as they walked the darkened corridor to where two loyal guards stood outside an insignificant wooden door. He had purposely waited until Dhovar had at least a day with Yvaine outside the cell before bringing Arabella here. He hoped the elf king would have the information they needed by now but knowing the way things worked here in the mystic realms, it was never that straight forward.

The door creaked as he pushed it open to admit his wife. Dhovar sat in a chair beside the four-poster bed with a puzzled expression on his usually stern face. The candle light flickered casting shadows over the woman's face who now lay still in the large bed. She appeared to be sleeping but Killian would take no chances; her hands would remain cuffed to the bed at all times. She had been cleaned up per his wife's request which Carina saw to personally. She looked simply a frail, attractive woman lying there but he would always remember what she had been capable of. If not for himself and the kingdom, then for his wife and their child. Arabella had a tender side to her warrior nature which he was afraid blinded her in certain areas. One of these areas being her mother's adopted sister.

"Have you been able to break through?" Arabella's voice sounded painfully hopefully as she addressed King Dhovar.

"I'm afraid not. I can still only hear the same few words being replayed over and over in her thoughts. Even now while she's at rest, they are there."

"I'm sorry to ask this of you," Arabella apologized to the neighboring king.

"Non-sense. Regardless how long it takes, this is something I'm invested in now. I cannot shake the feeling those words provoked. The feeling they mean something." The elf king ran a hand across his stubbled chin as he pondered the woman asleep before them.

"Concerning what?" Killian asked not sure he wanted the other king's opinion on the meaning of the strange gibberish she uttered. Dhovar shook his head.

"I won't venture to guess without knowing more. Just that we need to be prepared for whatever I uncover." Killian nodded, knowing the elf king's words were honest and fair. The longer he spent in the man's company the more he respected him as a ruler.

"How much longer do you think it will be until her mind clears?" Arabella asked from where she now stood near the head of the bed.

"I can't say. It could be hours or days."

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