Chapter 151 – Always & Forever  - Cage's POV

I kissed the top of Raine's head, tasting her wet hair on my lips. It was sweet, like the finest nectar. I struggled to grasp the concept that we had been apart for five months. For me, it felt like no time had passed since I told her goodbye.

Memories of that terrible day crashed over me, causing my heart to twist painfully. My body had been so cold as it edged closer and closer to the kiss of death. Raine had hovered over me, her crystal blue eyes filled with panic and fear, screaming at me that I would be okay, begging me not to leave her.

But I had known my end was near.

And I was faced with the impossible task of telling her all that was in my heart. Everything she meant to me. Everything I had foolishly thought I had a lifetime to share. But I didn't have a lifetime, or days or even minutes.

All I had were a few breaths left...

As I laid on the cold, hard ground, images of her flooded through my brain. Memories. Frozen snapshots in time. The first time I laid eyes on her. How foolish I had been. Thinking I was the bloodthirsty predator and she was my frail prey, when in reality, she stole my heart and made me hers with just one look.

The first time she gave herself to me. Trusting me to teach her. Exploring my body without reservation. The taste of her, the feel of her against my flesh. Our bodies joined together, me deep inside of her.

The moment our souls became one during our mating ceremony. The utter love and devotion that swirled in her lake-colored eyes. Happiness. Joy. Mischievous. Playful lust.

My sweet tiger...with so much fire.

I couldn't let her go. I couldn't say goodbye. I couldn't.

But the choice had been ripped away from me.

And in those final moments, before the darkness took me, I promised her the one steadfast truth in my heart—I promised to love her forever.

But I hadn't died. And she had found me. Instinctively, I tightened my grip around her. She looked up at my face, concern creasing her forehead. I forced myself to relax and kissed her lightly on the lips. She laid her head against my chest, contentment thrumming through her.

I looked at the odd assortment of people assembled around us. Felaern, Talon and Brialle weren't too much of a surprise, but I bristled with anger when I saw Killian and the other two Fae from Marku's jail. I lifted Raine off of my lap and set her carefully on the ground. In the next second, I was on my feet, standing protectively in front of her.

Without conscious thought, I clasped my hands together, feeling power spark between my fingertips, and raised them in the air, my glowing palms facing toward the Fae. I didn't occur to me, in the moment, that I had never had, or accessed, such skills before. I just reacted on instinct—what my body demanded I do, in order to eliminate the threat against her. A growl ripped from my chest.

Killian repositioned his weight, taking on a fighting stance, and eyed me warily. Raine quickly scrambled to her feet, her eyes wide as she stared at my glowing hands. She grasped my arm and spoke hurriedly, "No, they won't hurt me! He helped us. Lady Sofielle is his mother."

"What?!" A hiss came from my throat and my head snapped in her direction. First I found out the insane revelation that the bitch who attacked me, was actually Felaern's lost mate. And now she was also Killian's mother?! How was that possible?

Brialle interjected, "It's true. They helped us find you, risking their own lives in the process."

I relaxed my stance, but I still didn't fully trust them and demanded, "What about Marku?"

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