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"The prince is never going to come. Everyone knows that; and maybe sleeping beauty's dead."
~Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat

Breena scrambled away on all fours, Selby rushing after her, arms outstretched

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Breena scrambled away on all fours, Selby rushing after her, arms outstretched. She held no weapon, but the look of terror on the huldra's face would've been comical except for the dagger like pain filling Sloane's chest. Breena crumpled to a ball on the orange and red leaves littered over the forest floor as Selby lay a single hand on her head. Even without weapons, Selby was a force to be reckoned with, Sloane thought as the ache increased inside her.

Rubbing a hand across her heart, she turned to find Emerens pulling himself up. He brushed off the autumn leaves from his snug brown pants, a taunting reminder that they were no longer in Skievheim.

"How could you just leave him?" She'd meant to ask soft, kind, but the words slapped out, leaving a frown on the younger twin's face. A face, while different, now looked too similar to the man she loved and had left to an uncertain fate in a foreign realm. Anger fueled her next actions, her feet moving forward until she stood toe to toe with the tall blonde man.

"He's your brother! Why?" Sloane shouted, jabbing a finger at Rens' chest without waiting for a reply. His frown straightened, anger matching the rage rising inside her surfaced on his usually calm features.

"Do you think I wanted to leave him? That I don't want to rush back there right now?"

"Then you shouldn't have left!" Sloane shouted back, another frustrated shove at Emerens accompanying her words.

"I had to. I had no choice."

"Of course you had a choice," she replied, still lashing out. She knew Emerens had been trying to save her. He'd always looked out for her. The fact fell through the breaking cracks grief was scattering in her common sense like a sieve. She pushed him harder, then harder again when he didn't budge. Shoves turned to pounding fists, at first soft then harder and harder until his hands came down stilling hers over his heaving chest.

"I promised him, Sloane. Promised I'd keep you safe." Rens' words were softer than before causing tears to well up in Sloane's eyes.

Axel.

He'd ordered her away knowing what he was about to face. Tears ran down her cheeks washing away the anger she'd felt moments before. The only thing left in its place was an unquenchable anguish. Sloane slumped against Emerens chest, his arms crushing her to him as sobs broke free from her throat.

Moments passed, Emerens holding her up as she released all the pent up emotions of the past few days. She felt his lips on her head, his body leaning into hers. She supported him as much as he was her. The fact sobered her, as she pulled back and swiped at the tears.

Emerens glanced over her head, his body stiffening. How had he not noticed the two women following them through the portal?

"Selby? How?" Sloane glanced behind them at his words to where Selby stood by a completely complacent Breena.

Bloodlines: Deceived ~Book 2~Where stories live. Discover now