Slumber Page 72

“You’re lying,” I replied breathlessly. “How could you possibly know I’d ever come to terms with everything between us?”

“I didn’t have to know.” Those aquamarine eyes blazed down at me, all masculine arrogance and determination. “I always get what I want, Rogan. Always.”

“And what about what I want?”

Wolfe pressed a soft, tender kiss to my lips, the arrogance giving way to deep sincerity. “I’ll always give you what you want, Rogan. Always.”

***

We arrived in Silvera with a fierce burst of renewed energy. I galloped by Wolfe’s side, Chaeron and the men at our backs, as we tore through the city, through the marketplace and out past the palace to the cliffs. We ignored the cries of surprise and shock as we forced people from our paths. The Silverians watched in anxiety as we raced past them, their eyes troubled by our haste. The palace servants were even more surprised as Wolfe and I hurtled by them, having instructed Chaeron to stop with the Guard in the Palace Courtyard. We took off down a side entrance to the palace, out onto the rough trail that led us onto the Cliffside. Our horses, sensing our urgency kept their footing and made the half hour journey to the Land’s End Cottage in twenty; both our horses’ coats thick with sweat, our own clothes plastered to our skin.

I dismounted so fast I nearly fell, ignoring Wolfe calling out to me, as I thrust the door to the cottage open, startling Rowan, who stood in the hallway, a tray of sandwiches in her hands.

“Lady Rogan!” she gasped, her eyes alight with relief. “You’ve returned.”

“Where is she?” I demanded, not giving to pleasantries.

“Upstairs.” Rowan jerked the tray towards the narrow stairwell. “Valena is with-”

“Rogan!” Raj appeared in the doorway to the sitting room just as Wolfe appeared at my back. The healer hurried towards me. “You have it?”

I held up the pack. “I have it.”

My heart was pounding hard as we hurried up the stairwell to the large bedroom Haydyn loved. It was the view. She loved a view. The wide window looked out over the Silver Sea, like a master painting created by nature. I hugged Valena as she threw herself at me, my hands stroking her hair affectionately, while my eyes drank in the sight of Haydyn.

I felt a raw choking burn in my throat at how pale and slight she looked lying on the bed, her moon-coloured hair spread out on the pillow. “Oh haven,” I choked. “She looks-”

“You’re in time, Lady Rogan,” Raj reassured me, removing the blue plant from the pack. He breathed a sigh of relief and then turned to us all. “I hate to ask it of you but I need time alone with the Princezna to do this. I’ll require Valena’s help of course.”

I didn’t want to leave. I felt that old stubbornness take hold of my legs, gluing them to the ground. It was only when Wolfe’s arm came around me and was joined by another man’s hand on my lower back that I realised Matai was there. I hadn’t even seen him. I let them lead me out.

“Matai,” I mumbled as I was taken downstairs in a daze. I was exhausted, like my body could just float up into the air and drift away on the wind.

In the sitting room, Matai enveloped me in a tight hug. “Thank you, Rogan,” he whispered in my ear, hoarsely, grief and worry and heartache soaking every word. “Thank you so much.”

I gave him a watery smile and let Wolfe draw me into his arms. My head rested on his shoulder as we waited.

“We’re betrothed.” I heard Wolfe tell Matai. Clearly Matai was shocked by how intimate Wolfe and I were with one another.

“What?” Matai choked. “Dear haven, has the world gone topsy turvy?”

“Actually, yes,” I replied, turning my head on Wolfe’s chest to stare at Matai belligerently. “You should see it out there, Lord Matai. What a mess.”

“It’s not that bad,” Wolfe insisted, rubbing his hand up and down my back.

I sniffed. “It’s not that good, either.”

Matai lowered himself into a chair. He looked exhausted. “Tell me all that happened.”

And so that’s what we did, to pass the horribly anxious wait we had while Raj hurried to save Haydyn’s life.

***

I put it down to Haydyn’s love for the dramatic that instead of Raj coming down to tell us she was cured, that a tousled blonde head peeped around the doorframe of the sitting room, followed by a stunning face suddenly blooming with colour.

“HAYDYN!” I screeched like a little girl, pulling from Wolfe’s embrace and rushing to meet my best friend, who squealed and crossed the room to meet me. As we shook in each other’s arms, tears and snot mingling in our hysteria, no one would have guessed that the Princezna of Phaedra had only hours before been moments from death.

I pulled back, barely able to see her through my tears. “Look at you! Should you be out of bed?!”

“Not really,” Raj opined from the doorway, his eyebrows drawn together in consternation.

Haydyn shrugged, grinning widely. “I don’t care. My body hurts from not being used but I feel so awake! I’ve been sleeping forever, Rogan, don’t make me go back to bed.”

I laughed and pulled her tight, afraid to ever let go of her again. “Don’t ever do anything like that to me again.”

She huffed against my shoulder. “It’s not like I could help it! Oh, Rogan.” She pulled back now, her eyes brimming with love. “How can I ever thank you for what you did for me? Raj explained everything. How you went all the way to Alvernia, into the mountains, for the cure! Rogan…”

I shrugged back at her. “You would have done it for me.”

“In a heartbeat.”

“Well it took a little longer than that but-”

“Can I perhaps…?” Matai suddenly appeared at our side, his eyes fixed to Haydyn as if he couldn’t believe she was real.

Reluctantly I stood back and let the two lovers embrace. I raised an eyebrow at Wolfe when they kissed in front of Raj. Raj, for one didn’t look surprised by the kiss.

“Ah… happily ever after,” Valena sighed dreamily from the doorway.

Chapter Thirty Three

If I could have wished for anything in this life, then I would have wished for Valena’s words that day to be true. But unfortunately, life just doesn’t always work out that way.

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