Queen Of Sins - Stephanie Hudson
I will be honest, I didn’t expect it. Then again, why would I?
But well, that was the thing with hope, it had the power to cast all the dark endings into the shadows and shine its light on all the endings you were wishing for. The endings that included you stepping away from a war hand in hand with the woman you loved and raised as the victors. Raised to the Heavens, as the evils you fought were long turned to dust and the threat left dead in the battlefield. A crumbling wasteland that had yet again been turned into a fated graveyard, which would become nothing more than another story told. One that years would no doubt warp until its details were little more than a myth.
The War of Souls.
That was what they would call it.
But as for that useless hope, it had ended up as nothing more than a prayer left unanswered by the Gods, who were too afraid to intervene. A prayer that was roared louder, as one by one they all fell around me. A prayer that once more turned into a promised curse as each soul was taken. Because it was all wrong. Those that we fought weren’t our enemies and each forced swing of a weapon came from the hands of who we loved. It was no longer a war against good and evil. It wasn’t one fought with hatred in the hearts of men defending their home.
No… it was… Gods in heaven… but it was a battle of a hand forced to fight, and I felt each one tear another piece from my soul as I was forced to kill my own. And as the Tree of Souls continued to lose its leaves, so did my hope at ever seeing that flower bloom again before it too, was forced to fall. Just like that darkness had overtaken it, turning it crimson to black the first time that precious soul had died. And now, that flower belonged to another, and that heart I once owned was one I had been forced to lift my sword towards.
So, I motioned my beautiful warrior forward, and forced out the words I hated my cursed soul for saying,
“Very well, let us do this…”
“…My Queen of Sins.”
“Seriously… this is our ride?” I asked incredulously, now faced with a line of beasts that were being mounted by our leaving party. This consisted mainly of Carn’reau and his men. But there was also Vern, Gryph and of course Trice, and I had to admit, I wasn’t looking forward to the time when I would have to say goodbye to them. Just the idea that I may never see them again had me swallowing down the hard lump in my throat at the thought of waving farewell to my three Scottish saviours, who admittedly, had started to make it seem like a full-time job in saving my ass.
“Well, I grant you, it’s not a stolen 1970 Dodge Charger RT,” Lucius said after taking the reins of the strange beast. As for me, I put my hands on my hips and pointed out,
“Hey, I didn’t steal it!”
“Oh no, I am sorry, you just traded it for a stolen Ferrari… my mistake,” he said wryly, making me roll my eyes at him and the second I saw his eyes heat, I knew why.
“Oh, no way, buddy, not happening,” I said, referring of course to the promised spanking I got whenever I did roll my eyes at him. But my response only made him smirk back before informing me,
“Maybe not, but I promise you, sweetheart…” He paused so he could stride his long legs over to me in a second, before he tugged me to him and whispered his promise down at me.
“…I am keeping count.”
Then he kissed me, and I had to say, by the end of it I felt like taking a ride on something else. Which was why I said in a breathless way the moment it finished,
“Can I not just ride you instead?” His reply to this was beautiful as he threw his head back and laughed, and just like that, it managed to cut whatever tension and worry had been building up inside of him. Well, for the moment at least.
After my conversation with Vena, I had guessed his worry was down to what he was keeping from me.. Now, why he hadn’t wanted to tell me about the witch being involved with what had just happened, I still