was the fragile sound of a mortal heartbeat that awoke Sari Faire from
her demon-infested sleep. And it was the absence of a beloved
heartbeat that shot her hissing upright. Threads were flung out,
using up precious energy, and within moments the child of her heart lay
with her head in Sari's lap. The fey creatures surrounded them,
pressing close. Behind them, slivers of gold light sliced between
the fresh petals, bursting upwards to dance amoung the towering trees.
'Child' rasped Sari Faire. 'Fret no more. Tis safe .. tis
Rani held to the slight body of Sari, feeling the weakness tremoring
along the fine skin. 'You are hurt!' It was a mere whisper, laced
with fear. Never had she known Sari Faire to be less than
'Not so ye'd be noticing, my fine child.' Sari Faire pet the
raven-haired girl, long fingers combing through her thick hair.
She'd not ever admit what she'd done, nor the grave risk of it.
But a long overdue debt had been paid. Whatever became of Lacy
LeFey, their fates would once more be in balance. Sari Faire had
done what needed doing.
Sitting up, Rani looked past Sari Faire to the brilliantly glowing
mound. 'Sari … is she .. ?'
'The fractured soul remains with damage I could nae undo. But
lives, she does. A time of her choosing is when she emerges.'
'Then …' Rani brought her hands together, hope stirring the stormy
eyes, 'I can tell Panther she is returning!'
'Nae, child,' Sari Faire cautioned. 'Darby is under enchantment,
and homebound she'll be. She'll not be crossing through the gate.
Tis self-collapsed. The ruins yer friend finds .. tis all he will
ever find there.'
sleeping one still slept. Gathering Rani close, the two slipped into
healing slumber, protected by the fey creatures, and one thoughtful
The Queen returned to her court to contemplate.