His heart stopped at the truth in her words. Alex’s simple answer provided more questions than it answered. The fact she’d heard them and not read them in some book worried him. Someone had to have given her the incantation. It wasn’t common knowledge even in his world. His head began to pound with all the possibilities of who could have provided the binding words to her. So engrossed in his thoughts he barely felt Alex move away from him.
“Don’t go, Alex. This is far from over.” His words were harsher than he’d planned - he found that he didn’t want her to leave him. Not till he explained exactly what she’d done. “I need to tell you what the words you said mean. It’s important.”
“I don’t think it matters at this point. You’re alive and I’ll figure out the rest.”
She was closing herself off to him. It’s not what he’d wanted and he had to make sure she didn’t pull too far away. Not with sundown only an hour or so away.
“Alex… Please, listen to me. This is important. There is more to what you said than you think.” He softened his voice as much as he could. He watched as she nibbled on her lower lip in uncertainty, her mind searching for the right path to take. Relief swept through him the moment she sat back down on the bed, her legs curled up to her chest.
“Okay, fine. Explain to me what I said last night and how it differs from what I thought I was saying?”
Her defenses were up and that didn’t bode well for what he was about to tell her. Yet, he owed her the truth, regardless of what she thought about it after the fact. “True, what you said last night was a blessing of sorts. If you’d died, I wouldn’t have been branded a murderer, at least not in my world.” The vision of Alex’s ashen face flickered in his mind, his heart heavy at the knowledge he’d almost killed her.
“Okay, but there is something you are still not telling me. Out with it, Krys. If there is one thing I don’t like, it’s secrets. I’ve had my share of them in this lifetime.”
Krystoff shifted his weight. His chest felt as if a vice had secured on his heart, threatening to squeeze the life from his body. The innocent he’d taken, her life, was more than enough to condemn him to death. “Those words were a binding, Alex.”
If he had known better, he could have sworn all life had drained from her with those few words. She pulled her knees further into her chest, her head leaning down against her kneecaps. He had not wanted this. Not for Alex and not for him.
“Binding… What kind of binding?”
Her words were so quiet he barely caught them. She was scared and he couldn’t blame her.
“No, Krys. You started this conversation now finish it. What kind of binding were they?”
He couldn’t miss the small edge of power in her words. He knew she didn’t realize it as of yet but she was already starting to change. A part of him actually felt anxious to have her in his world. At the same time, he owed her the full truth.
A deep breath in and he returned his gaze back to hers. Such innocence in her gaze it broke his heart. “When said by someone who is giving up their life for another, it offers their life to the other’s safekeeping. If that person saves their life, they are forever bound together, in this world and any others.” He didn’t want to tell her that rarely was the ritual done as most never fully understood the extent of the binding. He had a feeling neither did Alex.
“So… You’re saying we are bound together for all time?”
Her words held steel in them he’d not expected. She was putting up a barrier and not wanting to let him in. That small action hit him like a ton of bricks. “Alex. This is not something I take lightly, believe me.”
True, the moment he had realized what she had done a part of him had wanted nothing more than to hold her forever in his arms, but her reaction to the result frustrated him.
“I’m glad you don’t take it lightly. Now find a way to reverse it. I am not bound to anyone.”
Krystoff watched with guarded emotions as Alex stood up and began to pace. He knew her mind was working through the words she’d spoken, trying to find a loophole she could use. He also knew there was none.
“Alex, sit down and stop pacing. You’re going to wear a hole in your floor.”
You can find Shades of Night at the following outlets:
Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble , Smashwords and AllRomance Ebooks
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