Redemption (The Alexa Montgomery Saga) (24 page)

BOOK: Redemption (The Alexa Montgomery Saga)
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I told you,
so beautifullll…

Yes.

I shook my
head again, pulling my eyes away with great reluctance, disgusted with myself
that I felt very much like bending down and sinking my fangs into the dead
man’s neck, slurping out the blood that had yet to go cold.

Terrible,
heartless laughter rang out in my head, and I couldn’t tell who it belonged to;
me, or my Monster.

Why drink
from him when there is plenty of fresh stuff in that room just ahead?

I moved
forward and came to a stop outside of the door that Darvin had told me would be
the watch room, where two guards would be watching the edges of the city for
intruders. I looked down at the key-card in my hand and crumbled the plastic
into broken pieces in my fist. Then I set my hand of the door knob, chuckled at
little to myself, and used all of my strength to yank.

Unsurprisingly,
the door ripped free of its hinges, plaster and bits of concrete and metal
flying free with it, and when I moved into the room, I drank in the sudden fear
that filled the faces of the two Warriors there, and then I drank their blood,
too.

And it was
good.

It was really,
really
good.

 

 

One More Minute

He paced back
and behind the swell of the small hill, his hands tightened into fists at his
sides. It had been half an hour since Alexa had kissed him goodbye and headed
into the city, and that was thirty minutes too long to be away from her.
Kayden’s eyes were glued to the east tower, where the small arched window was.
If she didn’t give the signal in exactly one minute, he was going to charge
into the city and cut down every person in his path until he found her.

“Are you sure
she made it in?” he snapped at Darvin, who was also watching the tower.

“She made it
over the river, but after that…”

Kayden was a
second away from grabbing the Brocken up by his cloak-front and shaking the
shit out of him, but then, a flash of silver from the tower’s window caught his
eye, and the air rushed out of him in a cloud of white relief. He waited for a
moment, still staring at the east tower, and only let himself truly relax when
he saw it again. Another flash of silver. Alexa had made it. She was alive. And
the army was free to move in through the east side.

He wasted no
time.

“Wolves,” he
said, loud enough so that they would hear him and but quiet enough that his
voice would not carry beyond their group. “Take to your animal forms. When we
reach the city, hide in between the buildings. Kill any Warrior who happens
upon you, or any that come close enough to be taken out unnoticed. The rest of
us will move toward the Council Building with the crowd, and into the silver
gates. When it starts, the Wolves will do their best to ensure that we do not
get trapped inside those gates. Warriors, do not make a move until it’s time.
We must blend into the crowd. The Sun Warrior must be given the chance to get
to King William. He must not be allowed to escape.”

The army
seemed to nod as a whole, and Kayden turned on his heel, letting Darvin lead
them toward the city on a path that would not let them be seen. Their exhaled
breaths and the snow crunching under their feet were the only sounds to be
heard. That, and the pounding of Kayden’s heart. He would see them all lost,
and did not feel ashamed of this, as long as his Sun Warrior was safe–as long
as he could hold his Alexa, see her face, feel her lips on his own, just one
last time.

 

 

Another Arrival

The train came
to a stop. “We have arrived, your Majesty,” Andre said.

King William
stood and stretched the muscles in his legs. “About time, Andre. What is the
situation above ground?”

“No
disturbances or sightings have been reported. The people are gathering at the
Council Building as we speak.”

The King was not
fool enough to think that the Sun Warrior had not arrived at the Silver City
yet, and it did not surprise him that she had done so without drawing attention
to herself or her pitiful army. She was a Sun Warrior, after all, and not a
creature on this earth could move with more speed or silence or deadly
precision than she.

He did,
however, wonder about the Sorceress. If Surah was anything like her sister had
been, then she would want to go at this alone. She would be the one uncertain
factor here for which he would have to be on the look-out. But, really, it
didn’t matter. He had over seven thousand Warriors with him, and a thousand
more already spread out within the city. If the Sorceress tried to make her
move, and the people saw her fighting with the Sun Warrior, they would equate
this with the rumor he’d spread about the two of them being in league, and they
would not be supportive of her efforts.

The King
exited the train and saw that his Warriors were already filing out of the train
cars that were attached behind his. He sent a message to them all silently,
reaching into their heads as he had on so many occasions, and ordering that his
words be heeded.

There will
be an army waiting for us there, and we must kill them. We must kill them all,
and anyone who gets in the way or tries to fight beside them.

When he was certain that they all
had their orders and were ready to follow them, King William stepped into the
large elevator that was built into the tunnel. It would carry him straight up
and into the Council Building.

Then the battle would begin.

 

 

Alexa

After signaling the others
through the arched window with my sword, I found a bathroom and stopped to wash
the red off of my face. None had gotten on my hands. I didn’t look up into the
mirror to see my reflection. I knew that I would only find my Monster staring
back at me, and I needed no reminder of what I had just done. The taste of
their blood was still fresh on my tongue, the scent of their deaths still
hanging on me.

Things were going to happen quickly
now, and I was ready for it. My belly was full, but my hunger was far from
satisfied.

Some part of me knew that I was
edging toward a line that would disappear once it had been crossed, leaving me
forever on one chosen side, in a land where nothing but savage beasts roamed, a
place of total darkness. And there was nothing to be done about it. This was
only the preliminary round. The real battle was still yet to be had.

I stood now by the entrance of
the east tower, looking out from the warmth through the frosted glass windows.
When I was as certain as I could be that no one was watching, I pushed open the
doors and lost myself once more in the crowd. For a moment, indecision struck
me, and I had to force myself to head toward the rendezvous point. If I just
followed the crowd, I could be at the King’s doorstep in a matter of minutes.
It would be a very stupid decision, but something insistent in me didn’t want
to wait.

Kayden is what made the decision
for me, and I headed off to the point where I had promised to meet him. He
should be headed toward the east bridge that gave passage over the river, and
it would not be good if he didn’t find me there waiting for him and the backup.
I made my way carefully through the crowd, making sure to change directions and
follow the flow of the people whenever I saw a Warrior’s eyes skim over me. It
felt incredibly counter-productive, moving away from the target, but I had made
Kayden a promise, and I owed it to him to keep it.

Somewhere in the distance, a bell
tolled loud and deep, cutting across the snowy air and ringing in my bones,
marking the hour of the night. I stopped in my tracks and had to resist the
urge to head in the direction of the Council Building once again. The King
would be letting people in now. How wonderfully easy it would be to slip into
the Council Building and put my blade through his throat.

Don’t be a fool, Warrior. We
are too close to the objective to do something so stupid. The King will be
guarded
very
heavily. To walk into that building alone would not only be
stupid, it would be suicide.

I gritted my teeth as I made my
way to the back of the crowd, and saw that it was starting to thin out. Moving
in the opposite direction was becoming harder and harder to do without being
noticed. I slipped in between two houses, their windows dark and occupants
absent, and waited with a racing heart for the people to move on. The Warriors
that formed a perimeter around them were moving along with them, herding them
forward like silent dogs nipping at their heels. The east bridge was only
thirty yards ahead. I could see it, an old stone structure that a troll could
be living under, if I poked my head around the corner.

I waited and waited. My pulse
seemed to be jumping at ten times the rate of every second that was passing by.
I watched as the stream of people lessened, slowing down to just a trickle.
After what seemed like a million lifetimes, the Warriors that were bringing up
the rear passed by as well. I made myself count to a hundred before leaving my hiding
spot and racing over to the bridge.

My heart dropped when I ran over
it and could see only white in the distance, no army of rebels or beloved
Libras coming through the snow to meet me. A million terrible possibilities ran
through my head in the space between heartbeats, and if I hadn’t seen him then,
moving through the snow like a phantom in the night, I may have fallen to my
knees right then and held my head in my hands.

But there he was. My loyal Libra,
my Kayden. Moving silently toward me, and even from the distance, I could tell
that he had seen me at exactly the same time as I had him, and now he was
coming faster, picking up into a run and barreling at me with the relief of
seeing me in every stride. Seeing him running to me that way made me wonder how
I could have even considered not waiting for him. Just the sight of him had
clicked something essential back into place inside me.

And following right on his heels
were hundreds of enormous Wolves, their heads bent low and glowing golden eyes
slit against the wind, and behind them, the rest of the Warriors followed on
their heels. They moved like a plague through all the white, dressed in all
black and ready to kill.

I don’t know how he managed it,
but Kayden reached me first, slamming into me and lifting me off my feet as he
all but crushed me in his strong arms. I clutched him back, not at all minding
the fact that I could hardly breathe between his embrace. His golden eyes were
so filled with love that I felt a tear escape my eye and run coldly down my
cheek against the icy air. Then his lips found mine, and I didn’t care that the
whole army I’d brought here was watching. I wouldn’t have cared if the entire
world had been watching. I stole one last sweet moment from the universe and
kissed him back.

Then I was on my feet again, and
the Wolves were surrounding me, awaiting orders. They were all different
colors, some of them jet black and others as white as the snow that was
catching in their furs. Their tongues hung out of their mouths and hot breath
steamed into the air. One of them had the same reddish-brown color coat as
Jackson’s had been, and I swallowed hard and told myself that Jackson was in a
better place than I was right now, because this was no time to get choked up
with feelings.

I remembered something Jackson
had taught me, that Wolves could hear your thoughts in their animal forms if
you projected them. It was the way they communicated, and though I shoved it
away fast, it made the memory of the first time I’d seen Jackson in his Wolf form
in the woods at Two Rivers flash through my head. I gritted my teeth and sent
my message out.

“Move between the buildings,
in the shadows. Make your way toward the Council Building, and form a perimeter
there. Do your best not to be seen by anyone. Kill if you must.”

The Wolves moved off silently,
slipping into the night like the stealthy beasts that they were, and by the
time I turned and faced the rest of the army, not a Wolf was left to be seen.
The Warriors looked at me the same way the Wolves had, waiting for me to tell
them what to do, and I hoped not for the first time that I was worthy of this
task that had been placed before me, that I wouldn’t fail these people horribly
and lead them straight into a terrible death.

Little late to be worried about
that now, Warrior.

“The crowd is thick,” I said, my
voiced pitched too low for them all to hear me. They would just have to spread
the orders amongst themselves. “We can slip into it, I think, if we split up.
We will have to move carefully. We need to get past those silver gates so the
King doesn’t have a chance at locking us out and escaping. Each of us needs to
watch for our moment to be able to move into the crowds. The King’s Warriors
are accompanying them, but they are spread thin. No doubt that the bulk of them
are at the Council Building already. That is where we will have to fight, but I
need to get as close to the King as I can before we are discovered. Does
everyone understand?”

There were nods and grunts of
affirmation. I nodded in return. “Good,” I said. “Make sure everyone knows, and
let’s move.”

 

 

Nelly

The air in front of me shimmered,
and there it was. The Silver City. It was almost at white as the White World,
with snow covering everything and dancing in the night air. I looked down at my
tennis shoes and wished that I had chosen to wear boots, and a coat wouldn’t
have hurt either, but it was too late to even consider heading back to get
these things now. I would just have to tough it out.

BOOK: Redemption (The Alexa Montgomery Saga)
7.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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