Revealed:Brides of the Kindred(4)

By: Evangeline Anderson

He’d better not have touched her, Sylvan thought grimly, frowning at the other male. Rast, however, was completely oblivious to his scrutiny. He was still whispering Nadiah’s name and stroking her pale cheek.

Sylvan shook his head and made a mental note to warn the human detective off once Nadiah was awake. Being human and not Kindred, he would only complicate the already complicated matter of the blood bond she had back on Tranq Prime. Only a Kindred male was strong enough to challenge such a bond and win—Rast would only get in the way.

But despite his doubts and worries, Sylvan couldn’t help hearing the soft, coaxing way Rast spoke his kinswoman’s name. “Nadiah,” he murmured, brushing a strand of gold from her forehead and tucking it behind her ear. “Nadiah, come back to me. Please.”

Chapter Two

Nadiah was dreaming—either that or she was having another vision. The Sight, that peculiar gift given by the Goddess to a chosen few of her daughters, had become such an ingrained part of her life that it was becoming difficult to tell the difference between precognition and a simple dream.

“Sometimes dreams and visions are one and the same,” whispered a soft, soothing voice in her ear. “Watch and learn, daughter. Watch and learn and above all, remember.”

Obediently, Nadiah turned her head in the direction the voice seemed to indicate. To her surprise, she saw this was a scenario she’d seen before—right before Sylvan and Sophia’s bonding ceremony, in fact. Though at the time she had assumed the male in her dream was Merrick, Sylvan’s friend, she now knew it was none other than the human detective.

Just as before, she saw Detective Rast standing before a throne in the Goddess’s temple. Somehow, though she had never been there, she knew this was the original throne—built millennia ago on the original Kindred home world. The human was standing tall, his head thrown back, truegreen eyes blazing as though in response to some challenge. As in her previous vision, he was wearing the ceremonial robes of the First Kindred. But this time the robes were split in back, the soft white material ripped and hanging in ragged shreds to show the broad, tan expanse of his muscular back.

Nadiah had a spasm of horror. Why am I seeing this? Is he about to be punished for some reason? Whipped or branded? Why—? Before the question could finish forming in her mind, she saw the tan skin along his shoulder blades ripple, almost as though something inside was trying to force its way out. Rast threw back his head, his face a mask of agony and then—

“Nadiah? Oh, thank God, she’s waking up.”

Nadiah, blinked and caught a fuzzy image of Olivia’s pretty face hanging over her like an anxious moon. “Wha?” she whispered, her mouth too dry to speak properly. “Wha…what’s wrong?”

“You fainted.” It was Sylvan, also leaning over her and studying her with his cool, blue clinician’s eyes. But far back in their icy depths there was worry as great as Olivia’s, Nadiah could tell.

“I did?” She struggled to sit up—someone had brought her to the med station and put her in a healing cot for some reason—but many hands pushed her back down.

“Lie still. You scared me to death.” It was Detective Rast, frowning at her sternly. “You were out like a light and I didn’t know what the hell happened.” He gave Sylvan an unfriendly look. “I still don’t.”

“You don’t need to, Rast.” The normally cool and collected Sylvan looked annoyed. “It doesn’t concern you.”

“The hell it doesn’t.” Rast glared at the other male. “It happened right in front of me. I’d say I have a right to know exactly what’s going on.”

“And I’d say you’re wrong about that.” Sylvan frowned. “Continuing in that vein, now that Nadiah is awake, I need to have a word with her. Privately. So if you could just step outside…?” He raised an eyebrow at Rast, who looked prepared to be stubborn. But before the human detective could open his mouth, Olivia took his arm.

“Come on, Detective. Let’s tell everyone that Nadiah’s going to be all right. They’re all worried to death out there and I need someone to help spread the good news.”

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