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A Teaser from Throne of Envy

The moon shone especially bright as Destan, Elise, Olicia, and Petric rode Scarlett from Darth toward the Vale. 

They left behind destruction and two factions of fae who had put all of their trust into Elise and her team.

Elise is no mere mortal.

Sister Lovena’s words continued to replay in her mind. 

What did she mean by that?

She wished they had more time to linger in Darth with the fae, but time was not on their side.

She took in a deep breath of the crisp night air.

The Wicked Crown was still secure on her head. It wasn’t as heavy as when it was first placed onto her. It felt light now, natural. It could only be removed if she wished it to be so. But, if she wore it, the entire world would recognize her power and authority and bow to her.

She was supreme, above all others.

But, she knew her father would not stand for that, neither would he bow before her.

He was coming for her. That much she was sure of.

From the sound of it, Olicia was asleep in Petric’s arms, and he was also asleep, leaned against her.

How they could sleep on dragon back was beyond her. No amount of strapping in would make her relaxed enough to sleep. Though having Destan hold her brought some comfort.

It was a silent night, tense with the weight of knowledge they’d acquired just hours ago. 

Destan was Lord Drefen’s son.

How could that be true? Destan was only of light and love when his father was of darkness and death.

Then, as she stared ahead—trapped in her thoughts—she realized that she and Destan had more in common than she’d initially thought. King Caden was no better than Lord Drefen. And, his evil didn’t permeate Elise in any way. They may share blood but that was where the connection ended.

One fact remained; their fathers had to be stopped.

“Elise,” Destan called from behind her.

She was brought back to the present moment. She felt safe with Destan’s arms wrapped around her. The warm wind whipped around them as they flew amongst the clouds. The world below was just shadowy landscapes and bodies of glittering water.

“Yes, Destan.”

“I’m sorry. I really am.”

She turned her head toward him, closed her eyes, and he held her closer.

“You don’t need to apologize for anything. You’ve done nothing wrong.”

“I swear to you that I didn’t know,” Destan said. “If I had, I would have stayed far away from you. I would have begged Master Heron to lock me away to keep me from contributing to my father’s darkness.”

He sounded defeated. There was pain in his voice.

She stroked his hand. “I believe you.”

“I just wish I knew why this was kept from me for so long.”

Elise glanced at him. “I’m sure it was to protect you. What would that knowledge have done to you if you’d grown up with that burden? I wish I had been oblivious about my father. It would have saved me years of fear and anxiety. And, my father is just a king. Yours is the lord of the dead. That weight would have been crushing.”

“Sister Lovena spoke of sisters and brothers.”

His voice broke.

Tears stung Elise’s eyes simply from hearing how hurt he was by this revelation.

Destan sucked in a breath. “I wish I could have known them. I hope they weren’t raised as orphans like me. I would have cared for them if I’d have known. I would have given them a home.”

Elise raised his hand to her lips and kissed his knuckles. She looked ahead, and wiped the tears from her cheeks. 

She knew how he felt. She’d always known that she had brothers and sisters—kin that were allowed to live with their father in the palace—but kept far from them. She was a stain to her father, one that had to be hidden lest it be beheld with absolute disgust.

Her jaw tightened. “We will find them. Somehow.”

“Wait,” Destan said, and stiffened.

A faint whispering sound came from the darkness.

Destan leaned forward a bit, looking over her shoulder. “Something is up ahead.”

Her stomach clenched as a bright red light shone before them. 

Before she could utter a sound, a blast of red light and embers were shot from the darkness and directly toward them.

Scarlett swerved, eluding the blast just in time. Nonetheless, the heat of the blast still managed to pulse against the side of Elise’s face, and her stomach lurched from the sudden shifts in direction.

“Hold on,” Destan said through clenched teeth, and held Scarlett’s reigns tighter in his fists. His knuckles were white from the strain, his abdomen tight against her back as she tried to hold onto the pommel of the dragon’s saddle. 

What was just calm and quiet merely seconds ago became absolute chaos.

They flew through the clouds, dodging whatever was attacking them.

“What is happening?” Olicia shouted over the roar of flames that chased them nearly as fast as Scarlett could fly.

Elise didn’t know what to say, or what to do. She could barely hold on as they weaved through flames, smoke, and puffs of clouds across the dark night sky. She struggled to keep her eyes open and catch a glimpse of who or what attacked them as the wind blew into her face.

Then—she saw it—she saw who attacked them, and her heart sank into her stomach.

Her heart broke, and her jaw dropped.

A swirl of red light emerged before them—iridescent in the darkness—and in the center emerged someone she never imagined to betray her.

Before her hovered a beautiful woman in all black, with red hair, and eyes aglow as their gazes met.

Elise spoke her cousin’s name and heard her voice crack. “Nevah?”

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