October 2020 note – This story is best read after Dark Illusions, before Dynasty of Moirae. Truthfully it could be read at any time if you don’t mind spoilers. Just a note for those who don’t enjoy spoilers.
December 2015 note – Last night, as I was headed to bed, I happened to have Kat pop in my head. She had a very interesting moment to share with me. From her to me to you, here it is:
Kat was on her way past Julian’s office when the door opened. “Will you come in here for a moment?” He took in the gardening shears she carried before disappearing back into his office.
Kat entered the office as he sat down and closed the door behind her. She laid the shears on the edge of his grand desk and sat across from him with a smile.
“Refreshing the bouquet?” he said, staring at the shears.
She nodded. “I thought pink would be good this time.”
It took Kat many years before the pain of losing her daughter eased, even as little as it did. Every day the anguish remained, but she found keeping a vase of roses from the garden outside, helped. As a reminder, as a symbol who knew. Maybe it was nothing more than the action calmed her. She kept the vase next to the window in her and Julian’s room, refreshing as needed.
A faint smile touched the king’s lips. “That will look nice.” The Queen of the Awakened was not the only one who felt the loss.
“What is it?” She redirected the conversation. His brow furrowed.
“Have you heard from him?”
“Who?” In her mind, the name, Sean, came. She stared through the window next to Julian. Her attention returned to her husband, her King, her sire (partly at least), her lover, her best friend, her soul mate. “No, Julian,” she answered softly, uninterested in invoking his rage. Talk of her former mate and friend didn’t go over well with the king, even now. Better, but not much.
“Not my mate, not my job. We are not close friends anymore. How is Cara?”
“As far as I know, she is well.”
“Will you pair her with another?” Kat adjusted herself in the chair.
“For now, I don’t think I will. Maybe never. She is content with how things are.”
Kat kept to herself that it was because Cara loved Julian deeply. He was a man who could never understand how much depth a woman’s heart reached. It was a place Cara didn’t want anyone else to touch. Kat understood. Without the man sitting in front of her, she would rather be alone.
It wasn’t as if Cara wanted to stay alone and miserable. It was that when another touched you so deep, your heart wasn’t the same. Cara knew she would do another a disservice if she attempted to pair. There was no room in her heart, or life, for another.
They were friends. Near sisters. They shared a love for the most incredible man either of them knew. Julian still cared deeply for Cara, but Kat held his heart. That was a bond that would never break. As far as Kat was concerned, the bond that remained between Cara and Julian was also sacred, simply in a different way. She never came between that, or ever would.
“I am sorry he treated her that way.”
Julian nodded. “Any ideas where he went? Can you sense him?”
Kat stared at the floor. She focused her mind on Sean, cleared all other thoughts. “I feel he lives. Nothing more.”
“You were friends once, there’s nothing else?”
She gave him a soft smile. “Our connection killed that.”
Julian watched her for a long time. She knew he was sorry for making her lose her friend though it wasn’t entirely his fault. Still, he was more than pleased. Without Sean and Kat’s bond, Julian’s rage eased somewhat because as far as he was concerned, he had less reason to worry that Sean would gain her attention again. Goofy king of hers. She loved him terribly.
Julian’s attention drifted to the gardening shears. “I think about her daily.”
“I do as well. Can you feel her?” Kat’s vision blurred beneath the tears. She blinked them back.
“Yes,” he said.
“Me too. As she gets older, it gets stronger.”
He leaned forward in the chair and the leather groaned. Julian settled his arms on the desk. “Have you had other visions of her?”
She wished she had. “No. But I feel a growing concern for Ky and I don’t know where it comes from.”
“We did the right thing.”
Kat stared long and hard at him. “Did we?”
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