Published: November 4th 2021
Joshua’s eyes went to the flames. I waited in silence, wishing I could read his thoughts. He did this often. Was he sifting through versions of the future, or simply deciding whether to trust me?
I hoped it wasn’t a trust issue. I’d come to trust him with all my heart, and I needed him to reciprocate. My choices weren’t always wise, but they were made with good intentions. If I’d known Kane would pay for this one, I would have chosen differently.And I wouldn’t have fallen for Reece. He’d have been dismissed—removed from my path, away from the position of influence that had connected us so deeply. He wouldn’t have sat by my bed and held my hand, or risked his life in a no-holds-barred spar. He wouldn’t be my dark knight.
The tiger wouldn’t have linked our hearts.
Coming out of his reverie, Joshua turned his gaze back to me. “I cannot reveal anything to you, other than what you’re doing will have beneficial results.”
I sucked in my breath. “You mean, I’ll save—”
“I mean that there will be beneficial results. That is all I’m willing to give you. The rest will unfold as it needs to.”
“Great. Thanks a lot.” A harsh, stubborn sigh blew past my lips. “Has anyone ever told you that you’re a wee bit stingy with information?”
“Many, many times.” His smile—a wide curve of full, generous lips rimmed in blond stubble—was both gracious and heart-stopping. It took my breath away. If I believed him, he’d been smiling like that for nearly two thousand years.
“There’s so much you won’t tell me,” I said wistfully.
“It’s for your own good, little one.”
“Well, what can you tell me? Anything good at all? About my life, or what I’m doing? It feels like I’m flying blind most of the time, and I don’t know—”
Joshua pressed his finger to my lips, stopping me. “You’re not flying blind. I am here to guide you, and this skillset, this . . . tiogair of yours is beyond anything I have ever witnessed.”
His voice was so thoughtful, so full of sincerity, that I held my breath. The tiger pricked up her ears, and we listened in avid silence.
“You are a culmination of events, Willow. There aren’t words in your language to properly explain, but I will try. The world you live in goes through cycles. All is connected by space and time. Who you are is a result of many things coming together.”
Intrigued, I waited for him to go on.
“Some of those things, I am responsible for.” His hand went up as I opened my mouth. “No, don’t ask about it, because I cannot tell you. The mystery will unravel itself in time. Just understand that this is why I’m here. Now.” He smiled. “By your side.”
“Because I’m a Level Four prodigy?”
“More than that.”
“Because . . . I have a genesis skill?”
“More than that, as well.”
His green eyes glittered with something I couldn’t quite put into words. It wasn’t Reece’s fathomless glance, or the compassionate way Fenn often looked me. Even Toby’s trance didn’t compare. It was as if he saw me in a way no one else ever could.
“What am I?” I whispered.
Joshua leaned forward, and when he spoke, the words fell from his lips like soft, sweet music. “The perfect storm.”
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