Rian stopped her horse atop the same plateau on which Bradyn had stood only a few hours before. Kendall was sleeping in her arms. Her gaze traveled across the valley lighted by a dim red horizon. She had no idea what time it was, but she knew that sundown had come too early today. Far too early.
The lights of Laramie glittered in the distance. What would have been a welcoming, heart-warming sight for a wayfaring stranger only filled her heart with dark apprehension. A black aura had begun building a cocoon around the city. It was the presence of evil making itself known. She shuddered and shifted Kendall gently.
Bradyn was down there. He was there in the town. She could sense him. She could see his light. It was a tiny, shining speck of blue against the black.
The auras had come and gone all afternoon until she and Kendall had seen the ravens. After that, the colors had remained. As their journey had progressed, she had begun to feel excitement at the new phenomenon that had captivated her senses. A turbulent knowledge awakened within her. This was all happening for a reason and she knew she had some part to play in whatever dark horror was coming.
Wind and shadow encompassed her. A fierce tremor ran through her body as she sat looking out into the twilight sky. She ran her hand over the dagger strapped to her thigh, its cool hilt filling her with valiant anticipation. A fluid understanding pulsated deep inside her soul. It was ancient and powerful. She didn’t know where the knowledge came from, but she knew a battle lay ahead. A battle of Life and Death. It was fast approaching, and she knew that there was so much more at stake than a few human lives. She didn’t know if the man Bradyn had ridden into town to meet was there, but she felt a presence. An evil presence. She knew it was waiting for them to come.
Her dream from the night before, which now seemed eons in the past, resurfaced in her memory for the thousandth time that day. There are two of them and they are waiting for you Bradyn.
She ran a finger down the length of the dagger. “Please be careful. Please be safe. I love you,” she whispered as she watched his aura twinkle in the darkness below. “I love you.”
The mare blew out a breath and shifted its weight easily underneath them. Kendall slept on, his breathing deep and even. He was so unaware, so untouched by the world around him. Rian sat watching his face with silent awe. She was unwilling to wake him just yet. She didn’t even want to move. A voice inside told her to wait. Tonight she would have to ride into the valley of shadow, but not right now. Her presence would be needed very soon, the voice told her, but not yet. Not yet.