Paranormal Romance. HEA, No Cheating! Adult situations. This book contains the story for how the kingdom of devils, Blar Elding, in the Leaindeail came to be. It is a piece of the prophecy known as the Unlikely Kings and offers the reader a glimpse into the dream in which the kingdom of Draoithe will eventually rise. This is a stand alone read set in the same world as the Draoithe Series offering a side story and includes some deleted scenes from the cutting room floor dealing with events alluded to in the first four books of the series. So it is a Forbye, a book in addition to the series. Synner and Sainte is a full length novel in its own right at about 70,000 words but over 15,000 words of added bonus material is also included. Who doesn’t like free extra stuff? Merry Christmas!
His mother was dying. She had lived far longer than most humans ever managed. She had lived for over three centuries. It was too hard to watch her suffering. But he had always been the dutiful son. She had always loved him unconditionally. She alone understood what he was. She was the only person in the dream that he did not need to hide from.
The wasting illness had shrunk the robust woman she had been into a frail tiny amount of skin and bones. She was ancient by human standards, but still, she was his mother. He had offered to turn her immortal long ago. She had always refused. Amelia Sainte had loved a devil from the Dorcha, but Daniel Leiriu had been lost to the Chaos and would never be hers. She would not stay and suffer that.
She had been the one to teach him that family was the most important thing in the dream. But he had to let her go. That meant that his small family was shrinking. He had wanted to build it up, not watch it dwindle away. All the money he had earned and all the wealth he owned would not buy him love, home, hearth, or family. That was what a man needed most.
He had been content with his life until he was faced with her imminent departure. What was he to do without her guidance? He could not show her that weakness. Not now. She needed him to be strong so she could cross over to the underworld and rest.
“Mother, please, before you leave me, tell me again about my father.” He asked her to speak with him about something easy instead.
There was little comfort that he could offer her. But she had loved his father her whole life. It had made her happy to reminisce about him. He had never met the man, but he felt as if he knew him. Markus was sure that Daniel would be part of his family if he ever found him and he could be healed. He sat by the bedside holding her small hand in his. The room was shadowed in the dark of the night. But she was awake.
His mother smiled at her memories. Her old face was wrinkled and care lined, but it had been a comfort to him his whole life. She had helped him learn everything he knew and had made sure all of his magic worked. She had told him stories and held his hand as a child. She had sacrificed to see him trained in the sword and staff. She had found a shaman to teach him the Druid magic. Amelia Sainte had helped him practice with Chaos.
He would face eternity without her soon. He wished to see her smile again before her soul crossed the River Styx. Humans believed in a heaven and hell with the new faith in Christianity, but the old truth of Hades was what his mother believed. It was all she would allow. That version allowed her soul a chance to return and seek her devil once more. And although he held no grudge against a father he had never known, he did wish to know about him. Perhaps some day he would meet him, and the hole in his family could be filled.
“I was young and pretty once, you know, Markus.” She whisper laughed. Markus smiled.
She was not lying. She had been a beautiful woman. Wild red hair, bright emerald green eyes, and pale white skin with a smattering of freckles across her nose and upper cheeks. Men had looked at his mother often with desire. She held them all at arm’s length. A few she had been close friends with, but never had she taken a lover that Markus knew it. She preferred the memory of Daniel Leiriu, a red horned devil from the Dorcha.
“Danny Leiriu, your father, was darkly handsome, and charming. He looked a lot like you, but where you are midnight blue and black, he was red and charcoal grey. No one I had ever met was as exotically alluring to me as that man was. He was a master illusionist, but I saw the man beneath the glimmer. We met in early November. It was a very cold winter. The first snow had already flown when he stumbled blindly into my cave seeking the dark.”
“He liked the dark like I do.” Marcus smiled at her again.
He too had become rather adept at using his glamour abilities. The illusion had saved his ass a few times. He also preferred the dark, but he had been born in the Leaindeail. So long as he remained clean, it was merely a preference. His father was tainted. The dark had become a need like a wasting addiction.
She nodded her agreement as a ghostly movement of her head and closed her eyes. But she was happy to remember. She had loved his father with the kind of love a man only ever found in a woman once. Daniel Leiriu had been sick and unable to return that to Amelia Sainte as he should have. That was what made him leave her.
“It was because he was from the Dorcha, a place nicknamed ‘the blackest black’ that he needed the dark. He could see even if there was no light at all. He was a devil, a prince of the House of Leiriu. But he renounced his crown and had chosen the life of a knight instead.” She paused in telling her tale thinking over the words her lover had relayed to her so long ago. They were her cherished memories.
“The crown he left to his older brother. Lucifer, the devil that Christians call the evil one and the father of lies, was only a man like other immortal men. I doubt he was a liar. He was from the Netherworld. Denizens of that realm prefer to remain clean.” She paused in her tale having wandered off track. It was a testament to her failing body that she lost the tale and was side tracked so easily. But she returned to the story as Markus had asked. He would miss her stories when she crossed over.
“Daniel Leiriu, however, was a knight and had a devil warhorse, Lysander Chevalier, as a linked partner. Lysander commanded the midnight flame. Daniel held the Chaos magic you hold. But he had been born touching it and made mistakes with a woman. The magic turned against him corrupting him. It is why you must stay clean.”
She coughed and fell silent a moment. Markus waited patiently. He was still clean. He would heed the warning. He had no desire to lose his mind. He understood the temptation, but there were ways to avoid being tainted. He still chose not to lie. Then she told him something she had never told him.
“He was trapped here, Markus. He needed his partner to trade control of the magics to stay in the Leaindeail. His magic worked in mirror reverse here. You are lucky to have been born here. Stay in the Leaindeail if you can. It is safer here, but if you must travel to another level of the dream, you will need a warhorse.” She admonished her son to keep his permanent residence in the middle of the dream. He would follow her advice. It had never failed him.
“Your father could no longer go home. He was locked out of the Dorcha. It was sealed. Lysander was locked inside. The magic tormented Daniel. Without his partner to hold his magic, the sun of this realm damaged his mind. Chaos ruled him. He needed the dark just to stay sane.” He had never known that his father was trapped or exiled. How? Why? But his mother continued her tale before he could ask.
“I wanted to help him. I loved him. We took comfort from one another that winter. He needed his vixen, but he could not have her. He was no longer clean. I think he cared for me. But he was just so miserably lost. I knew he could not stay with me, but I have no regrets. He avenged me a grievous wrong that was perpetrated against me in my youth before I gained the power I have now. He helped me learn to claim the magic of the dream for myself. He gave me you, and I was blessed. He was a fallen prince, but you are a king.”
She smiled a sad smile then as her eyes slipped closed. Markus did not need to be a king so long as his mother still thought he was a good man. He wished mostly for a family to love so he would no longer be so alone.
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Not who everyone thinks she is.
The product of someone’s imagination.
The end result of a lifetime wishing to get out.
Do not buy the lie.
If you live in fear, you give up freedom.
Taking the risk and making the leap.
Too much of anything is a bad thing.
Innuendo floating on the mist that rises above the water.
Walk away and leave it all behind.
Telling the story that haunts a fantasy.
Catching a dream.
She does not exist.