Reign (Marko Delacroix #5)(6)

By: Alaska Angelini

“Yes,” Aetas smiled. “I know. Introductions with your fellow rulers. I look forward to watching you squirm in their presence.”

“Tessa doesn’t get intimidated,” Marko snapped. “Besides, she has nothing to fear. I’ll be by her side the entire time.”

“I don’t doubt that for a minute. Marko, tell me,” Aetas asked, curiously. “How do you expect your mate to come into her own if you’re always…hovering?”

“Marko doesn’t hover. And he doesn’t hold me back. We learn from each other. Even though I’m not at headquarters, it doesn’t mean I’m not learning, Aetas.”

A smile stretched across his face, but it wasn’t the nice kind. It had manipulation written all over it. “I’d love to see these lessons between the two of you. Can you show me something right now?”

I glanced back at Marko, unsure. He held as much apprehension as I did.

“Oh, come on. I want to see. After all, you say you want to rule and Marko is by your side. What do the two of you bring to the table as a couple? What makes you more deserving than Hunter?”

He was antagonizing me and I knew it, but I couldn’t resist.

“Hunter will have my gift. That’s a given. But where he’ll have mine, he’ll also have your persuasion. It’s handy in getting what he wants, but with my blood mixed with Marko’s, I bring a lot more in the form of physical power.”

“Show me.” There was challenge in Aetas’ demand and I was confident enough to prove myself to him.

“We haven’t mastered it yet on our own, but together…” I looked back at Marko and he nodded. My palms lifted, cupping as I placed my wrists together to make an arch. Black fog began to surface from my palms, growing until it circled and spun around in the shape of a basketball. Marko’s hand settled on my shoulder and he leaned in until his face was next to mine. When his other hand rose and his finger touched the smoke, orange and blue glowing fire swirled around the contents, heating my palms.

“Fascinating.” Aetas eyes were wide as he stared into the glowing orb. Slowly, his gaze came to mine and I quickly dropped my hand, making it disappear.

“Just stuff like that,” I said, quickly. “We’re still perfecting it.”

Aetas’ stare went from me to Marko. Something indiscernible was within his depths and I longed to know what it was.

“You’ll show me more during my visit. Have you developed your own skills or just the combination of both of your powers?”

I wanted to smile. I’d come so far since the last he’d seen me in action.

Again, my hand rose. The black fog oozed from the tips of my fingers and he gasped as my skin began to fade into nothingness. My hand was disappearing and it was all too easy.

“You’ve become one with your gift … already?”

Heat surged through me and I closed my eyes letting my energy spread throughout the interior of the back of the limo. I knew my form was gone from sight. As I opened myself up to see, all the remained of me was a black haze of smoke. I was nowhere, and yet, everywhere. The hum in the atmosphere tingled over me and I let my power surge. Wine glasses from the bar rattled in the distance and I felt glass from the liquor burst at my power. I quickly drew it in, pulling myself together to sit back on the seat next to Marko. The amazement Aetas held made me proud, but it didn’t last as I became uncomfortable at just how mesmerized he was.

“You’ve succeeded my expectations for such a young age. I thought perhaps this level was possible, but never so soon.”

“I want to rule. I was meant for this.”

He brought his hand to his mouth as he grew quiet. Minutes stretched out as I waited for him to say something. Anything. I could tell he was thinking. That was obvious as he grew dazed.

“Two ties with Marie Bardot, correct?”

I shook my head in my confusion. “No. We have one tie. Why? What does Marie have to do with this?”

“I don’t want you taking in anymore of her blood. Hers will dilute yours. Feed her to get her stronger, if that’s your plan, but do not contaminate yourself anymore. I want to see something. I…” Aetas blinked back his concentration and glanced over. “We will discuss this at another time. We’re arriving.”

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