AN: HELLO! All my lovies! How I have missed you! *bows* My deepest apologies for being away so very, very long from this story. I hope you all understand *hugs* And let me tell you, you know you've been away too long when you have to go back and look up what deity/entities your characters curse to. Hahaha!

~ Of Resolve ~

Several hours later, while Cephal and Blue slept on beneath Xiorrel's and Dredlit's watchful gazes, Serae`al paced at the mouth of the cavern, frustrated by the fact that Rivak still wasn't back from wherever he'd gone off to. Sure Serae`al been hurtful, but Rivak couldn't have left because of it, could he? No, he wouldn't be that stupid. If he was going to leave, he'd at least take provisions to keep himself alive: there was nothing missing from the cavern. And even more so, Rivak would have at least told Serae`al off before leaving. Or maybe not. When he'd been jealous over Sylass, he just… sorta walked away.

Spirits damn him.

With a rapidly souring stomach, Serae`al dragged his fingers through his hair, trying to focus on Master Xiorrel's advice. He turned his eyes towards the setting sun. How could he keep his mind clear? How was he supposed to center himself and try and commune with the demon within? He knew that if he didn't keep careful check on himself, he would begin 'broadcasting' again and after seeing what such a bleed looked like, it made sense that the demcas could be spotted so easily. Now, knowing what it was, Serae`al would probably sense a similar bleed from miles away. He shuddered. That was for later, for now, Serae`al had potentially driven off his lover because he lacked the presence of mind to offer a little understanding. He needed to understand as much as he could.

Serae`al leaned against the edge of the cavern's mouth and looked out over the steadily setting sun as he tried to calm and center himself. Falling to distraction would help nothing. He just needed to focus. Even as he turned back to force himself to sit down, a large black bundle hurdled through the shadows to slam against his chest. Serae`al stumbled, losing his balance. Finding himself on his back, he looked up at a squirming weight on his chest—one that made it rather difficult to breathe.

:Love, love it, it! Chase, chase!: Razor chirred, shook his wings, and shoved off Serae`al's stomach. An arm's length away, he spun and his entire body shook as he hunched down prepared to run when the human finally gave chase.

It was so adorable that Serae`al couldn't even be irritated with the unceremonious tackle or the ache in his hip. He pushed himself up and rubbed his back. "Razor, sweetie, I don't have much time to play right now."

Rain hopped over in short little bursts using her half-feathered wings for balance and speed. She spilled into his lap and nibbled on his shoulder. :Love, love no time, time not play, play.:

That was when Air came bounding over and jumped on Razor's back, their infant screaming just barely beginning to hint at adult rumbles.

Serae`al considered her words and the little dragonets' excitement. They were all so sweet. He stroked Rain's head as she cooed to him. "Baby girl, something tells me you're already at as smart as your parents." He leaned forward to kiss the top of her head. "Rain, you play with Razor and Air. I have to find Rivak."

:Play, play then?:

"I'll try." He slid her from his lap and clambered to his feet while dusting off his butt. He glanced to the back of the cavern where his mother and Xiorrel sat near the ever-burning fire Rivak had made for Serae`al; Rivak had finally divulged he'd made it to comfort Serae`al since the cavern seemed to be so disheartening for him. The old man and the woman were having something of a heated, albeit quiet, debate, which mostly consisted of Xiorrel giving smiling answers to his mother's pointed, and potentially rude, questions about his loyalties, his personal doctrine, and his training while she cuddled little Zenith. The phoenix chick obviously enjoyed the attention, all but rolling on its back and flopping bonelessly against the woman while it made little noises of satisfaction. Every now and then both their gazes would turn to the sleeping boy and the azure dragonet; they would both fall silent for a while before returning to their discussion.

Serae`al sighed when the setting sunlight hit his face. He grinned when he saw Sylass and Sun weaving through the air in a beautiful aerial dance. Every now and then, fire wreathed around them; their resonant calls echoing back from the mountains, and for a moment, Serae`al wondered what these mountains would have been like as home to many of their kind.

With a shake of his head, Serae`al turned to travel down the path. If Rivak wasn't in the cavern, he must be down the mountain. Serae`al ignored what sounded to be an amused snort from the red dragon curled above the cavern.

As he walked, he again felt that impervious sense of loneliness that had gripped him when he'd stood outside of the cavern after returning for the first time, waiting for Rivak to emerge again and 'rescue' him. The further he walked, the greater the weight on his chest grew; his memories of the time immediately after Rivak's death—he didn't want to return to that darkness.

The strange sound of running water brought him to an immediate halt. Serae`al glanced around, brow furrowed. There were no streams or brooks this high up the mountain—getting water was an all-day endeavor for Rivak—and for Serae`al once Xiorrel taught him how to properly mask.

Serae`al veered off the path, ambling over boulders and around scrubby little bushes and gnarled trees as he climbed the small ridge in search of the sound. By the time he crested the highest stone, the sun touched the horizon, washing the mountains with gold and red.

His jaw dropped. The vines and flowers were just like in valley where he'd met up with Sylass and Sun and their brood. This little vale was smaller, and in the center, a wide pool bubbled up, spilling over the rocks to snake its way out of sight down the mountains. A soft breeze washed over the rocks to make the vines dance and sway—those especially around a solitary figure seated near the pool.

Serae`al swallowed hard and crept down, his clumsiness gaining Rivak's golden eyes, nearly glowing in the fading light. Serae`al sat down beside him, for a moment, saying nothing, merely watching this strange water flowing.

Rivak jutted his chin towards the pool, reflecting rock and burning sky. "I figure it's been here about a week. Guess Sylass was right."


"Didn't he say something about waters returning?"

Serae`al nodded. "He did."

"Smart bird."

Silence settled again, but unlike usual when Rivak and Serae`al had little to say in the other's company, this silence was uncomfortable and heavy. Serae`al slid his hand towards Rivak's, his finger barely brushing the warm skin. His heart dropped when the hand pulled away. "You're angry with me."

"Not particularly."

Despite his words, Rivak stood up to move away entirely when Serae`al touched his arm.

Serae`al winced. "Rivak…"

Rivak shook his head and stood up. "Serae`al, I'm not angry."

"You just can't bear to let me touch you?"

"Serae`al, it's not that simple."

"It's not?"


"Explain it then?" It might have sounded like a command—and it wasn't that far out of the range of Serae`al's typical demands, and yet, he kept his voice soft—almost pleading.

Rivak said nothing.

"Is it because of Yrvin?" There. There was the question he feared and yet he had to know the answer to. If Rivak wasn't angry because of Serae`al's reaction… then maybe…

"In a way, I suppose."

Serae`al's eyes closed, and he swallowed hard, trying to keep from tearing up.

"Don't misunderstand," Rivak sighed after a long enough pause that Serae`al managed to do just that. "Right now, he's on my mind, and I can't help it—hearing that he's dead… it's difficult. I don't want him on my mind when you touch me."

Serae`al lifted his head to look at Rivak's back. For a moment, Serae`al studied him—his squared shoulders, the solid line of his jaw, and that crimson hair—all colored warmly by the setting sun. In that moment, to hear Rivak's reasoning, 'relief' was a terribly feeble word.

Serae`al stood and approached, wanting to touch Rivak's back, wanting to throw his arms around him. "You're blocking me out?" It was the only explanation for why Rivak might be able to think of Yrars right now given the way Serae`al was feeling about his lover.

"Yeah. I thought a lot about what you said that day. I do respect you, and you do have a right to privacy. I've been practicing keeping my mind to myself. I've been doing better."

"That's not all," Serae`al guessed.

Rivak chuckled, but there was no humor in it. He hung his head and raked his fingers through his hair. "I felt… the betrayal just before you left. I imagine the hurt if you betrayed me would actually be less painful."

Serae`al smiled and slowly slid his arms around Rivak's waist and pressed his forehead between his lover's shoulder blades, which had instantly tensed upon his touch. He didn't want things like this to come between them. After walking down the mountain, remembering what it was like to not have Rivak at all, he didn't want to be alone now; he didn't want Rivak to be alone now. "Look at me again."

He hoped Rivak took him up on his whispered request, because if he did, the tall Kelmarine would see Serae`al's ache for him, his terrible yearning that lingered from when death's massive doors had stood between them, the powerful relief now touching every part of his mind because Rivak was breathing here in his arms, and the balm of understanding and apology that had replaced the selfish sense of betrayal. He knew Rivak was hurting—perhaps it was because Yrvin died while they were still lost in a silent war, perhaps because he still loved the youth Yrvin once was, or perhaps because Rivak felt guilty because of this sadness for Serae`al's sake. Whatever the reason, Serae`al's lover was in pain, and Serae`al wanted, needed, to make it right.

It took a moment, but Rivak's muscles slowly relaxed as Serae`al pressed against them and stroked his chest and abdomen. Rivak covered Serae`al's hands with his own and the smile was in his soft voice. "You're horny."

"You always have had a way with words," Serae`al chuckled. "But yes… I do want you right now." He stood on his toes to kiss the back of Rivak's neck. "You want me too, don't you?"

Rivak laughed. "I'm not so certain." His voice however had taken on that desiring pitch.

Serae`al smiled, and his hand slid lower in tender exploration. "This says otherwise." Without waiting for response, Serae`al slid around to face Rivak; he smiled before pulling Rivak's head down to meet his lips.

When they broke apart, Serae`al place a seductive kiss against Rivak's chin. "Lie down," he whispered.

Rivak arched an eyebrow. "Really?"

"Yes, really." Serae`al swung his hips and wrapped himself strongly around Rivak to nip at his neck. "I thought we'd try something a little different. Lie down."

Rivak beamed like a child granted his first pony and trap. "As you command, my love." He sounded like an excited child as well.

Serae`al grinned as he started disrobing his now-reclining lover, kissing him wherever he could, worshiping his skin: soft here, rough there, scarred in this crease, freckled near that joint, warm everywhere, prominent veins on his arms and hands.

"I'm reminding you of a child right now?" Rivak prompted as he dug his fingers into Serae`al's hair.

Serae`al chuckled, straddling Rivak's upper thighs. "Your responses seem wonderfully childlike," he whispered, lowering his chin. He stretched himself over his lover and kissed his way down his sternum. His smile turned seductive as he traced the evidence of Rivak's desire. "Here you're all man, and all mine."

Serae`al applied the only lubricant they had available to them, reveling in the sounds of pure pleasure Rivak made. After a few minutes of offering integrated pleasure and torture, Serae`al sat back with a triumphant grin.

Rivak's smile became entirely predatory and his voice was thick with insistence. "You're robe… it's blocking my view."

"Not for long." Serae`al slid his outer robe off and smiled warmly. He leaned forward to tuck it beneath Rivak's head before he reached for his sleeveless inner-robe. Grinning, he slowly slipped it open a bit at a time until Rivak could see all of him. As the light faded entirely from the sky, the stars and the moon began to glow in earnest. All around, the vines answered, illuminating the trysting lovers with a dancing yellow light that flickered with every sensual motion.

Rivak's loving eyes and yearning smile told Serae`al all he needed to know. "Ah, ah, ah," he chided, pushing Rivak's shoulders back down. "Tonight…" He lifted himself, lowered his voice, and leaned over his lover, "…you're screaming for me."

Rivak grinned and slid his hands up Serae`al's knees. "Yes sir."

Serae`al kissed Rivak once and pulled back with a hungry smile. "You make me hot."

"I can tell." Rivak's hands drifted encouragingly inwards. "You aren't going to make me wait, are you, sexy?"


And he didn't. Rather, Serae`al carefully, deliberately ushered them both to the edge of sensing. A few times he pulled them back then drew them forward again, teasing, extending. At last, when he knew both he and Rivak were nearly spent and far beyond 'ready', he gathered his energy and pushed Rivak right over the cliff of bliss. Serae`al threw his head back and cried out when he tumbled after him, his moans echoing back to them, his sweat, and his pleasure all part of his wordless praise to the stars and the spirits—and to Rivak.

As the waves of pleasure and heat from their ardent coupling began to fade, Serae`al panted, shaking as he leaned heavily against Rivak's chest. His skin burned where Rivak's awed touch grazed his flushed skin, and he could feel Rivak's rapid, steady heartbeat beneath his palms. "That was different than in a cave."

Rivak's soft chuckle was music. "Every time with you is different."

Serae`al opened his eyes to find himself enslaved in the adoration radiating from that golden gaze staring up at him. Rivak's smile was so pure and artless that Serae`al couldn't breathe and instant tears leapt to his eyes.

All at once Rivak was more than 'just' Rivak. His face was that of the men and women who would find unjust death should the war trumpets sound. He was the very life and breath of the nations that Serae`al loved, and in that moment, Rivak and their bond embodied the passion, the fragility, and the right to live of not only every citizen of Serae`al's spawning nations, but of the very world—a world he knew would be deeply scarred by another needless war.

It was all too much; the memory of losing Rivak, and the bleakness in Serae`al's chest that would have remained, the fullness that now overflowed in his heart, the craving, the power, and the strength of their very existence—Serae`al was drowning in it. He arched forward, shoulders shaking as he quietly cried against his lover's steady chest.

For some time, Rivak let him weep; his quiet touches and their shared heat and breaths speaking words that the world itself seemed to have forgotten. Love. Love was the true and only salvation.

At last, Rivak tilted Serae`al's head back, smiled, and laid a gentle kiss, like an offering at an altar, upon Serae`al's lips—Rivak's breath and spirit caressing his lover with tender regard. "Surely I couldn't have been that bad."

Serae`al laughed with his whole heart, and crushed his lips against Rivak's. I love you.

When Serae`al finally let Rivak up for air, Rivak laughed, piercing Serae`al with his burning gaze. When he spoke, his voice was soft and held only affection and devotion. "I know you do." His pushed some of Serae`al's stray hair back behind his ear.

Serae`al smiled and rested against Rivak's chest, feeling him breathing and sensing his heart beating. Serae`al's eyes closed, and he heaved a sigh. He knew more than ever before: Rivak was his strength and was more and more becoming the very core of Serae`al's life.

Sometime later—Serae`al had no idea how much time—he stirred, beginning to pull out of sleep. He knew something was 'off' but that it wasn't necessarily a bad thing. He groaned and gravitated even closer to the warmth he sensed pressed up against him. Slowly, he became more aware of his surroundings and hazy memories of warmth and comfort and love flooded him.

A soft chuckle and a gentle shaking forced Serae`al the remaining way towards 'waking'; he frown as he tilted his head back to meet the golden eyes, looking at him in amusement.

Rivak push the dark hair out of Serae`al's face. "Your expressions are most amusing when you're trying to not wake up."

Serae`al attempted to show only a disgruntled expression but he felt the smile creeping over his features. He sighed, dropped his head against Rivak's chest again, and moaned as he stretched his back. Stars, he did so love that subtle ache. His smile widened when he noted the intermittent small fires burning in a ring around them staving off the desert night's chill. "Is it hard to make those burn?"

Rivak stroked down Serae`al's back. "Not once they're started. It was a little challenging to get them started up without waking you."

Serae`al pushed himself upwards and curled his arm beneath his chin as he looked over his lover. "I appreciate them… and you."

Rivak grinned and he pinched Serae`al's butt making him flinch and actually squeak. Rivak laughed and sat up a little to kiss Serae`al's forehead. "I know. Since you are awake, how about a quick swim to clean up?"

Serae`al didn't really care to move, but now that Rivak brought it up, he was starting to feel a little gross. "Damn you," he mumbled. "I could have ignored it."

Rivak chuckled and rolled Serae`al to his back and leaned over him to press a transient kiss on his nose. "All the more reason for me to point it out." He pinched Serae`al's hip this time and pulled away. "Come on."

Eventually, Serae`al dragged himself upright and joined his lover in the little stream-fed pool. He hissed at the sudden chill. "How can it be this cold in the desert?"

"Because the water is coming up from deep underground?" Rivak laughed at him. "Some desert child you are."

"Jerk." Serae`al wrinkled his nose and shook his head as he scooped water up over his shoulders and back. Goosebumps rose on his skin and he gave a little shiver, but he couldn't suppress his smile.

Rivak grinned. "You know, this sorta reminds me of the first time we met."

Serae`al glanced at him. "What about this reminds you of detention?"

Rivak laughed and waded through the water to face Serae`al and tilted the shorter man's head back. His hands rested on either side of Serae`al's neck. "I already told you that we didn't meet in detention—and that by then I'd already fallen in love with you."

Serae`al's brows furrowed. "Oh…" He did remember that conversation. He'd sorta assumed when it didn't come up again that Rivak had been pulling his leg at the time. "When did we meet?"

Rivak chuckled and leaned in to nuzzle Serae`al's ear. "School had just started, and I kept hearing rumors about this young foreigner who'd recently enrolled. People said he was an arrogant prick, but that he was a pretty little thing. I remember there was a wager regarding who would be the first to… ahem… nail him."

Serae`al scowled; yeah, he remembered hearing about that too, but Rivak wasn't finished.

"I personally thought that Kalrin would win—she's aggressive when she wants something."

Serae`al's scowl deepened in a flush. He didn't particularly like hearing confirmation about how he was the subject of a rather vulgar stakes-game. "Is there a story in there somewhere about how we met?"

Rivak grinned. "I didn't really pay much attention to the matter, but one night, it took me longer than normal to clean and re-sand the dragons' stalls, so I was really late to the bathing chamber. There in the corner, rinsing blood from his hair and face, was this slender, sexy boy with long dark hair and the biggest, most-intense love-me-eyes you'd ever want to see… the right eye was bruising. I had to go an opened my big mouth." Rivak's head tilted to the side, and his eyebrow arched as if inviting Serae`al to consider when it might have been.

For a moment, Serae`al couldn't think of anything; that particular task was not uncommon during his early months in Kelmarin. Serae`al's eyes widened. "You asked him if he knew how kissable his lips looked."

Rivak chuckled and pulled back to brush his lips over Serae`al's. "And then he walked right over and decked me. And when I finally sat up, with ringing ears and a bloody nose, I was head over heels."

Serae`al's face burn; at the time it had seemed the most reasonable thing in the world to do—it seemed a touch embarrassing now. He was rather shocked he hadn't made the connection before. He remembered the arrogant asshole that had come into the bathroom to mock him at the end of day filled with cutting barbs and physical hostility. Perhaps it was the tears in his eyes, and the swelling of his face at the time that had obscured Rivak's features from his memories. He sent a quick prayer of thanks to the stars and spirits that it had. "You fell in love with that?"

"Are you kidding?" Rivak smirked, his eyes darkening as he winked. "It was the hottest thing I'd encountered in a long time. I mean, yeah it hurt and I'd rather you don't ever hit me again, but while I was serious about your lips, I don't think I would have become quite as enamored if I hadn't seen that you were a spitfire without a shred of fear; I had no need for a spineless pretty boy."

Serae`al rolled his eyes but smiled anyway. "You're terrible."

"I have a feeling I wasn't the only terrible one in that situation." Rivak winked at him.

Serae`al frowned with a sigh. "It was a… bad day."

"I recognized that, but you have to admit we've both grown up a little since then. And when I heard you playing that harp of yours for the first time? There was no hope for me after that. I can't even tell you how relieved I was when you didn't recognize me when you stormed into detention."

Serae`al flushed around a smile. He had to admit there had been what felt like mountainous change in what felt like such a short amount of time. On the other hand, all that seemed so far away—a lifetime ago or more. He remembered how completely wrapped up in his own pain and misery he'd been, and how that colored his interactions with everyone around him. He shivered at how myopic he'd been. Sometimes he wondered if he'd bothered to look past his insecurities if he'd seen that even those he felt bullied him without reason were merely acting on their own fears and pain, related to him or not. He sighed. "I guess I was a little quicker to act on my anger before—among other things."

Remembering such things served as a contrast to his current state. He couldn't help feeling like he was missing something, like perhaps there was something he was supposed to be doing. His brow furrowed as the thoughts and sensations from the previous night returned to him—and the thoughts of war and poor little Cephal and everything that boy represented.

Rivak slid his arms around Serae`al from behind, summoning a little smile. The Kelmarin nuzzled Serae`al's ear. For a moment, Rivak held his lover in silence. At length, "What's wrong, Serae`al?"

Serae`al frowned, leaning into the touch though his expression did soften at the easy, perfect way Rivak still said his name—the way Rivak treated him. "I'm just thinking about everything… about you and me…" He pressed his lips together. "I can't stop thinking about how if Ellnavin and Kelmarin go to war… how many people will not have the chances we've had, how much so many will lose." He closed his eyes and shook his head. "Rivak, we… it can't happen."

Rivak sighed, his fingertips stroking down Serae`al's abdomen. "I'm not sure there's anything that can stop it."

Serae`al's frown turned into a dissatisfied-scowl. He swallowed and took a deep breath as he felt something stirring deep inside him—it was like ancient cogs, long worn and lodged immobile, refusing to remain idle any longer as they lurched to life. His fingers tightened around Rivak's forearms. "There's one thing that might work."

Rivak didn't say anything for a long while, making Serae`al wonder if he'd skipped asking what it was and delved directly through Serae`al's thoughts. At length, Rivak sighed. "I don't really want to know, do I?"

Serae`al squared his shoulders and turned around to meet Rivak's gaze. "I'm going to the Kelmarine King."

Rivak's eyes held something between begrudging pride and anxious affection. "I was afraid of that." He shook his head and cupped Serae`al's face before he leaned forward to press a chase, affectionate kiss against his lips. "The King is not known for… tolerance of ideas and opinions he does not care for. It could be dangerous."

Serae`al nodded. "It could be."

Rivak gave a sigh, that single breath conveying more emotions than Serae`al could hope to sort through and interpret. "Well, I guess if you really think you can make a difference…"

"You don't think that I can?"

"It's not…" Rivak frowned and shrugged a little. A smile teased the corner of his lips. "I'd imagine if anyone could it would be you."

"But?" Serae`al prompted

"But I'm too selfish to even want to let you try."

Serae`al arched an eyebrow playfully and tilted his head in mock defiance. "Let me try?"

Rivak chuckled and leaned forward to kiss his nose. "I didn't say I was going to try and stop you."

Serae`al shook his head with a slight smile as Rivak enfolded him. Slowly the two began to sway to a melody that only the lovers could hear. At length, Rivak sighed and stroked down Serae`al's back before whispering: "Would you?"

Serae`al tilted his head back. "Huh?"

Rivak's phoenix-golden eyes bore through to Serae`al's soul. "If I asked you not to go, if I really asked, said I didn't want you to go… would you go anyway?"

Serae`al frowned, lowering his eyes, unable to meet Rivak's gaze as he considered the real question: did Rivak's desires, happiness, and wishes mean more than Serae`al's vague hope that even he recognized was a long shot in the dark? He looked up to meet those golden eyes. He touched Rivak's cheek. "You wouldn't put me in that position."

"That's not an answer to my question."

Serae`al rested his forehead against the center of Rivak's sternum. "I love you too much to let you change my mind," he murmured with a frown. It was because Rivak meant so much to him, because he knew what war would do to both their peoples. Serae`al sighed when Rivak's hands tightened. "You don't want me to go, do you?"

"I lost you to my own idiocy once. I don't want to lose you to a pig-headed king."

He may not be able to let Rivak dissuade him, but that didn't mean that Rivak couldn't make sticking to his decision damned hard. "Riva—"

"I know you feel like you have to do this. And Sun already told me she thought you'd be going back to Kelmarin soon."

Serae`al jerked back to look at Rivak. "She did?"

Rivak nodded. "So as much as I want to make you pick me over what you think is right, I won't ask you to." His grin turned mischievous but there was a sad undertone. "I'll even tell you now that if you change your mind, I'll always look at you as a weak coward."

Serae`al laughed. "No you wouldn't."

Rivak embraced him. "I guess we'll never find out. But I will always be there for you."

"I know." Serae`al grinned when he intentionally used one of Rivak's favored 'lines'.

Rivak chuckled and pulled back to stroke through Serae`al's hair. "Do you know how kissable your lips look?"

Serae`al linked his arms about Rivak's neck to whisper in his ear. "Why don't you show me?" As Rivak did just that, Serae`al knew. Whatever happened, good or bad, whatever obstacles stood in the way, and whatever paths their respective lives took, they would face those things together, even if physically separated, because in the end, Rivak was now a part of Serae`al's soul and Serae`al, Rivak's.

} • {

Elsewhere, a man sat beside a crackling fire as the last traces of light faded from the western sky. His eyes pinned westward behind closed lids while he held a smooth stone to his ear. A small resonating hum vibrated the stone and changed pitches every now and again as he slowly shifted his eyes behind their lids.

When the stone hit a certain pitch and remained there, a hungry grin tilted the edges of his lips. "There you are, little demca." He opened dark eyes, noted the position of the stars in the sky and the direction he'd been concentrating. Whistling a light air, he leaned over and started marking the direction on the map, bearing down upon the Royal Edict from the Kelmarine King. He grinned, looking down on the bold black line that would lead to his prey and held the guiding stone a little firmer.

The demca may have been hiding for a while, but now his subtle resonance was clear again. He couldn't disappear a second time.

End Book One
From the Ashes: Pyre

AN2: So that concludes From the Ashes: Pyre. I'll post a little note chapter when I begin posting the second book, From the Ashes: Rebirth. I hope to see you all again there! *blows kiss* See that little button below? Click it and tell me what you thought thus far. Toodles!