It was all Adara did.
It was all she ever knew.
Adara Kerslake has kept her identity a secret from the Cynn Cruors for as long as she can remember. When Cynn Cruor warrior, Luke Griffiths, comes hurtling into her life, she flounders. Afraid of dealing with the Cynn Cruors and the man who captured her heart, she leaves, burning bridges in the process. Until a loved one forces her to rebuild those links that brings her back into the world she fought so hard to escape from.
And to the warrior whose passion haunts her every sleeping and waking moment.
Luke goes into a spiral after Adara leaves and it is only by the strength and love of his Cynn Cruor brethren and their women that keeps him from tripping into insanity. To forget her, he prepares to leave for the Ancients’ Faesten in Anglesey on a mission that can lead to his death and the banishment of the Manchester Cynn Cruors if he isn’t careful. When Adara returns, the last thing Luke wants is to get involved again. But he can’t stay away. What’s more, someone in the Ancients’ Faesten in Anglesey knows who she is and is out to get her.
Two missions merge to one. A desire to know the truth becomes entangled with the desire that never waned between Adara and Luke.
Until a spectre from Adara’s past threatens them both…and brings in a new enemy for the Cynn Cruors.
Roarke broke away from the group and sauntered to the railway car. A bruise was starting to colour the left side of his jaw and his right eye. But it was just like the Kinaré to make those bruises disappear in twenty-four hours, tops.
“Adara.” He greeted. There was no animosity but neither was he friendly.
“Glad you’re none the worse for wear,” he said, sitting on one of the benches. He gave her a once over that made her as uncomfortable when she faced the assiz courts right after the people she had helped were quick to accuse her of witchcraft. Back then, she was never burned at the stake because she could easily erase her detractors’ memories.
It wouldn’t work now.
“I’m sorry for the deaths of the Cynn mortals.”
“Thank you. They knew what could happen and they did it anyway. Courage ranks high.
I’ll have to break it to their families.” Roarke clenched his jaw, his silver blue eyes filled with sorrow. “Thank you for saving Luke’s life. That means a lot to us. To me.”
“You’re welcome.” Her heart thudded inside her ribcage. “But I need a favour in return.”
Roarke’s brow rose, the smile on his mouth didn’t reach his eyes. “Tit for tat.”
“My way of surviving,” Adara replied, swallowing against the bitter pill she’d prescribed for herself. Roarke probed her mind but she pushed it back with a foot thick wall around herself. Irritation and admiration flitted through Roarke’s darkening gaze before he grunted.
“What do you want?”
“I need the Cynn Cruors’ help for saving Luke.”
His eyes narrowed at her request. A blast of authority came off him, making him look bigger, more ominous.
Apprehension skittered down Adara’s spine and she had to stop herself from fidgeting.
Now she understood why Roarke Hamilton was Dux.
“That’s a high price to pay.”
“Not really when you think of an immortal’s life saved.” She loosened her limbs, crossed her arms over her chest, and leaned her shoulder on the side of the car more to keep her from falling than to portray an I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude. “The warriors are dwindling and not very many have opted to raise a family with the Cruor Wars still raging. I’d say Luke is highly valuable.”
Roarke’s face hardened.
“Didn’t peg you to be a mercenary to use the life of a warrior who would have readily laid the world at your feet.”
Her heart plummeted and her body warmed at the same time.
“I didn’t ask him to be anything.”
“But he wanted to be.” Roarke said quietly.
Every word Roarke uttered sank the corkscrew deeper into her heart.