If Danny was here, then where was Val? Something had to have happened to Val for Danny to be here without her. There were only two possible scenarios that I could think of.
The first—Val was dead. That was a scenario I didn’t want to think about. I had already lost my Pappy. I didn’t want to lose Val too.
The second scenario—Val had gone missing. It wasn’t unheard of for girls to disappear within the city, never to be seen again by their loved ones. They could have been captured by the gangs that lurk the streets, or they could have been taken by the Consulate to serve in the tower. I had hoped Val didn’t end up in the hands of one of the gangs, but at the same time, I prayed she didn’t end up in the tower either.
My time in the tower was a nightmare. I was lucky to have escaped when I did. I didn’t want Val to experience anything like that. She deserved better. She deserved a life of her choosing and a happiness that only humans could understand. She deserved to find her true love, marry him, and raise a family with him. That was what she wanted—a family of her own. That was her dream, as simple as it was, but it was hers.
“Phoebe?” I turned towards Danny, his eyes went wide with recognition. Danny had only regained consciousness a few times, none of which I was present for. Reagan and Tomas had checked in on Danny regularly and had forced me to leave his side a few times so that I could rest. If just so happened, when I was absent from his side he had regained consciousness. It was only for a few minutes, according to Tomas, but it was a good sign, an indicator that he was getting better.
Tomas had guessed that Danny had drunk from the river just as I had. I had asked why Danny hadn’t pulled out of it yet, as it only took me a day to recover. Tomas had explained that the toxic water reacts differently with different people. Danny was young and lucky to have survived at all, let alone regain consciousness.
I sat on the edge of the bed next to him taking his hand into my own. “Danny, you scared me. How are you feeling? Does anything hurt?” Tears fell down Danny’s cheek as he reached out and pulled me into his small arms.
“Phoebe,” Danny yelled. “I didn’t think I would ever you again.” Tomas had warned me not to let Danny get worked up when he awakened; it would not be good for his recovery.
“Lie down,” I said as I tucked the blankets around him. He was thin, thinner than I had ever seen him. Danny had never been bulky as some of the children in the were, but he had never a stick either. “Are you hungry? Do you want to eat something?” Danny shook his head and denied the food. “Do you want to tell me what happened? How did you get here?”
Danny relaxed against the pillow behind his back. He was visibly strained, and I didn’t’ want to push him too hard for answers. Over the following two days, Danny started to remain conscious for longer spurts of time. It took several attempts for him to finally explain all that had happened to him and Val since I was summoned by the Consulate.
My apartment had been emptied within a few days after I had arrived at the tower. Danny had said that Val had cried more than he had ever seen her cry. She even went to the Consulate to ask about me but was driven away by one of the men in the blue robes.
After that, Val had started working longer hours at the nursery, leaving Danny to care for himself. That wasn’t like her. She had always put Danny before anyone else. After their parents died, Val took on a mother-like role for Danny, raising him from the time he had first step up until now. It wasn’t like her to abandon him. Danny said that he had been on his own for a few days before a man had shown up and taken him to the wall.
“What man? What did he look like, Danny?” I asked. “Did he tell you his name?”
“He didn’t tell me his name,” Danny replied. “And I was too scared to ask.”
Scared? Of course, Danny had been scared. What eight-year-old child wouldn’t be scared if a stranger showed up at your home and took you out of it?
“What happened next?” I asked. “How did you end up here?”
“The man took me to the wall and told me if I wanted to see my sister again I had to find someone for him.”
“Find someone?” I asked. Who could be so hateful and uncaring enough to send a small child out on their own? He cast Danny into the wilds not knowing if he would survive or not.
“He told me his wife ran away and I had to find her for him.”
“His wife?” A chill ran through my spine at the word wife. Wife wasn’t a title that I was fond of after my time in the tower. Thoughts of Cassius eclipsed my vision. The examination room. Vials of blood.
“I have to find his wife and give her something for him,” Danny continued. “Afterwards, he promised he would bring Val home and everything would go back to normal.”
“What did he ask you to give her?” I asked.
Danny reached into his pocket, pulled out a folded red piece of cloth and handed it to me. I took it from him and unfolded it. The smell of lavender and pine washed through me as I read the word embroidered on the fabric.
The breath was knocked from my lungs as I recognized the piece of fabric. It was the same as the sheets on the over-sized bed I had slept on in the tower.
My worst fear had come to true. Val was at the tower. Cassius had taken her and used Danny to send this warning to me. My heart raced within my chest as I held the soft fabric between my fingers. Cassius hated humans. If not for the anomaly in my blood, the parts that he associated with revenant DNA, he wouldn’t have even spared me a second glance. Cassius hadn’t taken Val to make her his wife. He was using her to get to me.
I had to go back to the city—back to him. That was the only way I could rescue Val. Grabbing the pendant hanging from my neck, my determination grew like a vine. It wrapped its way through my body pushing aside any doubts I had and leaving only my firm resolve.
Cassius had messed with the wrong girl. No one messes with my family and gets away with it. Val and Danny were the only family I had left in this world. I would not let Cassius hurt them or take them from me.
A message from the author:
I would like to thank everyone that has been following this series. This is going to be the final posting as I don’t want to give everything away. If you want to know what happens when Phoebe goes back to the city, then please purchase your copy of this novel from Amazon.
I have decided to title this story “The Curse of Judas”. It is the first book of the Revenant City Series and will be available for preorder starting September 15, 2018. The actual release date is set for October 31, 2018.
Again, I want to thank you for following this story and supporting me along the way.
Happy reading my friends!
If you like what you have read, make sure to share it with others. Tag me on facebook or @CynthiaBrandel on Twitter. Thanks for taking your precious time to read my story.
To read more visit my website http://cynthiabrandel.com
Check out my bookshelf and/or drop me a line and let me know what you think about the story so far.