Roan grabbed my hand and we ran from the palace together. His parents tried to stop us, the imposter still inhabiting Elder Donne with them. I didn't know where he was taking me but he said it would be safer to speak there about what Caricus and Adelpha told us.
"There is great magic," he explained as we ran. "I do not wish to embarrass you, but it is where some vampires go to do illegal feeding. People cannot over hear what is spoke and they cannot see."
We ran for maybe ten minutes before we went into the forest on their side of the barrier by the humans. We fought through brambles and branches until we came to a clearing. I felt a strange tingling and realized it was the magic that Roan had spoken of. There weren't any logs to sit on so we sat cross legged across from each other again.
"You first," I said.
He rubbed his chin. "Caricus confirmed our suspicions," he said. "Someone has summoned... something to possess Elder Donne. Unfortunately, he couldn't reveal the identity of the traitor. He said to speak with you about some kind of war. When I asked if we could cross the border, all he said was that we would get the answer along the way."
I tugged on my hair and tossed my head back.
"Oh, Roan, this is awful," I said.
He grabbed my hands. "What did Adelpha say, Lillian?"
"Whoever has done this to Elder Donne is trying to start a war between the vampires and elves. It's good we didn't tell Elder Arlan everything. If we had, the person's wishes would come true immediately. Many will die, Roan. She didn't tell me the name of the person either. She did give me the first step, though: I am to go to these lessons. You can't come, though. She said you have duties of your own that Caricus will give you." I blushed. I didn't want to tell him but she said I had to. "She also said.... Well, she said that when we do wed, we will be in love."
He blushed, too. "Yes, Caricus said something like that as well." We avoided each other's eyes and he cleared his throat. "He also said that they are siblings."
"That took me by surprise," I said. "I had no idea."
"I didn't, either," he admitted. "I wonder if they acknowledge the other two gods...."
"That's not what's important right now," I said. "We need to focus on what's going on with Elder Donne. Did Caricus say where he is?"
"No," he shook his head. "All he told me was that he's in pain, wherever he is."
I sighed heavily. "Well, I'm not as upset as I was before," I said.
"Now that I know it's not your real elder making these demands, I know that he's not cruel."
He nodded. "Me, too."
I rubbed my eyes. "I'm exhausted."
"Do you want to go back and sleep?" he asked.
"No," I said and crawled over to him, putting my head on his shoulder. "It's more my mind is tired."
He nodded, wrapping his arms around me. I shut my eyes, thinking back to what Adelpha said. Yes, I was in love with him. Did he love me back? Is that why she said we would love each other by the time we wed?
"There's one more thing, Roan," I whispered.
"What is it?"
"She said we have to figure this out by our wedding or the war will happen. This traitor will show himself at the wedding. By then it will be too late."
"Oh. So we have three weeks to figure it out."
I sighed. "Do you think we can do it?"
He put his fingers under my chin and had me look at him.
"Yes. If we work together as Caricus and Adelpha are, then yes we can."
His eyes were tender and I reached up to caress his cheek. He kissed me again and I closed my eyes. The kiss was filled with passion and he didn't waste any time in deepening it. I got up so that I was in front of him on my knees. His hands ran up my back as our tongues fought for dominance. I pushed myself against his chest and he gasped softly as I had him lie on his back.
"No," he said in a husky voice.
At first I thought he was denying me. Instead, he rolled so that he was on top of me and kissed me roughly. I moaned and we both struggled with the desire building inside of us. His kiss was faster, more desperate, and I lifted my hips, showing him that his desire was shared.
He groaned, kissing my neck and pulling on my skirts until they were at my stomach. I shivered in anticipation as he ran his hands under the fabric and up my stomach, pausing at my breast. I moaned as he took my dress of completely and took my breast in his mouth. His hands ran down to my thighs and I quickly took his shirt off. I slid my hands down his stomach to work on the tie of his trousers.
He hissed and kissed me again, moaning with me as he moved into me. I shut my eyes tightly and wrapped a leg around his waist.
We returned to the palace an hour later, holding hands. I was embarrassed but at the same time pleased. He kept shooting me smiles and I would return them shyly. Of course, I had never done that before. Elder Arlan had done his best to explain it, though, and it was much better than he said it was.
"Where have you been?" King Alec asked. "We were worried about you."
"I had to show her the flowers," Roan lied. "Tonight is the only night they bloom and we almost missed them."
"Oh," he said. "Did you like them?"
"Yes," I said, smiling at Roan. "They were very beautiful."
"Yes they were," he whispered, smiling back at me.
King Alec cleared his throat and we both jumped, blushing, as he smirked at us.
"Well, you should get some rest, Lillian. Tomorrow your lessons begin in the afternoon. Faith will be accompanying you while Roan and I follow up on some of his duties."
"Okay," I said and we walked up the stairs together.
I giggled when we got into his bedchambers and he kissed me again, literally ripping my dress off of me.
As we disappeared under the blankets, the two deities spun again.
Queen Faith came to get me and knocked on the door. I sat up, staring wide eyed at Roan. He grinned roguishly and winked. I slapped his arm and took the sheet with me to change.
"I'll be right there!" I said. "Shut up," I snapped at Roan who was laughing quietly.
We had just finished making love again. I don't know why I was hiding what we did from the king and queen but I dressed in one of the green gowns that had been made of me. Leaves were sewn in, spinning around the bodice. It reminded me of home and I planted a kiss on Roan's lips, knowing he was the one who had asked for them.
"Hurry before I rip that one up, too," he whispered against my lips and I slapped his chest.
I rushed to the door, running my hands through my hair, and beamed at Queen Faith. She smiled back and beckoned with her finger to have me follow her. She was smirking at me and I knew right away she was aware of why Roan and I weren't at breakfast.
When we got to Elder Donne's office, I hesitated. He didn't know that Roan and I were aware of what he really was. I had already decided I wouldn't tell him or make any indication but I still felt nervous from the revelation Caricus and Adelpha had shown us.
I cleared my throat and knocked on the door.
Faith walked in first and 'Elder Donne' smiled, gesturing for us to sit at the chairs in front of his desk.
"For today, we will go over the history of the vampires," he said, settling in his chair. "For only by knowing our past can you lead us successfully into our future."
"I agree," I whispered and he beamed.
"I'm glad to see you're starting to cooperate," he said, getting a map out from his desk. "It's going to make everything so much easier."