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Daughter Of The Deepwood
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“Hello, Calista,” he said, making sure to keep his voice low and gentle. He pulled back his hand, not knowing whether she’d welcome his touch. She would, he promised himself. He would teach her.
“Who?” those luscious lips pursed and exhaled. She licked them, pink tongue flicking out in a betrayal of nervousness
“Falco,” he answered. “Do you remember me? Our conversations?”
She inhaled sharply, the breath catching in her lungs as she propped herself up on her elbows. One hand pressed against her ribcage. Her eyes opened wide, electric blue with narrow, slitted pupils. She panted and pressed her hand against her abdomen. Frowning, she moved her hand, palpating her own bare flesh.
“No pain,” she hissed in incredulous wonder. She tilted her head back and squinted against the bright sky overhead. She gasped again. “I am dead.”
“No, Calista, you live,” Falco contradicted her. “I vowed to free you from that place and I have.”
“I … but I … I was broken,” she stammered. “Every bone. I was dying.”
“You have been healed,” he said.
She gazed down at her body. Her chin trembled, then stilled. T he muscle at the base of her jaw pulsed as she clenched her teeth in a physical effort to control her emotions. It seemed as though she took no notice of her nude state, except to whisper in a dull voice, “I have been remade.” She raised her eyes again, meeting his gaze. “I have been remade to your preference.”
“You are beautiful,” Falco said, not denying the accusation. “I would have you take pleasure in your new form.”
She turned her head away and struggled to sit up. He offered her his hand, but she disdained it.
“You did not think me good enough,” she accused. “Now you have remade me into what pleases you for your own vile purposes.”
She met his eyes again, hers practically spitting blue sparks. Her voice, already bitter, turned sour. “You freed me from prison only to capture me for your own use.”
Falco rose to his feet and walked several steps away. Although he’d acknowledged the possibility of her resentment, it hurt him. With an effort to resist anger, he said in a controlled voice, “Your limbs were misshapen from having been broken and poorly healed. Your breath rattled in your lungs from where your broken ribs pierced them. Your left eye socket and cheek had been crushed. You could not draw breath without pain. You could not move without pain. You could no longer walk, nor hardly crawl, I think.”
Her hands moved over each body part as he named them, lingering on the smooth, unbroken expanse of her reformed face.
“I would not have allowed any creature to continue its existence in such a poor state,” he added.
“I begged you to let me die,” she reminded him.
“You lived all your life in servitude to human masters, Calista. I said before and I tell you again: the fae do not serve humans. I sought to give you freedom.”
“The freedom to serve you?” she shot back. “In death I would have found freedom, true freedom.”
He leveled a pained look at her. “Aye, death would have released you from all obligation, all servitude. It would also deny you pleasure and happiness and joy.”
“And I am not fae.”
“You are more fae now than ever before,” Falco retorted, fingers brushing over the dark scab over his heart where the midnight swift pierced him and extracted the blood needed to resurrect, restore, and reform his unwilling mate.
“They called me witchbreed, not fae.”
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