The Bloodied Briar

Touched by an Ang’El

“Where did she come from?”

Rico struggled to sit up in the small bed. The effort made him cough and Reyna quickly held a cloth to his mouth. When she pulled it away he saw her look at it, even though he was not meant to notice her do so. She was checking for blood, checking to see if the sickness had progressed.

There was no blood.

Reyna and Rico were siblings, the sole survivors of a village massacre when they were eleven years old. They had been living a solitary life since then.

Until Rico got sick.

Reyna knew she could not make him better so they journeyed to the city to seek out a doctor. They had been on the road for five days when they had been attacked by a band of thieves. Reyna and Rica had all their savings and, somehow, the thieves could tell. Reyna could fight but she was outnumbered six to one. Rico was too weak to stand, let alone use a sword or bow.

The siblings shared a look of helplessness and Reyna lifted her bow and aimed at the leader of the thieves on his horse. She vowed to take him before she died.

Then, the woman had descended from the sky. She landed and blinded them all momentarily with her shining armour and brilliant wings. Reyna had seen nothing like it before.

The woman’s sword flickered like a fire burned within the blade, and it passed through each of the attackers effortlessly.

The glowing woman led the twins and their cart through a track in the forest to a cottage where an elderly woman greeted them before taking them into her home.

“She came from the sky,” Reyna answered her brother as she put the cloth down. Reyna had to pick it up straight away as Rico began to cough again. She held the cloth in front of Rico’s mouth with one hand, her other arm keeping Rico from falling back down flat on his back on the bed. His coughing grew worse and he struggled for breath. It scared them both when he had such violent coughing fits. Reyna felt nothing but relief when it subsided and there was still no blood on the cloth.

“Rest, brother. I’ll be right back.”

“Yes, mother.” Rico teased as he lowered himself back against the pillows.

He looked so pale lying here. Barely a shadow of himself. It scared Reyna but she would never let him know how scared she was. He did not need that.

Reyna found their host coming to the bedroom door as she opened it.

“I will sit with him, I have something to clear his chest.” The old woman carried a bowl that was potent if the smell was anything to judge by. It was a slap in the face with herbs.

“Thank you. I am Reyna, my brother is Rico.”

“Most call me Mati.”

“Thank you, Mati.”

“You are welcome.”

Reyna stepped aside and let Mati come into the room. It was clear that she was focused on Rico now so Reyna left Mati and her pungent steaming bowl to work their magic. Reyna found their saviour outside the cottage, standing alert. “I have not thanked you for your aid and I do not know your name to thank you properly.”

The woman no longer had her wings outstretched but light continued to glow from her armour as she stood in the shadow of the house. She turned slowly to look at Reyna, his eyes measuring her up. “I am Imelda. You are Reyna of Lorsel. Your brother is Ricardo. I do not require your thanks.”

“You know us? Who are you? What are you?” Reyna had asked the potentially impolite questions without thought for any offence they might give. She had heard childhood tales, before her parents were killed, of mystical creatures with wings. They were like all magical beings, though – not real.

Imelda found herself smiling at the questions and the way they were posed to her with such naïve curiosity. She relaxed her stance but kept her hand hovering near the pommel of her sword. “I am Imelda, an Auros of the Ang’El.”

“A what?”

Imelda was a little surprised Ang’El did not sound familiar to Reyna. All realms had variants of the name for their kind. “The Ang’El are an ancient order. We are protectors, defenders, guardians for the weak, the innocent, and the good. The Auros are Warrior protectors.”

“Can you heal the sick?” Reyna had only one care at the moment, and that was the worsening state of her brother. They were twins, Reyna the elder by only minutes, and she could not imagine a world in which Rico was not there.

Imelda knew the concerns of the sister, she also knew her restrictions. She could do nothing until a life was in danger and the order was given. Imelda knew how often that line was crossed with no time for action, so she would give Reyna no false hope or promises. “Not always, no. If it eases your soul, know that he is not in mortal danger at this moment.”

Reyna let out a breath. “That is a relief, but I know how quickly such things may change.”

She leant against the side of the house and looked at Imelda. Imelda let the silence hang between them so that Reyna might process the information. After a few moments, Reyna spoke again. “So, you will know if death comes for him?”

“I will.”

Reyna nodded. “You have saved our lives and though I do not understand who and what you are, nor why you are here, I feel I can trust you and what you say. I have barely slept in the weeks since my brother fell ill. Would you watch over him and keep him safe if I rest? You would know to wake me if anything went wrong. I fear I must rest before we continue on our journey or I will be of no use to him.”

“I will watch over him and protect him, you may rest easy.”

After looking around and listening for a minute, Imelda led Reyna back inside and to Mati’s bedroom. Closing the door behind Reyna, Imelda moved to the other room of the cottage. Rico slept with Mati sitting beside him on the bed, wafting her foul steam toward his face.

“How is he?” Imelda asked not keeping the worry from her voice the way she had for Reyna. She had been protecting the twins for a long time, since before the attack that had slaughtered every other member of the village. Imelda had been the unseen force that kept them hidden and safe. She worried for Rico.

“I have never seen anyone recover from such an advanced illness.” Mati touched his forehead with her hand. Her rich brown skin only heightened how pale Rico had become.

“You think he will not make it?”

“I think not, and yet, I assume that you have not been given the word to act?”

“I have not,” Imelda replied. She was concerned that it would come too late, again. No one could see the future clearly and with only limited numbers of Seers and Seekers… it had become more perilous. Yet the Harchs still only acted once confirmation had been given by Seer or Seeker.

“Stay with him, Imelda. I shall try to make something stronger to slow the illness down. I can do nothing more than that.”

Imelda nodded and when Mati left the room she took her spot on the bed. Rico did not look peaceful in his sleep. His body was tense and he was frowning. He looked pained. Imelda wanted to reach out and smooth the lines from his forehead, instead, she adjusted her breastplate to sit more comfortably and, in doing so, she woke Rico up.

He stared at her. “You are the one who saved us.”

Imelda nodded and tucked her hair behind her ear.

He stared harder, his brows drawing closer together. “Your ears!”

“Are not like yours,” Imelda replied, slightly relieved that was what he was staring at.

With no thought for propriety, Rico reached out and ran his finger over the rounded top of Imelda’s ear. Imelda leant into the touch but it was over too quickly. Rico then traced his own ear along the two pointed tips at the top and the long tip at the bottom. “You are not one of us?”

“No, I was born very far from here. Do you require water?”

“Does everyone have wings where you are from?” Rico asked, ignoring her question. He frowned as he looked at Imelda’s shoulders. He let out a sigh and closed his eyes. “I, I could have sworn…”

“No, wings are not common amongst my birth race. And, Rico, they are still there.” Imelda gently stood from the bed, careful not to jar Rico and she turned around as Rico opened his eyes. Folded over her back were her wings. They did not shine when they were folded away. Imelda glanced over her shoulder at Rico, he looked so relieved.

“See, you did not imagine them.”

“Good. Good.” Rico started to cough hard as he spoke, spluttering the words out. The coughing worsened and he started to have trouble breathing. He began to grab at his neck and chest while he struggled to draw air.

Imelda could feel the danger; death lurking nearby ready to take Rico off from this place. No order had been given to Imelda to save him, but Imelda had often seen the rules more as suggestions when lives were in danger. She would not wait for the order while Rico died.

“Lie still, just relax,” Imelda instructed Rico in a soothing tone as she moved back to the bed. Though the room was dull with the candle light, Imelda’s armour reflected a silver brilliance that lit Rico up. Rico’s body shuddered as it fought for life. Imelda placed a hand on his chest and one of his forehead as he struggled.

Then with a violent spasm, he went still.

“No. No. This is not how it ends.” Imelda growled and closed her eyes drawing on a reserve of power. The door banged open and she ignored it. Reyna entered the room followed closely by Mati; Imelda ignored them. She ignored Reyna’s screams and ignored Mati restraining Reyna as the girl tried to grab her brother.

Imelda focused on nothing but Rico. She let the warm silver light pour into Rico’s body to heal and protect. The light filled his body and destroyed the sickness, Rico’s lungs began to draw breath once more unhindered. He would be weak still over the coming weeks as his body finished healing the damage done but he would live.

Reyna dropped to her knees next to the bed and wept. Her hand wrapping around Rico’s.

Imelda stood to let the siblings rejoice in the moment. For reasons Imelda did not want to think on, it ached to break the connection and walk away. She paused in the doorway and looked at the twins with tears in her eyes.

“Oh, Imelda. Tell me you have not fallen for your charge,” Mati murmured softly and gave Imelda a sorrow-filled look.

Imelda wiped her eyes and shook her head, no. Her face said otherwise but she was not ready to admit anything aloud. The rules were clear, love all and never one. It was difficult to give your all to others when you longed for one. That kind of love would cause you to fall from the ranks of the Ang’El.

From the time Imelda had been chosen she had worked hard to get where she was. She would not lose it all for the sake of a single soul. Imelda reminded herself of that as she resumed her place outside the cottage.

Her eyes scanned the trees, she listened intently for any new sounds, or for any sudden silences. Imelda body did as it was meant to but her mind remained fixed on the man inside the cottage. The man she had broken the rules to save.

Imelda had loved once, it was a long time ago now. It had been before she had been called to become one of the Ang’El. It had ended in tragedy. Imelda had watched him die in her arms, powerless to do anything to stop the sickness that claimed them both. She had loved him with all her heart so, giving up love to join the ranks of the Ang’El had never been an issue. Imelda thought she would never love again, who could ever compare to her husband?

And then Rico had grown into such a wonderful man that Imelda had lost her heart without even realising it. And now her personal feelings had clouded her judgement. She was a soldier who had acted without orders from her superior. It was not the first time but this was the most serious offence.

But Rico was alive and Imelda could never regret that, even if she never saw him again. It was highly likely that would be the case. Once the Harchs found out what Imelda had done there was no way that she would remain the protector of the siblings. The Harchs would find out. Eventually, the Seers and Seekers would see what had been done.

Sometime after sunset, Mati came out to find Imelda. “The young heir wishes to see you.”

“You should not call him that, Mati. Even trees may share secrets whispered after dark.” Imelda glared at the old woman, just because her home was a safe haven did not make it safe to throw around secret knowledge. Mati should know better.

Mati brushed off Imelda’s words with a scoff and a wave of her hand. “These trees are loyal. And I know you will keep the twins safe until the next heirs are born. Then you will keep them safe.”

“How certain you are.”’

“I can be at my age,” Mati replied. “Now go and see the young man.”

“I should stay out here to face any threats that might approach.” Imelda rested her hand against the pommel of her sword to emphasise her point.

Mati let out a scornful laugh. “You think me so powerless that you must stand guard of my house? Get you inside and see to your charge.”

Imelda wished to argue but she knew better. Instead, she smiled and gave Mati the respect she deserved. “I shall be in the boy’s room if you have need of me,” Imelda said and bowed her head to Mati.

Slowly she made her way inside and through the house, she paused outside the room with her hand on the door. For all she knew, this could be the last time she ever saw the twins. So be it, she would do the same if she was faced with the decision again. Taking a breath, Imelda opened the door.

Reyna was curled up at the end of the bed sound asleep. Imelda put a blanket over her before she looked at Rico. She schooled her features in case she let on to her feelings. “Mati said you wished to see me, I am afraid I can do little more to heal you.”

Rico slowly raised himself up higher up on the pillows. “It seems I am already in your debt for the aid you have given. I wished to thank you, though I do not understand what happened.”

“It is our task to protect, defend, and save those in need. With your life in danger, I had to act to save you.”

“You are not like us, are you?”

“I believe we established that when you inspected my ears.” Imelda smiled at Rico. She was teasing him and knew that she should not. Why should she make this any harder on herself than it already was? She was already too attached. Yet, Imelda reached up and gently touched her own ear with a small smile on her face. She had enjoyed his innocent touch and she shouldn’t have. Imelda knew she was foolish to even be beside this young man, given her feelings but she didn’t leave the room. A few moments indulgence couldn’t hurt them, could they?

“Why would it matter if I died? I am a nobody in the world.” Rico’s question was not unexpected, it was often the first question people asked when they received the aid of an Ang’El.

“Who are you to say what your importance is in this universe? How can you know what impact you may have on the present or the future? We are all a drop in a large pool and who knows how far our ripples will spread.”

“But I have done nothing. I have achieved nothing. I live with my sister alone on our farm far removed from the rest of the world.”

“And your life is not done, is it? Who knows what you might yet do. Or what your children might do.”

“I will have children? I will find love?”

Imelda pressed her lips together for a moment at Rico’s words and his enthusiasm. She wanted to scowl at his excitement at the thought of finding love. It was not his fault he did not love her and could never love her. She knew him well, he had never seen her before this day and it might be the only day they shared together.

“I cannot say for certain what your future holds. I am not one of the Seer and Seekers so I have no way to know. But you are young, handsome, and wise. You would make a woman a good husband and be a good father. I am sure you will have that chance if you wish for it.” Imelda smiled down at Rico. Her smile was tight, she resented anyone who could share what she felt for him, even though she wished for his happiness. On a professional level she did, that was what they created for. But personally, she wished for it and felt wounded by the knowledge she would not be part of his life. Still, she did not regret saving his life and giving him the chance for a future without her.

“How can you know what I am when you have just met me?”

“I have watched over you for many years, Rico. You and your sister are my wards under my protection. I have shielded and hidden you. I have driven away and destroyed the dangers that have come at you. Today was the first time I was allowed to let you see me.”

Rico stared at her and Imelda knew the flood of emotions that would come from the revelation. Usually, there was gratitude but it was often tempered by indignation, resentment, anger, and confusion. People hated Imelda for the aid she had not been allowed to give. If she could stop one bad event why not all? Unfortunately, some things had to come to pass no matter how tragic they were and Imelda was not all powerful. It was not easy to understand for people who had lost loved ones and Imelda could not begrudge them their feelings. The Powers knew she resented the inaction and the rules that bound her often enough. Hence her breaking the rules to save Rico.

“You are always watching?” Rico asked. He pulled the blankets up around his chest and looked down.

Had Rico been in better health, Imelda imagined that he would have blushed. She shook her head even though she was not looking at her.

“Not always,” Imelda tried to explain. “It is more like we check in when there is no threat, and we watch and linger when danger is imminent. For the most part, we are watching outward from you to keep you safe rather than spying on private moments.”

“Oh, I see.”

Imelda could imagine the moments a person would not want intruded upon by a stranger and she did her best to not intrude on such moments with any of her changes. Of course, there had been moments, but she could not recall any time she had witnessed anything that could cause Rico any shame.

“But why us? There must be many who need aid, and as I said my sister and I lead a simple and quiet life.”

“It is not for me to decide who, I go where I am sent. I do what I am told to do. Most of the time.” Imelda ducked her head. She felt bashful at the thought of Rico knowing she had broken the rules for him. Perhaps he would see straight through to the heart of her reasons.

Before he had time to reply, Imelda stood. “You must rest and then we may talk more after that. Regain your strength. I will be here to protect you both.”

Imelda used her wings to send a gust of wind around the room. The flames of the candles flickered and then the room was plunged into darkness, even Imelda did not glow. She opened the door and slipped out, gently closing it behind her. She stood there in the hallway and did not let herself go back to him. As she stood there her heart rate began to increase rapidly and her body grew tense.

It was not because of Rico. Danger was coming. Imelda drew her sword…

And found herself standing before her superiors. Four of the Harchs stood in front of Imelda, Imelda quickly dropped to one knee, fist to the floor.

“You foolish girl! He was meant to die. His sister in her grief would travel far and meet the man she was destined for. She would marry and have children. Through her, their line would continue. Do you have any idea what you have done?”

“I have saved a good man’s life as I am tasked to do. Nowhere in my oath does it say I will pick and choose who deserves life.” Imelda stood without permission. There was a gasp from one of the Harchs but Imelda didn’t even grant him a glance. “I was created to save and protect the good and the innocent. The Seers and Seekers cannot know all outcomes they simply see a path.”

“The easiest path.”

“And who said that life was to be easy?” Imelda asked. She had locked eyes with Mekala who had spoken. Mekala trained Imelda when she had been chosen to be an Ang’El, and this was not the first time they had clashed. “Life and destiny will find a way. As we cannot force them to act as is easiest for us and their destiny, why should we not choose the harder path and bring more light into the world? I choose life and love and light and I am not ashamed.”

“You disobeyed your orders and you do so with no apology?”

“My orders were to protect and defend the siblings. This I did.”

“But you healed him without order and instruction. You had not been…”

“When you sent me your orders, were there stipulations? Did you say I could not heal him and protect him from the disease and his death?” Imelda asked cutting Mekala off.

“And,” Imelda continued. “Now you take me from them as danger nears.”

“We have had no message from the Seers of imminent danger.”

“And the Seers are always timely and infallible with their visions telling us all?” Imelda spat the words back at Mekala. She was infuriated with the Harchs and their attitude. No one, least of all the Seer and Seeks were perfect. How many had been hurt or lost due to their failure? “You must send me back.”

“We must do nothing you demand. You disobeyed orders and…”

“Oh, shut up! You know nothing as you sit here making decisions for people you never see or know. If you wish for Reyna to live and secure her bloodline then you will return me now before it is too late. You will have to strike me down to stop me from helping them.”

Mekala’s eyes narrowed and she raised her hand. Imelda tensed waiting for the impact. Instead, the Harch to her left, Dafet, placed a hand on Mekala’s wrist and stayed her act.

“You have their best interests in mind and heart as the best of us does, Imelda. This does not excuse or forgive your actions and there will be an official tribunal. For now, return to the heirs and protect them. Reyna must make it to the city and she must board that train on schedule.”

“It shall be as you say, Harch Dafet.” Imelda inclined her head. She was happy to show respect to this who earned it. Dafet was using his head, caring about the souls they were meant to care for. Unlike Mekala.

The world went bright and then dark. Imelda found herself back in Mati’s home. The cottage shook as if giants were beating on the walls.

“Where in blazes have you been? Two days I’ve been keeping those monsters out. Thrice they have nearly brought down my magic and my walls. I cannot hold them out much longer.”

“Two days? Those arrogant…” Imelda growled back the curse that was on her lips. Her eyes darted skyward and she hoped the Harchs saw the glare. Mere minutes had passed for Imelda in the presence of the Harchs and yet it had been days here. If they wished for Imelda to save Reyna, they had not made her task easier by delaying her return. “Who is out there? Or what?”

“Perhaps a dozen Rooks attack with a warlock behind them trying to combat my magic.”

Rooks were ogre-sized barbarians who wore great cloaks of bird feathers. They were fearsome and relentless. Once they had locked on an enemy they would not stop until that enemy was dead. They would cross worlds to hunt their prey. Imelda had to kill them all or Rico and Reyna would never be free of their threat. It was clear that they were the target of the Rooks.

“I will take down the Rooks first and then go after their warlock. Keep him busy if you can.”

Reyna and Rico entered the room interrupting the conversation. Clearly, they had come to see who Mati was speaking to. Rico looked far better than he had when Imelda had left his room. She was glad to see the improvement.

“You’re back.” Reyna looked so relieved. “Mati would not let me fight the Rooks but now you are back we can fight them together.

“You are no match for a Rook, Reyna,” Imelda replied. She valued Reyna’s bravery but Rooks were twice her size and far more skilled. It would be suicide. “You must remain here. I will take down as many as I can but if I fail, if any get through, you must protect Rico and Mati. Get them out and to safety.” Imelda paused and a better plan came to her, one that would hopefully achieve what the Harchs required. “You must get them out and get to safety, go to the city and catch the first train. I shall distract the Rooks so you can make an escape. Should I succeed, I will join you. Should I fall, another will find you on the train. You two must live. It is all that matters.

Imelda unfurled her wings and her glow filled the room.

“I will get them out,” Mati said before she placed her hand on Imelda’s forearm. “You must kill all the Rooks, Imelda. You know what will happen if you do not.”

“I know, Mati. Keep them alive for me.”

“No. You cannot do this. I will fight beside you.” Reyna showed the sword that she had in her hands.

Imelda admired the fact that Reyna was petrified right now but still trying to do the honourable thing. Imelda moved to stand in front of her and placed her hand on Reyna’s cheek. “Reyna, please, you are brave and full of spirit, this is why you must live. You must protect your brother or my sacrifice to save him will mean nothing. You must protect yourself and live. Follow your hearts and find your destiny. Promise me, please.”

“I promise.” Reyna had tears in her eyes but Imelda could see the strength in her, the resolve. She would do all she could to keep herself and Rico safe.

“Don’t do this, escape with us,” Rico begged, pulling Imelda to face him. “You do not need to sacrifice yourself for us.”

“I make this sacrifice willingly as I made my sacrifice to save you already. Live Rico. Find the love and happiness that you want. Live and love for me as I might have.” Imelda felt her own resolve falter as she looked into Rico’s eyes. In a moment of reckless need, Imelda kissed him. Surprisingly he kissed her back. He held her face and kissed her passionately.

“We will be waiting on the train for you,” Rico murmured against Imelda’s lips and she almost cried.

Imelda pulled back and looked to Mati. “Go.”

Imelda said the word and vanished from the room. She had no time to think about Rico or Reyna or the fact that if she survived the Harchs would take her home. All she could focus on were the Rooks. She glowed brightly as she drew her sword. The flash of light momentarily blinded her opponents and two were dead before the others could blink away the blindness.

Two down and eleven still standing. Eleven now coming for her.

Imelda sent up a prayer that Mati could get the twins to safety, and then she met her next opponents. Her flaming sword almost singing as it whistled through the air.

The scene froze and Briar whirled around on Nathaniel. “Oh no, you are not stopping it there, Sunshine. I still need to know, did they get away? Did they punish Imelda? Did Rico ever love her back?”

The story had captured Briar. It was clear to Briar from how strongly she felt Imelda’s emotions that they were connected. At some point in time, Briar had been Imelda. Briar, the royal screw up and demon child had been a shining bright angel. Ang’El.

Nathaniel let out a bark. “In this life, you are as much an angel as a demon. You know this and you still call yourself a demon child.”

“Stay out of my head and start the show up. I need to know more. I need to know if Rico was Alistair or of Alistair was Rico. Did they get a happy ending or are our souls doomed to only find tragedy in every life?” Briar feared that they were doomed lovers. And with the revelation she’d had about her feelings for him, she could not handle finding out that they were doomed. Death had nearly taken Alistair from her. And who knew the next time Briar would have to fight for her life. It was all too easy to believe that they were doomed, and Briar did not want that to be the case.

“Did you see any similarities between you and Imelda, Briar?”

“Obviously. She’s as stubborn as me and also doesn’t do well with rules and authority.”

“Is that all?”

“Well, I don’t know.”

“What about what she does? What she is?”

“She’s an actual Angel, doing angelic things. I’m really not angelic.”

“How do you spend your time?”

“I break the law to punish bad guys.”

“You could say you protect, defend and avenge good people. The innocent. The helpless.”

Briar paused and stared at Nathaniel. She knew that was what she did as a vigilante. But she’d always seen it as an outlet for her more destructive and dark impulses. Could it be more than that?

“But angels are good and pure and holy.”

Nathaniel laughed. “No, they’re not. They never have been, Briar. Angels are warriors for the light, for goodness. They are protectors and defenders. You are as much angel as you are demon. You are as much light as you are darkness. Don’t you see it, Briar?”

Briar felt tears spring into her eyes as Nathaniel spoke. She had not seen anything very good about herself, maybe ever. The best thing about her now was the bright souls that she surrounded herself with. She knew Nathaniel would not lie to her which meant she had to truly look at herself and see.

This was hard.

It was very easy to acknowledge the damaged and the dark within her. She had been doing it her whole life. But seeing anything good? It was new and it was actually quite terrifying.

Nathaniel took Briar into his arms and hugged her tight. “It’s not your fault. Those things that were done to you when you were young they twisted your perception. They were not strong enough to consume you but they have left their mark. You are a good person, Briar. You have light and goodness in your soul. For this, you are deserving of the love and happiness in your life. These things are not a mistake. You are worthy of them.”

Nathaniel’s words released something in Briar like a floodgate and she burst into tears. Briar wasn’t much of a crier and it was as if she had stockpiled those tears to shed now. She cried until she could barely breathe. Her tears soaked into Nathaniel’s shirt and her own. She felt empty when she finally stopped.

“I feel hollow.”

“That is good, now you can fill that space with hope and happiness if you are brave enough to. If you are brave enough you will not fear nor live depressing yourself.”

“I don’t despise myself, I’m one awesome bitch.”

“You say that and yet you did not think you should be loved and happy,” Nathaniel said and wiped tears from Briar’s cheek.

Briar did not reply.

He told the truth, that was how she felt since she was a child. It was screwed up.

“Can I be happy? Was I ever happy?” Briar asked.

“You cannot judge the future by the past if you are moving forward with lessons learned. But yes, you have known happiness. You have known loss and tragedy too. All lives know these things.”

“What about Imelda and Rick? Can I please know more?”

“I do not get to decide what you see. But, in this instance, there is more you need to know. Take a deep breath and maybe wipe your snotty face and we will continue.”

Briar was happy knowing she got more of this past life, so, she did not think to call out Nathaniel’s teasing. She blew her nose and hoped that Rico and Imelda survived and lived. That they loved each other and lived a long and happy life because Briar desperately wanted that with Alistair. 


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4 thoughts on “The Bloodied Briar – Part 6

  1. Wow that was amazing. it touched my soul and made me think that one day I can see the past for what it was and truly forgive myself enough to accept the love that is so freely given to me.

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