Point of No Return
Promise Me - Book 7
When Sarelle discovers Theo's love for Tasha is not all it seems, she breaks the love spell, even as she fears the consequences. Dreaming with Theo again awakens old feelings, even as Devlin's possessiveness increases when Sar is discovered to be pregnant. Influenced by her blood bond to Devlin and Danial, and her magical bond with Theo, Sar is determined to make the relationship with her lovers work. But can Sar trust her heart fully, much less her own desires?
An hour after Theo left, I washed my face, pulled myself together, and called my lawyer. He said he would draw up separation papers, and that Theo and I would need to be legally separated at least a year unless one of us was willing to admit we’d broken our marriage vows. Technically, we both had, but I wasn’t about to have my sins written on a piece of paper. If Theo was in a hurry to marry that wench, he could admit his own infidelity. After instructing my lawyer to fax the separation papers to Danial’s office, I went back to bed and cried some more.
I cried for Theo and me, for the years we had lost and now would never regain, for the marriage we might have had, if he hadn’t been taken from me that year and a half. For what might have happened, if I hadn’t made the choices I had, like loving the vampire Danial and turning to him to help me raise Theo’s daughter Elle, when I found myself alone. Or giving into my desire for Danial’s brother Devlin, on the more than several occasions he had saved my life.
When there were no more tears, and my nose was so stuffed I couldn’t breathe, I got up. “It’s time I was about my day,” I told the dogs bitterly. “Crying and second guessing myself isn’t solving anything. Want to eat?”
After feeding them, I showered, put on fresh clothes, strapped on my snowshoes, and took them for a long, long walk.
The day was clear and cold. Everything was sparkling in the sunlight. Angrily, I told God it was unfair that everything could look so good and new when I felt so bad. Oddly enough, right after, light snow began to fall. By the time we got home, the snow coming down wasn’t light anymore.
After brushing off our extra coats of cold white powder, I gave the dogs some Cheweez, and went to check the wood situation. Seeing it was more than adequate, I settled down with a good book near the wood stove, my black cats Cavity and Jess on my lap. Before long, I was so comfortable that I put the book down just for a moment to rest my eyes.
Sometime later, I awoke. The power had gone off. Then two red eyes appeared, looking at me from across the darkening room.
I let out a surprised yell, the cats bolted in fear, and I howled again, rubbing the fresh painful claw scratches on my legs.
“Terian, what are you doing here?” I asked irritably.
“Danial sent me to check on you. It’s already known around the compound that Theo came and got his stuff today, not to mention the storm. The highways are closed for the entire county.” He paused. “And I wanted to apologize for how I acted.”
“Do you love him?” Terian asked grudgingly. “Devlin?”
“Yes,” I said, glad it was dark so I couldn’t see his expression.
“Do you feel for him like you feel for Danial? Do you want his child?”
“Why are you asking me these questions?” I said harshly. “I never asked you how you felt about Sundown, compared to Erin or those other women you knew.”
“It matters to me you’re happy. If he’s what makes you happy, then I’ll be content.”
Using that word was odd, but I let it slide. “It has to be this way, Tears. You know that as well as I do. And yes, in time, I think I’ll be happy. Right now I’m still in shock.”
“I liked Erin,” Terian said, after a moment. “But the demon side of me scared her, and she tried to hide it—acted like it didn’t matter. I finally realized that she was behaving as if she had to work herself up to being intimate with me, and I never trusted her after that.”
I said nothing, knowing he didn’t want my pity.
“Sundown I loved, pure and simple. I really thought she cared about me, wanted me for me. But she didn’t.”
All these years later, he still hurt. “I’m sorry,” I said softly in the darkness.
“So am I,” he whispered. “I still miss her very much.”
The lights came back on with a click. Terian and I blinked at one another for a moment, letting our eyes adjust. Relieved, I got up, and started resetting the clocks. “You want some dinner?” I called to him. “I’m going to make pasta now the stove’s on again.”
“Not that nasty whole wheat stuff,” Terian said distastefully from the other room.
“I’ll make you regular if you want,” I promised. “Pour us some wine.”
* * * *
Two hours later, we’d had dinner, discussed the Vampire Gathering in detail, and had moved on to his newfound mother and father with the help of the better part of two bottles of wine.
“I can’t understand why she did it, Sar,” Terian said for the fourth time.
“Leri loved your father, Titus,” I repeated. “That didn’t make what she did right, but—”
“No, why did she make sure I was taken care of?” He paused. “Keriam protected me his whole life. He gave up so much for me. He was smart and he really wanted to be a doctor, but he had to work to support me. By the time I was old enough to help him, he was stuck in a dead end job, pushing paper in an office, his dreams of medical school dead.” He downed his wine again.
I had serious thoughts about downing mine, too, listening to this tragedy. But that would put me in squarely into drunk territory. Instead, I set my wineglass down on the table. “What happened to him wasn’t your fault. You loved him like a brother, and he loved you. None of that was fake. It was real.” I put my hand on his shoulder. “You can’t know that his life would’ve been any better without knowing you.”
“I feel so guilty, though,” Terian said emotionally. “I want to do something, but I don’t know what to do. Keriam wasn’t even his real name.”
“There is something you can do,” I said, an idea forming.
“What? He’s gone. I can’t tell him I’m sorry.”
“No, but you can find out who he really was. Maybe give him a marker near his parents with his real name on it. With Danial’s help, and his contacts out west, you should be able to find his family, if any are still living.”
Terian hugged me hard. “You’re right,” he said, teary. “How is it you always know what to say?”
“I don’t,” I replied quickly. “Most of the time, I wing it. It’s when I plan what to say that everything usually comes out wrong.”
He looked down into my eyes. “You’ve never done wrong by me,” he said, still emotional. “You’re a good woman, Sar.”
I felt uncomfortable for a moment, then he laughed, and the moment passed.
“But no more wine. I’ve got to drive the Expedition back to Danial tonight.”
It took my alcohol-muddled mind a moment to understand that Theo had taken his truck back to Danial’s house with his stuff, but had driven one of Danial’s vehicles here. “Not tonight in this storm. Teleport instead.”
“Most of it is over by now,” he said, looking out the window. “There’s maybe five inches out there, but that’s it. I don’t know why the power went off; it’s not bad at all.” He turned back to me. “Keriam told me we lived in Dallas right after I was born. I’ll start there.”
“I wish my problems could be solved that easily,” I said ruefully.
He nodded. “It’s good Christmas and the other holidays are over.”
I nodded. “Thank God.”
“Sorry,” I said awkwardly, kicking myself for reminding him with my religious faith of his demonic nature. “Danial mentioned Theo would likely leave soon. Has anything been said to you? I’m asking because I just arranged for separation papers to be sent to Danial’s house. If Theo is leaving, I want him to sign them before he leaves.”
“No one’s mentioned anything to me,” Terian answered. “Theo hasn’t talked to any of us about anything personal. He’s all business.”
“I’d rather he left,” I admitted. “But the truth is we need him now more than ever. Perseus and Samuel may have relented, but they would still like Danial and Devlin dead. Then I’d be fair game.” I put my hand on his arm. “Please don’t leave in the spring.”
Terian looked uncomfortable, but didn’t reply.
“I’m sorry about what I said, back at the hotel yesterday—”
“You were right about all of it.” He paused. “I’ve tried my best to subvert the demon part of me. But the more I draw on its strength, the more I feel the desire for violence. Sometimes I feel like I can’t control it at all.” He looked up, his glowing reddish eyes meeting mine. “I went into the Gathering hoping someone would attack us.”
I was repulsed by his eager tone, but didn’t drop my eyes. “Are you going to leave Danial’s employ?”
“I’m going to look for Keriam’s family to do what you suggested, but it’ll be for only a week or so. I won’t leave this spring, if at all.”
“Thank you,” I said, discreetly wiping a relieved tear away.
“You’re welcome,” he replied, giving me a small smile. “Is there any dessert?”