“If she gets in my way, I’ll kill her.” He says.
I nod, trying and failing to swallow the lump in my throat. I know David will do whatever he must to kill that wretched Witch who stole and hurt and now controls so many people. And if he has to cut down any poor possessed human to get to her, he will, without hesitation, even his best friend. Even my sister. Sacrifice the few to save the many. The words fall heavy in my stomach, I hate them. I hate that Witch. How dare she have taken my sister.
“Bring her home.” I beg. Please. I think. Please let Selene come home alive.
“I’ll bring her home.” David promises, placing his armored hand on my shoulder. His normally cold eyes are warm and shiny. “One way or another.” I nod again, the words just won’t come. David squeezes my shoulder, nodding once before that coldness takes over again. And then he’s pivoting on his heels and marching out the doors. Silent in his enchanted armor.
He’ll kill the Witch, I know. He’ll save the land, he always does. I have every faith in David, he’s done this all his life, and I know, I know this will not be the monster that bests him. My Vison’s have promised me that much. The Vision’s that are still swirling in my head, coming together from fractured jigsaw puzzle pieces. They have served me and my people well in past disasters, they will serve us now. We will survive, David will kill the Witch, but.
But even though I see the Witch’s death; bloody and terrible and so much that she deserves for what she’s done, I don’t see Selene. I see her fall, I see her puppeteered form strike swords with David, I see the curse lifted. But I don’t see her in the aftermath. I can’t see of she survives the fight with David, I don’t see of she comes home alive. No matter how hard I concentrate, pushing my gift to the brink of it’s abilities, I still don’t see.
I’m as blind and unknowing as the people waiting in their homes. Huddling close to friends and other family, praying their loved ones come home.
Everyone, except me. In my chambers in the church I sit alone, eyes locked on the gate. Waiting for it to open, though I know it won’t be for hours yet. My entire being aches, my chest tight and my head pounding from overuse of my gift. I should eat something and go to sleep, tomorrow will be hectic, and my people will need their Seer. But I need to see Selene. I need to see her walk through those gates and hold me in her arms. Older and stronger Selene. My guard, my sister. The only family I have left.
I jerk awake to the sounds of barking and cheering. I scrub at my eyes and peer out. It’s dawn, and David’s returned. I rush down the halls and stairs of the church. The air is cold, the snow not yet melted away. The crowd parts like the sea for David and the bloody and battered people following him. He’s not carrying a body, but there are manned horses behind pulling a large cart. There are people slamming against the wood, searching, jerking back and dropping into earth-trembling sobs. There are more bodies on that cart than standing ones.
David’s face is as empty as marble. He keeps marching, the horses stop, David meets me halfway.
“Selene…?” I ask. My eyes burn, my throat tightens.
“I said I’d bring her home.” He says, expression breaking into a damp smile. Behind him, one of the hooded horse-riders drops down, pushing through the crowd, heading our way. Though their face is covered, I know that blade at their side. I push past David, meeting my sister halfway as she throws back her hood and opens her arms. Her face is pale and bloody, she stinks of iron, sweat and something sickeningly sweet and rotting. But her arms are warm around me. Her pulse in her neck strong under my ear. I sob, clutching at her stained armor.
“You’re alive.” I sob. “You’re home.”
“I’m home.” Selene whispers.