Lover Unveiled (Black Dagger Brotherhood #19) by J.R. Ward



Nothing that could hurt her.

God . . . she looked different. No more the black hair, no more the dark eyes. She was silver now. She . . . glowed now.

“Rahvyn,” he heard himself say.

With a strangled cry, his long-lost cousin launched herself across the distance that separated them. “I am sorry, Sahvage! I am so sorry!”

As she burst into tears and kept speaking in the Old Language, he caught her and held her up.

While Mae held him up.

After he was sure Rahvyn was in fact, yes, actually alive, he set her back down, and a cold shiver of sadness went through him. Her hair was so very different—a gray so pale it was white—and yes, her eyes were in fact silver now, too . . .

In his mind, he went back to that bedchamber. The blood. The violence.

Sahvage touched her face. Even though she was still young in appearance, she had aged a hundred thousand years—and he hated that for her.

As talk bloomed among the Brotherhood, like the fighters were trying to give them privacy, Sahvage cleared his throat.

Before he could ask, she said, “I am alive, yes.”

True enough, but he of all people knew that that term was very relative—and utterly unrelated to respiration and heartbeat.

Was the pain worth it, he wanted to ask. The power you sought, was it worth it?

Instead, he switched into English and said, “Where have you been? I looked for you throughout the Old Country for two centuries. I crossed the globe trying to find you.”

“I was not here.”

“Yeah, I know—when did you get to the New World?”

Rahvyn switched back to the Old Language and dropped her voice so that only he could hear her. “I have been in time, dear Cousin, not location. I have traveled through the nights and days to meet you here, at this moment, in this place. My beloved cousin, my protector, I told you your job is done. I just had to find you to let you know that all was well.”

Sahvage blinked—and realized her mouth was not moving. She had somehow put the thoughts into his mind.

But all is not well, he thought with a shiver.

“You have been reborn,” he choked out. And thought of the headless guards. Of Zxysis. Of . . .

“Yes,” she said. Out loud? Maybe. He wasn’t sure.

“Would you like to introduce us?” Mae prompted. Like he and Rahvyn had been standing there, not talking out loud, for a while.

Refocusing, Sahvage drew his female toward his cousin—and wondered if he had to protect Mae against the female he had sworn to defend. Except that was crazy . . .

Right?

He tried to stare through Rahvyn’s eyes and into her soul, but he had never been a warlock. The magic had always been hers, and hers alone, to command.

“This is my Mae,” Sahvage announced. “Mae, this is my first cousin, Rahvyn. I’ve been looking for her for a very long time.”

He felt a little better as Rahvyn smiled shyly and bowed low; it was like some part of her still remained who he had once known.

“Greetings,” she said. “It is my honor.”

As Mae smiled and they started chatting, as if it was a normal first meet-and-greet of in-laws, Sahvage told himself not to worry. He needed to focus on the miracle, not worry about what any of it meant. Or where they were all going to go from here.

And yet . . . as happy as he was to see his blooded relation, he found himself frightened of the female.

Fuck it, though. His nerves were just shot, and why wouldn’t they be. He’d had enough near-misses with bad news in his immortal lifetime, and now that he finally had found his female?

He wasn’t into taking chances anymore.

Glancing around at his brothers, and then staring down at his beloved, he decided . . . well, maybe the universe wasn’t as unjust as he’d thought.

• • •

Off in the corner of the garage, standing apart from the crowd of fighters and females congregating on the driveway, Lassiter frowned. And frowned some more.

As he watched the two females embrace, and Sahvage, the missing brother, looked like he was worried he was about to wake up from a very good dream, Lassiter shook his head and tried to reframe the last week and a half.

The trouble was, the film reel kept with its final edit, none of the scenes altering, the soundtrack of conversations and inner thoughts remaining the same, the script evidently not subject to alteration.

“What the fuck is your problem, glow stick,” came a dry voice.

Great.

Vishous.