Redeemer (Night War Saga Book 3)

By: Leia Stone & S.T. Bende

DEDICATION


For Midgard.





CHAPTER ONE


“SHE DOESN’T REMEMBER ME. How is that possible?” Tore slumped in the porch swing of our new little farmhouse, his palms obscuring his face. Long blond hair spilled on either side of massive hands, and his shoulders folded forward in abject defeat. He was the picture of frustration . . . and heartbreak.

“It isn’t just you—she doesn’t remember anything,” I offered gently. From my place at his side I ran my fingernails across Tore’s blue Henley, raking the corded muscles that tensed beneath the fabric. A deep inhale of the crisp, country air did little to relieve my unease. “Someone did a number on your mom’s brain—completely wiped her memories. She doesn’t even know who she is.”

“That is some seriously messed up skit,” Johann swore. He and Bodie paced on opposite sides of the veranda, their combat boots making heavy steps atop the wooden planks. Mack rested his folded arms along the porch railing, while Greta wrung her fingertips together in front of her waist. Both the bearded light elf and the strawberry-haired healer emitted vibes that were uncharacteristically uneasy.

“What we need to figure out is whether your mom’s memories were removed to protect her, or . . .” Greta swept her gaze to the horizon.

“Or?” I prompted.

“Or whether someone removed those memories to protect themselves,” Greta finished.

“My gut says the latter.” Mack’s voice was void of emotion.

“Allie?” Tore asked.

“Mine too,” I whispered. Tore tilted his head up to look at me, and the desolation in his icy blue eyes nearly shattered my heart. Oh, Tore.

It had been thirty minutes since we’d discovered Tore’s supposedly-dead mom happily farming a field of lingonberries in the gods-protected city of Trondheim, Norway. Following that revelation, we’d walked the short distance to our new safe house—a roomy farmhouse with an adjacent training complex, barn, and guest cottage. None of our brains were exactly firing on all cylinders, which was understandable, considering the day we’d just had. When Nott had threatened the safety of our Canadian sanctuary with an epic earthquake, my four protectors, Greta, and I had grabbed Tore’s dog, Killer, and hopped the first charter plane to the Norwegian safe house . . . only to discover that we weren’t the only light realm escapees. Tore’s mom had somehow managed to evade her alleged arson-induced death. But in the process, she’d forgotten who she was, where she was from, and the fact that she had a son.

Every time I thought our lives couldn’t get any more complicated, somebody went and turned up the crazy.

Killer whimpered from his spot at Tore’s feet, and I bent down to scratch the big, black dog’s ears. “We’ll figure this out, Tore,” I vowed. “Together.”

Bodie stopped pacing long enough to chime in with a solemn, “We’re here for you, man.” Johann, Mack and Greta murmured their consent.

“I know you are.” Tore straightened up and placed his hand on my knee. “And I appreciate it.”

Mack turned around to lean his back against the railing. “Somebody needs to report Ophelia’s survival to the Alfödr so he can look into her disappearance. And somebody needs to alert Vidar. If there was an outstanding revenge mission associated with her death, it can be called off now.”

“A revenge mission?” I glanced at my friend. With his flannel shirt and unruly mane, he looked more like a lumberjack than a light elf.

Mack gave a curt nod. His beard had grown while we’d been hunting weapon pieces and moving house; it was long enough now that the bushy strands brushed against his chest with the movement. “Vidar would have sent a team to avenge his wife’s murder. Tore, I don’t recall ever hearing that mission was completed. Did you?”

“I—uh . . .” A glazed look came over Tore’s eyes. “Uh . . .”

Did he really not know, or was he avoiding the question? Either way, we didn’t need to stress him out even more. “We can talk about it later,” I offered. “Mack, you took the luggage inside, so I know you’ve already scouted and feng shui-ed this place. Let us know where you want us bunking down, then a few of us can go find the market and get some food before—”

“There was no revenge mission.” Tore spoke so quietly, I wasn’t sure I’d heard correctly.

“What did you say?” Johann asked.

“There was no mission,” Tore ground out. Air whistled through gritted teeth as he drew a sharp breath. “My father never sent a team to avenge my mother. I always thought it was because he wanted me to move on, or because he just didn’t care. But maybe it was because he knew there was no vengeance to be fulfilled.”

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