Chapter 13

The raven-haired woman reappeared just before Aveny awoke the next morning. She stood over her as she had in that first memorable dream.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” she said, her voice deep as an earthquake, eyes piercing as a solar flare. Aveny tried to move, to rouse herself, to respond.

It was futile.

“I’ve been waiting for a very long time.” The woman leaned closer, placing her hand on the bed above Aveny’s shoulder. Aveny could feel the heat vibrating off her form. The woman’s wrist brushed the bare flesh of Aveny’s shoulder, sending sparks of life into her limbs. Her breathing deepened and her gaze focused.

“You must restore what was taken from us,” the woman intoned, insistent urgency framing each word. “You must regain our birthright.”

What birthright? Aveny asked, surprising herself with the sound.

“My skin.”

Aveny’s eyes widened in surprised. I already have it. It’s here.

“It must be reunited.”

Reunited with what?

“With us.”

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