It was Corrine who answered the front door. As soon as she laid eyes on me, her face lit up. She flung her arms around me and pulled me in for a tight embrace.
My father stood up, followed by my mother.I was still confused as to what everyone was talking about. Who was Magnus? Why was he the end of Lilith? Clearly, nobody was in the mood to answer my questions now.
Okay, my father said. We leave for The Blood Keep.Several people were looking doubtfully at Kiev, but it didn’t seem that anyone had any brighter ideas.Xavier and Vivienne, you will stay here in The Shade. The rest of us can go. Ibrahim and Corrine, we will need you, obviously. Everyone stood up, including Caleb and me. I was waiting for my parents to tell me that I should stay too, but they didn’t bother. It seemed that they were past trying to keep me out of things.
Be careful, Vivienne said, her hands resting over her stomach.The dragons will remain with you too, my father said. The rest of you can come. Though I’d prefer we keep our party no larger than fifteen members. We will be back as soon as we can. He kissed his sister on the forehead, then nodded toward Xavier before following us all out of the Dome.
Fifteen of us gathered in the clearing outside: Caleb and me, my parents, grandfather, Kiev and Mona, Corrine and Ibrahim, Kiev’s siblings and Matteo, Micah, Ashley and Landis. My mother was looking worriedly at me. She walked over and held my hand. A small gasp escaped her lips when she realized that I was wearing a ring. She stared at it, looked from me to Caleb, then back to me.
You’re engaged? she choked.But your parents! she exclaimed, glancing again at the island. She took a step back and, gripping my hand, began attempting to race toward the Port. There’s no time to lose.
Yes, but you have to wake up first.I reeled her in and pulled her against me, even as she tried to keep moving forward. I clutched her shoulders and shook them hard, harder than I would have liked to, but I reminded myself this was just a dream. And I had to jolt her into wakefulness. If I let her go wandering off, she would only keep dreaming.
Finally, my firmness worked. The scene around me faded away, along with River, and the feel of her shoulders in my hands. Now, with my eyes still closed, all I saw was blackness. River’s dream had ended.My eyes shot open. I looked around, my consciousness returning to the dark forest surrounding me.