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Aeval leaned back in her seat. “I have more news for you, and you aren’t going to like it but you will listen and do what I say.”
I blinked. “Nothing good ever begins with the words, ‘you aren’t going to like it.’ What is it?” There was no use arguing. I knew that—no matter what I said—I’d end up following her instructions, so might as well just have her come out with it.
“You’re taking Bran with you. He can lead you safely through Thistlewyd Deep. You will also meet Raven Mother there. Even though the Moon Mother doesn’t like her, Raven Mother is definitely on our side in this.” Aeval waited for my outburst, a faint smile on her lips.
I stared at her. They’d stuck me with Bran when I went in search of the Merlin, and that had been hard enough. But the look in Aeval’s eyes was firm and I knew that no matter what, this wasn’t up for debate.
“Fine. Any other curveballs you want to throw me?”
“Menolly cannot go, but I think that was already a given.”
I nodded. “Yeah, but Delilah’s coming with me. And Morio, and Smoky.” I glanced over at Vanzir. “What about him?”
Aeval broke in. “The father of my child will not go tromping off on this mission. But I recommend that you take Trillian instead of Morio—you should leave someone at your house along with your sister, and Trillian has been in the mountains before. Take Shade. Venus will be coming with you, of course. And there is one more who will go with you, although you may question why. He’ll need help keeping up, but you can manage.”
I straightened. Who could she be talking about? I was about to ask when the door opened and Chase entered, a guard behind him.
I jumped up. “Chase? What are you doing here?” Then, suddenly understanding, I turned back to Aeval. “Are you kidding?”
“No. He must go with you and don’t ask, because I don’t even know why myself. But it is simply…what must be. Derisa received the same vision as well.”
“But…” I stared at him, dreading the journey. Chase was in good condition for an FBH, and the tiny bit of elf blood in him didn’t hurt in the slightest, but he couldn’t keep up with us and we all knew it.
“It’s going to happen, Camille. Accept it.” Aeval let out a long sigh. “Welcome, Detective Johnson.”
Chase looked confused. “I’m not sure why I’m here. You needed me for some reason?”
“Yes.” She crossed to his side and inclined her head. “Detective, we are at a crossroads in history. Camille is about to take the most important journey of her life, and you need to go with her. Don’t ask why—I cannot give you an answer. But I know that you must go with her.”
He glanced at me, concern washing across his face. “Are you all right?”
I nodded, biting my tongue. I had no idea what to say to him.