Shadow Rising

Shadow Rising by Yasmine Galenorn Read Free Book Online

Book: Shadow Rising by Yasmine Galenorn Read Free Book Online
Authors: Yasmine Galenorn
me, or does it feel colder than usual out here?” She rubbed her temples. “I have such a headache. What the hell are we supposed to do? I don’t want to go but we don’t have any choice.”
    “We
do
have a choice. We can go home. We’ve been obedient all of our lives, but this time…” I’d had it. I’d had it with everything. “We can still fight the demons, but on our terms. We aren’t beholden to Tanaquar or to Father anymore. We work for Queen Asteria.”
    “Yes, we work for her and she gave us specific instructions to journey to Y’Elestrial.” Camille kicked a pebble on the street and watched as it bounced over to the gutter. “But if he so much as raises his voice to me…”
    Trillian caught her hand. “My love, you will do as you always do—follow your heart, and follow your gut. I’ll always back you up.” He raised her fingers to his lips and kissed them gently.
    Chase cleared his throat. “Maybe your father has come around. Why else would he send for you?”
    “Any number of reasons. But perhaps he’s actually sorry.” Even as I said it, I wasn’t sure I believed it.
    Father was a stubborn fool, and once he made up his mind, he stuck to his guns. Camille took after him, and they’d been butting heads since we were young. He’d expected more out of her than out of Delilah and me, and she’d chafed at his demands. She wasn’t cut out to play mother, though she tried, and while she’d become our rock, it had—in the long run—hurt her.
    Delilah and I had been freer to make mistakes, to go our own ways. In some ways, I knew it was because he’d loved Camille most, but his love came with a price that was too high for me to ever want to incur.
    I stared into the night as we passed through the streets. We were going home. To Y’Elestrial. To the place where we were born and raised. To the town I’d renounced the day we went Earthside.
    A trip through the portals is the wildest roller-coaster ride you’ve ever been on. Toss in a bungee jump, skydiving, and a few hallucinogenic drugs to the mix, and you might come close to what it feels like. You get yanked apart in one place and thrown back together somewhere else. And you remember everything in between those frozen seconds when you’re noncorporeal and shimmering in between the worlds.
    We arrived in Y’Elestrial, expecting the Des’Estar—the formal guard of the Court and Crown—to meet us, but all we ran into were a couple of louts trying to persuade the portal guards to give them a free ride. It wasn’t working, save for one drunk bitch who had hiked up her skirts and was fucking the lot of them, two or three at a time. We stared at her for a moment, then, shaking our heads, turned and walked into the streets.
    During the day, Y’Elestrial was gorgeous, bustling and filled with the cacophony of street vendors and open markets and the lush shopping districts that attracted visitors from hundreds of miles around. It was probably one of the most beautiful cities in Otherworld; gleaming domes with spiralingminarets topped the city buildings, and marble retaining walls surrounded the upper-crust gated communities where the nobles and Court favorites lived—those who weren’t quite popular enough to reside within the Court itself.
    But at night…at night, Y’Elestrial took on a darker edge, a dangerous and glittering appeal that filtered into the streets in the sweet, cloying scents from the opium dens and the raucous music that came from the brothels and nightclubs. The shadows were filled with thieves and thugs, with assassins and slavers and gamblers looking for an easy mark.
    I looked around for a carriage, but there were none in sight. “So Father didn’t send an escort for us. That figures. But if he wants to see us, he can jolly well pony up for transportation. It’s a good two miles and while that’s not all that far, I would think he’d have better manners, since he was the one who sent for us.”
    Delilah glanced

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