Home > Siren's Song (Legion Of Angels #3)(17)

Siren's Song (Legion Of Angels #3)(17)
Author: Ella Summers

The house was dark, and I didn’t turn on any lights. I crept along with softened steps, not wanting to wake anyone. I paused in front of Zane’s open door, taking a moment to send him a silent promise that I would find him. I doubted he could hear me, but just in case he could, I wanted him to know I was looking for him.

“Leda.”

I spun around, drawing one of my swords as I moved. I stopped when I saw it was only Calli. I must have been so caught up thinking about Zane that I hadn’t heard her approach. Nero would have chided me for being sloppy, and he was right. I had the heightened senses of a vampire. There was no excuse to let anyone sneak up on me. Well, except for angels. I swear they came with built-in silencers. You couldn’t even hear them breathe.

“You’re up early,” I said to Calli.

“Same as every day.”

Calli always had been an early riser. Back in the old days, she’d used those quiet hours to work in the garage, make breakfast, and to do all those small things that otherwise didn’t seem to ever get done in a household of kids who played as hard as we fought. I’d known she woke up long before us, but I hadn’t realized until today just how early her day began because I was not an early riser. As a teenager, I could have slept until noon every day of the week. I’d given up my lazy mornings and late breakfasts the day I’d joined the Legion of Angels. It was one of the things I missed—just not as much as I missed my family.

Calli looked through the open door to Zane’s room. Everything was exactly as it had been the day Zane was taken. It was waiting for his return.

“He’ll be back,” I told her, setting my hand on her shoulder.

“Of course he will. He’s a fighter.” She turned and went into the kitchen. “His mother was a fighter too.”

I grabbed a roll from the bread bowl. “You knew her?” Calli had never told me about Zane’s birth mother.

“Yes, back from my days with the League.”

The League was the world’s largest bounty-hunting company. Calli had worked there before coming to Purgatory, before raising us. Every so often, we met one of her old friends from the League, but I didn’t actually know much about the time she’d spent there.

“Her name was Cora. I hadn’t seen her in years, not since the League. She left the year before I did. I never found out why until the night she showed up on my doorstep with a young boy. Her son.”

“Zane,” I said. “He was hunted even then?”

Calli nodded, stirring her tea. “Cora begged me to take him in. She was crying hysterically, but between her pleas and sobs, I managed to piece together what was going on. The gods had learned her son was a ghost.”

Ghosts, people with telepathic powers, were very rare and highly prized. The strongest telepaths could do so much more than just read thoughts; they could see things and track people across great distances. Even angels with telepathic magic could not do this; they could only link to those they loved.

Only a handful of telepaths were born into each generation. Both the gods and the demons hunted down every one they could find to test, drug, and use as spies, as a window into their enemies’ camps.

“The gods sent the Legion of Angels to hunt down Zane and his mother,” Calli said. “They’d traveled from far away to get to me. But we all know that no place on Earth is truly safe from gods and demons.” She wiped a tear from her cheek. “She knew the Legion would chase her to the ends of the Earth to find her son, so she left him with me. I saw the look in her eyes as she left, Leda. It was as if a part of her had been ripped out. She gave up her son to save him.”

“What happened to her?” I asked, my throat growing hoarse. I feared I already knew the answer.

“Cora caught a train west. The Legion wasn’t far behind her. She was trying to lead them as far as possible from Zane. So she went out on the Western Wilderness. She knew she was going to her death, but it was the best chance her son had. They found her body one week later. She’d managed to survive the monsters long enough to lead them on a wild goose chase across the Western Wilderness. To give her son a chance at life,” Calli finished, her voice shaking with emotion.

I stood there for a minute, trying to think of what to say. Cora had known the Legion had magic that could break any mind, even hers, and she’d chosen death over giving up her son’s location. There were no words to describe the harrowing beauty of that mother’s sacrifice for her son.

“Calli, why are you telling me this now after all these years?” I asked her.

“Because I know you feel guilty about what happened to Zane.”

“He went missing on my job, helping me, saving my life. He exposed himself—his power—to save me. I have every reason to feel guilty. This is my fault.”

Calli was quiet for a few moments, watching me. Finally, she said, “I taught Zane how to use his power and how to hide it, when to use it and when to hide it.” She paused. “Zane chose to save your life that day, Leda, and I would have expected nothing less of him. Of any of you. You are fantastic and giving individuals, every one of you, and I’m proud to have raised you.”

“Calli—”

“But you have to let go of this guilt. Zane knew what he was doing.”

“Just as I know what I’m doing. It’s my turn to save him.”

“That’s why you joined the Legion. That’s why you said it had to be you.

   
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