“Me?” Caelynn’s eyebrows shot up. “I didn’t do anything. Even if I tried, I can’t do something like that.“ She gave Collin a pleading look. “You just passed out, right? Needed time to heal?”
Slumped in his seat, Collin returned a helpless look of his own. “All I know is I woke up alone with a sheet over me. When Lincon came in I thought he came back to kill me for what I did to his father, but then he saw me and screamed.”
“You weren’t supposed to mention that.” Lincon muttered. “And it wasn’t a scream… it was more like a yelp… of surprise.” He turned back to Caelynn. “Heartsong, there’s no doubt — he was dead.”
“Dead?” Collin’s eyes widened.
Caelynn shook her head. “But Alfath heal fas…”
“Not that fast.” Dayne cut in. “Not after being crushed under a cave-in. Too much damage all at once.”
“Cave-in?” Collin sat up.
“Maybe a Transference?” Caelynn suggested, desperation creeping into her voice. “Like how Dad saved me?”
Lincon shook his head. “I don’t think so. A Transference is difficult to cast because you are basically grafting a part of your soul into another. The recipient needs to have some of their own life left in them for the spell to take hold. There’s never been a case of a caster able to inject a part of their life force into something not alive. My best guess is that burst of power after you were shot. It healed the gash on my head — maybe it restarted him, too.”
“You were shot?!” Collin jumped up from his seat. His fists were clenched and his eyes darted around the room.
Dayne pulled Caelynn back and quickly stepped between her and Collin.
“Whoa! Hold on!” Lincon put his hands on Collin’s shoulders and gently pushed him back down to the sofa. “Dayne already got the guy who did it. There’s nobody to fight. Remember what I told you?”
Collin nodded and took a deep breath, forcing himself to calm down.
Lincon turned back to Dayne and Caelynn. “He’s burned out and running on pure emotion right now. We should save the heavy conversations until he regains some control. For now we need to make sure everyone is safe.” He shifted his focus to Dayne. “You said there are openings Thyla could use to get back in? Show me where they are and I should be able to close them.”
Dayne hesitated. “What about…?” His eyes cut over to Collin.
“They should be all right while we’re gone. Collin can barely stand but would fight both of us to keep her safe. And Caelynn can help him recover faster than he would otherwise.”
“Lincon’s right.” Caelynn agreed. “Our priority right now is defending against Thyla.”
The bodyguard bowed his head in acquiescence. “My life in service to you, Amarrah.”
He led Lincon out the doors of Elyoniem and set a brisk pace down the hall. “You knew he was alive when spoke earlier.” Dayne’s voice was edged with recrimination. “You should have told me.”
Lincon stopped in the middle of the hall, his jaw and fists clenched. “I was here to rescue my father, who your people had kidnapped, tortured, and almost killed. Do not try to tell me what I should or should not have done.”
Dayne took a half step back, and Lincon could tell from his own training that the bodyguard was getting into a defensive stance. He wouldn’t initiate a fight, but neither would he back down if it came to blows.
Lincon looked down a moment, took a deep breath, and let it out in a huff as he relaxed his hands. He looked back up to Dayne. “I should also remember that you put yourself in danger to protect Caelynn when you could have sided with Thyla. I didn’t say anything because I was still figuring out how to handle this without tipping off Dawn’s Light.”
“You didn’t want them to know?” Dayne remained wary but relaxed his stance.
“Collin assaulted our headquarters and nearly killed two people to kidnap Caelynn, but the director wouldn’t authorize a rescue mission until we had a plan in place to neutralize her if she became a threat.”
“You would have killed her?”
“Not me.” Lincon shook his head. “Too emotionally attached. That duty was given to others. The point is, even then he was worried about how powerful she could become, and she had just barely started showing signs of having magic. There is no way he would have allowed her to remain free if he knew she brought Collin back to life.”
“Wouldn’t detention have been safer for her?”
“Do you think she would have ever been released?”