(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Series: Copper Legacy #3
Published by Spencer Hill Press on July 27th 2016
Sara’s pretty sure her life is perfect.
Not only are she and Micah finally married, her father, who’d been missing since the Magic Wars, has been found. Actually, he just strode up to the manor’s front door, but whatever. Sara knows better than to look a gift horse in the mouth.
But Baudoin Corbeau isn’t content to return to family life. He’s decided that he will be the force of change in the Mundane world, and lead the Elemental resistance to victory with his children at his side. What’s worse, Baudoin doesn’t approve of Sara’s marriage, and makes every attempt to separate her from Micah.
After a visit to the Mundane realm leaves Sara, Max and Sadie imprisoned by the Peacekeepers, Sara’s doubts creep to the surface. Is her father right? Does she belong in the Mundane realm, not the Otherworld? Is Micah really the right man—make that elf—for her?
Was marrying him a mistake?
I couldn’t believe it.
He’d been gone for sixteen long, frustrating years. We’d searched everywhere for him, from the Mundane realm to the Otherworld’s Goblin Market. And after all of that, my father, Baudoin Corbeau, just walked up to the front door of the Silverstrand manor and swept me into his arms. It was a tad anticlimactic, but you know what? I decided I’d take it.
“You’re here. You’re really here,” I said, my voice mufﬂed by his shoulder. His grown-in whiskers scraped my ear, just like they had the day he’d left.
“Of course I’m here,” Dad murmured. “I promised I’d come back to you, just as soon as it was safe. I’m sorry it took me so long.” We hugged for another moment, then he added, “I heard tell that you were all here, at the Silverstrand manor, but I hardly believed it was true. I never thought I’d be reunited with my family in the Otherworld.”
I drew back at that, since he had a point. Dad probably thought that we’d abandoned the Raven Compound, and a thousand-odd years of family history, to live an easy life here in the Otherworld. Before I could explain that the old cellar—along with all the Corbeau artifacts it housed—was now ﬁrmly attached to the manor, Dad’s eyes alighted on his eldest child.
“Maximilien,” Dad said with a nod. “Do you remember what I said to you before I left?”
“Keep them safe,” Max whispered, his face bloodless. “Do whatever needs to be done, but keep your mother and sisters safe until I return.”
Dad nodded again and reached out to shake Max’s hand. “Well done, son,” Dad said, pulling Max into his arms. “Well done.”
While Max and Dad embraced, I looked toward Sadie and Mom. Sadie was staring at Dad, wide-eyed and trembling—she’d been so young when Dad had gone to war, I wondered if she had any real memories of him. Mom, on the other hand, was wide-eyed with a different emotion.
“Can’t be,” she said, shaking her head. “It just can’t be.”
Dad heard Mom’s voice and abruptly released Max. “Maeve,” he murmured, taking her hands. “Maeve.” Then they were in each other’s arms, the rest of the world promptly forgotten. I should have turned away, but I couldn’t. I’d wanted this for so long.
Micah stood behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist, and I leaned back against him. “I think this might be the best day of my life,” I whispered.
“It is already the best day of mine,” Micah murmured, kissing my hair.
“And where the bloody hell have you been?” Mom demanded. She shoved Dad away from her, then cupped his face in her hands, her eyes scanning his features as if to memorize them. “Max has told us of your clandestine meetings.”
“Forgive me my subterfuge,” Dad said. “There were… complications.”
“We thought you were dead,” Mom choked out.
“I may as well have been, without you.”
Mom’s eyes softened, and she was in his arms again. Dad had always known the right thing to say—in fact, he was the only one who could disarm Mom with just a few words. They whispered a few endearments to each other, then Mom drew Dad toward the youngest Corbeau.
“Beau, you remember our baby?” Mom asked.
“Sadie?” Dad’s eyes lit up. “My little girl, so big. So very, very big.” He folded Sadie into his arms, murmuring over and over that he was so sorry for missing so much of our lives, for being unable to return sooner.
“But we are all together again,” he said at last, turning so one arm was around Sadie’s shoulders, the other encircling Mom’s waist. “All the Corbeaus are together again.”
“I’m not a Corbeau anymore,” I blurted out. It was so new it still felt a little foreign saying it. “I’m a Silverstrand now. Dad, this is Micah, my husband.”
Dad’s brows furrowed, then he looked at Micah for the ﬁrst time. Only my father could waltz into the Lord of Silver’s home and make it his own. “You’re married?” Dad asked. “To… him?”
Micah stiffened but remained silent. “Yeah. We got married earlier today,” I replied. I grasped Micah’s left hand and showed Dad our rings. Mine was a twining silver vine crowned with a deep green emerald, while Micah’s was a copper oak leaf. We’d made them ourselves right before we left for our wedding. “Max walked me down the aisle.”
Dad stared at our hands for a while, the creases in his forehead deepening when he noticed the silver mark that coiled around my wrist. It was a parting gift from a desperate attempt to save Micah’s life—we’d been attacked by Farthing Greymalkin, and Micah had used up all of his silver to stop the crazed earth Elemental. Micah had managed to kill him, but he’d nearly died in the process. In fact, when I found Micah buried under stone and ash, he was so cold and unresponsive that I’d thought the worst. Desperate, I’d called for the silverkin, hoping beyond hope that they would know how to help him.
Help had come in the form of the crone from the apothecary, who had informed me that, unless Micah’s silver was restored, he would not be able to heal himself. As ridiculous as that sounded, a similar tactic had been used to restore the Gold Queen, Oriana, after she had been freed from the Iron Court’s oubliette. Not having any other options, the silverkin had shaped themselves into a metal cave—no, “cave” isn’t the right term. It was tiny and airless and more like a metal straightjacket than a cave. But they’d formed it, and effectively buried Micah and me alive.
I’d stayed with Micah throughout the whole ordeal. And I would do it all again.
I also swore to the crone that I would owe her anything in exchange for the information on how to save Micah. Remember that old adage about not owing the fae? Take that to the nth degree when in the Otherworld.
I still hadn’t told Micah about my debt to the crone. It was a good thing Dad had ﬁnally returned to us—I had a feeling that I would need all the help I could get when she came to collect.
At my insistence, the silverkin had encased Micah and me in the living metal. My last ditch effort to save Micah’s life had worked, and I’d ended up with a silver mark spiraling around my left wrist. Micah bore a matching copper mark on his right wrist. That’s right—we had built-in wedding rings (beat that, Tiffany’s) that nicely complemented the ones we wore on our ﬁngers.
Dad stared at our hands—and my new silver mark—for so long that he made me nervous. Weren’t parents supposed to be happy when their children found who they wanted to share their lives with? Eventually, he said, “I wish I could have walked you myself.”
“Dad, it’s not like—”
“I know,” he said, waving my words away. “It’s just a dream a father has.” He straightened and looked Micah in the eye. “You are the Lord of Silver, then?”
“I am he,” Micah acknowledged. “I give you my word that I will take excellent care of your daughter.”
“See that you do.” Dad smiled, and I felt Micah relax. I hadn’t realized how much my father’s approval would mean to him—probably because I hadn’t had a father for so long—but at least Micah had gotten it. Sort of.
“We have the makings of a feast,” I said, gesturing at the banquet the silverkin had assembled. The set-up was reminiscent of the Beltane celebration Micah and I had hosted a few weeks back, with long wooden tables set up in the gardens and piled high with food and drink. Already the residents of the Whistling Dell were arriving, bringing along gifts of food and wine and who knew what else. Really, around here it could be anything. “Would you… are you hungry, Dad?”
“I am,” he admitted, releasing Sadie and Mom so he could slip an arm around my shoulders, “and even though I missed my daughter’s wedding, at least I am able to be here and celebrate it with all of you.”
I leaned my head on Dad’s shoulder, and we walked out to the gardens together. Yes, this was without a doubt the very best day of my life.