Prologue

"Ready, set, GO!"

Two tiny bodies ran into the woods. One stopping at a tree with her eyes closed, pretending not to peak while the other ran and hid. Even at six anyone could tell the girls were beautiful. Warm blue eyes, long black hair catching sunlight as they ran giggling through the trees.

It had James terrified.

They had been three when he found them bloodied and broken under the rubble crying into their mother's corpse. A seer. Not in the traditional sense of course, instead, she gathered information. Where weapons were stocked with the occasional touch of sabotage and assassination. They had caught up to her eventually, at a time when she wasn't expecting it. They took her. Took the twins. And forced the two girls to watch as they did unspeakable things to their mother before shoving a sword through her gut and dropping her to the floor.

That's what they could tell from the body. The girls had never said a word. No matter what they did to help them. The reasons why the entire building suddenly turned to rubble remained hidden in their memories. It was those memories that scared James the most.

"A game of poker father James?"

He turned with a broad grin to a set of green eyes that could only be Irish.

"Rabbi — and where have you been all morning?"

"Trying to convince those freakin' skirts that true enlightenment comes through vial and pint" he laughed "and if you don't start callin' me Jack I'm gonna start to believe ya don't like me"

"I don't like you"

"Bastard"

James smiled. Jack had been a great friend through the years. Not that there was room for any more enemies. Still, he'd kept James level. Which seeing as how much he liked a drink, must have been an extraordinary undertaking.

They both jolted when a scream pierced the air.

Jacks eyes darkened "my God, the girls!"

James was already running towards the forest, keenly aware it was growing darker every second. He had to find the girls before the monsters came out to feed.

They were nowhere in sight. A soft mist began to filter through the wood hiding the earth beneath his feet. Yet another reminder they should be heading back to base.

"Aine! Cira!" he stopped, gasping for air and listening to the wind.

Relief washed over him as he caught sight of two figures crouched low three meters away. "It's okay, I'm here" only when he got closer did he notice the blood seeping into the soil, and the deep gash on Cira's chest. Her sister whimpering with her arms wrapped tightly around her.

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