I take one last look at the island of Sabwa and then face forward, the slow rhythm of the water horse lulling me into my thoughts as we ride.
I’m more confident in leaving now. I know there’s much to do before I return. I’m looking forward to finding the next Ledger that Cedric left behind- hopefully left behind that is. Perhaps we’ll find the answers we seek at the Phoenix Tree. There are so many what-ifs that I can’t wrap my mind around them all. I do know that all of this is tied together… somehow. I just need to keep finding the rest of the pieces, put the puzzle together, and then find a solution.
I glance at Jericho and Kiira riding together and find myself smiling. How in love they are. The world is falling around them and yet there is such joy in their lives. I face forward again, gazing at the horizon.
My heart aches for Ashleigh. Last night was the happiest I’ve ever been. I’ve never known the joy, the pure love, I found in his arms. It was poetic that our souls joined before our bodies did. His words come back to me and I close my eyes for a moment, seeing his face as he tells me, “I never knew love until tonight. Thank you for teaching me.”
A tear falls and I do nothing to stop it. “I’ll find a cure. I promise,” I whisper, clutching my necklace. I had to- or I’d lose the thing I loved most in the world.