She's more than just a sword.
“A friend of mine,” Alina murmured, “has been looking for you."
She advanced a step, a bag rustling at her side. Her mouth opened, but closed again. Wordless, she pulled the silk bag off her wrist and extended it to him, brow lifted in a silent command.
Amusement shuffled through him as Andrei accepted the bag. The moment he touched the fabric, emotions slipped into his mind.
“Viveet,” he whispered.
"The sword is of Andrei origin," Alina continued. "I don’t know the story of it, and I assume her father was the deliverer. Regardless, it was destroyed in battle three years ago. She wants it reforged, but hasn’t been able to find you. It is . . . of great value to her.”
Andrei barely registered the words. He didn’t know Viveet—not personally. But the Ensis magic of past swordmakers passed from witch to witch. Whoever wore the mantle would recognize an Andrei sword immediately.
The desperate gasps of magic coming from the bag had him too distracted. He strode across the room, tossed a reindeer hide over the top of his oak work table, and carefully emptied the bag on top.
Glittering pieces shifted out, tumbling over each other.
He braced one hand on the table and ran his other fingers over them. They sparkled beneath his touch, alternating silver and blue. The color leeched to gray when his fingers navigated off the pieces.
Images in his mind.
Memories, more than anything visible in his brain. Feelings. Swords didn’t form thoughts, but they did have attachments. They felt deeply. Deep enough that, after communicating with them, he felt drained. Tired by their bloodlust or loyalty or protective instinct or sheer hunger.
Andrei’s palm hovered over the largest piece. Dying flickers of light illuminated the hilt, as if Viveet were trying to reach out. An overwhelming ache rose from the depths of the metal, taking his breath away. Viveet was . . . lonely. Concerned. Anxious.
A mixture of all three that took his breath away.
“She misses Bianca,” he whispered.