I really shouldn't have been surprised by my father's appearance, and yet I was. I glared at the man, angered that he'd stalked me.
Steven stepped between us, laughing. "Besedie, you are a stubborn guy."
"Silence!" Besedie's eyes were hard., locked on me as he closed the distance. "Morgan, step away from the human."
Time paused, and we all stared in amazement. In the past, I'd never defied my father. He'd expected me to go back to being "myself". What a surprise that I wasn't that little Setian girl anymore.
"Too much of your mother in you." Besedie crossed his arms, a few yards away from us. "I should never have indulged you."
A chuckle escaped before I could stop it. "But you did, and here we are. So, Steven becoming Immortal is, in a way, your own fault."
Taunting might not be the best of ideas, but Besedie wild and out of control should be a Besedie we could beat. Evidence of his anger appeared, shimmering waves of heat surrounding him. "Stop this rebellious behavior, and let us return home." A vein in his temple throbbed as he attempted to control himself.
"Or you could just return him," Steven threw back. "Seriously, how many times do you need to be told to back off?" I smirked.
My father glared at Steven, the heat of his anger reaching us here. "Mouthy upstart. You're worse than her pet dragon." Besedie spat, and steam rose when the gobbet hit. "How she stands you, I have no idea."
"I can stand them because I like them. They help me see what the universe is like. They're outside the narrow Setian view of things." Old vehemence rose, and I grew angry. "Mom saw that, and you hated her for it."
"She would have been happy. You would have been so happy. The two of you could have had anything." His plea sounded like barked commands.
"We just wanted freedom."
Besedie hated that answer. He yelled with fury, the ground cracking at his feet, smoke swirling around his form. The breeze died, magic thickening around us. My father was setting the area to stasis, keeping us from escaping.
The choking sensation of being trapped was too much for Steven. He grunted, summoning magic of his own. Colors filled the air, the night singing as it pulsed around him. Ground swelled near Besedie, rising in a bubbling wall.
My father laughed, striding closer. Steven's magic was driven back, Order giving stillness to Chaos. Writhing soil froze, trapped in obscene shapes. "Child, you should stop that now."
"You can go fuck yourself," Steven retorted, drawing more power to his call.
My heart was throbbing at the pull of diametrically opposed forces. I'd chosen Balance, but hadn't learned how to use the magic available to me. Right now, I was still a hostage to both of them.
Besedie narrowed his eyes, sparing a glance for me. "And you can stay right there." The air became a prison, forcing me to watch as my father destroyed my best friend.