"That is not true! What game are you playing Mr. Hawke?" She turned on Em. "Mr. Johnson?"
Em was biting his lower lip. "Not now. Something has him bound, I can't seem to undo it."
"Liel," Hawke said. "You must listen to me. Something has happened and I fear you are in danger."
Liel could feel the tears starting in earnest. "This is not humorous!"
Hawke sighed. "Pumpkin, you have to trust me." He closed his eyes for a moment. "I can feel them pulling me back, I don't have long here." He captured her face again and kissed her forehead. "Please be safe. Go to Rosehaven."
Then with another gasping breath Hawke blinked and his eyes were brown again. He gently removed his hands from her face and took a staggering step back. "Em?" he said.
Em's hands were moving more quickly. "Something's coming."
A buffet of energy coursed through the room and Hawke was knocked off his feet, sprawling on the floor. The energy shuddered around them, shaking the room. Em grabbed Liel's hand and pulled them both down on the floor near Hawke while shouting, "Guardian!" A pale blue dome appeared over them, rippling and humming with power. Hawke coughed and struggled to sit up in the small space. He was pale and clammy.
"What is going on?" Liel demanded.
"Dark magic," Em said. "Vicious, hideous stuff."
"And what was this about my father? He's not dead."
Hawke and Johnson looked at each other. "I'm sorry," Hawke said in a cracked whisper. "But your father has been dead for over two weeks."
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