They hadn’t come to this cell for The Serpent to rip me out of it, for some awful purpose.
It’s far worse than that.
They were preparing to close him in. With me.
This is his cell.
I was already shaking my head. Slowly at first then speeding up as they reached to unhook the chains from his collar.
“No. No. Don’t leave me in here with him!” I rushed for the door but one of the basters pulled out a kirafill. A tool that could emit a short distance laser powerful enough to cut straight through me. I lifted my hands in surrender.
“Just listen. I haven’t done anything.” I pleaded.
They took turns glancing at me like something that had crawled from a rodent hole.
“Don’t close me in here, with that.” I nodded toward him.
None of them seemed to be listening to me. They removed the last chain and gave him a shove before jerking the door closed with a loud bang. Which sealed the lock.
He was rubbing his arms where the gauntlets had been, as if to get some circulation back as he turned to me and murmured.
“They don’t care. They brought you here for me.”
I was a bit absorbed with the sight of his bare forearms, wound with markings and sayings. Seeming far leaner than I would’ve imagined. I couldn’t recall ever seeing them before.
It took me a moment to absorb what he’d just said.
“Yes.” He hopped onto the narrow cot on the center of the bed with the soft shackles dangling from it. He moved as agile as a cat. He drew up a knee and propped a chin on it. Watching me circling the edge of the cell. The top of my head bumped one of those dangling handcuffs.
I yelped and twisted my head to look at it.
In that heartbeat of a moment, palms slapped against the wall on each side of me, making me jump.
He was suddenly right in-front of me. Just like that. Fast as a snake strike.
I hadn’t even heard him move.
The smell of a masculine body was surrounding me.
I could feel his warm, strangely minty, breath fanning my face.
His eyes roved mine. They were striking. Silver with a black outline and slitted with a slashing black pupil. Which did, indeed, make him look very much like a snake.
“I was right.” He tilted his head. “Your eyes are green.”
I was momentarily caught off-guard by the intensity of his study and the unexpected words.
I swallowed and tried to melt further back into the wall. Shifting my feet as I tried to shuffle up it. Wiggling as I attempted to make space between him and I. My sweating palms flush against it. Looking for a way out.
I didn’t dare touch him to push him away. None of us were sure, if you even could.
There were whispers that his skin was hard, sharp like diamonds, and could cut you if you were foolish enough to touch it.
I closed my eyes and turned my head aside.
I knew why it was significant that my eyes were colored. It was part of the reason I tried so hard to keep my head ducked. All Tinies had brown hair and brown eyes.
It was how the branches of those left after the Shimmer, went.
You either became an Alabaster or a Tiny.
Then there was me.
Whatever I am.
My hair and eyes hadn’t changed during the Shimmer.
As far as I knew, nothing about me had.
I peeled one eye open and found he was gone. I blew a relieved breath and relaxed. Seeing he was lying on the cot in the center of the room. One foot drawn up.
He had a small ball in his hand, which he’d drawn from his pants pocket, and was tossing it over him and bouncing it off the ceiling and catching it.
His hand moved to snatch it out of the air, so fast I hardly saw it.
Which made me flinch each time.
He made me ungodly nervous.
He’s a killer.
And I’m locked in his cell with him. I felt like I was justified in being scared shitless.
No one knew how many of us he’d killed.
“Why d-did they b-bring m-me in here?” I was easing around to the top of that cot. Where I could just see that blade handle sticking out.
“Because I asked them to.” He said blandly. Still bouncing that ball. A methodic thunk.
“Because I get bored.”
“So, I’m to be your entertainment?” I was at the right angle. Finally.
“When you stop panicking.”
Like that would ever happen.
He was still sitting there. Dully, relentlessly, bouncing that ball.
I couldn’t take it.
I jerked with the intention of crouching for that knife.
His head tipped back to look at me which brought me to a standstill. “If you’re going for that blade, I’d recommend you do it and stop stalling.”
Eyes widening, I lunged for it. When I popped back up, he hadn’t moved.
Which confused me a bit.
His eyes flashed with something that might’ve been anger, but his face showed no emotion beyond that.
I put that blade to his corded throat.
He stretched it out for me. “I recommend you do it.”
My brow furrowed in confusion.
How can he be so cold?
“Quick if you’re going to.” He said flatly.
“W-why?” I croaked. My mouth suddenly so dry, I could hardly talk.
“Because if you don’t. I’m going to take that blade. And then I’m taking you.”
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