The Price of Vengeance

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Rather Inept

“She sees images of the future.” Lonnix explained.

Talking about Almora.

“How precious.” Nim said acidly. Unable to do anything other than dislike the beauty.

Nim watched the two younger girls and Almora fawning over Disseus in disgust.

“Is he above no woman? Not even young girls?”

Lonnix gave her a startled look. “He takes care of them. He’s been like a brother to them.”

“They don’t look at him like a brother.”

“No, they don’t.” Lonnix admitted before defending. “He’s very generous.”

“Oh, I’ve no doubt about that.”

Lonnix guided his mare further away sensing that this conversation was suddenly spiraling downhill far faster than he could’ve anticipated.

Disseus assisted Almora onto her horse. Holding her waist as she found a foothold and climbed over the mount’s back. Curls pouring over one shoulder, she smiled prettily down at him. Reaching to trail a fingertip over a thin scratch marring his cheek.

Asking in a concerned voice. “What happened?”

His smile vanished. “I was dislodged” He emphasized. “from my horse.”

Glancing at Nim he saw her look quickly away.

She should. Since it was her damn rock which dislodged me.

“You?” she asked looking taken aback.

He gave a slight nod. Aware that everyone knew it was highly unlike him to be unseated from his horse.

“Strange.” She commented.

“He’s been rather inept today.” Nim added, face impassive.

Inept? Disseus shot her a scathing look. Eyes wide in warning and brows shooting so far up they nearly touched his silver-blonde hairline. Did she just call me inept?

“Disseus?” Almora was stunned.

“Yes, of course.” Nim said dismissively. Not meeting any of their looks.

Disseus glowered at Nim unwaveringly. Wait until I get ahold of you.

I’ll show you inept then…

She shifted uncomfortably under his burning look. Sensing his dark thoughts of repercussions.

As they started off on their trek, Nim was regularly adjusting on the horse. Tossing her legs over to straddle the horse, then back to ride side saddle.

Clearly sore. He grinned maliciously. It’s going to be a long journey for her.

“Are we going to Battling Country today or not?” She snapped drawing him from his pleased thoughts.

Wanting to know if the price she was paying was worthwhile.

It’s not.

“Depends.” Strolling to his stallion he hopped on. Blatantly ignoring her question when he offered nothing further.

“On what?”

“Whether you cease your complaining long enough we may make some progress yet today.”

She hissed through her teeth hatefully.

Like a rodent threatening an intruder. A fitting description for her.

Still fuming as she sputtered through her teeth, she heeled the ragtag mount she rode. Resulting in Bear flipping his head to give her a quick bite before complying with her directions.

Bitter nag. Disseus barely noticed. Guiding his horse closer to Almore because he’d noticed it bothered Nim.

After a time Nim noticed them exchanging chunks of a loaf of bread Almora held.

Riding to Lonnix, Disseus offered him a hearty chunk.

Almora turned her horse to meet Nim, bread in hand, but Disseus’ voice stopped her.

“Don’t bother, Almora.” He cautioned. “She won’t take it. She thinks herself above witches and their gifts.”

Looking faintly wounded, Almora lifted her chin and turned her horse.

Stomach grumbling as Nim watched her, she felt the heated rage of an animal clawing just under her skin. Riding toward Disseus at a breakneck pace she guided her nag into the destrier and launched herself at Disseus.

Landing in a tumble they both leapt to their feet about the same time.

Drawing a small dagger, Nim moved on him with legendary skill.

She’s going to challenge me?

Has she forgotten who she’s taking on? He snarled in his throat. Eyes zeroing in on her.

She’ll pay for this tonight.

Using the maneuvers that’d killed every one of her foes. Quick footing and a sure step, she closed in on him while he watched intently, unmoving. Once in reach, she jabbed the dagger in a flash of movement that made Almora gasp in terror.

He deflected with a flick of his forearm.

Moving to hit him with the other arm only resulted in another smooth block. Snarling in rage she came at him with rapid combinations.

Turning to the side and ducking on occasion, he calmly evaded every strike she made.

Increasing her speed did nothing.

Unflappably calm he seemed nearly bored.

Until he tired of playing. Hitting her forearm, he caught her wrist and gave it a twist which forced her fingers to relinquish the blade. He caught it with his other hand. Barely gripping it before tossing it over his shoulder.

Blocking more hits, he moved in on her and his eyes began to darken with anger. “Have you forgotten everything I taught you?” He demanded.

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