The Price of Vengeance

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“So...Good night?” Lon’s familiar voice cut through the blissful peace of slumber.

Disseus peeled open his eyes to see Lonnix standing over him. Peering over his wide belly with a knowing smirk.

“Was.” Disseus rolled over to get up. “’Til I woke to your face.”

Where the hell is she?

She wasn’t next to him.

In-fact she was nowhere in sight. He frowned at Lonnix.

“Don’t glare at me, My Friend.” Lon frowned. “Wasn’t my doing that drove her off. She headed down to the river.”

“Said she had to go ‘wash off a mistake’.” Lon mimicked a shrill womanly voice.

“So…how good a mistake was it?” He wiggled his brows suggestively. “Was it?”

I’m not talking about that. Disseus glared at him.

“She can wash all she wants.” He called loudly down to the river. “But she won’t be able to wash away what she did.”

Came to me warm, wet and willing.

That was no fault of mine.

Glancing over his shoulder toward the bank, Lonnix winced and shuffled away. Unwilling to see her come stalking back after biting that bait.

Disseus looked toward Almora, realizing for the first time that she was there. She ran her fingers through the knots in her damp blonde hair as she stared at the ground.

“Look what you did.” Disseus whispered as he gestured.

“Me?” Lonnix looked appalled. “I didn’t-you’re the one-you-” Blowing out a breath he gave up.

Reaching under a fur and two piled cloaks Disseus slipped on his breeches. Rising he dug around until he uncovered his boots.

Already washing him off, was she?

“Won’t be the last time that woman washes me away.” He snarled to himself.

Obviously catching his wind, Lonnix shot him a dubious look.

“She looked a fine rage this morn, Disseus. Keep that up, you may not get back what you offer.” He cautioned with a grimace.

Disseus shot him a dark look. Lon’s meaning was clear. My man parts.

Nim was storming up the hillside, her eyes spitting green fire. And levelled on Disseus.

“Don’t blame me!” Disseus defended, then gave her an arrogant smirk.

You can regret last night all you wish. Won’t change that it happened.

He helped her on her mount, despite her objections. Letting his hand mold over her bottom and caress a hip resulted in a vicious slap across his cheek.

Not entirely unexpected.

She leaned down to hiss in his face. “Never again.”

Oh, it’ll happen again.

“Don’t worry Sweetheart. I’d rather stick my piece in boiling oil.” He flicked her nose as though she were adorable and grinned triumphantly.

But already he was making plans to sample her sweet body again tonight.

She growled through gritted teeth.

“Careful.” His voice dropped to a dangerous note. “That sounds very much like that other noise.”

With a small, frustrated shriek she heeled her horse.

Lonnix sidled up next to him with a worried look. “Take care not to get burned at your own game.”

Once they were all mounted, they heeled their horses. It didn’t take long to catch up to Nim. Despite her best efforts, the nag refused to do more than a lazy step.

In-fact she was tempted to stalk off herself, sure that she could stomp away faster than the rabid horse was willing to do.

Disseus trotted his big stallion up next to her. Steering him so close, Disseus’ legs brushed Nim’s.

She jerked away. Spitting nastily. “You know the Guardians are looking for you.”

He looked ahead but his whole demeanor had gone from taunting to cold instantly. “I’m sure they are.”

“They need someone to enforce our laws.”

His head spun to glare at her. “That’s not my problem!”

I’m not going back.

They don’t deserve my help.

Her disgusted look spurred him to add. “There are plenty of others.”

“No. There aren’t.” She said softly. “Not anymore.”

“What?” His eyes widened.

“Demon kindred got them all.”

“The Harbingers?”

“No, the kittens.” She snapped dryly.

“Are you ever amiable?” He spurred his horse and rode ahead while she sputtered.

Her eyes narrowed on his back.

“They’d love to find you.” Nim threatened.

The Guardians would want me to go back to the fey realm.

When he looked over his shoulder, his eyes held a hard glint. Is she threatening to summon them on me?

“That’d be a shame.” He said acidly. “You might never see your boy again. In-fact you might get the pleasure of servitude to the Demon King again were I to be turned back over to them.”

Don’t threaten me.

She looked as though he’d slapped her, and he instantly regretted the words. Dammit, but the woman brought out the worst in him.

Lonnix was appalled.

“Don’t look at me that way!” Disseus hissed.

“Why would you say such a thing to her?”

Because I’m a fool.

“Did you not hear her threaten me?”

“Yes, I did. I heard an angry, humiliated woman trying to defend herself.” He shot Disseus a chastising look.

As if I should know better. Despite himself, Disseus felt his defensiveness rising to the fore.

“Why are you in support of the man-eating wen-”

“I’m not.” Lon cut him off with surprising aggression. “I’d just thought my friend a better man than the one I’ve seen as late.”

Disseus’s brows snapped together. “You’re treading dangerous ground, Old Friend.” Disseus grated.

“As are you.” Lonnix gestured to Nim who’d fallen a distance behind.

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