The Price of Vengeance

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Disseus must’ve fallen asleep because he woke lying next to her naked. A hand resting comfortably on his belly. Surrounded by the scent of her. And her softness along his arm and shoulder. His body was instantly responding.

He caught her hip and rolled her atop him.

“Oh, no you don’t!” She struggled against his grip. “It’s first light and you’ll leave my chamber immediately!”

“You think that’ll save you?”


“It only buys you time, Sweetheart. Time I’ll spend deciding how I’ll have you next.”

“Get out.” She shoved him out of the bed, but he landed on his feet in a crouch.

Animal reflexes unfailing.

She bundled his clothes and threw them at him. Pointing toward the door.

She was lying awake. Waiting for the sun to send its first fingers over so she could banish me. It irked him.

He dressed and stepped out.

And the door was promptly slammed behind him.

He rounded and pressed his face to the door. “Time to get up and get on our way!” He shouted through the wood. “Hope you slept well.”

She didn’t at all. He was gratified to know it.

He crossed the hall. Ignoring Lonnix giving him a stunned look as aimed for his room.

“What is it about this woman?” Lonnix tossed his arms.

“Nim?” Disseus drew to a stop. Back rigid. “She’s my woman and always has been.”

Shaking his head, Lonnix went to his chamber mumbling. “Not well. Not well.”

With a hand to his forehead, and eyes barely open Disseus tossed open her door. Freshly changed and groomed and demanding she get ready to go as they were leaving for Battling Country immediately.

Racing daylight. Because at nightfall she’s mine.

Lonnix uttered more complaints than she had.

She’d simply closed the door, pulled on a dress, and exited her room. Cloak billowing around her ankles. Flashes of a rich red dress peering between the edges of the cloak.

A dark color that matched her hair perfectly. Her green eyes barely spared Disseus a glance.

Dismissing me?

After everything last night. That rankled.

Disseus was waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs. “If you’d taken any longer, I’d have aged where I stand!”

He knew it’d only been a few minutes. Lonnix isn’t even down yet.

We’ve still got to wait on him.

Frowning, she’d said nothing.

Taking her to the stables he directed. “Saddle the mare for the journey.”

In truth he was stalling for Lonnix.

What’s taking him so long?

“Where’s your friend?” She asked perceptively with a lifted brow.

Damn her.

“You were taking so long dressing I told him to get a little more rest.”

Lips tightening, she gave him a sideways look that told him she saw through his deception.

Not particularly surprising. I’m not a good liar by any stretch of the imagination.

Yawning, Lonnix finally stumbled in, tripping over a slight heap of hay. “Where’d you go? Thought you were waiting downstairs?”

“Not after I sent you back up.” Disseus said meaningfully.

“What?” Lonnix asked in confusion. “You didn’t...”

Nim gave a small snort that could’ve been laughter.

Tossing her a dark look he caught her wrist and pulled her off the horse she’d mounted. “I should throw you in the stable and take you right there.”

“You can’t...” She sneered. Tilting her head cockily. “It’s daylight.” She wrenched her arm free. “Hands off.”

“Not a chance.” He hissed back. “It’s borrowed time. Tonight, I’ll ride you like a stag in rut. You’ll pray for the gentleness of last eve.”

“Gentleness?” She scoffed.

“I was gentle. I’d like to break you in half.” He said acidly. Hauling her off the horse. “You’re on Lonnix’s horse!”

Staring at him wide-eyed, she defended. “You said to saddle the mare!”

“No. Your deaf as a post. I said to saddle Bear.” He gestured to a scrawny gelding that gave them a wild look while he chomped hay.

Good luck.

She’d ridden over rough terrain several hours without complaint...

On Bear. Disseus was aware that was a feat.

The nag had already bitten her countless times. When she tried to steer the rein, tried to pull him to a halt, tried to heel him faster, the horse fought.

Every command.

There were many occasions when Lonnix preferred to walk over tolerating Bear’s constant nipping.

The sun was high, and she had only her thick dress and the cloak covering her. Undoubtedly steaming in it, but she did so silently.

As Bear nipped her again, she swore.

Turning with a glower, Disseus barked. “Stop goading the animal!”

Nearly on fire, her cheeks reddened, as she quietly fumed.

Then the rock flew.

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