When Gil had watched Khia deal with her assailant a definite chill had gone down his spine. As a newly minted Valkyrie, knowledge was limited, so he turned to the only person he knew for a fact would help.
‘Jack? What is that shit that Khia used? I’ve seen poisons before, but…’
His grandfather’s eyes changed to an icy blue as his tone fell dead serious. ‘Listen up, boyo. You’re not on Earth anymore. We are not the dominant gender here. To get along with the females just go along with whatever Mist suggests. It is safer, until you know your way around.’ Jack paused a moment, even when speaking with the mind, one had to be careful. ‘Khia is the Grand mistress of the Black Rose, second to none, until Malice returns. It was because of Khia and her past, that Malice started the Rose.’
Gil heard his grandfather chuckle out loud.
‘Though she is dangerous, boyo, she’s one female a cocky young man should experience at least once in his lifetime. The things she can do with a…’
Gils right eyebrow crawled off into his hairline before he replied. ‘Really?’
‘Yeah, she’s definitely something to be experienced. Just wait, she’s been known to frequent Mist’s bed. I think you’ll get your turn soon enough!’
‘And the poison?’
‘A Guild secret. I do know it’s comprised of a whole bunch of things, like the black rose hips, native to Kem’pir. When combined it creates a nasty neurotoxin. In low doses, you live in a burning hell. Your veins and skin feel like their melting.’
‘Was that what was in that case Malice came after? The one we tossed into the river?’
‘Yeah! Nice job there, by the way. Made yourself a few enemies that day, and I’d, uh, watch the fuck out for Loki, if I was you! He loves the stuff. Practical jokes and the like.’
‘Practical jokes? Is he insane?’
‘Only in high doses will the drug fuck with the important stuff. Memory. Coordination. Add enough, as Khia did, and the temperature regulation systems throughout the body malfunction. Poof, the accused goes to dust instantly.’
‘What the hell have I married into? A nest of assassins and thieves?’
‘Welcome to the other side of the looking glass, boyo. Now, mind your P&Q’s around these women, there be monsters lurking beneath these pretty painted faces. They are beautiful, but deadly. Do not cross them.’
The Mistress had overheard the words shared between kin and with a smile she opened her mind for both to see. ‘You have no idea, boys!’
No, they didn’t, but Gil was more than willing to find out as he watched that image till it faded from his mind.
“Bloody hell!” He let out with a sigh, only to see that she and Mist had gone off ahead.
The kitten peered into Malice’s mined, interested in the one called Loki, but cautious in her attempts to know more. He and Malice had created some sort of pact and the magic he’d used, she’d have to make sure it was compatible. With all the Feline’s hard work, she couldn’t chance it being all for naught. She found herself perched in the danger zone, in more ways than one as she had left the icy waters.
There was no telling what new challenges she would face with Malice’s hormones running a muck. She was so wound up, both physically and sexually, it would take a whole harem to get her head back in the game. Still, the Cosmic Critter had to try.
His healing was almost complete. One more treatment with the one called Kember and he’d be good as new. She’d done a pretty good job of patching him up so far; problem was, he had no idea who the hell she was.
He knew she was a Witch and she’d been caring for him, using her own magic to undo that which was cast upon him. She had to be powerful in order to displace the enchantment, which meant she was old. You didn’t pop into existence with all the powers in the universe, you had to learn them and that took time.
“She will be here any moment!” The voice called to him and a second later he heard the door close.
He was alone. Alone and waiting for the crone to arrive. He had no idea what she looked like or if she could even be trusted. She was a Witch after all and they were known to turn on a dime. He remembered one such heathen, the worst of the worst. He was pretty sure she’d been crowned Sovereign by now. Kalin, they called her. A wicked bitch if he’d every known one. Fuck, what if it was her? What if she was the Witch?
No knock came from the door before it opened and his heart sunk to his belly. She was here and though he could sit up, he wasn’t able to turn towards the door.
“Hello?” Came a voice, soft and young, and totally throwing him off.
“Hello?” He answered back.
“We are here to tend your wounds!” She giggled and he heard her cross the floor. “Would you like a bath?”
“Uh...” He let out as she appeared before him, but she wasn’t what he expected.
The hair atop her head, streaks of white and red, coiled and pinned in place. She was the spitting image of the Lady in white, but much, much younger. Adorned in a gown of green and gold that fell about her ankles, she was beautiful, he couldn’t deny it; but it was those Emerald green eyes that did his heart in.
“Here, let us get this bandage off!” She smiled and it were as if the room lit up.
There was no stopping her, even if he’d wanted to. She was quick and skilled and he wondered what sort of spells she’d cast to keep her youthful glow. “Do I lay down?” He managed to choke out as she slid the cloth across the purple and yellow bruises littering his chest.
“I don’t know, do you?” She inquired, continuing to clean the remnants of his wound.
“This is, kind of your deal!” He reminded her. “I’m just the patient here!”
She smiled again, dipping the cloth into the bowl before rinsing it out. “If you are more comfortable lying down, I guess it...” She paused, “Well, what did you do last time?”
“Madrina?” Another voice floated in from the hall, but the female tending to him didn’t seem to notice.
“I uh, don’t remember the last time!” Ahlexander blurted out as the other voice made itself known and another female entered the room. “It’s your magic...”
“Madrina?” The new arrival called again and Ahlex made the mistake or turning.
“Fuck?” He shouted, reaching for his chest.
“Madrina?” A third voice, what the hell was this, a party in the recovery ward?
“For the love of, what?” The female turned towards the door, shaking her head.
“You are not to be wandering the halls, alone!” The male grumbled, coming before Ahlexander with a frown.
It was Lord Eroch, and he looked pissed.
“I’m not alone, this warrior is keeping me company!” She laughed and set the cloth and bowl on the side table. “And he is ready for you, Kember!”
“For fucks sake, Maddi!” The second female came round the end of his bed and he finally set eyes on the Witch.
Again, not what he expected. Young, slender and a set of hips that made you want to... Dark hair with a hint of blue when she shook her head and a pair of eyes like Sapphires.
“I was helping!” Madrina sighed, rising to her feet.
“You’re supposed to be with your sister!” The Dark Lord mumbled. “I’ve already got one wayward child to worry about, I don’t fucking need two! You, do not leave Sanctuary!” He growled and disappeared from the room.
“I’m not a child!” She hissed back at where he’d stood.
“But you are, his child!” Kember laughed as she approached Ahlex. “Hi!”
“Hi, yourself!” Ahlex tried to offer a smile.
“This is going to hurt you, a lot more than it will me!” She told him, laying a hand on his chest and a second later the burn began.
No wonder he hadn’t remembered the last time, he’d probably passed… out… from…
Loki could feel Malice’s moods. In her lucid state, she would have known that Mist would do anything to set her sister free. On the other hand, Malice, was not exactly Malice. She was part Valkyrie and part Host from hell.
He had to trust her though, if only for a chance to get her back. With a sigh, he put the necklace in Malice’s hand.
“It’s got a one-use spell in it, something Ashlyn called a soul trap.” He muttered and hung his head.
Malice’s head tilted to the side as a smirk slid across her face. Another lie, told by Pathen to keep her in line.
“Ashlyn’s alive?” Marena gasped.
“And wanting her daughter back!”
“Pathen told me that I had slain her. That her blood was on my hands.” Malice paused a moment. “Am I not condemned?”
“Condemned?” He laughed. “The last time I saw Ashlyn, she was giving Jack the what for. So no, you are not condemned.”
“Am I not, a traitor? After all I have done, do they not hate me?”
“There may be some with hate in their hearts, but those who matter feel only love.” Loki replied, and Marena drew in a breath she feared to let go.