As they entered the castle the drawbridge creaked closed with a loud slam.
“Well she’s a captive now!” Rhyers called from the drawbridge. “Few ever make it inside, WaterRose, My Lady.”
None. Other then Forever Knights or their rare wards. Bast stared down at her. Long dark lashes framed eyes now as gold as his hair. His lips tight as he glanced at her again.
“Am I a prisoner?”
Need you ask?
“Yes.” His tone was decisive.
Because I need to find out what you are. And if you are a risk to us.
“You don’t know?” He countered.
“You tell me.” His verbal parries were beginning to annoy her.
“You won’t hold me for long.” Her eyes darkened with the unspoken threat.
I’ll do a lot more than hold you. Seducing women was never hard for him.
“Yes, you will!”
He looked down at her in his arms “You’re adorable.”
It’s not a lie.
Shaking her head cleared some of the fuzziness from her eyes. She hissed at him but had to clench her stomach against a surge of nausea. Her body jerked making her huff.
“Are you going to heave?” He asked warily.
Don’t do it. Not on me!
I may return it.
“I’m heading in.” Rhyers strode past them to go in abruptly. Obviously not wanting any part of her rejecting her meal.
Coward. His eyes narrowed on Rhyers’ back.
“It’d serve you right.” She muttered. “I hope I do send my meal all over your fine clothes.”
“What was that?” He glanced down with a frown.
Growling she writhed against his grip. Trying to pull away.
“You don’t like my touch?” He asked innocently.
“I’d rather my flesh rotted off.”
“Hmm.” He smiled. “Sweet little thing, aren’t you?”
He climbed the few steps to the heavy dark wooden doors. Pushing one open with his foot to step into the opulence of the expansive foyer. The triple chandeliers hung from the ceiling. The second dangling from chains connected to the first. And the third hooked to the second. All of them laden with a tight circle of candles. Glowing brightly over the gold trimmed red carpeting beginning at the stairs, leading to the dais where the stairs split into mirror images turning out toward the walls and winding up to the second level. Torches glowing up there.
But there was a dark hall passing the dais and continuing to darker chambers down the hall. Lined with elaborate frames along the right. As he past a few she realized they were portraits, the eyes following their progress. He suddenly turned sharply to take the stairs up the dais.
She glimpsed a door going beneath it.
My lower room. He often slept in the servants chamber under the stairs when trying to recover from some injury or another.
“Who are all these men? They’re…Strange.” She peered around his arm toward one of the portraits. It’s intent dark eyes staring through her.
“I’m certain they’d find you quite strange.”
“Who are they?”
He knew well she tried to distract him, searching for a viable escape. “My brothers.” He said nothing more on the subject. Keen on her plan, he was disinterested in small talk.
As they reached the second level her eyes roved the corridor’s beautifully ornate furniture. Well-hung tapestries depicting gorgeous scenes accentuated the beauty here.
“Lovely is it not?”
“I might be in awe, were I not wondering what you intend to do with me?”
He was quiet. Staring ahead.
“Are you going to kill me?”
No. That’s ridiculous. His brows drew together. “Would I have taken the time to bring you here when I could’ve killed you where you collapsed at the pond?”
She tilted her head grudgingly.
“What are you going to do with me?” Her voice quaked slightly, and he sensed her humiliation at the weakness.
Ignoring her question, he asked. “You don’t like feeling weak, do you?”
“Especially not you. You’re usually in control?” When she didn’t answer he added. “Is it preferable to have others at your mercy?”
She huffed as though he asked nonsensical questions.
Which is answer enough, I suppose.
“Am I to be your prisoner for a while then?”
A long while.
“As long as pleases me.” He smiled.
“I’ll tell you nothing of my kind. No creature in the world can keep a secret from men like a valkyrie. No torture nor beating will make me waver.” She said assuredly.
“You already have.”
“Have what?” She blinked.
“Told me of your kind.”
“I did no such thing.”
“You most certainly did.” He continued walking, staring ahead. Boots clicking across the wood floor. “You’ve told me there are more of your kind. You even told me what you are. Thank you. Until now, I’d no idea you were anything other than myth.”
“What more would you like to talk about?” He asked easily.
“You mean what more would I like to tell you about?”
“If you wish.” Smiling broadly, he glanced down at her.
Perfect silver-blonde hair framed features so delicate they were almost childlike. But that expressive face betrayed how very much of a woman she was.
There’s pain in her eyes only a woman grown can suffer. His gaze zeroed in on the pained look. She had eyes that resented meeting the gaze of any man.
Tightening her lips, she refused to say anything more.
No matter. I’ve tamed more reserved women before.