Afraid is not the word.
“She does not favor me.”
“Then she is certainly not human!”
Bast shook his head. “She most definitely is not.”
If she were, she’d already be in my bed.
Only now did Bast’s hand fall from Chavias’ chest.
“So…What does she eat?” Chavias asked thoughtfully.
“I’ve no idea.” Bast stiffened.
“You may want to find out. Can you ask her?”
Bast gestured to the upper level. “Did she look in a mood to chat?”
Chavias grimaced, lifting his hands in surrender. “I was directed to back off, so I guess it’s not my dilemma to discern.”
“You’re a terrible friend.”
“Or,” Chavias lifted a finger. “An exceptional one.”
Bast glowered. “Have I mentioned there are days I could throttle you myself?”
“You mean days you wish you could?”
Bast eyed his dark friend. It’d be a great battle. His brow lifted.
He noted the scars crossing Chavias’ cheeks and the particularly deep one rolling over his collarbone.
Nearly a death blow.
He’s been in more battles then most men have heard of.
Sebastian was tempted to argue to spite his friend but decided to let it lie. Unwilling to disrupt one of Chavias’ rare shows of humor.
It was still dark when the chamber door was tossed open. At least in the valkyrie’s chamber.
She squawked in surprise. A noise so shrill it made his eardrums cry.
He shielded his face as he registered, she hung in the dark corner near the bed. Tipping his head to interpret her upside-down features, he blinked slowly. Noting she dangled like a bat.
What in Ardae is she doing?
“What are you doing! Do you have any idea what hour it is?” She spat.
“No.” She said slowly. “In truth I’ve no idea.”
“Yet you chastise me?”
Eyes the color of hot embers stared him down. She commenced hissing like a pile of snakes.
“Charming though you are, Little Harpie, I must ask you something.”
“Must?” She said dryly
“Must.” He said decisively. “What do you eat?”
Her head pivoted at an eerie angle. Releasing her grip with a clack she landed on bare clawed feet in a swish of gray skirts. Her valkyrie skin so dark it blended with the shadows. Her hair lifted in white fingers to plait down her back. Glowing like a bright beacon. She’d not bothered to conceal its shade. Her face was annoyed. Eyes glinting red and skin as dark as the wings folded against her back. Sweeping the ground near her ankles. She cocked her head slightly.
Like a bird assessing food.
“I’m going to destroy you.” Her certainty rang in her voice.
He smiled. “What do you eat?” He enunciated.
She blinked meaningfully at him. The implication not lost on him.
A sneer twisted his lips. “Take the shape of a woman once more, Harpie, and you may do whatever you wish to me.”
Huffing, she grabbed a vase from the dresser next to her to launch at him. “I’m above you, Animal!”
Her hair burned to brown as she flipped upside down with the help of her wings. Inserting her feet back into her downward perch.
“Above me, below me. Either way, matters not to me.” He murmured, even as he craned his neck. “Usually they’re underneath me...” He gave a slow smile, lifting his chin.
Her feet moved restlessly. Claws crunching wood. Showering splinters over him.
Unlikely an accident. He ran his tongue along his teeth as he mulled over the creature above him. “You’re obviously used to men quaking at your little feet. But I warn you, I’m not so easily bullied.”
I’ll rip you to shreds. She thought, glaring at him.
“Oh, do try.” His green-blue eyes turned a molten gold.
“I said nothing.” She gritted her teeth. “You’re invading my thoughts. How?”
He returned her dull look.
“I know you are.” She hissed. “I feel you crawling around here.” She tapped a long, brown claw against her temple rhythmically.
When he failed to answer she relaxed her body and willed her way into the depths of his mind.
Noticing immediately, he shadowed it from her view.
Plunging onward she bumped into some barrier.
“No.” His order was clear in her mind. His arms crossed his chest and he glowered.
Ignoring his command, she mentally skirted the obstacle. Forcing herself further into his darkness.
Again, her path was interrupted, the calm command rose again. Obstinately pressing on, caused his tone to harden. “Enough, woman!”
Still she does not stop. His eyes narrowed on her.
Abruptly the momentum she exerted protruding into his mind was forcefully thrust back on her. The sudden weight in her head overcoming her. Making her instantly dizzy. Her forehead began pounding as if it’d explode.
Her claws involuntarily retracted back into her flesh. Her hair frosting to flawless silver blonde in a blur of color. Body returning to pale perfection as she dropped limply from her perch. Landing at his feet as twisting silver jewels climbed over her. The only genuine ornaments she wore. She was too tired to conceal them in her weakness.