Gasping, she lay there. Eyes the stormy blue of a rainy day glaring up at him.
The kind of eyes that draw a man from across a crowded room.
He had pitched her out of his mind like dirty clothing. “Best learn to heed me, woman.”
He stared down at her. No shred of empathy on his face.
Tongue to teeth she hissed again. Looking at him scathingly as she fumbled for a broken piece of ceramic still littering the floor. She hurled it at him weakly.
His eyes roamed over her restlessly. Contemplating all the things he intended to do to her while she was captive. And what I may have her do to me.
Feeling his animal beginning to respond to his sordid thoughts, he finally spun on his heel, he exited the chamber without a word.
Craning her neck, she watched him go. The door slammed behind him. At the sound of the lock turning her head fell back, and she blew out the breath she’d been holding. Her body slumped.
Fear polluted her thoughts.
He felt it as he stood outside the room, heard her wondering what’d gone so wrong she’d ended up here.
“No man in the world can keep me.” She shouted.
The instant response seeped from the walls themselves. “I can.”
And I've great plans for you whilst you're here.
Eyes shooting through the darkness she found him gone, yet somehow still here. Filling these walls.
Hours crept by as Elsabet frantically searched for a way out.
Sebastian watched from the next room, feeling her movements through the wall.
Nothing had been built before that could hold her. It amused him.
She was beginning to feel like a pet railing against domestication.
“Why am I here?” She called, inspecting every corner of the dim room for weakness.
She was thinking someone boasting a gold dragon in his arsenal of beasties certainly didn’t need a valkyrie watching over his gates…
You’re right on that point.
Elsabet pried boards from the shutters and revealed the window slit. Finding his magic sealing each.
It’s not all my magic. It was the bond of a hundred immortal knights feeding it constantly.
She sat on the ledge of the window slit and look down on the bailey below.
Go ahead and consider jumping. He knew he had a barrier over it that wouldn’t let her out.
Lifting her hand, she pushed on the invisible wall blocking her exit. It was relentless. Sending out a sparkling gold spiral that rippled from the window opening over the walls like being inside a bubble.
As the hours lengthened, her stomach spoke louder. Objecting strenuously to her earlier pride.
I’d feed you if you’d tell me what you eat.
Sebastian kept Elsabet in WaterRose that first day, then another. Quite enjoying himself as he sat in his library or his chamber in the servant’s quarters under the platform of the stairs.
Mardichi arrived the following evening. Half-heartedly stomping off his boots in the foyer. “Where are your magical cleaning elves at?” He peered around the corner into the parlor. His booming voice rattling the walls.
And my nerves.
“Probably hiding. You know they don’t much like the look of you.” Bast watched the barbarian strolling the foyer, dwarfing the entryway in his padded blue tunic and brown leather breeches. His mammoth size only rivalled by Acharius.
“That’s because I’m large and they’re,” He pinched his finger and thumb together and raised his voice to depict their tininess. “wee little people.”
Bast laughed and shook his head. “Certainly, it couldn’t be your cheery disposition that drives them off.”
“Most definitively not.” He feigned appall. Striding toward the library behind Bast.
Sebastian recognized the familiar sound of a cask opening and the red barbarian taking a heady dram.
“So, I hear things were quite eventful at that wretched ball the other night?” Mardichi gave a satisfied smack. As he dropped into the blue chair near the fire making it creak in objection. He tossed his boots out in-front of him. Thick chunks of mud dropping to the floor from them.
“They were for me.” Bast tossed over his shoulder as he headed into the library. “I acquired a captive.”
“Careful with those.” Mardichi cautioned. “Taking women captive tends to be the downfall of our kind.”
“I dearly hope so. She’s stunning.”
“I’m fascinated.” Bast corrected as he slumped into his favorite red chair pushing over the glass jar of exotic nuts for Mardichi to partake.
Mardichi examined a large walnut. “Where do you get these?”
“From InnerCircle City. I regularly buy them from a man there.”
“Mane Country.” Mardichi’s eyes narrowed knowingly. “As an excuse to give him a bit o’ coin, no doubt. He gives you information?”
“He’s quite pleasant.”
“That’s rare.” Mardichi grunted. Shaking his head, he returned to the former topic. “I pity the woman.” He feigned sorrow.
“You should.” Bast said. “I plan to find out everything about her, then woo her.”
“That shouldn’t take much. Look directly at her.” Mardichi stirred through the glass bowl for another walnut. “That usually works for ye.”
“Is that bitterness in your voice?”
“Jealousy. Flat envy.” Surrendering, he grabbed a handful from the dish between them, popping them in his mouth. “If women fell at me feet the way they stumble to bow at yers, I’d never leave me bed chamber.” He grumbled. “I’d simply line them up and stay preoccupied.”
A glance at Bast verified he no longer listened. “You’re watching her, aren’t ye?”