FOREVER KNIGHTS: #3 Forsaking the Vanquished

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SEBASTIAN - Tethered

WaterRose, Meadow Mountain, Grier Country

SEBASTIAN

Though Sebastian put Elsabet back on a tether, he’d expanded it enough she could wander to the stables and inner bailey.

I’d hoped she’d be grateful for some freedom. Instead, he found her constantly tugging at the end. Trying to figure out how to pry at it, attempting to weave it around a post as an anchor. Straining against it to reach the drawbridge. Huffing in frustration.

While reading in the library, he felt the constant tugging, startling him enough he nearly dropped his book. Repeatedly. Before growing frustrated and rolling his eyes Heavenward as he willed himself some patience.

Settle down, Woman. Let me relax awhile. He rubbed his sore shoulder. Still healing from the Sarabi bite.

Wandering to a window slit to watch her, he saw her frustration and relented. Giving her a little more line.

Let’s see what she does with it? He climbed to sit cross-ankled in the window slit. Careful of his hurt arm. His back to the stone wall so he had a better view.

She headed immediately for the drawbridge, surprisedly glancing at her wrist as she passed the post, the usual stopping point. Gaining speed, she began to jog but just as he reached out to touch the bridge tower, she unceremoniously hit the end of her lead.

Not a chance.

“No drawbridge.” He called from the window slit above her.


Small hands working in fists she stomped both feet and tilted her head in rage, spinning to glare up at him. Everything she did was a whirl or quick turn.

Telltale bird motions.

She screeched in rage, uttering the foulest names she could contrive.

Utterly adorable.

Beautiful rage. Even from up here he saw her stormy blue eyes sparking in fury.

“Just be happy you can get fresh air and feel the sunlight on your skin.” He gestured up to the brightening sun with one slim-fingered hand. “I know how you love it.” He called to her. His back propped in the window frame to stare down at her. “Look at all the space you have!”

He knew he was prodding her. But she’s been avoiding me for days.

And he hungered for a bit of verbal parrying with her.

She spat epithets before stomping into the stable.

To sit with the kittens and puppies, and pout, no doubt. He knew her fondness for them.

Surrendering, he sighed and hopped off the windowsill. Weaving his way downstairs.


The next morning dawned bright. Finding Elsabet going to see Sebastian’s silver stallion.

Sivikon.

“I’ve seen you coming to see him.” He purred.

She jumped at the sound of Bast’s voice. Back going ramrod straight, she only spared him a glance.

But even from the double stable doors, leaned against the frame, he heard the increase in her heart rate. Saw the bead of sweat starting on her brow and the contradictory goosebumps rising on her arms.

She gave him an assessing look, thick arms crossed over that wide chest. Her eyes rested awhile on the thin scars folding over his right shoulder where something had bit him so long ago. A broad hammer was gripped in one of his fists. Dirt marked him from the task he’d toiled on this morning.

“No cloak, furs, or finery today?” She mocked. Neglecting to mention his lack of shirt. Doing her best to keep her gaze averted. Though it continually strayed back to those scars.

Look at me. You’ll like what you see.

You’re trying like hell not to. A half smile pulled at his lips.

“I’ve been repairing the bailey walls to keep the flood room from deepening, this morn.”

“Is that why you’re so dirty?”

He tilted his head at her. “If it bothers you, come clean me off.”

He quirked a brow as he unfolded from against the wall. The mere idea already had his abdomen tightening.

Brows lowering, she focused on ignoring his presence.

And failing.

I’m hard to ignore.


Trying to hide his annoyance at her disregard, he asked. “Do you like my steed?”

It took her a moment to realize he was not saying something perverse. Blinking hard she gladly averted her attention back to the beast.

See? When my intentions aren’t bad it is you thinking wickedly.

“He’s regal. Like something from legend.” She breathed.

He’s not the only one.

Silver hair swathed down her back in wild waves, flowing like water as she moved. Sivikon lowered his head to press the top of his skull to her stomach.

An act of trust. Bast’s brow furrowed at that small act. It’s unlike Sivikon to trust anyone.

But seeing how close she let the horse. How she smiled at him and rewarded him by stroking his face made Bast instantly agitated.

She never acts that pleased at my nearness.

She patiently rubbed the horse’s jaw, stroking his mane back to rub the special spot in the middle of his head with her thumbs. The spot where she knew the shining horn appeared in moonlight.

“How many people know?” She asked wistfully.

“Not many.”

Them and you.

“You’re brothers?”

He nodded, lowering the hammer to the ground to try and ease closer to her. Hoping she’d not shy.

As if she’s half wild horse. He laughed inwardly at himself.

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