A Stolen Life
But Radix took away everything she might’ve had. It saddened Lucien looking back.
The girl had certainly been spilling over with life. Lucien had known it boded ill when he’d recognized the demon, Radix Malorum, in attendance at the masque.
I should’ve left then. He’d known the demon could only be there hunting the Forever Knights.
Seeking to destroy us.
Lucien now knew that Radix must’ve scented Lucien on her. That’s why he targetted her. She smelled like me. He thought she was mated to a Knight.
It’d taken the demon master very little time to strangle the girl with the seam of her own wrap behind a pillar in the Ballroom.
It was my fault.
I only lost track of him for a moment. A little voice in Lucien defended.
But it was all the time Radix needed.
Lucien rounded the corner in time to catch Radix tossing her skirts up over her face. A quick scrubbing from his clawed hands in the air and she was covered in purple bruises and deep lacerations on her exposed legs. Lucien gave a shout to ward him off.
But I was too late. The sound of his voice only drew others closer to the gruesome scene.
Radix opened his mouth and the shrill shriek of a woman emerged. The same as he’d done to Mardichi back in England.
Then he used his own rasping voice to shout. “My Lord Lucien! ’Twas Lucien Sabias!” The crowd drew close enough to see poor Miss DeLaine’s crumpled body.
Instantly the party goers turned on him. A swelling crowd of monstrously masked faces shouting and shoving. They believed him.
Lucien glowered at the demon before bolting. Not one to become the victim of anyone. Much less a pack of wretched nobles.
Radix cheered them on, adding his outraged shouts to the mix.
Thusly, Lucien now found himself, the dark Lord covertly walking the cobbled streets of InnerCircle, Mane.
Lucien was tugged back to the present by the roar of the murderous party behind him. A bloodhungry lot.
A glance down revealed the black cat moving into stride with him. Lucien smiled, recognizing the feline.
“Ah, I’m relieved to see you.”
It blinked questioning gold eyes up at him.
“Come Bast don’t look at me like that. You know the rules. When a young girl dies, somebody must be set to blame! Are we not the shadiest characters to set foot in InnerCircle?” He gestured around.
The cat lowered its dark head and gave it a sullen shake.
Lucien sighed. “They know nothing of the evils of Radix. He wanted the Mane people to blame me. His efforts are validated now.” Lucien cracked his neck. “Every time we come to this bloody country; he manages to chase us out.”
The feline gave a faint rumble in response. Much too deep a sound for a small cat. The snarl of the panther.
The sounds of their pursuers increased. Lucien and Bast exchanged a look.
It’s time. I’ve overstayed my welcome.
That cat, that’d been his companion longer than any mortal.
“Did my thoughts draw you, Old Friend?”
The feline’s long look told him it was something else.
“Ah. The Captain sent you. Well, whatever the reason. We must get out of here first. Radix wanted this to happen. He manipulated everything to this end.”
The feline blinked accusingly. “Yes, yes.” He admitted. Grudgingly nodding. “And I’m well into my cups…Let’s get out of here…”