FOREVER KNIGHTS: #3 Forsaking the Vanquished

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Find the Fallen for Me

She eased toward the tower and when she’d have reached the door, Bast’s fist tightened.

Jerking her to a halt as the tether cinched. A hairsbreadth from her outstretched fingers being able to grasp the bridge crank.

She gasped in outrage. Lifting her arms to eye her midsection. Assuring no one held her, her eyes slowly travelled up to his window. She shook her head angrily and dropped to collect a rock. Hucking the first one she found up to his room with surprising accuracy.

He slid from its trajectory and peered back out. Meeting her gaze, he shook his head slowly.

“How dare you!” She cried. “I-I looked after you.”

“Thank you.” He called down to her.

Her head dropped as she looked for another rock. This one crashed into his room and smashed a jar on a corner table. Another one was quick to follow that. Forcing him to close the shutters and hook them.

Bast would suffer days of her refusing to interact with him at all. Choosing instead to pace her chamber. And often refusing the food he had sent up to her.

He constantly sought her out, but she repeatedly closed doors in his face and refused to acknowledge his presence.

Clearly a bit angry I’d not let her go, after she tended me.

The meal tonight was a quiet one.

Afterwards he was up on the high balcony overlooking the bailey, when he glimpsed her below.

Trying to outmaneuver my tether again. Always trying.

He let her pull, tug and fight to reach the bridge tower a long while before he grew impatient. He yanked the line back, with a mere thought.

Sending her rearing back several steps as it retracted. She instantly looked up. Her eyes scanning the window slits and balconies until finding him standing there. His white shirt blowing in the slight breeze and hip propped on the railing. Gold hair free around his shoulders as he watched her.

“So glad to see you better!” Ferocity tinged her tone.

Me too. It was a mite hairy there for a bit.

Recognizing the words for what they were, he responded in the like. Hitching his chin as he called down to her. “Thanks to you, Sweetheart!”

“I could fix that.” She grumbled. Shaking a fist up toward him.

“Don’t tease me Girl. I feel quite better.”

And I’m in the mood to toy with you.

Or love you. Whichever you’re up for.

“I see that.” She gave him a haughty sideways glance. “Do you ever go away?”


“How are you always watching me?”

“Who says I am?” He called down to her.

“I feel your eyes.”

“Where?” He smiled.

She scoffed. “You’re a cad! With a filthy mind.”

Wouldn’t be so filthy if you appeased me, woman.

“You could fix that.”

“I’d sooner eat a toad whole.”

“Don’t tempt me to fetch one.” He warned.

She quieted. Swallowing. Her eyes narrowed on him disdainfully.

“As I thought.” He said, sensing he’d won.

She turned and stalked back inside. Having enough of his teasing.

Aw. Shame.

But the chamber door was abruptly yanked open so hard it ricocheted off the wall. Making him unfold from next to the railing to scowl at her. Fuming in the doorway.

“What?” He asked warily.

She wouldn’t have come all the way up here to seek me out unless she had something she needed to say.

After a moment of silence, she murmured, “Why did you leash me after I saved you? After…”

“I wish I had some valiant charming lie. But I don’t.” He said dismissively. Turning to look back down over the bailey again. Fists clenching the railing.

Purely greed.

He felt her eyes boreing into his back. “I’m just not ready to let you go yet.”

She stalked to stand next to him, glaring at him hatefully.

“Besides,” He sighed. “We had an agreement on the terms of your freedom.”

She shot him a look before railing. “I don’t think I ever agreed to anything here!”

“You know what the terms are, just the same.” He shrugged.

“Not a life for a life then, huh?” She stared down at the bailey. Back heaving with unspent emotion. But now she was evading his sideways look.

Trying to hide her emotions from me.

At the moment it suited him fine. He didn’t want to see the contempt he knew he deserved, in this case.

I’d give you anything but that.

Sensing another ripple of energy through WaterRose and recognizing the feel of it he aimed downstairs. Taking the shape of Quandary as he walked the hall.

Bast entered the library. I heard your distress. I feel your discontent. He slowly circled the shadow of the man sitting in the blue chair opposite Bast’s usual.

Black hair glinted in the firelight and blue eyes were intense with emotion.

Hello, Captain. He met that gaze.

“Hello, Bast.” Deragan murmured.

The panther curled up on the fur rug next to him.

What’s wrong?

Captain Deragan Black reached down and absentmindedly rubbed his shoulders.

“She’s out there, Old Friend. I can feel her. She’s coming into power again. I need your help.”

He looked down and met the wide gold eyes of the cat. “Find her. Please.”

I always do…

Without hesitation the animal rose and loped from the room. Gaining speed as he hit the foyer. He pushed through the front doors and crossed the meadow at a sprint.

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