FOREVER KNIGHTS: #3 Forsaking the Vanquished

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RHYERS - An Evil Maid

Marshall Manse, Mane Country


“I hate Rebecca.” Little Ebony said passionately of one of her acquaintances. A girl a mere two years older.

Rebecca Parson.

“She’s mean and nasty.” Ebony added vehemently.

Rhyers grudgingly shrugged. I’ve no argument to that. She’s positively horrible.

“She says that you like her better.” Ebony said morosely. Having watched Rebecca tugging on Rhyers’ coat sleeve much of the afternoon. Trying to engage him in conversation.

His head whipped to look at her. “That’s not true!” Rhyers walked with her to the settee. Sitting, he offered her a cucumber sandwich from a silver platter on the low table.

“It’s not?” She asked hopefully.

“Of course not.” He took a bite. Before murmuring. “She’s ridiculous.”

“She says I’m ridiculous.”

Nowhere near as ridiculous.

“That’s because she’s a horrible girl.” He said absentmindedly. Grabbing two more cucumber sandwiches and handing her one without looking at her.

These are uncommonly good. I should have my cook get some recipes.

“She is horrible!” Ebony huffed. Popping the whole sandwich in her mouth.

He chuckled under his breath as he handed over another bit of bread.

“What are you laughing at?” She blinked at him.

“How does such a tiny girl have such a big appetite?”

“I like cucumber sandwiches.” She said with one cheek filled like a chipmunk.

Making him laugh louder.

“Don’t laugh at me.” She scowled.

“Stop eating like a starved squirrel.”

“Fine.” She threw a half-eaten sandwich back to the tray.

“Some Lady you are.” He said, amusement tinging his voice.

“I am a lady!” She announced. As she often reminded him.

“So, you say.” He antagonized her.

“I am!”

“Sure.” He shrugged. Feeling a ripple of darkness, like the silence before a tornado, he was distracted from the conversation. Searching the room, he spotted a young maid tidying in the corner of the parlor. Dark hair tucked into a knot. She wore a plain muslin dress with an apron tied over it as she dusted a counter in the corner.

But Rhyers noticed her eyes lingering in the oval mirror next to her. Watching them behind her.


“What?” She said acidly.

“Who’s that?” He gestured.

“Libby. Our new housemaid.” She was back to eating sandwiches. Momentary affront already forgotten.

“Where’d she come from?”

“Where all maids come from, I’d presume.”

Rhyers’ skin prickled, and his hair stood on end.

As the maid began to spin about, he leapt to his feet and crossed the room. Standing next to Rebecca Parson. Let her think Rebecca is why I’m here.

Not Ebony. He glanced back and took in Ebony’s stunned face.

The maid hesitantly smiled before walking toward the doorway.

But he was certain. I can smell her from here. He fought to keep his nose from wrinkling at the evil stench.

Rebecca looked up at him, beaming and put an arm around his waist.

Making him frown and want to shove her away. Impertinent chit.

But as he suspected the housemaid now hesitated to watch him fixedly, with eyes nearly black.

I’m going to have to keep an eye on her.

His gaze travelled to Ebony again and saw the maid didn’t notice the girl, as she walked through the doorway from the parlor.

Ebony’s eyes looked hollow. Her expression betrayed as she watched him talking to Rebecca.

I need her to go. Leave Ebony. Rhyers leaned over and pressed a kiss to Rebecca’s forehead making her coo, thrilled.

Ebony called out to him, but he ignored her.

He heard her stomp a foot and then run from the room.

He listened carefully to her footsteps to ensure she made it upstairs. Satisfied when he heard the slamming of her bedroom door.

Safe. He breathed.

He still caught the odor that let him know the maid lingered. She hadn’t followed Ebony. Good.

Rebecca looked over her shoulder and smiled in cruel satisfaction.

Horrible girl. He’d thought for the hundredth time. Not feeling the slightest ping of remorse that the Cimmerii maid now peered around the doorframe, studying Rebecca’s back intently.

Run back to your master, Wench.

As soon as this afternoon tea party was over, he intended to have Samuel get rid of that woman.

Cimmerii filth! He was disgusted to the bone.

Rhyers escaped outside for some air. Listening carefully in-case the dark being inside attempted to hurt anyone. Resisting the urge to simply kill the Cimmerii. And end the threat to Marshall Manse.

But he refrained. Knowing Deragan wouldn’t condone it.

She’s not evil yet.

But she will be.

But defying Deragan wasn’t worth it. Though Rhyers had never seen him kill a Forever Knight, his brutality when crossed was legendary.

We all knew that when we were mortal.

He demands discipline. Obedience to the pack.

He keeps us safe as best he can.

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