I Only Need a Moment Alone with Him
Worthington gave a sideways nod. “Alright.”
“Do this for me, and you’ll receive endless rewards. Cross me and it’ll be your suffering that’s endless.” He gestured to a creature easing into the cavern.
Large and thickly muscled it was black skinned with no fur. All four feet broke into elongated claws. Shifting restlessly, it watched him through red and yellow eyes, lapping at its jowls. Opening its mouth in a snarl caused the lower jaw to disconnect too far back in its head making its mouth open far more than should be possible. Large enough to fit a man’s head.
Shuddering, Worthington eyed the creatures lining the dark walls and caught the pale shade of a face in the meager light. Worse than the rest.
Shrouded in darkness Chavias stood with black hair glistening in firelight and dark eyes shining. Sword handles within easy reach. Chin high, he eyed Worthington hatefully. More than the rest of the creatures he unsettled Worthington.
The warlord’s rage poured in waves. You go after the Fallen. I go after you.
“This man,” Worthington pointed a shaking finger. “wants to kill me. Why?” When neither of them answered him, he suggested. “It was not my fault he put a knife through you.” He told the dark one.
As if I give a shit. Chavias only stared at him with bleak, unblinking eyes.
Averting his gaze Worthington moved to leave.
“Go. We’ve little time.” Radix called, dismissing Worthington.
“I intended to.” Worthington snapped. “You arrogant-”
Worthington faced Radix and widened his stance belligerently. Kicking a rock that bounced along the stone wall.
“I told you to leave.” Radix bit out over his shoulder. Eyes flashing orange.
Worthington’s pride pushed him. “Who do you think you are?”
“You impudent little-” Radix flushed purple.
“You threaten me with your muscle.” He gestured to the warlord, voice sharp to hide his fear. But his regret at the impulsive words was written over him.
Radix’s black scowl caused the cave walls to quake.
Worthington backed toward the cave entrance.
Radix watched him furiously.
Walking carefully around the salivating sentry, Worthington noticed its lava eyes tracking him. Using the wall to find his way, Worthington passed the crumbled stones and followed the glow of faded morning light. Relieved to find the entrance, he inhaled brittle cold air gratefully. Freezing when he felt a breath along the back of his neck. Turning, he reluctantly faced the warlord.
Faster than he could blink, Chavias drew the crescent swords from their sheaths and spun them so fast they were a blur of light on metal. Cocking his head sideways, he studied Worthington. His hate-filled look was searing. Fury rolling off him in a stifling waves. His fingers flexed around the handles. Face contorting as he lifted them. Chavias’ shadow towered over Simon Worthington as he descended on him. Long stride taking him to the boy in an instant.
“No.” Worthington stumbled back, throwing himself against the wall.
Radix materialized between them.
“What the-” Worthington gasped. “H-how’d you…” Worthington fearfully met the demon’s dark eyes.
Slapping a weathered hand over Chavias’ chest, Radix commanded. “Chavias, stay.” His gaze was steady on Worthington as he rasped. “I’ll tell you when to attack.”
Chavias growled. For now.
Radix shot him a withering look. “Don’t you dare defy me!”
“How often must you stop your warlord from murder?” Worthington sputtered.
Swords spinning, Chavias seated them in their sheaths. Shoulders flexing as he straightened.
Radix shoved Chavias back, and he immersed in darkness in that slow eerie way. “He does have a point though.” Radix murmured thoughtfully.
“What?” Worthington yelped.
“Such disrespect” Radix shook his head in disgust. “Cannot be tolerated.”
“I meant no disrespect.” Worthington backpedaled, instinctively afraid.
Radix eyed him balefully. “Once.” He lifted his finger in warning. “And only once.”
Chavias’ sharp gray eyes watched the boy in derision.
“How can someone be as cold as this one you’ve with you?” Worthington whimpered.
Stumbling to the entrance he was too terrified to look back. He checked his chest and his legs. “I escaped. I’m alive.” He huffed.
One of the toad-like Nonis ran next to him. Its chirping chaffing his fragile nerves. Lifeless orange red eyes watched him.
Gritting his teeth, he kicked the reptile. Hearing Radix’s shout from the depths of the caves.
Worthington grimaced and fled into the sunlight.
Hissing, the Nonis dodged him and scuttled away.
Climbing into the coach, Worthington motioned for Bob to go before seeing the dark creature. Swallowing hard, Worthington didn’t look back. Wiping sweat from his forehead, he drug his hand over his pants to dry them.
He murmured reassuringly to himself. He inhaled deeply. Slumping back to the seat he stared out the window. And spotted a Noni scurrying parallel to the coach on the road.
Its long tail tossed. Black skin a blotch against the green and yellow grass along the narrow trail. As a rabbit charged off the road, the Noni pounced. Diving to tear into the little animal greedily. Blood splashed in a red burst dusting snow.
Looking away in disgust Worthington waited for the scene to fall into the distance. “Nonis.” He tried the word. Suppressing a shudder as he focused elsewhere. “Power. Soon I will be...” All he had to do was seduce a tutelage girl…