FOREVER KNIGHTS: #3 Forsaking the Vanquished

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A Deal with a Waterbeast

Seeing his face didn’t change she pursued, “They’re each special. They are these woods. They give shelter and life to creatures too numerous to explain to you. They’re beautiful and precious. And you’re all up here tearing them apart. To what end? To glorify a reckless King’s Realm?”

“What about you tearing them apart with this?” He gestured at the water thundering around them. Wrenching boards free and tearing through bridges until there was little left. The men cried out and clung to trees. The water whooshing around them.

Only Raese and Calisto stood in the mud.

“This is for a purpose. This is to save them all. It’s a necessary evil.”

“As is killing these men?”

“Yes. Men are just men. They come and go. But these trees stand strong for years, sometimes centuries to come. Giving life. Giving shelter.”

“Why not ask them to stop?”

“Every man I’ve ever asked to stop, disregarded me.” She said bitterly, with a hint of pain.

Raese was unnerved by what seemed a deeper implication.

“After all, I’m just a Dread recluse, remember?” She added.

A mite more than that! He assessed her length again. Noting how fine of figure she was with her shock of dark hair and nearly purple eyes. Looking at her was making his dark wolf shift beneath his skin. Hungering for something Raese hadn't felt before.

A yearning to throw her to the ground right where she stands and sink teeth into her.

Claim her as mine. He was stunned at his sudden aggressive thoughts. It was out of character for him.

“You’re a beautiful, vibrant warrioress. But a lonely woman, I suspect...”

There was a long pause as she glowered at him. “You should drown.”

A wave of her hand sent the water coming crashing behind him as the two sides sealed together. Drawing closer.


He put his hand out sideways and a twist of his wrist made his staff appear in his hands, a twisted length of wood crowned with a glowing green globe. Green light billowed from it, stopping the water from touching him. Making it move around him.

“I’m not done yet.” He declared. Meeting her gaze.

Her eyes widened.

“What are you doing?” She cried.

“Stopping you.”

“Are you?” She flung water in an arcing arm toward him.

He turned and slammed the staff down. Deflecting the blow. Water scattered to fall harmlessly next to him.

She shot another section in a straight spear for him. He jerked and moved his arm before him, sweeping it into another direction. At the last moment she registered it was coming down on her. She deflected it just in time. Only a few drops hit her forehead. She gasped in outrage.

“It’s no more than you intended to do to me.” He pointed out.

Growling she brought her arms together and sent a wave rushing over her head toward him. And arching arms folding around his sides.

In his shock he stood motionless and without activating the staff, he was unable to redirect a portion of this onslaught.

Standing saturated, his bare chest dripped and black breeches clinging. As the water swirled around his thighs. “Satisfied?”

“At least the leaves are washed from your hair now.” She smirked, quirking a haughty black brow.

“There’s often leaves in the hair of men working on the ground.” He enunciated.

“Perhaps there wouldn’t be if the lot of you bothered to bathe.”

“I do bother to bathe!” He twisted his hand again and the staff vanished. He clapped dirt from his hands.

“Never that I’ve seen.” Her eyes narrowed on his hands.

Trying to assess what I did with it. He was sure.

“Were you hoping to?” He was satisfied to see a soft bit of color seep into her cheeks.

You do have weakness, afterall.

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