FOREVER KNIGHTS: #3 Forsaking the Vanquished

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Poor Wretch

“You-Your valkyrie has not…You haven’t?” He gasped. The quiver dropped limply from his dangling hands. Shock apparent in his slack jaw.

“You could at least feign containing your shock.” Bast’s voice was dry.

“I didn’t know there was a woman that could resist you!”

“There is.” Bast grumbled. Shifting uncomfortably.

It was Acharius’ turn to roar with laughter. “You poor devil!” He tossed his head back laughing harder. “And you’ve not had sport since she’s been at WaterRose? In all this time!”

“I desire her alone.” His voice was somber. As he gave a pained grimace.

Acharius gave a sympathetic grunt. “You poor besotten wretch.”

“Sure, you’ll not fight?” He nearly whimpered. Expression hopeful.

“No.” Acharius rose and put his quiver back into place. “I’m in need of sating my hunger for food. Not wasting my arrows for you to handily catch them.”

Bast’s shoulders slumped. “As you’d have it. I return to my valkyrie then.” He swallowed. Hard.

Poor devil.

“To stare at her and lust after her.” Acharius taunted.

Bast gave him a scathing look as he stood. “I know not why I tell you anything, Viking.”

“You tell me because I’m your friend.”

Bast grunted. “Could’ve fooled me.”

Acharius chuckled as he headed deeper into the woods.

“How about we go for a drink and discuss the women we lust for?” Bast proposed in an inviting tone.

Acharius froze. Back stiffening. Drinking with Bast never ends well. Sometimes it doesn’t end at all…

I always wake with my head in a vise and retching scheduled for the day.

“Or are you afraid…Viking?” Bast persisted. “How long has it been since you had a bit o’ dram?” He coaxed. “What kind of Viking is that?”

Challenging my Norse blood? European brat!

Acharius’ lip curled, and he spun on his heel. Eyes narrowing. “I gave my ale horn to Mardichi.” He grumbled. “And who’ll watch the artifacts?”

“Rhyers is on the way for a visit anyway.” Bast smirked in satisfaction. Sensing he’d won.

“Don’t smile so wide. Remember I can still drink you under the table. I’m not one of your European brothers…I’m no Marcus Teverius for you to rake over the coals.”

“You haven’t partaken in so long…Who says you still can?” There was blatant challenge in Bast’s voice as his shoulders lifted in a mock shrug.

“Fine.” Acharius took a seat on a log opposite Bast, big back bowed, to give him a dark look. “We wait for Rhyers.”

Sebastian shifted in a satisfied little dance. Very feline in movement. “You need a break.”

Acharius’ eyes narrowed further. It’ll be you that wretches, Brother.

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