Tev Is Coming
Teverius is coming. Bast gave Lucien a long look as he mentally conveyed the message.
Lucien wound around Bast and Murdoch to veer toward Mera. Catching her arm on the way back and dragging her backward. Pushing Noran’s chest to move him backward.
Drake followed in confusion and opened the clearing.
There was a screech above and an icy blue dragon came into view over the horizon. Closing the distance quickly and flying a circle above them. Large wings flapping like sails snapping in the wind. Feathers trimming along the bones floated down around them. Disintegrating to blue flakes as they landed on the grass.
Mera stared in shock. “Lucien!”
“What the hell is that?” Drake exploded. Reeling backward to shield Mera. Pinning her against Lucien who was staying close to her.
“So, you’d betray me?” Bast said angrily to Murdoch. Demanding his attention.
Murdoch was frantically looking from Tev the dragon to Bast. Whose eyes had turned dangerously gold.
“What?” Murdoch shook his head. “I haven’t!”
The dragon landing only a hundred feet away demanded Murdoch’s attention. He stumbled back, but before he could fall, Bast caught his bicep in a biting grip and holding him fast.
Murdoch struggled a moment but quickly realized he wasn’t going to break the large man’s harsh grip.
“I’m trying to help you.” Bast’s lips whitened. “Whether you want it or nay. You’ve one chance to make the right choice.”
Tev approached. Tossing back long blue coattails as he walked in long, feral strides. “And I’m going to offer it to you.”
“Wh-what are you going to do?” Murdoch whimpered.
“Does Radix see through your eyes?” Bast demanded. Gaining Murdoch’s attention.
“No.” Murdoch shook his head. Hoping the answer would save him. “He said I wasn’t yet ready to be so connected to him.”
Radix’s lies. Making it sound like some honor.
“So, he thought you served him better not smelling of Cimmerii.” Bast supplied.
Matthew tossed him a quick look.
“Hold still.” Bast said gravely. “It’s going to hurt. But it’ll hurt less that way.”
Murdoch looked fit to pass out.
Without warning, Tev’s long arm reached over Bast’s shoulder to plant on Murdoch’s forehead.
Conveying images of pain Tev has witnessed Cimmerii cause.
Atrocities he’s seen Firoque and the animals commit.
Murdoch’s body was vibrating.
Seeing he was in the throes of Tev’s power, Bast slid from between them to give Tev better access to his prey.
Tev’s white hair sparked and blue streamers of magic reached from Tev’s back like strange strings of blue light that seared into Murdoch’s head. Pulsing images into him.
The visions were reflected in Murdoch’s eyes. His mouth open in horror and pain.
“Is this what you want to become?” Tev commanded in an echoing voice. Then he forced in images of what victims felt.
Then came the final phase. Obvious by Tev’s relaxing.
It’s his favorite part. The subject no longer suffers.
Tev peeled through Murdoch’s mind. Finding images of a family that had once loved him. A wife and brother.
Though the two had eventually betrayed him and cast him aside. He had happier memories.
Memories of his wife’s joy at their wedding. Standing bathed in light. Though she’d been a plain woman, she’d looked at him with such utter love that he’d thought she was the most beautiful creature. Visions of their most touching moments drew Murdoch’s humanity back to the fore.
Tev went back further and gave him images of he and his brother running through the woods sword fighting and pranking their father. A good man.
Murdoch began sobbing with abandon. Face tear stained as he collapsed at Tev’s feet. Curling into a small ball.
Tev released him. Strings of light retracting back into Tev. Who stood over him, eyes narrowed.
Murdoch stood and screamed. Fleeing like a crazed man into the woods.
Bast moved to pursue him, but Tev’s arm along his chest stopped him.
“Give him time. Sometimes it takes longer.”
“He wanted to kill her!” Bast gestured over his shoulder.
Tev turned and took in the sight of Lucien standing just behind her. Hands protectively on her shoulders.
“I doubt he’d get close enough to get another try. He’d have to get past him.” Tev gestured to Lucien.
Bast followed his eyeline and took in Lucien’s dark expression. “Fair point.”
He won’t let anyone near her for a while.
“But if he’s not changed when I come across him tomorrow, I’ll end him.”
“That is your decision.” Tev tilted his head. “He was your friend.”