FOREVER KNIGHTS: #14 Broken Birds

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Watching For the Fogdragon

Lucien expertly led her through the trees. Glancing upward.

“What are you watching for?”

He didn’t answer her.

“Are you watching for the Fogdragon?”

“No.”

I know where he is.

“Then what?”

No answer.

Darkness. Once it’s night they can travel faster to catch up to us. If they truly want the prize they’ll be joining us soon.

She persisted. “Aren’t you worried about leaving your friend behind?”

Sebastian? Lucien laughed sardonically then. Not in the least!

“The day I worry for him, we’re all in grave trouble.” He stated matter-of-factly.

“Meaning?”

It means something more combative than him is prepared for battle.

There’s very little more combative than him…

“He’s a very dangerous man. Don’t let his friendly demeanor deceive you. He should never be taken lightly.”

“He seemed harmless...and kind.”

Kind? Lucien laughed uproariously. I doubt his Valkyrie would agree!

“Sometimes, My Lady, that is the most dangerous manner of man.”

Often its calculated deception. Though he knew that wasn’t the case with Bast.

Sighing heavily, Mera planted her heels. “Stop.”

Why? Lucien’s shoulders slumped beneath his fine overcoat. He faced her, squaring his jaw.

“You’re upset I touched him.” She glared impudently at him. “I sensed it.”

What are you wanting me to say to that? A muscle ticked in his jaw as his gaze roved her face.

“What are you looking for?” She demanded.

Answers as to what kind of woman you really are.

“Mist is falling.” He warned. Shifting uncomfortably.

I’m trying to hide us but it won’t last long. They’ll be coming.

“Why is that bad?” She asked hesitantly.

He blinked at her.

“Another question you won’t answer?”

Yes.

“Not right now.” He affirmed.

She ran her tongue across her teeth in agitation. “Who are you?”

He reared back at the directness of the question. Steadying himself, he hid his expression.

“I’m a poor speaker, My Lady. This is better.” He handed her a leather volume. Worn with age and use.

It’s been with me a long time.

“What is it?” She took it carefully.

“My journal.”

“It won’t keep me from running.”

I never thought it would. But if she wants to throw a line…I’ll bite.

“What will?” His brow lifted, curiosity piqued.

“Tell me of the others.” She glared at him. “I know there’s more like you.” She gestured behind them.

I can accommodate that. Distract her from realizing the others are in pursuit and closing in. I can already smell them.

But it’s not much further to the Lion’s Head.

“Our Captain is the finest leader I’ve ever known. And Bast,” He tossed his head over his shoulder. “well…he’s the best of us. We all became as powerful as our sacrifice that day in Billar Canyon.” He shrugged.

Not my place to tell her what he did that day.

“Now he’s the strongest of our kind.” He paused a moment. “If you wish to worry for mankind, your concern would be better spent worrying where the remaining bandits went than worrying for your safety with us.”

“I am worried about them.”

“Don’t be.” He sighed. “My brethren’s greatest pastime is hunting...” Lucien was warning her the knights were men to be reckoned with.

“You’re pulling me faster.” She announced. “Why?”

I can smell them. They’re close. He didn’t answer. Suddenly feeling an inexplicable urgency to be the one to get her to the Lion’s Head.

“You talk too much.” She grumbled.

Glancing over his shoulder he gave her a skeptical look.

“Exactly what I mean!” She said dryly. She flipped the book he’d given her back and forth in her hands. “This journal feels…comforting.”

He shot her a quizzical look. “It won’t if one of the other knights gets you there first.”

It’s unlikely he’d appreciate you possessing my journal. Lucien sniffed and tried to get an idea for who was still out in the woods. But the mist dulled the smell.

“It makes you seem less a threat and more a man.” She continued.

“What the Devil does that mean?” He gave her a sharp glance.

“Entrusting me with your most intimate thoughts means, for whatever reason, you want me to know you. To understand you.”

He frowned. I suppose that is true.

I don’t really know why I gave it to her.

I didn’t want to explain what I was.

She stubbornly continued talking. “That’s the longing of a man, not the threat of a beast that’d tear out my throat.”

He gave her a quizzical look. Is that what she thought I was?

“Is it?” He responded dully.

“How close are we to the Tavern?” She suddenly asked cagily.

She knows we’re close.

She’s going to try and get away from me. He could already sense her intentions.

Fat chance, My Dear.

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