Her Game of Wills
“Would you care to tell on me?” She asked over her shoulder. “It’d be even more interesting to see what he does to you after you tell him of my triumphs, when you’ve done nothing but fail…”
“I’m not telling him of any success you have!” He sneered.
“Oh? More’s the pity.”
Clever girl. Bast applauded her. She just ensured no one in the Holding but her would be disclosing my presence here.
He cast her an admiring look and walked more steadily with the guards who were eying him nervously now.
They entered through a heavy door.
Bast noticed first the size of the canopied bed. Twined with silver inlay. Matching bedstands. And the floor was covered with the biggest bear fur he’d ever seen.
“Like it?” She stepped in with her hands calmly linked before her. Gesturing gracefully to the far wall.
Drawing his eye.
As they walked him across the room, he caught sight of the thick shackles on massive chains dangling from the wall.
“You have chains in your chamber?” He reared back. Ripping free of the two men holding him. “What are you about?”
“For you.” She smiled sweetly.
“The devil if you think so.”
She shouted and more guards filled the room. Going from the wall to her bed in a dense line. All with orange eyes glowing beneath their helmets.
“Are you going to fight them all Sebastian?” She questioned in a kind voice.
“No.” He eyed her askance.
I’d never strike you.
“Then save us some time, shall you?”
“And do what?” He asked acidly.
“Let them put you in those little shackles like a good boy?”
Like a dog to command.
“Not a chance.” He rolled his shoulders.
“Back up.” She commanded. Giving him a knowing look. “Don’t do it. It’s unwise.”
“Is it?” He tilted his head and closed his eyes. Drawing a hissing breath as his skin began to separate. The back of his shirt ripped and the screeching head of a Figurine Dragon jutted out and fell to the ground. Twining like a serpent as it scrambled toward them. Another followed, ripping from his shoulder and soon they were streaming from him one after another.
He dropped to one knee.
The Figurine Dragons parted around her and convened as they headed for the guards. Breathing great gusts of orange fire onto their armor and making them scream as they baked alive inside. Shucking their armor. The dragons scrambled up them and bit into their faces and necks. Some curling their tails around their throats and then falling down the men’s back in dead weight until they were strangled.
It was happening so fast they had little time to react.
Many guards were clambering onto her bed to evade the floor and the hot flares of fire.
“Why aren’t they touching her!” One cried. Pointing at the dragons veering around her.
“Because they’re connected to him.” She murmured. Kneeling before him. To lift his chin. Seeing the pain in his eyes. “Aren’t they, Sebastian?”
“Bring them back, before one gets hurt. You know what it’ll do to you.”
In that moment, a knight managed to drop a sword through one. Pinning it to the floor while it flailed pitifully. Breathing hot gusts of fire as it tried to squirm free.
Bast shouted and dropped a hand to the floor. Crouched against the pain as they continued burrowing from him. And he suffered the agony of the dying creature.
Elsabet stood and turned with a sweep of her arm she cast the little dragons smashing against the side wall.
“Shackle him!” She screamed.
The guards on the bed scrambled off to get to him. Lifting him and slamming him against the wall to jam his hands into the heavy rings of metal.
“Elsabet…” He said weakly. His head lolling. “What are you doing?”
She pinched his lower jaw as she leaned forward to hiss at him. “Saving your damnable life!”
Elsabet knew the precise moment Bast awoke because she heard the chain stretch and then ring taut.
“Good morning, Sebastian.” She lowered her book from where she sat propped up on pillows watching him.
“Why did you have chains installed in your chamber.”
“Because I knew it was likely I’d be bringing you here to keep you from being foolish.” She said dully. Turning the page in her book.
“What are you reading?” The text looked faintly familiar.
She looked at the front blandly. “A book Essius stole for me from Acharius’ caves before he abandoned them.”
“The Book of Immortals?” He breathed.
“Why, yes indeed!” She smiled derisively.
“Have you turned on us?”
“I thought you proclaimed your great faith in me?” She rolled her legs to the floor and dropped the book to her bedding.
He watched her hatefully as she strolled to him. The skirt of her silver dress dancing around her legs as she moved.
“You claimed you were sorry.” She stood so close he could feel her breath on his face. But the chains were already yanking his arms back as far as they’d go.
She knows to stay out of my reach.
“Claimed?” He glared at her.
I meant it. Is this her saying she didn’t believe me.
“You said you were. But how can you really know what you’ve done. Unless you’ve suffered it?”
He felt a terrible moment of fear. Knowing that the worst moment of her imprisonment had been not being able to get to her daughter in time. Does she intend to kill a knight while keeping me here?
“You look worried.” She caressed a finger lovingly down his jaw. “What are you thinking?”
“I’m wondering if you’re going to kill a Forever Knight while you have me here.”
“You mean like I had to watch my daughter die?” Her eyes bled to red and there was blinding fury on her face.
He blinked in response. Too anxious to answer. This is a dangerous situation.
What was I thinking letting her bring me here?
“No, Sebastian. Even I am not that cruel. I would never do that to you.”
She let the words hang. Making plain that only he was cruel enough to do it to her.
“I never meant to cause you pain.”
“But you never let me go either.” She countered darkly.