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Reaver’s Prize: Chapter Two

Khelos

How had I allowed Zelan and his slab-brained minions to get so close to us?

I should have heard them the instant they stepped into the room that was as much my prison as my home, sensed them even at the door.

But I hadn’t.

The only person I had been aware of was the delicate creature who had emerged from the metal box Isar’s scavengers had pulled from the sea months ago.

It had refused to yield its secrets, so had been disposed of in the store room for later testing.

Nothing here went to waste for long.

And everything had a use.

Unable to take my eyes from her, I’d watched as she pulled herself out, fallen, and looked around herself in confusion.

Even in the half-light of my lair she shone brightly to my eyes, her clothing a riot of bright colors, the garment swinging around her knees in loose folds.

Fall of light brown hair to her shoulders, wide dark eyes staring out from golden skin, searching all around her for anything familiar, anything safe.

Unfortunately there was only me.

And as we moved through the cold metal passages of the facility, her agitation only grew.

I could not blame her.

As usual the guards had formed a diamond, Zelan at my back, the sharp point of his gaffe pressed against my spine.

Two of his crew stayed at the ready on either side of us, the fourth in the lead, as if I didn’t know where we were going.

Normally their abundance of caution either amused or irritated me.

It did not matter what they did, and they knew it.

But now it was different.

Fear rolled off the strange female at my side, mounting higher with every step.

I lay my hand on her shoulder, squeezed lightly.

A guard sneered.

“Looks like the beast has a new pet. I wonder what Lord Isar will say.”

So did I.

She flinched at his words but did not answer.

Good.

Too quickly we arrived at the pit.

As we emerged into the chamber, the female stumbled.

I slid my hand under her elbow catching her, resisting the urge to pull her close.

It would only draw Isar’s attention to her more sharply.

And that was never a good thing.

Along one of the short sides of the rectangle a platform had been built and in the middle Isar waited, surrounded by lackeys.

He stood, watching as we approached, arms spread wide, his deep blue robe of office rippling with each movement. 

“All hail the mighty Beast.”

The two Ol’ki warriors he’d been speaking with laughed as expected.

As Isar moved forward he revealed the fourth person on the dais, an older, frailer copy of himself.

Evras.

There must be something special waiting for me in the pit.

Maybe that could be turned to our advantage.

Maybe Isar would be so interested in the results of the lastest experiment 

“My dear Beast. What have you brought me?” His black eyes narrowed as he studied her. “Some sort of new animal? Not much of a fighting one at first glance, but perhaps it has hidden talents.”

With a flick of his fingers he beckoned for her to approach, but she stayed pressed into my side.

“How annoying.”

At his nod, the guard nearest to her lunged forward to grab her arm.

Or he would have, if I hadn’t slid to the side to shield her.

Zelan’s weapon dug into my back, but I ignored it, the female’s terror my only concern.

Isar’s face went hard. “Put it in the pit.”

Every muscle in my body tensed for a fight, but I knew I’d pushed the limits too much already.

If I resisted again, the Lord of the Ol’ki would have his vengeance.

He always did.

There was only one thing to do.

“No.” My voice came as a low rumble, creaky from disuse.

“Mine.”

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