The horses trotted hard and fast in his dream. The sound of their hooves clonked clonked clonked on the cobblestoned street.
There was no way to stop them.
The reins were gone.
A great cliff loomed ahead.
The horses charged towards the precipice.
And there was no way to stop them.
Barbara looked up at him just as the horses fell.
The carriage arced upside down.
Barbara dropped out.
He reached for her.
The tips of their fingers touched. Just for one shushed breath.
Her body tumbled towards the horses’ flailing legs.
Ambrose cried out into his pillow. He opened his eyes and lay there, breathing too fast and trembling.
That won’t happen.
It can’t happen.
There aren’t any cliffs around here.
But that isn’t the point.
He pulled out his phone and called Sammy back.
“Hey. It’s me. Ambrose. No. I haven’t changed my mind. But how can I make this happen? How can I keep from hurting her?” He scowled. “But I want to be in control. I want to…” He stopped as an idea occurred to him. “Okay. Fine. Yes, I’ll fly by your rules. I’ll have a driver with me. No. Of course not.”
He smiled. “Whatever gave you the idea that I’m up to something? I’m not stupid. I can see your point of view. I don’t want to hurt her either.”
He laughed. “You’re imagining things. Just tell me where to go and at what time. I’ll be there. Where is that? Okay. I think I can find it. Yes. What time? Yes. Don’t worry, Sammy. You’ll make your hair explode. Yes, I’m sure it doesn’t work that way. Bye.”
He stuffed the phone under the pillow and settled back down.
“Is there a problem, sir?”
“No, Raven.” He closed his eyes. “Everything is perfect.”
Preyuna sighed. “So much for patience.”
Mark Caten smoothed the front of his black suit jacket. “I am being very patient.”
“Yes, really. I was just giving him a reminder call. Nothing impatient about that. I never even raised my voice. Now, if he doesn’t do as I say by the end of next month, then I will be impatient.” He picked the dagger off his desk and admired its shine. “Then, I’ll just have to do something about it.”
He set the dagger down and smiled at the fey. “Wouldn’t you agree?”
“I don’t see how my agreeing or disagreeing will affect anything.”
“Hahaha! It won’t. Of course.”
“You really should watch your back. Someone’s likely to stick that dagger into it.”
“What? Someone like you, Preyuna?” He burst out laughing. “Oh, puhlease. You need emotion to kill. I know you have none. So, go on, fey. Threaten me. Play act your heart out, if what’s inside your chest can be called a heart. Go on. I can go for a good laugh right about now..”
She gave him a disdainful look. “I wasn’t talking about myself.”
“I’m sure you weren’t. Come. I’m hungry.”
She sighed and followed him.