Part 2072 – A Queen’s Brave Offer

“Maybe he isn’t here.”


That darned maybe.

Jay walked along the edge of the cliff.

That word is bothering me so much. Robin is either here or he isn’t here. Where does this “Maybe” fit in?

Maybe she’s lying.

Maybe she did see him. She never actually said she didn’t see him. So, what if she did? What would she do?

She hates him. What else would she do?

He stopped and looked out at the city lights below.

She’d kill him. She’d stake him and hand him off to The Collectors. Preyuna is spiteful enough to do something like that just to keep him from Isellta.


What if?

He turned and headed back to the mansion.

What if she didn’t kill him? What if she had him locked up? She could use him to kill Mark Caten. That is definitely something she’d do.

He ran the rest of the way.

The dungeons.

He has to be down there.

He must be.


Preyuna reached the top of the dungeon stairs. She looked back.

If I help him…

If I let him see Isellta, it might change how Isellta sees me. For once, I would make him happy.

I never make him happy.

Besides that, I promised him.

Mark Caten grabbed the back of her neck. “You’re thinking about letting him go.” He squeezed. “You liked seeing my blood on his hands.”

“I’m not going to deny it.”

“Good. Because I wouldn’t believe you.” He smiled fondly at her. “By the way, this was another failed attempt on my life. I believe I made a certain promise about what I would do in such a situation.”

“I healed you.”

“Yes. And I intend to break you.”

Preyuna’s mind raced. “If you spare me this time—”

“If I spare you, you’ll think you can get away with anything. That wouldn’t be good. After all, it is a grave sin to attempt deicide. It’s even worse to encourage others to commit it. I can’t let you get away with that.”

“Mark, please!”

He released her neck and grabbed her wrist. “Come.”


His smile turned cold. “That was not a request.” He pulled her through the door at the top of the stairs and plowed into Jay.

“I’m sorry, sir. Please excuse me.” Jay ran down the stairs without even noticing Preyuna.

She watched him.

I could…

But no. Why fuel a flame I don’t believe should exist?

“Fine. I will let you break my wings.”

“Such a brave offer. But, of course, there is a catch. And I can guess what that catch is: All of the usual blather and rot about letting you return to your fey petting zoo.”

“No. The catch is you will let me keep my healing powers.”

“Oh, cupcake. I couldn’t do that. It would be breaking my word.”

“I don’t care. This is my deal. Take it.”

“You’re supposed to say take it or leave it.”

She scoffed. “Why give you the opportunity to say ‘I’ll leave it’? Accept my offer.” It made her feel sick to think it, but she said it, “Oh, Great And Majestic Divinity.”

His face lit up in pleasure. “Well, if you’re going to call me that. Fine, we have a deal. This time. Come.”

“Yes, my Gracious Lord and God.”

“Mmm. I love it when you talk dirty to me.”


Jay reached the bottom of the staircase. He stopped and glanced around. “Okay. I need to think this through. Where would Preyuna or Mark Caten put a vampire?”

He scanned the ceiling.

It wouldn’t be close to the door. Neither of them is that stupid. But how far down would they go?

Where would Caten put a vampire?

Jay shuddered. “He’d put him in a sunlit cell. That narrows things down to cells that have a window. I’ll have to check those first. And then?” He shrugged. “Then, I’ll figure out my next move.”

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