Olessa Caten slowly appeared, guided by her father’s hand.
Her eyes were wide open.
Her mouth set in a silenced scream.
Mark Caten crinkled the sheet of paper into a ball and jammed it into the garbage can. He picked up his cell phone and called Hildreth’s number.
It went straight to voice mail.
“Hello, loser. This is Mark Caten speaking. But, of course, you already knew that. My voice is melodic and pure and beautiful. Of course, you’d recognize it. Why am I calling you? Oh, I’m sure you can guess. If not, you are obviously as feeble-minded as I know you are. But I am a most merciful and understanding god. So, I will give you a helpful nudge. WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO DRAG AMBROSE SMITH’S SORRY KEISTER OVER HERE? Please give me a call back. You know my number, because, of course, you do. How could you forget such priceless and valuable information?” He ended the call.
Mark Caten took a breath and exhaled. “Well. Let’s see where my little grime-encrusted cupcake’s gone hiding.” He brought up his monitor’s search menu and searched for Preyuna.
A smile spread across his face as the hallway monitor lit up. “And there she is.”
Preyuna stood outside Jay’s bedroom door.
“Well, this should be enjoyable.” Mark Caten brought up the monitor in Jay’s room. “There we go! Come on, cupcake. Go inside. Bring on the drama. Let me see your fire. I’m here, waiting and watching. Don’t disappoint me.”
Preyuna stood outside Jay’s bedroom door.
I have a right to see Isellta. He’s mine, no matter what he may think. Besides, it would make up for my inability to see and be with my harem….my Nayla.
But Jay is in there. He’ll verbally abuse me and make me out to be some slavering villain. He’ll make Isellta even more afraid of me.
She held her head higher.
It doesn’t matter. I am not afraid of him.
She grabbed the doorknob.
After all, he would never cross the same lines Mark crosses.
She opened the door and entered as if she were in full fey queen regalia with her whole harem around her.
Jay got off the bed and marched over to her. “What are you doing in my room?”
“Such a simpleton. What do you think I’m doing in here? Hoping for a rendezvous with you?”
“Huh! You wish.”
“Not likely. I want to see Isellta. Now.”
“You don’t seem to understand.” Preyuna narrowed her eyes. “This is not a request. Move out of my way or I will throw you out of my way.”
Jay stood his ground. “I will not let you touch him.”
Her eyes turned white. “I am not here to touch him. I simply want to see him.”
“I don’t trust you. You’ve hurt him too many times.”
“And you think that’s all I am? A one-dimensional abuser?”
“It doesn’t matter what I think. All that matters is your actions. And your actions have proven you to be a one-dimensional abus—-”
She slapped his face.
He glared at her. “Get out. Or I will pick you up and carry you out.”
“I just want to see him.”
He took a step forward.
A thousand and one hooked swords surrounded him.
“If you take one more step, you will be stabbed and torn apart.” Preyuna tilted her head. “I wonder how Isellta would react to you dying such a death. He’d blame himself, of course. So much crying. So much self-hatred. He’d probably retreat to fra nae shi and seek out a nae bi sha to devour him.”
Jay tightened his jaw.
“You know I’m right.”
“Get out of here. Or I will take a step forward and be stabbed and torn apart. How do you think Isellta would react to you killing me? He’d hate you. He’d reject you and your touch. You would lose him for good.”
Her swords flickered out one at a time. “You haven’t won, guard.” Preyuna said. “Isellta is mine and I will reclaim him.”
“Over my dead body.”
One of the swords touched the middle of his throat.
“That can be easily arranged.” Preyuna said.
The sword stayed in place as all of the other ones disappeared.
I could run him through. Stab his neck and drag the sword all the way down. But, as much as I disdain him and his entire existence, he doesn’t deserve a death like that.
Mark Caten does.
The sword faded and disappeared.
I will save it for him.
“Let me see him, guard.”
“Trust me. I—”
He scoffed. “Trust you? How can I trust you? You just held a sword to my throat.”
“I didn’t run you through. Don’t I get some credit for that?”
He frowned, but didn’t respond.
She sighed. “If it makes you feel better, you may hold my hands behind my back.”
“What does that prove? You can do magic without raising a finger.”
“Yes, but I’m submitting to your foul touch. Do you really think that is something I’m normally inclined to endure?”
Jay didn’t respond. But his expression was thoughtful.
She put her hands behind her back. “I solemnly promise I will do no harm to you or Isellta.”
Unless either of you do something to deserve it.