Preyuna strode back to the mansion. She magically shoved the front door open.
She tapped into her base magic and made her presence invisible to all of the monitor cameras.
No one else was in the hallway.
And, best of all, no Mark Caten.
She turned left and resumed her journey to the dungeon.
Walk all the way to the end of the hall.
Walk past Mark’s office.
Walk past that door.
And that door.
And that one too.
She glanced around.
No one was around.
The hall was empty.
Preyuna opened the dungeon door, stepped onto the top landing, and closed the door behind her. She didn’t question her decision.
She didn’t even put it up for debate.
She walked down the staircase in physical and mental silence.
The dungeon was quiet. The other prisoners were either unconscious or sound asleep. A few of them were magically gagged. So, even if they wanted to moan and groan up a ruckus, they’d make no sound. Some of the prisoners were there for a legitimate reason. Others had the misfortune of falling out of favor with Mark Caten. Those were the ones he’d ordered magically gagged.
No one would hear them if they screamed.
If they could still scream.
Preyuna did not think about those unfortunate souls. After all, she knew that no matter what she thought about them, she could wind up sharing their fate.
Mark Caten could do it to her for any given reason.
If he found someone who pleased him more.
She did NOT want to think about that.
Preyuna stepped off the last stair and headed straight to Robin’s cell. She opened the door with her magic.
The cell seemed to be empty. Just barred walls and a brick wall and one door.
But Preyuna knew better. She strode to the brick wall and made a quick hand gesture to remove the illusion.
Robin was still there. Still pinned to the true brick wall.
She hesitated for a moment before unfastening the buckle under his chin. She raised the mask and unbuckled the metal guard keeping his mouth clamped shut.
Preyuna studied his sleeping face, trying to find one redeeming feature, trying to find one good thing about him.
Trying to understand what Isellta saw in him.
She frowned. “Who are you, Robin Hastings? Who are you to hold such dominion over Isellta? What are you? Why does he desire you? Is it the color of your hair? The shape of your eyebrows? Where is it, Robin Hastings? That one reason for Isellta to love you? What is it? Where are you hiding it?”
Preyuna unbuttoned his shirt down to the metal band that bound his torso to the wall. She spread his shirt as open as the band would allow.
He took a deep breath.
She spread her hands on his exposed skin.
He exhaled through his nose. “‘sellta…”
“Is it here? Somewhere in the layers of skin? Or is it in your muscles? Deep inside your bones? Or is it the lower part of your body, perhaps?”
Preyuna refastened the mouth guard and the muzzle. “He isn’t yours.” She whispered into her hands. They glowed white with her magic. She made a quick pushing gesture at him.
The magic hit him right above his breastbone.
His eyebrows twitched into a pained frown.
“Isellta is mine.” She clenched her hands into fists.
Tears escaped the corner of his good eye.
She pushed her magic at him again.
The cell no longer smelled like tangerines.
She made a quick hand gesture and the brick wall reappeared. “Isellta was never yours to start with, Robin Hastings. And you will never see him again.”