Part 2478 – A Difficult Story To Tell.

“Caten was obsessed with acquiring this mystical, mythical, my-whatever-ical item called The Crystal Feather. It’s, amazingly enough, a crystal feather from some ancient fey. Either the fey wound up being crystalized or its wings were made up of natural crystals.” Ambrose shrugged. “I’m not sure. All I know for sure is it was a crystal feather.”

Barbara giggled. “I think you need to say crystal feather at least ten more times.”

“What? You think I haven’t said it enough times yet?”

“Nope! Not even close to enough.”

“Ha!” He laid his hand along the side of her face. “You outrageous brat.”

She giggled again.

He moved closer to her. Barbara, do I have to finish this story? Can I save it for some other day? Can’t we just leave?

Barbara smiled. It’s so tempting to say yes, to just leave poor Raven with that snippet of explanation and go. I want to go, Ambrose. I want to finally be alone with you again.

His heart raced. Same here, love. 

But that really isn’t fair to Raven. He deserves to know something more about this man we’re dropping into his lap.

Ambrose put his hands on the sides of her waist, which made her gasp in surprise. A flirtatious smile spread across his face. “I love you so much.”

She spread her hands on his chest and leisurely slid them all the way up to the back of his neck. “I love you too.”

Raven politely cleared his throat. “So, Mark Caten had interest in acquiring this Crystal Feather artifact.”

“Yeah.” Ambrose kept his gaze on her. “It supposedly granted unlimited god powers to whoever possessed it. I don’t know how Caten found out about it. Just like I don’t know how he figured out that our intrepid adventurer had information about its location.” He shrugged. “I can only assume that Caten’s dark elf, Petrov, was involved.”

Ambrose kissed Barbara’s forehead. “Caten sent me out to find Greg and interrogate him.” He kept his lips close to her forehead. “I was a good little minion. I found Greg. Brought him to Caten’s dungeon. Interrogated him. Tortured him.” He closed his eyes. “I tortured him until his mental barrier broke. I searched his mind for the location. Found it.”

Barbara rubbed the back of his neck, which encouraged him to keep talking.

“I could have done the decent thing and killed him. I didn’t. I let him live. I was feeling extra spiteful. So, I changed him and left him chained to the wall.”

Barbara’s fingers kept rubbing his neck, but she remained silent. He didn’t know how to interpret that silence. She wasn’t backing away from Ambrose and she was still touching him.

But she was so silent.

And his story wasn’t finished.

Ambrose kept his eyes closed. He didn’t want to see the shock and disappointment on Barbara’s face or on Raven’s face. “I chained him as he went through the agony of the change. I left him before he came back to life. I never released him. I never returned to him. To the best of my knowledge, he has never had his first meal. He’s been starving this whole time.”

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