Take My Hand Chapter 11

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            The warriors stood side by side, stiff in posture and passive in expression, as they tracked Dania with their eyes as she rose from the chaise and moved about the room as she spoke. They listened meticulously to every utterance from their mistress, ready to obey any command that dribbled from Dania’s lips.

            “I want you to find someone for me. His name is Carson. I believe you have heard mention of him between myself and Darne. Darne was brutally killed tonight, however, and I have every reason to believe that Carson was entirely responsible. I want Darne’s death avenged, and, for this purpose, I demand the shedding of Carson’s blood. Find him and bring him here to me. I want him unharmed,” she told them as she paced. Her words left no room for inquiry or failure, yet she never raised her voice in the passionate anger she felt clawing through her veins. “His life belongs to me,” she added, finally turned to the warriors so that they may see the severity of the statement in her eyes. “Do you understand your purpose?” she demanded.

            Each warrior nodded their head in one curt movement, their faces set in determined lines, making their appearance all the more menacing added with the massive amounts of leather and weaponry they already sported.

            Dania waved her hand in dismissal, and the teams turned to leave, each silently moving in a different direction to track down the man their mistress demanded.

            For them, failure was not an option, and they would do anything to ensure the happiness of the woman who held their lives in her hands.

            Jo was awakened by the sound of Carson’s screams. She jolted into a sitting position as he dashed from the bed and into her closet, slamming the door behind him. Glancing to her side, she saw the light of the rising sun pouring into the room. A moment later, the sickeningly sweet smell of burning flesh reached her nose. She wrinkled her nose up at the smell and heard the sound of Carson’s labored breathing from the other side of the room.

            “Carson, are you okay?” she called shakily, realizing that the sun must have burned him. Her heart stopped at the pain he must be feeling.

            “I’m fine,” Carson called, his voice deep and husky, coming out more like a groan.

            Rising from the bed, Jo called, “I’ll cover the windows.”

            Jo scampered about the room frantically, using a heavy blanket to cover the window to keep out all traces of the sun. She closed the bedroom door so that no light could filter through from the living room. Glancing around, she was satisfied that there was little chance of the sun reaching its vengeful fingers through to harm Carson again.

            “Carson? I’ve covered the window. Can I come in?”

            “Yeah,” Carson answered brusquely after a moment’s hesitation. Jo hadn’t heard him be so clipped before, so she knew he must be in excruciating pain, even more so than the night she had first found him.

            Jo walked quickly to the closet door and eased it open slowly. As soon as it was cracked wide enough for her to squeeze through, she stepped in and shut the door, flipping the dim light on to find Carson huddled in the back corner. He trembled visibly and had his head laid atop his bent knees, his arms wrapped protectively around his neck. He didn’t raise his head when Jo gasped at the sight before her.

            His back was covered in harsh red blisters, as were his arms and hands. Jo knew that what she saw probably was not the extent of the damage, and her eyes filled with tears at the sight of him in such agony. She turned and grabbed the first aid kit from the top of her closet and knelt down beside him.

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