Skitter.

Shuffle.

Scrape.

The rain splattered on her cheek dripping off the leaves above, she jumped a little, then walked faster along the path.

Skitter.

What is it this time, a giant snake ready to swallow us whole?

Parcival stopped in front of her, his eyebrows raised damn near to his hairline. Before she could say anything he held her by her shoulders and spun her around.

Disgusting. A large wriggling mass of Nug-worms took over the path.

The jade green cat stepped out of the forest shadows, cackling.

The cat twisted, bending into odd angles that no animal in nature ever should form from the paws up. It's skeletal structure and fur transformed to a humanoid shape, last its paws changed to feet and dark brown leather boots flowed over them.

A creature no longer; a man stood in black pants, and a buttoned red vest decorated with gold etching. Maxwell's hardened face framed by black ringlets and piercing eyes. Raising his arms, he shouted an incantation. A huge swirling portal opened pulling in Parcival then Han.

The portal grew and swirled faster pulling her toward it, she fell on her stomach clawing at the ground. No, not again!

On the other side, the grasses dotted with wildflowers were annoying it was like everything was a mockery of the pain of these past days, and the birds incessant chirping was a spike in an already growing headake. "Stupid birds." Maxwell loved it here he always was a nature freak. Parcival and Han were face first in the grass. Han rolled over and spat out a mouthful.

Parcival stood then made an exasperated had gesture flopping them on his sides and shook his fist at the sky. "Just how hard is it to get you to my home?"

"Parcival."

"Well. Let's add a portal. And throw in a wild man that drags us all over Galamia. And how about—"

"I've been here before I'll get us out." The mansion was still there off to the East. Good, he tended to move it around at will, it was enough to drive a person crazy.

Parcival stopped raising an eyebrow. "Then?"

"We worked together in the past. Let's go."

It didn't take long to reach the place, not like that first time. "I'm going in, there should still be a portal scroll unused in his library."

"He's not going to let you walk in and simply take it."

She raised a pointer finger. "You can't catch what you can't see. You forget what I am." Yes, should be rested enough now. "Feared Kage, pull the shadows and wrap them tight, with a kiss of the night."

From inside Parcival's shadow, he came more translucent then before.

"Again, you accept the cost?"

"I do."

He tapped her elbow, and the coolness flowed over again. She leapt to the door, and opened it, it was unlocked. Why would he bother? He brought us here after all.

"Merryn?"

"This is my fault, both of you stay there." She closed the door, then pulled out the thief tools and locked it. That should keep them safe for a while.

On entering the house Maxwell blew off his palm a white powder at her. A fine lined smile parted his lips.

Talc! Standing she dusted it off before releasing the spell. He'll have no joy from this.

He said, "this way if you will," then pushed aside the portière door hanging waiting.

She walked straight though without a word, head held high.

His snotty smile vanished. He ran his hands through his hair, before sitting on a small padded bench. "Such a sour look, it doesn't become you."

She glared. "Let's get on with it already."

"I never imagined you'd fail so horribly. How could you simultaneously manage to free Unnamed and destroy Lionsgate? All you had to do was take one little book." His face convoluted before smoothing again.

"The rune bindings broke. I didn't mean to kill your king, I will deal with this onus." She willed her hand to stop shaking and folded them on her lap.

"Deal with it? It's killing you. I'm glad too."

"Is the man I loved still there from years ago?"

"He died when my father did." He hung his head clenching his jaw. His hair covered his face with just the brights of his eyes showing. He wasn't looking not really, a lost faraway glaze was there.

"Then so be it." A clenching sensation gripped her chest, and she sucked in a small breath. Don't not now. "And the treaty?"

He leaned forward, stopping an inch away. "Why bother asking, you know the answer."

On reflex she leaned back.

"Make no mistake, I still hate you. I will hate you until I turn to dust. I will hate you until all things end for what you did." His face lowered into a darkness, that drew out any last drop of goodwill left, if their ever was. He placed his hands on the arm of the chair, gripping it until the wood cracked and splintered. Straightening  quickly he pushed the chair back, it slid across the floor hitting the wall with a bang. "I'll deal with them now, or do you wish to?"

I can save you, if you choose.

She stiffened. You lie.

Then bring me back to your beloved city and you'll see the truth. They are lying to you.


(On Hold)❧ Soul Tear ❧ Book One: The Last Spirit AdaptRead this story for FREE!