Chapter Thirty.

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I think I'm dying.

Scratch that, I'm pretty sure that I am in fact dying.

My whole body aches. It screams when I move, so I haven't done much of that. As equally as painful as my bodily pain, my mind swirls with daggers of uncertainty. Did I make a huge mistake? No, surely not. Giving my life to save the life of someone I care about can never be wrong, can it? Was my first sort of kind of act as Castrum's princess a royal bust? Did I only save Dalton for a short while, leaving him and the rest of my friends and family and the whole world to still die at the hands of this evil anyway.

This is the moment of truth.

The moment I find out whether or not this is how I'm going to die.

The man brought me out of my closet.

The first time I've moved in 24 long painful hours. I haven't even used the bathroom, not that I've needed to. I haven't had any food or water pass my lips since they took all of that blood now days ago.

Why waste anymore provisions on her until we know if she's worth it or not, Defario had said. To please him, giving him a small victory, the other two agreed.

I lay slumped over the table, my feet barely dangling over the cold floor. I lift my head just enough to turn and watch the man typing out some things on his little tablet and then mark them down in his notebook. I'm waiting on the result of the test. The one that decides my fate here once and for all.

I lick my dry cracked lips, but it doesn't help any. "What's in all of this for you?" I croak, my skill for subtly long forgotten. Even Malcom's little voice has abandoned me. Even he knows when a situation is hopeless.

He barely raises an eyebrow, eyes focused on his little machine. "Curious little thing." He mumbles.

I blink once, almost giving into the temptation to keep my eyes closed. "I wonder," I whisper quietly, knowing I'm taking a risk, but taking it anyway. "The force is being lied to," pushing my luck here, but desperate times... "The casters are being lied to too, aren't they?" The slight twitch in his cheek is all the conformation I need and all I'll get. "I want to prove my worth and my allegiance to your cause, but to do that I have to know what that is, and I think we both know that you're the only person here who knows what is really going on."

One side of his mouth curls up into an almost smile. "You're an interesting child, I will give you that." He sighs. "But I also don't trust you. I learned long ago to never trust anyone but myself. Your own are the only motives you can judge. The only thing you can count on from other people, is that they are always going to be looking out for their own best interest." He turns his black eyes on me and I might as well be writing out my will. I know I won't win him over. "I know that the other two see worth in your gift and an advantage that you could give them, but if it is honesty that you seek from me, I see your gift as a grave issue for me and for my plans. I also don't believe you want what you claim. I think you're smart enough to know how to stay alive and the others are blinded by what they think you can do for them. It's a game I too know how to play." I'm a little surprised by his outright admission. But it isn't good for me. It means he's calling me out on playing the same game, and there is only enough room for one winner here.

"What is your plan?" I figure it can't hurt to ask. He's called my bluff, so there isn't anything left to hide on my end. "I know that The Force will be dead soon. They follow you blindly and for a group so dead set on vampire supremacy, I know whatever you offered them is supposed to help them in their takeover of Castrum." I close my eyes for a second, thinking it out in my mind. I feel his eyes on mine and when I open them again, I find him grinning. He is impressed. I'm on the right track. "Defario mentioned something about injections. You want my guess?"

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