Chapter Fifteen

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Aidan awoke in a murky panic, a scream dying on their lips as the dream faded. They glanced about slowly, their movements stiff. Any attempt to sit up made their muscles ache.

"Lie back down, idiot."

Aidan's head swiveled sharply to the right, sending a jolt of pain up their neck. Orfeo sat in the flickering shadows near a small fire.

"Where are we?"

Orfeo did not turn to look at them but rather prodded the flames with a sooty stick. "Why would that matter?"

Aidan gritted their teeth and attempted to sit up further. "I need to find Riona."

Orfeo let out a low chuckle. "You let them do this to you over a woman?"

Aidan did not respond.

"Well, you're in no shape to be anyone's hero." Orfeo finally glanced their way, dark eyes flashing. "Go back to sleep."

"I have to protect—"

"Ava's following her."

Aidan's mouth parted in surprise for a moment before snapping back shut. "That does not make me feel at ease."

"No?" said Orfeo flashing a grim smile.

Aidan relented and lay back upon the makeshift bed. "How long have I been sleeping?"

"Off and on for a few weeks."

Aidan bolted upright again, ignoring the searing pain. "What?! Where's Ibrahim?"

"Resting. Damn near died trying to heal you. We almost lost both of you."

"You could have helped, "Aidan snapped.

"Someone needs to remain in fighting shape in case Makda decides to pay us a visit."

Aidan felt their body begging for more rest. "I'd pay to see that fight."

"Sleep."

Aidan did as they were told.

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