"Come." He ordered me and despite myself, my feet were obeying him. Turning me around and heading me straight for that dreaded king.
"What have you found me, Warlord?" The King asked.
"Power..." He looked at me pointedly. Speaking fragmentedly, in his characteristic way.
"Not much to look at." The king's lip curled up in contempt. Seeing mud and what might be darker things, caking my hair which hung before my face and smeared across my skin in clumps.
I forced my eyes hooded to hide how large and doe-like I'd been told they were.
Clement was the village boy. The only boy who'd shown interest in me when I dared sneak out at night.
Really the only boy I'd known.
Now he was dead in the village square. I'd seen the knights drag a sword through one of his shoulders and nearly sever his shoulder in half.
I sobbed at the memory and had to cover my mouth to hold the sound in.
"Ugh." The king grunted. "She'll be a crier. Take her away from me."
"Turn." Warlord spun one finger in a pivoting motion that made me turn on my heel.
"Do you intend to make me do this the whole way to...to...wherever you're taking me?" I snapped at him.
"Whoa..." The king reared back, remarking. "'twould appear you've yourself a live one, Warlord."
"No one dares talk to him that way." Hawk snapped from the otherside of me. Striding up next to me with wrath written over his face.
Warlord solemnly lifted that staying hand and Hawk silenced and fell back.
"Just because they listen to you," I looked up at his profile next to me. "Doesn't mean I ever will. You might as well put me down now. You'll never have me!"
"Oh, won't I?" He quirked a black brow in a way that was somehow deeply threatening.
Ducking my head, I eased further away from him. Trying to slow my pace enough I could force myself to stop and run again.
"Walk." He commanded.
"I don't want to walk!"
"Would you prefer I make you run ahead?" He countered flatly.
I curled my lip in contempt and jutted my chin.
"You'll have to teach this one her place." The king remarked. Riding slowly behind us as though to observe the interchange. Humor written over his face.
I slowed in shock as the massive castle came into view. The walls towered above me and there were guards everywhere. I looked around trying to spot another escape but there were knights everywhere.
I was tiny and quick but not fast enough to get away from this many.
And what good will it do me, if he can stop me with one command? I needed to figure out how his magic worked and find a way around it.
The man hardly looked at me, so I'd stopped worrying he was taking me to breed me.
He wants a servant girl. I guessed.
I won't be anyone's servant. He can cast me out to the wild wolves first.
His blue eyes flicked to me pensively. And for a moment, just a moment, I wondered if he could pick up on my thoughts.
Some wolves could. But I'd never heard of a mage being able to.
As if cueing in again, he gave me a longer look. Tilting his head down enough the brim of his hat shadowed his face. And for a second I was certain that his eyes flared yellow the pupil narrowing to a slit.
"What are you?" I whispered.
"You," He straightened his head staring ahead. "are about to find out..."