Friday, August 7, 2015

The King's Challenge #10

TKC 10

A man emerges from the gloom to hunker before me. He gestures and the oaf behind me releases my hair. “Lyra, what are you doing here?”

I push myself onto my knees and glare at him. “Damin, nice to see you.”

Sighing, he stands. “You and the boy were asking questions about me. I am sorry, but we needed to know why.”

At least he has the sense not to offer a helping hand. Right now I will probably bite it. “May I get up?” I ask, fury causing my voice to tremble.

He nods.

As I stand, I study him. His straw hair is as untidy as ever, although not as clean as I remember. Blue eyes still have the power to pierce distances, I notice. I always feel as if Damin looks through me as well as at me. He is a little on the thin side, and I suspect that is because the fare here is sparse. He is tanned and wears forest colours.

I look away before I hit him, I am that angry. “Attis,” I murmur, “come here.”

The boy scuttles to my side, his brown eyes big as gold coins. He latches onto my cloak and I pull him in. “The boy does not deserve such treatment.”

Damin sighs again. “Unfortunately he knows too much now.”

Attis gasps and I feel him shake with fear. “If you touch him, I swear I will kill you,” I say.

A long silence ensues and then Damin gestures. The two men who brought us in leave. “He will not come to harm, but he cannot now leave here.”

“What are you doing, by the stars? Where is the Damin I knew back home?”

He leans forward. “Something big comes. You know this, for you came looking for me.”

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