34. Interruptions and Staring Contests

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   "It has to do with why you're dying." Zero says, and his word cause the breath in my lungs to halt.

 "What would have Lager said?" I whisper, almost scared to hear the answer.

"Ashley, Lager would have said-"

"That Zero wet his pants the first time we met." A luring smooth voice cuts him off, and I jerk my head to the side to see Lager standing where Becky and I were a moment before, leaning against the rail, his golden eyes fixated on us like a predator with his prey.

I'm startled by his sudden appearance, my eyes widening.

"I thought I told the both of you to stay in the throne room!" I scold, scowling with my hands on my hips, although in the back of my mind, Zero's words linger. What was he about to say?

I haven't had a headache since that first one, but is that a good sign, or just a symbol of impending doom?

Lager pushes off the rail, striding towards us in an easy, relaxed state, but his eyes show a narrowed anger. He stops a few feet away, his cape blowing in the slight breeze, the setting sun forming a halo around him.

"No one," he says softly."Tells me what to do."

I swallow, my throat suddenly dry, but then Lager cracks a smile, his eyes lighting up. This expression causes me to deflate in relief, before I scowl again.

"Haha. Now if you would excuse us, I really need to talk to Zero.........ALONE." I emphasize. Zero's eyes light up in joy, which makes me internally sigh.

A muscle in Lager's jaw ticks, before he throws on another smile, except this one is more like a grimace.

"I'm sorry to hear that, but I can't allow it."

"And why not?" I demand, wondering what Lager is trying to keep from me. This is very confusing. Zero came to tell me something that Lager was going to, but then Lager decided to not tell me and is now keeping it from me. Talk about complicated.

"Because." Lager says, his eyes shifting to the side. If he wasn't so emotionless I would call him nervous. "We are going on a tour."

I blink.

"A....tour?" I question, even more confused.

Lager nods once.

"Aren't you too busy for that? Being High Commander and all?"

Lager rolls his eyes, turning and walking back to the railing.

"My schedule was cleared for tonight." He calls over his shoulder.

I stare with wide eyes as shadows start to form around his back, shaping until they almost look like bat wings. I gasp as they materialize, and two, huge black wings cover his back. He shakes his arms out, rolling his shoulders as his wings flutter.

"What....What are you doing?" I ask, loud enough for him to hear me.

He stops stretching and looks up, smirking. "Leaving. It doesn't seem like you're up for a tour right now."

I'm about to agree, but Zero startles me when his voice speaks in my head for the first time in a long time.

Go with him.

I look at Zero with wide eyes, and suddenly my head pulses, like the beginning of a headache. Oh no, please don't get any worse.

But you need to tell me why I'm dying. I protest.

Zero looks almost pained, his breathing ragged as if he is having an internal war.

It would....it would be better if you went with him.  Pain flashes through my head again, and I severe the bond, nodding quickly. I didn't realize that I was agreeing to tour with Lager until it was too late, because I just wanted the headache to stop.

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