Chapter Forty Four

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Night smothered itself over the dead city, creating an ambience that amplified the already terrifying nature of the situation Selene found herself in. It had been days since she was taken from Garr, since Bryce and everyone she knew and trained with at the brotherhood was killed by her newfound captor. She didn't see it happen or, perhaps she couldn't remember it, but she knew that he was dead-they all were dead. There was simply no other explanation. Almost invisible trails of tears had snaked down her face for the last two days, each breaking the mold for the next to follow without trepidation. Selene was not crying for herself, though. She was crying because she overheard their plan. Kareth knew that she was there, that she had been taken, and they were certain that he would do anything to save her. The only reason she was still alive, she assumed, was because they did not know who she truly was.

"The girl is his only friend, the only one that he has confided in almost a decade. He will come," one of her guards said, speaking to another guard the night they arrived in Dunmont. "And when he does, Lord Idris will rip the flesh from his bones."

She did not know who Lord Idris was, other than the fact that he was the one responsible for abducting her, but there was something about him-about the way his own men spoke of him-that caused a chill to course down her spine. Regardless of who he was, he was without a doubt the most disturbing man she had ever met. He had a look about him that oozed evil, an evil that she was completely unfamiliar with. Even the Butcher seemed like a prophet in the face of this man they called a lord.

The days, thus far, had lumbered by, with only the bowl of broth they brought her at supper as her sole refuge to look forward to. It had little more than some mushroom stalks and the occasional bug, but it was warm and tasted better than water, so she ate it happily. It was nearing the time of day that she usually got her bowl, but something told her that it might not come this night.

Selene leaned back against the large pole, moving her arms as much as she could in attempts to bring back at least the beginnings of feeling. They chained them above her head and she had had no feeling in her hands for almost a day. She did her best to stretch, and as she arched her back she noticed a lone man walking towards her. The guards rose when he got close and scurried away soon after, unquestioning acquiescence obvious in their movements. The lone man's long black hair that hung to his shoulders gave away his identity before he spoke.

"I see that you survived the trip. I must say, I did not know if your body would abide the road or the roughness of the carriages." Lord Idris moved in front of her and sat, leaning back against a barrel. "How is the shoulder, if you don't mind me asking?"

She did her best to seem unafraid. "Fine. They set my arm and removed the arrow without much other than pain to plague me."

The lord shrugged. "Pain never killed a man," he said with a brief pause. "A woman, however, well you are just different creatures altogether, aren't you?"

"I have endured much and more pain in my lifetime, don't think for a second that a small wound would stop me from killing you once I am loose of these chains." Her eyes were wide with fury and even she could not believe the words that escaped her mouth.

"You have courage, I'll give you that." Lord Idris did not try to hide the smile in his eyes. "But courage will not save you, my dear. Nothing will save you, not now."

"Kareth will save me," she replied curtly. "He will kill you. He will kill everyone in this camp and walk away without a second thought. Kareth is afraid of no man."

His shoulders moved in a silent laugh. "I am sure this will mean nothing to you when I say it, but I am of the Vorai, and as far away from a man as one could possibly be."

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