Chapter 28: The Lesser of Two Evils

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When I went to check up on Rowan the next morning, he was still a bit dazed by the potion. However, his wounds had begun to heal overnight, and the Light Sorcerers who took care of him claimed that he would be fully recovered in two or three more days. He asked me to stay a bit longer, a mischievous twinkle in his sleepy eyes, and glared when I answered that he'd better get some more rest. It had been a relief to find out that our moment of intimacy hadn't made things worse, and I didn't want to ruin it all now.

Even though I was addicted to his touch already. I had tossed and turned the entire night, my skin burning with the memory of Rowan's caresses and the way my body had reacted to them. In all my innocence in the field of love, I had never thought that a man could give a woman such pleasure.

My blood rushed to my cheeks, painting them red, and I was still blushing when I arrived at my next stop: the stables. The large, wooden building formed an extension of the Tower of the Honored and was the home of at least fifty horses. Upon entering, the smell of hay and horse dung evoked a wave of nostalgia.

On my request, Cain had ordered a bunch of his men to fetch our horses a few days ago. I spotted Inna near the back of the building and she neighed happily as she noticed me, shaking her white mane in excitement. She nibbled at my hand and I petted her shoulders and neck in response. At least the Dark Sorcerers took good care of their horses, despite their bad reputation. After I had treated Inna to a shiny, red apple, I decided to pay Eros and Rynn a visit as well. The latter was chewing on some hay, barely glancing in my direction, but Rowan's dark brown stallion freaked out when I told him that his master wasn't coming. He backed away from me, bucking and nostrils flaring, and not even the combined strength of three stable boys could keep him under control.

"Fierce animal that is," a deep voice said close to my ear, making me jump.

I didn't need to turn around to know who had sneaked up on me. "He belongs to Rowan. He will only listen to him."

"I sincerely doubt that."

I raised an eyebrow, but Cain didn't pay any attention to me, staring intensely at the furious horse. His eyes lit up with orange flames and I watched as Eros snorted and shook his mighty head, but eventually surrendered to Cain's will. Lowering his head, the horse scraped his hoof across the ground, as if to express his dissatisfaction with being dominated by someone who was not his master.

The words left my big mouth before I could stop them, "Do you use that trick on your slaves too when they disobey?"

Lucky for me, Cain only laughed. "Watch that sharp tongue of yours, little Sorceress. Not everyone has a skin as thick as mine." I pressed my lips together, internally cursing myself for being such an idiot all the time. Cain's amber gaze glided toward the duffel bag that was slung over my shoulder and his brow quirked. "May I ask what you carry in that bag, Kenna?" he inquired, curious. "I noticed that you also wore it the day you arrived. Surely it must be something very important if you couldn't leave it with the horses, like you did with the rest of your luggage."

Crap. "I'm afraid that's none of your business, Your Dark Lordship."

He smiled when I mocked his title, although his eyes were cold. "There are no ways of keeping secrets from me in this city, little Sorceress. I'll find out what you're hiding from me, one way or another." His tone was friendly, but I sensed the silent threat behind his words.

Growling, I admitted to myself that he was right. It was impossible to hide a massive Dragon within the walls of this city without someone noticing. Reluctantly, I grabbed the bag and opened it, holding it out to him so that he could see the contents while I glanced around the stables to check if no one was eavesdropping on us.

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