Chapter 39: What Goes Around Comes Around

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My reunion with Dominic took place sooner than I had expected, though.

On our way back to the Onyx Tower, the Dwarfs and I made a small detour to buy some food at a market stall, a local specialty with bread, turkey and a lot of spices, some of which were unknown to me. It tasted delicious and the sensation of having a full stomach diverted my thoughts from my unpleasant encounter with a certain Dark Sorcerer. However, my peaceful state of mind was bound to evaporate not long after.

Angry shouts drifted into the main hallway when we walked through the Tower's massive front doors, coming from behind another set of doors that led to the basement. People walked in and out, those going in holding heavy barrels in their arms. Yet, the ones who came walking back upstairs had their eyes cast down and ran out of the building as though they were fleeing something. The yelling grew louder and I could make out Rowan's voice. Without thinking twice, I handed a nervously wriggling Jaeger over to Ellie and sprinted toward the open doors to descend into the dimness below.

It wasn't hard to locate the source of the noise; torches lit the way to a storage room at the end of a long corridor, where two tall figures blocked the light spilling out of the doorway. Their noses were mere inches apart and they looked as if they were about to fling themselves at each other's throats. As I came closer, I distinguished Rowan's face in the gloom, his lips pulled up into a snarl that displayed all of his perfectly white teeth. And the other figure ...

A growl that wasn't entirely human escaped my throat and startled both myself and the two men. The stranger's face now came into full view, and his green eyes sparkled with both irritation and a kind of excitement that contained a silent promise of violence. His hair seemed to be on fire in the light of the torches. "Seeing your dull face twice on the same day, with barely an hour in between, almost makes me believe that you want me to fight you, Sorceress," Dominic said with that grin that made me want to scratch open his face with my bare hands. "Besides, this is the second time you show up in a place where you have no business at all. One might think you're up to something."

"Leave her alone," Rowan snapped, shoving himself between us to redirect the other man's attention to him. "If you want to fight someone, then fight me."

Dominic sneered. "You really don't see it, do you? Aren't you supposed to be a soldier? I'd think you'd recognize a monster when you see one." His grin disappeared and was replaced by something much more vile. "And that girl is nothing if not a monster."

"The only monster that I see here is you," Rowan growled, taking another step closer to him. "Now, if you're done getting on everybody's nerves, I'd like to continue working. Those barrels won't stock themselves."

He spun on his heel to walk back into the storage room, but Dominic clasped Rowan's arm to stop him, his fingers digging into the soldier's skin until his knuckles turned white. Rowan glanced down at Dominic's hand, glaring at it as if he could set the flesh on fire with only the burning fury in his eyes. Dominic ignored him. "Like I said before, human, I have to inspect the barrels first before they're stored in here. I personally find it a bit strange, to say the least, that not one but two lines of carriages were stalled this morning. My intuition tells me that it's not mere coincidence."

"You can kiss my ass with your intuition," Rowan mumbled as he tried to yank himself free from Dominic's grip, but the Sorcerer refused to let go.

Crap. I had underestimated him. If he started opening those barrels, all of our efforts would be for naught. The rebels would be arrested, possibly executed, and my friends would be in danger. I couldn't let that happen.

So I did the only thing that I could think of to interfere: I distracted him by starting a fight.

Barking with sarcastic laughter, I stepped forward and slapped Dominic's hand away from Rowan. "Just admit that you're only doing this because of what he and I did to Amanda. Let me guess, you two were lovers, right?" A shot in the dark, and a good one too. Dominic's face darkened. A part of me took pleasure in seeing pain flicker across his face, but the sane half of my personality loathed that sick feeling of satisfaction. "She tried to kill me, Dominic, so I killed her first. And I enjoyed every second of it."

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