Slumber Page 26

“Come on,” the gypsy grunted and pushed me ahead. We made our way past a few tents, people stopping to stare at us curiously. Finally he stopped us at a small tent made from blue, purple and red patchwork and dropped the dagger from my throat.

“Vrik,” a soft, seductive voice called to him and we all turned as a dark haired beauty sauntered over to us, her hips swishing her drab skirts back and forth. The worn blouse and grey skirt did nothing to detract from her exoticness. My spine stiffened in insult as she looked over me distastefully and instantly dismissed me. Worse, she turned to Wolfe and her eyes widened appreciatively – she even licked her lips. “Are these them?” she asked Vrik without taking her eyes off Wolfe.

The gypsy behind me answered, so I assumed he was Vrik, “Yes. Selena wants to see them.”

She nodded without question and then turned back to undressing Wolfe with her eyes. My heart picked up pace as I watched Wolfe stare back at her, expressionless. “Can I have this one, Vrik, when ye’re done with him?”

He snorted. “Scarla, we haven’t even sent the message off to Javinia that we have them. A little patience, please.”

She flashed her black, cat-shaped eyes at him. “But I want him!”

“I’m sure the lad will be more than happy to see to ye when we reach an agreement with Markiza Raven. But until then he’s a prisoner, alright.”

Scarla pouted and reached out to trail a hand down Wolfe’s chest. Wolfe flinched. “I’m not happy about this, Vrik. Perhaps I should speak with papa?”

“Papa will tell ye the same thing. Now leave, Scarla.”

It was obvious these two ill-mannered being were siblings. Scarla huffed a little more and then went up onto her tiptoes to whisper in Wolfe’s ear. I don’t know what she said but I don’t think I had ever seen Wolfe blush before. My heart thumped and my own cheeks flushed. I looked away quickly, gritting my teeth.

When Scarla left, Vrik grabbed my arm tight and thrust me into the tent, the other men and Wolfe at our backs. Immediately my eyes adjusted to the dimness of the tiny tent. I stopped, startled by the sight of the older woman in front of me. Inside was bare; grass beneath my feet, no furniture, except to my complete bemusement a gorgeous old library desk that would have looked more at home in a study at the Palace. The old woman sat patiently behind it.

“Here ye are, Selena. Our prisoners.” Vrik pushed me towards her and I caught myself on the desk. “Let us know if ye see anything that’ll tell us about any future land agreements that we may come to with that damn Rada.”

Selena looked at him blankly, as if he were below her interest. “Take the girl back outside. I wish to speak with the boy first.”

As I was dragged back outside, past Wolfe, I threw him a questioning look. But he was staring avidly at Selena. Who an earth was this woman? What was going on?

Finding myself at the mercy of other gypsies’ curiosities, I turned so my back was facing camp. Vrik just stared at me, his arms crossed over his chest.

“What’s going on?” I asked, more than a little impatient now.

“Be quiet.”

“Who is Selena?”

“I said be quiet.”

“You know you’re really rather rude.”

The beast actually bared his teeth and growled at me. “And ye are getting on my last nerve, Princezna.”

Trying to pretend that his animal behaviour didn’t bother me, I sniffed. “I’m not a princezna.”

He made a face. “Ye look it and act it.”

I did not, I huffed. I think all and all I had been taking my kidnap extremely well. Especially considering the terrible memories it brought back of being carted off by Wolfe’s father. I hardened in remembrance and growled back at him. “You haven’t seen anything yet.”

Vrik raised an eyebrow, looking me over. And then he had the audacity to grin. “Ye might be fun after all, Princezna.”

Before I could offer a disgusted retort, Wolfe was pushed out of the tent with the two gypsies at his back.

“What happened?” I asked quickly, moving towards him. Vrik instantly gripped my arm and wrenched me back.

Wolfe snarled at him and then turned back to me, his lip still curled disdainfully. “Nothing. The old woman’s useless.”

One gypsy walloped Wolfe across the back of the head.

“Hey!” I yelled at the offending gypsy, and was rewarded with a bewildered look from Wolfe as I was shoved past him and back into the tent.

“Anything?” Vrik asked Selena without any niceties as I was forced to stand before her.

Selena’s narrowed eyes found Vrik and she shook her head. “He was blocking me somehow.”

“Blocking ye?” Vrik asked, stunned. My head swivelled between them, completely at a loss as to what they were discussing.

“Hmm,” she answered. “Keep a careful eye on him.”

My patience snapped. “What is going on?” I demanded, my eyes burning into the old woman.

She arched an eyebrow at me and then smirked at Vrik. “We’ve got a live one here.”

Vrik chuckled, a dark, sinister kind of chuckle that sent shivers slithering down my spine. “Seems so.”

Selena smiled at me and I got the strangest feeling she liked what she saw. “Give me your hands.”

I tucked my hands behind my back. “Why?”

She winked. “I’m not going to hurt you. Just give me your hands… or I’ll make Vrik hold you while we do this.”

I snapped my hands out so fast she cackled. “Don’t think she likes you too much, Vrik, so I wouldn’t be getting any ideas.”

Vrik grunted behind me.

Selena snatched my hands in her extremely cold ones, and I felt every wrinkle and crevice of that sandpapery touch shoot through me.

She was a mage.

Seeing the question in my eye, Selena nodded. “I’m one of the Glava, little Azyl.”

Dear haven, they had one of the Glava and a Dravilec among them. I immediately wondered if they had been collected as Syracen had done with me, Valena and Kir. “Your specialty?” I asked softly.

“I’m a reader.”

“You read people’s minds?”

“No. Just their future.”

I gulped and shook my head, trying to withdraw my hands. “I don’t want to know my future.”

Prev Next