Slumber Page 32

“I don’t give a rat’s ass what you demand to know. I’m tired and I’m going to get some sleep. You should too.”

But I wasn’t quite ready to give up yet, so good at pressing people’s buttons. “The Princezna will be so eager to hear that a mage was living in Silvera all this time and he didn’t see fit to tell us.”

This time I stumbled back under the force of Wolfe’s severe look. “You better keep this to yourself, Rogan.”

My eyes flashed at his tone, my hands going to my hips in a stance of defiance. “Are you threatening me?” I growled in disgust. The words were out before I could stop them, “Dear haven, you are just like your father!”

I’d never seen Wolfe move so fast. One moment he was on the other side of the room, the next he was inches from me, his large hands gripping my upper arms, shaking me hard for what I had said. His eyes were white and his face mottled red with a rage I’d thought I’d only ever felt. “I’m nothing like my father!” He bellowed. “Nothing!”

I flinched, terrified by this side of him, going pale under the fury directed at me. Seeing my startled and wary expression, Wolfe cursed and let me go, his hands visibly trembling as he stumbled away from me.

Not knowing what to do, my heart pounding in my chest, my cheeks burning, I just stood there as he bedded down on the floor. The silence was so thick, so uneasy, I’m sure someone intruding in on us wouldn’t have been able to breathe under the weight of it.

“You better get some sleep,” Wolfe broke the silence, in a quiet defeated voice that made me feel guilty for some strange inexplicable reason. Surprised that my legs could move after what had occurred, I ran over to the bed and slid under the sheet that he’d left me. At the sound of movement on the floor I turned and watched as Wolfe searched for something. His hands finally found his trousers and he delved into the pocket and pulled something out.

“Here.” He turned to me and threw something white and papery up onto the bed. “Thought you might want those back.”

Frowning, curious, I reached over and picked up the item.

It was the paper bag with the bracelets for Haydyn and I.

“How did you…?” I asked softly, unsure of the feeling constricting my throat.

“You dropped them in the alley. I picked them up before they drugged me. They seemed important when you were buying them.”

A sharp pain shot across my chest and I held in a noise of distress. Wolfe had been with me the entire time at the market. Why had he taken the time to rescue the cheap little bracelets that only meant something to me? How had he known that they were important? I shuddered and rolled over, fighting back tears, wishing that the man on the floor could stay black and white… the way he had always been to me. He was the last man in Phaedra I should ever trust, should ever feel anything toward.

But those shades of grey just kept creeping in.

Chapter Fifteen

It was an understatement to say I was sore, cranky and sleep deprived the next morning. My brain would not stop peddling as I lay in that bed listening to Wolfe shuffle about uncomfortably on the floor. There were moments I felt I couldn’t breathe, I was so confused, lost and afraid of what I might be feeling towards him.

Suffice to say that come daylight we weren’t really talking to one another, only grunting responses at each other. Wolfe had breakfast brought up to us, still convinced I had the potential to cause trouble (I rolled my eyes at that) and we shovelled down some horrible porridge as quickly as possible. We then solicited the help of the jolly barkeep to get us a messenger. We had to wait in a dark corner of the nearly empty tavern (imagine all the trouble I could cause in an empty room, I snorted at Wolfe) looking anywhere but at each other. Finally a surprisingly tidy, well-put-together young man came in and spoke to the barkeep, who pointed at us. Turned out the young man was the best horseman in the rookery and made good money as a messenger. The barkeep swore we could trust him. So Wolfe handed over the sealed letter and money, and ordered the messenger to the Zanst’s home in the Factory District in Ryl. We received a few raised eyebrows at that, the barkeep and the messenger probably wondering who in haven we were acquainted with in the Factory District.

“Can we leave now?” I asked quietly, not quite able to keep the petulance out of my voice. The messenger was already gone and on his way and Wolfe had just been staring across the barroom as if in a daydream.

He flinched at the sound of my voice and I ignored a little pang in my chest that I refused to believe was hurt. “Yes,” he replied in a low scratchy voice and I took some satisfaction in the fact that he hadn’t slept either. “Let’s go.” He grabbed me by the elbow and got me to my feet.

“You don’t need to manhandle me,” I hissed as he took me out of the room, waving goodbye to the barkeep.

“Just stay by my side while we’re here, alright,” he snapped back.

I sniffed, “I would have thought you’d be happy to see something happen to me.”

“I’d be happy if you suddenly lost the will to speak.”

I made a face at him but he ignored me, still holding me a bit too painfully by the arm as he strode across the back yard to the stables. There was nothing and no one in sight.

Including our horse.

“What the…” Wolfe growled, letting go of my hand as he peered into the stables. My heart thudded in my chest as I spun around, scanning the back of the building.

Nope. Our horse was gone.

I drew in a shuddering breath. How on earth were we going to make it back to Ryl?

A muffled thud sounded from over my shoulder.

“Wolfe-” I spun around only to find him crumpled on the ground, unconscious, a trickle of blood running out from his hair onto his forehead. Standing over him were three of the dirtiest, creepiest looking thugs I had ever seen, each holding a disturbing-looking weapon. The tallest leered at me, his yellowing teeth flashing menacingly as he bounced a mallet off the heel of his palm. The second tallest was an older man, not quite as grubby, his hand-me-down unwashed clothing that of a gentleman’s. His large hand sat on the hilt of an old but deadly looking sword. The third appeared to be the youngest and as he jabbed the air teasingly with a dagger, I thought perhaps he might be a little deranged. He had a wild look in his eyes that sent a shudder down my spine. I wanted to drop down next to Wolfe to check if he was alright, amazed that these ignorant looking thugs had crept up on us so quietly. Wolfe would never live it down if his men found out how easily he had been felled… again. The fact that I was the common denominator in his failed protection had not escaped me.

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