Mak is in my living room. (Journal Entry #12)

I sat down. I didn’t feel like I had much choice. These warriors weren’t going away until I answered their questions. Everyone knew that. Kellis was in the room with me, and Alaun had come out of her office to watch from the kitchen.

Kellis brought me my tea, and I sipped it slowly. “What’s going to happen to him?”

Kierce and Mak looked at each other. Kierce was the only one who spoke. “He’ll be tried in a tribunal with one of the minor courts. Theo Sebastos and his brother Thadd, as well as the healer Kindara, will testify about what he did to you.”

“I don’t know why he came after me,” I whispered. The tea was helping. At least, the warmth of it was. “I’ve never done anything to him.”

Kellis perched on the arm of my chair, no doubt to protect me from the big, scary warriors. Kellis does hover worse than any mother hen I have ever seen. 

“That’s what we have questions about,” Mak said. “I know he’s been causing problems for you in history class.”

I felt heat hit my cheeks. I thought I’d kept that private, other than Olietus’s rude jokes and mocking laughter. “He has been obnoxious, yes.”

“Harassing you isn’t just being obnoxious,” Mak said. “I’ve watched him myself. Made certain he didn’t follow you out every day since. He watches you. Wants you. And he’s calculating about it. I’ve waited until you were out of the parking lot each day to make certain you were safe.”

My face had to be burning red now. I had had no idea. If Olietus hadn’t attacked me, would I have ever known? “Th-thank you.”

I would never be able to look him in the eye ever again. 

Just as I thought that, he knelt in front of my chair. Warm hands wrapped around mine.

He turned my left hand over and studied the bruises and scratches on my skin. I had fought back. Hard. 

It just hadn’t been enough. 

“This isn’t your fault,” Mak said, anger in his eyes as he looked at the marks. “He has a history. We have assault records going back on him for eight years. You didn’t make him do this.”

“No,” Kierce said. “This did.”

He handed me a photocopy of a blown-up cell phone screen. 

I read the text quickly. Then I read it again.

Kill Jume Woald. No matter what you have to do. Make it look like an accident or Lupoiux attack. $50K in it. Half up front.

“What does this mean? Who would pay him to kill me? I’m practically nobody.”

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