One of his brothers came up behind me. He had a vial of some sort. It smelled like herbs. Strong ones. Strong enough of a scent to break through my fear. To turn, to watch him.
I recognized that scent. Demonspirin.
He held it to my lips while his brother held me. “Take it, Jume. It will help calm the emotions battering you,” Boldek said. Now…I felt his concern. But was it for what he had done to me? Or what would happen next? I could not tell. “It will help you to rest. To not fear or fight any longer.”
They just wanted me quiet for a while; I knew the truth. They were bigger, stronger, determined.
When the demon brew worked on me, I will admit it–I felt…calmer. Less like I was under attack from every emotion they felt. But just like before, it made me so tired I could not fight it.
No doubt that was what they were counting on. I wouldn’t exactly be a threat if I was comatose!
That is all I remember about being in their suite.
That, and going limp in Cahum’s embrace. His mouth was next to my ear, and he was telling me I would be ok.
That he would ensure I was safe.
To…trust him. That he would always see that I was safe, no matter what. That I was to drink from him now…
That he would happily provide what I needed.
How could anyone trust him after what he had done?
I knew the truth, even as the darkness swallowed me: I will never be ok again.
Something had changed in me. A floodgate had opened. I couldn’t define it. Not then.
When I woke, I was back in my own suite! Tucked into my own bed, an extra quilt atop the duvet, too. Someone had put it there—I never sleep with that quilt. It was one my aunt Alita, Theo and Thadd’s mother, had made. I would never risk something happening to it, either.
My mother’s hasha was folded neatly on the pillow next to me. I grabbed it quickly and inspected it for any damage.
I couldn’t say the same for me.
I felt sick to my stomach, and my head was clouded over.
Damn them. My wrists were bruised where they had tied me too tightly.
They’d carried me back into my own room.
My own…safe place. Well, I guess it wasn’t all that safe, after all.
That was the final humiliation.
I looked around my suite; my desk had been ransacked. All of my notes for Alaun were everywhere. Spread out in piles I had not created.
There was a note in the midst of it.
That was it.
I understand being worried for their sister. But they shouldn’t have done what they did. Fire of righteousness was filling me and I acted.
The first thing I did was call the one Dardaptoan on the police force that I knew would believe me no matter what.
Kellis was on her way.
I searched the suite. Decades of working for Theo had made it clear to me that evidence was vital. The truth-readers and seers need something to work from.
To my frustration, other than my hasha, my clothing, and that note—which didn’t even identify them—I had nothing.
Even the library books they had touched were gone.
Those books were expensive. I will have to replace them.
I really am starting to despise the Jareth House in every way imaginable. Emotions so erratic and strong were slamming into me, sickening me again.
Something had changed in me. I just couldn’t figure out what.
Kellis came into the suite, fear on her face. “Jume, what happened?”
I explained to her everything. From the demon attack with Ryrk, to the abduction by Meyka’s brothers. I didn’t cry. I was far too angry for that.
“Meyka Jareth was found this morning. About an hour ago. In a den near here,” Kellis said, slowly. “The Lupoiux Ryrk had nothing to do with the abduction. He rescued her when she was attacked driving home from Dardanos U. He’s her male, Jume. And she is his mate. They have declared it just this morning. Those assholes had no reason to take you at all. No matter how frantic they were to find her.”
Within half an hour, she had Kierce there.
I could see his anger when he heard of the guard he had assigned just giving me to those males like that. Betraying his duty like that.
Kierce’s anger doubled when I showed him the bruises on my wrists. Kierce photographed them carefully. I think he was actually believing me.
I just…I don’t feel vengeful. Not exactly.
It’s more anger than a thirst for vengeance.
But ancient warriors like those Jareths—they thought the rest of us just had to give in to their demands, no matter what. They thought they could act with no repercussion just because of who they were.
That isn’t right. Who would they abduct next if I did nothing to see them pay?
And I’m tired of sitting back and doing nothing.
If I have to take them to court to see them punished, then so be it.
They could take their apology and warning and shove it. Right up Cahum’s nose!