“What are you about, female?” A dark voice said, jerking me from my sleep two nights after Coty and I escaped to the nearby library.
I tried to scream, but a hot male hand covered my mouth before I could.
There was enough light from my laptop monitor—which I had definitely powered off before going to sleep—to outline the male who stood there.
“If I lower my hand, little Jume, will you refrain from screaming? I mean you no harm…for now.”
I just nodded. I didn’t know what else to do.
Nalik Black, the most dangerous Dardaptoan to have ever existed, was in my bedroom.
As Coty would have said, I was probably toast. He had the Jareth brothers beat by a long mile. His hand slowly lowered.
“W-w-what do you want?”
He…was the head of the House of Black. If there was a threat against the goddess from his House—he could be behind that.
I had considered it before.
He pulled me up into a seated position. “Tell me what you heard that day.”
“I know you are more intelligent than that fool Theo realizes. You know something about what is happening now.” He reached out a hand. My bedside lamp lit. He hadn’t touched it. I know he hadn’t.
This was a very powerful beast. “I-I-I overheard someone from the Black House speaking of E-Evalandea.”
“A land you should know nothing about. Tell me, how is it that you do? Only a select handful of hunters have ever seen that place. Of those only two are living.”
“A-a-are you one of them?” I could scream, hope one of the sixth floor guards would hear. Or Wiac.
How had Equan Black gotten past my guard?
Various scenarios of danger played out in my head.
And…I could not read this male. Not even a little bit.
He shook his head slowly. “No. But the knowledge of them has been passed down…to only me. Evalandea is…not to be spoken of. By anyone. So tell me…how is it that you know of it?”
“H-h-how do you know that I do?” I challenged him—probably like a total idiot. “Have you been spying on me?”
“Of course. I find you very…intriguing, little kitten. And I heard what you and that Boltier’s daughter were speaking of. I know…you know more than you should.”
“I am going to go to the goddess. Soon.”
“Sure you are. I know you went to that magic circus act cousin of yours. And he dismissed your concerns.” His mouth twisted wryly. “There’s a lot of stupidity within the upper ranks of our Kind right now. It’s best you and your young friends remember that whenever you are having these little adventures of yours. It is not safe for a defenseless little female now.”
I’m not exactly weak and defenseless—then again…compared to him, I most definitely am. I tried not to let that terrify me.
“Someone might…break into my room, perhaps?” Maybe I have grown a bit too bold—or maybe stupid—in my enforced ‘vacation’ here at Hotel Dreadanos—to challenge him as I did. But…enough was enough. “This is starting to become a problem a-a-around here.”
His mouth twisted into a smirk. “So I’ve heard. You are far more…courageous…then you appear at first, aren’t you, little Jume?”
I am smaller than the average Dardaptoan, but I’m right in the middle for the rest of the Woald. Why did he feel the need to point it out?
“How should I-I-I know how I appear at first. I know you have been in my computer. Did you find what you were looking for?”
He snorted. “Hardly. That computer is as much a dinosaur as I am. I couldn’t even get it booted up.”
That was because it took a good ten minutes for the old Mac to load. I resisted smirking at the far-too-handsome, too arrogant, too frightening Equan. But it…took every bit of self-restraint I contained.
Coty must have been rubbing off on me.
“S-s-so what exactly is it you are l-looking for?
One hand rose to cup my cheek. I pulled in a breath.
What was he planning to do to me now?
I did not trust any warrior of my Kind now. I probably won’t ever again.