“How did you stop them?” a harsh male voice whispered in my ear late that evening. There was a hand over my mouth.
It was all that kept me from screaming. I blinked at the male holding me in place for a long moment. The scar told me exactly who it was.
He was still an extremely terrifying male, but I did not think he would harm me.
“D-d-did you kill him?”
We both knew who I spoke about now.
Equan Black nodded. “Tell me, Jume, how did you stop the attack today?”
“I-I-I am not entirely certain. All I remember was feeling what they were after. Who.”
“The Taniss girl.”
“Yes. Cass…Cass…Cass is so young. So innocent. There was no reason they should have come for her. I remember reaching for Coty. And then…the shield was there. I do not think it was just Coty’s doing. But I know it wasn’t just me.”
“And the fire? The flames? What caused that? There is talk, speculation now. Not all of it good.” He sank into the chair next to my bed, right there in the healer’s hall. “Some is about you—but most is about her. That girl. A mere babe.”
There was disgust in his tone.
Disgust I understood. “Well, th-th-they aren’t going to hurt her. Not if I can stop it.”
His smile quirked. He was such a darkly beautiful male. But there was no humor in the expression. None at all. “Because you are such a fierce protectress, little one?”
“Be-be-because it is the right thing to do. She is barely more than a child.”
“She is full-grown. Do not doubt that. But I agree…the girl is far too innocent for this world.”
“Yes. She is. But then again, so are the Boltiers.”
“Are they now? Not as evil as the one who sired them?”
“N-n-no. Not at all. They are…so clean of heart. Far more than even some of our own.”
“Then the goddess has forsaken them, just like she has the rest of us. Rest, little Jume. And thank you. I owe you a great debt. I will repay it someday. You have my word.”
He touched my face, just once. And I slept.
I couldn’t resist, after all.
He was the most powerful male I have ever seen…
But…I know one thing down to my soul:
Unlike many of our people, there is nothing evil about Nalik Black.
But the man…he is most definitely up to something.
Then again, so am I.