Friday, March 8, 2019

#FridayFlash - Lost Little Lamb part 7


Our eyes met, and my skin prickled, my breath suddenly shallow. The corner of his mouth twisted, a momentary smile almost too brief to be seen, and I flushed all the way to my toes.

Dirk stepped between Albrecht and I, knife half raised, fists clenched. “We're here. Start explaining why we shouldn't kill you where you stand.” He wasn't exactly shouting, but there was nothing calm about his voice. The hunter wasn't going to negotiate in a friendly manner.

The dokkalf quirked a brow, then sauntered toward a sideboard. He ignored Dirk's outburst, lifting a decanter of amber liquid. “Would either of you care for a drink?”

Dirk lifted his blade higher, gesturing as he spoke. “This isn't a social visit. Talk or die.”

Albrecht laughed, a low roll of humor, and poured himself several ounces of alcohol. “You are in my house, on my sufferance. I say that you must either talk or die.” He glared over his shoulder at the hunter.

I stepped forward, laying my hand on Dirk's wrist. He resisted only briefly as I pushed his hand down. Finally, he lowered the blade, and I smiled softly. “We would love a drink.”

Please, have a seat,” the dokkalf said while pouring. I pulled Dirk with me to a set of chairs by the fire, and made him sit. Then I stood beside him, slightly between Albrecht and himself.

What is it that you want?” Dirk asked, contempt filling his voice. He still gripped his knife, and I felt him shifting restlessly.

Albrecht brought two glasses, gaze locked on mine. “I'm going to give you the same choice I gave every other group of hunters who have attempted to kill me.” He handed me both glasses, staring down at me. One long finger stroked the air beside my hand, that enigmatic caress that involved no touch, yet was more intimate for the absence of flesh on flesh.

There have been others?” I asked softly, unable to look away from the dokkalf.

Dirk snatched his glass from my hand. “If there were others, they were too weak. But we'll finish you off.”

Albrecht shook his head, hair dancing across his back. “If that's what you need to tell yourself.” He took the seat across from us and sipped his drink. “Many of the others have said the same thing.”

I sipped at my own drink. The spices warmed me more than the alcohol, and I relaxed a fraction. “Have there been many others?” Dirk snorted behind me, and gulped from his glass.

The dokkalf gestured dismissively, looking into the fire. “I stopped counting many decades ago. Not worth remembering such meaningless events, especially when they end in one of two ways.”

Which are?” I was fairly certain I knew the answer, but the words came anyway.

Dirk scoffed, clanking his glass hard onto the side table. “Don't be so naive, Lamb. He's already told us.” I glanced back at my party leader; he sneered at the dokkalf. “Talk or die.”

Albrecht chuckled softly; the sound circled warm in my ears, drew my gaze back to him. “It's a very efficient way of handling would-be assassins.” He stared at me, eyes glittering. “But I will give another choice this time.”

A chill ran up my spine, prickling my skin and raising hairs on the nape of my neck. I hid a blush behind my glass, sipping slowly, having to lower my gaze from his. I bit back any further questions, also certain I knew what he would say.

Dirk burst to his feet, shouting. “You won't have my Lamb!”

Albrecht chuckled again, and I glanced up at him through my lashes. The dokkalf smiled, one brow quirked sharply. Heat suffused my face, and I took another drink. “Can't I though?”

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