I was the one the villagers called to talk to the monsters no one else dared talk to.
I don't fear them. Though I know at any moment, I could be drawing my last breath. Someone had to speak for the Skins. The humans who were nearly defenseless against those monsters that reveled in their power. Torturing those they viewed as little more than insects.
But all my fire and readiness to confront the bloodthirsty king of the monsters torturing this village, did no prepare me for what I found in that mountain castle.
Nor the terms he would throw down for the protection of my people. Matching wits with a monster who is both immortal, fatally charming and clever beyond what I was prepared for is lining me up for a game of seduction I might not win this time.
I jerked away from him to walk a step ahead. Scanning the crowd for a source of help or a direction off this marbled floor.
He used the leverage of the chain binding my wrist to give it slack before yanking backward to send me sprawling against him. Looking like I’d just twirled to dance with him.
“Won’t she be disappointed.” I said under my breath.
“To find out I’m your prisoner.”
“I haven’t called you that.”
“You called me captive.” I pointed out.
“But not prisoner.”
“I see little difference.”
“There is much. If you were my prisoner, you’d already be in my dungeon.”
“I’d prefer to be there.” I hissed.
“I’d prefer you there. With nowhere to go but straight to me.” His blue eyes silvered with interest, and I realized that my mouth was quickly getting ahead of me.
If I’m not careful I’m going to land my fool ass in his dungeon.
“I’d never beg you to let me out, if that’s what you’re hoping.”
A dimple appeared at the corner of his mouth as he swayed sideways in step with me. Looking over my head at the crowd. As if he saw no point to making eye contact with me.
“Of course not. A woman like you would never do that. You’ll offer me your body long before your mouth will beg me for anything.”
“I’d never do that.” I said in disgust.
He looked down at me then. “Never tell me never. I’m very persuasive. You never know what I may have you doing next.”