Chapter no 34 – The Villain

Assistant to the Villain

Get back up there!” The Villain thundered from a sheltered alcove in the courtyard, reeling backward when his assistant appeared behind him with a large net. “And what in the deadlands is that for?”

The rain was coming down even harder now, the sounds of the creature’s screeches piercing his eardrums. The dragon shuffled his feet in the opposite corner, ducking under one of the large castle archways in the open courtyard. The guvre hadn’t arrived yet, but she was close. Sage appeared beside him in her dress that was so wet from the rain that it was wrapped tightly against her soft curves.

“It’s a net!” she yelled back, holding it up and looking at him like he was the one who’d lost his mind.

“Yes, I’ve gathered that!” It was amazing that even with the roar of a violently dangerous creature heading straight for them, it was this conversation that was giving him the pounding beginnings of a headache.

“How else are you going to catch it?” she said, confusion pinching her thick brows together, a charming crinkle appearing there.

And now is certainly not the time for me to be noticing charming crinkles above my assistant’s eyes.

“I had something a little more concrete planned,” he said, gesturing to the open grate on the other side of the courtyard. “That leads right into the cellar, next to the male guvre.”

“Will she fly through on her own?” Sage asked, a drop of rain trickling enticingly down her cheek. His fingers itched to brush it away.

He nodded, turning his head back to the sky, waiting. “Nothing will keep her from him, remember?”

“Then why hasn’t she flown into the hole yet?” Sage yelled over the rain that was now coming down impossibly harder than it was before.

“She’s not a fool!” he roared back, lightly pulling her arm to bring her back under the eave when she arched her neck out to get a look at the guvre.

“She knows she’d be flying into a trap. She’s trying to see if there’s another way to get to him.”

Light flashed in the corner of his vision, followed by more glass shattering. Sage gripped his arm like a vise and used her subtle strength to yank him closer to her. Just in time for one of the archways to collapse right where he’d stood, a cloud of debris coming over them.

Trystan became unexpectedly aware of his hands, which were somehow on the curve of her hips after Sage had pulled him closer. Feeling himself now breathing heavy for reasons that had nothing to do with his near brush with death, he lifted his gaze from his hands to her lips.

She was breathing heavy, too, both her hands gripping his forearms. “Thank you,” he said finally. His voice had gone embarrassingly hoarse.

Another screech snapped him from his bewitchment with her face. Separating awkwardly, he noticed that Sage seemed unshaken by the exchange. Which did not bother him in the slightest. Why would being near him have any effect on her at all?

“Oh, no problem. You getting crushed by a few blocks of cement would’ve been a very anticlimactic way to go.”

“Have you thought very much about how I would die?” he teased, hoping to clear the air of tension with a jest.

But as always, his tone was a little off, because Sage’s eyes widened in offense. “Of course not, sir!”

Sighing and pinching the bridge of his nose, he tried to correct her. “Sage, that’s not what I—”

But she surprised him when a mischievous grin overtook her wounded expression. “You’re so easy.” She laughed, another raindrop trailing to the tip of her nose.

Mirth climbed into his chest and made a home there as he smiled wide and free. “That is the first time I’ve ever been accused of that.”

But the moment was shattered when the roof above them began to crumble. Gripping her damp hand in his, Trystan pulled her along until they narrowly avoided being crushed once more.

Now out in the open, wholly exposed, he felt a moment of panic. “Go back inside,” he ordered Sage.

“Only if you will,” she argued, the outline of her figure clearly visible through her soaked dress. He peeled his eyes up to one of the towers, ordering himself to keep them there.

“I need to be here to close the grate once she flies inside!” he argued.

“Why can’t you have one of your guards do it?” She was exasperated, he could tell, because her hands were flying around like a manic butterfly.

“I will not delegate a task this important.” He hadn’t done it when catching the male, and he wouldn’t do it now. His plans were just starting to come to fruition, and no doubt the traitor in his office was scrambling, along with King Benedict, now that Trystan had the upper hand.

“You are aware that being a control freak is going to kill you?” she shouted over the rain, rolling her eyes before they widened in horror. “Duck!”

They both ducked then as a brownish-gray blur flew over them, swooping down near their heads, almost knocking them from their necks. This guvre was as horrifying as he remembered.

She was large, larger than the male. She could have shadowed the sun, were it making any appearances.

“She’s beautiful,” Sage said in awe. “She’s horrifying,” he corrected.

Sage shrugged, eyes taking in every gruesome part of the guvre’s body. “Oftentimes, it’s the same thing.”

He felt his knees bend unwittingly, like his body was attempting to bow. The creature’s flight pattern was becoming clear as she moved closer to the grate with every dive. The guvre would realize soon, the only way to be with her mate was to allow herself to be trapped inside with him.

When it comes to the thing one loves most, Trystan thought before running out in the open toward the grate, the sounds of Sage’s screaming protests behind him, it is always better to be trapped together than free and apart.

You'll Also Like