Lethean Shroud

She wanted to jump to her feet and shove the old man. Call him crazy. Tell him he couldn’t be more wrong. More than anything, she wanted to run. Rayanna darted a glance at the door–ten paces or so.

Reeve let out a slow, throaty chuckle and turned the tip of his Bowie knife over the flames.

The twelve feet to the threshold might as well be a mile. It’d likely be the last sprint of her life.

As she grated her teeth to restrain her urges, another thought rustled in the dark corners of her mind. The beast darted across her memory and sent logic spinning toward a crash. Too large for a wolf. Wrong gait for a bear. Maybe not, though. Hadn’t her mind already failed her?

He drew the glowing blade from the fireplace and curled his bristly lips into a sneer. “Let’s see what yer made of.”

She drew back with a squeal. “No!”

He snatched her wrist and pulled it close with a twist, baring the tender skin of her inner arm.

“Wait!” She locked her gaze into his glinting eyes. “Couldn’t you just … spare me? Please?”

Her shallow breath halted. Her tongue went dry. She had been spared. Twice. Why had the creature left her unharmed in each grisly attack? The metal’s heat flared against her skin as Reeve pressed his blade closer. Tears blurred her eyes and spilled down her flushed cheeks.

What if he could be right?



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