“So, what do you want to do with her in the meantime?”
“Do with her?” The Fifthie turned from her boyfriend to finally look at Xaviera – up at her; she towered over both of them – before shrugging and looking back to Emrys. “I don’t see that we have to do anything.”
Not do anything? How could they do this to her and then not have a plan?
“Well, we have to do something. She doesn’t have Sanctity anymore.”
“Aah.” She glanced at Xaviera again, sneering faintly. “Well, what do you think we should do with you?”
“Take whatever it is you actually want from me and let me go,” she answered promptly. “I don’t want to be here. You clearly don’t want me to be. I assume there was a reason you did this?”
“Anatoliy,” the girl answered, making a face.
Anatoliy? But why... oh. Really? “You did all this, for him?”
“He’s in Emrys’ crew,” she shrugged, “and he’s a friend. Besides, it really wasn’t all that much.”
“Then why didn’t we go in there?”
“I decided I wasn’t up to setting someone up for rape today,” she frowned.
Whatever. It wouldn’t be the first time and it might not be the last. All she said, though, was, “I have to stay somewhere.”
“My room,” Shahin sighed, glancing at Emrys. “Unless you want to change your mind?”
So it was Emrys, then, who didn’t want to give her up. Maybe she could use that. “No, that’s fine,” Emrys agreed.
“My, room, then.” She looked Xaviera over thoughtfully. “Tell me, what would you do, if the tables were turned?”
“I...” She balked, for a moment. This could only end badly for her. “I don’t know,” she found herself able to say, with a mental sigh of relief. “I hadn’t planned to Own anyone here.”
Shahin smirked faintly. “This is going to be easy, compared to you,” she commented sidelong to Emrys. “Tell me, Xaviera, what would you have done if you’d won the challenge? With your five minutes of my time, that is.”
“Sold you to Ardell,” she whispered. Five minutes wasn’t a lot, really; but once she was tied down, it wouldn’t have mattered...
“Mmm,” Shahin murmured, seemingly unconcerned. “I’m not sure he would have survived that. Well.” She pursed her lips thoughtfully. “The closet is looking like a better and better option.”
“Closet?” Seriously? How demeaning. She glanced at Emrys in appeal. “I thought you’d want...”
Shahin chuckled unkindly. “Really?”
“Well, yeah,” she replied, unruffled. “That’s usually part of the point...”
“No thanks,” Emrys interjected smoothly. “I don’t need Ardell’s leftovers.”
Shahin shook her head. “I’m not particularly interested in sharing.”
Leftovers! That insipid brat, when she got out of this she’d show him. “What do you want me to do, then?”
Shahin shook her head. “I really don’t need anything from you, except, potentially, your womb. Stop harassing Kailani and Jaya, of course, so that I’ve gotten something out of getting my ribs broken. And leave Ayla and Vi alone.”
Easy enough; they were barely worth her notice to begin with. She nodded mutely in response. It still left her wondering, of course, what Shahin was really up to here; or if she was actually as clueless about what she had done as she appeared.
The petite girl frowned faintly at her boyfriend. “I’m missing something.”
“She is, actually,” he explained. “You have a Kept without orders, without purpose, without direction.”
Her frown deepened. “Hrmm. There is that.” She looked between the two of them. “Let’s get behind closed doors and discuss this in depth.” She gestured down the hall. “My room, since we need to go there anyway.”
Behind closed doors. That was more of what she expected, at least. And it made sense; Ardell was always careful about what he did in the halls. She hadn’t found out Luke was watching everything remotely until much later. The rooms, however, had privacy, the kind of privacy a Keeper needed... She followed in silence, wondering what lay in store for her behind those doors.
Copyright © 2009-2011 Lyn Thorne-Alder with Elasmo. All rights reserved.
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