The glow from the torches set in iron sconces high on the rough surface of the walls was still visible at the entrance to the narrow tunnel. Smoky flames flickered from the oiled moss in the wooden brand Vine carried, they made her eyes sting. Peering around, she could not focus on the figure that cast a darker shadow. Going back no longer seemed to be an option. Had she really longed to gain admittance to ranks of the Mages? Her fellow tyros already believed her beyond incompetent, did they also believe she was a coward? She had agreed to feed the tethered krokatris protecting the lower Halls of Elune, before the sun rose. Despite the dull, brown robes swamping her slender frame, Vine shivered. In the darkness, the heavy chains clanked as the krokatris strained against their restraints. With the smoky brand held higher, Vine ran. Drafts of air freed flames to lick along the walls behind her.
Bruising fingers gripped Vine’s shoulder, spun her around. Her glass circles, mage-forged to correct her weak sight, flew into the darkness. She could make out only the details of the tanned, smooth jaw descending towards her. She didn’t need training in Magestry to know the intention of the beast who felled her. Vine struggled to free herself, writhing beneath the relentless bulk. A hand moved swiftly over the tunic covering her chest, her neck, and the mouth she pressed firmly closed.
His hot breath, rasping over the sensitive skin of her throat, smelled of oats and honey. His powerful limbs splayed over hers. When the chest lifted, Vine tightened hopeful fingers around the haft of the extinguished torch. A better opportunity would not present itself, this near she could focus on her target. Vine swung the brand with all the force she could manage.
Are you hooked?