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The Writing on the Wall CH8Everything looked different in the morning. Or rather, I felt less annoyed. That helped my perception a good deal. My first thought was that my back hurt. My second was that someone's arm was in my face.
Then I remembered where we were, and sat up far too quickly. The arm ended up in my lap, and my torso gave me what for. Gingerly holding a hand over my side, I stared blankly at the hand in my lap. It belonged to Demetrius.
I scowled at it and slapped it aside. Unfortunately, this petulant act woke up, and he was sitting up and stretching as if he had already been doing so before I'd even moved.
He mumbled a good morning, smiling like an absolute fool. His eyes were bright in the guttering candlelight. Like tiny blue mirrors. I could actually see myself, tousled and annoyed. "Why were you sleeping next to me?" I asked, not sure why I cared.
A shrug. &
Writing on the Wall CH7Before one of my companions could ask what a sunakake hag actually was, she howled again. It sounded more and more human as she got closer, more like a weeping or cursing. When I'd been a very small child, I had thought that our neighbours were just having a row outside. I hadn't understood why my father had barred the door and boarded the windows.
Then he had left, and I'd found out the reasoning behind a lot of things.
I struggled to stand, first hindered by Noni, then helped. She insisted that I rest, but I turned to her, knowing my eyes were dilating with fear. Old fear made fresh.
"We have to move," I said. "We have to find shelter."
Demetrius drew a dagger, and for the first time, I realised that he was not carrying his full arsenal. He was dressed much the same as he had been when I'd first seen him, but the shotgun and the pistol were gone. All he had in the way of weaponry was the dagger in
The Writing on the Wall CH6If anyone had laughed at me then, I would have lashed out and hit him or her, even if Demetrius had tried to stop me. I spun to face him, hands balled into fists. "How long have they been here?!"
He raised his hands in casual surrender, his ruddy face innocent and maddening. "I haven't a clue. If they had come before my father sent me for you, I would have sent you home with them. I promise you that."
I believed him too, blast me. It was all I could do not to weep openly. It was more than I could do not to run for the wide open double doors and tear out past them as fast as I had ever run in my life.
Outside, it was raining. I'd been out in the rain plenty of times before, being restricted to the university had never meant that I couldn't go out, only that I never leave the grounds. But before it had always been the tame spring rain that had ambled steadily to the city. This wa
The Writing on the Wall CH5It took a remarkably short time to get to the grandmaster's study. With Demetrius leading the way, it seemed almost a straight jump from one hallway to another. Either Noni had been leading me around in circles waiting for me to explain myself and my 'guest' status, or she didn't know her way around half so well as she knew how to appear as though she did.
I had to admit, thinking that it must be the latter gave me a little thrill of humour that I dared not speak aloud. After her tantrum in the garden, I was still a bit wary of her.
Inside the study, though, she fell into a demure lady's silence, her hands clasped delicately in front of her. The walking stick was cradled in the crook of her arm. Even her hair seemed to darken a bit, to a light red colour that made the pink seem like it had been an earlier trick of the light.
Apparently even his son's fiancee held Grandmaster Trevino in some awe. It was worth noting.
The Writing on the Wall CH4By conditioning and a small stroke of luck, I managed to sleep through dinner. Mostly due to the fact that I was almost literally run off my feet, but it helped that I had exhausted myself trying to find some kind of writing utensil. I'd lost my chalk in the forest, or private park, whatever it was. Chalk was, of course, the best tool for sigil writing. It worked on most surfaces and lasted longer than a pen.
There wasn't so much as an old dusty quill and a scrap of someone's old grocery list. Even the vanity had yielded nothing. An hour after Demetrius had left me to my own devices, and I had searched the whole room over, I would have gladly settled for lipstick and the mirror. But to no avail. The vanity was empty of even the most basic feminine product.
Under other circumstances, I would not have complained. I didn't know foundation from eyeliner. Except what I had learned f
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