Saturday, October 18, 2008
"They drink it with milk." The man with the bright blue eyes had moved up next to me, walking, matching my pace. He'd apparently lost interest in a purchase. "Would you like some help?"
The market was filling up. I would find it difficult to avoid the market-goers with my bulky bundles. I felt my face flush a little when he took the sack and satchel. His gaze was steady and very disconcerting. It was rare for anyone to pay attention to me like that. I told myself not to be foolish.
"I am L---."
The man smiled. "I am K---." We started back up the street. "The liquid is drunk with milk and honey." The phrasing was awkward, and that faint accent was there again. I couldn't place it.
I nodded, thinking. I had money remaining, and the cost of those items would be small. I smiled at K---. "Then I must get some. It will be a treat for my patients." I looked at him. "You learned this in the fighting?"
He gave me an intent look. "One must always know the enemy." K--- shifted his burdens. "You are treating the prisoners, are you not?" He continued. "Are you treating one named S---?"
My feet slowed, wiser then my head. It took my head a minute longer to realize the implication. And before either could react, I was pushed into the alleyway off to the side, pressed up against the wall by a large body, and a large hand was covering my mouth. The packages lay at our feet, scattered.
I'd been warned, oh yes A--- and E--- and R--- and the others. That if I wasn't careful I'd be assaulted in the market, alone and helpless. I'd never believed them. I'd always thought that I'd be able to scream or fight or get away from any foolish enough to try anything. But the body pressed against mine was strong and hard and held me effortlessly as I fought, trying to kick, struggling to get my hands free, anything to win my release.
"Be still. I will not hurt you." The voice rumbled, and his warm breath on my ear made me shiver. I forced myself to relax, glaring at the man, since it was all for naught anyway. I wasn't moving anywhere until he was ready to let me go.
Given the location of where we were and what he was doing, there was no reason to believe his words and every reason to believe that he would hurt me. And yet...
I believed him. I was not scared. In fact, I had never felt more alive. My whole body seemed newly aware of itself. It was like my skin had taken on a life of its own. He had pressed himself up against me, holding me to the wall, his mouth a scant inch from my ear. The power of his body warmed me even through my clothing. Was this what it was like to--
His voice cut through my shameful thoughts, his eyes focused intently on mine. "All I want is information. How is S---?" He pulled his hand back slightly, enough for me to talk. I could still feel the warmth of his hand on my face.
"He is well." I darted a glance off to the sides, but there was no one near.
"When could he travel?"
I could see where this was headed. "Days. Even then, he would have to be carried."
He locked his eyes on mine for a moment, then seemed satisfied with the truth of my answer. "You will carry a message to him."
He looked at me sharply. "You heal the enemy..."
I cut him off. "No. I don't know who you are, or what you hope to do, but I will not help you."
His blue eyes gleamed. His hand moved down to my throat and rested lightly on it. "I could kill you now."
What book did this passage come from? Take your best guess and post it in the comments section.
Posted by Jill D. at 10:53 AM