“Just because Aria was in that town it doesn’t mean he knows that you are here, that any of us are here,” David said.Braith’s jaw grated back and forth, his hands clenched on his biceps. “He may suspect that there is a militia within these woods, but he will know that I am here because he will smell my blood in her.”
Jack was motionless as he awaited David’s reaction to Braith’s blunt statement. David blinked once, twice, and then slowly closed his open mouth. “I see.”
Daniel was thoughtful, his fingers tapped briefly on the paper as his focus turned to Braith. “I also believe the town should be razed as we move through it.”
Jack did a double take at Daniel’s words. Braith’s head swiveled slowly toward him; even behind the thick glasses Jack could see the burning ruby coals of his eyes. A chill crept down his back, he wasn’t entirely certain it was even Braith standing over there anymore, or if it was something far more hazardous and wild.
For a moment Aria’s legs almost gave out on her. It was sheer will that kept her on her feet as Caleb pulled her forward. She had never seen him before, but would have known him instantly, simply for the fact that he looked so heartbreakingly like Braith. His hair was that same black shade; his features were different in subtle ways, his face colder and crueler. Though she knew just how merciless Braith could be when he was pushed to his limits, there was a depravity about this man that Braith could never possess.
She shuddered at the thought of what Braith was like now, without her.
The king rose unhurriedly to tower over her. This close to him she was able to pick out the other differences between this man and his son. There was no sparkle within this man’s callous green eyes, their noses were different, the king’s forehead was higher and his cheeks broader, but she was still unnerved by the similarities.
His gaze raked her from head to toe and then leisurely back up again. She felt exposed, judged, and found lacking. “I smell my son on you, in you.” Aria remained still, uncertain what it was that he expected of her. If they planned on killing her, she felt she would already be dead.
The king rested two fingers against her cheek. Pride kept her face impassive as he turned her neck first one way, and then the other. “He has also fed from you, recently, and what appears to be a fairly regular basis.”
She continued to remain immobile as his fingers slid briefly over her neck and then her collarbone. Caleb was the threat she had known upon coming in here, but the other one was now standing in front of her, touching her far too much for her liking. And the king was the one with all the power, the one that would now control her fate.