Ben looks at me, then back at Penny, a question mark on his face.
Down she would drift, deep into that darkness, into the sea of flame. Down so deep that when the whip cracked, when bone sundered, she sometimes did not feel it.It was during those infinite hours that she would fix her stare on her companion.
Not the queens hunter, who could draw out pain like a musician coaxing a melody from an instrument. But the massive white wolf, chained by invisible bonds. Forced to witness this.There were some days when she could not stand to look at the wolf. When she had come so close, too close, to breaking. And only the story had kept her from doing so.Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom …
Words she had spoken to a prince. Once—long ago.A prince of ice and wind. A prince who had been hers, and she his. Long before the bond between their souls became known to them.
It was upon him that the task of protecting that once-glorious kingdom now fell.
The prince whose scent was kissed with pine and snow, the scent of that kingdom she had loved with her heart of wildfire.And then suddenly, as oxygen fills my lungs, my senses take hold of me, and I realize exactly how wrong that was. I let go of him and step back, even though it kills me a little to do it.
Ridley stands there, his arms falling to his side, as he watches me back away from him.I have to go, I say, because I cant think of anything better, and then I turn and Im running as fast as my legs will carry me, as far away from Ridley as I can get.
I didnt expect to see you, Tilda said with ice in her voice, but shed let me into her place, so it couldnt be all bad.She lived in a small apartment above an electronics store. On the outside, the store appeared to be an ordinary shop, like a haberdashery from a village in a fairy tale. But inside, it was filled with slick gadgets—all of them a model or two behind whatever was most popular with the humans, since we did a horrible job of stocking and ordering things. Besides, there wasnt that much of a demand for them in Doldastam.