He seemed entranced by the words. So I continued. ‘All day I pluck their petals. But I have not yet ascertained whether you . . . love me or not.’
Run! Colin yelled, and even though my legs felt numb with shock, I forced myself to race up the stairs. As the five of us bundled out of the trap door leading to the upper deck, we banged it shut behind us.Frederick swore. That was Braithe, he said breathlessly. I don’t understand. How—?
His stumbling words stopped short as the trap door beneath us shuddered. That thing—Braithe—was beginning to attack it. From the force of his blows, I couldn’t imagine that it would be more than a minute before he broke through, for it was only made of wood. Frederick and Colin scurried around the deck looking for anything movable and heavy that they could place on top of the door. Apart from the table that they turned upside down and heaved over the door, there really wasn’t much else up here that we could use.What is going on? Arletta sobbed.Wood crunched, and the whole table shifted even as the brothers strained to hold it in place. Sensing what was to come, Frederick yelled toward Arletta and me. You two, get in the lifeboat and sail away. Hurry!
What about you two? I shot back. We can’t just leave you here!Just get inside and—
The table went flying upward, sending the two brothers crashing back. Braithe sprang from the trapdoor and scanned the deck. His eyes fell first on Frederick and then Colin. I wasn’t sure if he’d noticed Arletta and me, standing all the way on the other side of the deck, but he headed straight for his brothers. He leapt first for Colin and dug his fangs into his neck.
No! Arletta and I screamed.Vanishing myself away from the Port, I reappeared in our bedroom.
Suddenly all the love, all the pleasure, I’d thought we’d shared in this room together seemed to vanish into an empty hole. I felt like I was losing my mind. All I could see around me now were traces of the redhead. Hell, I even thought that I could smell her here.Anger coursed through my veins.
All this time, both of them have been playing me for a fool. I trusted them both, and they betrayed me in the worst possible way.I felt fire heating up my palms, and as rage and grief consumed me, I could no longer control it. Flames burst from my fingertips, lighting up the bedsheets and licking the walls until soon the whole room was engulfed in the blaze. The heat was so scorching, tears could barely spill from my eyes before they dried out.