“Tell me most of the blood isn’t yours and that one of your new strays is the kid’s brother,” Bane said in the voice of a man who couldn’t handle any more insanity. Taelan patted him on the shoulder, leaving a bloody handprint on his shirt.
“Most of it isn’t my blood, and we picked up the right stray,” Taelan assured him good-humoredly. “And as an added bonus, I just killed the commander of the Ver’dohnian forces.”
He continued past Bane, leaving his lieutenant stunned for all of five seconds.
“Let me keep you company then,” he answered and smiled at her. “I’m heading there myself at the moment.”
She hesitated for a moment. All the men she met always turned out to be either raving mad, or dead. After meeting Alassane, the sanity of the people she ran into had just seemed to go steadily downhill.
She looked at the man, who had yet to introduce himself, one more time. He looked remarkably normal, and it was unlikely he could get her into any more trouble on the short way to the temple than she could manage by herself.
“Lead the way,” she told him. She needed to stop being so paranoid. It couldn’t be healthy to suspect every friendly stranger of being a crazed mass-murderer.
Selissa took a shaky breath to steady herself. “If you’re not here for me,” she said slowly. She knew that if he really wasn’t going to hurt her, she should just get the hell out of there and put as much distance between herself and him as humanly possible. But no matter how frightening she found him, there was also something about him that made her pause. “Then why are you here?”
His grin widened and Selissa felt the blood freeze in her veins. She had never met anyone who made a smile look so unnerving.
“I had some…” Ardeth paused for a moment. “Business to take care of in the area. And I decided to pay this place a visit while I was here.”
Selissa shuddered at the way he said the word ‘business’. She wondered how many innocent lives were lost every time he had business to take care of.
At this point, captain Orrell had known her for all of ten minutes and was already looking to be on the brink of a nervous breakdown, so Selissa let him deal with that and turned her attention elsewhere.
“Right, I forgot I was working with the good guys for once.” Selissa sighed and rubbed two fingers against her forehead. “Just don’t blame me if there actually is a curse and we run straight into it. I refuse to be held responsible for your martyr tendencies.”
“Look who’s talking,” Darius said sarcastically. “Remind me again, what exactly are you getting out of this, except for a clear conscience?”
He might have saved her life, but Selissa was beginning to think she didn’t really like Darius at all. At times like these, he was too much like her and she never really get along with herself to begin with.