Forty-two – 06

[This post is from Thom’s point of view.]

His heart stutter-stepped as he stared at the three before him and he was suddenly relieved that Pluton was no longer facing him, that the attention of the other two was focused on the dark-clad man focused on his flag-bearer. Disgust and horror nibbled at the edges of the woman’s expression while the flag-bearer’s expression hardened, his eyes narrowing dangerously at Pluton.

“She was mine,” the flag-bearer snarled. “I want her back, uncle, and I want the druid’s head on a spike for what he did with her.”

“You’ll get neither,” Pluton said, his voice soft with cold, razored edges that cut Thom to the bone even as his heart began to beat even faster, pounding in his ears and nearly drowning out all sound.

I don’t like where this is heading.

At least there’s a rift here. I can see it. But can it do us any good?

“We have uses for both of them at preclude the sort of punishment you would mete out, Aietes,” Pluton continued, still quietly, still with the hidden edge buried beneath it. “Now kindly silence yourself or give over the flag to Hera and remove yourself from my sight. You, sir, are more than lucky their negotiator cannot understand what we are saying—else it would be your head.”

Ice shot through Thom’s veins.

They’re not speaking English.

He hadn’t realized it.

He’d understood every word perfectly.

Don’t let them know.

The flag-bearer’s eyes narrowed. “You would kill me?”

“You would wish for death,” Pluton promised. “Now be silent.”

He turned slowly back to Thom, who fought to keep the shock and horror from his face.

Calm. Be calm.

“You are correct,” Pluton said, the razored edge gone from his voice. He sounded almost…conversational.

That was disconcerting all on its own.

“She is indeed a person,” Pulton continued. “A very dangerous person. Truly, handing her over would be doing everyone a favor, since we would be able to safely ensure that she’ll not hurt anyone in the future as she has in the past. I suspect you know her history—or perhaps you don’t?”

He tilted his head slightly to one side, regarding Thom with a curious look, one pale brow rising slowly over one dark eye.

Thom took a deep breath.

Tread carefully.

“I know some things,” he said softly. “But by no means all.”

“Ah,” Pluton said. “Then perhaps we should enlighten each other. I will tell you of her and you can tell me where she’s gone.”

Thom stayed silent. Pluton smiled.

“Well, then. Where to begin.”

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