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 in which there is a deal



Amadhay had noticed that, at some point, they had given her a nice assortment of gorgeous, high-heeled shoes.

She wasn’t sure when the wardrobe had filled up with clothes for her, and honestly, she just chose not to really think too hard on it. The fact of the matter remained that she had clothes in her style (meaning lots of black and very clingy) and a lot of high-heeled shoes. The heels of a few of them, her favorites actually, were spikes. She had been eyeing them for the past few days since she and Ribbon had dressed up all pretty and been told that no, she still wasn’t allowed outside of the room. It had probably been in their best interest, considering she had already made escape plans involving the pretty pins Ribbon had put in her hair (that Stefan had pointedly taken out of her hair), but it was a bit depressing for her to still be stuck in the room. She needed to see something other than her own four, disgustingly red walls and the furniture inside. And the piles of snow.

“So, I have a deal,” Tanhakinshu said, standing in the doorway. The door was open and she knew for a fact that Ribbon was gone because the woman had told her that she would be gone for a day or two. The temptation was great, but the curiosity of Tanhakinshu’s deal was even greater.

“What is it?” she asked, standing up from the bed. The red shoes she was wearing gave her at least five inches of height. She was still shorter than him though. Her height didn’t matter, considering she had a hard enough time standing in the shoes now that she had sharpened the heel enough to a good weapon point. All that mattered was getting close enough to Tanhakinshu to stab him with the heel. After he told her the deal, that is.

“You want out of the room, right?”

“Right…” she said, wondering where he was going with it. She was almost standing directly in front of him.

“How about you promise not to kill anyone and I’ll give you a tour of the building,” he suggested.

She narrowed her eyes, looking into his olive ones to see how much he meant that. He seemed pretty sincere. Unfortunately, for him, she decided that she didn’t really want him around her when she got out. He was too much of a liability for her to get away. She smiled, and put her hand on his shoulder. “Sure. Just let me get out of these shoes. They’re too high,” she explained. He laughed as she bent down and took off the left shoe.

And then she used her Gift. Moving faster than almost any creature could, she jerked up and slammed the heel into his chest while he stood there motionless.

Or at least that was the plan. In actuality, he caught her by the waist when she jerked up, seeming to think she needed stability since she was only wearing one heel. He moved just as fast as her when she tried to slam the heel into his chest. In fact, he moved faster, tossing her back from him. She fell onto her back, but scrambled up, kicking her other shoe off. She had both heels in her hands now, and tried not to be too put off by the fact he was easily moving the same speed as her even though she was using her Gift.

The only people who had been able to do that to her before had been an arachin and the cyborg. A Palnokian arachin, now that she thought about it. All of the people who could match or beat her speed were in the Palnoki. She wondered, for a moment, if that was done purposely, if they were there specifically for her.

No, she decided, launching herself at Tanhakinshu, it’s just a coincidence. The necromancer once again caught her by the waist and tossed her back before kicking the door closed. This time he attacked, pinning her to the floor. If she hadn’t been so taken by the speed of him, she might have been able to struggle enough to get him off. She didn’t, though. Instead, she lost focus of her Gift and moved at her normal speed.

He snatched the heels from her and was back at the door before she could catch her breath. “All you had to say was ‘No deal,’ you know,” he said with obvious irritation before leaving, slamming the door behind him.

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November 2016

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