A Thief

WaterRose, Meadow Mountain, Grier Country

Sebastian woke slowly. Awash with pain.

He saw a dark head lowered over him and met the gray eyes of his friend.

"Chavias." He greeted through a throat that felt stuffed with cotton.

How'd I get here?

"Your bloody luck is astounding! How you're alive escapes me." Chavias' gray eyes were wide.

"Me as well." Bast tried to sit but felt the cutting pain stabbing through his back and into his chest. "How am I alive?"

"I'm not sure this time. You healed. Did you manage that?"

"I don't recall attempting to heal myself."

"Well, you should have. I would've."

Bast laughed humorlessly.

"You must quit with all this recklessness. We all knew it was a matter of time before some woman's angry husband stuck you."

"I'm glad you did."

"You had to have guessed?" Chavias said sternly. His look incredulous.

"How'd you find me?"

"I didn't. The Captain was passing through Mane and caught a whiff of your blood."

"Where was I?"

"Thrown into the underbrush."

"Is Moira well?"

"I haven't the faintest idea who or what a Moira is. But perhaps you should worry for your own welfare this moment. Least until you heal."

Bast grunted and flopped back to the pillows. Staring at the unfinished ceiling above him. The stronghold isn't half done yet. It was a monument to the Captain and his mate. Despite that she never made it off the mountain that night.

All the more reason. He hoped it'd give their Captain some comfort when finished.

"Rest." Chavias ordered. Pushing a palm to Bast's forehead which caused Sebastian's body to go limp.

"How is he?" Captain Deragan asked from the doorway.

"Still weak."

"Did he mention who did this?"

"No. But in his sleep, kept asking, 'who needs to look after me. Who?' Then he'd quiet."

"Any idea what he spoke of?"

"None." Chavias was baffled.

They were quiet awhile.

"It's remarkable he's alive. How?"

"I don't know."

"Well, bless your skills in battle wounds." Deragan put a hand to Chavias' shoulder. "I had little hope for him when I got him here."

"I did very little." Chavias shrugged.

"What?" Deragan frowned. "That's impossible. He was covered in blood. Laying in a pool of it. That should've been enough to hollow him out..."

"Well, when I examined him, he was relatively healed already."

"That was a life-threatening wound." Deragan objected.

"I know." Chavias nodded solemnly.

"We don't heal from those."

"I know."


1700 LandingTown, Igonox

Elsabet knew precisely what she was. How dangerous she was.

As did most who crossed her path. Instinctively sensing danger at the flick of her gaze. Feeling like a mouse in the cross hairs of a cat's gaze.

Currently, she was watching him from across the room.

Sebastian Bodane.

Chavias and Sebastian strolled the room. Elbowing each other and laughing jovially.

"Chavias, it was so long ago! Do let it go!" Bast had chuckled.

"She had the bluest eyes I'd ever seen and hair as black as mine. We'd have made a fine pair."

"Like horses?" He jested. "Calisto was not for you." Bast shouldered him. "You can't harbor me ill forever."

"The devil I can't! You pulled the fur from under me feet! And placed her squarely in Raese's path." He feigned outrage but there was a laughing note in his voice.

Bast was grinning broadly when his eyes had lit on Elsabet. Returning her thorough assessment.

Her blue eyes narrowed on him warningly.

He was tall and tawny. With long waving gold hair that moved around him like a crowd. His skin a similar shade. But his blue-green eyes a bit too keen for his own good. Tonight, he wore an open green overcoat over his usual flowing white shirt which was ruffled at the collar and wrist in such a way it should've made him seem less masculine. But it did not.

Not this man.

Instead, it drew attention to the sinewed lines of his lean hands and corded throat. Making him look as though he needed touched by a woman.

But Elsabet wasn't one to be so easily distracted.

Not by prey.


She could tell from the way his gaze continually flicked back to her that he had noticed her intense stare.

Surprising considering how many he's getting. There was no jealousy in her thoughts as she assessed the women staring at him so hungrily.

They can have him.


Where are all the stuffy dowagers that should be protecting their daughters from the half-clothed rogue?

The answer dawned on her immediately. Probably staring at him themselves.

Elsabet knew of his reputation with women. They're mesmerized by him.

Even now the women at this ball were staring at him open-mouthed and sweating.

Elsabet watched a woman arrive at his side, tugging his arm. Forcing him to break his study on her. The delicate beauty, dangling off him like a necklace, giggled at something he'd said. Basking in his attentions.

Elsabet cocked her head, watching the interaction.

Chavias wandered to the refreshments table.

Elsabet was relieved the massive redhead man, Mardichi, was absent tonight. Not wishing to contend with the big beast.


Bast turned to talk to a small brunette at his elbow. Making the flowing white shirt swathe around him, leaving his collarbone and the defined lines of his upper chest exposed. Fitted breeches molded a well-muscled body and his boots were at a high shine.

A man who pays attention to the details in his appearance. Likely not much going on in his mind. She quickly assessed him as shallow.

Elsabet rose purposefully and glided through the crowd.

The brunette drew him onto the dancefloor. He engaged in the dance with her. Seeming utterly oblivious to Elsabet's dark intent.

Stealing from him.

Next chapter