I paced my room, hurling every swear I knew at Tuggin and Enja. They’d put those guards at the doors to keep me from escaping, I just knew it. I groaned, remembering how I’d tried to breeze past them and scoot out the front door. Apparently, they had orders to stop anyone trying to leave without Enja’s specific permission and had escorted me back to my room like I was an escaped monkey from the nearest zoo.
Adrana knocked and poked her head in. “It is time for raha. You will come with me, will you not?” She held up a dress, this one a pretty coral color.
I really wanted to wear that dress. “I’m going to skip raha tonight, okay?”
“If you wish. I shall have food brought to you, will I not?"
“Yeah, that would be okay.”
Adrana nodded, and then shut the door. I picked up my pacing. And the guards weren’t the only issue I had with Tuggin, I mean, other than the death threat and the tying up stuff. He’d lied about my brother. The thought that I wasn’t completely alone made my stomach twist with happiness and then twist with anger at Tuggin for lying to me.
I dropped to the bed. What was that Eyids’ force deal? Maybe my brother knew how to use those stones to stop the war. Maybe that’s why Tuggin had been happy that my brother wasn’t around. Maybe he didn’t want the war to be stopped.
It wasn’t like I could log on to the nearest computer and Google my brother’s name—I didn’t even know it. It would be cool if I could find him and we could find the stones together then go back for Mom. I would find those damn stones and bounce from this world as soon as possible; Tuggin could kiss my Earth-kin ass good-bye. A knock at the door interrupted my venomous thoughts.
“Come in,” I said.
When Tuggin strolled into the room, my heartbeat accelerated, but whether from fear or excitement, I didn’t know. I escaped onto the balcony. Through the filmy spray, I could see a lake far below.
“What is wrong?” His voice sounded colder, as if he hated me more than ever.
I edged to the other end of the balcony. “Nothing.”
“What are you concealing?” When I didn’t answer he snapped, “Look at me!”
I glared at him.
“What do you conceal from me?”
Swaying, I grabbed the railing to keep from keeling over. Tuggin’s words seeped into my brain while his lips moved in slow motion. His silky smooth voice brushed my thoughts, prodding, searching for the answer. What do you conceal from me?
I stepped toward him. “I like your voice,” I whispered, one minute wanting to fight the dizziness, the next longing to ride the wave.
A breeze threw a spray of mist on our faces; he jerked his gaze away and I shook my head. Had I actually said that…out loud? I glanced at Tuggin, forehead creased while he studied me. Shit, I did.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“I would protect you.”
I’d meant to ask what he was doing to me, but his answer made me laugh, unless he was trying to protect from someone else who wanted to kill me. “From what?”
“No one wants to kill me.” Except him. The fact that he’d tried to convince Enja that I wasn’t worth giving the time of day was no comfort, because he still agreed to follow orders in the end. I pressed my lips together, just in case they decided to betray me and tremble.
Tuggin white-knuckled the railing. “Tell me everything from your dream.”
“Why don’t you tell me everything that’s going on with you first?”
Tuggin ran his hand through his hair. “Jahme.”
“What’s that word mean anyway?”
“There is no Earth-kin translation. You would not understand.”
“It expresses irritation. Or rage.”
Oh nice, all this time the jerk had been swearing at me. Kidnapping, swearing, plotting, keeping secrets. Fine. Two could play that game. “There’s nothing to tell.”
Tuggin clenched his jaw. “We depart after sunrise on the morrow.”
He left without another word. While I watched the door close behind him, it occurred to me that, despite his golden hall god looks and sweet voice, Tuggin was a very dangerous guy.
I wasn’t sure if I could believe that Tuggin was really going to take me home. He said he wanted to protect me, but he’d been ordered to “neutralize” me. Which was the lie?
I yanked my necklace from under my shirt and stroked the milky surface. The necklace had to be why Tuggin and Enja had kidnapped me. They had to suspect what I had, and they wanted it. Would they go so far as to kill me for it?Were they trying to kill my brother, too? Had they already gotten Mom? I pinched my bottom lip. Tuggin was impossible to run from, so I had to be sneaky about planning my escape. I would pretend I was on board with this whole going to Sabina thing, play along so that Tuggin trusted me. Then the second he let his guard down, I’d make like an egg and scramble.