|Photo credit: …-Wink-… / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND|
Rebecca walked with natural grace even as cold restraints chafed her ankles. She carried a silver serving tray filled heavy with raw meats from strange animals toward the Wolf King, Ulvarg. She grimaced at the thick leather collar around her neck. The guard behind her jerked the chain attached to her collar and nearly pulled her off balance. She scowled back at the monster before she continued on.
She made her way up the polished stone steps toward the king’s throne just as another group of guards burst through the double doors to the official chambers.
“The first hyena was unsuccessful, My Lord,” the guard said as they neared the throne. They carried a large bundled object and dumped it near the steps. The first guard jerked the cloth from their load, revealing the body of a dead hyena at their king’s feet. The lifeless corpse still held the iron poker Jill had lodged in its gut.
Rebecca gasped and threw her hands to her mouth, dropping the tray. It crashed with a loud clatter to the floor, spilling its contents and coating the floor and everything around it with bloody juices.
“I see Tomas has not lost his touch. I had hoped the hyena would have at least been successful in drugging him with prey,” the King said.
“We found the drugged carcass of a rabbit. The hyena at least did that but we believe the girl killed him.”
“She has spirit. Maybe we should just kill the young one,” Ulvarg mused.
“No!” Rebecca said lunging for the king.
The chain tightened and pulled her back with a jerk. She spun from the force back to the guard who struck her hard across the face sending her to the floor in a heap.
The guard shifted in an instant, his massive paws heavy on her back with his muzzle near her ear. He growled, his lips quivering with rage.
“You dare attack our king, human? Let my king say the word and I will feast on your heart and entrails and quench my thirst with your blood hot in my throat!”
Rebecca felt her insides knot. The guard’s threat blew hot in her ear and the funk of the dead corpse assailed her nostrils. His powerful jaws snapped as he spoke and saliva dripped from his dangerous teeth. She clamped her eyes shut and waited for the declaration of her fate from the Wolf King while her lips uttered a silent plea,
Please don’t let them find her, Tom. Keep her safe for me.