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Hot breath cascades down Maelyn’s spine as the Wereloche feeds on her. Time is broken marked only by thudding heartbeats.  Her failure to assassinate the Wereloche allowed disappointment to clog her wits. Eventually anger returned sharpening her mind and since then she has watched and waited. Maelyn dips her right shoulder helping the blood flow down her arm, slickening it.

“Maelyn, still so sweet and lucky me for your strong heart,” says the Wereloche licking her chops and her fingers clean awaiting the cursing that usually punctuates their time together. But Maelyn keeps her eyes dull and face slack and the Wereloche raising her chin grins, “Finally broken? Sad. Well, all good things must end.”

The Wereloche leaves and Maelyn knowing that she has precious few seconds twists and pulls her right hand against the shackle tearing skin and tissue. Seeing this will not be enough she closes her eyes and calls on all the discipline of her training and yanks hard against the shackle and again until she’s rewarded with a crack and bolt of white pain.

The door opens and even after all that he has done Maelyn cannot deny his haunting beauty, hair a shining russet wave to the middle of his back, cheekbones high and broad, coffee eyes and perfect bronze skin. He slackens her chains giving her some freedom of movement for he enjoys restraining her to stillness with hands wrapped around her throat.

She falls to her knees gasping as blood flows back into the frozen muscles of her shoulders and back. He takes a damp cloth and cleans her of stiffening blood. When he reaches her right hand he doesn’t notice it broken for the swelling could easy be from the chains and she nearly vomits. He massages her shoulders and back until she moans and then gently raises her, wrapping her in a corset pulling it tight, shortening her lungs and collapsing her waist. He kneels taking her right foot in warm hand and slowly rolls the stocking over her leg tying it in place with slim velvet ribbons. Then her left foot and just as he gets to her knee she yanks her right arm with all she has and her hand pops free. Gripping the slackened chain that still holds her she whips it around his neck, pulls and keeps kicking him off balance as he desperately claws at the chain that is biting and bruising his pretty bronze skin.

“My turn,” she snarls.