Dark One’s Bride
The door took them out into a narrow, vacant corridor. Cool air caressed her face and took the edge off the wretched sogginess that had grasped her limbs. Clara breathed deeply as they walked, willing her stomach to stop fluttering and disgusted it wouldn’t obey such a command. It was empty bar a half-cup of liquid. What was left for it to protest?
Lucias ran his hand up and down her back in light, reassuring strokes. The action was somewhat at odds with the concern plastered across his face and the anger evident in the flicker of silvery-blue light in his eyes. Small though they were, the sparks still flashed in the gloom. “How are you feeling now?”
“Still terrible,” she mumbled. Even away from the warmth of the kitchens, the unbearable heat continued to plague her.
He nodded as if expecting that very reply. There was a hitch in his stride as he fumbled with something in a small pouch on his belt. “Here,” he whispered, pressing a slim glass vial into her hand. “Drink this. It should fix that.”
Clara uncorked the vial and downed the brown sludge without a second thought. Her very hair seemed to shudder at the bitterness coating her tongue. She gagged. Her stomach rolled, still deciding on whether to reject this strange concoction. “What was that?” The words barely escaped her without her biting her tongue.
“It’s the antidote for a large variety of poisons.” He took the vial back from her and returned it to the pouch. “I always keep a few on me.”
Heat drained from her face. She wasn’t certain if it was due to the vial’s effects or the implication that… “Someone tried to poison me?” She hadn’t even been here a day. How could there already be people in place to make an attempt on her life? And why hadn’t they gone straight for Lucias?
“Well, it’s was either that or the food was far too rich for you. But I’d prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to your wellbeing. I’ll bring a few vials for you in the morning. Right after I send a few of my people to interrogate the kitchen staff.”