I lifted my horrified eyes to meet his, and recoiled in shock. His grey eyes were alight once more with victory, and a little pleasure. He let go of one of my wrists, and ran his hand down my cheek softly. I jerked away, and slapped him, hard,
His grip tightened painfully around my wrist, but I refused to give him the satisfaction of hearing me cry out with pain. He pulled me closer, and shifted his grip to dig his fingers onto my upper arms.
“You are mine,” he said softly, looking straight into my eyes. “I would do what you are told, if you don’t want to get hurt.”
I only pulled away from him. I may be his, but he would never control me. To my surprise, he let me jerk away, and his hands dropped to his sides again.
“Tell me your name,” he ordered. I only glared at him.
“Names are sacred, marwol,” I retorted. “Why would I tell you what mine is?”
He lifted a finger, and I found myself surrounded by the blue fire. It danced at my feet, and swirled around my wrists, causing small, painful blisters wherever it touched me. I lifted my chin, feeling another smirk cross my face.
“Nothing will make me say, kijinga,” I told him, insulting him yet again in my native tongue. Yet again, it went completely over his head as he shrugged.
“Alright then,” he answered. “You will be called slave until you do.”
I felt myself stiffen, knowing that I had no choice now. My pride wouldn’t allow him to call me that. Almost as if it had sensed what I was going to do, the fire he’d put around me moved away, returning to the chalk circle as he stepped closer.
“So?” he prompted quietly. “Tell me your name.”
I lifted my chin, still debating with myself. At last, I made a decision. “You tell me yours first.”
To my surprise, he smiled, and I was amazed at the difference it made. The smile transformed the rather stern features into a face that was easy to approach. “Clever,” he conceded. “Alright then. Know me as Korith.”
I eyed him, but had to keep up my end of the deal. “Isla,” I replied. He nodded, and turned, tilting his head in a signal for me to follow him. I snorted, too softly for him to hear, and stayed where I was, watching him as he began this way down the mountain. There was a tiny, twisting goat’s track that he was following, but it wasn’t easy for a man of his height. The low overhanging branches consistently forced him to duck, and the goats had thoughtfully left the bushes with the spiny leaves intact for him to keep brushing past, tearing his clothes, and causing tiny cuts and grazes on his hands when he tried to free himself form the bushes’ clutches.
After the fifth or sixth bush that I saw him get tangled in, he finally realised that I hadn’t moved. He turned to glare at me, and pointed a finger at me.
“Come here,” he commanded. “Now.”
I didn’t move. “Why should I?” I asked scornfully.
His face darkened, and the fire grew hotter, threatening to burn me again. I only lifted my chin, not caring. Ice cold rain fell onto him, soaking him in an instant. He gaped at me, and I watched him try to dry himself, knowing that he would fail. His clothes would only dry slowly, as if he were a non-mage. As I watched him, his frustration clearly increased, until he finally gave up, and stalked back to me, fighting his way through the prickles. He stopped in front of me, thoroughly annoyed.
“You. Will. Do. What. You. Are. Told,” he growled, stressing each word. I only smirked at him.
“Or what?” I challenged. I lifted my chin and crossed my arms, waiting. “Marwol.”
He tensed, but he didn’t touch me, surprising me. He had good control then. He didn’t speak either, merely grabbing my arm and dragging me with him. I stumbled forward, unable to help myself. My dark blue dress flowed around me, as always resembling the water that was a part of me. I pulled back, digging my bare feet into the dirt, jerking free of his grip. He skidded to a stop to turn and look at me. I stepped back, wary, as his grey eyes darkened with what could only be fury.
“Now, girl,” he growled, but I tossed my head, making my hair dance around my face.
He could only stare at me, blinking in astonishment. At last, he found his voice. “No?”
I nodded once, keeping my eyes trained on him. I couldn’t flee from him, but I could defy him. It was all I could do.
“You refuse, then?”
I nodded once more, refusing to speak. He wasn’t worth the effort.
“Then you deserve this.”
I stiffened as I felt his wind blowing around me, swiftly changing into a rope that he could use. My wrists were yanked behind my back, and bound, despite my struggles. I felt the rope tighten, sliding over my skin painfully. I met his eyes furiously, glaring at him.
“You are not helping yourself,” I hissed, feeling the tiny droplets of water in the air trembling, ready to obey me.
He glanced at my face, becoming remote for some reason. “You are not helping yourself,” he replied.
I had no answer to that, and this time when he tugged me down the track, I followed him, half distracted by the thoughts whizzing through my mind. First and foremost was what he was going to do with me, and whether or not I would have any chance of escape. Already, I could feel the tug of my grotto, and I ached to be back home. I couldn’t, though. Not yet. My mind fluttered from thought to thought, but always came back to the question of what he was going to do with me.
There were boundless possibilities, most unlikely, some preferable, and others just plain monstrous. But because I didn’t yet know his character, and who he was, I couldn’t narrow down the options. My mind was free to daydream, and come up with as many monstrous possibilities as possible. I closed my eyes briefly, trying to block them out, but it had the opposite effect. I was promptly presented with an image of what could happen, stark against the black of my eyelids.
I opened my eyes again, to find that we had come to the end of the goat track, and I saw with interest that a handsome gelding was hobbled there, grazing alongside a small grey donkey. I stopped dead, refusing to go any further, but the mage just pulled me, threatening to bring me to my knees. Reluctantly, I followed again, preferring to stay on my feet. Thankfully, he released my wrists before forcing me to mount the donkey. Deciding to comply for the moment, I mounted the mule, murmuring to him quietly while I watched the mage warily.
Tiny rivulets of water began to trickle down the goat track, the water a reflection of my roiling emotions. The mage barely looked at me, and merely mounted the gelding before taking a hold of the donkey’s reins. I narrowed my eyes at him, but kept silent. Nothing I said could change anything.
Kijinga - idiot