Dax wiped at his face. The tension was starting to get to him, and his migraine was making it hard to focus. He could only catch snatches of what was being said down below, but he was more concerned with Kaire. She was fidgeting and he had a horrible feeling she was going to do something hasty.

“Who’s that woman?” he whispered, trying to distract her.

“Adree Aeslin,” Kaire replied. “Second in command of the Evinthei.”

Dax looked down at the auburn-haired woman. She seemed young to have a rank like that, but she walked and carried her weapon like a seasoned soldier.

Still…there was something odd about her. He kept looking at her hair. It was tied back neatly, but he found it easy to imagine it falling and tumbling down her back. He shook his head, trying to focus. He had never had a thing for red hair before. Amazing what terror could do…

“She any good?

“Athellus said she’s one of the best,” Kaire told him. “They grew up together. She’s got a talent for finding out what people know.”

Dax recoiled. “What is she, a torturer or something?”

“No, no. I can’t get the word, quite -” Kaire looked frustrated, then tapped at her temple and gestured as if she was sending something to him through the air.

“Wait, I think I get it,” Dax said, getting the idea. “So she can read people’s minds.” This place gets better and better. How the heck do you get around someone like that?

He didn’t really want to know the answer, but he had to ask. “If we can’t rescue Athellus and they get him back to their territory, what will happen to him?”

Kaire began to whisper a reply, but was cut off by a sudden, shrill noise. It piped through the air at shouting volume.

Queeep! Queeep! Queeep! Queeep!

“What in -?”

Dax clapped a hand to his pocket. “Oh my god. It –“

“What?” Kaire demanded.

Queeep! Queeep! Queeep!

“The cellphone –“ Dax yanked it out and stared at the device in shock. “It’s ringing.”

Adree’s head snapped around. “What’s that?”


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