I know, I know, it’s rude of me to keep teasing you with little snippets of my story. I must admit, though, that I like torturing you, so you’ll just have to deal with it.
Besides, I think you’ll find this section very intriguing.
With holiday prepration (total lie, I just haven’t felt like it), I haven’t had a chance to work on the story much in the last couple days. I will finish it though, and will send it off to those of you who requested it once it is done. Perhaps some encouragement in the comments section will rekindle my interest in completing the story…
What? I’m not allowed to fish for compliments?
“Are you ready to tell me what happened?”
Antyn took a moment to get comfortable in his seat. He didn’t want to seem too eager to get the story out, or to appear to have given too much thought to it either. He hadn’t rehearsed what he would say ahead of time because he hadn’t wanted it to sound like he had. He needed for her to think that his outburst that night had solely been do to his injuries and nothing to do with anything else.
“Other than being rushed for time, everything went fairly smoothly. I was able to affix the four bombs as well as I could have hoped, and make it back into the forest without being seen. Well, at least I don’t think I was seen, I’m not certain about that.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, after hiding myself in the brush, I noticed that new torches had been lit and were in the process of circling the interior structure. So, someone inside had either seen me, or they might have heard something as I went about my task. Either just me running through the darkness when sound carries the most, or the bombs themselves as they clattered against the stone.”
“Not that it matters, in your guise they would have assumed you were a guard of Raum even if you had been seen.”
“And then what happened?”
“I heard voices talking excitedly and I assumed they had found one of my devices. I tried to flee further into the forest then but I had miscalculated how much time I had left and was still too close to the building when the bombs went off. I was thrown forward, the guards uniform was shredded, and I took it off thinking that it would be better for them to find it all in one place than to follow the pieces of it as it disintegrated on me to then suddenly disappear when I found you and you whisked us back here.”
“And what of the children?” She peered over her glasses menacingly as she asked.
This was the real test, where what he said and how he said it could determine his immediate fate.
Antyn scrunched his face up quizzically, “Were there children there? I guess I remember something about that. What of them?”
Hoyla studied him intently. As time passed he kept his quizzical look, and then increased it slightly, eyebrows raised, mouth open slightly, hands open. Before she could respond, he added another “What?”
“You were most upset about the children. That was why you tried to assault me.”
“I don’t remember that. I was very disoriented when I woke up. The blast might have scrambled things for me a bit. Again, I’m sorry I tried to hurt you.” He paused, and then added, “I didn’t hurt you, did I?” His face morphed into a perfect mask of concern.
Hoyla laughed. “You think you could ever hurt me? My dear boy, after working together for seven years I would certainly hope that you realize you could never be any threat to me.” While the words were genial, and her shifting eyes danced happily, Antyn still felt the barbed dagger of her words. It was nearly an insult that he would think that she could be harmed by anything he did. He was insignificant, powerless.
He wanted to lunge at her again, but he kept up the ruse, smiled and even managed a small chuckle, “I’m glad to hear it.”
Antyn wasn’t sure he had been convincing enough, but he’d done the best he could. Hoyla, seemed to have relaxed further and was almost reverting to how she had been all those years as they poured over his studies. But there was still something in her eyes and the steel of her voice that made him wonder if she too was playing the deception game.