Read Tasting Darkness By Jessica Hall Chapter 48 – Aleera POV
The classes droned on, and I wasn’t looking forward to being in the sun for the rest of the day. Although, for once, I actually made it around the obstacle course. I was pretty proud of myself, yet the cramping was becoming ridiculous. Lycus sang out to me and waved me over; moving off the course, I made my way over to him. For some reason, he decided to run the obstacle course. “Did they give you any shit after I left?” Lycus asked me.
“No,” I tell him. He nods. “Good, go to lunch then, after you can take the rest of the day off,” “Really?” I ask excitedly, and he nods. “Just stay out of trouble and away from Darius and watch Kalen for me,” he asks, and I nod before realizing he wanted m e to go back to their room.
Sulking, I headed back inside and to the mess hall. I felt queasy lining up for lunch, yet no one said anything to me, and I moved to a table closest to the door up the back, so I had a quick escape if needed. One thing became apparent, though. They all feared Lycus because not one of them approached me, and they let me eat. It wasn’t until I went to get up that one of them spoke.
“She is getting up,” Satish smiled while also getting up, and I recognized Lycus’s error. He said not to mess with me while I was eating. That wasn’t going to stop them when I wasn’t. Satish leering smile made me gulp. The man was huge and just as intimidating as Zac and Deacon in his black ops uniform. How they all wore those uniforms in this heat was beyond me.
Cursing, I sat back down and nibbled the corner of the other half of my sandwich. Satish and Zac growled, sitting back down and glaring at me. Once again, I waited for the siren and for the voices to leave before getting up. I was expecting them t o be waiting outside to torture me but clearly, being late for Darius’s class scared them from wanting to get revenge.
Quickly looking around before I ducked down to the cells, excited that I could give Ryze some extra food today, and hoped I could keep this up because he would be fully healed in no time if he was getting the proper amount of food he required.
I was scratching his belly as he leaned on his good wing when I heard the door open. Ryze hissed, and I grabbed his beak to quiet him.
Fear wrapped around my throat, and my skin itched as I listened to the footsteps come down the steps, and I got to my feet trying to hide Ryze with my body when Tobias appeared.
“I thought I would find you here, interesting pet you keep, Aleera,” Tobias says, sauntering closer, and I step back, and Ryze hisses.
“Darius will kill your pet if he finds it,” Tobias says, looking around me, and I step in front of his gaze, blocking his view of Ryze. Tobias clicks his tongue.
“I saw you come down here this morning,” Tears welled in my eyes because Ryze was all I had, and I knew he would hurt him. Tobias stepped down the last step with his hand behind his back.
“Please don’t hurt him,” I whispered. “Him? How do you know it’s a male?” Tobias asked, tilting his head as he watched me.
“It’s the beak; females have red beaks; his is black,” I answer, which seems to shock him that I knew that.
“You like birds?” he asks, stepping closer, and I turned quickly, plucking Ryze off his nest and tucking him under my arm. Tobias stared at Ryze, and Ryze hissed at him. I grabbed his beak, trying to quiet him, and moved further back into the cell when I noticed that Tobias still had his hand behind his back.
“I will put him in the forest. You don’t have to hurt him,” I tell Tobias. Ryze hisses, and I glance down at him. “Shh, Ryze,” I whisper.
“You named him?” I nod while watching him warily and the hand he has behind his back.
“What I want to know is how you got close to it and why it’s letting you touch it. Those things are vicious and hate dark fae?” Tobias says.
“They were torturing him, so I saved him. Once he figured out I wasn’t going to hurt him, he got used to me,” I tell him, which was the truth technically. He tilted his head to the side, and I could tell he was making sure I wasn’t lying.
“Very well, but you need to keep him hidden if you want to keep him,” Tobias says with a shrug while still eyeing Ryze.
“You will let me keep him?” Tobias nods before pulling his arm out from behind his back, and I notice he has a cage full of mice. Ryze hisses and squirms, wanting the mice when he spots them.
“What’s the catch?” I ask him.
“No catch, you answer honestly,” I chew my lip, debating whether or not to believe him.
“What do you want to know?” I ask.
“Last night, did you try to escape?” I look down at Ryze. “No, “I answer.
“You were with your…. Ryze,” He says, testing out its name while he reaches into the cage. He grabs a mouse out by its tail. It squirms and squeaks.
“Sit and hold onto that thing. It bites me; I won’t be happy,” Tobias tells me. I sat down, hugging Ryze to my chest, careful of his wing. Ryze’s eyes follow the mouse hanging by its tail,
and Tobias steps closer, and Ryze hisses at him and then growls.
“You bite me fucker, I will scorch your ass,” Tobias tells him.
“Shh, Ryze, he said he won’t hurt you,” I whisper to him, and his snake like tongue slivers out of his beak, and he licks my chin. Tobias watched him curiously.
“You know they are bonding birds, right?” I nod, patting his feathers and calming Ryze down, and Tobias brings the mouse closer, holding it out to him. Ryze struck like a cobra, and Tobias jumped, nearly losing his fingers when Ryze plucked the mouse from his hands.