Kaden straddled Lusa’s back and pressed her hard against the ground, glaring at the mass of black hair sprawled over the rocky terrain.
“Let go of me!” She struggled with his strength and he pushed her down harder.
“Not until you can control yourself,” he spoke roughly in her ear. He didn’t like being this close to her. He tried to slow the rapid rise and fall of his chest before letting her go. The last thing he wanted was for her to think he feared her in some small way. The mages he’d hunted and captured before her were easier, less hostile, their spells not so . . . destructive.
Lusa jerked her shoulders at another try to break from his grasp. His hands tightened around her wrists. She breathed heavy and the idea of smothering her to death seemed tempting. Tryston wouldn’t mind, for stars sake he’d just been attacked by her, and then he could claim the reward for the easier bounty, the head of a mage. But it was considerably less.
She whispered, “I can control myself.”
Kaden loosened his grip on her wrists, pulled them behind her back and called out to Tryston for some rope. He tied it as tight as he felt comfortable, not wanting it to cut her skin, but keeping it firm enough from her breaking through it to cast a spell. Whatever trust had grown between them was now shattered. He took his time in getting up, reclaiming his sword in a matter of seconds. There was a part of him that disliked the idea of killing her, but if she tried anything, he’d have no choice.
Lusa slowly rolled over onto her back. The moon reflected in her iron blue eyes and illuminated the scar trailing her cheekbone as she tried blowing a mass of hair away from her face. He wasn’t sure what in Eldere’s name she’d been thinking to cast a spell with Tryston around. He knew she was smart, but he was beginning to think that maybe he’d over estimated her.
“Kaden,” Trystons’s sharp voice cut through his thoughts. “We need to talk.”
Lusa winced at his old friend’s voice and Kaden kept his eyes locked on hers. A small part of him felt sorry for her. Moments ago, she was a monster, a vision from a nightmare with black hair ripping around her thin frame, moon glaring against her white skin, onyx eyes piercing his soul. But now she seemed young and helpless, a victim of herself.
“I’m sorry.” Her voice trembled like her arms had been earlier in the day.
Kaden had always been a good judge of character, it came with the job title, but Lusa stumped him. There were times he wondered if she was a bit cracked in the head. A fool for a good mystery to uncover, he hated to get rid of her so soon. Plus, she was kind of fun having around. This unpredictability of hers, annoying as it might be, kept life interesting, if not a bit complicated. Kaden sheathed his sword roughly and walked around her to Tryston.