Dragonhearts - Page 12

Despite my best efforts, I was starting to lose ground, and I knew it. Once I said, “I'd never do anything to hurt her,” the monster knew it for certain as well. I expected it to gloat.

It didn't.

Hmmmm . . . it mused. As much as it pains me to admit, I know you mean that. You're annoyingly reliable it that regard, aren't you, Gore? No, you would never hurt her. I would, but never you!

Now who's playing word games? I asked, my suspicion level starting to rise. Why?

Oh, the usual reason . . . the monster answered lazily, to make you miserable. You've kept me in check this long, Gore, and while that is impressive, I thrive on temptation, and yours is only going to grow over time. I wonder which way you shall chose to lose to me on this one, eh? Walk away or give in? Its laughter echoed loudly in my skull, but it sounded a bit forced. Giving in just this once is an option, you know. After all, I might be persuaded not to hurt her if your attention in caging me falters in a moment of passion. Care to make a deal?

I started to automatically ignore whatever the monster was about to say next. I didn't though, not completely. I couldn't.

Ironically enough, that turned out to be a good thing.

I must admit I doubt you'll be reasonable about this, Gore, it continued, sounding pleased with itself. You never take my assistance even when you most need help, but

What was that? I interrupted sharply.

I said

Shut up! I snapped, all my disparate suspicions crystallizing into the realization that the monster was going out of its way to keep my attention focused on it. No, not on it, per se, but away from . . . Elfreda.

And with that realization came clarity.

Page 12

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