Dragonhearts - Page 13


“I said,” Elfreda repeated to Rolph, “I must admit I do need help.” Her back was up against a tree while Rolph and two lumbering brutes grinned as they encircled her.


My eyes snapped open. “You . . . bastard!” I swore.

Don't blame the snake for being a snake, and all that, Gore, the monster chuckled. I knew it was a long shot, but you've meditated for longer and not noticed the time, so I thought I'd roll the dice and see if I could keep you distracted long enough for it to be . . . amusing.

I ground my teeth in anger, furious beyond words.

Now, now, the monster mockingly chided me. Do you want to waste time here being fussy, or do you want to pop off and save her? Just imagine how grateful she'll be . . .

“You talk too much,” I hissed as I prepared to bring myself to Elfreda's side.

Who's talking?


“Any one of you I could defeat easily,” Elfreda continued. “Two of you would be difficult, but not beyond my means, but three . . .” She shook her head. “In the absence of outside aid which does not seem to be forthcoming, my victory here is unlikely.” Elfreda bared her teeth. “But even so, Rolph, I promise you that if I am destined to be your 'prize' this day, I shall come dearly cost!”

Rolph laughed easily, completely confident he was in control. “You already have,” he said with a wink. “These two fine 'gentlemen' in my service didn't come cheap, you know.”

The two bruisers, brothers, I presumed, grinned gap-toothed grins, and if they didn't have ogre blood in them somewhere, they were doing a damn fine imitation, right down to the greasy black hair.

“So feel free to inflict whatever grievous bodily injury you can upon them as they beat you to a bloody pulp. They're being paid well enough for it, I assure you,” Rolph added, then flashed a particularly nasty grin. “Meanwhile, I shall be enjoying the show until it is time for me to make my own 'entrance into the fray,' so to speak . . . or should I say, your 'fray'?”

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