Kreyg was silent for a moment, then he said harshly, “I can’t do it. Dammit, this isn’t right… the master would do just as well with a single vial of her blood. He doesn’t need the whole body.”

What??!” the other cried. He raised his arms imploringly only to let them flop to his sides. “You idiot, we have to do it. You know we have to. Or would you rather face what the master has for us back home?”

“I know. I know…” Kreyg appeared to be looking at the ground like some scolded little boy. “But, Lleff… she’s just a child.”

Lleff snorted something incomprehensible and stepped away for a moment. Saraph turned back to Kreyg, who was fiddling with the light. It was a strange-looking device; round with knobs and a large handle. Saraph had never seen anything like it before. The conversation around her seemed too surreal to pay much attention to. Kreyg’s lantern was the only reality worth noticing.

“I’ll do it without you,” Lleff snapped. “And when the master finds out, he’ll make sure you’re next!”

Kreyg stopped playing with the light. He seemed about to say something but changed his mind. “Princess, let’s get you back to camp,” Kreyg said, reaching out to take the girl’s hand. “She’s obviously in shock, Lleff. We can discuss this later.”

“You bastard!” Lleff shouted. “There will be no later!”

“I don’t mind,” Saraph said suddenly, forgetting the lantern. The two men turned their attention to her as if they had never noticed she could speak before. “Maybe if you do kill me, it’ll be better. Maybe I’m better off dead.”

_________________________________________________________________________

Trait of Honor is actually only a working title as I write this story little by little. It began when I was in high school – 1988- and is going under a complete rewrite. Characters change, situations are made into better sense, and the ending is even going to be different. So it’s not even the same book all anymore but I’m good with that.

I’ve been working on the rewrite for a long loooong time now. I’d like to see it finished. I’m probably about halfway there and climbing.

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