Leannahn readjusted her mantle and stepped over the smoking body. Sounds of the man’s rough laughter still echoed in her ears. He had thought her just another slave. Well, he had stopped laughing soon enough.
Here the dungeon was darker than at Cnos Fada. Thin groans came from almost every cell. Moans echoed from the pit, placed at the darkest corner. Stringy, furry arms groped for her between the bars. Leannahn skirted around, trying to ignore them as she passed.
The farthest cell was silent.
“Eahn?” Leannahn whispered, crouching as once before. No comforting presence stepped behind her. Regret, an alien emotion, closed her throat. The young lord in Cnos Fada had been a kind soul; she could feel it still within her.
The Northern Thorn was chained to the wall with iron chains and manacles of brass. Lacerations laced his body, white with infection, glaring madly in the dark. He remained human, although it was more difficult to reassume the form every time he shifted. One eye was swollen shut, branded. He might never see with it again.
“I am so sorry,” Leannahn sobbed, burying her face in her hands. “Had I known they would provoke the changes– No. I should have known. This is where I grew up.”
The Northern Thorn growled with frustration and hatred. Even were he free, he could not attack Leannahn. She still held the sway of command.
Leannahn leaned against the bars and wept.
Excerpt from Black Wolf, Silver Fox.