The passageway smelled like decaying bodies and lavender. Her nose found it entertaining. The rocky tunnel ate their footsteps. Camin Barice wanted it to steal their voices. Then, she wouldn’t have to listen to the aggravating filth spilling from her charges holes.
“Look, Guardian, where are we going?”
The siblings stopped walking, again. Camin released her breathe. The pests, Moraine and Jonathon Thames, hadn’t stopped whining. If one wasn’t talking, the other one was. Camin’s hand kept twitching to her dagger strapped to her hip. She wanted to cut the throat out of one and make the other choke on it.
She glanced over her shoulder and showed her teeth. “You two said you were bored.”
“I also said someone like you couldn’t have seen anything we haven’t,” Moraine snapped.
Too much money turned people’s voices into dying animal cries. Its power seemed particularly effective on their spoiled offspring.
“Which is why we’re here. Let’s go. It’s not that far,” Camin said.
The barrier within the tunnel’s walls made her organs scream. It reached inside her, grabbed her power in its slimy hands and pulled. Camin’s stomach rolled. Yet, the siblings still groaned about being bored. They chatted as if the air wasn’t trying to kill them. Why didn’t it affect them? How irritating.
“You know we’re not supposed to be here.” Moraine said.
“But, we won’t tell Daddy if you make it fun,” Jonathan added.
They won’t tell Daddy because they’re never leaving this place. These two were older than she was. Why did they act like children?
The passageway ended at an imposing door. It stretched into eternity. The siblings’ lights explored the massive structure with interest.
She held her palm to the wood. Electric power wrapped around her hand. It burrowed through her skin. It tasted her blood. The doors groaned open. The siblings yelped. They rushed past her. A blur of blue and black feathers sped between the gawking siblings. Jammary Surrette’s wings sliced them in half. He turned, with teeth bared, and feasted.
Camin strolled past the carnage into the Grande Hall. This mansion made her ill. The jeweled decorations hurt her eyes. You couldn’t find rocks that color and size anymore. Yet, this room had them lining the walls, ceiling, picture frames, banisters. You could feed everyone in Laight, the most populated city in the country, with just one of those stones. What a waste?
Despite the jewels and the gold carpet with the family crest sewn in, this room’s only other decoration were the dozens of portraits mounted to the walls. The Surrette’s looked human except for their immense blue-black wings. Each frame stretched about the length of both her arms. Each subject’s wings were extended. She didn’t know how many Surrettes were here. The portraits lined the walls so high she couldn’t see the faces of the Surrettes at the top.
Jammary charged. Camin turned. His lips curled back over his sharp teeth. His long nails drove towards her. This again?
He stopped. His nails grazed her neck. Camin stepped back and returned to the portraits.
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