Rance-Dahl hissed at Paign, just inches away. “Losing already, human?” Slowly, a wicked smile widened across his face.
“You are such weak creatures. Pathetic. Your frail bodies are matched only by your dim wits. Soon, I will also instruct those of your little fellowship. Particularly, I look forward to teaching my lessons to that troublesome girl…”
Paign grimaced and stared at Rance-Dahl. “You will not harm the girl, you vile monster,” he wailed, then wrenched at the gargoyle’s wrist with all of his waning might.
“Ah! I see it now. Before I did not, so focused I was on your learning,” Rance-Dahl purred. “She is of importance to you! Of great importance, in fact!” He burst into harsh laughter.
“No!” Paign cried, wincing as he pushed on Rance-Dahl’s arm.
Seizing on Paign’s obvious misery, the gargoyle suddenly yanked his left arm up, hoping to dislodge the boy’s grip. Somehow, Paign hung on to the fierce pull off the ground. His captor, furious at his lack of success, thrust his arm back down.
By the time Paign hit the floor, his own rage exploded upon his captor, renewed by his overwhelming fear for Danielle. In a twinkling, even as he felt his right ankle break upon the floor, his physical pain merged with his personal anguish and sense of betrayal.
A primal scream erupted from Paign’s throat.
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