Broden raised himself to his full height. He exhaled slowly. “I am Zarek’s son.” His voice, though barely above a whisper, seemed to fill the camp.
“Oh, great Ehyeh! Oh, dear Good One!” Lucy cried.
“Right, the man laughed, “Zarek’s son.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Ha ha ha. I’m tuh believe that?” The man, who’d temporarily loosened his grip on his captive, pulled her head back, yet again.
Whimpering, Calandra watched Broden, the tears in her eyes glistening.
“It’s true. Lilith was my mother. She was in Chiran with Zarek. When she returned, she carried me.”
“What’s yer name?”
The man lifted his chin. “Broden,” he repeated.
“That’s right. Who’re you?”
“Let her go, Kader. She can’t do anything for you. She can’t do anything to you. She’s of no value to you and could be of no service to you. She can’t get the twins. They’re not here.”
“Where are they?”
“I told you. We don’t know. They just . . . left.”
The man chuckled, menacingly. “I don’ believe you.”
“Actually, I don’t see that you’ve much choice. You’re in no position to negotiate. If you kill that child, you’ll die before you can take another breath. If instead, you take me as your hostage, you’ll live to see another day.”
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