But for the crackling fire slowly consuming a nearby cabin, punctuated by the intermittent sounds of Nina’s crying, the compound stood utterly silent.
“Keep yer ’ands up,” Kader ordered.
Someone approached Broden from behind. Seconds later, hands molested him, searching for hidden weapons, and then removed from the scabbard at his side, the great sword.
“Put yer ’ands behin’ yer back.”
A moment later, someone clamped a cold band about the young man’s wrist.
“The child’ll accompany us outta camp. When we’re at a safe distance, we’ll release ’er,” Kader called out to no one in particular.
“That wasn’t the agreement.”
“Ya’re ’ardly in a position tuh negotiate,” Kader said, throwing Broden’s words back at him. He leaned forward and lowered his voice. “Tell the others tuh stan’ down. We’ll loose the child when we’ve retreated a safe distance. If anyone follows,” he paused for effect, “you die.” He held Broden’s gaze. “Right after the child, ’at is.” He grinned. “I’ll let cha watch,” he whispered. “Blindfol’ him, Adish,” he ordered before turning away.
As Adish placed a blind over his eyes, Broden repeated Kader’s instructions to the compound residents. Then someone grabbed his arm and pulled him forward.
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