Samuel stared at Absolom as comprehension slowly dawned. The color drained from his face, leaving his cheeks cold and clammy. “Is that what all of this has been about? Everything you’ve done has been in search of my sword?”
“Your sword?” Absolom asked. “I think not.”
“The sword of Damocles is in my possession. Does that not make it mine?”
“Temporarily, perhaps.” Absolom paced the length of the room, his gaze wandering from one item to another, never alighting on any one thing for more than a few seconds. Halfway across the small room, he turned and stared at Samuel with an eerily intense gaze. “You will take me to the sword and relinquish it tonight, or suffer more loss.”
“Excuse me?” Samuel glanced down at the pallid face of his former lover, his beautiful eyes forever closed in slumber, and felt a rage the likes of which he’d never experienced filter through his system in a torrential wave of heat. “You have the nerve to come into my territory, cause havoc and hurt the ones I love, and then make demands on me as if I owe you something? I don’t care if you are more powerful than I am; you will vacate this building at once and for all.”
“Or what? You’ll cry.” Absolom smirked. “I have nothing to fear from you, other than your pitiful tears of anger and remorse.”
Filled with impotent rage, Samuel raced toward Absolom. The change fell upon him, his teeth and nails growing to abnormal length in preparation of the battle to come. It mattered not that he would probably be out thwarted by Absolom; he only wanted to make the creature pay for what he’d done – for Blake and Ken.
He flew into Abolsom, knocking the other creature backward with a mighty lunge of strength. Before he could do any damage, he was spun around and shoved into the wall with enough strength to knock the breath from his body. Absolom grabbed his wrists in an unbreakable grip and pinned them to the wall above Samuel’s head.
Absolom stared down at him with a lecherous, almost amused grin on his ruggedly handsome face. He tsked. “You should know better than attacking one of your elders, boy. I could snap your head clean off your neck with no more than a flick of my talons. Lucky for you that I appreciate a little pluck in my men. However, there’s no time for dalliance just now. I require the sword. Now.”
Samuel’s vision swam, the room dissolving around them in a wild swirl of insubstantial colors. Vicious nausea struck him, sending bile up the back of his throat. He squeezed his eyes closed, hoping to stem the dizzy torrent before he vomited what little sustenance he had on his stomach.
When he opened his eyes, he stood alone in his living room, facing the brick fireplace. Above the mantel, in a place of honor in his household, the sword gleamed like a silver beacon of hope. Could he use it against Absolom. He didn’t know why the other man sought the blade, but surely Samuel could use it to his own advantage.
He nervously gazed around the room, searching for Absolom. He was nowhere in sight, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t around. If Absolom was capable of teleportation, then it was possible he had mastered the ancient art of invisibility as well. Only the oldest creatures were rumored to have such abilities, but then Samuel had never met someone capable of teleportation either.
Anything was possible.