Katie lay down on the bed, pleased to find that it was clean. Maybe the people who had her captured wanted her in a comfortable place. For some reason, she couldn’t believe it.
She sighed as she set her head to the pillow. It was soft and smelled clean. She guessed that she could have had worse conditions. At least no one had come by to give her a hard time. A moment later, she couldn’t help but think that she had thought too soon.
Footsteps came closer. Katie closed her eyes, wishing that they would pass by and not bother her. The steps stopped right in front of her cell. Keys jingled on a ring. She heard one slip into the lock on her cell. It clicked as it turned and the door became unlocked.
She slowly sat up and turned to look at who had come by to see her. Maybe if she were quick, she could ram the person and escape. Her eyes stopped at the cell door. Two men stood there.
One was the jail guard who had brought her there that morning. His long matted hair and evil gray eyes watched her for a moment. Then he turned away and stood with his back to the cell. Katie’s eyes took in the other man.
He was young, perhaps in his early thirties. He had short dark brown hair and a small beard. He had thin lips and pale eyebrows. His eyes, which she found interesting because they appeared to be the color of blood, watched her greedily.
“So you are the one,” he whispered to himself.
“The one?” she asked, standing. The man stepped into the room. He snapped his fingers and the door shut behind him. Katie heard the click of a key turning in the lock.
“Yes, the one,” he said, closing the distance between them in two steps. He leaned forward and picked up the ring on her necklace. “You most certainly are.”
Katie slapped the hand and took a step back. The man released the ring and watched her closely for a moment. A smirk grew on his face.
“Do you know why you are here?” he asked her. She remained silent. “I thought not.” He smiled even wider.
“Who are you?” Katie asked.
“You don’t know who I am? Shame,” he said. He took a step towards her and stood up straight. He was nearly a head taller than her. His clothes were fancy, as if he were a lord...
“Who are you?” she repeated.
“I am Nicholas,” he said. “One of the most feared men, besides Lord Zarha and Emperor Astroth.”
“If you are so feared, how is it that I have never heard of you before?” she asked. She wanted to irritate him as much as possible. He ignored her.
“Now, where is your wizard?” he asked her.
“Wizard?” she asked, laughing.
“Yes,” Nicholas said. He had turned serious and the gleam in his eyes made her stop laughing.
“Why would I need a wizard?” she asked. She tried her best to keep the fear from her voice.
“Because you are the bearer of great power. If you were to fall into the wrong hands...” he said, leaving the end vague.
“Bearer of what?” she asked. She took another step back.
“Of the ring,” he said, stepping forward.
“This is nothing of great power. It is but a luck charm a friend of mine gave me,” she said. She took another step away and her back made contact with the wall behind her. Panic raced through her veins.
“Ahh,” he said. “This good friend of yours had entrusted something very important in you. Whether or not he realized it.”
“I didn’t say it was a he,” Katie said. The man took another step forward.
“No, but I already knew,” he said. “In fact, I am the one who gave this to someone, who, in turn, gave it to the man in the prophecies.”
“Then you must be mistaken,” Katie said. “My friend got it from his mother, and then he gave it to me.”
“True,” Nicholas said. Katie watched him closely. She was glad that her hands weren’t bound.
“Now, hold still so I can test you for your true powers,” he said. Katie went to race around him, but he threw his arms up and placed them upon the wall behind her, blocked her way. He leaned forward and whispered into her ear. “If you want to ever see him again, then you had better do as I say. Otherwise, when he gets here, I will kill him.”
Katie pressed her back against the wall, but didn’t attempt to move again. She knew this man meant business. She only hoped that he wasn’t planning on doing something sick to her. Her breathing came out quick at the thought of him harming Richard.
He leaned back again and pulled something from his pocket. It looked like a small sphere, about the size of a pebble. She would have mistaken it as a pebble had it not been clear, like a crystal. He held it up to show her. It reminded her of the sphere that the men who had attacked her village had used on Brianna. Only, this one was smaller.
When Nicholas held it close to her, it glowed a rich golden color. The light was brilliant, but not bright enough to hurt her eyes. She gazed at it in wonder, momentarily forgetting where she was.
“Amazing?” he asked her.
“Yes,” Katie breathed, not sure why she answered him.
“Good, now tell, where did you get your powers?” he asked her.
“I don’t have any powers,” she whispered. An odd sensation was spreading down her arms and chest.
“Gaze at the light more intently,” he whispered in her ear. She hadn’t even realized that he had closer to her again. He pressed her against the wall.
Katie obeyed him. She wasn’t sure why she was listening to him, but there was something that made his voice irresistible. She gazed closer at the sphere.
“So , where did you steal the magic?” he asked her in a more urgent voice.
“I didn’t steal anything,” she whispered. She gazed intently at the pebble.
“I see,” the man said. He held the stone up for a while before he closed his hand around it. The moment it vanished from view, Katie’s eyes went wide with shock.
“What...?” she started to say.
“I had you under a spell,” the man said. She pushed him away from her, not even fearing what he might do if she angered her. He took a few steps back against her touch.
“What did you do to me?” she asked in an angry voice. She felt a tear drop out of her eye.
“Nothing lasting,” he said. “You’ll get sleepy soon.” He turned and walked to the cell door. “It seems that I was wrong,” he said, with his back to her.
“How is that?” she asked. Her head swam.
“Either you were able to overcome the spell with great ease because you have the power to and you don’t know you have it, or because you really don’t have it,” he said.
“How were you wrong?”
“I thought you stole the magic somehow,” he said, more to himself than to her. “But the ring, that does not belong to you.”
“And how would you know that?” she asked, she felt like she was falling.
“Because it was Lord Zarha's,” the man said. He knocked once on the door and it opened a moment later. “And it shouldn’t be yours anymore.”
She watched him step out into the hall. The door shut and the guard locked it behind him. The man turned to look at her through the bars.
“I think I might have you moved,” he said. “Because they will come for you soon.” He turned and began to walk away. “And I will kill him when he does,” he said over his shoulder.
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