“What do you mean, you lied?” asked Jeron cautiously. “You haven’t said too much to lie about anything.”
“Shirasu comes with an antidote, but the poison you just ate doesn’t,” said Skyler emotionlessly. “Jeron, sorry, I can’t save you.”
“What?” exclaimed Jeron, arms clenching and relaxing in anger. There was a tearing pain at his wrists, but he ignored it. “You just poisoned me?”
“Well, you shouldn’t really eat anything your captor gives you, you know,” said Skyler, now coming back next to Jeron with a flask. “Now, still want water?”
Jeron shouldn’t be clenching his teeth — it couldn’t be good — but he did so anyway. “You little… as soon as I get free, Skyler, you’re definitely…”
“Mmm? Dead? Probably not.”
“No,” spat Jeron. “Not dead. Firstly, I’ll quarter you, then boil the pieces, then chop them up, then spread them out and get a cow to step over them, and then mix all the pieces together and blend them, and then…”
Jeron was running rapidly out of ideas, and spotted Skyler smirking out of the corner of his eye.
“And then I’ll kill you,” finished Jeron. “Stop laughing!”
Skyler only snorted. “Whatever, Jeron. It’ll be painless. You sure you don’t want water?”
“No!” yelled Jeron. “Not after you poisoned me twice!”
“Once, actually. Never gave you shirasu. Maybe I ought to have instead. It would shut you up.”
Jeron glared at Skyler, flaming with rage, as the latter simply moved around packing up. Skyler spent a few minutes thrashing out the fire, and Jeron saw that he managed to do it without causing any smoke. Experienced, then. A new thief wouldn’t know how to put out a fire without making smoke, sending out an obvious signal. Skyler was definitely better than a normal thief. Jeron wondered how long it took Skyler to learn that.
“It took me five painful years, Jeron. Five years to learn to live outside the law,” said Skyler, without even looking at Jeron.
“What?” spluttered Jeron, shifting. “How did you know what I was thinking?”
“It’s part of the gift,” said Skyler meekly. “You’ve got it too — I can tell — or you wouldn’t… you wouldn’t look like Quinton.”
“I don’t care about Quinton, I care about that stupid poison you gave me,” said Jeron, struggling. “Why the hell did you give me it?”
“Because then I could tell you about Quinton.”
Jeron was barely interested in Quinton, but Skyler’s face told him that there was nothing else to talk about. Might as well play along then. Skyler wouldn’t notice the fact that Jeron was slowly sawing his way out of the ropes with his wrists.
“Who’s Quinton?” asked Jeron.
“Quinton?” said Skyler absentmindedly. “Quinton was someone who used to live at my old village. Smart. Good-looking. Brilliant. Powerful. He was the same age as me… as least till five years ago.”
Twist, turn. “Why, what happened?”
“He died,” said Skyler heavily, sitting down on one of the rocks surrounding the now embruing fireplace. “They all did. My family, his family, everyone.”
Jeron stopped twisting his wrists, but he felt the rope slacken in its hold. “I’m sorry, Skyler,” he said, forcing a note of emotion into his voice.
“No, you’re not,” said Skyler shortly. “You can get out of the ropes if you want. Need a knife, too, Jeron?”
“How do you know so much, Skyler?” demanded Jeron, as Skyler came over with a knife in his hand. “Wait — what are you doing?”
“Setting you free,” said Skyler, pushing Jeron’s head down between his legs. Jeron felt the tip of a knife press against his hipbone, before a sharp movement dragged it upward and his hands were free.
Wincing, he stood up, wringing his bloodied wrists, and threw out a punch for good measure.
Skyler stopped it easily with his fist.
“To answer your question, Jeron,” said Skyler, releasing Jeron’s hand, “the said gift is better known to you as magic.”
Skyler is starting to take up so much time. But I love Skyler! And Jeron. And the other characters that may or may not be appearing in this series, many of them who may or may not be making guest star appearances. I love writing so much.
Keep reading! Tara~~