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Description : Balthazar

Skye Tierney gripped her horse’s reins in her gloved hands as she shut her eyes tightly, willing the sensation to go away. It didn’t matter, though; whether or not she could see the actual images, she knew what was happening near her—the horror of it was as tangible, and real, as the gray winter sky looming overhead.

Not watching somehow made it worse. Taking a deep, shuddering breath, Skye forced herself to open her eyes—to see the woman fleeing for her life.

She thought he wouldn’t follow her up here. He hasn’t been the same since his fall two months ago; it was as if the goodness in him left when his head was cut open, and something else—something darker—flew in. She’d thought he wasn’t paying attention, but he was. He is. He’s here now, his fingers digging into the skin of her arm as he talks about how she has to be stopped.

This is different from his other fits. He’s scaring her so badly that her throat goes dry and she wants to just fall on the ground, play dead like some kind of witless animal, so that perhaps he’ll walk away in one of his dazes. But she can’t pull away from him even to fall; he’s too large, too strong. Voice shaking, she tells him he’s not thinking clearly, that he’ll feel sorry for this when hees to himself again. Her desperate lunge away from him makes his fingers sink so deeply into her flesh it seems as though her skin will tear. Her feet slide in the fall leaves as she hits at him with her one free hand.

He’s smiling as if he’d just seen something...