They had been warned things might go wrong. But they hadn’t been prepared for this.

“Is he all right?” Toria asked, peering down at the prone figure on the floor. He looked surprisingly innocent with his eyes closed in unconsciousness.

Kella checked his pulse. “He’s alive, but his head’s bleeding.” She untied her silk scarf and pressed it to the small wound on the stranger’s temple. “What do we do? We can’t just leave him like this.”

“No, but we can’t stay with him either. If they find us here, they’ll want to know what we’re doing in this area.”

“Have you got the key?”

Toria nodded.

“Go and get Tessen out; I’ll stay here with him. Just don’t be too long.”

“Well, look at you, taking charge like that. Aidan’s going to be impressed.” Toria grinned and hurried off, clutching the small golden key in her right hand.


“That could have gone a lot worse,” Cas remarked, passing Toria a cup of warm chocolate.

Kella had to agree. Nobody had interrupted them, but the stranger’s eyelids had just begun to flutter while Kella was kneeling beside him. As he moaned, she got up and followed Toria, hoping against hope he wouldn’t open his eyes until she had gone.

They’d had to make use of the second exit.

She watched the flames dance in the hearth. Tessan had been so relieved to be out of the mansion, he had hugged both Toria and Kella enthusiastically. His long hair had tickled her skin and…

Kella’s hand flew to her throat.

Her scarf. It was gone.

She’d left it with him.

Part One

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