Mekkukh slipped past the spell meant to trap him, riding it like a cork bobbing in a maelstrom. He chortled, causing his skin to blush then fade. Parmian would fight, just like all the others had.
Mekkukh was counting on it.
He needed the hot, sweet nectar of frustration-horror-fear-panic-helplessness-rage. He burbled in anticipation. After Parmian, the woman. And after her, the world.
Parmian checked the satchel for a third time, fussing over the vials of potions, double-packed in moss and fleece, and counting the leather-bound vellum scrolls.
"You're such a fussy master," Alani said. She ran a long, scarlet-tipped nail across the nape of his neck, pressing hard enough to raise a thin, red weal. She smiled as his skin tightened into gooseflesh.
Parmian brushed away her hand with mock impatience. "And you're an impertinent apprentice." But Alani, his little Lani, was hardly an apprentice any longer, he reminded himself. Almost an equal, but tender of heart. Still, that made her a wonderful lover.
Stifling a sigh, he tied the satchel strings and checked the knots. He hoped he had everything he needed, but with demons you never knew. His teeth caught the soft edge of the hand that had stopped scratching and was resting on his neck. He bit down hard enough to draw blood.
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