Michael's entire body froze up, and fear raced through his veins as it never had before. Every lesson he had taught himself through out his life as trickster seemed to have been erased from his mind, every mental note on how to stop from panicking, every reminder to keep a cool head.
He could have sworn his lungs refused his next breath.
Jeanine nodded vaguely, her eyes still glassy and unfeeling. Her pale hand closed around the map, which had curled into a scroll. The man forced her to look into his eyes, pushing her jaw up with his forefinger, and for the first time, a hint of emotion clouded the girl's gaze.
The man smiled nastily and let go of Jeanine's jaw, and immediatly her gaze dropped.
"There will be a meeting tomorrow like never before. In a fortnight, this land will never know what hit them." He turned away from her and lifted his spider-like hands ot the ceiling, a cruel laugh echoing from his mouth. And then he clenched his hands shook them at the air, his expression suddenly changing to one of anger.
He spun around and slapped the girl clear across the face, so she cowered away from him.
"Go!" he hissed. Jeanine fled and Michael desperately wished he could do the same.
If he was found, he'd be nothing more than another dead corpse on the floor, he was sure.
The man watched her go with a malicious smirk on his face. Then he took an amulet identical to the one that Michael had seen around the girl's neck from under his cloak.
"Tonight, another will be marked by my power," the man whispered, caressing the emerald pendant with his finger. It glowed faintly. He stuffed the pendant into the fold of his cloak and stalked out of the room, smiling in a satisfied sort of way.
When the door slammed closed, Michael breathed again. He waited a full ten minutes and then slipped trough the door and through the dark stairway into the castle.
He did not even care about robbing the King's vault anymore. His thoughts were entirely occupied by what he had seen.
He slipped through the hallways, shocked at how frightened he was, even though he was a criminal. His mind should have worked like the villainous man who had slapped Jeanine across the face, but at the moment, all evil inclination had left his seventeen-year-old body. He found his way to the servant's passageway and found his bundle of clothes, left, and for once in his entire life, he left a mission unaccomplished, and he didn't feel remotely unsatisfied.
He slid through the alleyways in the city, right down to the pub where his friend gave him a place to stay.
Mark, or the Rat as they liked to call him, didn't see him as he came in and snuck up to his room. Throwing his things onto a chair, he flopped onto his bed, feeling disoriented.
He didn't sleep that night.