“You ain’t ‘avin’ ‘im,” she spat. “I was promised ‘im, ‘e’s mine!”
“He is most certainly not yours,” Percival replied measuredly, a mediator in bargaining. “I need not assume that the ones who made you that promise was the Court, who undoubtedly faked some paperwork and paid off a good many wardens to keep it hushed. But I know the truth, and I will not allow these lies to persist,”
“You didn’t give a rattle-rat’s ass ‘bout ‘im before!” Wilmina rose from her seat, her voice panicked and loud. “E was just another scummy from th’pit o’ th’world!”
Percival rose, Anala with him, barely able to appear calm, his fists shaking and pulling tautly on his overcoat. “I did not know!” he exclaimed. “But each and every single day of my life since it happened, I have thought of him, fearing and praying that he is safe. When there was just a vestige of hope left in me, I sent it to him knowing he could change everything.” His last words were quiet and sharp like the line of a blade. “How disgusted I was to find that he had been here, with you.” His energy swept the room in a wave. Wilmina scrambled away to the back of the room, rummaging through a tattered bureau with shaking hands to find her grimoire.” All the while, he spoke. “You didn’t know the name Paradam because of the Order, did you, Wilmina? You knew it because they asked you to be wary of it, to run if I came searching, as they knew I would. Did they tell you what to do if I found my way into your home? To run, or even try to fight back, to flat-out kill me? Make the right choice and let us see him.”
Wilmina span around, her lip curled up as yellowed, needlepoint teeth grew from her gums. “Make me!” she spat, crossing the room with a murderous countenance. Anala darted between them, her eyes glowing liquid gold and her pendant lit fluorescent green. Hate surged through her as the firelight cut a dangerous shadow across her cheeks.