Tristan tensed. His keeper was coming and soon he’d find her here. Tristan could only imagine the chaos within the next ten minutes.
“Tristan?” Ari asked, her voice small. She sounded scared to death.
She pulled him close and softly kissed him. She couldn’t possibly know how much that one moment meant to him. It seemed to make everything okay. This kiss took him back to her bedroom. They weren’t in a cold room with stone walls, kneeling in a pool of his blood. They were in her room on her bed, falling in love. He longed to be able to go back to that day when her safety was a guaranteed thing. He didn’t worry about his safety; he was immortal. But she worried about his. Ari refused to believe that he’d never die, refused to believe that he was a killer.
“Well, who is this?” a voice questioned. Ari was roughly pulled away from him and into the keeper’s arms. Tristan lunged towards them, forgetting that he was chained. The warden laughed cruelly at Tristan’s restraints.
“She certainly is beautiful. To think that she’s come here to find you and she’s going to die. The irony of the situation is a shame…” The keeper stroked Ari’s face in mock affection and began circling her like a predator. Tristan snarled and narrowed his eyes. He felt useless sitting there seeing her shiver with uncontrollable fear. Her eyes locked onto his, pleading him for some kind of reassurance that she’d be okay. Tristan didn’t dare make eye contact with her for fear that his enemy would know they were planning something. He just hoped she knew that he wasn’t acknowledging her for a reason.
“How should I kill her?” the warden mused. “So many ways…it will be an easy thing. The only thing I have to worry about is chained up like an animal! Shame that I can’t do anything to it,” he said, glaring at Tristan with a look of intense hatred. He slipped his hands around her neck and cradled her head. Tristan prepared himself to absorb Ari’s soul. Even as he got ready, he could hear her thoughts coming in rapid fire, a medley of fear and anxiety. The seconds became centuries as the enemy got ready to murder Ari. With one final look of pride and satisfaction, Tristan’s keeper twisted her head in his hands and threw her now broken body to the ground.
“No!” Tristan tore the word from his throat in an attempt to cover up the rush he felt when Ari’s soul entered his body. He broke down into tears which weren’t completely forced. It was hard seeing her body like that even when he knew she was safe.
The keeper got a look of realization on his face when he saw what he’d done to Ari. He swallowed hard. “I allow you to go.”
Tristan raised his eyebrows. It had to be a trick.
“Go. Take the mortal’s body and go.”