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   Chapter 30 29.

On Her Knees By Chyna McCartney Characters: 7357

Updated: 2018-05-20 08:17

"What did you not do, Teryn?" I asked her, taking careful steps toward where she sat in the center of the room. She held the lantern close to her chest; as if she was trying to coax the warmth from the flames into her body. I brushed my fingers gently across her neck and found the skin there to be cold.

"They asked me who you were, Giovanni, " she murmured, her voice barely a whisper. Her eyes were hidden from me for she kept her head bent, staring into the flickering amber and orange behind the lantern's glass. "They never really believed that you were Leonard Grey; apparently such a man does not exist in your realm's records."

I cursed under my breath in Italian. It was solely carelessness on my part. I had my fingers in nearly every national entity in all of In Umbra, especially those based in Rudalia. I could have given my alias a real identity; I could have given myself a better alibi. I underestimated Armand just as much as he still continues to underestimate me. "Truly, I was not prepared for the calibre of monster that you and I have encountered. I was not prepared for him to have such influence nor, did I anticipate that this would take so long."

I caressed her cheek, rubbing my thumb against the softness of it. "Honestly, I have become a bit distracted with you."

She didn't look up like I thought she would; she made no indication that my words had any effect on her. Yet, she continued to speak in a voice as empty and lifeless as the grave itself; a hollow whisper to echo off of the damp walls of this cellar.

"Armand gave me a choice. I could tell him who you really were and what you were here to do and in exchange he would send me home. There were plane tickets prepared-- I didn't exactly see them but, I don't think he would have taken me through the portal and back to my world if he planned on playing some kind of game. Nor do I really believe Armand to be the kind of man who would go through all the trouble if it was only a ruse of his own creation, anyway.

But, he made the proposition to me nonetheless, and I believed he would hold up his end of the deal. I also believe him to be true to his word when we he said that failure to comply wit

han I had endured, and if my wounds are anything to go by, I didn't expect to survive it. And really, I'm sure Marcus didn't anticipate me surviving it either."

She took a few steps out of the shadows and toward me, stopping at the edge of the ring of yellow light from the lantern. I could see her amber eyes welling up with tears and her hands were balled into fists at her side.

"I feel stupid because you have so much power over me. You disarm me so easily. The barest of touches, the luminescence of your smile, the sound of your voice: all of these things are enough to destroy my resolve. I thought you understood all this by now. " Teryn shook her head and her dark curls with it.

"I knew the risks before I made my decision but, still I chose against my own self interest and a part of me feels just as foolish as you must think that I am but if I could, I still would not have chosen any differently. I would have never betrayed you; in fact, I count it as something that is physically impossible for me to do."

Her gentle voice broke at the end and she huffed, so much vulnerability in those golden orbs.

I saw then what she was afraid to admit; what her pride and her own fear of perhaps rejection or immature opinions would not allow her to so easily voice. No matter how stunned I was by her outburst of how much I loathed myself for being the reason why she awaited some kind of punishment, I could not help but be utterly amazed by her.

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