Rafael Silkskin:

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First job gone wrong, Part VIII
Posted Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - 6:15pm

“So much for thinking I could out smart her,” I snarled. I dug my fingers into my hair. I needed to concentrate. The heat was getting to me, or the blood loss. Either way I felt light headed.

“Glad you haven’t completely lost your mind,” Randolf’s voice rang clearly in my ears.

“Randolf,” I whipped around, and nearly fainted with relief. He stood on the other side of the bars arms folded, one of his bushy eyebrows raised and the disapproving frown completing the look he always gave me when I did something stupid. I didn’t care. He could glare at me all he wanted.

“The silver probably isn’t helping you much is it,” Randolf sighed. “Sometimes I wonder if you’re more trouble than you’re worth.”

“Okay, yes, I get it. I’m a disappointment and a terrible apprentice.” I cut in. “You can complain about me later. Just get me out of here.”

Randolf held up the key to my release. “Let’s get going. We have a prince to save.” He unlocked the door and wrapped a piece of leather around a bar to pull it open. I stumbled out and almost fell, but Randolf caught me.

“Melanie,” I choked.

“I had a front-row seat and saw the whole thing,” Randolf said, as he helped me the rest of the way out of the cell. “I like your new friend. I think he’s caught on as well.” We headed up the passage sticking to the shadows.

“Is there anything you don’t know?” I scoffed.

“I doubt it,” Randolf replied.

“So you also think she’s-”

“Yes,”

“Why haven’t you stopped her yet?” I asked, stumbling to keep up.

Randolf glanced at me. “You’re my apprentice and my first priority.” We reached the end of the dungeon. “Now I want you to go to the forest and hide while I save the prince.”

“No,” I straightened up. “You go and I’ll save the prince.”

“Rafael, you can’t face her,” Randolf snapped. “If you die it will make me look bad.”

I put my hand on his shoulder. “This is my job and I will finish it. Don’t worry, I’ll come back and in one piece.”

Randolf’s dark yellow eyes stared at my intently. I could see that he didn’t want me going anywhere near Melanie. After a few seconds, he stepped back and nodded. “You’re right. After all, you’re not a child anymore and you should finish what you start.” I started to leave, but he stopped me. “I’ll be waiting you know where.” I nodded and tried to leave again, only to be stopped a second time. “You better not take forever.”

“I won’t take long if you’d let go.”

“I’ll leave you to it then,” Randolf said, releasing me.

Honestly, I wished Randolf could come with me, but this job is mine I needed to finish it myself. Besides this is my mess, so I should be the one to clean it up.

I almost reached the royal bed chamber when I heard movement. I slipped behind a pillar and watched the door open. Melanie came out holding the prince in her arms. So she was still here. I’d hoped to find a clue as to where she’d gone, not catch her red handed. I let her pass my hiding place, before I revealed my presence.

“Melanie,” I said as bravely as I could. Hearing my voice, she started running down the corridor. Really? She didn’t even have the decency to glance over her shoulder first. Was a bit of acknowledgment too much to ask for? I rolled my eyes, running after her.

Further down I saw her disappear into a side room, I stopped and leaded against the wall, peering through the crack between the door and its frame. Inside I could see Melanie trying to find a way out, but it appeared that she’d trapped herself in a sort of sitting room with only one exit. I knew she wouldn’t transform as long as she held the prince. I drummed my fingers, thinking hard.

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