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westcorphotels > Dead Rivers - Freedom\'s Gate > Part 21

Part 21

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"Kyros, you can..." I glanced at the spell-chain; glittering in the light, it reminded me of something. "That one's not yours," I said.

"It will be yours." He held it out to me again. "Say it." I blinked in the light. " Say it."

I opened my mouth to repeat the words, but what spilled out was different: " Tell me what you did about Sophos."

There was a howl of frustration and the dream dissolved into the familiar darkness of the yurt. At least I hadn't woken up screaming; after the rising tension of the afternoon, I had half expected to. That really would have improved everyone's mood for the next day.

It occurred to me that if I wanted to know what Kyros had done about Sophos-if anything-I could simply step out of the yurt and slip out of camp. He'd almost certainly sent the djinn back to try to speak to me again.

I bit my lip, stroking the edge of the embroidery on my vest. Right, Kyros, I thought. I'll make you a deal. If you've actually done something with the information about what Sophos did to me, I'll tell you about the raid we're planning. If you haven't, then you can whistle to the wind for the information. You'll hear about the raid when you get the report on it. I pushed my blanket aside and slipped out.

As I'd expected, I saw the s.h.i.+mmer of the djinn as soon as I was out of the camp. A cold wind was blowing. "Kyros sends this message," the djinn said without preamble. "Lauria, you must trust me on the question of Sophos. To bring a charge of rape, you need to return from your mission and give testimony for the Sisterhood of Weavers to consider. They will take it very seriously, I'm sure, but right now, you have to trust me. Have I ever failed in your trust in the past? The aeriko tells me that your band is moving; where are you going? I need your report. I know I can count on you."

Anger churned in my stomach. "Tell him that I have an answer to his question 'Have I ever failed in your trust in the past': You handed me over to Sophos. And you might add, I don't want to wait for Penelopeian justice. You have a sword, you have a horse, I want you to deal with him now."

"My orders are to wait for your full report," the djinn said.

I almost said that this was my full report, but felt a flash of caution. There was no need to make it clear to Kyros that I was withholding information on purpose. "As I've told Kyros repeatedly, I'm not trusted yet.

I don't know where we're going." Which was true, as far as it went. "That's my report."

The djinn s.h.i.+mmered in the air for another moment or two, then winked out. The flush of my anger had faded and left me s.h.i.+vering; I hurried back toward the warmth of the yurt.

I ran into Zhanna on the way. "Is someone else out here?" she asked. "I heard you talking again..."

"Muttering to myself again," I said.

She gave me a penetrating look. "Lauria, are you trying to talk to the djinn?"

I decided to give her a noncommittal shrug. She smil

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