“Everything’s changed, Thev.”
We entered the forest. It was darker and fouler than during the day.
“Look, why don’t we get to your ship, take it, and go looking for that Nakkoni’s ship. They couldn’t have made better time than us. They’re carrying a body and three bags of coins and gems.”
“She wouldn’t want me to do that.”
“She was in shock, Thev. I’m willing to bet she didn’t know what she wanted. If she refuses you again, fine. But I think it’s worth a try.”
I laughed bitterly. “Do you think I can take a second refusal, Ta’sha? Do you think my heart can take it?”
She tilted her chip and looked me up and down, her eyes like steel. “You’re a Zokunian. A prince and a warrior. You unleashed the beast, and you’re still standing. Look at you. You’re exhausted, and you haven’t fallen yet. By the Three Heads, I’m ready to collapse, but seeing your determination gives me strength. You can take a second refusal, and even a third. And then, you can convince her to come with you, because you’re fated to be together.”
I ran a hand over my face. I was covered in sweat from the exertion, and I was dirty and bloody from the battle.
“Do you mean that?”
“I mean it. Now, come on. Let’s get to your ship, and then let’s get your mate and go home.”
I grinned, feeling new strength pouring into my limbs. Now, this was the sister that I remembered. Apparently, back there, we’d all been in shock, and we’d all made poor decisions. If I didn’t give up now, maybe the damage could be undone.