Katie's Hope (Chapter Five, page 2 of 26)

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"He tricked you, didn't he?"

Sasha sneered in response. He rose and began to pace, the first sign of his anxiety. Jade's hands were sweaty as he drew a machete. He'd crossed the line. There was no going back.

"Jade, kill him and bring me the vial," Darkyn ordered.

Jade closed his eyes, drew a deep breath, and stepped from the forest. Sasha was armed with two daggers and lowered himself into a fighting stance. Jade had trained under Kris, the greatest of the Immortal warriors, and knew Sasha to be a lazy fighter. His first few blows were deflected, but the third slashed Sasha's arm.

"Wait, Jade," Sasha said, surprised. "We can make a deal, you and I." "You have nothing I want."

"I am still an Ancient. I will make you my mate."

"I saw how Ancients' mates work. You get no choice, Sasha!" Jade snapped, the hurt caused by Kris's rejection renewed. He slashed again. Sasha's guard fell quickly, and Jade hacked at the Ancient with all his fury until Sasha lay in a bloodied heap.

His whole body shaking, he tried to calm himself and withdrew, wanting to wipe away the taint of Sasha's blood from his clothing and skin.

"The vial, Jade!" Darkyn barked. "We are watching. If you try to take it, your death will be the most horrible I devise yet."

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