I almost fainted from shock. How could my brother even contemplate giving me away as part of a trade deal? It was inhuman. Why bother defending me on the beach if he was prepared to throw me to our enemies in return for some Frynkish wine and a few trinkets?
Turning to Cador, I grabbed his arm. “Please, brother, I beg you. Don’t do this. Don’t sell me like a common slave.” For a moment, I thought my impassioned plea had penetrated his toughened shell. Tears toppled down my cheek.
Cador snatched his arm away from me, his bad temper returning in an instant. “It’s for the good of the tribe, Mel. Do your duty.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Snapping my head around, I looked out for Morven among the elders and horse lords, but he was gone. There was no one left to speak on my behalf. Blake’s hand returned to my leg, clamping my flesh between clawed fingers.
“No! I won’t do it. You can’t make me.” I squealed, ripping his paw away from my thigh. I stood up and swung my leg over the bench but before I could run, my brother clung onto my wrist.
“Do we have a deal?” Cador barked at the old man.
“Then I will step outside with my sister and help her to see reason.”
I tore at his face with my nails, and flailed my arms to make him release me. I got a harsh smack across the cheek for my troubles with the back of his hand, loosening one of my teeth. We were almost at the door, when Nyle appeared, offering to show us to his shelter for a private word. By the light of a few torches outside the Chief’s tent, I spun about hoping that Morven would come to my aid.
Before Cador bundled me inside the shelter, I caught sight of him. As the tears streaked down my face, I mouthed, help me. Morven turned on his heels, and disappeared into the night.