The warrior guarding me took a few moments to draw the same conclusions as the fleeing women. His features dropped from an amused smirk, to scowling disgust. I quickly dressed and spent most of the night pacing about the tent in a blind panic. What had Cador’s men done with Morven? What would they do with me now I was deemed undesirable?
There was no one to offer support or counsel. Those women would not provide a ruse for the sister of a Dumno Chief; no sly winks of kindness before turning a blind eye to my heavy state. They would be the first ones to expose my secret to their leader. It was only a matter of time before the entire camp knew, even Morven. Before the cock could crow, Cador reappeared snorting his fury.
“Brother, I can explain…” I began, holding out my hands to his chest as he pushed forward.
“Don’t bother. I’ve heard enough, and with that puny milk sop too. Call yourself a daughter of the Dumnonii; father will be shunned by the gods in the Summerlands for your treachery. Blake says he won’t have you. He’s called off the deal.” He backed away for a moment, thinking. “I’ll get you some wormwood. That’ll put an end to that evil thing growing in your belly, then you can get on your knees and beg Blake for his forgiveness.”
Did he really think that a respected Chieftain of the Durotriges would take on the lover of his youngest son? Cador’s mind was addled if he thought that this problem could be fixed with a simple herbal tonic.
“I won’t. You can’t make me.” I bleated, ducking under his elbow to be rid of his acrid stench.
“I should make you eat the kyjyan plant raw; watch it burn your lips and innards as it flushes the spawn out of you.” He lurched towards me. I darted away, but the guard was blocking the entrance.
The warrior took the opportunity to make his own feelings known. “Chief, we can’t stay here. Blake’s truce won’t hold for long.”
I looked toward the rip at the back of the tent, but Cador latched on to my thoughts.
“Don’t even think about it,” he snarled, stepping in my path. “You kyjyan bitch! You’ve cost me a lucrative deal, all the spoils from the shipwreck, and made me look a fool.” He lunged, jabbing out with his clenched fist. His punch caught me right in the middle, knocking me to the floor. “Watch her.” Cador hurried from the shelter, leaving me writhing in agony on the rushes.
Something inside was seriously wrong. I felt ripped apart; a cramping pain that made me nauseous and dizzy.
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