Gives Ferren An Invitation
Only Zonda, Ferren
and Kiet remained in the cave. Ferren turned to Zonda as she dropped
'Why? What is
Kiet was aware
of Zonda's disdainful stare upon her. She felt herself shrivelling
up inside - but still she wouldn't leave. She turned to the wall
and pretended to be studying the scratch-marked slabs of stone.
She was afraid
Zonda would say something cutting. But when Zonda spoke, it was
in answer to Ferren.
be ready.' She laughed. 'But I didn't smell it.'
'Then why . .
'I wanted to
talk to you alone. About this leader's cave.'
'What about it?'
'You're a leader
too.' Zonda lowered her voice. 'You can share it with me.'
Kiet could hardly
believe what she thought she'd heard. She fought the urge to turn
around. Had she imagined it? She held her breath and strained her
'I thought I'd
be sharing with Miriael and Shanna.' Ferren's
voice was a little lower too.
'You can do better
'They're as much
leaders as I am. I wouldn't want to set myself up as more important.'
'I'm not inviting
them. I'm inviting you.'
Kiet almost gasped,
it was so blatant. Couldn't Ferren see what she was doing? Or perhaps
he saw it and liked it? Next thing, she'd be inviting him right
into her bed!
'Of course, we
can make a separate hollow for your bed.' Zonda laughed again. 'If
that's what you want. But this one's very comfortable.'
There was a soft
thump and a rustle of rushes. What was she doing? Surely she couldn't?
Not now, not while there was someone else present!
flashed back to what Zonda had once told her. He used to creep
up at night just to lie pressed against me. He was desperate for
hold back any longer. She whirled around to confront them.
Zonda was lying
stretched out on the rushes. But still fully clothed. And Ferren
still stood beside the diagram.
Kiet took a deep
breath and tried to steady herself. Her pulse was racing. Zonda
glowered at her, Ferren gave her a curious look.
she said. 'I'm going to see if breakfast is ready.'
There was just
a hint of unsteadiness in her voice. She looked at Ferren. 'Are
The next second
seemed to last a lifetime. Ferren wavered. Kiet could have hated
him in that moment.
extract ... next extract