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.He didn't look at the two he'd killed, knowing he'd be sick if he did.He hated death, hated killing, but that wasn't what bothered him the most.What bothered him was that there should be something to say.Something to make everything easier to bear.Something to reassure the living…and the dead.But there wasn't.There wasn't a single thing he could think to say."Raz!" Pechal nudged him."It's okay.Don't look so gloomy." His friend smiled at him."Not our fault, yeah?" "Yeah," Raz agreed, but didn't stop frowning."I guess we need a new spot.Certainly can't stomach staying here." Ivan stopped glaring at the cat, which was rooted to the spot next to him, and pointed a thumb behind him."We've got a camp a couple of miles east.We were on our way elsewhere when we caught signs of Vlad stomping around.Figured twelve against five wasn't terribly fair.Though next time I'll just let the cat handle things." He resumed glaring.Behind him, Luka chuckled."We'll clean up here, if you want.Bit more practice." He seemed to give Raz a sympathetic look."But you guys have to make dinner."Raz nodded."Thanks.We owe you.""Oh, definitely," Ivan said."The next time we need something stolen…""Free of charge," Raz said."Unless you leave details out." Ivan grinned."No idea what you're talking about, Razrusheniye.""Shut up," Raz said.He motioned to his team."Let's get going." He looked at the cat."Coming?" For reply, the cat rubbed his head against Ivan's leg.Raz laughed."All right.We'll see you at camp."Chapter Eight"I'd say we're done here boss," Maksim said with a yawn."Can we go eat now?""Definitely," Ivan said.Evening was rapidly turning to full night, which meant traveling through the forest would become difficult if not outright impossible."Fire and ash, I can't wait until we're back to business as usual."Isidor grunted."Agreed.""Let's go," Luka said."If food's not waiting, you can take your frustrations out on Raz and Pechal." The group laughed as he pointedly left out the two women.Luka looked toward the cat that had provided a surprising amount of help in disposing of the bodies."Thanks, cat.Ailill.Why are you still a cat anyway?"In reply, the cat merely yawned.Ivan rolled his eyes."I'm going to have a few choice words with you once you're human again, Highlander" He stepped away from the cat, always nearby when he stood still, and started to lead the way back to their campsite - only to find himself eating dirt, with a heavy weight on his back."Cat!"His men laughed."I think, boss, that we'll just head back to camp and leave you two alone." "I'm going to kill you all," Ivan threatened.He continued to hurl threats until he was alone in the clearing, and turned over when the cat finally climbed off him.He sat up."What is your problem?"The cat blurred, shimmered, and when Ivan blinked to clear his eyes, the cat was suddenly gone and Ailill was in its place.Ignoring the nauseous feeling caused by the presence of magic, Ivan glared."What?""There's something wrong with you," Ailill said, a frown on his face."I didn't notice as a human, but my Form has better senses…I thought magic was illegal in Pozhar." "It is," Ivan said, one hand automatically trying to go to his chest.Though in the past few days the pain had settled some, it still felt as though knives were being driven into him from to time - being pounced by an overgrown cat hadn't helped."But tell me when that ever stopped someone." He looked way."Its none of your concern anyway.""No, it's really not," Ailill replied "But I'm concerned all the same.What happened?" "It doesn't matter," Ivan said, and stood up."We should get back to camp." Before he did something stupid.He made it three steps before something with teeth yanked a leg out from under him, and he turned around to once again find himself pinned down by a giant cat."Stop that!" he snarled.Ailill shifted back."I'm sorry.I didn't mean for any of my behavior to offend.It's just that I seldom get to have fun in my Form.I was only playing before to cover up that I was trying to figure out what was wrong with you.I didn't know who else knew." He grinned."Then I just did it for fun.""My men know.They were there when it happened." Ivan wished he'd go back to being a cat.As unnerving as it was, having a human Ailill on top of him was far worse.Ailill wasn't pretty, or even handsome, but such things had ever appealed to Ivan.Ailill was different.He was competent, confident, independent.Someone who could take care of himself - no doubt turning into a giant cat helped with that - and didn't waste time over fussing how to get things accomplished.They'd met in a tavern.The Highlander had seemed to know with a glance that Ivan could help him - he hadn't, actually, but Ivan had known to take him to Raz.He knew he was infatuated [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]