“I gave you an opportunity to walk unobserved at Meriama’s side for two weeks,” Dessine growled at Sabit. The chief huntress looked up at the spear woman with brows knit in fury. “What a waste you have made of that gift!”
Sabit stepped back a moment. “I have come to know Meriama in these last days. I have found what I came here searching for: my place in the Sisterhood.”
“You didn’t come for that,” Dessine spat. “You had a bloodier purpose.”
Sabit took a defensive stance as she spoke. “Whatever I held in my heart lies buried in the past. I am now a true and faithful member of the Sisterhood.” She stood a moment, waiting for the chief huntress to strike out.
The blow never fell. “I thought Kehnan could provide an outsider immune to Meriama’s charms,” Dessine said, “but your heart is as frail as all the rest. How long do you suppose the king of Bahteel will suffer the Sisterhood to thrive without swearing loyalty to him? Meriama will never bend her knee to a king. When we grow too prosperous, the king will unleash his chariots upon us. The fortunate will be slaughtered where we stand. Meriama’s pride condemns us all to ruin. Without Meriama, a wiser leader could appease the king and keep the rest of us safe. Better for one woman to die than the entire Sisterhood.”
Sabit had no words in the face of such betrayal. Dessine strode toward the door, then turned and said, “You were my last hope to finish this cleanly, Sabit. Nothing remains but to finish this bloody chore myself.” She rested her hand on the pommel of her bronze sword.
“I shall not allow it,” Sabit said, stepping forward.
With a sudden motion, Dessine reached up and clawed a ragged cut across her own forehead. As the blood stained her face, the chief huntress stumbled out the door to the courtyard. In a loud voice, she said, “Hunters of the Pride! Sabit has fallen prey to the sorcerer! She has attacked me! Kill her!”
Wayfarings of Sabit: Sisterhood of the Lioness is copyright (c) 2017 by Michael S. Miller. All rights reserved. New chapters post every weekday. You can support this and other stories on Patreon: https://patreon.com/michaelsmiller or http://ipressgames.com/fiction/