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from The Unforgiven (First Draft.) by Leila Miller

Chapter 4

Roth sat at his favorite table in the darkest corner in a small bar, nursing the drink in front of him he didn’t want. But he was in the mortal realm and appearances matter. The bar was one of his favorites. It was quiet, and in the few years he had been coming, there was never more than five or six people in it at a time. The perfect place for him to blend in and just be.

He was here because he needed to be around them. Their energy, their humanity, it kept him connected to them. To know why he did what he did. Keeping them safe from beings they no longer believe in or feared. Yesterday’s attack had shaken him. It brought back memories he didn’t want, opening a wound he thought long healed. 

The door opened, a bright light broke into the darkness of the bar. He blinked his eyes to adjust. He followed the movement of the body through the maze of tables. He didn’t recognize him until he was less than a foot away.

“Roth.” Lycargus gestured to the chair next to him. Roth gestured with his glass.

“Gus.” Lycargus winced. Roth hid his grin behind his glass, taking another sip. Gus always hated the nickname. Which why Roth used it just to needle his friend. “How did you find me.”

Gus sat down with a grunt. 

The bartender, a perky little brunette, came over with a smile. 

“Give me what he is having.” Gus waved the woman away. 

Roth sat in silence and waited. 

With drink in hand, Gus leaned back in his chair, and searched his face. Roth knew what he was doing, and his anger sparked. 

“I knew you would be here.” He nodded toward a group of people sitting at the bar watching a sports event. “You always come to them when you are *blah blah.”

Roth didn’t say anything. Not that he could refute the claim.

“Look, I am about to say something your not going to like, as your friend.” Gus began. “What happened yesterday, is not the same that happened with Thea.” 

The wound burst open and brought with it a tide of anger so strong Roth wanted to throw his glass against the wall. He wanted to howl in rage. Millions of thoughts, ideas, ways to appease his anger ran through his brain, but all he did was sit and stare at Gus. The training, the code he lived by, that was ingrained in him since the day he joined the Oneiroi.

“You are going to have to let it g...

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