Soul of Kandrith (The Kandrith Series)

Soul of Kandrith (The Kandrith Series) by Nicole Luiken

Book: Soul of Kandrith (The Kandrith Series) by Nicole Luiken Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nicole Luiken
    “You look weary. Would you like to ride up in front of me?” the fat man asked. He kicked his horse’s flanks with his heels so that the white mare ambled closer to Sara.
    “No,” Sara said. This was the fourth time he had offered.
    “I can’t help but notice that your man isn’t taking as good a care of you as he should. This saddens me. You have a rare beauty and should be treated like a queen. If there’s any way I can help you, please let me know.”
    Sara usually ignored the fat man’s words, but she pondered this offer for the next two hundred steps. “There is one thing you can do.”
    “Yes?” His lips curved up, and he stared down the bodice of her new green dress.
    “You could break my arm.”
    His mouth dropped open. “Wh—what?”
    She considered his pudgy arms, unsure if he had the strength. “Or perhaps my finger.”
    His round face flushed pink. “Are you mad? No!”
    The fat man was weak, but his horse had to be strong to carry him. Sara moved behind the mare and twisted her tail until she kicked Sara’s shin.
    Sara had anticipated the crunch of breaking bone, but it didn’t come. Nor was the pain as intense as when she’d plummeted to the courtyard. On the other hand, since her mind wasn’t overwhelmed with pain messages, it allowed her to concentrate on what she did feel.
    Her fingers found only a few drops of blood beading her skin, but Sara could feel blood collecting underneath, swelling into a bruise. The wound throbbed in time with her heart.
    Experimentally, Sara stepped forward. The leg continued to hold her, but the extra weight did add little jolts of pain—
    “Sara!” Almost too soon, Lance rushed to her side.
    The fat man started babbling. “It’s not my fault! She made the horse kick her.”
    Lance dropped to his knees in the grass and pushed her skirt up so that he could lay his hands on her bruise.
    Sara concentrated on each sensation: Lance’s callused fingertips lightly pressing, the widening of his pupils as the Goddess filled him, the healing warmth flowing under her skin, the scent of wildflowers.
    The pain eased, then drained away to nothing. The Goddess left.
    But Lance didn’t release her. His brows drew together. “Is what he says true, Sara? Did you deliberately goad the horse into kicking you?”
    “See? Before that she asked me to break her arm.”
    Sara didn’t spare a glance at the fat man, watching Lance.
    His facial muscles moved in a complicated way. “Sara, do you like pain?”
    Sara thought about the question. Liking indicated a preference. “I find pain interesting,” she admitted.
    Lance’s body gave a short jerk.
    “There’s something wrong with her,” the fat man said shrilly. “She’s—”
    Lance’s head whipped around. “Get out of here. Now.”
    The fat man booted his horse’s sides. The mare broke into a trot.
    Lance put his hands to his forehead and bowed his neck. “Goddess, what am I going to do?”
    Loma didn’t respond, but Rhiain did, which confused Sara.
    “What’s wrong?” the shandy asked.
    Lance didn’t look up. “Cadwallader says Sara’s soul is disconnected from her body. She thinks pain is interesting. That fat lecher is right. Something is wrong with her. And I don’t know how to fix it.” The last words were muffled.
    Rhiain snorted. “I think you’rrre wrrrong.”
    Lance lifted his head. “What?”
    “I don’t think Sara hurrrt herrrself because she likes pain, even if pain doesn’t botherrr herrr as much as it should.”
    “Then why—?” Lance looked first at Rhiain, then over to Sara.
    “I did it so you would heal me,” Sara told him.
    The skin around his eyes wrinkled. “So you like being healed.”
    Sara was silent, unsure if that was a question.
    Rhian blew air out of her nostrils. “No. She watches you all the time—just like I used to watch Gaius.” Rhiain looked at the ground. “I’d trrry so harrrd to think of something I could do orrr say to impress him. I

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