"Don't bother trying to make me hallucinate or give me bad dreams or do anything to influence my mind." Sophie tugged on the collar of her shirt and revealed an ornate silver beaded choker with onyx, alabaster and amethyst beads in between. She laughed when Kevyn flinched at the recognizable pattern. "I'm prepared for you. Guess Great-aunt Serena wasn't as crazy as everyone thought."
She slammed the door as she left. Kevyn was amused to note that she didn't lock it. Because she didn't think he could break through the wall of magic she had woven, or because there was no lock? What had she used this room for, anyway? A pantry? A guest room that never materialized?
Great-aunt Serena had believed in her Fae blood and gathered information to pass to the next generation. Somehow, the old lady learned the sequence of those beads. They were real magic. Protective. Dispelling strong illusions that could influence the mind. Kevyn wondered if Sophie wore that necklace all the time, and that was how she had seen through his invisibility magic at the convention.
That arrangement of beads and the inherent magical power of those particular semi-precious stones also did more to put a damper on magic than anything else Sophie had done to this room. Kevyn sat down on the bed, propped his chin in his bound hands and settled down for some serious thinking. What if he got her to take that necklace off? Would Sophie's inborn magical potential break free and fly?
The door creaked open before he could get any further than that thought. Blushing, Sophie stepped into the room, holding out the key for the chains that bound his hands. Kevyn grinned, and she blushed more. He wisely said nothing as she unlocked his wrists and neck.
"You have to believe, I wouldn't do this if I wasn't so desperate," she whispered, and brushed her fingertips over his neck.
He flinched when her fingertips brushed the rash on his skin where the silver chain had touched. Then a tingle of soothing magic seeped from her gentle touch. Involuntary magic. On Sophie's part.
What could she do if she didn't wear that necklace, effectively blinding and binding herself? Kevyn knew there was far more to Sophie Hunter the Halfling than she could ever guess.
"You have no idea what desperation really means, sweetheart," he murmured.
"I won't hurt you. I promise. I know we'll never be friends now, but--" She shrugged and stepped backwards for the door.
"We can be friends. Just ask me to stay, instead of making me." He stayed seated on the bed.
Sophie said nothing, just reached behind herself for the doorknob.
"No? Well, maybe next time."
"Is there anything you're allergic to?" she asked, when she should have stepped out the door and closed it. "I mean...when I make dinner."
"You're not going to starve me? How nice." He settled back on the bed and crossed his arms under his head.
"Kevyn." She sighed and visibly fought down a flash of anger. He was glad to see that anger. She wasn't going to let guilt and fear and whatever other problems she had keep her prisoner. "What did you mean, about desperation?"
"This little room is no prison at all, compared to the life my family wants me to lead." He crossed his ankles. "You probably won't believe me, but you're doing me a favor, keeping me here."
"No, I don't believe you. Why would you try to make me feel better?" She stomped out of the room and slammed the door.
"Maybe because you're in a nastier prison than I am," Kevyn whispered. "And because I like you."