The prince did not speak, and Métius called Sasha over to his side. She had his knife now, and she traced the blunt side across his shoulder, the down the back of his neck.
“Kill me, if it would save them and set them free,” she snapped at her, “but I will not serve you and be your worshiper.”
“You don’t know how glorious it could be,” she told him, ignoring his rudeness.
Lilith stepped up beside her sister and raked her fingers up Zarrek’s neck, nicking the bars that pierced it– ignoring him when he winced– and up into his hair. She did not seem to mind the sweat, not the blood, but clutch his black locks, and turned so that he could see her snake-like eyes.
“Have you figured anything out yet?” she hissed. “My master will kill the family of the man who once served yours! If you still refuse him, your precious princess will be next. I suggest with any child of yours that she manages to conceive. We know how precious children are to her!”
“Are you stupid,” he spat back, “that you forgot the herb that I have been taking to prevent that?”
A wicked smile crossed Lilith’s face, and she looked up at Sasha, so caught up in laughing that it was awhile before she could speak again. “Poor, foolish prince,” she said at last. “Did you really think that snakewraith would do the job of antigvium?”
She was laughing again. Zarrek was filled with such rage that he tried striking at her, even kicking her. She moved away from him, letting go of his hair so that she could stand just out of his reach and pet her snakes while she mocked him. His fingernails manage to dig into an arm, but it was not Lilith’s. It was Sasha’s.
She slapped him. His cheek stung as though her palm had been nettle weeds, and when he looked up again she was gone. Instead Métius stood before him, He reached out to grasp the prince’s wrists, glaring at him with such contempt that he hoped the Destroyer would give up on wanting him.
“No mortal touches Sasha without my leave and my command,” the demon god growled, his voice sounding as though it came from the depths of the earth itself.
Zarrek stared back at him, his body quivering from the pain of the god’s touch, searing and freezing, pricking his skin as though covered in innumerable thorns. “Krrall–”
Before he could finish uttering the Draconic epithet, Métius struck him. His claws cut into the upper part of right right arm, ripping his sleeve and releasing his blood. Zarrek felt his arm go weak; he assumed that his muscle had been torn as well.
“…vidath,” he added, no longer caring whether the Dark One hurt him again.
He had been punched before; he remembered how it had left him unconscious, how the man who had done had been wearing a jeweled ring that had cut him and left a scar on his temple. He had not been expecting it, just as he did not now expect to be punched, least of all by a demoness. Zarrek could not tell which one had done it, but it was not enough to make him lose consciousness, although he did lose his bearings considerably.