“You have played your role,” the Destroyer told him, “and you have been loyal to me. The next time I come for him, that girl will not be able to protect him.”
“Of course, my lord,” Elezar replied, bowing again. He had no idea how he would be able to keep her away from him, but he dared not point out just how powerful the Starr were.
“That key will free your woman,” Métius informed him. “Ask me for nothing more until you have made your next visit you my temple.”
“I hear and obey, Great Ruler of the Shadows.” Elezar bowed once more. “I thank you, my lord, for all that you have granted us.”
“Oh, thank you for your mercy!” Sallah cried from her gave with a great sight of relief.
“Speak not of it,” the demon god ordered them. “Sasha, Lilith, let us leave this place and return to the Abyss. I have other business to take care of.”
“Of course, beloved,” Sasha replied. She walked over to him and wrapped her arms around his.
“By your command,” Lilith added as she picked up the nine chains that her sister had removed from Zarrek’s body. She followed them into the shadows, and together they disappeared from the deep and ancient crypt.
Starshine pulled Zarrek into her arms, holding his trembling body tightly against hers. She could feel the way he shook from the cold, the terror, the pain, even the trauma of the blood that he had lost. She whispered to him, caressing him, trying to sooth as best she could, that she knew that he kneed much more than her touch to recovered from this ordeal.
On the other side of the room, rusted metal creaked and groaned. Sallah’s cage crept downwards, closer and closer to the ground. Elezar had found the mechanism that raised and lowered the cages, though it hardly seemed to work anymore. It slowed, creaking stubbornly, and then gave out, dropping the cage the remaining few feet that it had to go to the ground. It clattered and shook, rattling Sallah around inside. He rushed over to her, unlocking the door and opening it despite the hinges that resisted him.
“Are you all right?” he asked her as he stepped into the cage to help her up. Their son waited nearby, watching his mother worriedly.
“I think so…” Sallah sighed. She clung to Elezar as she looked down. “I am worried about the baby, though.”
Elezar followed here gaze and realized that the floor of the cage was wet, and his mind flashed to the first thing that it could have been. “Zarrek!” he shouted. “We have to get her home. She needs to be seen by her midwife.”
Starshine answered instead of the prince, who only groaned. “Has something happened to her?”
“I think her waters have broken,” he called back.