The Curse of Zeus, pt 2: The Stoneman of Imbros

She heard his little feet pad up to her bed before he spoke. “Mariah, you said we’d learn conjuring today.”

She kept her eyes closed, refused to answer. The boy thrived on abuse, and she was good at it.

“You promised we’d move on to conjuring,” he repeated.

Some wealthy villager—baker? armourer? didn’t matter—had invited the great heroes, Mariah the Witch and Sophus the Apprentice, to stay in his home. She’d slept in the guest room, he’d stayed in the women’s quarters, across the courtyard.

“I did?” she drawled, not opening her eyes. “Can’t recall.”

“Yes. You did. Three days ago, you said we’d do conjuring the next day, which means today—”

“Don’t care. Go away.”

The boy was from across the great sea, an Ethiope. They had the most annoying habit of sucking their teeth at you. She felt a child shouldn’t be doing it to an adult, but she didn’t know why. He was doing it to her just then, a real throaty suck.

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