Men and Monsters (Nightfall, #2) by Elena May Read Online (FREE)
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The moth-eaten blanket stank of rot. Myra’s fist clenched the tattered fabric so hard, she nearly tore it apart. The cloth was so thin, her fingers touched in between the threads. Her eyes darted around the cellar: pitch dark and silent, apart from the familiar, high-pitched scratching—rat claws over stone.
She turned on the hard cot, willing herself to sleep, but her mind was reeling. It’s actually happening. The Resistance had captured Tristan alive. For the first time in fifty years, they held real, tangible power. And she, a selfish, dumb traitor, had promised to let Tristan go.
But self-reproach would help no one. Myra sat up and reached out in the darkness, finding two pieces of flint. She searched for the candle next to her bedside and frowned when her fingers found only a smooth, greasy blob of wax. Cold and solid on the outside, but the surface gave under her touch. Of course—she had let the candle burn down completely. What an efficient use of our scarce supplies. Just two months at the Prince’s Palace had made her spoiled and wasteful.
Myra opened a wooden box she had pulled from underneath her cot and rummaged through old papers, pens, forks, buttons, threads… and needles, she realized belatedly as a sharp sting shot up her finger. Finally, she found a new candle. She lit it with the flint and brought it closer to the large mechanical watch on the table. The hour hand had barely passed the second mark. No way. Had she been tossing and turning in bed for only a couple of hours? She would have sworn it had been much longer.
That meant she had to wait for four more hours until breakfast, and only then would the Warriors’ Council visit and feed the prisoner. If the last couple of hours had been such torture for her, what had they been for Tristan? Vlad had claimed vampires drained of blood would feel as if drowning in a sea of dreadful nightmares until someone fed them. She had promised the Prince she would take care of Tristan, but she had left him to suffer.
Myra stood up, running a hand through her hair so hard she pulled a few strands loose. She had betrayed everyone—both Zack and the Prince. The very least she could do now was try to keep at least one of her empty promises.
She raised the candle and took a step, wincing at the loud sound her feet made on the stone floor. The hinges squeaked as she opened the door, and her breath caught in her throat. Myra expected the whole Resistance to come rushing in, demanding to know why she was leaving her room in the middle of the night. She stood frozen still for a few minutes, hardly daring to breathe. When no sound came, she stepped into the corridor.
She squinted, trying to see beyond the candle flame. Myra spotted no guards, but she knew they would be patrolling all night. Perhaps she should snuff out her candle. Myra chewed on her bottom lip, gazing into the deep darkness. No. She had to finish this fast and could not risk stumbling into the wrong room. Quickly, she went back inside and retrieved the pieces of flint to put in her pocket—she needed the option to extinguish and relight the candle if she ran into trouble. As she returned to the door, a loud clank came from outside. Myra froze, heart pounding and throat tight. When no other sound followed, she walked on.