I jolted awake sometime in the early morning hours. The soft growling of the tarrange pulled me from my slumber. I sat up afraid Antheus was coming, but I heard no footsteps and as far as I could tell the protection was still working. I rolled off the couch onto the balls of my feet and tiptoed to the bed.
Sareanne was still asleep, so I continued to the door and opened it just a crack. The hallway was completely empty and the circle was still rocks. I closed the door and returned to the couch wondering what had made the tarrange growl.
It was early enough that I knew we should take advantage and head up to the room, but for some reason I felt uneasy about doing so. I couldn’t tell if it was the same feeling I’d had before when I entered the rooms breaking the curse or my own intuition. I decided it was intuition and lay back on the couch and closed my eyes.
As much as I disliked being stuck in one place I wondered if going up to Sareanne’s room would even help. I thought about the book, but it didn’t seem to be the answer any more. If we could use her ‘gift’ to break the curse then we wouldn’t need the book.
I had almost convinced myself that this was the answer when the tarrange growled. My head snapped up and cleared a little bit. I shook the feeling off and walked back to the door and yanked it open.
“Nice try, Antheus,” I called.
I could hear Sareanne stirring behind me.
“Do you honestly think I want to stay here forever?” I asked angrily. “I’m not going to give up until this stupid curse is broken and you are vanquished.”
I could hear a faint echo of a laugh in my mind so I blocked it off and focused on the protection.
“What happened?” Sareanne asked wearily.
“Antheus is playing games,” I replied. “Go back to sleep, it won’t work again.”
“I’m awake now. Are you hungry?”
“A little,” I nodded.
“Then I know the perfect place we can go.”
She marched over to the door where I stood and confidently stepped over the protective boundary. I watched the rocks dissolve into sand and as an after-thought I reached down and scooped up as much sand as I could.