Nightmare Deferred, Chapter 9

Chapter 9- Lioness

“The Truth is like a Lioness. You don’t have to defend it. Let it Loose. It will Defend Itself”

-St. AUGUSTINE

“We don’t have to do this if you don’t want to…”

A few months have passed. Luckily we’re still working on putting together an amazing fashion show this year. The time was coming up quickly. The big fashion show. I’m excited about it. My mind keeps going towards it over and over. This was a big thing. I would be brought out as a muse. Malone Williams, the big model. I’d been working out and I wonder if my boyfriend notices. Yes. I have a boyfriend now. Crazy how things change right? I had it all. A relationship and a future. This would jump start my entire career.

“It’s not even the fashion show,” I state, “This is just a test round.”

“Our first time in public is a big thing.”

“Do you HAVE to remind me?”

I am nervous. I don’t want him to see it. He’s dressed normal. Troy just has on a plain shirt and some pants. I’d seen him dress a lot nicer. He is trying to downplay his fashion so I can be comfortable. A shirt and some pants but I hated how nice they fit around the ass. I wish he got some looser pants. I just wanted to know if people noticed us. I had gone out of my way to dress “gangster”. I had literally made sure to wear things in a certain way that would make people think I’m straight.

Troy is already heading towards the restaurant. He keeps hugging himself. He’s carefully walking and I know he’s thinking really hard.

“I’m just telling you that we don’t have to do this. Everything’s been fine…”

Fine.

That’s the way to describe our relationship. I’d been enjoying it more than him. Spending time with him in the house made me instantly start falling for him. In the beginning, we just had sex. All night. Over and over. Of course, weird things were happening. Mostly with Deja. But he’s been sticking around so far even through her crazy baby mama antics. He loves me. He’s sticking with me. So far at least.

He’s not happy. I can see him look awkwardly over at me every time we watched a movie and a couple came on having dinner somewhere. He wanted that. He never said it. He didn’t have to. He wanted it.

So here I was trying my best to give it to him.

“Listen, baby. I already told Deja. That was the hardest part.”

“This is different…” he warns me.

He’s worried. I can see it. It’s as though he knows something I don’t know. The thing is, Troy was different. He was smart. He was intuitive. Maybe he did know something I didn’t.

“I’ll be fine.”

I try to keep a straight face. I watch him gulp a little bit as though feeling a burden on his shoulders.

~~

I’d gotten high to come here. He had as well. I don’t know whose idea it was but it was a horrible fucking idea. The weed is making me paranoid. I look over at Troy. He looked nice. It wasn’t like I was ashamed to be with him. I’d enjoyed my time with him so much. It was the idea of being OUT with him. In public. Troy sips on some water that has been given to us but I’m already done with my second at this point.

“More water,” I put a finger up.

The waitress nods but Troy’s reaction really gets my attention.

“You going to pee too much,” he warns me.

“You some sort of expert on my body?” I ask.

“Pretty much,” he responds, “With all the positions that we’ve been doing.”

Shit. I look down. He can still get me hard without even trying. Never fails. He’s the only one in the world with that sort of power. At this point, I know that if I don’t do something drastic to keep him, such as bottoming or going out in public, things wouldn’t last between us. I’d already tried the bottoming thing and let’s say it didn’t go so well. So here I was desperately trying to save this guy that I was “dating”.

“No honestly,” I state, “It’s beautiful in this restaurant. I’m glad you brought me here. And there is something I’ve been meaning to tell you.”

“You’re having another kid with Deja?”

I pause. What. The. Fuck.

“Please tell me you’re joking?” I ask.

“Deja hit me up and said you went over there. She said that one day you got super high. She says you fucked her. Says she’s pregnant with your baby.”

Holy fuck. I’m sweating at this point. I’m sweating like shit. What the fuck was he saying? Not now. Not today. This couldn’t be happening.

“How long have you been sitting on this?”

“Does it fuckin’ matter Malone?” he asks, “Is it true or not?”

She said I got super high and fucked her. The good thing about getting super high is being super high. The bad thing is that you don’t remember as much. So instead of wondering, I’m just sitting there completely confused.

“No. Of course not.”

I answer too quickly. I should have paused. He’s looking at me weird. I can’t tell what he’s thinking a lot of the times. I wish I had some sort of Troy mind-reader.

“You sure?”

“Yes.”

“Because she says she has a video of it,” Troy states.

I’m beyond irritated, “Why the fuck didn’t you start with that Troy?”

“So it’s true?”

“No, it ain’t fuckin true. I just thought you should have given me all the details in the beginning. I did not sleep with that girl.”

“Well, she wants to meet.”

“Go meet her if you want. Do what you want. I didn’t go sleep with her.”

He thinks about it again. I’d never given him a reason not to trust me. None that I can think of. The fact that he is struggling seems strange to say the least.

“So she’s just lying?”

“She’s lying. You have to believe me,” I assure him, “You believe me right?”

He nods slowly, “I’m sorry for doubting you.”

“You sorry for doubting me—-what?”

“I’m sorry for doubting you, daddy.”

He bites his lips and I go completely nuts underneath the table pulling my dick out in the very moment that the waitress walks past. I quickly give it a long hard squeeze and let precum drip through my fingers. I put my dick back in.

“I made you a specialty appetizer…” I state.

“Your special yogurt?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh good. I was on a diet.”

“It’s lean.”

I bring my fingers above the table. In a matter of seconds, he’s sucking my fingers in public. I’d gone from not being able to walk with my partner to having him sucking my fingers in the goddam restaurant. He’s eating my precum like it’s ice cream. He’s enjoying every single lick and sucks.

That’s when we hear an obnoxious voice.

“So it’s true? It’s true what you did to Deja?”

Nia. Nia was Deja’s good friend. Her sister was Elaine and they had another friend named Shawnice or Shawnna that they hung out with all the time. Let’s just say Nia was the worst of them. What sucks, even more, is that Nia is with a guy named Teriyaki Tony. Teriyaki Tony was this guy who sold all the worst kinds of drugs in our neighborhood. Most of the local drug dealers knew he was a piece of shit. He sold to people who were really addicted. He sold to people no one else would. He was a piece of shit but he was one whose name carried a lot of weight in the streets.

“Nia, I don’t want no trouble,” I state.

I’d heard Nia was dating Teriyaki Tony now. I’d always been cool with him but that was back then when I dated Deja. Me going gay was affecting more lives than I thought. Everyone seemed to know. Everyone seemed to care. Sometimes even more than Deja. That was one of those moments. Deja’s friend was here to stick up for her.

I didn’t want anyone to embarrass me in front of Troy. I look over at Troy. He looks a little concerned. This really isn’t his kind of life. Fuck I couldn’t do this now. My palms were sweating. I’m not a bitch but this is kind of awkward.

“She told me you were a dicksucker now…”

“Yo it’s funny as fuck,” Teriyaki Tony states, “Isn’t it? Kaori Sims kept talking about getting in touch with Malone this entire time to do man business and he’s with a gay guy.”

What did that have to do with anything?

“I didn’t disrespect you, man. Don’t fuckin disrespect me.”

I say it with base in my voice. I didn’t want to cause a scene but I was still a man. He could kill the hints of homophobia that he had.

Troy tries to get me to calm down, “It’s not worth it.”

“That’s right keep your fairy on a chain,” Teriyaki Tony states.

This was a nice establishment. We weren’t in the ghetto. The only reason Teriyaki could afford this was because of drugs. And now look we were here acting a damn fool. I knew one thing though. Just because I was a gay man didn’t mean I was any less of an actual man. And if they thought a second this would defeat me…they were wrong.

“I said don’t’ fuckin disrespect me,” I state. More base. More anger. More stares.

I start tussling with Teriyaki Tony. A push at first but then more. That quickly escalates to blows to the head. He hits me! I hit him back! He’s strong but I’m not sucker. I black out.

All I feel is anger as I’m full on fighting Teriyaki Tony! I remember hearing Troy screaming and seeing Nia attempting to grab me and hit me from the back. The wait staff is getting involved. Troy’s face is going red from embarrassment. And I have Tony in my grasp and am giving him the ass-beating of a lifetime. All I remember is him being on the ground screaming for me to stop. And everyone looking at me like I’m uncontrollable.

Shortly after that, the cops are called and I’m being pulled away by Troy.

And head home.

~

“We should talk about it,” he states.

I’m lucky I didn’t get arrested. Seemed like Troy knew the manager of the restaurant and promised a few things to get us out of this situation.

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

The experience had been awful. I’d meant to have a romantic date night with my boyfriend but instead there I was measuring the size of my dick with a straight guy because I was too nervous to really just be myself. Troy is still embarrassed. I think at least. I can’t tell. He keeps hanging his head down as he walks around the house.

I lean back in the chair and watch him.

“You need to get it together,” he states.

I’m kind of shocked he comes at me like that.

“Excuse me.”

“I want more than a DL relationship,” he explains, “ I deserve more. I deserve to know that my man is going to always be there for me.”

I know what happened wasn’t all of my fault. I could go that route and defend myself but I think he’s talking about something bigger than just today. He’s been feeling like this for a while. And it’s making me nervous.

“Don’t you know that?”

“No, I don’t. Prove it.”

There is a pause. The kind of awkward pauses where you want to say a million things but you feel as though you may have already said one thing too many. So here I am just quietly biding away at the time we’re spending together. Prove it, he said. It sounded easier said than done.

~

It’s the day of the fashion show. Troy has shown me pictures of some of the stuff he was working on but he knows I’m not too big on fashion. I rush over some coffee to him as his assistants are gathering things.

“You need coffee?”

“Sure.”

“What kind? Black? Cream? It’s your day baby. I just want to make everything perfect for you,” I mutter off.

I look like a sucker. Maybe I am a sucker in a way. Troy looks back at me and he just puts on a smile realizing that he owns me. I am dating someone who KNOWS that they own me. He has conquered me like Caesar and has me kissing his ass because I know how important this day is to him.

He walks up to me.

“I see you,” he states and kisses me on my lips.

I don’t know exactly what he means by saying that but whatever it seems positive. I sigh, a loud clear sigh of relief. I don’t give a fuck if Troy hears it or not. I’m going out of my way to make sure that everything is OK.

“OK, so what else? Have you been able to reach Diamonte? Why hasn’t he picked up the goddamn phone? Doesn’t he have a 30-second intro for one of the pieces?”

I’m panicking more than Troy is at this point. For some reason being a whipped man for Troy worked differently than it did with Deja.

I wonder if Troy has ever read “The Whipping Boy”. I’m not sure what version is the most popular. The version I used to read Jr. is very clear. I told him the story of a Prince who was so rich that he could not be whipped. So a servant boy is tasked with being whipped for the prince. Amazing, isn’t it? Jr. loved it. Deja thought the story was annoying. But for a kid like Jr., he just had hope that one day he too might be a prince and his evil mother would stop whipping him. So he liked it. I don’t read to Jr. anymore. Deja cut that off. She wanted me to be her whipping boy. To take strikes for her. But I refused. I resented Deja. With Troy, I just purely loved him. It was so pure that I was willing to be his whipping boy for free. No resentment. Bend me over. Tie me up. I’ll take your beatings.

You are my Prince, Troy.

I’m your whipping boy.

“Someone’s phone is ringing upstairs!” Ellington, one of Troy’s assistants says from the top of the stairs.

So there is a reason for Ellington being here. It’s a short story. A few weeks ago Wylie texts me. Like an idiot, I run to the bathroom. I text Wylie back. I know. It’s stupid. It’s a small text. Hey. Hey. Then this fucking dumb idiot Wylie sends me a picture of him on a boat shirtless. I panic. I delete the picture. He sends me another of his ass. I take longer to delete this picture but I delete it. Looking back that was probably the only thing that stopped me from getting my dick chopped off. Wylie looked good. Real good. I mean he’d been keeping his body up. I’m so stunned by the picture that when Wylie responds and tells me he misses me I don’t stop the conversation as I should. I knew better. I suggest we hang out but put: as friends. That was probably the other thing that stopped me from getting my dick chopped off. Well, let’s just say I lie to the love of my life and tell him that I’m going to a bar. He already knows where I’m going. He went through my phone and read the messages. ALL HELL follows shortly after. It’s as bad as it sounds. Believe me.

I say that to say. Enter Ellington. Vengeance in the form of a stupid 18-year-old biracial top with sandy skin, light gray eyes and the only set of abs in the world that makes mines look like belly rolls. I’d thought I was fit until I see this Greek god.

Ellington was Troy’s revenge for Wylie.

And Troy knew me so well. He knew the perfect thing to get his revenge. I HATED this boy.

“Did you answer it, Ellington?” I ask.

Ellington, the 18-year-old with the 12 pack of abs he has instead of a stomach has chosen to stop listening to me. He is staring at my boyfriend’s ass. IN FRONT of me. That is not where it ends. Ellington has been known to pop boners while staring at my boyfriend’s ass. This kid is literally obsessed with Troy. OBSESSED.

“Wh—”

“Kid, you clearly aren’t’ listening to me. You keep staring at Troy, I’m going to FUCK YOU UP—-”

“Whoa!”

Thank god at this point my better half has intervened from me beating the dog fuck out of Ellington, the walking hard-on. Ellington clearly could have a lawsuit on his hands from my threat, but the idiot wasn’t listening. He grabs onto his dick, still looking at Troy as though he was going to go into the bathroom and bust one while thinking about being balls deep in my boyfriend.

He lazily turns to me and asks, “What? What’d you just say, nigga?”

He calls me nigga. I. SHIT. YOU. NOT. Nevermind the fact that my boyfriend has hired him. He’s completely respectful to Troy too. The first day Troy brought him on he called both of us Mister. He walked around complimenting both of us. Yes, he was flirting but at least it was fair. At least he was doing it with both of us. Then he asked me a question. One question. “Y’all married?” I said no. Ever since then I’d been nothing more than nigga to Ellington.

I’m about to swing on him but Troy knows it, of course, and corrects Ellington in a better way, “Ellington. Sweetie. I need you to go bring the phone down here so I can call whoever it is back. It could have been an important call. We discussed what happens when I get a call, remember?”

Ellington, completely in love with my boyfriend nods like a dog, “Sir anything you need. I just want to make you happy. Sir. I’ll be back OK?”

He smiles, desperate to please Troy and runs off.

“This fuckin kid wants to donkey fuck you right in front of my face,” I announce to Troy with ill intentions in every syllable.

“He’s a kid,” Troy states.

“His dick looks like some sort of little girl’s science project. Whose dick is that big? I know you couldn’t fuck him even if I let him.”

“I don’t want to fuck him.”

“I know. You couldn’t even if you wanted to. His dick is too big. Whatever it is you were doing when you hired the young hot sex doll isn’t going to work. He’s destroying your hole. You would hate yourself.”

“I could take his dick.”

“WHO FUCKING SAYS THAT!”

I’m pissed. He knows just what to say to make me lose it. And he’s standing there smirking and laughing as though this is all funny. He knew this fucking kid was going to drive me up a wall. Did he want me to end up in jail? Did he want to have to drive 13 hours to see me? That’s what he was going to have to do. Knowing my boyfriend, he’d do it every weekend. So this fuckery was really hurting him in the end. Not me. I could go to jail. He was the one who was all big on germs. He’d hate visiting. Just because he paraded this 18-year-old in my face.

“I’m not interested in him.”

Oh, no motherfucker. I got you now.

“You said—”

“Not like Wylie was interested in you.”

Shit. I look at Troy and squint. He’s smiling. This Jedi-Mind-Trick-WIZARD! The mention of Wylie was like an adrenaline shot of humility every time we are making a point. He knew me so well. He loved me so well.

“Ok, you win.”

“I always win.”

“I let you win,” I correct him raising my finger in protest, “It’s OK. I’m going to take all this out on our celebration fuck, you know that right?”

“Speaking of celebration I’m going to do the celebration walk with you. Stefano, for obvious reasons, has opted out of being apart of it.”

“Fuck that guy. We can finally do your model walk.”

“What?” he asks.

I laugh. He gets really serious at that moment. The model walk.

“Remember. You always wanted to be a model. Maybe you can do your model walk.”

“That was another Troy,” he states, “That’s not me now. I’m not allowed to be that person.”

Weird way to phrase something.

I stop smiling and squint, “Who isn’t allowing you to be that person? Troy, you can walk if want to walk. Diamonte—”

“It’s not Diamonte…”

“Troy you look nervous. We are still talking about the fashion show right?”

“The funny thing is yes. Yes, we are. I’m just a little nervous, Malone. I just think my nerves are getting the better of me.”

He gives me a weak smile. A smile I don’t like. I reach over to grab his face but we are interrupted again. The living dildo is back. Ellington has the phone in his hands.

“Yo nigga, pass this to our boss…” he says.

Our boss.

“He’s…he’s…NOT MY FUCKING BOSS KID! I’m his boyfriend, dummy…”

“Sure…” the kid whispers.

“The fuck is that supposed to mean?”

I take a step forward and the fucking kid takes a step forward too. The kid wants to fight me. He really does. Troy holds me back. As soon as the kid sees Troy he throws his hands up pretending to be this perfect angel. He looks at me the whole time though. He wants to fight and I want to fight. He wasn’t going to call the cops. I’d give that to him. He reminded me everyday “I’m 18.” He wanted me to know he was of age. He really felt as though if he beat my ass he could steal Troy away from me.

“Malone quit. He’s a kid,” Troy states.

“He didn’t even call whoever it was back…”

“I wasn’t supposed to,” Ellington pipes back up at me.

“Turn down kid, Troy’s not going to keep protecting you. You know why you are around the kid. You are payback. And I love my boyfriend enough to let him play you around in my FUCKIN face.”

“I didn’t ask him to call,” Troy states and for a moment I swear he’s taking the kid’s side but he just shrugs and says again, “I didn’t.”

“Matter of fact, move. I’ll call the person back. It’s called INITIATIVE KID.”

Troy rolls his eyes. Ellington just pulls his shirt up a little bit as though he’s hot but I know he’s trying to show off his abs. The crazy thing is Troy doesn’t even notice. Troy is doing this specifically because he knows that it would hurt me. The kid isn’t even his type.

I have Troy’s phone and that’s when I get another call. The number isn’t saved on Troy’s phone. Who was this?

“Hello?”

“Come up to the 23rd floor of the Wyndham hotel. Room 23809.”

The person had a deep voice but it didn’t sound right. It was almost being disguised. I’m confused by this. What kind of shit was Troy getting into? I knew Troy. He wasn’t the type to get into funny business. This has to be something legit.

“Listen, Troy’s not here. I can take a message and—-”

“I don’t want Troy, you idiot. I want you.”

“Do you know who I am.”

“This is Kaori Sims.”

My heart drops at that moment. Kaori Sims. Kaori Sims had tracked me down. Right now all I can do is keep breathing harder and harder. What the fuck was happening?

“How’d you get my boyfriends number, bitch?” I state, “I don’t play bout mine? You will have to SEE ME about mine!”

I go straight into thug mode. I don’t give a fuck how big Kaori Sims was on the streets. You don’t involve family. I didn’t care if Troy was another man. I didn’t care if we weren’t married. I’d never threatened anyone’s wife or girlfriend or anything with a call unrelated to them. This Kaori Sims had just crossed a line in the hood. A line you never crossed.

A line you killed for.

“Simmer down, rocket man,” the deep voice states, “You’ll come to the room as I said. Now. Like I said.”

“Why the fuck would I do that?”

“Because if you don’t your boyfriend finds out that you didn’t just end the conversation with Wiley with a text. Right after that, you met up with Wylie. You weren’t going to tell Troy because he wouldn’t understand that you just wanted to be friends. It was all about friends. You tried to leave but you were so drunk that you put in the wrong address in the Uber back. Wylie comes to pick you up. You plan on telling him to take you back home but you pass out. You wake up to in Wylie’s bed and what do you see…”

How did Kaori Sims know all of this?

“Nothing.”

“Wrong. Wet sheets. You wondered if they were cum soaked.”

“Nothing happened. I would have remembered. I just fell asleep.”

“You were drunk. Beyond comprehension. But something happened. I have proof.”

“You have nothing.”

“Come and see. Room 23809.”

It may be stupid. It may be desperate. Kaori Sims, if this was really Kaori Sims, was a dangerous person. To take over the streets so completely was a true fete. It was no small task. So I should have been scared. I shouldn’t have gone. But my love was at stake. I loved Troy so much that him even being stressed with the idea of this happening was something I would go to any lengths to avoid.

As I go to my suitcase and pull my gun out, I realize I’d even kill to keep this away from Troy.

~

The room is quiet. The door was propped open. A fancy room, but not a loud one. Not one a football player would get. This was the room of someone rich with refined taste.

“Hello.”

“You’re an idiot,” Diamonte states.

Yes, Diamonte. He coughs a few times. He looks like he’s ready for the show but for some reason he’s up here in this room. I look over at him and he just shakes his head steadily at me. What is happening? Why is Diamonte up here?

“You know what I did?”

“I just heard,” he states, “Instead of going to tell your boyfriend the truth you come here? Do you come into the dragon’s den? The truth will ALWAYS hurt less than the lie.”

“The Truth?” I ask, “LIke the truth that you have cancer but you don’t want to tell Asher.”

“That’s none of your business.”

“He’s my best friend. Yes. Diamonte. That happened without you even realizing it.”

Asher and I had become super close. Close enough that when Troy cried one night and finally spilled about Diamonte, I thought I had to tell Asher. The only reason I hadn’t told him was that Troy begged me not to. I was close to Asher but I put Troy above everything. So I didn’t say a word.

“Fine. I’ll tell him with time.”

“You don’t have TIME! LOOK AT YOU! You’re spending how much to hide this from Asher? And every time you aren’t around him you unravel.”

What’s weird about Diamonte is that I knew people who were living with HIV. They got on their medication and they never got sick. That wasn’t the case with Diamonte. He just always seemed to be sick. Everyone noticed except his boyfriend. He had gone out of his way to hide it from Asher. I cared about Asher. I really did but Asher wasn’t the smartest guy in the world.

Why was it Diamonte who had all this money and means were getting sick from a disease that a lot of other people were not getting sick from?

Why was he dying?

“Focus on your own life.”

“I love your friendship with Troy. I know he wouldn’t have chosen to even be there for me if it weren’t for you.”

“What you don’t realize is that I went against some powerful forces because I knew you were good for him,” Diamonte states, “And you repay me pushing him towards you with this? With being here?”

“What powerful forces?” I ask.

The verbiage was way too weird to ignore.

“Didn’t you think his rise to fame was too quick?” Diamonte asks me, “All the nice things you guys have. You didn’t think they didn’t have a cost? Your soul. That is the cost. That is what we all have to pay.”

He looks scared. Real scared.

“Is this about cheating?”

“You’re quite the idiot, Malone.”

“I didn’t mean to do it. He’s my heart. You know that Diamonte. I came out for him. I changed my life to him. What I did with Wylie was something I didn’t even remember. Why should I be penalized for something I didn’t even remember—-”

“You should be having that conversation WITH HIM!” Diamonte barks back at me.

He’s right.

How could I be so stupid?

How could I end up here?

By now tears are running down my face. I get up and attempt to walk out of here and go actually do right by Troy.

“He’s young. Immature. Do you know in the wild the young ones are always the ones who are targeted? I guess it’s the same with humans. Only not their bodies. Their souls are young. No experiences. Malone is nothing more than a young calf, wobbling about feeling protected by their mother. Not realizing everyone will abandon you when the shit hits the fan. Everyone will leave you during the lioness hunt.”

I turn to see someone sitting in a chair.

“Kaori Sims?”

Diamonte shakes his head, “Let the games begin…”

“I’m not a dragon Diamonte. You B&R folks love your Game of Thrones references. I’ve always been more like Cersei. Down to the building crash and all. I’m a stand-my-ground type of bitch. Cersei was a Lannister. House Sigil is the Lioness. I’m the Lioness.”

“And we are your prey,” Diamonte adds.

“Only if I’m hungry. The Lioness only kills to eat. I’m not cruel, Diamonte,” Kaori Sims states.

I’m getting the idea that Kaori Sims is not a man.

“What’s happening here?” I ask, “Am I in here by mistake?”

“No that was on purpose. Your only mistake was telling Troy he should focus on his walking. He’s not allowed to do that,” Kaori Sims states.

Troy said someone had been controlling him. Clearly, it was Kaori Sims.

“Who are you?” I ask.

That’s when I hear coughing. I turn. Diamonte hits the ground.

“What’s happening?” I state.

I run to Diamonte’s side. He’s sick. He’s really sick.

“My favorite season of American horror story was Coven. I always imagined the Dollhouse to be like a coven. And I am the Queenmaker. In Coven, the Queens are the Supremes. I love that word. SUPREME. It even sounds powerful. Well in the coven when a new Supreme rises, the old supreme…fades…away…”

Later, I learn who the Queenmaker is.  I watch as Patience Crane, aka Kaori Sims, rises from her throne and watches with almost a lackluster interest as Diamonte, the old Supreme, begins to fade away.

So that Troy, the new supreme will arise. And if it was up to Patience Crane. I probably would be burned as a sacrifice.