Tournament of Losers

Free Tournament of Losers by Megan Derr Page B

Book: Tournament of Losers by Megan Derr Read Free Book Online
Authors: Megan Derr
Tags: Gay romance, Fantasy, Fairy Tale
father decides to talk, he'll try to go until the seas run dry, and if I dare to leave while he's still going, I usually wind up in the sea. But I don't want to interrupt you and your friends…" Rath's friends, helpful bastards that they were, immediately assured Tress he was welcome to do with Rath as he pleased so long as he bought them more ale first. Tress laughed and dropped several pennies on the table. "Will that cover it?"
    Their cheers of approval were enough to draw the attention of the rest of the noisy pub. Rath finished his own ale, then rose and stormed out. He hadn't made it far down the street when he heard someone coming up behind him, felt the already familiar feel of Tress's fingers wrapping around his arm. "Rath—"
    Rath sighed and turned away, gently tugging free of Tress's hold. "What?"
    "Did I do something wrong? I thought—" He broke off with a frown, eyes skittering way. "I thought you'd be happy to see me."
    Lords were far too complicated for something as simple as happy. "It's one thing to approach me, but I don't need you interrupting me and my friends and throwing coin around like a few pennies are nothing to you."
    "I'm sorry," Tress said. "I was trying to play along. I didn't mean to overstep."
    Rath made a frustrated noise. "Forget it. What do you want?"
    Tress's brows rose. "To spend time with you, of course. Isn't that obvious?"
    "We aren't friends," Rath said. "We had fun, and you were more than kind to me last night, but we both know this will end in a few days or weeks when you get bored and move into someone or something else."
    Mouth flattening, Tress replied, "That's an awful lot to assume after just a few encounters. You know nothing about me or my motives."
    "You're right. I know nothing about you, but you know where I live, where I drink, where to find me whenever it strikes your fancy to do so. I'm completely at your mercy, my lord. That will never change throughout all the time we spend together. And frankly, I don't want to keep wasting my limited free time on a man who's eventually going to toss me aside and forget all about me."
    "You could give me a fair chance," Tress snapped.
    Rath scoffed. "Ask anyone here how often lords prove worthy of a fair chance. High City are all the same, coming down here to slum it and fuck a few grateful commoners, throw some pennies around, and then go back to your High City lives without a care for the hurts and aggravations you've caused down here."
    "You're the knave fighting in a tournament to become High City," Tress snapped.
    "I'm in the tournament to pay my father's debts so I don't wind up floating in the harbor," Rath replied with a snarl. "I'd quit now if they weren't going to demand I return the money I no longer have. I'd rather have my damned throat slit than become one of you lot."
    "Fine," Tress said, voice trembling briefly before he visibly tamped down on his anger and his expression smoothed out. "I guess all Low City are the same, too. Incapable of caring about anything but money, but the whores are good at pretending otherwise if you pay them enough."
    Rath recoiled, flinching as though struck. Before he could recover, Tress had stormed off and vanished around the corner. Rath swallowed, feeling raw and cut open. He'd wanted…
    Fates, he didn't know what he'd wanted.
    No. That wasn't true. He'd wanted it over with before he did something stupid like get attached.
    At least Tress's nasty parting shot confirmed everything Rath had said. If their fight hadn't happened tonight, it would have happened later, and been all the uglier and more painful for the delay. He'd done the right thing getting rid of Tress now.
    But he still felt sick to his stomach and ready to put his fist through a window. Laughter spilled out of the pub as the door opened briefly, and it was like salt in his wounds. Shoulders hunched, Rath turned away and headed home, grateful when he was finally able to fall into his creaky little bed and ignore the world

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