“You have made a grave error,” Liz declared, both hands gripping the spanked rounds of her bottom. “You have made the gravest of errors!”
Ayla did not seem concerned by this announcement. She was paying little attention to the irate spy. Instead she was packing a bag with powders and potions and other such ingredients, including a hairy-legged spider which rolled itself up into a ball and turned into a purple flower when she blew upon it.
“Ariadne will see that this wrong is righted. She is the great righter!” Liz kept up her bluster, perhaps more for Vix’s sake than her own. Vix had seen all that had passed, she had seen Ayla deliver a rather painful and no doubt embarrassing punishment to Liz, who in turn seemed more bothered by the ignominy of the entire affair than anything else.
“Witch! You will heed me!” Liz stamped her foot. As the sole of her dirty boot hit the cottage floor, a loud booming could be heard which made the walls shudder.
Ayla turned, rare surprise written on her beautiful features. Her blonde brows were arched high, her lips parted as if to speak a word which did not come.
“Ah, you see now,” Liz crowed. “You see now how you have awoken the wrath of giants!” She stamped her foot again and several ornaments tumbled off the shelves. It was very strange, for she was not a large woman, but she was undoubtedly shaking the earth with the fury of her foot.
“You are very short for a giant,” Ayla said, her lips twisting and her cheek dimpling.
“A giant need not be tall,” Liz declared, lifting her chin high with pride. “A giant is giant on the inside. I am dense! Denser than any other!”
Vix snorted, then pretended that she had sneezed, for whatever Liz was it didn’t seem like a good idea to cross it.
“If the giant doesn’t stop stamping, the giant is going to find her heels kicking as her hide is tanned,” Ayla replied, returning to her packing.
With narrowed eyes, Liz watched Ayla put a shiny egg into her bag. “You have made a mistake,” she mumbled. “I am very important. I am the most important person you have ever met.”
Vix doubted the truth of that statement. Ayla was probably the most important person Ayla had ever met. At every significant junction of history, Ayla had been present. She was a part of history, a figure to be admired and indeed, respected. Liz’s apparent disregard for the witch was somewhat upsetting. In Vix’s wildest nightmares, she could not have imagined speaking to Ayla the way Liz did.
“I thought spies were supposed to keep quiet,” she murmured, letting her voice only just be heard.
“I am discovered,” Liz declared, as if it might be news to somebody. “But that will not stop me reporting to Ariadne. I will tell her that you intend to interfere, and she will be greatly displeased.”
“You will tell her nothing,” Ayla said firmly. “Because you will be staying with us until we reach the camp.”
“Ha!” Liz declared defiantly. “Ha!”
That seemed to be all she had to say on the matter, for it was all she said.