Meggie sighed, watching Dustfinger pace angrily around their tiny cell. The walls echoed with his footsteps on the cold stones. Somewhere something dripped incessantly.

"Why does this always happen when I bring you anywhere?" He growled as he went, not looking at her. He had been saying similar things for the past five minutes, and now Meggie felt close to the brink of tears.

"You know-" Meggie tried to defend herself, but Dustfinger cut right over her.

"Next time we go out on a mission, you'll be someone else's problem!" Dustfinger yelled. Meggie froze, a single tear leaking down her cheek and dripping to the frozen floor.

"You think I'm a problem?" Meggie whispered, her brown eyes filled with hurt.

"No, Meggie, god, i'm-" Dustfinger realized his mistake and tried to remedy it, stumbling over himself when he realized how his words had cut his companion.

"It's all right Dustfinger, when the guards come back, I'll tell them the necessary things to get you out of here" Meggie said calmly before turning her back to him and sitting down. They remained in silence after that.

Hours seemed to pass, but being without a window or door to judge the time, Meggie couldn't be sure. The cell got colder as time progressed, and soon Meggie could feel herself shivering. Sleep didn't come easy at any point, so she was resorted to counting the seconds.

At some point that could have been morning, two of their guards tromped in. One unlocked the cell, and the other set down a tray of food.

"Ready to talk yet?" One asked in a gruff voice. Meggie stepped forwards, following the guard out. The other stayed behind to lock the door.

"Guess the little missy wasn't so loyal to you in the end." He chuckled before leaving the room.

Dustfinger leaned against the bars of the cell, wishing for the world he was with Meggie in the other room, even if it meant his torture. Nothing else could compare to the hurt he had seen in Meggie's eyes.

Meggie swallowed her fear as she was led up to the Adderhead's throne room. She quickly began rehearsing the lie she had been making up all night.

She would tell the Adderhead that Dustfinger was only her bodyguard, and that she had been carrying secret plans for the resistance's next meeting council. Dustfinger was innocent, and she was the only one who knew about the plans.

When Dustfinger was set free, she would tell the soldiers the last location the council had been and beg herself off as a poor prostitute. Hopefully, it was good enough to just work.

"Well, well..." The Adderhead drawled as she approached his throne. "A little bird got caught in my snare."

Meggie bit her lips to keep from making a smart comment to him and put on her best scared girl impression.

"Please, sir. I just want to get on home, me and my friend both... I'll tell you everything." So far, so good.

"Do go on" The Adderhead replied.

"Well, you see... My friend in the dungeon's just my bodyguard. He doesn't know anything, honest. He's as dumb as a rock." Some of the guards chuckled.

"It was me all along, I was given some plans to take between resistance camps... They thought you'd never capture a poor old hustler like me." Meggie continued, praying he would fall for it with every word.

"I see" The Adderhead said tonelessly, his eyes surveying her body. "You're a bit young, to be learning those ways, but it's a rough world." Meggie nodded, eyes wide in what she hoped looked like a sad puppy dog expression.

"I, however, know better."

Meggie's heart dropped.

"Oh yes, little girl... Did you think I was stupid? Did you think I would fall for your lies? I know very well who you are, Meggie Silvertongue."

Meggie began to back up as the Adderhead got off his throne, seemingly growing larger as he advanced.

"Now that I know what a little snake you are, I will make you pay... And your friend too."

Meggie was seized from behind, the guards wrenching her arms as they dragged her out of the hall.

"Enjoy your stay." The Adderhead said nastily as Meggie disappeared with a shriek of pain.