The edge of the spiral staircase he hurtled toward marked a bright line between safety and the abyss beyond. Jorir twisted around in midair, reaching with the axe in his hand for the steps.
The axe bit caught with a thunk in a join. He hissed in pain as it dislocated his shoulder.
Einarr’s boots scraped against the steps, and Jorir had a moment’s panic that his future master would kick his lifeline free. Instead the sound was followed by the creaking of the door’s hinge and the solid sound of wood against stone as he pulled it closed behind him.
Jorir blew through flared nostrils before climbing hand over hand up the haft of his weapon until the lip of the stair was within reach. Then, with a heave, he pulled his chest up over the stone and swung his legs around. For a moment he lay there, catching…
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