OK, here it is! I have revised it a little, so it's no longer the same one that's over on AW. Remember, I love honest opinions, so tell me what you think!
Vaccaro’s men stormed into the barn, many ropes in their hands. After getting them securely on the twins, they tugged Raala and Raama out of the barn. Khaladin whinnied after his companions. He knew they couldn’t understand him, but he wanted to tell them not to worry. But even if they had understood his language, he doubted he could convince them when he himself was unsure about their fate.
With the twins gone, the remaining men swung their ropes and Khaladin could feel them tightening around his neck and he barred his teeth angrily at his handlers, but Vaccaro leaned casually against the stall, unmoved by the half unicorn’s thrashing. “Tie him up!” he ordered.
The men obeyed, pulling Khaladin into the asile. They tied him down so that he was forced to stand in the middle of the barn, unable to move. A makeshift halter was pushed roughly over his head and tied behind him, keeping his head thrown back.
The position made breathing difficult because of the strain it put on his throat. However, he didn’t want that to phase him, so he kept an angry eye on Vaccaro, his thoughts equally determined.
Vaccaro came around to face him. “I really do have to admire your spirit. Now, if you cooperate, this will go smoothly. If not. . .”
“What do you want?”
“I got a serious problem,” Vaccaro said. “Your friend, the one who’s on eBay, is generating more money than I thought. That’s a good thing. However, my supply of unicorns is very limited.”
“It may be more limited than you think,” Khaladin said, trying not to let his lack of breath show in his voice. “I am only half unicorn.”
Vaccaro waved his hand at the statement. “That doesn’t matter. No one can tell the difference. Now, as I said before, my supply of unicorns only consists of you and your two friends.” He stepped forward, clasping his hands behind his back and leaning towards him. “Do you know where I can stock up my inventory?”
The Valley, Khaladin thought. He wants to know about the Valley! But I won’t tell him!
Vaccaro saw the determined gaze settle over the half unicorn’s features. “Ah, I see that you do know and are unwilling to tell.”
“Give it up, Vaccaro,” he said. “You couldn’t get there even if you tried.”
“Oh, but I intend to.” He stepped up closer to Khaladin. “Would you rather me question your friends?”
“They can’t take you there any more than I can.”
“Oh?” he said, interested. He folded his hands over his chest. “And why is that?”
Khaladin shifted his gaze, refusing to answer the question.
“You won’t tell me?”
He continued to ignore the greedy human.
“Fine,” Vaccaro said, stepping back. “Have it your way.” He left the barn.
Minutes passed and Khaladin could hear them ticking by, annoyingly slow. The passing of time did nothing to help calm his nerves. His breathing was quickening and sweat trickled down into his eyes and rolled down his flank. Just what was that greedy human bent on doing. Had be become bored with him and gone to Raala and Raama? Where were his friends. . .where had they been taken? Were they all right?
Khaladin tried to shake his head as if to banish the questions, but the ropes held him fast. He grunted in frustration and nervousness, unsure of what the coming hours would hold. His neck and chest muscles were aching and he could feel the pain in his legs and back as well. A few of his muscles were starting to cramp up on him, but there was nothing he could do about it, so he simply ground his teeth and endured it.
Khaladin didn’t know how long he had been standing there when he finally heard the barn door open again. He tilted his ear back to hear the footsteps and recognized them. They belonged to Vaccaro.
When Vaccaro came into his line of sight, Khaladin saw that this time he carried a hot iron in his hand. The end, which glowed red, had the letters “M” “E” and “V” on it, except they were backwards. His heart leaped when he realized what Vaccaro had planned, yet he simply laid his ears back flat against his skull.
Vaccaro ignored Khaladin’s hostile glare and hefted the iron in his hand. “Do you know what this is?”
Khaladin didn’t answer.
“This is a branding iron. It belonged to my grandfather. He used it for the cattle he once owned. See the initials? Same as mine. Something I don’t write in my signature is that I am Michael Earl Vaccaro, III.”
“Like I care,” he snorted.
Vaccaro nodded. “Yeah, I bet you don’t.” He stepped forward. “But you will if you don’t tell me where I can find those unicorns.”
“Nothing you do will make me tell,” he stated.
Vaccaro shrugged. “All right. Have it your way.”
He walked around to Khaladin’s back right hip and pressed the iron against his white coat. The flesh singed and Khaladin felt a searing pain that seemed to grow more and more painful with each second the iron remained on his skin. His eyes bugged out and his body tensed as he fought showing his emotions, but the torment didn’t cease. Vaccaro thrust the iron more heavily into his skin and Khaladin couldn’t hold back his screams of pain any longer.