Loyal and Free Chapter 8 REDONEThe cold rain came heavily to the frozen ground, the few plants that could survive in Rasoulian winters thankful for a chance to quench their terrible thirst. The many horses in their small stables fretted as thunder and lightning battled in the skies above, the two grooms rushing to quell their fears. Water buckets flew across the stalls, the animals were rearing. Stray dogs in the alleyways joined the rowdy chorus.
But there were a few that were grateful for the chaos outside. Carter and Cuthbert sat in the shadows of The Black Horse, their drinks hardly touched. They kept their faces covered, the dim candlelight casting menacing shadows across their handsome features. They seemed a strange pair to all who passed them, but on nights as dark as this and in a tavern famed for attracting trouble, they were hardly unusual. Five menacing men sat at the table with them, all having drained the expensive rum bought for them from the two tall shrouded strangers.
The first who had taken a liki
Loyal and Free Chapter 7Charmia could not remember how she had come to be sat upon the red velvet stool before the clear mirror in her bedchamber, nor being stripped down to her whale-bone corset. She pulled the robe that covered her closer to her cold body, the rain pattering on the thin glass outside.
"Alfreda?" The girl was shocked to hear that her voice was so weak, for her mind had, for the moment, forgotten her encounter with her uncle.
"My lady," Alfreda said quietly, rushing quickly to her mistress's side.
"You fainted," Dudley replied to his cousin from a seat placed beside the burning fireplace.
Seti stood silently beside him.
Charmia wrapped the robe tighter around her, her gaze cool as she stared at her ornately dressed cousin, her memory began to return to her.
"Your Highness," she said, her voice somehow sounding strong and stern as her limbs began to shake, "have you no concern for the honour of a woman?"
"Not when the woman in question is one such as yourself, madam. Now," the
Loyal and Free Chapter 6 REDONEDudley kept his long strode short as he passed a group of his father's courtiers gossiping on his way to visit the chambers of his ailing mother before attending the feast. They stood back as he and Seti passed, bowing respectfully, and received a curt inclination of his head, for his mind was focused on the young lady that he had met that morning.
He had already concluded that she was pretty, and usually he thought no further on a woman but how to get her into his bed. And yet, there was something about the countenance of Lady Charmia that had spurred him into believing that there was more, into thinking that, perhaps, the rumours retold to his father by the faithful Lady Anya in regard to this girl were true. And, even in Charmia's humblest moments, she had held her head in such a way as to resemble that of someone of royal birth.
And her eyes. There was something in them that held a secret, a secret that the prince was determined to decipher.
Dudley sighed, thinking angrily at the k
The Dragon Slayer (Scene 4-6)Scene 4 - A small gift
Aidan and Ayame walk to the tavern in the moonlight along empty alleyways. CRYSTAL appears from a doorway with two men, their hoods concealing their faces. Aidan smiles and goes to embrace her whilst Ayame hangs back.
Aidan, my love, might I speak with you for a moment?
Crystal, my dear. Ayame and I are going for a drink.
(Wrapping her arms around his neck.) I have missed you, my love. Won't you come speak with me?
Why don't you join us?
I was thinking more of a private conversation.
Of course, my sweet.
(Whispering in his ear and turning his body away from Ayame.)I hear that you've just attended a feast at Sir Walt's keep. And the king's cousin was there.
The company was rather dull, my sweet.
I should think so. The rich hate us poor folk. They only tolerate us because we do everything for them. I'm only sorry that you had to spend an entire evening with those insufferable people.