|A Thief Among Men
Author: Laylas Mommy PM
Desiree had no idea that her future was actually in the past. History books never mention the forbidden romances, secrets, and betrayals she was going to witness first hand as she became enveloped in them. Then, when she becomes captured by tomb robbers, she learns the first secret to survival: if you can't beat them, join them. Or, in her case, love them.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 12 - Words: 19,159 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 07-30-12 - Published: 08-06-11 - id: 2940554
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Gruff hands cupped Desiree's soft shoulders as they lifted her onto her feet. She shifted her body weight back and forth in a wriggling motion, attempting to shake the thieves' hands from her, but Ata and Atsu were not perturbed by her feeble attempts at freedom. She knew she wasn't going to get anywhere even if they did release her, but Desiree's spirit was not to be broken. She remained as intolerant as possible, although inside she trembled as she was unmistakably carried to her death.
Her toes lightly scraped across the dirt-ridden floor as the thieves carried her through a dark, narrow hallway. The hallway lightened as it became narrower and emptied into a large room. Light flooded into Desiree's unprepared eyes as they entered the room. She squinted, trying to make sense of all that she was witnessing.
The room was as broken as the remainder of the ramshackle building. Pieces of the mud brick walls were chipping away and cracked, appearing as if they were on the verge of collapsing under their own weight. One small window near the center of the far wall let in small steady beam of moonlight that cast a faint white light onto one of many piles of gold that lay scattered about the room.
The treasure heaps birthed life into the room as the flames of multiple candles sent shadows dancing across the dying, crumbling walls. The glories filled Desiree's eyes with tears as she soaked in all of their wonder. The silver and gold glinted graciously and colored gems ricocheted light beams around the room, creating a rainbow of colors upon the ceiling and walls that waltzed, hand in hand along with the candle flames.
An evil chuckle alerted Desiree to the left corner of the room. Darkness engulfed the corner of the room inauspiciously, concealing the owner of the malicious laugh.
Out from the darkness stepped a large muscular man. He adorned royal robes that shimmered with blue dyes as deep as the night sky. His bronzed skin obscured all of his opaque scars but one that split his right eyebrow in two. Gold and silver bands about his wrists and ankles clanked together with every step that he took toward Desiree. His deep green eyes burned with hatred toward the woman he had never met as he clenched his wolf-like canines together. He curled his lip upward and the pure pallor of his teeth reflected the candlelight. The candles even seemed to cease their dancing out of fear of the menacing man.
His large deltoids rippled under his ropes as he reached towards Desiree's face. Placing one brusque finger under her chin, he lifted her face up to meet his. Desiree stared into the deep green cesspools of his eyes, trying her best to mirror his expression. She furrowed her brow and clenched her teeth, trying to reflect intimidation back at her captor.
He chuckled again. His voice echoed through the hollow room, reverberating like thunder. Fear crawled its way back into Desiree's cold veins.
"Maybe, for once, you two have done something good," he smirked, not breaking his gaze on Desiree. He leaned closer to her, daunting her even more. His hot breath sent tremors down her spine.
Ata and Atsu glanced at each other pleasingly, flashing their broken, crooked teeth at one another before releasing their grasp on Desiree. She lurched forward at her subjugator accidentally, only to be caught by his coarse hand as it wrapped around her throat. She was again lifted off of her feet as he raised her into the air effortlessly by her neck. Choking and gasping for air, she attempted to wriggle from his grasp, but the more she struggled, the tighter his grasp became.
"Feisty little one, isn't she?" he chuckled again. Clenching his teeth, he squeezed her windpipe completely shut. This is it, I'm done for, she thought as the world around her became black. Pressure built up in her head and her dark eyes bulged. The candlelight's dance faded and the sparkling wonders around her disappeared into a black mist.
She hit the ground with a thud, knocking the air back into her lungs. Ringing echoed through her ears, her head ached, and she slowly regained consciousness.
"This just doesn't seem fair now, does it?" the evil voice resonated over the ringing in Desiree's ears.
Ata and Atsu looked at their leader in utter perplexity.
"We should at least give her a fighting chance. What kind of man would I be if I didn't? Go on, cut her bindings."
Ata lumbered over to Desiree as she laid upon the cold ground, still gasping for air. Her eyes remained closed as she wished that she were home, asleep in her warm bed, and most importantly, safe. He slipped a small blade between her bindings and she felt her hands and arms become free again. She slowly lifted herself up onto her hands and knees after the bindings around her ankles were severed, continuing to force her eyes shut. She could feel her heartbeat in her head as it ached with a steady rhythm.
"Get up!" Ata demanded, forcing her to her feet.
"Leave the princess alone," the thieves' leader demanded. "She's mine now."
He took an ominous step towards her, causing Desiree to flinch. His laughter filled the room.
"Come on, Princess," he growled, "don't make this easier than it has to be."
The pain in Desiree's skull burned hot, raging like wildfire. Barely recognizing any of his words and with her vision blurred, she stood in a meager attempt to defend herself. A warm sensation flooded into Desiree's nervous system. With arms and hands trembling, she reached for the sensation on her right cheek. The tepid, crimson blood coated her fingers and her face. She lightly touched the bloody lesion near her temple and cringed in agony as a bolt of pain shot through her sinuses.
"Not used to that now, are you Princess?" the man's voice echoed loudly into her throbbing head. "It's about time someone took away your life of luxury. Someone needs to give you a taste of the life that everyone else lives. Starving, breaking their backs to scratch out a meager existence, all while you and your pathetic little family reaps the benefits of their hard work."
Grabbing Desiree by the collar of her clothing, he pulled her closer to his body. His hot breath bred fear into Desiree's veins. The stubble on his chin barely scraped across her nose as she gazed upward into his hatred filled eyes.
"That's where I come in," his sharp white canines glinted through his impious smirk. "I take back what is rightfully mine. I didn't work all of those years for nothing, especially not to glorify you, you pompous little rat!"
Desiree's clothes tightened around her bosom as he lifted her from the ground. Without effort, he hurled her across the room. She landed on the solid soil floor only to skid into a mountainous pile of precious metals, which swayed with the momentum of the impact.
Squinting through her pain, she viewed the moon through the small window. Its beams engulfed her painful face, but its simple white light gave her the strength to pull herself onto her hands and knees. Her pain disappeared and a new feeling boiled in her blood: rage.
She stood, glaring at the thieves. The moon winked in the night sky behind her, outlining her silhouette in silver and shrouding the remainder of her body in a dark mystery. Her eyes burned golden yellow from the darkness, striking fear into Ata and Atsu. They stood in awe, quivering as if they had just seen Apep, the demon snake of the underworld, come to take them away and devour their soul.
Desiree turned her sights onto the duo's leader. He remained unscathed, glowering back at her. Pulling a blade from his hip, he flashed it at her, as if to jolt her. She smirked in response as she lifted her robes up to her thigh, drawing an equally daunting blade from a strip of cloth tied around her thigh. The blade sparkled in the pure white moonlight, illuminating the thief's emerald eyes.
"The tables have turned, Thief King," Desiree growled ominously in a voice that was not her own.