|Her Temptation, His Redemption
Author: Lullabye PM
All Isobel has ever known is family, duty and honor. When life is turned upside down, how can she blindly trust and fall for the man responsible for the deaths of her loved ones?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Supernatural - Words: 2,988 - Published: 07-09-12 - id: 3040259
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Isobel, go blow out the candles in the house," my father whispered to me as he searched the house for the swords the blacksmith crafted for him and for me.
I nodded my head and scurried around the house blowing out the torches and beeswax candles. I tried desperately to ignore the sounds of clashing swords, screams and crashes the filled the air. Once the house was dark I ran into the room my father and I had started to share a few days ago. At the same time, people all over the city were packing their belongings and heading to the next city that had not been attacked yet, which was three days away. Everyone was afraid the attacks would come here and our homes would be destroyed. Others my age had heard rumours from travellers of monsters with eyes as dark as the night, who had super human strength and fed off human blood. The elders had quickly told them to stop spreading lies, but everyone knew they were afraid; we were all afraid.
I blew out the candle that sat on the table beside my bed, and hid in the corner. An inhuman scream pierced the air as I sat down; immediately I covered my ears with my hands and closed my eyes. My father ran into the room with two swords in his hands. He sat down beside me and handed me a dagger and a sword that suited my size.
It was beautiful beyond comparison. The hilt was bound in leather and made from gold. It was long enough for my grip, but not too wide that I couldn't fit my hand perfectly around it. The blade glinted mercilessly in the moonlight that filtered in through the small window above our heads. I sighed contently; this would be perfect for killing or wounding an opponent. The blade curved in on one side, stopping at the point, and curving once more, but this time outward back down to the hilt.
"Take this and remember what you learned during your training," he kissed my forehead and leaned his head against the wall, closing his eyes in concentration.
I looked at my father, and at his spatha. He, just like my grandfather, and countless men in my family were part of the army. However, only recently my father had received the honour of being called lochagoi, an officer in the army. That kiss had been one of the rare signs of affection my father had ever shown me, the first being the day I was born, and more recently the day I had seen eighteen summers, considered ready to marry off and accept my fair share of my father's land.
"What are we going to do Papa? How can we fight them?" I whispered to my father.
"You are not fighting, you are going to leave and go to the Athens once it settles down here. I regret not leaving sooner, but I will do everything in my power to keep you alive. You are all I have left, besides, you have your whole life ahead of you and I am nothing more than an old soldier, "he whispered calmly to me.
"Papa, running is not our way. You know I will stay and fight with you, the army and whatever is left of Sparta," I whispered indignantly.
"I do not care anymore for what is our 'ways'. This time there is no victory in death by these monsters. When the soldiers come by to get me, you will hide here until it is quiet, and then you will leave for Athens, do you understand me?" He looked at me sternly.
I ignored him, and stared at the door. I knew I had to listen to him, he was right this time. My upbringing had taught me to always voice my opinions, even in front of men. My father got up quickly and motioned for me to stay where I was. I watched him walk out the door, and waited a few seconds before following him. I held on tightly to my dagger and followed my father to the door. He opened it slightly, light peaked through the crack and the sound of crackling wood, screams and fighting got louder.
"What do you want?" My father asked opening the door wider.
I peered over his shoulder and saw two soldiers standing at the door. I looked curiously at their shields, armour and helmets; they were battered and worn from good use. I caught the eye of one of the guards who smiled slightly at me, I recognized him as one of the boys I had attended school with as a little girl. Their conversation droned in my ear as a memory invaded my senses.
"Isobel, it is your turn against Aeton. Let us see if you can beat your undefeated opponent" I looked up from the dirt at my uncle and then to the boy standing beside him. The children around me giggled, already anticipating my loss.
Aeton smiled smugly, he too already anticipating the victory that he believed was his. I stood up and patted down my tunic. The rest of the class shifted behind me, making room in the courtyard for Aeton and I. As soon as I was done, Aeton began circling around me, calculating me, ready to attack at any second. I mirrored his actions, turning swiftly to make sure he never got out of my sight.
I watched him and every step he took. After months of training, Aeton had acquired gracefulness and silence in his moves. His feet crossed over each other as he circled around me, his body crouched in a warrior's stance. Already I could see the making of a great soldier in every step he took.
In a matter of seconds, Aeton charged at me, and I firmly stood my ground. He jumped in the air, attempting to tackle me down, but I ducked down and spun around to face him as he landed. He turned around the same time I swung my right leg out, my hands supporting my weight, as I kicked his legs out from under him. He fell down and softened his fall with his knees. I got up quickly and executed the move my father had taught me a few days ago.
I punched Aeton square in the jaw, causing his head to jerk violently to the left. My hand seared in pain for a second, but the feeling of victory was within my grasp and I pushed on. I shoved Aeton down hard; his face smacked the dirt as I climbed on top of him. I yanked both of his arms back and pinned them to his lower back with my knee.
We panted heavily as I drove my knee into his palm. The other children in the class were silent, watching in awe. My uncle, our teacher, walked around us, waiting patiently as we caught our breaths. He motioned for me to get off Aeton, and I complied. Aeton rolled over onto his back, as I outstretched an arm to help him up.
Once Aeton stood up fully, our teacher spoke. "You see class, sometimse the only way to victory is to wait for your opponent to come to you," he firmly placed a hand on my shoulder and shook me slightly.
"It seems we have a new champion," I whispered into Aeton's ear. He turned to me, "Don't let it get to your head Isobel, I will defeat you next time."
I shook my head slightly and tuned into the conversation. I caught Aeton watching me as he and the other soldier spoke to my father. "The rest of the army is gathering in the square. We are preparing for battle on the outskirts of the city," one of them told my father.
My father started to speak but I interrupted him. "He will join you shortly, I will go and get his things," I gave my father a meaningful look and walked back to our room to fetch his armour, shield and helmet.
I held them tightly in my arms, enjoying the feeling of my muscles flexing to support the weight of both items. When I returned to the door, my father was talking about battle strategies with Aeton. I took the sword from my father's hand and held it out for Aeton to hold. They continued talking as I strapped my father into his armour, and placed the helmet on his head. I then fastened his cape to the shoulders of his armour and handed him the shield. He turned to Aeton and took his sword.
Pride swelled in my heart as I took in the sight before me. Three men, all ready to fight and die for what they believed in. To fight for family, and for the customs our nation had. Aeton and the other soldier nodded their heads curtly and walked out the door, and stood waiting for my father outside.
My father looked back at me, his eyes grew soft, and I could tell he wanted to say something important but stopped himself in front of the two soldiers. He raised his shield slightly and said in his deep voice, "I will return victorious, or die honourably." He turned to walk out the door, as I called back, "And when you do, make sure to bring the blood of those monsters on your shield."
I watched, surrounded by the sounds of swords and screams, as my father walked down the road to the city outskirts. I picked up my sword and dagger off the ground. Horse hooves echoed in the distance, growing louder as they approached. I watched as my father directed Aeton and the other man to hide in a nearby alleyway, as the hooded figures drew closer. I closed my door slightly, and leaned down so I could peak through the door.
Five figures perched on their horses stood in the middle of the road. The one in the middle, a wide shouldered man with eyes dark as night turned to the rest of them and began speaking a foreign language. The two women on the end, who reminded me of night and day, one with golden almost white hair, and the other with a mane as black as soot, stayed put with the man while the other two men rode further into the city. The man exchanged a few more words with the women before they all dismounted their horses.
I watched in awe at the gracefulness these women seemed to possess. The golden haired one walked over to the house across from mine and poked her head in. The family that lived there left a few days ago and were headed to the mountains, supposedly the monsters had left the villages there alone. The black haired one stayed close to the horses, while the man went a little down the road, close to the alley way my father was hiding.
He turned to her and smiled softly, "Vin aici, am auzit de oameni." She walked over to him as he silently pulled his sword from his sheath. I sucked in my breath, and slowly pulled my own sword out of its sheath. Despite my attempt, it hissed softly as I pulled it out. The man looked over in my direction, and I quickly backed away from the door.
A few seconds passed, and nothing happened. I looked back out the door, and saw my father, Aeton and the other soldier fighting the man and the woman. She had a look of pure happiness as she fought my father. Both of the foreigners fought with a speed and strength I had never seen before. I was astonished when Aeton and the other soldier started having difficulties parrying the blows the man gave them. Within a few seconds, the soldier is down on the ground, clutching his chest. I have to squint to see the gash across his chest; blood begins to pool on the ground. I look up at Aeton, he doesn't give his partner a second glance before going back to battle the man.
I hear a cry of pain emit from my father, and my eyes immediately seek him out. My breath catches, and my eyes remained glued on my father. He looks over at me and smiles sadly, my eyes drift down his neck and see the gaping wound there. His blood flows slowly down his neck, what must've been only seconds seems like an eternity to me as I watch him slump to the ground. The sound of my heart beating loudly fills my ears; it feels like my chest is being ripped apart.
I don't try to hide the warbled scream that emanates from my mouth. I want that cold hearted creature with golden hair to find me; I want her to seek me out so I can kill her and rip those golden tresses from her head. I stand up, sword in hand and the next thing I know I'm standing outside our door. She turns to me and smiles sadistically. I take a small step forward as she leans down and wipes her fingers on my father's neck and sticks her bloodied fingers in her mouth.
I can feel my face contort in anger, and I raise my sword high and run towards her. She parries my blow and gives me a small scratch on my forearm. I turn around and fake a strike to her left, managing to give her a matching cut to my own except this time I went for her heel. She looks down at her ankle, and narrows her eyes in anger. I know this cut will slow her down, and by the look she gave me, she knows this too.
I waste no time, and lunge my sword forward to her stomach. I feel it go in before she steps back and parries my sword. Her dress darkens with blood, the sight makes me feel invigorated and I let my instincts take over control. Within a matter of minutes she and I are covered in cuts and wounds, the pain doesn't register with me but I start to feel tired. My breath comes out in ragged breaths, and I stagger forward a little.
"You humans don't know when to give up. I assume this is your father," she nudges my father's body with her foot. She wipes her sword clean on her dress before sliding it back into its sheath.
I scream, and run the distance between to attack again. I jump into the air and thrust my sword out towards her. Faster than my eyes can see, she clasps her hands together around my sword and wretches it from my hands, spins around and flips me in the air and unto my back. I suck in air sharply, trying to recover the air that was knocked out of my lungs.
I look up at the lady as she bends down over me. She takes my arm and twists it causing pain to shoot outward from my shoulder until I hear a pop and then I feel nothing in my arm. My side begins to throb signalling broken ribs. I look into her eyes, they've transformed into dark irises, reminding me of the darkest pits of Tartarus. She pulls my arm up to her mouth and bites down into the space between my forearm and bicep.
I feel pain again however it starts to fade as she sucks away my life. I look over to to the left at my father, his lifeless body lying on the ground almost a foot away from me. I grasp his right hand with mine and squeeze it tight before yanking off the bracelet on his wrist. I clutch it tightly in my left hand and turn my head to the woman on my right. Her face is red with my blood, I feel as if the world is slowly slipping away from me.
Maybe father and I will be reunited in the Elysian Fields, I think to myself before closing my eyes.
"Aceasta este suficient," a deep voice rumbles from above me. My eyes open slowly as I feel myself being scooped up.
My head lolls back and I look up into the face of the man who fought Aeton. I stay quiet as I study his face. His hair shone slightly in the moonlight, darker then mud but lighter than the blackest of nights. He has a prominent nose and chiseled cheek bones. His eyes, dark brown just like the leather on my father's armor. His chin: strong and proud. In my eyes, he cannot compare with any of the gods, not even Apollo himself could match his beauty.
He looks down at me and something changes in his eyes. He puts his wrist to his mouth and bites down into it, releasing dark red blood. I look at it in disgust as he lowers it to my mouth. I shut my mouth tightly, and shake my head in refusal. I will not stoop to their level, I will not become like them. His face hardens and he roughly presses his wrist to my lips. I feel the liquid seep through and into my mouth.
A metallic taste fills my mouth at the same time the pain subsides and I star t to feel slightly better. I close my eyes, my mind is screaming for me to fight and run, but my body protests. I resist the urge to fight and welcome sleep.
"Do not worry, I will protect you," a voice whispers in my ear. I feel the ghost of a kiss on my forehead before sleep overtakes me.