FOREST LAND: THE AWAKENING Chapter 7 (1)

I wake up in the middle of night, my heart pounding-terrified

(Someone is… is… in my room)

I grab my sword next to my bed and jump up!

(wait a minute….)

In front of me is a very clumsy and drunk Lord Canowicakte bumping into stuff

“Ouch”

(he is….mmmm, lost maybe?) “Lord Canowicakte are you lost?”

He freezes when he sees me and I can’t help but giggle

“No, I am not, I was looking for you and I found you! Ha! Just like that”

(Yes very cleaver….) “My Lord it’s really late, what is the matter?”

I walk over to him and bring him to my bed where we sit. I can’t see his face clearly but the Moonlight falls over us. He lays down in my bed and pulls me to him covering us with blankets

(I wonder if he can’t sleep alone anymore, he is so spoiled)

I lie down on his chest and listen to his heart beat.

“Auryon, I apologise. I know I have had a lot to drink but I also have so many things going through my mind and I need to tell you and If you want to remind me about all of it tomorrow that is fine too”

(this sounds serious) I just nod holding his hand tightly.

“I have been cold and alone for so long that I feel strange and at a disadvantage when I am near you. I am not sure how to compose myself. I can’t remember ever in my life being this happy.”

(Canowicakte…)

“I want you to be mine in the sight of everyone, to be binded to me, legally you know”

(Bind what now?) I feel my heart pounding in my chest and my whole body warms up (Does he even know what is he saying?) I just nod again.

“I want everyone to know you are spoken for. Would you agree to my hand?”

(He is so not going to remember this, as sweet as this sounds) “Yes my lord” I whisper.

Lord Canowicakte gives a big sigh of relieve and I feel him pass out.

(Really? just like that?…. You propose drunk and pass out) “You know you are so spoiled”

I tell him as I cuddle closer and pull at the blankets.

(There is no way I am reminding him of this conversation)

The next day I leave him sleeping in my bed and get dressed. Today I want to walk around a bit. I want to eat everything I see at the market and maybe get some arrows. Just as I am about to leave…

“Mmmm fire fox….”

(Does he have to be this cute?) “Yes my lord”

He opens his eyes a bit “Where are you going?”

(He doesn’t seem very hung over) “I am going to the market I want to do some shopping and walk around a bit.”

He sits up “And so I am not invited?”

“Of course you are you don’t need to ask I just thought after the night you had you might want to sleep some of that off”

He laughs at me “My darling Auryon, what kind of Lord would it make me if I had to recover in bed from a bit of Ale”

(a bit….) “well you were kind of drunk last night”

He looks at me like he has all the secrets of the world locked away somewhere “Are you sure?”

(Okay now he is in my head and I am doubting myself) “well then get up and get dressed”

He jumps out of bed grabs me and kisses me so passionately I feel like I’m floating.

“give me 10 minutes I’ll meet you outside”

(wow I don’t think I will ever get tired of that)

To be continued…

FOREST LAND: THE AWAKENING Chapter 7

The morning after…..

I wake up with my face buried in Lord Canowicakte chest. I feel him gently stroking my hair.

“How did you sleep Me Lady?”

I cuddle up to him even more

“very, very well, and you Me Lord?”

He hugs me tight “I have never felt better”

I blush as he says this and try to hide my face. He takes my chin and lift my eyes to his (his eyes…they seem different… greenish)

“Give me your lips”

I stop him with my fingers on his lips

“What?” he looks at me surprised

“You…you’re eyes, they’re changing color?”

Shocked he jumps up and runs to the bathroom to check the mirror

“Auryon!… Auryon!”

(Is he okay?) I put the blanket around me and rush to him

“What? Are you okay? You’re okay right!?”

When I lock eyes with him I can’t move…. I am frozen in wonder and confusion. Staring back at me are two of the greenest, most beautiful, captivating eyes I have ever seen

“whhh…your……”

I point at his face. He is so excited he scoops me up and spins me around

“Do you know what this means?”

I shake my head “Haven’t the foggiest….”

He kisses my lips sweetly (oh he tastes so good)

“It means you saved my heart, you cured my own curse. The Snow Queen put it on me the day she murdered my parents. She said I would have a heart so cold that no one would ever love me”

(Wow she did? Everything makes sense now!) I take his beautiful face in my hands

“She was wrong, there was no way that I could not love you. You ignited the fire in me my Forest Lord”

(Auryon, when you say things like that to me) He picks me up right there and we get lost in each other all over again, and again. When we finally get out of bed much later (it’s a good thing I have the next two days off) Lord Canowicakte is on the balcony overlooking the Forest. I get up and join him hugging him from behind. He turns around and holds me.

“I have asked the maids to bring us some breakfast and clothes from your room”

I look at him impressed

“So I can’t walk around this?”

He taps me on the tip of my nose “Not unless you want me to order that everyone wears blindfolds”

(He really is jealous) this makes me giggle.

“Do you want to take a bath me?”

I nod smiling “Yes please”

(He looks so pleased with himself…. I can’t get over those green eyes) the maid knocks at the door and enters with a tray full of breakfast and a dress for me. When her eyes lock on Lord Canowicakte she stumbles and nearly drops everything. We rush over to help her.

“Are you okay Maid Lia?”

She nods pointing at Lord Canowicakte

“You noticed huh?” he says very pleased. She seems confused and happy.

“M-my lord your eyes… you are cured?!”

He helps her to her feet and I take the tray putting it on the balcony still clinging on to the blanket around me.

“It seems the Snow Queen is not as powerful as she would have everyone believe”

The maid is overwhelmed with joy as she bows and sprints out the room. (It will be seconds before the whole castle knows) Lord Canowicakte walks over to me

“You know you saved my life?” he brushes my check gently

“Why do you say that?” I ask.

He answers staring into the distance “Because you gave me hope, you healed me, and I promise you we are going to kill the Snow Queen.”

I look at him with a warm smile “I am with you”

We spend the rest of the day talking, talking about everything and everyone. We arrive at dinner together and silence fills the room. Lord Canowicakte grabs my hand and we walk to our seats. No one says a word but their faces say everything (wow they really are shocked) The fancy guy who sits next to me is the first to talk

“M-My lord Canowicakte so it is true?!”

Lord Canowicakte pulls out my chair and I take my seat. He walks over to his seat at the head of the table

“Yes!” he exclaims.

a Loud roar and cries of joy erupt in the room. People are laughing and congratulating and celebrating. (He looks so happy, he is so amazing) He smiles as he thanks everyone.

“Tonight we feast and celebrate because on this day a curse has been lifted, and if one can go! All will go! We will no longer hide! This is the end of an Evil era!”

He lifts his gold goblet in the air and celebration explodes all around us again (I am so proud to be a part of this, of these people, my people) I feel the tears pushing through my eyes but I blink them away and swallow hard as we celebrate. I see Zain leave the room (what is he up to?…. I don’t like that guy)

“Hey Aury” Tracey nudges me, clearly a bit tipsy herself “How exactly did those eyes turn green huh?”

I looked at her wide eyed and bright red “Tracey!”

She nearly falls off her chair as she laughs “Oh your face!”

Just then Gabriel walks over “Trace, would you mind being the most beautiful thing I wear all day and hang onto my arm for a while?”

(Damn who knew Gabriel had game) I look at him impressed but as our eyes meet I wink at him without saying a word. Tracey now a little embarrassed at the compliment seems totally hooked on Gabriel.

“I would love to”

I giggle to myself (something is brewing) with that the two of them get up and leave. Everyone seems happy and a bit drunk including Lord Canowicakte (I think I am sneaking to bed early tonight) I get up and head to my room.

to be continued…

FOREST LAND: THE AWAKENING Chapter 6 (5)

I knock and this time I wait for a response (maybe I should be a little drunk for this)

“Enter!”

Lord Canowicakte doesn’t look up from his paperwork. I close the door behind me and take off the robe.

“hmmm” I clear my throat.

He puts his crystal pen down annoyed

“Can’t you people see that I ….I ….. Au…. Auryon”

I smile a bit shy “should I leave?”

He shakes his head and jumps up “N- no please don’t! I mean no, stay, I’m done”

I nod and he takes my hand and twirls me. The confident smile I know returns to his face. He looks at me like I am brand new.

(I should say something!?) “I wanted to come say thank you for the bow…. It’s the most beautiful one I have ever seen”

My eyes beam with joy when I think of it. He pulls me closer to him.

 “If you come to my room looking like this to thank me for a silly bow you shouldn’t be surprised if I leave you something every night.

(Oh my… yes please..)  “I wouldn’t mind”

He smiles… (Auryon I can’t resist you and you know it, tonight I will not wait any longer)

“Have you decided if you will stay?”

Searching his eyes I ask  “Do you have a reason I should?”

He looks down at the floor and back at me holding my hands tightly.

“I have lost everything, everyone I loved, everyone. I look at you and I am terrified of losing you. When we met it was just a game, something to keep my mind off work and the war and you were interesting. I..I.. didn’t expect all this. Shit I didn’t even know my heart still worked. I felt like I could rule you, like everything else but then when you ran away, I – I just, I couldn’t move. I don’t know what I would’ve done if we didn’t find you.”

 (I am speechless and I am shocked. I was not expecting this)

“No one can rule you, you are the biggest pain in my ass, but I just… I need you to exist in my world and be in my day, Auryon please I beg yo….mmmmm”

I take Lord Canowicakte face in my hands and kiss him with my whole heart and soul. His eyes are bright and not cold. I move my fingers over his lips as he holds me in his arms and I open his mouth with a gentle stroke. I glide my tongue into his mouth.

“Auryon I want you” he whispers on my lips.

I nod “I am staying here with you”

Passion explodes in the man I have wanted for so long. He tightens his grip around me and kisses my neck gently while lowering me onto the bed. He pulls his shirt over his head. His smooth skin scared by battle. Then he takes off his trousers and I gasp. He leans over me with his strong naked body. I am flushed and overwhelmed with want. There is not much he can’t see through my gown and he slides off the sleeves exposing me completely. He pulls the gown off my body.

(My lord she is beautiful)

He kisses me slowly biting gently as the works his way down my neck and my chest until he reaches my breasts. His tongue expertly teasing my sensitive skin.

“I love your touch” I whisper as my fingers dig into the bed.

I feel him smiling as he works his way down my stomach

“Ah!”

(I want every piece of her, she is so warm, so sweet)

He continues down my body licking and nipping until he is between my legs. I am warm and ready.

(Yes please!)

I crab his hair as he pleasures me more than any man has ever. I moan loudly.

(I have to have her right now!)

He lowers himself on top of me

“Open your eyes Fire fox, look at me”

As he looks deep into my eyes I feel him touching my soul. With a thrust he takes control of me. I shout and I claw his back. He grabs my face as he rocks my body.

“Look at me… I want to see the pleasure in your eyes”

“I couldn’t look away if I wanted to, you are consuming me”

A glimmer of bright green floods his eyes and disappears quickly.

(What was that?)

My body is not my own and he presses in harder. My whole body obeys him with every movement. I climax with a cry

“Ah Lord Canowi….ah”

I hear him moan as he tightens his grip even more leaving me breathless.

That night we made love for hours exploring every inch of each other. In those moments nothing and no one else mattered.

To be continued…

FOREST LAND: THE AWAKENING Chapter 6 (4)

We head to dinner that evening and even Tracey looks better though her sleeves are torn again and I don’t ask, I just look at her with a raised eyebrow. What Tracey does everyday is very dangerous and I am just so in awe with how she handles it.

“Trace you are the best woman and friend in the whole world” I say.

She smiles at me proudly “ah thanks Aury” and hugs me tight.

Dinner was relaxing and fun. As always I have a hard time not to look at Lord Canowicakte who seems dreamy today… like his not here (what is he thinking?) Over the noise I hear the general talk to the others about the archery today. He talks about me with pride the way a father would and I feel myself blushing when everyone turns to look at me from that end of the table but I pretend not to notice over the noise. Two cold steel eyes draw me in and I feel my heart pounding. (why do I want him so bad?) We finish dinner early and head to our rooms. I walk in and close the door, my bath is already waiting for me (ah, thank you darling maids!) Suddenly I am pushed up against my wall.

“ahh”

I stare into Lord Canowicakte grey eyes

“What are you doing?”  I ask.

He pins one of my hands above my head and with the other he firmly grabs the inside of my thigh. I gasp as his hand moves up my thigh dangerously close to my last bit of self control. He presses his body firmly against mine and I can’t breathe. His essence consumes me and I feel every movement (I am going to loose my mind) he leans in and kisses my neck nipping gently

“hmmm I…. wha….”

He cuts me off and whispers in my ear “My little fire fox don’t you ever kiss another man again”

(what?… oh the bow guy?) “how did you know?”

I feel him smile as he still kisses my neck moving his lips down over my shoulder (Oh this can’t feel so good) He answers softly

“I know everything and because you did that I will do this”

(……) (oh hmm)

He presses me against the wall harder, his hand moves slowly right where I need him.

“Lord Canowi…. Ah”

He kisses me like I’m an oasis in his desert, parting my lips with his tongue. Then he pulls away from me, releasing me.

“Check your bed” he grins at me and storms out.

(What? Wait! Come back!) I try and catch my breath. I fan myself with my hand

“That just happened”

I am uncomfortable and hot – obviously needing more but I do as I am told. On my bed is a present wrapped in blue silk and tied with golden ribbons. My smile is so big my cheeks hurt

“This is so pretty”

I slowly and carefully unwrap it. The more I do the more the shape is revealed. I take the last piece off.

“IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL!”

In my hands I hold a thin ivory bow with gold decorations and trim. It shimmers in my hand and on the inside is a message engraved in gold

“To the Forest Archer with love. C”

(Tracey was right, this is not a game anymore. I want to stay here) I get undressed in record time and quickly take a bath and braid my hair.

“hmm… lets see what is in this closet”

(oh, this is cute) I pull out a white, soft chiffon night gown with lace and a plunging neck line. It has a slit down the side of the skirt. It’s short and leaves little to the imagination. (okay so he will just have to look past all these blue marks and bruises….. very romantic….)

“Ugh. Now is not the time to feel shy Auryon”

I cover myself with a robe as not to give everyone a heart attack in the hall and head to his room – fast.

(Oh shit I’m so nervous)

To be continued…

FOREST LAND: THE AWAKENING Chapter 6 (3)

Is it morning already?..

“Shit everything hurts” I mumble

(How am I still alive?) I literally roll out of bed and get dressed. That morning at breakfast my eyes can’t stay off Lord Canowikate and he returns the stares. (He is so handsome; he is going to drive me crazy)

He looks at Auryon with a pleased smile knowing his efforts were well received. He leans over to the general

“Thank you for helping me with Auryon”

The general nods smiling “she has always been for you. That is what your parents decided”

Lord Canowikate smiles at the general and they talk about the day ahead. After breakfast we all gather at the same training ground as the day before. The general takes his place in front of us and without us knowing Lord Canowikate has taken up a position high in a tree where he is watching the training from a deck. The general clears his throat

“Today we have weapons training, swords and archery”

(Finally something I’m good at) Weapons training meant we had to do both. I start with swords because I know that is my weakest skill. The sword is big and heavy and I am hardly able to hold it in my hand. Lord Canowikates watches Auryon carefully (she is so small among these men and yet she hardly seems to notice. I will never be able to live without her. I need to convince her to stay) the general looks at me like he has forgotten something and then it dawns on him

“Auryon! This one is yours”

(Oh my own sword?) “Thank you general”

(This one is light and my name is engraved on it… what is this wording? Victatorian, the Sword of the Fire Queen)

“This sword might be a bit smaller than the others but it is the only one of its kind being able to withstand enormous amounts of heat and fire. You’ll be able to use this sword much better”

(Why would a sword need to do that?)

“Auryon face Peter”

(Oh crap Peter is good) Peter smiles at me teasingly

“Come Aury you and me are going to dance”

I glare at him “Whatever”

Everyone makes a wide circle around us and the general teaches us some basic moves.

“Peter, swing at Auryon slowly”

Peter lifts his sword and swings at me directly above my head.

“Auryon you block with both hands like this”

The general shows me and I nod

“Now one person will attack and the other one defend”

The general shows us some defensive blocks. (Don’t we get practice swords…. Wood ones?) When he is done everybody is teamed up

“Ready your swords…. And go”

The first blow Peter delivers is so hard and skilled it knocks my sword out of my hands.

“Come on Auryon you’re not even trying, stop being scared!”

I feel anger rise from the pit of my stomach to my arms. We have known each other for so long fighting like siblings comes naturally

“Don’t you yell at me!” I yell back

“If you fight like a ballerina I will” he mocks.

I pick up my sword. My palms start to burn again

“Then come at me I’ll show you a ballerina” I threaten him

“Fine!”

He swings at me and I concentrate on the warmth inside me. As I see his sword swinging toward me I release the warmth I feel into the counter block

“Clang” steel on steel

“Who’s the ballerina now?”

Peter smiles like an older brother teasing his sister

“You are, we should get you a tutu”

(Ok that’s it!) “Peter you little shit”

I storm him, my palms burning insanely warm and now it’s on….. I breathe deep and give myself to the fire – warmth that has been helping me. Meanwhile Lord Canowicakte watches from his tree desperately holding on as he tries to contain his laughter (She really does have fire) Peter is still mocking me.

“Come on Aury, fight!”

I manage to block most of Peter’s blows and get out of the way when I can

“At least I look the part Pete, you look like a girl hopping around”

Peter gasps “You mean little b….”

Our fight becomes so loud and disruptive that everyone is staring at us. The general intervenes

“Enough! You two, move to archery! Immediately!”

We both look at each other embarrassed

“Yes general”

We walk over to archery still picking at each other but then Peter grabs my shoulders

“You did good Auryon, you always rise to a challenge and I just hope the other guys saw that today”

I look at Peter curious “You did that on porpoise?”

He shrugs “Look you might not be as strong as us but you are defiantly strong enough”

I smile sheepishly “Thanks Pete, I kind of have help.”

He looks at me interested “what do you mean?”

I frown as I try and explain the warmth I’ve being feeling. He nods and looks at my sword

“Maybe she can help you”

The blade of my sword glistening in the sunlight

“Maybe…”

Lord Canowicakte still sits in his tree watching all of this (He fights well, needs work but still… and she has some good friends looking out for her, I need to talk to them alone) when we get to archery I see a familiar face approaching me (It’s the bow makers son) in his hands is my repaired bow wrapped in cloth. I am so happy to see it that I run over to him hug him and give him a kiss on the cheek

“Thank you, thank you, thank you”

I jump up and down. The young man slaps his cheek were I just kissed him, shocked and wide eyed

“n-no problem”

Peter snaps at me “Really Auryon, kissing young men like that, the poor guy”

I turn around and walk away not interested and hugging my bow. Lord Canowicakte also saw this (Yes! Peter ask her! Kissing other men!) He nearly falls out the tree. I find an open spot and ready my arrow

“Come on Pete it’s time I showed you some real skill”

I wink at him confident and cheeky. He rolls his eyes at me and takes the spot next to me. The general comes over to us.

“You each have 7 arrows you need to shoot them as close to the center as you possibly can. The person with the most hits win. It’s simple”

We all nod and I am so excited that I can’t hide it. Some of the other recruits look at me like I have grown six arms. They have no idea that this is what I do for fun. Peter looks over at me smiling from ear to ear

“You look good with a bow”

I smile back at him “I know, right?” and I chuckle.

He shakes his head and readies his arrow. The general gives the command

“Go!”

My repaired bow feels like silk in my hands and as I pull the string tight to my face the smell of wood and oil fills my nose. Effortlessly I hit the bull’s-eye. The feathers of the arrow, cutting my cheek slightly. I pull the second arrow. Everything around me is quiet. I am at peace; all I hear is the forest, my palms burning warm. (bull’s-eye) the second arrow splits the first one in half and I continue to do so with every arrow eating away a hole in my target. When I’m done I breathe deep, very satisfied and calm. (Wow, what the….) the recruits on either side of me are stunned and staring at me in disbelieve

“What?” I ask.

Peter laughs out loud

“Take a good look gentlemen it’s the Forest Archer”

I blush a bit and the general walks over to me.

“You know you just broke your mother’s record”

My eyes are wide with surprise “Really!?”

He nods “yes now get to the wall, and run!”

I nod very happy and run off. Lord Canowicakte’s heart fills with pride and love for Auryon. He finally gets down from his tree and heads to the Castle. He is stiff and his legs cramped (Oh damn I should’ve gotten down a long time ago….. but that woman….. she just does something to me. I want to get her something; I still can’t believe she kissed that boy! But…. She kissed him because of the bow, hmmm…) He has a deep conversation with himself as he heads back.

Meanwhile Auryon stands in front of the dreaded wall (I hate this wall…. How am I suppose to climb this thing?) a Few more men make it over but the rest of us still struggle. The general calls it a day and we are dismissed. Peter and Lance are also discouraged by it and I find it comforting.

To be continued…

FOREST LAND: THE AWAKENING Chapter 6 (2)

We all run over there and fall in behind each other waiting for our turn. (This hill is really steep and those logs are big) Some of the men do this really fast, they look like machines and I am intimidated just looking at them. A big, tall, dark skinned man standing in front of me turns around and looks down at me like I’m an ant.

“Me Lady it is good to have you back”

He nods friendly and turns back again before I can answer (They know me?) (Of course they would, they grew up hearing the tails of what happened that day) a strange calmness comes over me and a burning in my chest and palms that I never felt before boils on the inside of me (what is happening to me? This feels good) I am suddenly overwhelmed by a sense of duty and that I should in fact be here, doing this, and I can not disappoint these people or myself or my parents. (So this is what duty and honor means?) I was next; the man in font of me reached the top in no time (Okay Auryon concentrate) with my palms still burning I reach down and push the log. First it didn’t really move. For some reason that made me really angry (I am not giving up over a stupid log) not realizing everybody was watching me because the log was so much bigger than me. I unintentionally let out a loud scream and pushed. The log starts rolling, my palms burning. The more my palms burn the stronger I feel (PUSH AURYON!) my feet slip as I give it everything I’ve got to get to the top but I plant my heels. Every now and then I stop and then start pushing again. Everyone had finished and was waiting for me. I did not even noticed them. All I saw was this log and that hill. I was nearly at the top and my arms were starting to wobble (ONE MORE!)

“Aahg!”

I give the last of my strength and push the log over. The burning I felt is gone and I drop to my knees at the top of the hill. (That was torture, seriously) I am trying to catch my breath when I hear the general’s voice.

“Good Auryon, now can you get down while we are all still young?”

(He is relentless…) I get up and make my way down the hill almost falling in the process. At the bottom the other recruits just stare at me like I’m a ghost (what happened?) I have a frown on my face. Peter walks over to me:

“Good job Aury that was impressive”

(REALLY?) “Oh thanks Pete”

(I did just roll that massive log up that hill, didn’t I?) the general gets us together after a brief rest.

“Now we have the wall of despair and that will be the last task of today”

(Oh thank you, thank you)

“Follow me”

We walk into the woods following the general and there before us I look up at a wall at least 3 times taller than me. (ARE YOU EVEN SEEING THIS!?) The men all look at each other like they are figuring out a game plan over this wall. The general gives us the rules.

“You need to get over this wall. You can climb, claw and anything else using only your body. No ropes. No help. Just you and yourself with your natural strength”

(My natural strength huh, I am doomed)

“Go!”

At first only two men reach the top and drag themselves over. Many of us don’t make it up the wall. I jump and cling and claw but nothing. I hardly make it halfway. Peter and Lance do better than me they nearly reach the top but many of us can’t do it. The general stops us after a while

“Okay that’s enough for today, the wall will take some time” “you are all dismissed”

(THERE IS A GOD!)  

We get together in the kitchen for dinner that night. (I can’t feel my legs, do I still have legs?) I look down just to make sure (I am a mess) a maid comes rushing into the kitchen

“No, no, no you can’t sit here with us anymore”

Lance looks at her with concern “Why can’t we?”

Gabriel smacks his forehead with his hand,

“Of Course”

She smiles at him and takes his arm “You have seats at the table now, you are nobles”

(Well that was unexpected, does the whole world know?) We all look like we were run over by six buses and maybe two Elephants when we sit down at the table. (Day one has unmistakably kicked our asses) I am so exhausted I hardly look up. I sit about two chairs from the head where Lord Canowicakte sits then the general then some fancy dressed guy next to me. On the other side of me is Tracey, than Peter, Lance and Gabriel.

“Tracey why do you smell like wet dog?” I ask her.

She gives me a tired but satisfied smile, her sleeves are torn and she is covered in some sort of cave muck….. She answers slowly;

“Well I had some disagreements with the training today, it’s been… demanding”

She looks over at me “Why do you smell like someone rub their arm pits over you?”

Unimpressed I turn to her “Because someone did”

We burst out laughing. The guys are beaming with joy as they tell Gabriel what happened to us today. (Oh this food is great) I notice out of the corner of my eye Lord Canowicakte watching me. Every now and then he would steal a gaze. (He must think I look like a beast) just as he is about to call me the general leans in and whispers something in his ear. He looks at me shocked and then says nothing, just nods. (I don’t know what you said general but thank you, tonight it’s just me and my blistered bloody hands) we get up from the table to go to our rooms but another maid is waiting for us outside the dining room.

“Your rooms are this way”

Peter and Lance give each other a high five as we go up into the castle and into the wing opposite of Lord Canowicakte chambers. We had never been to this side of the castle but it is beautiful and bright. Gabriel gets his own luxury room with a view and on suite bathroom. He has taken off his shoes and is walking barefoot (I am so shocked I gasp) he looks over at me. My eyes wide.

“Don’t say a word Aury I have been running up and down this place the whole day I deserve this”

I bite my lip and nod smiling “Whatever you want, you are in charge” and I wink at him.

“Damn right I am” he enters his room and closes the door.

Peter and Lance share a huge room each with their own large beds on either sides of a screen painted with old scenes of battles and war. Peter is all smiles

“Oh wow, how awesome is this?”

Lance seems to be in heaven as well “The girls are going to love this”

I chuckle, “Girls huh? Those blond ones?”

He nudges my shoulder “Ouch!”

Peter is still exploring “and on suite bathrooms”.

The maid turns to them “the first royal pair who lived here 200 years ago had twins”

(That explains this room. So this castle is that old…) across the hall from them are two more rooms, one for Tracey and one for me. Both rooms are beautifully decorated in earthy tones. Tracey’s room has accents of pink and green with soft curtains and flowers placed everywhere including the on suite bathroom which has a built in closet

“Oh Aury, this is so gorgeous!”

(It happens to be her favorite colors) “It suites you Trace”

She looks around her room and I make my way to mine. When I open the door a familiar fragrance fills the air (that smells like my mom) my room is large and luxurious. a Big bed overlooks the whole forest and it reminds me a lot of Lord Canowikates room. My room is decorated in Pastel colors from top to bottom. Everything beautifully made. My bedding and curtains have been embroidered by hand with little summer flowers on them (This is so… I love this) to the one side of the room is my on suite bathroom decorated much the same with a walk in closet (It’s filled with stuff!) On the other side of the room I notice stares heading up and I can’t resist. They lead me into a small tower high above the castle. When I get there my mother’s cloak is hanging on the wall with a note and next to it another cloak. My eyes tear up. The room is decorated in blue and gold, filled with books and comfortable fluffy cushions

(I ADORE THIS TOWER) I walk over and take the note

My little Fire Fox, I had your room prepared for you as well as this private place you can retreat to. From here I can see you when I look out my tower. Your mother’s cloak has been repaired but not washed and I had them make a replica for you”

Tears start flowing down my face

 “On your cloak is a Gold clasp that looks like the tree you saw on my back, it was your father’s.

I sob uncontrollably and collapse to my knees.

I know I do not always convey to you how I feel but I hope this small gesture will open your heart because you have opened mine. Canowikate.

I cry so loud that I don’t hear Tracey come up the stairs. She rushed over to me and folds me in her arms

“Aury, what’s wrong?”

I put the letter in her hands and she starts reading it. I get a hold of myself in the meantime and wipe my tears. Tracey’s eyes fill with tears and she gives the letter back

“You know Aury for a heartless bastard he sure is very wonderful”

I laugh at her.

“So when did you see his back? Mmm?”

My eyes give me away at the unexpected question and I feel my cheeks go red

“I…um… it was a thing…with the…..”

she starts laughing “never mind I can see it was worth it”

I smile sheepishly “Oh Trace you have no idea”

Her eyes sparkle “really?, so tell me”

We sit in my tower and talk about everything. I tell her what has happened to me and she tells me how her life has unfolded as well and that she and Gabriel seem to be getting closer

“Gabriel! Trace you never said anything!”

She shyly shakes her head “we’ve been busy”

(I suppose so) “Look Aury regardless of who Lord Canowikates was when we got here, he has changed. He didn’t have to do any of this for us but he did. I really think he does feel something very deep and special for you”

I nod (he has to after all this) “Trace do you still want to go back home?”

She looks at me in silence for a few seconds her blue eyes are searching her soul.

“I don’t know Aury, to what will we go back? In the beginning I couldn’t wait to leave I was frightened all the time, but now…. I train beasts for heaven sake’s”

we both laugh

“Why do you ask, do you want to go back?”

I think for a few seconds (to what?)

“No, I don’t think so, I never felt I had a place in the world but here I feel like it’s my home”

She nods smiling “then it is decided me and you stay right here”

a Sense of relieve washes over me and we hug each other tightly

“Oh ugh we smell so bad”

laughter burst out the tower. We walk down and retire for the night. The maids had been there and a warm bath was waiting for me. I get undressed and lowered my sore, bruised body into the warm water. I groan as my open blisters sting but my muscles thanking me with each warm wave. (I hope I can walk tomorrow) after my bath I just fall into my bed. A soft feather bed.

To be continued…

FOREST LAND: THE AWAKENING Chapter 6 (if you guys like poetry do check out my IG @maritzawrites

The next morning before kitchen duty the General calls us to meet him outside the castle.

“Morning, you all know who you are now so I want to put you to work, you’re real jobs by order of Lord Canowicakte”

(Why does that scare me a bit?)

“Gabriel you have a meeting with all the department heads of the castle after breakfast. They will be reporting to you.”

“Yes general”

The general nods “what you have shown me so far has impressed me; continue to do so”

Gabriel bows with his face to the ground (wow, he really is from here)

“Tracey you will go the caves with Rudah, he will help you till you connect with your own beast. Training beasts is a top priority, both for social and military reasons. Just please, don’t get bitten, as you know they are venomous” “Sharpen your skills”

(What the hell?) Tracey seems so excited that I can’t help but smile at her from ear to ear (she is so comfortable here now)

“As for the three for you, you have military training everyday. We have some new recruits starting and you will join them.”

(MILITARY?) “Excuse me general, military? Me? Really?”

(No one is going to take me seriously and they are all huge compared to me) Meanwhile Peter and Lance are pumped.

“Don’t worry Aury, we’ll be there” Peter says

I roll my eyes at him. (That is so not comforting)

“Right” the general gives me a very stern, serious look

“Auryon, there was an assassination attempt on your life and you were helpless, like a pathetic worm. Your parents were in the Military, you have the gift of fire. Regardless of what you think that is your place”

(Geez general…pathetic worm?! hold on…gift of fire?) (I need to find out what that is)

“Okay general”

Satisfied we move to our new positions. (It would be great to be able to defend myself, and I do like archery very much) We follow the general to a piece of land separated from the big military camp. There 47 other men join us. The general gives a speech.

“Welcome recruits, you are the best of the best from each of our villages this year. Your positions here are a place of honor, where boys become men and live and die for their land and their people. We do not fear death! We wink at it and then kick its teeth out!”

“Whoogaa”

Everyone yells in one voice (Omw this is not…… what am I doing?)

“Training will be five days at a time and two days rest for the next few months. It will consist of fitness, hand to hand combat, stealth training, effective unit training, survival guide and tactics, weapons combat and …discipline.

(Why is he staring at me for?)

“However, at the end of each day you will face the Wall of despair. You will need to climb and clear this wall on your own without any person helping you. Is that understood?”

And again with one voice “Yes general”

(Am I dead yet?) we will start with fitness. You will run and when I whistle you will fall down and do a push-up, get up and run, when I whistle again you will drop down and do a sit up”

“After that we will do Log rolling”

(That sounds bad)

“Understood?”

One voice including myself answer “Yes general” he nods

“Now run!”

And so my military training began. Back home I went to the gym often but compared to this it’s like going to a tea party. (How many laps!?) I am so out of breath, my face and my lungs are burning. I have a funny taste in my mouth and my legs feel like jelly. Keeping up with the guys is hard. They are big and tough and fast but I will do my best. As I go into lap 25 I feel nauseous. I quickly make my way to the side of the field going into the forest and… vomit. The general glares at me;

“Anytime you’re ready Auryon”

(Oh, no, I can’t…..) but I look around and see someone else with the same problem. A huge body flies past me further into the forest letting out n gurgle and… vomit (I know this is weird but that actually makes me feel better) (fine then, I will do this!) I wipe my mouth and get back into the group. I manage to do 5 more laps before I vomit again (OMW that is definitely the last of my lunch) I feel really bad about it but no one else seems to care except me (these guys don’t really mind that I am here, do they?) It is normal for woman to be in the military here and noting new to anyone but me. (I am over thinking this… I should just do my best and learn) the general finally calls us back (I AM DEAD)

“Good warm up”

(WARM UP?!)

“Do you see that hill and those big logs lying at the bottom of that hill?” we all look to the side;

“Yes general”

He nods “You will stand at the bottom take a log and roll it up the hill”

(HAS HE LOST HIS MIND!?)

“10 at a time, go” “and don’t walk this is not a bloody market fair, run!”

to be continued…

FOREST LAND: THE AWAKENING Chapter 5 (4)

Plumigions crowing

(Ouch! shut up! I will shoot these birds!) (Oh my head) (Wait, where am I?) I open my eyes to see Lord Canowicakte still fast asleep next to me. His arm around me. (WHAT.DID.I.DO?!) (Ugh Auryon not again… Okay maybe again, I mean look at that face, who am I kidding?)

“Mmm just a little longer” Lord Canowicakte mumbles “Yes Aury, do that again, I want you so…..”

I chuckle (Wow?) (maybe I’ll just rest my eyes.)

TWO HOURS LATER

Lord Canowicakte opens his eyes slowly, his brain still catching up (Auryon? Oh good she’s still here) He gently brushes my hair out of my face as I wake up. I grab a piece of the blanket and cover my breasts

“Lord Canowicakte, hi….morning”

(She is even beautiful in the morning hung-over)

“Lady Auryon did you sleep well?”

“Yes, thank you. I’m sorry about last night. I know it was so inappropriate”

He smiles “Don’t be it was kind of fun, I enjoyed it.”

(Yes you would) “Oh, well, it won’t happen again. I need to go”

He grabs my arm with his big hand “Go where me’ Lady?”

(This is going to take some getting use to) “You know, breakfast and stuff”

(Why does he look so sad now?)

“No you don’t, it’s Remembrance day, and everyone is home”

I look at him curious “What is Remembrance day?”

He avoids looking in my eyes as he explains “Once a year we take a day off and remember all who were killed and the curse that fell and every horrible thing that changed our lives forever” “I hate this day, so please stay okay?”

I look at him completely shocked (The great War Lord Canowicakte needing comfort…. He was just a boy when it happened wasn’t he…) Suddenly I start to understand the cold steel eyes staring back at me.

“O-Okay, I can stay”

Relieved he tells me “Our parents were great friends you know, I remember your mom coming over to have cake with my mom, she was pregnant with you at the time”

(I love hearing about my parents) I smile at him, warmth engulfs my heart but then I remember the picture I saw.

“Lord Canowicakte when I was packing away your stuff the other day, a picture accidentally fell out your closet…. Was that your parents?”

He nods smiling “Yes the great King and his Queen. They met at a summer festival in the village; my mother was an excellent seamstress. She traveled the villages in the Forest Land and made clothes for the rich and famous. She enjoyed the freedom. Her parents didn’t approve because she was a Princess but she did what she wanted. It drove my Grandfather crazy, he would always send a small platoon with her.”

He has the biggest smile on his face and I am convinced my heart just grew bigger.

“One day my dad needed a new pair of trousers for some fancy party. He walked into her tent – was love struck and walked out with a pair of trousers and a date”

He smiles warmly as he tells me this and just for a moment I can almost see an emerald green shine in his eyes before they turn cold again.

“You don’t talk much about them do you?”

He shakes his head “Who would I talk to?”

(It is no wonder he is like this) My heart aches in my chest as I look at him and the image of a small black haired boy with a big crown tugs at my soul, all alone…

“I am really sorry”

He gently strokes my cheek “So am I”

There is a moment of silence between us and then out of no where his stomach growls so loud I jump. Laughing at him I ask

“Wow!, so you’re a bit hungry?”

He looks at me surprised “It seems I definitely am but I blame that on you”

“Why do you blame me?”

He grins as he hops out of bed “because you’ve been working up my appetite since last night”

I feel the blood rushing to my cheeks as I turn red “Don’t even start with me”

He laughs “what? I don’t make you crazy anymore?”

(No! stop! I am so embarrassed) I gather all my courage “I didn’t  say that”

(No point in denying it any longer even if its just me who feels this way ) He looks at me tilting his head and a smile starts appearing on his face.

“Okay then… good. Stay here I am bringing food”

(Breakfast in bed… am I really sober?) I chuckle to myself. Lord Canowicakte returns with plates of fruit and cheese and biscuits that were prepared the day before

“Oh wow this looks great but I could’ve gotten it, you’re the Lord of this castle”

He looks at me raising an eyebrow pointing with his chin

“Dressed like that?”

(Oh….OH!) “I suppose not” I pull the blanket up a bit higher….

He giggles at me “Personally I really like it”

(He is so damn hot) “Thank you. Sometimes the maids go a bit overboard”

He nods “My mother taught them and we haven’t had female quests in this castle for such a long time”

(I haven’t thought about that) it makes me smile. We have breakfast and stay in bed the whole morning talking and laughing (I can’t believe this is the man I was so afraid of)

“Lord Canowicakte I should be going now”

He stares at the floor “I don’t want you to leave”

I smile at him “I am not far”

He shakes his head “No I mean I don’t want you to leave, leave this place or leave me, I don’t want you to go back”

I am blown away (……..) “I don’t understand? We talked about this”

He nods again “I know but this place really is your home. Do you have someone waiting for you? Is that why you keep refusing me? Or do you have something to go back to?”

(Someone? Refusing him? Is he jealous? He makes a good point tho… I can’t just pretend this didn’t happen and this is my home)

“Lord Canowicakte it’s not that I refuse you, it’s just I don’t know how you really feel, I don’t want to be used”

(I can’t blame her. I don’t know how to do this…) He looks at me desperately the truth about his feelings on the tip of his tongue but then he looks away

“Please just think about it”

(Why does he not just say it?) “O-okay I will”

He squeezes my hands tightly in his own and smiles at me

“I really need to go now before everybody returns”

He helps me out of bed taking my hand above my head and spins me around. I feel a bit embarrassed as my night gown hugs my body tight and barely covers the essentials.

“Lord Canowicakte you’re staring”

He searches his mind for words “Right sorry… I’ll see you soon then”

I can’t help myself so I lean in to kiss him on his cheek and quickly leave. Lord Canowicakte just froze, in his room, alone holding his cheek (She just kissed me, on her own, like that, I need to find a way to tell her how I feel. I can’t take this anymore)

That night I go to bed early with the beautiful memory of Lord Canowicakte haunting my dreams.

To be continued…

FOREST LAND: THE AWAKENING Chapter 5 (3)

(She….she cares…) Lord Canowicakte’s eyes search my face and his own thoughts. I can see him struggling (great and there it is….. nothing)

“You know what nevermin…… mmm”

He kisses me passionately

“Canowicakte, more, please”

“Don’t say that to me woman I’ll rip your clothes off and break you”

He’s hand gently rests on my chest between my breasts (oh finally)

“You drive me crazy”

His hand searches my body but he suddenly stops.

“Wait, damn it!” “You had too much to drink and I might be a horrible monster to most men but you are different. I can’t do this, not like this”

(He hates me!) I start crying because too much wine makes me dramatic and It’s been a long day.

“You hate me don’t you? I knew it!  Am I not pretty enough for you?”

“No Auryon… you are, don’t… you are beautiful don’t cry please”

Lord Canowicakte puts his hands on his head (She is going to have such a headache)

“Just wait here I’m getting you a warm towel” (what am I suppose to do when a woman cries?)

Sobbing I lay back down, and fall asleep

“Aury….again! Really?” (how can something so beautiful be such a pain in my ass?)

He admires her body before tucking her in. He gently gets into bed with her and holds her in a tight embrace (I did not see this coming, I remember the babies the beast ran away with. I was still very young but that image is burnt into my brain, and now here she is…. With me, mine) it takes a while for Lord Canowicakte to find peace with all his thoughts but as he listens to Auryon’s heartbeat he drifts away in a deep sleep.

to be continued…

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