Slave to the Shadows

Allaix has been on the run all her life but she doesn't know why. All she knows is that she can't let the Lord of Shadows catch her. But what about the Lord of Light?

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2. Chapter Two

      Blake’s words didn’t reach my mind. It was as if my world had receded to a bubble that housed only me. All I could hear was the pounding of my heart and my haggard breathing. Turning away I let my gaze fall on the bodies that covered the floor. I dropped my weapons and knelt down to close Romana’s eyelids, knowing that would be the last time I would see her beautiful brown eyes.

      Ten seconds. I would give in to my grief for ten seconds but after that I had to go. More of His minions would be coming. It was possible that the Lord of Shadows himself was on the way. I shuddered at that thought. Closing my eyes I let the despair that I had been holding back overwhelm me. Romana had looked after me for most of my life. We weren’t related. My family had died when I was young, a newborn unable to protect myself. Romana had been like a sister to me. She had given up the chance of a family of her own to defend me. Romana had always known where to go and how to integrate us into a new place. How could I go on without her? I couldn’t cope on my own. There was so much that I didn’t know.

      The ten seconds ended and I stood up wiping the tears from my cheeks. I went upstairs to the room I had shared with Romana. We hadn’t owned much; a handful of clothes, a sword, a dagger, and a pitifully small stash of gold, silver and copper coins. The dress I was wearing was splattered with three shades of blood so I changed into a shirt and plain breeches. My black boots were worn and had bloodstains on them. After shoving some clothes and the money into a bag I returned downstairs and added some food to the bag. After swinging the now full cloth bag onto my back I returned my dagger to my boot. I removed Romana’s belt and strapped it around my own waist. I was thinner than she had been so the worn leather was loose around my waist. I slid Romana’s sword into the scabbard. The weight was strange and the sword knocked my leg when I walked but I knew there was no way I could leave it behind; I would need the sword to protect myself and it had been Romana’s most prized possession. I rummaged around in a cupboard until I found the small ceramic jar that held the oil Romana and I had used to light the lanterns every night. Splashing the oil onto the bodies before me I picked up a box of matches and withdrew one. Without even a seconds pause I stuck the match and threw it down onto one of the Lord of Shadows’ beasts. It went up in a mountain of flame and with one quick glance around me I span on my heel and left.

      Romana had told me once that if the day ever came that she was killed and I was left on my own, that I should burn everything and follow my heart. Well I had done the first part but how could I follow my heart when all it was telling me to do was to get away, far away from here? I couldn’t just head in any direction. I had to think very carefully about my next move and quickly.

      The heat from the roaring flames was warm on my back as I stood outside the front of the house. Placing my hand on the hilt of Romana’s sword I scanned the darkness in case more of His servants came. More would be here soon. I could tell that from the way my stomach was churning. The night was cool so I withdrew a cloak and fastened it around my neck. I needed a horse so that I could put as much distance between myself and Him. But where could I get one from?

      That was when I heard the unmistakable sound of a horse whinnying. Running around the side of the house I pulled my dagger from my boot. I took a deep breath to calm my nerves. He wouldn’t take me. I wouldn’t let Him. I would rather die than let myself be used for His evil purposes. When the horse was almost upon me I jumped out in front of it, my weapon raised high to find Blake upon horseback, a second horse following him. From the moonlight that was beaming down from the starry sky I could see that Blake’s green eyes had widened in surprise.

      “Allaix, what do you think you’re doing?” His tone made it sound as if I had done something disgusting. His silken lips had actually drawn into a sneer.

      Glaring at Blake I gritted my teeth and felt my hold tighten around the hilt of my dagger. “What are you doing here?” I had thought that I would never see him ever again after he had glimpsed what I was.

      “Rescuing you,” Blake answered, staring at me from down his big pompous nose.

      I strode away from him angrily. “I don’t need rescuing,” I hissed.

      Chuckling he followed after me. “So you don’t need a horse?”

      I pressed my lips together and increased my pace. What was Blake doing? Did he want me to beg?

      When it became clear that I wasn’t going to say anything, Blake sighed and made his horse gallop forwards to block my way. I went to move around him but Blake obstructed me again.

      “Move, curse you!” I cried angrily.

      Reaching backwards, Blake unhooked the reins for the second horse and held them out to me. “Here, take it.”

      I hesitated. Knowing Blake there had to be a catch. “Why are you helping me?” He never acted out of the kindness of his heart. I wasn’t even sure that Blake Griffin had a heart.

      Blake shifted in the saddle looking slightly uncomfortable. “Just take the reins, Allaix.... if that’s even your real name.”

      Silently cursing him, I took the reins. The horse was a chestnut mare with a shiny coat and supple muscles. It was one of Lord Griffin’s racehorses. Narrowing my eyes at Blake I muttered. “You’re coming with me, aren’t you? Why?”

      Blake’s sneer returned. “I told you, I’m rescuing you.”

      “I am not a princess that needs saving by a knight in shining armour.”

      Running his green eyes up and down my body, Blake smirked. “Well that is a shame. I was hoping to receive a handsome reward for helping you...though of course I should have known that you wouldn’t be a princess.” His tone was sarcastic and made my blood boil.

      “I don’t need your help,” I snapped tossing the reins back to Blake. “Just leave me alone.”

      He opened his mouth to reply but that was when a howl ripped through the night air. That moment was the first time I ever saw fear in Blake’s eyes.

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