Emerald Eyes *FIRST DRAFT*

A tale has long been told of the girl with emerald eyes. But this is more than just a story. Its a destiny...

Book 2 in the Chalson Chronicles. All rights reserved. Cover designed by Alicia Keyes.

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10. Honey And Cinammon

When I woke a few hours later, I was laying on a soft mattress under smooth, embroidered sheets. Yawning, I climbed out and fell back on to the bed in pain. I tried again, leaning on a table next to my bed, and hobbled over to a mirror. I slipped off the tied up gown, undid the lacing on the back of the new green dress underneath and nearly threw up. My back looked like the insides of a dead animals. The dried blood around the cuts was gone, leaving 'bitch' firmly engraved on me forever. Sighing, I redid the ribbons and slipped the gown back on. I made my way out of the room and down a steep flight of stairs in to a large, flower filled room. Cassia sat in a chair, flicking through a newspaper called Tadley Today.

"Hi," for some reason, I was more nervous now then I was when I met the rebels. He dropped the newspaper in surprise and beamed the brightest beam I've ever seen. Moving over to me, his arms slipped around my waist and he held me in a tight hug. I buried my face in his neck and just lived in that moment for what seemed like forever. We eventually broke apart, our eyes lost in each others. Our lips met fleetingly, and then more lingeringly. The same butterflies from yesterday fluttered around inside of me, not resting until we pulled apart.  Cassia sat me down on the sofa and moved over to a table on the other side of the room. He was soon at my side, passed me a mug of drink and sat down next to me. I take a sip and smiled slightly. Spai with honey and cinnamon, my favorite. The boy slipped his arm around me and pulled me back so my head rested on his chest.

"You're one brave person, you know greeny," Cassia said in to my hair. He caressed my back, careful not to touch my scar. My mind flew back to the dungeon and I flinched slightly. A kiss was planted on the top of my head.

"I wouldn't of told her anything, no matter what she did to me," I stared at the fire burning in-front  of us and tried to keep my mind off the palace. That memory would haunt me for the rest of my life. As would the scars.

"You would of given it a damn good shot," he muttered, following my gaze to the dancing flames.

"What do you mean by that?" I sat up and fixed him with a hard stare. The boy blushed a deep red and kept his gaze fixed on the fire.

"She can be extremely violent to her prisoners. What she did to you was just her warm-up act," he brushed the hair from my face, "Everyone, even the bravest, say something eventually."

I settled back against him and sipped my drink. "I thought you meant something else."

I could practically hear his smile. We might of stayed like that the whole day if someone hadn't of entered the cottage. Our seat was in a private corner, unvisble to anyone at the door, but we still jumped up  and began acted like nothing had been happening. A woman rounded the corner, looking completely at home here.

"Evelyn! Thank Saulaf you're ok," she hugged me hard and held me at arm length, examining my face. The woman then turned to Cassia and shoke his hand.

"Sorry, but who are you?" she exchanged a surprised look with Cassia. Odviously I should know, but I can't help it if I don't.

"Reay Aniso, but everyone calls me Raven. I'm a close friend of Rasco and a rebel," she poured herself some spai and nearly gagged at the taste, "Who puts honey and cinnamon in spai?"

I grinned and sipped my own cup, "I do."

Raven looked at me like I was crazy. Perching herself on the chair, she picked a feather off her shoulder and glanced at Cassia.

"Riah's argeed to provide you both with a passage back to Benlat. He'll be here at midday."

"I thought he was off exploring the Unknown Regions."

"He's hit a dead end. Something about that tub not being able to land. He's returning today." Cassia leaned against a table, and seeing my confused face, explained,

"Riah's a pirate. Of sorts anyway. He provides us with rare stuff from other countries and a way of getting around easily, as long as we train his crew," turning back to Raven, he said, "We should head to the docks. It can't be very long until midday."

Nodding, she headed for the door. Cassia grabbed my hand and tried to pull me towards the door. I slipped my hand out of his grasp and yanked off the rode, dropping it on the floor. Taking his hand, we followed Raven out of the cottage. It was a short walk in to the nearest town, Tadley according to Raven, and we were soon in the center. If I'm honest, it was a bit of a dump. The streets were lined with closed down shops, the red paint peeling and signs falling down, and what seemed to be a market was full of shady characters, buying weapons or werid looking things. Raven sighed and led us past a dead animal stall.

"This place used to brillant. The market was full of rare and wonderful things from other places, the shops selling delicious, exotic food. But ever since my mentor took over, everything has gone to pot," she sighed as we reached the docks.

"Your mentor?"

"When I was your age, I studied in the Warrior Wizard Guild in Winterbrook. Opeh studied there at the same time, along with Cassia, Guiver and Rasco, and I was Opehs apprentice. She was going to become the Master Wizard, but her sister, Aral, was crowned instead after Aral Hexed him in to crowning her instead. Then it all just went pear-shaped and Opeh took the crown of Chalson for herself. Poor girl has never been the same," she looked over at a small island in the distant and sighed again. I knew from my maps that it was Granld, the capital city. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see someone walking up to us. A black coat flew out behind him, looking like a cloud. At his feet trotted a ginger cat, but it had to be careful not to be trodded on by his shiny black boots. The only thing that disturbed me about him was his eye. It was a rounded ruby, glitening in the sun.

"I know both of yer, but not you. What be yer name girl?" he shook Cassias free hand and hugged Raven as he spoke, but fixed me with the ruby.

"Evelyn. You must be Riah," I held out my hand and he shook it hard. Riah guided us over to a smallish boat moored up at the dock, a plank connecting it to the ground.

"All abroad, me ladies and gents," he smiled a croked smile and followed up us the ramp to the ship, "Next stop, Benlat."

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