Beautiful Hell (Draft 1)

For almost one hundred years, a brutal and bloody struggle for dominance between the kingdom of Ra'Ziel and the plains of Torath has torn the world asunder, raining death and destruction upon the earth. But this war is coming to an end. With only a few descendants of both royal lines living, will there finally be peace? Alexandra Ra'Ziel wants nothing more than to end the feud that took her older brothers from her, but Tristan Torath has different plans. He wants - he needs - retribution for the wrongs he has suffered. And so their story begins. Because anyone can find vengeance, but only a rare few achieve true justice.

Ok yeah, so here's the thing. I'm rewriting this story, so anybody who wants to read the new chapters (as I edit and revise them) can find them on my page. The Movella is titled Beautiful Hell (Re-imagined). And yeah, it's way way way better than this one, but also way more graphic too.

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27. Alexandra Maria Ra'Ziel

            Alex followed her father back to his meeting tent. All his chief strategists and generals were waiting there already. They ducked inside, followed immediately by Will and Danny.

            “My Lady, I am glad to see you safely returned to us. I trust your ordeal wasn’t too… traumatic?” That was rich, coming from Captain Truyver. He had been maneuvering for power for years. And, of course, for Alex’s hand. When he said it, his eyes washed appreciatively over her body, which was still almost naked, thanks to the red slave clothing. Alex met his gaze defiantly.

            “No, of course not. Why would you think it was, Captain?” The raw innocence in her voice seemed to take him aback. Before he could answer, her father’s head tactician, Baron Merrice, replied.

            “Well, they are barbarians, and, excuse me for saying, Highness, but you look remarkably… Vulnerable, in your present state.”

            Alex sat at the table with a smile. She had missed these petty, conniving people’s squabbling and grabbing for power. “So, let me understand you, Baron. Captain. You wish to know if, during my stay at the Torath encampment, I was molested. Am I correct?” Both blushed and looked decidedly uncomfortable. Will, Alex saw, looked angry, Danny embarrassed – whether for her or for them, Alex wasn’t sure – and her father’s look was inscrutable.

            “Then let me clarify it for everyone. No one laid a hand on me by force. I was not abused or raped, or molested in any way.” They all looked relieved. “However, through my own choice, I gave myself to him. If you don’t like it, fine.” Now her father was definitely angry. Will looked sick, and all the rest just confused.

            “Why, Lex?” Will was the one to voice what they were all thinking.

            Well, Tris, I guess I’m not following your advice. Alex smiled at the thought. Tris had done enough, she wasn’t going to make these people hate him further. “Because, Will, for the first time in my life, I had a choice. For the first time, I found someone who needed me. I realize that you hate them all, but I don’t see why. Tris – Tristan Torath, I mean – never touched me, until the day I gave myself to him. That was this morning. The day after he sacrificed everything for me.”

            “Captain, prepare you troops. We march at dawn.” Whatever reaction Alex was hoping to get from her audience, this wasn’t it. Her father spoke as if she didn’t exist. As if what she said didn’t matter. “My daughter’s innocence must be avenged. Whatever spell that monster had put upon her must be ended. Along with his life.”

            It took a moment for the words to sink in. Will’s face was what finally made them make sense. He looked excited, happy even. Oh Nylia. Please, no! They’re going to kill him!

            “NO! No Father, you can’t! Five years, that’s what you said. Five years-”

            “William, please take my daughter back to her tent. She is feeling hysterical, and needs rest. Her suffering shall not go unpunished, but I don’t think she needs to be here for the plans. She shall rest until dawn.”

            Will looked at her and saw the pleading in her eyes, but it didn’t change anything. He clasped one rough hand firmly around her arm and dragged her, kicking and screaming, out of the tent. Alex had one final look at the gathered soldiers, and only Danny was even watching her. In his gaze, Alex saw hesitation. He knew. He owed Tris his life.

            They were out of sight of the command tent when Will finally let her go. “I’m sorry, Lex. But that monster cannot go unpunished for his sins.”

            “Tris isn’t a monster, Will! Ask Danny, he knows. Tris saved Danny’s life. He saved my life, Will! Why doesn’t that matter to any of you?”

            “There was a time when you were one of us. I will get you back, Lex. I will kill the monster myself if I have to. I will free you.”

            Will didn’t talk to her again until they reached an empty tent. Then, pushing her inside, he stood sentry outside the flaps. Alex collapsed onto her knees by the bed and buried her face into its softness.

            “Ylanyos, God of the mountain wind, Lord of lost love. Please, save him.”

            The only reply was a sudden cold breeze that pushed through the tent. Alex thought she heard a voice in it, but it was gone too soon to be sure.

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