The Beast Within

In a world where magic is outlawed and virtually extinct, Princess Fiamatta suddenly finds her world turned inside out by the traitorous word. From royalty, to fugitive, to leader of the rebels, Fia is forced to work with a handsome, arrogant magician she found locked away in a dungeon.

btw, this is my NaNoWriMo story so criticism is much appreciated! Thanks :)

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42. Act 41

Inside the wall surrounding the Citadel, there was a small market that took place. It seemed much like the one that was outside but there were a few stalls that had unique merchandise. After some persuading, I convinced Caiden to walk around the market with me. We looked at the stalls and their items. I stopped in front of this one jewelry stand. One necklace in particular caught my attention. It was a simple black cord with a stone in the middle. But there was something about the stone, although it wasn’t a gem, it had an iridescent shine to it. My hand reached out without my realization and softly caressed the surface. It was surprisingly smooth, but what was even more surprising was the warmth of it. I stood puzzled, not remembering seeing anyone try it on.

“Would you like to try it on?” I hadn’t noticed the stall owner standing there; I had no idea how long she had been watching me. I glanced up at her. She seemed to be a few years older than me, perhaps around 25 or so, with chocolate colored skin. She had laughing lines permanently creased on her face, and her smile reached her eyes.  It was her eyes that really astounded me. They were a lavender color. Never before had I seen a shade like that, they reminded me of Logan’s eyes when I first saw them. They transfixed me.  “Are you ok?” She asked concerned. I forgot that I was staring and looked away immediately. I nodded and mumbled that I was fine before my eyes returned to the stone.

“It’s beautiful,” I told her and she nodded in agreement.

“It would suit you very well,” she said with confidence. Lightly, she picked up the necklace and reached over, clasping it around my neck. A smile spread across her lips as she looked at it on me. “I was right,” she said happily as she turned a small mirror towards me. The stone seemed to shine against my pale skin, more so than it had on the table. “That is a protection charm,” she told me, drawing my eyes away from my reflection.

“What will it protect me from?” I asked. Her eyes studied me closely, thinking about her answer carefully.

“Harm.” Was all she said. A confused look spread across my face but she cut me off before I could speak. “Now, why don’t you wear that around the market and think about buying it.” She said and began shooing me away when I tried to protest. With a reluctant nod I began walking around the market again. I could not help but feel bad, I did not have any money to buy this with so walking around to think about it was a lost cause. But, it did feel nice to wear it. It almost felt like a small blanket of security had been put on me. By the time I started walking back to the stall I found myself dreading every footstep, I didn’t want to give it back.

When I finally came back the stall was gone. I looked around, checking to make sure I was in the right place. Once I was certain that I was I looked back at the empty space. She had left, but I still had the necklace. I pursed my lips, utterly puzzled. Did she intend to leave the necklace with me, or did an emergency come up perhaps? I sighed, not coming close to an answer, and went off in search of Caiden. He was still at the sword stand that I had left him at earlier. I had no idea how much he enjoyed swords until he stopped at the stall. Now that I was coming back for him I noticed he was still engaged in a conversation with the owner like when I had left. I sidled up beside him and he glanced at me. His eyes were caught on my necklace, and then I gave him a look saying that I would explain later. He nodded and turned back to the owner. Finally they ended the conversation since the owner had to close the shop. The market was closing for the day.

We stood against the wall and watched the shopkeepers leave with their carts and merchandise. Caiden asked about my necklace while we watched, and I told him about the strange woman. He shared my puzzled look, wondering why she left without the necklace. While we were thinking it over I noticed two soldiers making their way through the fray. I had assumed that they were coming perhaps to regulate traffic, but as they got closer something inside me started to panic.

I glanced at Caiden and he moved me behind him as they came towards us. I thrusted my hand into my pocket, fingering the smooth handle of my switchblade. They stopped in front of us, both were giants in their armor.

“You two need to come with us,” The one said through his helmet. His voice was gruff and slightly muffled by the metal in front of his mouth but his words were clear.

“And if we don’t?” Caiden challenged. I glanced at him, wondering what he was planning.

The second soldier stood straighter as his hand crossed over to his sword, “Then we shall have to use force. “ I watched as Caiden got into an attack position, ready to take the soldier on. My hand rested on Caiden’s shoulder before he could initiate the fight. He glanced back at me and I stared at him while I spoke.

“We will go peacefully,” I said steadily. I didn’t let him look away from my gaze until he nodded and relaxed his stance. Then I looked up at the soldiers as one of them reached for a pair of handcuffs. “I said we shall go peacefully, but that also means with dignity. Those will not be necessary.”

The soldiers exchanged a look between each other before looking back at Caiden and me. The first one nodded and then they both moved to either side of us.

“Let’s go.”

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