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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45. Act 44

My eyes widened at his title. Logan didn’t flinch at her words, instead he continued to stare her down.

“That will be enough, Second Master Magician Raiz.” His voice was dark and taught with tightly controlled anger. Raiz nodded submissively and sat down once more. Logan turned to address the council. “When I entered the Citadel there was mass confusion and radical action. Such has resulted in this unnecessary trial. I adjourn this trial and ask for an immediate council meeting to convene. “ His voice echoed off the walls throughout the silent room.

And then, everything seemed to move in rapid succession. The officials were busy with their attendants and the guards were rushing up to us once more. They lead us out of the bustling room back to the staircase. Not knowing what to do with us they lead us all the way back down the steps, and even further below the first floor into the basement which ended in a dungeon. There were puddles of unrecognizable muck dotting the floor, and it smelled as if a rat had died, a while ago. They stuffed us into a small cell that had a small patch of hay for a bed.

Once the soldiers walked away, taking their torch and only light source with them Caiden and I were left in darkness. For a moment it was alright, but then it seemed to almost consume us and I felt compelled to speak.

“Caiden where are you?” I asked quietly into the space. His voice sounded to my left.

“I’m right here princess. “ He said. I felt his hand lightly feel my arm and then it grabbed it softly. “I found you.” I nodded and touched his arm as well, feeling up it to his shoulder. I walked closer to him, feeling slightly comforted by the contact. Knowing that he was there made everything slightly better.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” I told him worriedly, “I had no idea who Logan really was, or about him being kidnapped or-“ I was spinning out of control and Caiden could tell. His voice cut me off, stopping my rant.

“I know, Princess. You are not to blame for this.” He said. He backed up a bit, reaching for the wall but also holding onto me. Once he found it he went to where he remembered seeing hay and sat down on it. I sat beside him on it. “Everything is going to be ok, we will not be abandoned here.” He said as he rubbed my arm comfortingly. I nodded and shut my eyes, leaning against the wall. I took a few deep breaths trying to reign in my panic. Why had Logan not mentioned this before? Didn’t he think it would be a problem? I sighed, as my thoughts swirled and fought each other in my mind, resulting in a terrible headache.

“Caiden,” I said quietly. He responded quietly, letting me know he was listening, “Can you do what you did in the plains? That night that we were hiding in the grass.” I asked quietly. I heard him shift beside me and I felt the deft sensation of his hands feeling up my face, making their way to my temples.

“I’m not quite sure how to do this without sight, but I’ll try.” He said quietly as he applied a slight bit of pressure. “Now, focus on my voice. Forget everything that has happened, and just listen to me. “ I listened to the low timbre of his voice. It wasn’t as deep as Logan’s was, but it was soothing and relaxed me as I focused on it. “What would you like to talk about?”

“Tell me about Ida,” I said quietly. It was the first thing that popped into my mind, and I began to regret asking while he paused for a long time but then he spoke.

“The first time I saw her, I hated her. I was five at the time. Mother had been seeing the doctor many times during her pregnancy, so it was no surprise when she didn’t survive the birth. My father brought her out in a white blanket, almost as if to make her seem pure. She had killed my mother though, I knew that she was anything but. “ His voice was heavy with regret and deep remorse, and after clearing his throat he continued. “Things didn’t change as we grew up. My father would scold me many times for not being fair, or treating her meanly but I didn’t care. In my eyes, she would always be a murderer. Then one day, everything changed. My friends and I had been out on a frozen lake during winter. We were just playing a game on the ice, when it started to crack. Suddenly we all stilled, hoping that it would stop. We screamed for help, not daring to move anymore. My father came running out of the woods, and I could see the fear on his face.

He was still for a moment before he began to extract us off of the ice one by one. I was the farthest one out. Slowly, he approached me on the ice, and instructed me step by step. One foot in front of the other, he kept telling me. Eventually he held me in his arms, and we both cried. But then, the sound of the ice groaning halted our celebration. Before I knew what was happening I was flying towards the shore, and my father was gone. He had pushed me away at the last second before the ice had given away beneath his feet. I turned back, wanting to go after him, or die trying, but something held me back.

I looked down to see little Ida. She had attached herself to my leg and refused to release. Her big brown eyes looked up at me, wet with unshed tears. Please don’t go, she begged, don’t leave me alone big brother.”  Caiden was silent for a while after that. I wanted to reach out to him and tell him that it was ok to stop, but I thought better of it. Perhaps he needed to tell someone, and the least I could do was listen. After a while he continued with a stronger voice, “My father died that day. I was ten, and Ida was five. We went to live with a friend of my father’s who owned the tavern, Raven’s Perch.”

Recognition dawned in me at the sound of the name.

“That’s the place where you worked in the capital.” I said. Ida had mentioned it when she talked about going to get Caiden.

“Yes,” he said, “When we lived there both Ida and I worked, doing whatever the owner or his wife needed. After Ida turned twelve though, she applied for a job as a servant in the castle, “ he sighed softly, “She had only been working there a year, when she showed up at the tavern and told me we had to leave.”

“I’m sorry.” The words came falling out of my mouth quicker than the tears fell from my eyes. “Caiden I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to kill your sister, I never meant to put her in harms way. I sent her to Irian to keep her safe. And not a day goes by that I don’t think about her body in my arms. Not a minute goes by that I don’t think about everything that I could have done to save her. Every moment that passes, my heart aches for her to be here.” My voice cut off after that, choked away by the sobs that racked my body.

Strong arms encircled my body, and I cried into Caiden’s warm chest. He held me like a child for what felt like centuries until finally my body was all dried up. I sat in his arms, clinging to him desperately.

“I’m so sorry,” I whispered it over and over into his shirt, overcome with guilt. His hand stroked my hair comfortingly as he held me close. It was then that I could feel that my shoulder was damp. I had not been the only one crying during that fit.

“It’s ok Princess,” he whispered in my ear. His voice had become hoarse from the sobs. “I forgive you.”

With those three words, tears that I thought I didn’t have came pouring out again. Relief washed over me and I cried until my mind drifted into the comfort of sleep.

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