Unwilling Deception

After 70 years of slavery, two Fae, Elora and Tarian, travel together to a safe house, having to adjust to 'freedom' and to each other. With nightmares of their past and an impending future the journey isn't without it's struggles.

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2. 2: Elora's POV

I had fallen to sleep after midnight, after a long night of twisting and turning. I had the nightmare again; the same nightmare I had almost every night. I was standing there in the throne room, Quin was next to me, Tarian next to the king’s daughter his face stoic like always. The king sat on his throne, his lips curled in a smirk. He never said anything, no one ever said anything; but as he pointed to Quin… my head snapped toward Quin, tears already streaming down my face as guards started to drag him away. There was nothing I could do, I was frozen in place under the kings stare. Tarian sunk into the shadows, his green eyes full of sorrow. Then the screaming started, blood spraying across the floor. I screamed in real life or in the dream I didn’t know, screaming for his torture to stop, but the king just laughed. Then I was awake. Drenched with sweat, my throat hurting as I swallowed.

I ran to the bathroom, spilling my guts in the toilet before sinking all the way to the ground. Placing my hands flat on the cool floor, I took slow deep breaths – trying to calm my racing heart.

Probably a half an hour passed before I finally rose from the ground, flushed the toilet, rinsed my mouth, and left the bathroom. The sun had risen above the horizon when I finally sat down in parlor overlooking the stream and snow covered garden. Birds were chirping, two cats were playing in the snow, fish were jumping, the sun shining. The world was moving on – had moved on, even though the king was still in power. All the things he did, all the lives he ruined would become part of a story. A story that our children’s children would tell. A story and nothing more.

“Aah, you’re up.” I jumped, my hand flying to the dagger next to me, my head snapping to find Tarian standing in the doorway, holding two cups. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” he added, his eyes soft, his black hair messy from sleep, his black bat-like wings folded tightly against his back. I didn’t reply, didn’t know how to reply. “Can I join you?” I didn’t move, and he slowly walked into the room.

He set a cup of steaming liquid on the table next to me before sitting in a chair all the way on the other end of the room, his wings trying to adjust to the weird angle. “Oh, wow -” he gasped looking out the large windows, “that view is, beautiful.”

“It’s my favorite,” I said, my voice barely above a whisper as I looked back outside.

“I can see why. My home didn’t have a view like this; come to think of it, it didn’t have a view in general,” he said taking a sip from whatever was in his cup. “You would think that since my family all had wings we would have lived in a place that was high up and had a great view, but you would be wrong.”

“Where did you live?” I asked, curiosity getting the best of me.

He sighed looking back out the window, “It was basically a hole in the ground,” he joked running a hand through his hair. “It was literally in the ground, a tiny hallowed out wood sided house. My sister, two brothers, me, plus my mom had to share one room and a bathroom,” he smiled at the memory of his home, wherever it was.

“What happened to your family?” and I knew, right as the question came out of my mouth I had asked the wrong thing. Tarian’s smile faded, his hands clenching into fists so hard his knuckles turned whiter than they normally were. Which was saying something because he probably hadn’t seen sunlight in 70 years.

“I don’t know,” he answered, swallowing hard. “I looked for them everywhere underground, every minute I could get away from the ‘princess’; but they were nowhere to be found.” His voice was hallow, without feeling, or possibly too much feeling.

“I’m sorry-” I began but he was already standing, walking out of the room.

I didn’t see Tarian the rest of the morning, nor at lunch, and I would be lying if I didn’t say I was worried. Walking through the hallways I searched for him – I don’t know what I would say when I found him, if I found him. He was nowhere in the house. Maybe the king had found us, and had taken Tarian, thinking he was the only one here – or he could be searching for me. He will drag me back underground. I can’t go back – I can’t go back.

I was running now, down every hallway and searching every room for Tarian. I unsheathed two hunting daggers, knowing that if the king was here, I would need every weapon I could get my hands on. Running into the parlor I scanned the room, my breathing ragged. He wasn’t in there. I was about to turn and run to another room again, when I looked out the window to find Tarian, ax in hand, chopping wood. Sagging against the wall, I let out a sigh of relief, my daggers clinking against the floor.

Tarian had no coat on, his long sleeved shirt pulled up to reveal his pale arms. They were covered with scars, big and little, two scars though were the most prominent. They were around his wrists, the skin jagged, like he had pulled on shackles until there was no skin left – and kept pulling. Sweat soaked through the back of his shirt as he turned, his wings flared.

He was so at odds with the snow around him, and so different from Quin. Quin had shaggy light brown hair that was always pulled into a ponytail at the base of his neck. Tarian on the other hand, had short cropped black curly hair. The two couldn’t have been more different, where Quin had more muscle, I could tell Tarian had the speed and agility.

I closed my eyes, taking deep breaths to calm my heart. Once I had calmed down, I stood straight, picked up my daggers, cast one last glance at Tarian before leaving the room.

I was sitting in the living room, curled up, reading a book, when Tarian stomped into the house, knocking snow off his boots. He was carrying a handful of logs, the muscles in his arms tense. Walking past me, Tarian set the logs down by the fireplace, and I couldn’t help but marvel at his wings. “I thought you were taken by the king,” I said softly; he straightened, looking over his shoulder at me.

“Pardon?”

I took a deep breath, wringing my fingers, “I thought you were taken by the king,” I said a bit louder and Tarian sighed, pulling his sleeves down, covering the jagged scars.

Kneeling again, he set three of the logs into the fire place, “Why?” he asked, using the flint to start a fire. I swallowed, looking back down at my hands.

“After this morning, I couldn’t find you anywhere in the house,” I confessed looking back up to find Tarian standing, watching me. “I thought the king had found us, and took you, and he was going to take me too.”

“I wouldn’t let that happen, Elora,” he said, and I knew, deep in my heart that he would stay true to his word, that he would do everything in his power to stop the king. I nodded, and Tarian moved past me, his steps light on the wood floor. He turned back toward me at the doorway before saying, “I would kill the king before he even set one finger on you,” and then he left the room.

 

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