PETRICHOR

Rivka, a young female royal guardsman, is tasked with a daunting mission to assist a species known for brutality against her own.

Caine, a prince of a dying race, seeks aid from those his kind feast upon.

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Author's note

This story will include graphic images and attempt at horror. If gore is not something you are comfortable with, I recommend to not read. Certain themes maybe too much such as infanticide and noncon. While noncon will never be described in this version, it will be mentioned as a fact that it does happen. Please steer away if you might be triggered.
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6. Unease

Rivka paced in her room, her hair undone and a mess of ringlets at her shoulders. It was still damp from the recent rain and she didn't want to bother with a towel. She was angry with Craedel for not telling her about what was going on, about his relation with the fomorian. It had been a week since she had her encounter with Caine and not one word was uttered about his presence by Craedel or Barrett.

 

She thought herself as Craedel's closest to confide in, to tell everything (besides Barrett that is). The king took her in after her parents died, he allowed her to pursue fighting, he promised her power... Why would he not tell her of his dealings?

 

She understood that Craedel wanted to discuss something with the fomorian, he had told her that much. She remembered their whispers in the throne room.

 

"Rivka, he is none of your concern. I will deal with this, do not try to make your way into this situation. It is not your place."

 

Rivka hesitated, and quietly responded, "Not my place? My king, I..."

 

He waved his hand up to silence her, "Rivka, you are dismissed for the rest of the evening. I'll have Barrett watch over Caine. You are to prepare for dinner and act as a proper lady." As he spoke, he motioned for his other underling. Barrett silently came out of the darkness, his stark blue eyes contrasted sharply from the dimly lit throne room, electric pools of intensity yet soft with submerged kindness that very few knew.

 

Rivka thought over what happened. Barrett and Caine left for what she assumed was Craedel's study and she herself left for her own room to bathe and consider yet all she could do was pace in anger.

 

"Maybe it is a peace treaty?" Fiore smiled at her from across her room leaning on the canopy bed, his childish grin melted her heart. He had a way with easing tension but just as often he could be the very cause of disturbance. Fiore was intelligent, a prodigy even, but his childish nature could leave him in the dark and bring about annoyances. He was what one would call intelligent but not wise.

 

Rivka returned a half-smile to him but sighed, "Maybe, but how could fomorians suddenly want to make peace? There hasn't been any particular change in their attitudes towards us and we haven't really attacked them in a way that would make them want to come to terms."

 

Fiore yawned and fell back onto her bed. "Who can say? All we can do is hope for the right thing to happen." He crossed his arms behind his head and closed his eyes. "If that fomorian is as nice as he seems to be from what you said, then I can't wait to examine him. I have so many questions!"

 

Rivka rolled her eyes and began to undress. She didn't tell him about how he allowed his small army to consume a man alive. Fiore wouldn't be allowed to see Caine anyways, why would it matter? Unless Rivka could procure a good enough reason for him to be allowed to, which she was sure a physical examination would sure be.

 

"What dress should I wear tonight? I hate choosing, it reminds me of how degrading it is to be forced to wear them." Rivka shifted through velvety materials that rested in her closet.

 

"You hate wearing them because you are told to do so but you want me to tell you what to wear?" Fiore giggled and rose from Rivka's bed. His hazel eyes scanned over her direction. "I'd say green. It compliments your fiery hair."

 

Rivka didn't respond, she pulled a large green dress with gold trimming. It isn't that much different than what I usually wear, she thought sarcastically.

 

Rivka threw the monstrosity on over her head, luckily it was plain and didn't require but one set of laces to be tied behind her.

 

"Fio, would you mind...?"

 

Fiore stood up and waltz behind her, he neatly tied the laces.

 

"You need an actual servant to wait on you, I am a grown man!" Fiore went back to her bed and sprawled himself on it again.

 

Rivka smirked, "Grown? Hah, you're only sixteen."

 

Fiore didn't move to look at her, "Exactly why I shouldn't have to help you get dressed! You're going to ruin me Rivka, I am only a child and you've crushed my innocence with the sight of your," he made a round gesture with his hands, "largeness." 

 

"It really shouldn't matter to you, you work with naked women all the time!"

 

Fiore rolled over to stare at her, "they're usually dead, Rivka."

 

Rivka went to her mirror and started to comb her hair with her hands. She knew it really didn't bother Fiore, he was a master of anatomy anyways. He had helped stitch her up many times before, seeing her nude was another daily occurrence in his life. 

 

Besides, she was quite sure he wasn't interested in women. She herself wasn't sure if she was ever going to fall in love, Rivka lost the ability to long ago. 

 

"Oh what a chance it would be to examine that fomorian." Fiore sighed. He seemed off, he was the kind of boy who was unconditionally sweet and quick to annoy with sweet nothings. He loved to please.

 

Rivka glanced at him through her mirror's reflection, Fiore was twirling his fingers, his eyes loosely closed. He was distracted by something else. Now thinking on it, Fiore had been spending more time with her lately.

 

She turned to him, her hands entangled in her hair, "Is something wrong?" He opened his eyes and looked up at her, with a tiny smile and slightly tinted cheeks.

 

He sat up, "Nothing's wrong, I've just been missing my lessons with Barrett. He has been too busy guarding the fomorian during the day and we haven't really been able to speak."

 

Rivka nodded suddenly understanding. Barrett had been teaching Fiore basics to fight and protect himself as Barrett was constantly worried for his safety. Although Barrett's lessons were of no real help, Fiore couldn't grasp any of the concepts, they loved the time they could spend together. They were extremely close as children and now with Barrett being a royal guardsman the only time they can spend together were the lessons and dinner.

 

Rivka stopped combing her hair in mid-stride. Craedel wouldn't be happy about it, but she was going to be involved, no matter what her king demanded. If she could just get past whoever would be guarding Caine. 

 

"I definitely have a plan to get us both involved with whatever is really going on." Rivka spoke as Fiore perked up at the possibility. She slipped a sheathed knife under her dress, held in place by a strip of black fabric.

 

"Let's go pay a visit to Barrett, I bet he is lonely guarding that monster." Rivka started for the door but as she thought, Fiore already beat her to it.

 

He paused and let Rivka lead the way, "Are you not going to properly fix your hair?"

 

Rivka rolled her eyes and opened the door. They walked down the hallway in silence.

 

 

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