FAETED LOVERS (10 Chapters) – C. Swallow

Faeted Lovers -·=»‡«=·- Chapter 3 -·=»‡«=·-
“Why are you fussin’?” Dorkas pokes her head into my bedroom at the orphanage, “Putting all that red stuff on your face… stop that, you look ridiculous!”
“I need privacy!” I scream, holding up my hands, Dorkas rushes in and grabs my wrists, wrestling the blush out of my grip. It falls to the floor and she snatches it up before I can.
“Ahuh!” she holds it up out of my reach, she was a damn tall woman, “Who did you steal it from?”
“I bought that one with my own money!” I seriously did buy that one.
“No, I don’t believe you girl, what are you doing right now?” Dorkas slowly holds it behind her while I stand with my arms crossed opposite my dresser, “Are you meeting a boy? Did you make a friend?”

“I’m getting married and leaving this place,” I lie on this, raising a brow at her through the mirror.
“No, you’re not –” she scoffs.

“Yes. I. Am. I met a soldier in the camp. He’s name is Fredrick,” I’d lie until I made it out the door, “I’m probably pregnant, too –”
“No,” Dorkas shakes her head, pursing her lips, “You’re lying… aren’t you?”

“…would you like to meet my man?” I ask, raising my brow higher, “I’ll bring him back!”
Dorkas lets out a strong exhale, her lips trembling with emotion, “W-well… you better. Yes. You better bring him here.”
“Aye,” I nod and turn, picking up my satchel and slinging it over my shoulder, “He’s a fine soldier. Young and handsome with a nice voice. Blue eyes. Blonde hair… a tattoo on his shoulder… of a sword,” I recount Vlaric’s entire memory, which had been burned into my brain since last night.
“I’ve heard quite enough,” Dorkas takes a few steps out of the room, flustered, “…my, my…” she disappears, whispering anxious thoughts to herself. She couldn’t comprehend too much drama at once.
I look around my ground floor bedroom, one bed, one little table for a dresser and a cracked mirror to help me look presentable.
I’m wearing my jacket over a shirt, pants two sizes too big, tied with a man’s belt at my smaller waist. I had to wear bigger pants that fit over my damn hips. I had fixed my hair into two piggy braids to hang down my back. My worn farmer’s leather jacket had holes but it was comfortable enough.
I exit out of the back of the orphanage and I head towards the path through the forest, to the park at the base of the first hill.
The rotunda had a collapsed roof, the full creek, had eaten away at the base of it, so the wood was rotten and the whole thing was slanted.
The grass was too long all around here, waist length.
I strut my way forward, feeling confident enough after a restless sleep and rushed breakfast.
Once I’ve arrived, I sit on a willow branch over hanging the creek, now more of a river after all the rain we’d had.
My feet dangle and I put my satchel over a branch.
I get comfortable.
And I wait.
“…Vlaric…” I murmur his name on my lips.
For lack of a better way to describe the remainder of my day.
Vlaric doesn’t show.
A few hours pass and it’s midday and I’m starving. I wait a couple more hours after that and then I give up.
I get off the tree, my ass hurts, my feet feel numb and tears well in my eyes.
So, dreams were called dreams because of this, huh? It didn’t exist. Dreams remained dreams. Reality remained as it were; cruel and unforgiving.
I start moping my way through the long grass when I hear mud squelch ahead of me.
I pause and glance up. What I see causes my heart to fly up my throat and out of my fucking face! I’m that damn surprised.
I scream a woop! And jump on the spot three times, grinning.
It’s not just Vlaric! He’s with Vladimir! And he’s just as handsome, and just as tall! Both boys, now men, are giant well trained soldiers wearing official garb, with fancy swords and stunning smiles.
I skip forward and grin when I stand before both of them, still somewhat jumping on the spot.
Vladimir is looking me up and down with a stern expression, holding in his thoughts, “…my god… she’s exactly the same animal…”
“My exact thoughts,” Vlaric laughs, “Spirited. Nice to see you, properly, Mona.”

I hold my hands behind my back, wanting to lunge forward and grab them to me. But I hesitate.
Because… I think of last night and I feel a moment of weakness. What if they didn’t want a hug?
“I’ve loved you forever,” I blurt, speaking to both of them, using words to express the warmth in my chest, “…always…”
Vladimir slowly raises a brow.
Vlaric gulps and holds out a hand, taking a step forward, “…young lady…”
I grab his hand and shake it and I hold out my other arm to Vladimir, crossing my arms awkwardly, “Um…”
“At least you smell nice,” Vladimir avoids my hand and steps behind me, and around me… what the…. oh my, he’s looking me over.
“What are you doing?” I ask, shyly.
“Looking at you, obviously,” Vladimir looks to Vlaric and then they both assess my state.
“Sorry for taking so long,” Vlaric starts off, “We actually took our time because we’re here to punish you.”
Oh, yay… oh, what?
Seriously,” Vladimir snaps that in before I can even process the words, then process the necessary reaction of gawk, gasp and yell a protest.
“Mona,” Vlaric starts off innocently, leaning forward, “What the hell were you doing infiltrating our battalion? Who the hell is disciplining you? You should be staying out of trouble. A pretty face like yours shouldn’t be strapping your beguiling way into a camp of horny men… it’s inappropriate and highly, highly dangerous.”
“We can’t have you getting hurt, so you’re going to have to learn the hard way,” Vladimir throws down his belt and sword, cracking his knuckles.
I take a step back.
“You’re not going to beat me, are you?” I whisper, suddenly terrified. Why were they pranking me like this?
“What?” Vlaric also takes off his sword, combing through his hair with two hands, “Beat you? We’re just going to teach you a lesson.”

“How?” I snap, holding up both my hands.
“That’s right,” Vlaric laughs and glances at Vladimir, then back at me, “Try and fight us.”
“We cornered you in the camp, Mona, you’re about to get raped, how do you get out?” Vladimir asks it boldly.
“Wha… um… I… nh…” I’m lost for words as they take a step closer, “Wh-wh-what are you doing?”
“This is how easy it is, Mona,” Vlaric side steps when I try to back up a bit.
In two more quick strides he’s nearly behind me.
“I…” I glance now to Vladimir instead as he walks in confidently from my other side. I’m surrounded.
Running would be a good start –!” Vlaric’s advice hits home.
I turn and lunge away. Vlaric intercepts me so fast it’s totally humiliating. He’s front collides with my front until we’re flush and Vladimir grabs my wrists and holds them behind my back, tight enough to make me whimper.
“No, no…” I whimper louder, “No, please!”

Relax,” Vlaric whips up my chin, stilling me and watching one tear escape, “Geez… it’s a lesson, we’re not actually going to hurt you.”
“You could have made that more clear!” I scream in his face and his hand drops from my chin to my throat.
“See how easy it is to subdue you? To kill you?” he yells back down at me, rough and real, “Do you see Mona?”
My ears ring with how loud his soldier’s bark is.
I burst into tears and Vlaric unhands my neck and steps back.
Vladimir pulls me backward with one arm to gaze into my tear stained cheeks as he swivels around me.
“Shit,” Vladimir seems to realise they’ve gone too far, “Mona, it was just a lesson.”

“I know!” I scream and wipe my cheeks, roughly.
“And did you learn it?” Vlaric snarls, his arms crossed over his chest.
“Yes,” I snap, holding my wrists at my sides even as they tremble. I keep my chin up, even though that wobbles too, “Yes,” I try to blink away more of the tears.
“I think we traumatised her,” Vladimir murmurs, “Fuck.”
“You didn’t,” I whisper.
“Good,” Vlaric snaps, “You’ll learn. I won’t have you dead because someone didn’t teach you how this world treats women like you.”
“Women like me?” I ask, confused.
“…beauty is a curse, Mona,” Valdimir shakes his head, “You should know that. Every… every princess is told that.”

“I’m not a princess –?”
“You were when we were friends,” Vladimir mentions, trying to lighten the tone, “Even if it was pretend.”
“You still live with Dorkas, Mona?” Vlaric raises a brow, “I’ll have a word to her about keeping you indoors if you pull that shit again like you did last night.”
“You let me off with a laugh–” I hiss.
“I wasn’t thinking straight,” Vlaric hisses back. What did he even mean by that?

“Forget the rules, Vlaric,” Vladimir rolls his eyes, “Let’s take her out once and then drop her off and be on our way. Mona may as well learn a thing or two and we’ll keep her company. And safe.”
“You want to show us around? We’re looking for some good feed,” Vlaric mentions, shrugging a shoulder.
I hated that he dismissed making me cry so easy.
“Fine. Just follow me,” I shove past both of them.
“…you should wear that only…” Vlaric murmurs from behind me as they both pick up their belts and swords, commenting on my oversized attire.
Bloody hell, what did that mean, also?
“Vlaric is protective, Mona,” Vladimir growls out, as if understanding my confusion as they catch up to me, “Don’t cry again. Please. It makes me uncomfortable.”
If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the thing Vlaric whispers to Vladimir privately sounds along the lines of ‘…yeah, cause whore tears make you hard…’ and they chuckle together.

I’m just left with more questions than I started off with today.
And bruises on my wrists. Valdimir was rough, Vlaric was cruel.
This was not how I envisioned this reunion going at all.
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