FAETED LOVERS (10 Chapters) – C. Swallow

Faeted Lovers -·=»‡«=·- Chapter 5 -·=»‡«=·-
I wear what’s on my back. I almost consider leaving a note for Dorkas, but in a moment of unforgiving rage, I choose to just disappear. Sooner or later she would work it out, that Vladimir and Vlaric were in the Nightingale Army. That I hadn’t run off to get married; I had simply disappeared to be with my friends.
So, here I was. Proudly standing between Vlaric and Vlad, before a camp fire, with Rexion eating a leg of lamb, chewing the fat while assessing my worth during my introduction.
I was to be introduced as a squire!
Vlaric, Vlad and I had worked it all out before this, in the luxury Inn.
Vlaric begins, “This girl wishes to join the Priestesses of the Church of Earth, since we’re on our way, she’ll join us on the ride to our next destination,” Vlaric speaks confidently and against our agreement. A squire. I was to be introduced as a squire! But no, I’m quick to realise he’s changed my fate against my wishes to temporary traveller… Vlaric was going to drop me off with Missy. I knew it. I keep in my growing fury from betrayal and keep on my smile instead, as he continues, with Vladimir stiff at my other side, “Her name is Mona, an eighteen year old puritan, and she has Vlad’s and my protection. That’s all, really. That’s the boring news we bring.”

“Hmm, indeed boring. Other than the one fact. Why do you look so familiar, puritan?” Rexion asks, carefully, focusing his one eye on me, “I don’t like that look on her face.”
“She was here acting the whore last night!” Fredrick appears behind Rexion, from the shadowy flames of the camp, “Mona. You little slut. You knocked me out!”

“I don’t know you,” I lie.
“She was with us all night,” Vlaric snarls at Fredrick, protecting me, “Liar.”

“I do not lie!” Fredrick almost screams it, pointing a lamb chop at me, “Bitch!”
“You were so drunk you probably fucked a mule with a red tail,” Vladimir sticks up for me, “We all know you could loosen up on the ale.”
“I might not remember much, but I remember those tits!” Fredrick doesn’t let up.
“Shut up! I don’t care!” Rexion grabs the bone from Fredrick’s hand and throws it at his face, “Get lost, it’s a little girl, not some spy! Besides. I remember her now. Orphan.”
“Correct, sir Rexion,” I finally speak, proud, “I spent a year in the orphanage with both Vlaric and Vladimir, before you took them into your service,” I take a step forward, feeling brave as I smirk and put my hands on my hips, “I’m old enough to go where I please now, and I choose my friends… my family… and the life of a priestess,” I force that last part out, with a broad smile.

Rexion is lightly smirking while the other soldiers close by laugh.
I have no idea what’s so funny.

“You’re really stupid, girl,” Rexion finally admits, insulting me for no reason, “Alright. Fine. String her along as a friend to be dropped off with the other priestesses… they’ll welcome a puritan, if she really is one,” Rexion wiggles his eyebrows and chuckles as he leans forward and winks at Vlaric, “Why are you so protective of her, boy?” Rexion then turns his eye to Vladimir, “What about you? You both fuck the whore?”
“Mona isn’t a whore,” Vladimir states, firmly, “She’s under our wing and she requires protection until she is admitted into your faith – where we, too, will be baptised.”

“Puritan or not, rivalry between young soldiers such as yourself is rife when it comes to your swords sharing sheaths. So. A small rule. Neither of you can fuck the young lass, privately or otherwise,” Rexion nods, “Keep her pure. Don’t make a fuss. Don’t look at me like that, Vlaric. It needed to be said. You and Vlad might share the lasses often, but one day you’ll fight for one… against one another. I won’t be having any of that in my best swordsmen. Stop sharing. That’s an order,” Rexion is trying to keep in a wide smirk.
“Thank you, sir, for the admission into your Nightingale Army,” I speak with a tight tone, my need to lock my jaw, storm out stiffly and think while sitting over a mossy rock by a pond, sounded like a good idea right about now.

Sharing. Pfft.
Vlaric and Vladimir were not boys anymore. In fact, they were… deviant. And completely impure. Not that I was sure of what to expect, but I didn’t expect to hear that.

I look over my shoulder and both blonde and dark haired friends, are refusing to react to Rexion’s belittling speech.

“Let’s go, Mona,” Vlaric takes a step forward and grabs my arm, hauling me back. Vladimir does the same to my other arm, so I’m squished between them briefly, “We’ll show you to our tents.”
It seems to be a show of ridiculous defiance to Rexion, because the soldiers looking on, chuckle loudly.
Fredrick glares at me, and I poke my tongue out at him as Vlad and Vlaric pull me away.
I wait, silently, for a few moments, but I can’t hold in my reaction to Vlaric’s betrayal forever.
“You lied to me, Vlaric,” I hiss under my breath once we’re away from the main crowd, both men still holding an elbow each between them, “You said you’d introduce me as a squire.”
“By the time we arrive where Missy will be, you’ll be much safer there,” Vlaric is tight on his response.

“And why are you and Vlad… so deviant together?” I ask.
“Sharing is caring, Monaaa,” Vladimir makes fun of me, in defence, “Let’s not talk about our adventures of the night. You couldn’t understand, anyway.”
“Whore’s have information,” Vlaric murmurs, ignoring Vlad’s unease on the subject, “We use them to get what we will. Whichever way we can. Two seems to do the trick, okay –?”
Okay, I think I’ve heard just about enough,” I snap, annoyed.
“You’re the one who asked, idiot,” Vlaric laughs over the top of me. Swinging us around to their supplies, “Our tents are easy to recognise… always the patch here for Vladimir, and a blood smear on mine, don’t worry, it’s from nothing major and it wasn’t my throat that was slit,” Vlaric talks easy and pulls me into his tent.
“Cute,” I smirk at the blanket on the tarp, where Ulysses the whore was last night. I see the rolled up leather for a pillow, the small supplies around the space, “So, soldiers, where do I get to sleep at night?”
“Uhm… the women usually get warmth from sharing the space,” Vladimir scratches his head by the entrance of the tent, “But… well, we didn’t think that far ahead, clearly.”

“I’ll find my own bed,” I mention, “I’ll buy one if I have to. I’ll earn it.”

“It’s alright, you don’t have to buy anything,” Vladimir walks in to sit on the edge of Vlaric’s bed and reclines, “We’ll set off soon and be travelling all night. You tired, Mona? You can help us pack.”
“You travel all night…?” I ask.
Nightingale Army,” Vlaric stands off to the side, looking me over, considering something, “…hmm…priestess…hmmm…”

“Why are you looking at me like that? What are you thinking, Vlaric?” I ask, turning to him with my arms crossed over my chest.
“Oh, nothing… mmm…”
“Hmmm?” Vladimir makes fun of Vlaric while he keeps thinking deeply, his chin now in his hand, his eyes narrowing upon my over sized farmer’s jacket and over sized pants.
“Sit by me, Mona,” Vladimir pats Vlaric’s bed next to his left. I sigh, then sit obediently and wait patiently for Vlaric’s assessment.
“Start packing up,” Vlaric murmurs after some time, “We’ll set off sooner than the camp, before the hour they do.”
“Perfect,” Vladimir catches on to whatever the idea is.

“Deliver you,” Vlaric points at me and my confused face, “We’ll deliver you… and then… we’ll have time, Vlad,” Vlaric looks to his best friend and they both slowly smile.
“Am I missing something?” I ask.

“Agatha Davis,” Vladimir murmurs.
Vlaric nods.
They still explain nothing. Who was Agatha?
“I’ll speak to Rex,” Vlaric walks past me, “You two pack immediately.”
“What’s happening?” I turn to Vladimir and he’s smile twitches up in the corner.
“Do you miss her?” Vladimir asks me, quietly, once we’re alone, ignoring my question, “And do you think Missy remembers us?”
I nod, gulping. He sounds so serious, I don’t like it.
“…what’s going on… Vladimir…?” I murmur it low.
He’s eyes glaze over and he looks away, thinking deeply.
“One day…” Vlad considers his words, “I hope it all makes sense. I hope I can tell you everything.”

“Of course you can, you can tell me now,” I state, a bit loudly, a bit too loudly.
Vlad snaps out of his daze and turns to slap a quick hand over my mouth.

“Shut it… it’s more than secret,” Vladimir holds my mouth shut, his eyes glaring, “Do you understand, Mona?”
I nod and he unhands me, pissed off.
“We need to pack,” I say it quietly as I get to my feet, feeling insecure, “…are you… happy to have found me again, Vladimir…?” I turn to him, raising a brow, “Or are you disappointed?”
Vladimir stands next and grabs the lengthy sleeve of my jacket, holding it up and assessing it’s horrible state, my whole poor state… and my wide, innocent eyes.
Still a dreamer.
Even now.
I know how I must look.
“I’m glad you’re alive,” Vladimir growls, as if still angry at me for speaking too loudly before, “I’m glad you’re not dead. Mona.”
“I think you and Vlaric are also good… for not being dead…” I murmur it back, awkwardly.
Vladimir smirks a little bit, and leans down into my personal space, leaning into my ear, to simply say, “…other people need to die before any chance of death on our part,” he pulls back, “You ready to ride all night? With Vlaric and I?”
“Hell. Yes,” I slowly grin, “Yes, yes, yes.”

“Calm. Down,” Vladimir slowly smiles, warmly, “Why are you so excited?”
“Because I’m with you both again,” I blurt it out, jumping once on the spot, “It’s all I’ve ever wanted!”

“You need to want more in life, then,” Vlad tries to make fun of me but he can’t wipe the grin from my face.
“There is nothing else I want!” I exclaim, proudly.

“Wait till you get a man,” Vlaric appears in the tent flap, dramatically poking his head through and interrupting, “Then you won’t shut up about getting a sword into your sheath. Argh,” Vlaric looks at Vlad, “Then we’ll have more men to kill. Ah, well. The more practice, all the better. Perhaps she should run through the camp naked. A good excuse for blood.”
“Rex approved our mission of early travel?” Vlad asks, ignoring the suggestion.
“Of course,” Vlaric finally steps back in, swiping a hand through his blonde hair, looking me over again, “It’ll be good to drop this spirited animal off with the church.”
“You won’t be discarding me first chance you get,” I snap, “I’m staying.”

Vlaric shakes his head, exasperated as he looks at Vlad and they share a look together.

“You won’t shake her,” Vladimir contradicts him, “Though you can try.”

“Let’s just pack, okay?” I interrupt while holding back a rush of frustrated tears that want to push forth and spill down my face.
I was sick of being told no.
I would get what I wanted.
Which was right here.

I wouldn’t be left behind.

Vlaric shrugs and leaves to get the horses.
Vladimir grabs my elbow, turning me to him. He grabs my chin and jerks up my face to see one tear slide out.
“I’m not crying,” I hiss, needlessly.
“No tears,” Vladimir growls, low, “Please.”
I jerk out of his grip.
“Let’s pack.”
I turn to do just that, while Vladimir hovers over me.
“Aye… and don’t worry, Mona. Vlaric’s only teasing… and so am I… we won’t let you go, or let you get hurt, that’s a promise,” Vladimir sounds convincing enough, even while I ignore looking into his judging eyes.
I just hoped he was right.
I didn’t want to be left behind. I had nothing else to live for.
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