FAETED LOVERS (10 Chapters) – C. Swallow

Faeted Lovers -·=»‡«=·- Chapter 6 -·=»‡«=·-
Around the mountain, deep into a valley lies a small town called Hawkeye, but we have to climb a steep edge to the Church of Earth – sitting up high, nestled into the side of the green slopes.
 
The architecture of the massive Church looks like a castle and works well with the mountain’s curved shape and the flat ledge it’s sat upon. Around the structure are green gardens and narrow pastures for their own food supply, including mountain goats and chickens.
 
The whole place is beautiful and I shed a tear, hoping this means Missy was brought up in a comforting place.
 
I’m on my own horse, Vlaric stole one for me. Specifically; Fredrick’s horse, called Feather.
 
I quite enjoyed the quiet white mare, who seemed relieved to get away from Fredrick’s whip. I can see the marks of abuse, and the horse was too gentle to be under the hands of a buffoon such as him.
 
So, Feather is now my rescue horse.
 
We trot into the property at dawn, my ass and thighs don’t hurt as much as I thought they might. It was a fun easy ride only up until this last climb. Feather led the way, quiet but confident around the narrow trails.
 
Now, we slow to a measured gait as we approach the cobble entry, an iron gate spells out Church of Earth. But it looks mangles and messed with. I can’t pinpoint it until Vlaric explains.
 
“Church of Eioth,” Vlaric speaks confidently, “…this hub was taken over by Rexion’s faith. Rexion is a part of the Brethren of Earth – a belief system in which a God guides strict control over all things… but in Eioth beliefs, we worship a Goddess – who is generous in everything. Rexion’s faith is the opposite to everything Vladimir and I ever knew, growing up.”

“Well, Earth, Eioth, Peeoth, Pooith, who cares. You always read too much into things… and books… you still read when you get the chance, I bet,” I laugh lightly, until I turn to see Vlaric’s expression… and his usual handsome set face is cut in with a frown and haunted blue eyes.
 
I get the distinct impression I shouldn’t be laughing.

“Knowledge isn’t just power,” Vladimir defends Vlaric, “It holds truth, Mona… and we’re always asking questions to find the facts. It’s best you keep open ears… but seal those lips. Or your big mouth will get you into trouble one day.”
 
I roll my eyes, a bit naively.
 
I just didn’t like to take life that seriously. I wanted to have fun and see Missy! Damn the history, damn the politics, damn the armies and the rules.
 
Vladimir’s statement about my big mouth, has my chin rising.
 
“Missy!” I yell out and urge Feather forward.
 
I hear Vlaric hiss out genuine annoyance, “Mona!” he snaps through the morning fog and both boys hurry to catch up.
 
Missy!” I scream more loudly and as I get closer to the old main structure, I see a door creak open and a young girl of about seven years, pokes her head out, then proceeds to slam the door shut and disappear.

I dismount from Feather at the steps, but I don’t get far.
 
Vlaric and Vladimir quickly catch up, cutting me off from the front with their horses. Vlaric is glaring right through me and Vladimir is shell shocked at how brazen and rebellious I am.
 
“What?” I hiss, perhaps I’m being childish… but I had waited long enough.
 
I wanted to see Missy.
 
“Don’t move,” Vlaric dismounts and stalks his way toward me. I stand my ground and he pulls off the reins from Feather, grabbing my wrists in the process, “Now I have to change the story,” he hisses in annoyance, tying up my wrists while I simply scowl at him in disgust.
 
“No you don’t, just be honest –”
 
“Are you really this stupid?” Vlaric hisses quietly, while someone else exits from the Church and Vladimir goes to intercept them while Vlaric is busy tying me up.
 
“What’s the story?” I ask, bored.
 
“Now? Your Missy’s sister, since you screamed your obvious plan to find her loud enough. You’re a village idiot who needs guidance by the priestesses. Stop smirking, Mona –”
 
“We bring thee a village idiot,” Vladimir speaks robustly, picking up on Vlaric’s speech.
 
“What is the meaning of this?” an older lady finally reaches us and tut tuts in the process. Vlaric roughly spins me around, shoving me forward to my knees.
 
“Stay down, you inbred fool,” Vlaric makes a scene, pretending to be a domineering bastard.

“Soldiers, please, calm down,” the older priestess is wearing grey long robes, she’s clearly just been woken, “Why was this girl calling for Missy?”

“Not sure, perhaps it’s her –” Vlaric plays coy.
 
“Sister!” I scream, playing along.
 
Vladimir turns a bit and eyes me with a dark look in his wide eyes that suggests I should; Shut up. Right now. Or else.
 
It’s just a game, Mona, it’s just a story. I tell myself this so I don’t launch up at Vladimir or Vlaric and start a fight.
 
“Well, even if she is… a sister… she can’t see Missy,” the priestess is dismissive.

“Why?” Vladimir asks, carefully, “Perhaps this wretch can find guidance from an older sibling of the Chruch –”
 
“Pfft, guidance? From that cow?” the older priestess laughs very loudly, “She lusts for the wrong sex. She’s not a priestess, she’s more likened to a pest. She moans all day like a cattle beast when asked to do chores and throws a fit every time I try to… pair her… with the lonely males of Hawkeye. From what I can say, Missy is probably as deranged as this poor banshee…”

Missy!!!” I scream, again, only because she’s called me a banshee and was basically asking for it… and maybe also to challenge Vladimir’s glare from before.
 
I knew what I was doing, I didn’t have to be treated like an actual idiot.
 
Vlaric puts a boot on my back, gently pushing me into the dirt, although he tries to make it look rough, “I believe they were both orphans after the war, hence the…” I look over my shoulder to see him doing a crazy gesture to the old priestess, to explain my reactions.
 
“We also have news. Rexion comes, Commander of the Nightingale Army, within the hour,” Vladimir takes over, “May we have refuge in one of the boarding rooms? We hear good things about this Church. We’re to be baptised… by the… I believe it’s… Agath…?”
 
Agatha Davis, oh yes, she is highly esteemed, I’m her sister by belief. My name? Penelope. I organise the property, Agatha commands the ceremonies… and the baptisms… it’s actually quite fun for you men,” Penelope slowly smiles, “Do you know what our baptism involves?”

“…no,” Vlaric answers and it’s clearly a lie, because he knows everything. Know it all.
 
“You impregnate a lassy virgin,” Penelope giggles after she says that, “…you all do… how many are in the army?”
 
“In total, three hundred, right now… possibly… two hundred,” Vlaric shrugs.

“We’ll organise one girl per a round-about figure of twenty men… so, hmmm, I need ten girls for tonight… now that I think on it…” Penelope looks down at me, “Last time I checked, we have nine virgins here. Including Missy,” she squats down to my level, ignoring my gritted teeth, “You and your sister, dear, might come in handy. You’re a god send. Now we have enough resources to satisfy the army coming our way.”

You sick bitch –” I hiss and Vlaric leans down, putting a hand over my mouth and chin as he hauls me up.

“Shut up. Also, sounds like fun,” Vlaric grins, “Where to now, Penelope?”

“We have accommodation on the top floor, it’s empty, many rooms for many men,” Penelope turns, “Follow me. You’re both quite handsome for soldiers. Not many handsome men in Hawkeye, that’s for sure.”

We all zone out as she speeds up in excitement and I walk with Vlaric at my back, Vladimir at my side.

“Well,” Vlaric murmurs, in final conclusion, “That changes things thrice.”

“…mmm?” Vladimir murmurs quietly.

“We can’t leave you here,” Vlaric whispers in my ear, “…and now we have to save Missy too…”

“How do we stay ahead of Rex with two girls?” Vladimir asks, “Do we part sooner from the battalion?”
 
“I’ll handle Rexion,” Vlaric sighs.
 
I’m giggling through his hand, breaking the silence as they drag me in proper fashion in regards to the story we’re all playing out on my behalf.
 
“What the hell are you laughing about?” Vladimir asks for Vlaric. They are both as confused as each other, and clearly pissed.
 
I don’t answer his question directly.

But I do know exactly why I’m laughing.
 
So much for ditching me – now, if we succeeded, we’d all be together again.
 
Missy, Vlaric, Vladimir and I. I would do anything to make that happen.
 
“Whatever you need to me do,” I whisper as Vlaric unhands my mouth, “I will do anything. I will comply,” I nod to a stunned Vladimir and a suspicious Vlaric.
 
“You worry me, girl,” Vlairc shakes his head, “Are you insane?”

“No,” I pout.

“Just passionate,” Vladimir looks into the distance as we near the steps of the Church, “Reminds me of your mother, Vlaric. Stubborn, beautiful… full of fire. A true Eioth…” he mouths that part as we enter the Church of Earth.
 
“This way, men!” Penelope is ahead of us, at the base of a stair case.
 
Vlaric and Vladimir continue and I pretend to struggle wildly, just to make it hard on them.

I grin as I try to swing punches and they both restrain an arm each, swearing loudly.
 
“Stop!” Vladimir hisses at me, “Remind me never to compliment you again. Wildling.”
 
“You’re a real pest,” Vlaric whispers also, but as they drag me up the stairs, I spot a familiar face poking out from a door on the bottom level.
 
I only see her for a split second, before she slams the door and disappears with an equally wild look in her brown familiar eyes.
 
“Missy!” I scream her name again.
 
“Please stop her screaming!” Penelope barks back at us, losing her smile as she opens a door to a spare room, “Do what you must, my God, she’s an animal,” Penelope steps back, “I suggest using a belt,” she huffs and whiffs away.
 
Vlaric and Vladimir take me quietly into the spare room and when they shut the door, I’ve launched forward to sit my snug bottom on the soft bed for two, grinning at both of them while holding up my tied wrists.
 
“You can untie me now!” I gloat, smiling widely at both exasperated soldiers.

“No.” Vlad and Vlaric answer in unison.
 
“Why not?” I drop my arms, exhaling loudly, “I was just playing along with the story.”
 
“Vlaric,” Vladimir glances side ways to his friend, “Since it’s a story. We need to keep Mona restrained. We should tie her to the bed and gag her from all the screaming she incessantly continued upon our arrival. When we finish what we came here to do… which might be by… tonight,” Vladimir turns to me, “We’ll come untie you and be on our way. Sounds reasonable. Doesn’t it. Mona.”
 
Oh, Vladimir is cold as ice with his eyes and that tone. I know I’ve pissed him off, possibly more than Vlaric.

“Or she can just sit there and stay quiet,” Vlaric murmurs, expectantly, narrowing his eyes at me, “She couldn’t handle being restrained all day. She’s too weak.”
 
Excuse me? Of course I can handle it! Tie me up!” I shuffle back on the bed and hold my arms above my head, the reigns still around my wrists.
 
They comply.
 
Vladimir stalks over to my left to fix the reigns to the bed post.
 
Vlaric approaches from the right, taking off his sword and then his belt while holding my gaze with an unreadable expression.
 
I simply raise a brow, trying to look bad ass.
 
Vlaric lifts my head with one hand and slips the belt around, pulling it over my mouth, which I open willingly.
 
As he gags me, Vladimir finishes the tie on my wrists.
 
I’m officially stuck down. I huff out a complaint to say ‘See? I told you so.’
 
I watch both soldiers look at one another, seemingly… proud.
 
I’m confused.
 
“That was too easy,” Vladimir murmurs.

Vlaric catches my eye, smiling now, brilliantly.
 
“No… Mona…” he leans forward, to explain, his fists balled up on the bed as he leans over my face, “No, you can’t, Mona. No, don’t do it, Mona, you can’t keep quiet, Mona, you can’t keep still, Mona.…. yes I can!” he mimics my whiney voice at the end, “Far too guileless,” Vlaric winks and leans down to kiss my forehead.
 
The kiss lingers, rubbing in my failure.
 
Straightening up, Vlaric grins at Vladimir.
 
They nod and turn together, confidently leaving for the door.
 
I watch the door swing inward, Vlaric steps out and Vladimir gives me one last look.
 
I’m blushing so red; I’m a tied up tomato.
 
Vladimir doesn’t say anything, but his gaze lingers a bit too long on my restrained form, his eyes travelling over me.
 
However, he turns and shuts the door on the way out, and I’m left with the bed bugs for company.
 
A belt in my mouth.
 
My wrists restrained over my head.
 
And I kind of feel… like an idiot.
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