Prompt for June 1: What’s His (or Her) Name?


[Prompt from . Characters and story from a novel series of mine: Hand of Fate.]

The man standing before me was tall, well over a foot taller than me. There wasn’t much muscle under his black shirt and leather vest, yet his presence was just as intimidating as if it was Corvinus standing there in anger. I could still tell that he was strong, that he could damage me if he wished it. It must have been the way his ice blue eyes looked at me behind the impassive mask he wore. He looked at me as if I was nothing but a sapling in his path, a sapling that should not have been growing where I stood.

His hair was cropped short; the blond strands laid against his scalp. He stopped his own gazing and noticed me staring at him, his mask breaking into a scowl. His angular jaw worked slowly, becoming squarer each time he clenched his teeth.

“And just who might you be, little Candrian?” His voice was a little higher than what I would expect for someone so tall.

My throat was far too dry to speak, my tongue stuck to the bottom of my mouth.

“And she’s willing to give herself in exchange for this man?” He gestured flippantly towards Amicus. The bleeding wound at the side of his head must have been bad; he kept drifting off to sleep.

“Claims he’s her brother,” Evander mumbled around his bite of turkey. “She’s bound to be fun, don’t you think?”

The shiver that passed through me wasn’t entirely due to the draft coming in from the opened door of the cottage. All the stories of what Renterran men did to captive Candrian women assaulted my mind, even as I tried to think of other things. But if I had to be used in that way, if I had to become Evander’s doll and do everything he asked of me, at least Amicus would be safe. He was more of an asset to Candra than I would ever be. As soon as they unshackled him, he could use his gift and slip right out of their camp without notice.
For my realm, my queen, and for Amicus most of all, I would give away my freedom.

“Let me take her, Sir,” the tall man said, his long arms crossed against this chest. That impenetrable mask was back as he scrutinized my body. I felt naked. “That is, if it’s your wish.”
But this man, Renterran though he was, couldn’t possibly be as bad as Evander. Maybe my sentence would not be as long and drawn out as all the stories. Maybe he would give me a quick and painless death instead of toying with me.

“You? I’ve never seen you interested before. Are you feeling alright, Val?”

Val? All hopes were crushed in an instant; an ant under a boot had a greater chance of survival.

“I wish for some company on this night, Sir.”
There were many stories going around the camps about the immortal Renterran warrior. His gift was of speed and, thus, he couldn’t be killed. Vitus had spoken of his ruthlessness and cruelty towards others. Evander’s right hand man, Val, wanted to take me.

Evander stood up, turkey leg still in one hand, and walked over towards Amicus. The shackles clanged open. Amicus dropped to the floor like a felled pine. But the impact woke him once more. His brown eyes wide, staring frantically around him, found mine and began to water. He knew what was happening after all.

“If it is your wish, then it is mine.” Evander said. “Take your price, friend.”

My death would be a long one.


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