The hate was driving me forward. So much was learned in such a short time. I knew once the adrenaline I was feeling expired; I’d be in no shape to complete this task. Could I even do it with my limited skills? No, doubt was an enemy far worse than Tremaine. I couldn’t let myself fall into that trap.
The estate would soon be in view and my next obstacle of avoiding the guards would be upon me. Stay fast and quiet I told myself over and over again. The element of surprise was with me, for they’d not be expecting a single boy to try and assassinate that wench.
The element of surprise was also with another this evening. As I broke out of the tree line and began my ascent towards the estate, a small shape tackled my from behind. I pulled out my dagger, ready to end the life of my attacker.
Lo and behold, the raven hair beauty lying on top of me was the daughter I ran into in the garden maze. “Drisella? What are you doing?”
Her face lit up in glee at the sight on me. “My exiled stable boy, you have come back.”
“I don’t understand?”
She winked at me. “Since that night fate brought us together, I cannot stop thinking about you. Even if mother wishes to put you to death, I can still win your heart.”
Not if I put her to death first. “Your mother is a wicked lady, one who needs to die, by my hand alone.”
Her smile widened. “You discovered the truth did you? I told her leaving that monster so close would create an enemy.”
Did everyone know of my true nature? “She knows I’m his son?”
“Of course, from the moment she laid eyes on you after she murdered old Cruxley. She may have forgotten about the old man, but your eyes will torment her soul forever.”
The web of lies and deceit scrambled my already fragile mind. “Why didn’t you tell me that night?! Why is everyone out to ruin me?!”
She quickly overed my mouth with her soft hand. “My sweet, you must keep your voice down unless you wish to be put to death by the Black Guard. Their numbers have tripled since your last visit.”
In her arms, my hatred began to melt away. My chance for revenge this night was fading away, yet I made no move to leave. “How can you know all of this, for you must’ve only been a year old when I was born?”
She poked my head with her finger. “You know the truths, all of them. You just have to accept things are not always what they appear.”
“You are all enchanted?”
“Enchanted is such a harsh word. Let us just say that mother makes sure we are the age we need to be, especially when she is lining up her next suitor.”
Magic, sorcery was afoot right in front of me. What kind of creature had ensnared me so? “Are you going to kill me?”
“No silly, your death would rob me of so much.” She leaned down and kissed me. She gave me the first kiss I’d ever felt. “You were the one to free Ella, no?”
“Yes, the night we first met. I took her into the woods with me.”
She gave me another kiss, just as tender as the first. “Good. You will need a strong ally in the coming fight. Mother is out for blood, but this time I feel she has gone too far.”
“Are you going to help me stand against her?”
She brushed my hair back, out of my face. “In my own way. In this way.” And then like that, she willingly gave herself to me. On the grass on the outskirts of the forest, the two of us made love to each other. She guided me along the way, encouraging me with kind words and tender touches. The feel of her skin against mine was the most incredible thing I’d ever felt. When the final moment came, peace crept its way into my heart. I was content.
“John,” she said as she stood up. “My sister is just as deranged and dangerous as my mother. To strike a blow against the Tremaine name, Anastasia should be the target.”
I looked up, enthralled by her beauty. “Why are you telling me this?”
She re-attired herself, hiding her beauty and curves from me. “For too long I have watched good men die for no reason. Standing against my mother is not something I take lightly, yet I feel this must be done.”
“Your sister, how will I have a chance to strike against her?”
Her lips lightly touched my forehead. “She follows my mother into every scenario. Give them something they cannot resist.”
I had more questions for the girl, or woman maybe who just stole my heart, but it was for naught. With a last kiss, she disappeared into the morning mist that arrived out of nowhere.
*Come back next week for #11 – An Elaborate Ruse
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