A/N: When I was writing this, I started the book, but got really excited about a certain scene and decided to drop everything to write it. So, when I put the few fragments of my story onto a Word doc, I started with that scene, which is the one below. From then on, my book was split into twos: Slavery and after slavery (trying not to put in spoilers). I still haven't managed to join the two bits together (but I'm really close!), so, we'll have to jump the small segment of Chapter 11 and bring you 'First Sight'. Enjoy!
Chapter: First Sight
I ran up the stairs as guards rushed after me, crashing though massive oak doors. I was there: "The Throne Room," I muttered to myself, grinning in relief.
And he was there too, studying a strategy map as he leaned on one of several parallel marble columns, dark, messy hair striking against his chalky-white skin as it attempted to cover his jade, intelligent eyes as they darted over what I assumed was text. His unreal beauty shocked me senseless-hypnotised me as to make me stop my desperate sprinting and gawk. Suddenly the guards came, grabbing me by the wrists, kicking me down. I was left hanging by my arms as they started dragging me away and out of the Throne Room.
No, no, no, no, no, no…! I thought, panic overcoming me.
It was slipping away.
So I screamed. And naturally, he looked up, setting down the map on a table placed peculiarly between two marble columns.
"What is the meaning of this?" He asked, walking over.
One of them, obviously a leader, replied, "Your Majesty, she-" he looked menacingly at me "-escaped and killed her master. She is a slave, and dares to come in your presence."[AT1] He said the latter like it was a stupid thing to do.
My arms ached from hanging in the guards grip. The king knelt down and studied me, like I was a strategy map, wondering if I was worth the battle. "What is your name?"
"A-A-Angia, Your-Your Majesty," I stammered nervously, meeting his soft green eyes.
The king stood up, an eye noticing my- abused body. "Release her."
The man who spoke before, protested, "But, my Lord, she must be returned-"
The men grunted as they pushed me down, one trying to 'accidently' kick me. They stared daggers at me, as the large oak doors swung open and they walked out.
* ~ * ~ *
The King of Jarma then prowled around me, I on the cold, hard white marble floor.
"Why did you come here? To me?" He asked, those warm eyes turning icy and threatening.
I collected myself from being sprawled on the floor, and sat on my legs, head bowed. "Because I need your help."
He lightly laughed in disbelief, cruel, cold eyes staring right through my soul. I shot up in a flare of anger, and the laugh died instantly, the king's face distorting to distaste.
"On. Your. Knees," he snarled, an impossibly perfect face becoming so terrifying and disgusted I wanted to run and hide. But I held my gaze, staring him down, sending the message: Two can play this game. If this was a game of cat and mouse, hopefully I was the feline.
"Not until you swear to help me."
His eyes glimmered like this was the answer he wanted and expected. He drew out a startlingly beautiful palladium sword and sent my eyes crossed as I stared at the tip. "Then I'll force you to…"
Fearing for my face, I was coerced to kneeling as the king threatened to skewer me if I didn't comply with his commandment. I stared down his sword, meeting his gaze, little explosions filling my eyes, intense flares of hate and anger blowing up inside me. The king raised his eyes in disapproval. "Maybe we should have a lesson on respect-"
"Starting with that it's rude to point swords at people." I butted in, using two fingers to push the blade out of my face. He shrugged in the oh-I-guess-you're-right-even-if-I-don't-like-it way, making me remember he was a teenage like me.
A very powerful and dangerous teenager, boasting looks of impeccable beauty.
"There are the exceptions," he said, turning on his heels to walk back to his throne, and continued over his shoulder, "like when you're king. And the king says…SEIZE THE INTRUDER!"
I gritted my teeth as men appeared out of shadows from behind the columns and in an instant pinned me down. I struggled against them, but it was like a Chinese finger trap-struggling only made the grip worse. The king half-smiled in amusement on his marble throne, narrowing his eyes. He snapped his fingers and a cupbearer rushed out of the shadows too, bringing him a silver chalice.
I squirmed and twisted. "Get your hands off me!" I spat at the men. A few of them chuckled, like this was the last thing the king would order. I growled and struggled even more violently; the grip tightened as the men tried to retain me. In burst of hate, I screamed and relentlessly kicked, bit, hit and behaved like a rebellious three-year-old until all the men had their grip shaken off. With a millisecond to spare, I charged at the king, who set his cup down and rose in an if-I-must way. Stepping down from his raised throne, he stepped aside and held a leg out, to which I tripped over, face first. I rolled over to meet that same annoying sword. In an attempt to cover my humiliation, I swung a leg up, aiming for his most intimate parts, but he blocked and grasped it, crossing it far over my other leg, sparking an excruciating pain as the muscles stretched. I cried out, the men in the background laughing. Reminding me too much of the city-guards before, I slipped out the glass shard used to kill my master, and flung it at him. He looked up and caught it, holding my leg back with his, staring in curiosity, brows raised, asking Where did you get this?
"I just wanted a petition…" I gasped against the pain, "But apparently you're too much of a coward. No wonder the country folk calls you H-Hisca."
My leg was suddenly pushed higher. I cried out again. The men kept laughing. I looked into his eyes: Apologise…APOLOGISE!
I realised that he wasn't just trying to make me kneel physically, but also psychologically. To get out of this, I had to bow down. The anger still burned in my eyes, and he knew it. In response, a screaming pain erupted as he started pushing down on my kneecap. If I didn't bow down now, my whole leg would snap in twos. Through gritted teeth, and on the verge of screaming like there was no tomorrow (which there probably was-he'd most likely execute me on the spot for my behaviour) I gasped-"I apolo"-I broke off, to take a small cry as he pressed harder-"gize, My L-Lord, for my insolence in your-" I broke off again to yell out.
Say it…say it… he urged in his eyes.
He dropped my leg, and smiled cruelly. "Good. Very good. I think our lesson on respect is done. Take her away."
My eyes burned up so much again that I could've scorched them all as hands grasped my wrists and a shackle locked them together, and I was being dragged across the Throne Room's marble. But a singular voice became my salvation.
An extremely buffy man, in modest armour, with a sword strapped to his side did that now you see me, now you don't thing backwards as he stepped out of the shadows. "Sire, she may be of some use."
The king's eyes snapped over to the voice, the full power of his petrifyingly scary gaze aimed straight at him. The man continued coolly, the guards still dragging me away, "Rather then let her rot in the dungeon-which reminds me: HALT!"-The pull on my arms slackened and my dragging stopped-"I'm sure I can fit her a position." The man looked at me in an expression, which was a mix of amusement and…interest? Then, added, "Plus, you are in need of a personal servant. She was-or if she's really unlucky with your favour, still is-a slave. She can handle chores."
The king narrowed his eyes, pondering it. My eyes widened as I realised I hadn't had a say in this. "Now just wait a minute…" I said, and both heads turned to my voice, both faces surprised at my speak-up, "Do I get any say in this?"
"No." Two voices answered blankly, like the answer had been obvious before I was born, and that I was too thick to realise it quickly enough. The king and the man then turned back to each other, and I started to groan as the pain of my arms from hanging became worse. The men holding me could feel it too, so, in a desperate excuse to release me, they started to drag me to the corridor that, I assumed, would lead to my near imprisonment. But, the king had eyes like a hawk, and instantly asked, "Did I give an order?"
Silence and the halting of my dragging replied him. Suddenly, I collapsed to the ground, the ringing of the metal clamped around my wrists piercing the silence. That was then the cue for confessions. A swirl of reasonable, My arms hurt too much to just plain lying, She was threatening His Majesty, so to protect his person, we dragged her away and a whole other excuses poured out of the men's' mouth. I could hardly pick out any words; much less believe what they were saying. Someone actually mentioned I was hungry. Double points for caring-even if what they would feed me in jail were mostly likely scraps.
The king's gaze drifted to me, and his face only slightly softened, his eyes turning to a lush green; seeing me helpless, in chains, whipped, in pain and probably a hundred other negative things compared to his angelic perfectness, most likely gave him some feeling of sympathy.
As if that decided it, he turned back to the muscular man. "Fine. Make her a servant. But I want no trouble," he turned to me, deadly serious, "One wrong move, and that's it. Unchain her. Make sure she is ready in a maximum of ten." With that, he turned on his heels and quit the room, disappearing into another corridor, leaving me hanging in awkward silence.