Divided We Fall

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 17 (v.1) - Chapter Seventeen

Submitted: September 25, 2019

Reads: 19

Comments: 3

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Submitted: September 25, 2019

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Emilia woke up, gasping for breath. She was shaking, too, like she was the one who had come out of a frozen lake. She huddled into a little ball until she had calmed down a bit. 

She sat up and tried to think of something else. She checked Erik and Raquelle’s pulses. They were stripped to their small clothes, covered in furs, and still very much alive, to her relief. 

She ate a bit of snow and added more belt to the fire, trying to get rid of the constant chill that invaded her body. 

Emilia didn’t know how long she sat there, thinking. Ten minutes? Ten hours? She would have gone on far longer if the sound of someone stirring hadn’t distracted her. 

She whipped her head around as Erik opened his eyes. She covered her mouth to keep from screaming as tears filled her eyes. She lunged for him and squeezed him, probably a little too tightly, before she remembered to be gentle. “You’re alive,” she whispered. 

He managed a ghost of a smile. “Of course I am.” 

“Do you remember what happened?” She asked, eyeing the bump on his head. 

“Do I remember falling through the ice and nearly dying? Yeah, maybe a little.” 

She gave him a playful swat at his sarcasticness. 

“And I guess you’re even braver than I thought you were,” he said, smoothing her hair. “Now I owe you my life.” 

She could have agreed and said yes, it was her who saved them both and struggled to stay awake to care for them because she loved them so much. But then she looked at Raquelle--the real reason the man she loved was so alive--and thought of the nightmare. She had done enough evil things. 

“No, Erik,” she whispered and shook her head. She looked down. “Raquelle did.” She gestured to where the girl lay, sleeping peacefully. 

“A fourteen-year-old saved me.” He seemed doubtful. 

“Yes. I watched her.” She looked up at him, tears running down her cheeks. 

“What’s wrong?” He asked.

“I’m evil,” Emilia answered. She couldn’t hold it in anymore. 

“No, you’re not,” Erik said, pulling her close.

She curled up against him, savoring the touch. “Yes I am. And I have to tell you something. And I know you’ll tell me to get the hell out of here afterwards. That’s okay. I understand.” 

“Emilia, what’s going on?”

Emilia took a deep breath. “Just listen.” She told her story, not leaving out a single crippling detail. By the time she was done, her head was in her knees, her face drenched with tears. 

“I killed them, Erik. I killed them.”
Erik lifted her head to face his.

She looked into his eyes. “Do it fast, Erik. Please. Or turn me out into the wild. Just please, don’t turn me in. She’ll have me burned. I don’t want to be burned, Erik. I can’t. Please, don’t let them do that to me.”

“Emilia.”

But Emilia was sobbing on the floor, tears of fear and guilt. 

“Emilia, stop it.”

She cried harder. 

“I said, stop it. Look at me.” 

Emilia forced herself to look into those eyes. 

“You aren’t going anywhere. I am not killing you, I am not turning you in. Emilia, I love you, can’t you see that? I will not hurt you, ever. And I won’t ever let anyone come between us.” He pulled her closer. “It’s you and me for eternity. We live together, we die together.”

Emilia wiped her face. “I killed them,” she whimpered. 

“They killed your soul first.” 

Emilia took a shaky but deep breath. 

Erik smoothed back her hair. “You’re okay now. I promise. I won’t ever let anyone hurt you again.” He pulled her closer. 

Emilia fell into him, choking through her sobs. 

“You’re okay.”

She looked up at him. “But she’s still coming for me.”

“She’s not going to get you, though.”

Emilia nodded and closed her eyes. It was okay. She was okay. Everything would be okay. 

They huddled like that for a while, until Emilia stopped crying and wasn’t shaking anymore. 

It was then when Erik seemed to notice his lack of clothes. “Where are my clothes?”

Emilia tossed his the pile. “I learned somewhere that if someone falls through the ice, you’re supposed to take their clothes off.”

“Really? Interesting. I guess it makes sense.” Erik dressed with lightning speed. 

“How is she?” He gestured to Raquelle. 

“Alive, thank God.”

Erik kneeled beside Raquelle. “She’s breathing pretty good. Has a strong pulse.” He grinned a little. “I thought I’d never see her again.”

“We were lucky she wasn’t too far away when it happened. Otherwise…” She trailed off. 

Erik nodded. “So what, she just jumped in? That’s pretty brave.”

“Yeah, pretty much. She saw what happened and threw herself in.”

“Well, I guess now we’re even.”

Emilia moved closer and watched the sleeping girl. She looked so peaceful. Her face had good color, you might never had guessed she came out of a frozen river. 

Emilia turned to Erik. “She’ll probably be sleeping a while longer yet.”

Erik grinned and pulled her close. They kissed, and Emilia clung to it like life. The familiar rush sparkled through her body, she dove in deeper. It was like wildfire, spreading through her every inch. It would have went on a lot longer had Raquelle not started to stir. 

They parted and watched as the girl sat up and looked at them, eyes narrowed a little. “At least you did it while I was sleeping.”

Emilia smiled. “How are you feeling?”

Raquelle shrugged. “Good, I guess. Kind of like I just came out of a frozen lake.” She grinned a little. 

Erik took a deep breath, as if he knew what he had to say. “Okay. First of all, thank you for saving my life, I’m glad we’re even now. Second, I’m sorry. I don’t know what I’m sorry for, but I know I’m sorry. I probably shouldn’t have let you walk to your death.”

Raquelle blinked her large gray eyes. “It wasn’t your choice.” 

Erik opened his mouth, then closed it again. 

Raquelle tilted her head slightly. “I will do whatever I want, and I don’t need permission from anyone. My life is my life, and I will live it on my terms.”

She started to move, then noticed her lack of clothes. Emilia handed her the pile and they turned around while she dressed, almost as quickly as Erik. 

Erik placed his hand on Emilia’s. “So... a lot has come out in the past ten minutes, and I think we have some things to discuss.” He looked at Emilia, who nodded, took a deep breath, and told her story. 

Raquelle seemed to be a good listener, but what concerned Emilia was her eyes. She had piercing, judging eyes, that made you wonder what she was thinking about you. 

When she finished, Raquelle was silent for a minute. She looked right into Emilia’s eyes, as if trying to see more, get in deeper. Emilia glanced down. 

“Well. That’s a lot to take in.” Raquelle nodded. “I don’t really know what to say. I’m sorry? Good for you? I guess… you did what was, in my opinion, the right thing. You got revenge from the people that crushed you. Now you have one more to defeat before she defeats you.”

“I’m not killing anymore.” Emilia’s voice was like a rock. “I can’t.”

Raquelle nodded. “That makes sense. Okay. You keep yourself safe. Someone else will kill her. No problem.”

Emilia met her eyes. “Is it wrong to want someone to suffer, but to not want to make them suffer yourself?”

Raquelle thought. “I don’t think so. I mean, I want to make Riker suffer, but I don’t exactly want to take him on myself. Besides, I’m fairly sure I would lose.”

They were silent for a while, before Raquelle stood up. “Okay. Come on. We need to go. Or, you do, and I need to get to the border.” She picked up her belt. 

“Raquelle.” 

She turned to Erik. “What?”

“Don’t leave.”

“Why?”

“We need you. You’re part of the family.”

Raquelle blinked. “What did you just say?”

“I said, you’re part of our family.”

Emilia watched as tears welled in Raquelle’s eyes, but she vigorously blinked them away. She flung herself into Erik, the tears coming back. 

 

Raquelle put her belt on, but it looked a bit different this time. Her scabbard, instead of being hidden in her skirt, was on the belt. You could clearly see she was armed. 

They stared at it a minute. She looked at them. “What? Honestly, it wouldn’t hurt you guys to do this too. I’ve been to cities. People will take advantage of those who look defenseless, no matter what gender or how old you are. Now, come on. The snow’s stopped, for now. Let’s move.” 

 


© Copyright 2019 Rachel Stone. All rights reserved.

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