Chapter 10: A New Lesson

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

Reads: 69

A loud clatter awakens me, followed by a silent cuss. Groaning I open my eyes to see Lusia picking my sword up from the ground, and carefully placing it back onto my desk.

On the back of my chair hangs a leather belt with a buckle. Lusia takes it and wraps the brown girdle around her waist, transforming my white linen shirt, which she is still wearing, into a very short dress.

My view from down here is anything but bad. I watch intently as she bends down with her back towards me, picking her shoes and bloodstained dress up from the ground.

Lusia glances over and I pretend to still be asleep. It amuses me watching her thread towards the door on the tips of her toes. When she reaches for the doorknob, I throw a small dagger that drills into the wooden door frame, right next to her.

Shrieking she turns, glaring angrily at me while I rise from the ground, laughing.

 "Are you trying to kill me?!" she says still catching her breath.

"Maybe. You offend me by trying to sneak out of my room without even a proper goodbye."

Lusia glances at the dagger, hanging just inches from her face.

"Well, even if that was your purpose, your aim seems to be pretty off."

Impressed by her insult, I walk over to pull my dagger out of the wooden frame, and lean against the door, blocking her way.

"Where are you going?"

Raising an eyebrow she looks at me intently.

"I wish to go freshen up in my room and put on a new dress. Seeing as you tore mine up last night."

Looking at her blushing cheeks and perfectly formed red lips, makes me feel like I have to catch my breath a little. Traces of dawn in the form of small circles underneath her eyes take away none of her beauty but increases it instead, as it makes her look extra vulnerable and sweet.

"If I may recall correctly, it was you who asked me to help get you out of that dress."

"I remember suggesting you could do a lot more than that..." she says with a gentle stroke of her luscious lips against mine. Before I can even think about kissing her she pulls away and smiles. "...but that was before I knew you were respectful."

I swallow hard, taken aback by her teasing.

Even if I truly was being respectful, it was not easy to not give in to her temptation. Still, I am glad that my actions make her think this way of me.

My mind starts to gradually wake and reminds me of the task I am still meant to fulfill. Ensure Lusia's safety, while obtaining as much information as possible about last nights attack.

"The fortress is impenetrable, but I will escort you to your room just to be safe."

"I have no objection with you escorting me."

Smirking I stand up from the door, making us stand just inches away from each other. Lusia looks at me, lips parted and eyes open wide.

"I would not have cared even if you had." I say and walk past her to retrieve some clean clothes.

After having attached all my weapons back in place, I pull up my hood and walk over to open the door.

"After you."

---

On a secluded place, still within the Garden, stands a tall white marble building. A personal safe haven where the girls reside. It is strictly off limits to men. Therefore all eyes are on me when I dare to enter this forbidden place.

Respectfully, I keep my eyes on the ground until we arrive at Lusia's door. Unintended, I peek through the window at a spacious room, equipped with all possible types of luxury. Marble bathtubs and make-up tables, and also a mass variety of colorful robes and dresses to choose from.

Suddenly, I notice astonishement on the faces of a couple of girls who are sat inside, preparing themselves for a new day. Immediately I appologize and direct my eyes straight back towards the ground.

Lusia chuckles and lays a comforting hand on my shoulder. The mere touch puts me more at ease in this, to me, forbidden area.

"So, now what?" She asks.

I look up at her, compellingly.

"I will go to the arena to train. You will remain here where you will be safe."

Lusia laughs and raises her hand as if taking an oath.

"I solemnly swear I shall not walk the grounds alone."

Stroking my upper arm, she smiles sweetly at me.

"Careful though Diran. I might start to think that you care for me after all."

Unexpectedly, she kisses my cheek before turning to enter her room. The warmth of her rushing kiss lingers on my skin, while I rush towards the arena.

---

 "What?!" shouts Asad, looking up at me from the ground.

I frown at him, not knowing how he fell down, seeing as I have barely touched him.

"I know that you cannot beat me brother, but you are making it too easy."

"This does not count because you have placed me in shock." He says while awkwardly rising from the sand. "You have just said, that you had a gorgeous, naked, willing woman in your bed, and refused her?"

"I chose not to take advantage."

"It is not taking advantage if she is willing."

Along with most of the Assassins, Asad has always thought of women the exact way The Garden instructs them to be. Soft, beautiful angels that smell like roses and honey, programmed to fulfill our every need. It is only fair he take full advantage if he desires. Yet, I cannot help but not share this vision anymore.

Now that I understand how poorly I have treated Lorena, and see Medina turn my brother into a one-woman- man, I have come to a realization. That a woman should not be treated as a prize. Instead, she needs to be conquered and become a personal victory.

"'Willing' does not mean 'wanting'." I say, sliding my sword back into its sheath.

Asad shrugs and looks down while swinging his sword out in front of him. I know he will not admit I might be right, but now that he is with someone, he has to feel the difference between a woman obliged to share her body, or a woman who wants to.

Turning from him, my eyes roam the stands and are instantly drawn towards a spectator I did not expect.

Lusia grins and carefully waves when she sees me looking. I frown while shaking my head, clarifying my displeasure of her being here, when I clearly instructed her to stay in her room.

My annoyance, however, is quickly forgotten when the revering beauty is coming towards me.

As she walks down the stands with natural grace, she smiles beaming at me. I answer by nodding short.

She exchanged my white linen shirt for a bright red dress exposing a shoulder. The wound on her arm is cleverly hidden under a matching red ribbon. Her long black hair is worn in a high ponytail.

"I should have known you would not listen." I say as soon as she is close enough to hear me.

Amused by my reaction, she grins standing across the other side of the metal ring, surrounding the sandy training circle.

"I did not think you would mind this. Where else could I be more safe than right here, in the midst of all these strong, capable warriors?"

I walk towards her trying to suppress a smile. As much as I hate to admit it, the words coming out of her smart mouth do make sense.

"I guess I cannot argue with that.. How long have you been watching?"

"Long enough to admit I am impressed. It is like you know all Asad's movements before he does."

Her well-meant compliment makes me chuckle.

"That is because I do. He and I have been training ever since we were kids. Asad is no challenge for me."

Lusia laughs like she was caught saying something stupid.

"Oh...well than tell me, Master Assassin, is there anyone left here, to be a challenge for you?"

"...maybe. Let's find out."

Staring at the frail girl before me, I pull my short blade out of its sheath strapped to my back. I turn the blade and offer her the handle. Startled, Lusia stares at the knife, then looks at me confused.

"Take it, and step into the ring."

As soon as I have said the words, she turns pale.

"W...why?"

"Because you should learn how to protect yourself, should I not be with you."

I push the short blade towards her as she stares at me with instant fear.

"It won't bite...just take it."

Eventually Lusia grabs the knife, holding it clumsily. I find her nervousness to be surprisingly adoring in a way, and it makes me laugh.

Seeing this, she squints her eyes and grabs the knife firmly, pointing it at me.

"Do I amuse you?"

"Very much so. I have never seen someone be so scared of a soulless object." I say and pull out a short knife from a sheath strapped to my waist.

"Now, step in to the ring, so we can begin."

Swallowing hard, Lusia walks towards the entrance of the ring and meets me in the middle of the circle.

Waiting until she approaches, I skillfully turn my knife between my fingers.

"Firstly, have you ever used any kind of weapon before?"

"It has definitely been a while..."

I nod, looking her compellingly in the eye. "Alright...well I promise I will not hurt you, so do not worry about that."

Cautiously she nods.

"I know my blade is probably too heavy for you, but it'll do for now."

Again she nods and keeps her eyes on me as I start to circle around her.

"Lesson number one, mind your surroundings. Perpetrators can come at you at any time, from anywhere."

Watching my every step, she still flinches when I fasten my pace running up until I am stood right beside her.

Noticing her fear I carefully place a hand on her stomach.

"Steady your breathing...it'll give away your position."

I move around her, stroking my hand from her stomach across her waist until I reach the other side. Her eyes are still on me when I slowly strike my blade towards her. Grabbing her weaponed hand I move it towards my face.

"Lesson two, always strike first. In this scenario, should you jam me in the eye, it will give you a chance to run away."

Curious, she looks up at me and I am suddenly very aware of the lack of distance between us.

Lusia licks her dry lips and I can feel her chest pumping up and down against my own.

Scraping my voice I walk back over to the other side of her, striking again, this time from underneath.

"Lesson three, defense. When attacked from below, use your fist to punch his hand away, than quickly strike..." Again, I grab her weaponed hand, this time placing the tip of the blade on my throat. "...right here, and he will be done."

She looks at me as I tighten my grip on her wrist when she tries to pull it away. The fear in her eyes makes no sense to me and I try to read her by holding her close. She's scared, but I do not know of what.

Finally I decide to let go and circle back until I am stood behind her.

"Let us begin training those first. They are not as hard as say, an attack coming from..."

With her back still turned towards me, I fasten my pace and run up to her holding my knife up.

The stound of metal clanging together suddenly echoes through the sky.

Perplexed, I find myself staring at Lusia who is now facing me, blocking my knife with her blade.

I look at her with widened eyes and see her looking equally surprised into mine. Without even actually wanting to strike, it took her only one millisecond to turn around and counter my attack. She did it without seeing me come.

 "...how did you..." I stutter, and back away to stare at her for a while.

Lusia stands, as if stuck in the sand, without saying a word.

It might have been a lucky strike, but I am too curious to talk about it. So I hold my knife tightly and firmly tread towards her to strike again.

She gasps and pleads for me to stop, but none of my strikes are left unblocked as if it was a mere reflex of her. I keep going until eventually I have her backed up against the rim of the arena.

Breathing heavily she holds herself up, against the metal ring. Fear rises as I am sure she can feel my burning eyes pierce trough her. A feeling of betrayal, mixed with some kind of anger and curiosity overcomes me. Who is this girl? And how did she develop such reflexes?

Before I have found the right words to speak to her, I hear Malik call my name.

"The Master has summoned you."

I slowly nod and realize Lusia is lucky. With this, I have some time to calm down and think about what just happened.

"Sef, take Lusia back to her room, and make sure she stays there."

 "What?" she protests and looks to Sef who comes running up to take her with him.

Clearly displeased, she goes with him, but before they leave I grab her arm and lower my lips to her ear.

"Do not even think, that you and I are done.."


Submitted: September 25, 2021

© Copyright 2022 Lucinda Amare. All rights reserved.

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