His Duty to Her

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
From the moment I was born, I had been given one duty: protect Lila Hayes from the opposing force that threatened to destroy her and her father. They were one of the most richest and powerful people in the United States, owning over an uncountable amount of successful businesses; if any harm were to come to them, the economy would be heavily impacted and slowly, the U.S – no, wait. EARTH – would drift closer to destruction.

Yet, my feelings for her was a skill that I was not expecting. My training hadn't trained me for this. I knew I couldn't fail my duty from birth.

So I loved her. Yes, I did.

Submitted: June 19, 2014

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Submitted: June 19, 2014

A A A

A A A


His Duty to Her

 

From the moment I was born, I had been given one duty: protect Lila Hayes from the opposing force that threatened to destroy her and her father. They were one of the most rich and powerful people in the United States, owning over an uncountable amount of successful businesses; if any harm were to come to them, the economy would be heavily impacted and slowly, the U.S – no, wait. Earth – would drift closer to destruction.

I was made a purposeful mistake to human society. I had first been a human project in my mother's stomach for a group of scientists. Mr. Hayes was expecting his baby (Lila) to come in a couple of months and he decided that the experiments needed to be performed on a baby who's due date was before his baby's. That baby, would be me. I was born two weeks before Lila.

For the experiments, they fed my mother unusual substances that were supposed to enhance my senses and make me inhumanly strong – and they succeeded. My mother died giving birth to me and to this day, my father hated me. I was the symbol of my mother's death and even I knew that myself.

But there was nothing I can do about it. A normal person would have wanted to commit suicide, but me? No, I did not.

After all, the purpose of my birth was to protect Lila Hayes.

I could not commit suicide. To make up my mother's stolen life, I needed to ensure that Lila lived.

“Lila.” That was the first word I've ever spoken, according to Mr. Isaiah Hayes – Lila's father. When I was five years old, he had told me this in Lila's bedroom. At the time, Lila was sleeping; she knew nothing about my birth nor my duty to her and that was fine. She looked to me like I was as normal as the rest of them while others knew otherwise. I appreciated it.

We were very close since we lived together. From the moment we could both see, Lila and I were immediate friends. We were both home schooled and grew up in the Hayes Mansion. My name was even registered in their family records: “Joel Sparks – adopted.”

I was always by her side. Mr. Hayes ensured that I took my training (classes that would help increase and maintain my endurance, strength, and cardio, like aerobic exercises) and made sure that my room was situated near hers.

As years passed, I started seeing her in a new light. As we entered our early teen years, I guess you can say my 'hormones started to kick in'.

Lila was beautiful. Her smile, humor, and laughter kept me awake at night because I thought about her so often. Being with her kept me sane while the pressure to protect her increased – we were getting older now. I had to protect her, Mr. Hayes and the scientists would insist. Or at least, die trying.

Yet, my feelings for her was a skill that I was not expecting. My training hadn't trained me for this. I knew I couldn't fail my duty from birth.

So I loved her. Yes, I did.

*~*~*~*~*

With my elbows propped on her bed, I stared intently at Lila. It was early morning and bright sunlight streamed in through the tall, open windows.

I had been awake all night due to extra training. It was important that Lila did not know about the training I went through – she was old enough to understand now after all – so my training often progressed through the night when she slept. I was a super human; I could easily stay up all night as if it were day.

So, we were both sixteen now. Sixteen total years of being together.

Her dark curls were splayed out across her pillows. She often slept on her right side with one foot sticking out from underneath the blankets. For the millionth time since I was little, I watched her. Her long lashes brushed gently against her smooth cheeks; her breathing was soft and her full lips were partly open in the same way since childhood – something that I had come to adore.

I wondered about her dreams. What did she dream about? It was something I was often curious to know.

As if in slow motion, I saw everything clearly. Overhead, the minute hand on the clock began to move – with blinding speed I reached out and turned off the alarm clock by my side – just as the minute hand above me settled comfortably on 'twelve'.

I continued to sit for a few more minutes. I knew Lila well – she hated the noise her alarm clock made but was always ordered by her nurse maids to turn it on. I had made it my own personal responsibility to turn it off before seven o'clock whenever I was allowed to come and visit.

I also knew Lila liked to sleep in for a couple more minutes after the alarm would go off. Relaxed in the chair next to her bed, I played with a strand of her hair. It felt smooth and delicate beneath my fingertips. It stayed like this for a few more blissful moments, hearing her breathing and watching her sleep.

Then, a slight movement of her shoulder told me she was awake. Several slow seconds later–

“Joel?” a soft voice whispered. Her chocolate-brown eyes opened just a crack.

“Good morning,” I whispered, tucking a strand of hair behind her cute ears. “Feeling good?”

Just then, Lila smiled – a smile so wide and happy, my heart almost broke.

“Good morning,” she murmured, sitting up and wiping sleep from her eyes. She continued to smile at me (the sunlight from behind her made her look very good) and I knew I had to keep my attention elsewhere. Immediately, I reached out for her foot. It wasn't as fast as I'd normally move but it was fast enough to be considered 'normal'.

In one hurried movement, Lila tucked her foot deeper within the blankets before I could touch it. “Joel,” she said, sounding put out. “I told you not to massage my foot anymore.”

“Why not?” I asked her. I was used to massaging her feet since I always did so during our childhood. “You never minded when we were little.”

“But that's when we were little,” she replied with puffed out cheeks. “We're older now. I don't want you treating me like a princess.” Throwing aside her blankets, Lila got up from bed and walked past me towards the door. I couldn't help but admire her sleep-clumsy movements.

“I want to treat you like a princess,” I tell her honestly, turning in my seat to watch her. Her bedroom was large and bare – she hadn't even reached the door yet. “You should let me.”

Lila turned her body completely to look at me. Her white dress fluttered gently against her legs and her dark curls bounced on her shoulders. She looked thoughtful with a finger touching her lip in her usual habit. “No,” she said slowly. It was as if she were cautiously choosing her words. “I can't let you do that because I want to treat you like one.”

I stared blankly, confused. I did not understand. “Pardon me?”

Lila flushed, her cheeks turning a pretty shade of pink. “A prince, I meant.” She turned back around awkwardly. “Uh,” she stammered, “bathroom. Me – go.”

And she left in a flurry, opening the doors quickly and dashing out. With my head tilted slightly to the side, I followed after her. Lila Hayes was a weird girl. Even after all those years of being together with her, I still couldn't understand her most of the time.

*~*~*~*~*

Later that morning, Lila exited from the bathroom with her usual crowd of nurse maids. They giggled when they saw me – Mr. Hayes told me all the gossip came from them. I nodded in greeting to them but my eyes were on Lila. She wore a soft blue dress and her dark curls were up in a ponytail. The moment she saw me, her face lightened up and she ran to me. It took everything I had to keep my eyes off the curve of her neck and the lines of her collarbones.

She leaned excitedly on the wall beside me. “Looking cool leaning on the wall there.” She winked at me.

I grinned at her. In movies, she admired the spies that wore all black. She always told me that I reminded her of a spy since I wore dark colors.

Playfully, I tapped her nose. “Of course I do. It's only to make you look good since we hang out together so much.”

She giggled a little. “Why are you lying?” she asked. Then, with that usual excited spark in her eyes, she took my hands in hers and whispered, “Let's go to the garden before classes start, Joel!”

The garden was like our special meeting place. Besides the gardeners and an occasional guard, no one else went there. Lila loved flowers and being outdoors – it was her greatest ambition to visit the beach someday.

I nodded, smiling. Her happiness was always contagious.

Like she always would, Lila ran with our hands still entwined. She steered me down the long set of stairs and we jumped three at a time. I easily kept in stride with Lila and glancing at her, I'd see how happy she was skipping down the stairs and laughing. I felt that life was complete.

Everything in the mansion (besides furniture and picture frames) was made of white marble. We ran down several long hallways and rounded a couple of corners. We passed massive pictures of sceneries, bowls of fruit, and straight-backed people.

Then, after finally running down another set of stairs, we made it into the living room. The place was as big as an entire floor – complete with a big screen TV, many chairs and sofas, and glass double doors that led outside to different parts of the humongous yard. When we approached the glass doors that lead out to the gardens, Lila let out a crazy (but happy) yell. A few maids jumped from shock nearby and I laughed, nodding my head in apology as we ran past them.

It was in her character: Lila was crazy and I loved her for it.

We ran onto the pebbled paths. The guards standing nearby turned to look at us. I could visibly see their eyes from where we were; their sights drifted upon Lila and as soon as they saw me, our expressions spoke for themselves. It was understood that I would take care of her and the mansion's garden entrance. At once, the guards began to leave for the doors.

“It's weird,” Lila said the moment they were out of earshot. She looked back at the guards and I caught her slightly-suspicious expression. “I've noticed it recently, Joel. Whenever the guards see me by myself, they insist on tagging along with me. But if I'm with you, they leave us alone.”

I could hear the curiosity and interest in her tone. Hastily, I lifted up her hands and twirled her around in mid-walk. “What's wrong with that?” I asked casually. After twirling her once more, we continued walking normally again.

“It's very unusual,” she answered, looking worried. “It's as if they believe you can take care of the both of us–”

“– I could, actually,” I cut in, grinning. Hopefully, she'd take this as a joke and drop the subject before things got awkward. “I'm known to wrestle bears and meditate under waterfalls.”

Lila gasped in mock amazement. “No wonder,” she whispered. Then, to my relief, she changed the topic. “Do you have any idea where dad has gone?”

I stared carefully at her. Mr. Hayes had gone out for an important meeting with the police chiefs in the nearest towns. Apparently, talks about breaking into Hayes Mansion had been brewing around the neighborhood last week and Mr. Hayes had gone to ensure everything was okay. Everyone knew about the rumors.

Except for Lila of course. Mr. Hayes, the guards, maids, cooks, and I, knew she'd be frightfully scared. We preferred her in her happy and smiling state so we kept all information away from her as best as we could. Since Lila rarely watched TV, we were granted some comfort.

“No,” I answered her, shrugging for effect. “Your dad kind of goes everywhere. Maybe he's left to visit the office.”

'The office' would be Mr. Hayes's main building downtown. I've never stepped foot there since my duty to Lila was here, at home, but I've heard about how massive it was.

“I guess,” Lila agreed. “I keep thinking since, you know, he's a powerful CEO and all – he could be in danger. He needs a lot of protection.”

I blinked. She's noticed that. Eventually, she would come to realize that she was in danger too. She'd find out my duty to her and since I've known Lila for a while, I knew what her reaction to that would be: she'd be distraught.

Glancing sidelong at her, I noticed her eyes glowing at our surroundings as we walked. The gardens were a big part of our childhood – we often came here in between our lessons to talk and play.

As we got older, the gardens became something more meaningful to me. It was a place that represented her and everything we've experienced together. I loved this place – with it's open sky, flowers, trees, and bushes.

Lila and I were never allowed outside the walls of the mansion since it was a dangerous place for her to be out there. The gardens was our one connection to the outside world.

We settled on a shaded bench in front of a small pond. We could see frogs on lily pads here and glittering dragonflies. It was a bright morning for sure – which meant our classes would most likely start a little early.

“I love this place,” Lila said, motioning her arms to the pond. “It's so pretty.”

“It is,” I replied. It's only prettier when you're here with me.

She grinned and clapped her hands. “Joel, maybe we can camp out here sometime!” Her eyes glowed in anticipation. “It'd be so nice! I can ask father personally – I'm sure he'd let me–”

Something in my mind clicked fast.

“No,” I said immediately and without thinking. “It's dangerous.”

“What?” Lila turned and blinked at me. I struggled to look away. “How?”

“It's connected to the walls.” I motioned to the high marbled wall that stood far in the distance from us. “Security isn't as strong here as it is inside. What if we get ambushed or you get kidnapped in your sleep?”

Everything was silent.

I noticed that maybe, just maybe, I had spoken too much. I felt myself stiffen as I took in her somewhat-shocked expression.

A bird chirped nearby and Lila suddenly grinned at me. “It's like you're my own personal guard,” she said, giggling. “It feels nice.”

My back relaxed. “I feel like it's that way too.”

Ever since birth, actually. But I wasn't going to tell her that.

Then, in that perfect moment of bliss – being in Lila's amazing presence in our garden – everything fell apart.

The moment I heard the slight but unnecessary rustle of leaves behind us – I knew something was wrong.

In one smooth movement, I reached out and took Lila into my arms. She gave out a surprised gasp as I hefted her carefully and quickly into my arms – just as the erupting noise of gunfire filled my ears.

I've been trained to dodge bullets. Running with unnatural speed, I took to the shades of trees for camouflage – it was the main reason why I wore black. I could feel the tiny but deadly bullets fly past my ears but –

We couldn't make it to the doors. I knew it because of my sight – I could see for miles ahead of me, therefore, I knew we'd be ambushed on our way there. A group of dark-clothed men stood behind the bushes, awaiting our arrival.

In the few milliseconds I had to look them over from a distance, I realized did not recognize them. I knew every staff member in the mansion; it was part of my training to memorize everyone who lived with us.

I cursed myself. I shouldn't have let us wander so far into the gardens.

Lila was trembling with fear and shock in my arms. Making haste, I veered to my right where the trees were.

The gardens were big – the parts that we were allowed to visit added up to two acres at least. This meant we could at least run until I thought up of something.

“Joel,” Lila stammered into my ears as we glided between trees. “W-what was that? What's going on? How are you moving so fast–?”

“Shh,” I whispered. She quieted instantly.

By now, the bullets have stopped. This meant we had lost them.

And, as fast as lightning, a small plan formed. It was definitely possible, if I was quick, agile, and accurate enough.

Lila had grasped my shirt and buried her face into my neck. I could feel her tremors and I knew I had to take this easy or she'd panic. Transitioning my brisk sprints into a light jogging, I slowly made my ways behind the trunk of a large oak and stopped.

“Lila,” I whispered, setting her at the base of the tree and covering her protectively. “You okay?”

She ignored my question. Grabbing my arms, she looked me in the face with wild eyes. “What are we going to do?” she asked in a fast but low voice. “We can't go over the walls, can we? We might get ambushed out there!”

That was true. I narrowed my eyes as I thought about it. It wouldn't be safe for us to go out there anyway.

There had been roughly ten people waiting to ambush us near the door and half a dozen who had been shooting after us, according to the sounds of their footsteps. From this, we could take into account two scenarios: one being that they had snuck into the gardens and were preparing to invade the mansion from there or two, they had known we'd come to the gardens. It would be easy to situate spies on the further wall of the mansion. Lila and I went everywhere in the gardens and I was sure anyone could have seen us if they were spying along the back wall somewhere.

Nobody went over there to the farther walls of the mansion; it was too far off for the guards to come back and seek help, and having guards camp there would be suicide – they could easily be overtaken. Majority of the guards were stationed at the front and sides since it was closer to the main street; chances of being attacked there were bigger. Meanwhile, it was agreed that the forests at our backs were enough security so we left that unguarded. It had worked, until now.

Weird. Behind the mansion's back walls was only vast forest. It was rumored that people had tried to explore its vast depths before but not one had made it out alive. Was it possible that the attackers had come from there? If so, how had they navigated here? It wasn't possible for them to have snuck in anywhere else since security along the other sides of the walls were tight and strict.

But this simply meant many more of their people could be hiding in these large gardens. Since Lila and I always walked everywhere in the gardens (but nowhere near the far wall), no one could tell where we'd be even if they really did spy on us; they would only know that Lila and I visited the gardens regularly. This meant the attackers had dispatched more men to hide inside the gardens. That way, wherever Lila and I settled, there'd always be attackers nearby to ambush us.

With the gardens in their control, they could also hatch plans to invade the mansion. They'd get to Mr. Hayes eventually.

So, we could safely assume that we were surrounded – even from the back wall near the vast forest. Most likely, there were people at the back waiting to ambush us there too.

Mr. Hayes had told me that he and his company had a lot of enemies from other companies. No surprises if they all decided to combine their might together.

“Joel?”

Lila's voice broke me out of my thinking.

“Come here,” I spoke fast. “We're going to get back inside. Something tells me we're all in danger.”

If it were true that there were more of them hiding in the gardens, I had to move. They could be making their way closer to us as we speak.

Without hesitation, Lila stood up. I hefted her nimbly into my arms and we were off – back towards the mansion, and back towards the ambushers waiting for us.

Yards above the entrance into the mansion, were windows. If I ran fast enough, I'd be able to run up the sides of the mansion's walls and break one of the windows. From there, we could get in.

But I had to be quick enough so we aren't fired at. I have never tried maneuvering bullets at a ninety degree angle before.

It was dangerous but I was certain it would work.

Lila's grasp had become more firm and stable. I realized then that she was trying to be strong – or she was calm and trusted me completely.

Gunshots exploded in the air above and around us. Lila flinched a couple of times and I held her close. Since the gunshots weren't aimed at us, I could assume that they were to alert the people near the entrance of our arrival.

Well, there goes our element of surprise.

But still, I was sure that from the moment they planned to sneak into here, they weren't expecting a super human like me to be by Lila's side.

They were still in for some surprise, I guess.

Within seconds, we were nearing the mansion. From yards away, my steps became fast and my speed increased.

I shot from the trees like a bullet – it was the fastest I've ever ran. Sure enough, I ran through the group of dark-clothed men with ease – it seemed that I was so fast, I could easily be mistaken as a slight breeze.

Opening the doors, walking in, closing them again was risky. For starters, the entrance was wide open – no cover for us to duck behind in case they shot at us, and even if I did it as fast as I could, I was certain they'd be alerted since so many were hanging out near it. There was no way we could go through those doors.

But were the doors locked?

Taking another couple of milliseconds, I took in their annoyed expressions and the closed doors. The doors had to be locked. Somehow, security had registered that we had intruders and everyone had gone on lock down.

Breaking a window yards above them couldn't hurt. They didn't seem to have any flying vehicles on them anyway, so we'd still be safe.

A few milliseconds later, my foot successfully hit the wall of the mansion. I began my run up along the walls and Lila's gasp of complete alarm. I continued running up the wall towards the window nearest me and I thought everything would be fine – it didn't seem like they had noticed me yet –

“There they are!”

I gritted my teeth in frustration, readying for the shots to fire – and they did.

There were a lot of gunners. In my attempts to dodge all of them in seconds, I lost some momentum and I knew we were getting slower.

“You got this, Joel!” Lila screamed loudly. Hearing her voice gave me strength but when she kissed me on the cheek, I knew something was wrong with my legs.

We were literally flying up the walls now. I couldn't tell what was going on, except for the fact that my legs were moving in a blur.

Then, we finally made it to the window. Gunshots rang out and a few of them hit the window's glass for us – breaking it into pieces. I hurriedly stepped onto the sills and flung myself in with Lila still in my arms.

I fell on my back with a loud thud, cushioning the fall so that Lila wouldn't be hurt.

“Joel!” Lila cried out, getting out of my arms immediately and hugging me around my neck. “Joel! Are you okay?”

“He's okay,” said a familiar gruff voice.

I looked up, and sure enough, it was Mr. Hayes.

“Pull up the second glass,” he ordered to the guards who obeyed instantly.

Mr. Hayes had the same chocolate-brown eyes and black curly hair that Lila had. I watched as he watched me intently – he was standing precisely a foot away from my head.

“Well done, Joel Sparks,” he said. “You've done your duty well.”

One of the scientists that took care of my training smiled at me from beside Mr. Hayes. “New record, Joel,” he said, proudly. “From the moment you shot out of the trees, it took you precisely fifteen seconds to get up here. All that distance in that amount of time!”

The scientist looked overjoyed. The nearby guards nodded, impressed.

Mr. Hayes waved them off.

“The police are on their way to apprehend those fools,” he said. “If you hadn't brought Lila back, you both would have been in severe danger. The intruders have got us surrounded on all four walls. They've even gone as far as to hide many more of them in our gardens.”

Lila hugged me even more tightly. I sighed and leaned against her hold.

“I don't know what's going on,” Lila whispered, “or how you can do all of that, but you're okay and – I'm relieved.”

“We're all okay, especially Lila,” Mr. Hayes spoke.

I felt a brief pat on my head before it was taken away.

“You've fulfilled your duty, Joel.”

Those words filled me as I hugged Lila back. I had protected her – something I had been assigned since before my birth. Joy filled me and I softly kissed Lila on her cheek.

“Unfortunately,” Mr. Hayes cut in. He seemed very reluctant as he took in a deep breath. “I will not allow you both to get married until a few more years.”

Lila laughed outright. I smiled weakly.

I was sure I'd be protecting Lila for the rest of my life. I was prepared to do so – and to be there by her side forever.

*~*~*~*~*

A/N: OK so, the ending might be a little rushed - I'm not sure but it's deliberately supposed to end that way. XD If you think it's a little rushed, please tell me! I'll try to add some details here and there. But for now, I hope you enjoyed reading! :D It was seven pages total and boy, I am tired. LOL.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to drop a reading request on my profile page! XD


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