“She ran across the forest barefoot trying not to fall onto the muddy ground, knowing if they found her they’d kill her. She didn’t want to die. She wanted to live. She had to live.”
She stopped beside an oak tree panting heavily. She slumped to the ground in sheer exhaustion. She could feel her eyes burning with hot tears and she wiped them angrily. Why was she crying? She had to stay strong for the child she carried within her. She touched her belly softly as she thought of the danger both of them faced.
Amaranth heard the crunching of feet on some dry leaves and gasped. She stood up slowly and began running again. Her breath was coming out short and quick. She could feel her chest burning. She tried not to steal a glance back knowing that if she saw them she would not have the strength to run anymore. She ran through thickets and vines blindly. She had no idea whatsoever where she was going and the beasts of Guar were after her.
She wanted to hit herself. How could she have been so stupid falling in love with a centaur? Why was it that passion had made her break the law? The one thing she strived to abide by. Now she was carrying a centaur’s child…a crime punishable by death.
Why was it that love seemed to be degrading everything in her life ‘till it turned to rubble? She loved him and it was forbidden. Love was something she had never felt before…it felt surreal…strange…exciting. But now it was tearing her apart.
Something grabbed her from behind and she screamed. She fought violently digging her nails into the creature’s hairy skin. She had to fight. She couldn’t die now. No she would die fighting for her life and that of her child. The creature screamed and dropped her. She landed on the ground on her back and sighed in pain. But she knew she had to keep running. Where was she going? She didn’t know. She didn’t know if she was heading to where the vampires lay deep in wait for their life source. She shuddered. Dying a slow death didn’t appeal to her. Feeling the blood slowly being drained from her was more than enough to send chills down her spine.
She grunted as she ran into a tree. She stopped in shock feeling her way around the tree. There was nowhere to run. She could feel their presence behind her. What wrong had she committed falling in love with a centaur? What wrong had she committed in marrying him? If only her father hadn’t sent spies out to spy on her, maybe she’d be safe and protected inside the walls of the castle.
Amaranth slowly turned around and leaned her back on the tree. She couldn’t see them but could feel their presence. Their dark shadows blended well into the night. This was it. She would show no fear.
She wanted to fall to the ground and cry…cry for the husband she’d never see again…for the child he’d never get to see. Their loud crackling laughter was all she could hear. They mocked her. They mocked her and there was nothing she could do about it but just stand here her back to the oak tree shaking in fear.
She closed her eyes...this was it...it was over. They would kill her...rip her into shreds and then scatter her body parts around the forest. Her head would be hanged on the castle gates as a warning to those who broke the law.
A loud yelping noise was made and then another. Amaranth remained where she was. Maybe she was the one yelping. Maybe she was the one groaning in pain.
Something warm touched her cheek. Amaranth tightened her eyelids. It stroked her cheek tenderly. She could feel its breath warm and homely on her face. She gasped in shock as lips came in contact with hers. Her eyes burst open and she stopped.
“Oreius?” She could barely see him but she knew his kiss.
He giggled softly. She couldn’t help by grunt. She loved him...she loved his giggle...deep, rich and warm. He touched her cheek. “What are you doing here?” He asked.
“Running for my life.” She answered. The adrenaline was gone and was now replaced by fatigue. And when she was tired she became angry.
She touched Oreius’ arm softly “Please take me home.” Oreius nodded and kissed her forehead. He picked her up like a doll and carried her in his arms deeper into the forest. She snuggled close to his chest and sighed. She touched her stomach and knew both she and the baby would be alright.
“Are you okay?” Oreius asked softly.
“The baby is fine.”
Oreius shook his head. “No Amaranth are you okay?”
“Oh.” Amaranth nodded “I’m fine.”
“Good.” He kissed her forehead. Amaranth soon slept off content. She knew she would never be able to return home....to her old life. She had chosen her path. She had chosen her love and she was expecting their child. She would be safe and so would the baby...Oreius would never let anyone hurt her.
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