Dragon Fire: Episode 8

As he stood over Sol, one of the men who had murdered Rassiun and his wife Arissa, Aric fought the urge to tie Sol to his saddle and drag him along the road back to town. Instead, he bound his hands and feet and left him in the barn along with the other men. Tolora guarded them while Aric climbed up to the rafters and gently cut Arissa down. He lifted her broken body, carried her to the garden, and lovingly buried her.

Kneeling by her grave, Aric clenched his fist until his knuckles turned white.

“I swear I will find whoever did this to you,” he promised.

“HELP!!” one of the men in the barn yelled.

Aric stood up slowly, sneered, and turned toward the sound. He steadied himself and returned to the barn.

Sol, afraid to move, was watching Tolora while another of the men looked around in panic as he shook with fear.

“Who are you?” the trembling man asked.

“My name is Aric.”

“What do you want?” he pleaded. “Why have you tied me up?”

Aric did not answer as he calmly withdrew his swords. He walked over to the man and thrust at him, nicking him on the right cheek.

“This will be over very quickly if you answer my questions,” Aric said.

Enraged and bleeding, the man glared at Aric and snapped,

“How dare you. . . ”

But before he could finish his sentence, Aric had slashed his other cheek. Turning to Sol, Aric bent down and clicked his tongue once. Tolora slowly moved closer to Sol until he could feel her hot breath on his neck.

“What do you want?” Sol asked.

“I want to know who hired you,” Aric answered.

“I do not know. I never spoke with anyone directly,” Sol said.

Aric leaned over and in a soft whisper said,

“Then tell me how to contact them.”

When Sol hesitated, Tolora snarled, bearing her teeth.

*              *              *

It was twilight as Aric stood at the edge of the building, looking out over the city. He thought back over the day and the three men he had left behind tied up in the barn. He would contact the authorities tomorrow. Sol had told Aric that if he left a letter at the corner, just below the spot where Aric was perched, a messenger would pick it up and bring it to his employer. Aric would then follow the messenger and discover the truth about who was responsible for Rassiun and Arissa’s death. Maybe then he could find Isaac.

From where he waited, Aric could see down into the castle courtyard and the spot where he had first seen her. He did not know her name, only that she was a member of court, a visitor from another royal family. As he watched, Aric saw her step out of the shadows, accompanied by her maid. She seemed to float across the pavement stones. Her beauty was intoxicating. Seated on a nearby bench, she gazed at the night sky. She seemed uncomfortable in her surroundings, and Aric longed to go down to her. Just as she looked in his direction, Aric felt a sharp pain in his shoulder. He glanced down to see an arrow with a black fletching embedded in his flesh. When he reached to remove the arrow, he felt himself weakening. He struggled to move away from the ledge, but his knees would not respond. The last thing he remembered was falling off the building’s edge.

Published in: on August 2, 2010 at 12:36 am  Leave a Comment  

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