Beauty and the Beast

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by 4everDifferent, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. Vincent's eyes slowly crept open as the morning light leaked through his burgundy curtains. He pushed the white sheets from his box and rubbed his eyes before throwing his feet over the side of the bed and onto the white carpet embroidered with a burgundy image of his family crest. He slipped into a black pair of trousers and a white shirt.

    As Vincent did every morning, he paused at the painted portrait of his family and swore his path to never fail them again. He had done it once and it cost them their lives. He was weak then, he would never be again.

    He cleared his throat before he pushed his way through the wooden doors and into the hallway of his palace. It was a grand palace, a place he took much pride in and his staff worked laboriously to ensure it remained in a state of perfection. It had forty seven rooms, and rested on the largest estate in the four kingdoms. Each hall was lain with marble, every window curtained in burgundy. All the halls met at the main lobby where, centered and etched into the floor was a shield, a roaring lion centered in that. It was the Jameson family crest and a symbol of pride.

    As Vincent's footsteps echoed his arrival into tr lobby, staff poured out from different doors to tend to their king's needs. Today, though, Vincent only had one need. When the senior most maid approached him, his eyes fell on her respectfully lowered head. She was a woman in her late thirties, and someone Vincent had once loved as a family member though she was not. She had earned his trust above all others.

    "Sarah, fetch me Gordon and send him to my study." She nodded but knew better than to move until her king had made an end to speaking, "Sarah, be sure he doesn't forget the reports." Sarah nodded and backed away before hurrying off silently on her mission.

    Vincent pinched the bridge of his nose, still feeling a bit groggy, as he started down the hall that led to his study. As of late, his kingdom, Del'Mora, had been receiving threats from the other kingdoms, Telrana, Fidelas, and Ravencrest. The kings all claimed that he was monster, that how he was running his lands was barbaric and that if he didn't change, they would depose him. Gordon was his general and his most trusted advisor in matters of war.

    Vincent dropped into his chair behind the wooden desk covered in a map of the four kingdoms. According to the last reports from his scouts, Ravencrest had moved troops to his borders and Fidelas had increased the frequency of patrol routes. Only Telrana had waited to do anything. For that, Vincent was grateful.

    A knock at the door announced the arrival of Gordon. Everyone knew not to bother him in his study unless he called for them, "Come in, Gordon."

    Gordon pushed through the door. He was an imposing man. Standing three inches taller than his king and built like an impenetrable wall, Gordon knew he had only one thing to fear, the man behind the desk.

    "Did you bring them?" Vincent asked.

    "Yes, my king," the general answered as he handed the stack of parchments. He continued to speak, "One of our scouts stumbled upon a caravan from Ravencrest that is travelling through the no man's land."

    Vincent looked up from the reports. This was what he needed. He was beginning to feel restless couped up in the palace, it was time for him to go and do something, "Where would they be now?" He asked the general.

    "An hour maybe two from Capora," Gordon answered.

    "Ready my horse and armor. We're going hunting," he dropped the reports and rose to his feet. This would be exactly what he needed.
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  2. "Mally! Mally! Come and play!" a loud high pitched voice called from below. Malece had climbed up into a tree to gather some fruits for her father who was ill. She wore a simple outfit, the dress a plain brown color, a corset hugging her midsection in a forest green color and a cream blouse tucked underneath all of the layers of clothes, the sleeves pulled to her elbow as she collected the fruit. She had a basket tied to her back with a thick piece of cotton so the fruits would not fall. She perked up a moment, looking down at the ground, seeing the group of children she had been traveling with standing below bouncing with excitement at the chance they may get Malece to play with them. "Hold on little ones," she called, before she began climbing down the tree on her own. She wore her brothers leather gloves so she would not scratch her hands on the rough bark and she wore her own leather boots as she climbed down the tree until she reached the ground.

    Once on the floor, she let out a content sigh, removing the basket and looking at how much fruit she had collected. She had gotten more then she had thought and she smiled happily to herself, her emerald eyes shimmering slightly.

    She felt a tug on her arm that brought her out of her thoughts. It was the happy, bouncing girl named Anne and her sister Marie. They had been calling her to play. "Oh, I'm sorry girls I can't play right now. I have to wash the fruit and then take care of my papa," she said. The excited, happiness in both girls eyes diminished a little and they looked sad which caused Malece to feel bad. "How about you two come with me to wash the fruit. I'll sing while we do it so it will go faster," she suggested, seeing the happy look return to the girls faces.

    Malece smiled and pulled the basket up and carried it, both girls following the older woman as they walked through the small camp to get to the river. They had stopped the caravan so a few of the men could go hunting for some food. It had been her two older brothers, Thomas and Isaiah, along with another older gentleman that traveled with her family, Kale.

    As they passed through, Malece was greeted by the others of the camp, receiving a wave or a verbal hello. Her brother's did a lot of the hunting for the food everyone ate, but Malece was a healer and had helped nurse a few of the elderly among them back to health.

    She did so out of the kindness in her heart. She always hoped that if she were to help someone then that person would help her in return. Which had been proven true, seeing as a few of the older women helped her take care of her father. She had even begun teaching them a few things so they could help their own families. Her mother had been an amazing healer and had taught her everything from the moment Malece could stand. But, being a healer, an amazing one at that, had cost her mother her life. She had been burned for being accused of witchcraft and Malece's father, Harold, did not want to remain in the Ravenclaw kingdom any longer. It was a decision that they had made as a family, mostly due to the fact the authorities had begun to suspect Malece of being a witch just like her mother, solely for the fact she had helped a few families with illness. Her father was not willing to loose someone else that he loved and so they left, joining the caravan out of Demathis, where she had been born.

    "Mally, sing about the doves!" once again Malece was pulled from her thoughts about the past and she looked to Anne, the child had bright and big blue eyes that looked at her expectantly. Malece smiled and began singing an old song about doves. It was one her mother would sing to her as she worked and Malece did the same now, washing each fruit one at a time int the rivers water as she sung. Her voice was light and wispy, holding a bit of mystery to it if anyone would be passing by and just listen in. But it was a sweet sound as well, her calming the girls excitement.
    #2 Lawkheart, Apr 1, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
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  3. It took only a moment of time for King Vincent Jameson to don his armor and mount his steed. The ebony warhorse stepped slightly earning a gentle woe from its rider. Vincent leaned closer to the horse's ear and whispered softly, "It's alright, Dia, it's alright," he patted her neck and leaned back on the now calmer mount.

    Dia was the strongest, fastest, most beautiful horse in the kingdom which was not a surprise to anyone. Their king often took the most beautiful of things for himself. His sisters and mother were lovers of beauty so he collected beauty in honor of them. Even Dia's name was given her because it belonged to his sister of only six.

    Dia wore silver armor each plate marked with the crest. She proudly matched her royal warrior. Her crown was home to three foot long spikes that she used to do her fair share of damage in defense of her rider. There was a beautiful relationship between the horse and rider.

    Gordon rose up beside his king and saluted with a bow, "Twnety of or best riders, my lord," Vincent looked over and passed Gordon's shoulder and nodded respectfully. The men each saluted and bowed. These were men who would die to protect their king.

    "If the scouts report is still true, the. We must ride quickly. If this is a caravan in no man's land then surely there is something worth taking," he ordered and then ushered Dia onward. The soldiers behind him formed a column as they gates of the palace swung open to allow the band of riders passage.

    It was two hours before they were met by the next scout with the next report. The caravan had stopped by the river Saylea, to gather food. The spot he reported was no more than another hour away.

    The king gathered his men together, "There will most likely be hunters in the woods. Cut them down so they don't warn the camp. When we encounter the camp, only kill those who attack. The rest will live for my judgment. Anything of beauty is not to be damaged." Silent salutes signaled understanding, "Let's ride."

    Dia was only too eager to hurry to battle, just as her rider was. Release was something they both needed.
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  4. Malece continued to sing to herself and the girls as the trio washed the fruits. She had pined her hair back but it was left half down like always since she did not like having tension on her head, suffering from headaches if she braided her hair and left it for too long. Her hair was long, reaching the middle of her back, the brown tendrils catching the sun that shown through the tree tops. She heard some rustling and she looked up, seeing her brothers returning from their hunt, both carrying a large buck, both having to help carry it. The older man, Kale that was his name, carried a few squirrels and rabbits.

    "Your back earlier," she said, having stopped her singing to see who had been approaching them. "Well, we tracked this buck right out of the camp and Kale found all the rabbits and squirrels. So everyone will be eating well tonight," Thomas, the younger of the two, said to her, smiling a big goofy grin. He had dirty sun blonde hair with brown eyes, like their father. Isaiah, the eldest, had a more gentle smile on his face as they drew closer to Malece. He waited, letting Thomas lean down and kiss her head, before Isaiah did the same. "How is father?" the male asked her. He had the same chocolate hair like Malece but had hazel eyes like their mother.

    At the mention of their father, Malece sighed softly. "He's still running a fever, but he's no longer asleep. He was hungry so I climbed a tree and picked some fruit. Anne and Marie are helping me finish washing the fruit before I will go back and check on father," she said, keeping the older males up to date on their fathers condition.

    "Alright, we'll go and check on him," Isaiah said to Malece before the two brothers continued trekking up the hill with their catch. Kale came up behind them and he smiled a toothless grin to Malece. She smiled in return and waved to the mute as he went after her brothers, back to the main camp. "Mally can you sing the song about the moon?" Marie asked. The little girl had the same features as her sister, Anne, but her hair was a darker blonde. Malece looked to the quieter of the two sisters and nodded her head.

    She began singing once more as they finished the last of the fruits from the basket. Once the fruit was cleaned, Malece stopped her singing, putting the fruit into the basket before lifting the basket up. The two girls began chattering away as they went ahead of Malece back into the camp. Malece, turned around however, thinking she had heard something. She looked around, looking into the trees and looking as the water of the river continued to run passed the bank. She could see the small patches of wet dirt from shaking the fruit a bit to get rid of the excess water from them.

    Malece turned away from the river and walked back into the camp of people that had no idea what was coming.
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  5. As soon as they entered the forest, the formed a lone to better sweep the forest floor. No hunter caught out would make it back to warn the caravan. Strangely, the didn't find a single one.

    Vlicent closed his eyes. He was consumed in another ritual. He concentrated on the thundering of Dia's hooves, the sound of each exhale from her nostrils. He focused on the anticipating heartbeat he felt with his legs. He respected and loved Dia and knew that she felt the same toward him. When he opened his blue orbs, he could hear the rushing of the river. It was time.

    He looked at his general, who noticed it as well. He watched as Gordon signaled the men into a wedge. Vincent instinct slowed. As much as he preferred to lead a charge, his men would never let him. The feared losing their beloved king. Instead, he would be the center of the wedge, protected on all sides by those willing to die for him.

    The sound of laughing and conversation could be barely heard over the thundering of the hooves but soon enough they exited the forest edge and entered the river bank. Without slowing they tore through the shallow river and straight the the center of the unsuspecting camp. People scattered in every direction as wagons were turned and people trampled. As soon as the horses cleared through the opposite side, they split into two rows of ten and went in opposite directions to herd survivors.

    As Vincent returned to the camp, the guards, if you could call them that, and several other young men had taken up arms to protect their loved ones. To make an example of what was to come if they fought, Vincent lopped the head off the closest guard. His body collapsed as his head rolled toward the river.

    If anyone raised so much as a finger in opposition, Vincent would cut them down. The sounds of battle, well, massacre, rang out around him as resisters were but here's and survivors were herded to the center of camp.

    He patted Dia's neck as the horse dug into the ground in a desire to be thrown headlong into combat, "Shh, Dia," he spoke and the horse stopped. Vincent watched his men work, daring any to try and take his life.
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  6. Malece went through the camp, giving some fruit to the others that were hungry before she walked back to her families wagon. She pulled back the blanket that kept the light out as she climbed up the few steps, going inside, seeing her father laying back, his eyes closed. "Father?" she called softly, not wanting to wake him if he was sleeping. She watched as his eyes opened up slowly and looked at her. "Yes my dear," he said softly, his voice sounding hoarse as he spoke. She smiled to him and moved closer to him, removing the cloth from his forehead and dipping it into the cool water she had gotten from the river early this morning. She rung out the water and then placed it on his forehead, smiling slightly as he seemed to enjoy the coolness of the cloth. "Are you still hungry father?" she asked him after a few moments of silence. The older male opened his eyes that had closed and he offered her a gentle smile. "Yes I am, but I am too tired to eat anything right now... Can you sing to me my dear?" he asked softly. He always asked for her to sing when he was sick, which was often ever since her mother died. She smiled and nodded her head, moving closer to her father and holding his hand as she began to sing to him.

    She continued to sing until his breathing slowed and his eyes stopped fluttering. The grip on her hand seemed to slacken as he fell asleep and she felt her smile fade. She knew he was sicker then he was leading on and it was concerning her. It was as if he wanted to die. She didn't want that, she had lost her mother, she could not loose her father as well. She moved away from her father and began cleaning some of the fruit.

    It was then that she heard the first scream. And, like a domino effect, more screams joined the first almost instantly.

    Malece stood up from her seat, the screams having woken her father up. "Malece... what's going on?" he asked her. "I'm not sure papa," she said, but suddenly, the blanket sheltering them from the light, was ripped away. Two men, armor clad, stood there. One climbed in and grabbed Malece, yanking her out, causing her to scream in fright. "Papa!" she screamed, watching as the other man dragged her ill father from the caravan. "No! He's sick! Please leave him alone! Papa!" she screamed, pulling at the mans grip, but he drug her to where the others had been wrangled. She was shoved down onto the ground, causing her to cry out from the force. She looked up, watching as the other man shoved her father down next to her. She caught him, cushioning his fall.

    She looked around, unable to see her brothers. She knew they would either be hiding in the trees or they would have been killed. She looked around, looking for any sign of her brothers, but saw none. What she did see was a man ride up in an armored horse and slice George's , Anne and Marie's brother, head clean off. The two little girls screamed in terror, tears spilling down their small faces. "Monster!" Malece yelled at the man, her emerald eyes glowing slightly with anger, dirt was smeared slightly on her cheek from when she had been shoved down.

    She looked at the man with hate, her fear at the back of her mind. She cradled her father who began coughing in a horrible fit. But before she could do anything a solider had suddenly slapped her. "Wench! You will not speak in front of his Majesty," he hissed at Malece. Her father, although sick, pushed the guard back. "Do not touch my daughter!" he yelled but it earned him a swift thrust of a blade into his chest. Malece, felt blood splatter onto her face and fear and terror fill her eyes.

    "PAPA!!" she screamed, catching her father and trying to stop the bleeding. She pressed her hand against it, continuing to whisper to him not to leave her, that she would fix it, to stay awake. But it only took a moment for her father's life to leave him, his blood staining her dress and her hands but most of all her mind. "No.... No! Papa!" she screamed, tears streaming down her face now as she held her fathers corpse to her body.
    #6 Lawkheart, Apr 1, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
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  7. Vincent sat proudly upon Dia as the mechanics of the raid fell into place without real complications. The men that travelled with the caravan for security fell all too quickly to the lightning speed of the well trained riders. Even as his head swiveled to scan the site, the men were bringing the last of the survivors to the center.

    When all of the fighting had ended Vincent dropped from Dia. The horse gave a cry of disapproval and he patted her in comfort. A you g man respectfully to the reins from him and after receiving a 'don't you dare allow anything to happen to her' look the young man bowed and pulled the warhorse away.

    "Gordon," he turned to his general who was currently pulling an arrow from the joint of his shoulder, "The men?"

    Gordon grunted, "Jarrold will need to see the healer. Someone got a in a chance dagger. Everyone else seems to be unharmed."

    Vincent only nodded, not bothering to address his obviously injured general. Gordon was tough as stone, one arrow was hardly anything to fret over. Vincent's eyes moved among the captives held in place by seven of his armed men. There were differing ages, as well as physical states. The older ones wouldn't make the journey back. There were a few lifeless forms amongst the living including one a young woman was cradling with cries.

    Vincent turned and pointed toward two of his other men, "Remove the dead." They saluted and began their task.

    The crying wan had called him a monster. Maybe if she had heard who he was, she would understand just how horrible of fate the gods had dealt her, "I am Vincent Jameson," he had grown accustomed to the gasps and increase in cries that followed his introduction, "The sick and elderly will be free to go. The healthy will come with me. Don't fight me, you will only join the dead."

    He nodded to his men who began to tie the hands of those who would be accompanying the riders back. His eyes shifted from face to face until they fell once more on the woman who had called him a monster.

    She had brown hair partly pinned against her head. Despite the reddened eyes from crying and the obvious disdain for her captor, she was beautiful. His cold blue eyes drank in her features which drove him to painful memories.

    "Vince, do you see her? You aren't even looking! Vince look please!" Dia called out as she pushed the doll into his face with her tiny hand.

    Vincent smiled as he gave into her demands and looked at the doll, "She's the most beautiful doll I've ever seen," he spoke as he gently patted his baby sister's head.

    "She's the fairest of them all, Vincey," she smiled, "When will you find a lady as beautiful as she?"

    The memory faded and cold hard reality stared at him with angry eyes. Quietly he muttered, "Right now, Dia." He knew she didn't hear him, she would never hear him again and he her. Fate cruelly saw to that.

    "Gordon, set her aside," he ordered. Gordon smiled as he ordered men to take her, "No, Gordon, you take her," he could only trust his most trusted to guard her.

    Gordon caught the look in his king's eye. It wasn't lust, but awe. He nodded accepting the honor without really having a choice, "Gordon, your life for hers."

    Gordon swallowed hard. The king had never said such things before. He move cautiously toward the young woman, slightly hindered by his previous injury. When he got to her, he would treat her with respect and a gentle touch, afraid of what might happen should he harm her.
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  8. Malece was so angry and distraught that she barely registered the name. She did not pay attention to such things, being a healer and having lost her mother had occupied her mind from everything else. But from the cries and gasps the others gave, she knew this Vincent Jameson was exactly as she called him. He was a monster.

    Remove the dead.

    Hearing that command made Malece panic. She looked to her father, the life gone from his eyes. She flinched a little, and closed is eyes for him, before she quickly took the wedding band from his finger. When the men came to take his body, she struggled with them. "No!" she yelled in defiance, pushing the men back, from her fathers body. She received another smack for the shove and after a few more minutes, they took her fathers body from her lap. Her clothes soaked in his blood and her hands stained red. She hugged herself, the tears falling freely from her face now.

    Above them, however, Thomas and Isaiah hid in the trees with Kale. They had to remain quiet and un-moving, but both brothers were shedding tears for their father and their sister. But both brothers were overcome with rage as their sister was once again slapped as they took their fathers corpse. Thomas wanted to loose an arrow at the mans head but Isaiah stopped him. They would get their revenge.

    Malece watched as the children, the healthy adults and the teens that were still alive, were bound. Why was he taking them? Didn't he already have enough being king? Her hatred for the male only grew. She watched as Anne and Marie were yanked away from their ill mother and carted away from her. The woman tried to go after them, but she collapsed, coughing heavily. Malece's healing instincts took over and she moved suddenly and was at the ill woman's side, trying to help her even though she had nothing to help her with. A solider grabbed Malece and drug her back to where she had been tossed to before. She struggled a little looking at the ill and old with painful eyes.

    All the while she had to force herself not to look up and see her brothers hiding in the trees. She knew they were there, feeling the sorrow thicker in the air.

    She was kept standing and her hand were about to be bound when this Vincent Jameson said something about a girl named Dia.

    Right now Dia.

    That's what she was sure he had said but she wasn't able to stay on the thought for long as the man gave orders to have her set aside. What did that mean? She was expecting the man that was about to tie her hands to pull her aside, but the man ordered someone else to do it. A man named Gordon. She could only assume he was a general or something but she then heard Vincent Jameson say something that confused her greatly.

    Gordon, your life for hers.

    What did that mean? Was this man supposed to make sure nothing happened to her? Why she was no one? She had called Vincent a monster and now he was giving her special treatment.

    The man that was name Gordon began moving towards her slowly. She could see that an arrow had pierced his side, missing a few major arteries and important organs, a flesh wound but a painful flesh wound. At the angle she could see that it had come from higher up then the level they were on, but not the tree tops. Thomas she thought to herself. Isaiah would have hit something major, having trained to kill men as well as animals but Thomas still could not build up the courage to kill a man.

    She looked at the man with pain and hatred in her eyes. "No," she said, moving away from Gordon and towards the others that had been bound. But another solider shoved her back from the group of bound people. She stumbled a little but caught herself. "I will not become some sort of trophy!" she hissed at Vincent anger and defiance in her eyes.
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  9. Vincent kept a close eye on Gordon and the young woman as he approached her. She was defiant, back pedaling in a failed attempt to escape her fate. When the soldier behind her shoved her and she stumbled, Vincent's heart skipped a beat in mild panic. She caught herself and Gordon briefly looked at his king. A look of healthy fear flashed across his face.

    Vincent was relieved that no harm had come to her. He needed her in the state she was currently in, perfection. Anger flooded his heart. Who dare lay a malicious hand on such beauty. He closed the distance between him and the soldier that pushed her and slammed a gauntleted fist into the mans helmet. The ring from the low silenced everyone, even those that were weeping. There was no real damage to the perso but the helmet was dented showing all the amount of force behind the blow.

    Vincent saw Gordon swallow hard, "Any harm or gesture of harm befalls this woman will result in punishment." The king commanded. He reached down and helped the soldier back to his feet. He could hear the man groan under the helmet.

    Vincent saw realization fall over Gordon. He now knew that his king didn't want this woman for his bedroom, but that she was to be part of his collection. Gordon swallowed hard again and gingerly began to tie the ropes around her wrists. He tied them tight enough for her to not get loose, but loose enough that they wouldn't mark her unless she struggled. To be sure, he tugged against them.

    Satisfied that everyone got the message, he gave more orders, "Leave the dead to rot. They will be a warning to Ravencrest. Send the sick on their way. Tie off the rest to your horses. Gordon, tie her to Dia."

    He moved to the general and the young woman, "Gordon, if any harm comes to her, any marks," he didn't have to finish his sentence, "You will watch over her now and when we get to the palace. I trust you Gordon."

    Vincent's eyes took her in once more before he called for a rider, "Do you have any people tied to your horse?" He shook his head, "Ride ahead. Have Sarah draw a bath and some of Abigail's dresses and corsets."

    Gordon looked surprisingly at his king and the young woman he had begun to tie to Dia. The horse moved with slight disapproval but calmed at Vincent's touch. Abigail was the oldest of the king's sisters and the same size as the woman tide to Dia. Vincent hadn't touch anything that belonged to his family and now he was ordering his sister's garments for this woman. Who was she? Why was she so important?

    Vincent brushed Dia, "I know you don't like it, but do this one favor for me," the horse nodded and Vincent nodded back before he mounted her.

    He watched as the sick fumbled through the debris. Most of them would die before the made it to safety and he couldn't bring himself to care. The dead would rot and stink without a proper burial. Something else he could care less about. The three hour ride would almost triple since they had to move slower. So be it.
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  10. Malece flinched a little when she heard the loud clang. Vincent had moved towards the solider that had shoved her and had hit him, and by the sound of it and the indent of the metal, Vincent had hit him hard. Why did he hit him? All he had done was shove her back over to the man he had ordered to pull her aside. Malece then noticed the knowing look of shock in Gordon's eyes.

    Any harm or gesture of harm befalls this woman will result in punishment.

    Malece looked at Vincent this time, looking at him with confusion and hatred in her eyes. She didn't want to be treated like this. She did not know this man and he did not know her so why was he treating her like she was important. She was just a healer, nothing special about her in the slightest. She watched as the others were pulled away and tied to horses while the sick and old remained still and unmoving.

    Malece looked up at Gordon, as he tied her hands, moving cautiously and carefully, like his life depended on nothing harming her. She didn't want to be bound but she had no choice and although she hated these men, she didn't want them to suffer because she struggled. But when Vincent gave the order to leave the dead to rot Malece looked panicked. She pulled away from Gordon and was suddenly at Vincent's side, grabbing his hand. "No, please! Please let bury my papa. Please, he's not an animal to leave to rot, none of these people are animals," she begged. Her hands were so soft, so delicate, but they were covered in dried blood. Tears had stopped falling from her eyes but they continued to threaten to fall at the corners. She flinched a little when Gordon gently pulled her from Vincent, to tie her to the armor clad horse.

    Malece looked around frantically, looking all around her before she began to pull at the restraints wanting them off so she could do the right thing and bury these people. They were all innocent of all of this and yet Vincent had done horrible things to them.

    She continued to look back at her fathers corpse, just lying there in the dirt and it made her sick. She didn't want to leave him like this. But her attention was pulled away when Vincent was having another solider ride ahead and have someone named Sarah prepare things that sounded like they were meant for her.

    "Why are you doing this?" she asked in disbelief as the male mounted his horse, the same one she had been tied to.
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  11. Vincent looked down at the woman leashed to Dia. His eyes studying her, soaking in her image and his mind remembering the soft touch of her hands. She had asked him for permission to bury her father and he had silently denied her. Now she was asking him why he was doing what he did. Vincent decided it was time he answer one of her questions.

    "Ravencrest is preparing for war with my home. You caravan is a warning. These people are prisoners of war and you...." Are a thing of beauty. He didn't finish the sentence.

    Dia shuffled under his body both eager to leave and eager to be rid of the extra cargo. Vincent leaned forward and gently rubbed her neck, "Careful girl, this is important to me."

    The woman would be part of his collection, part of his memorial to his fallen mother and sisters. But she would stay with him, be with him. Vincent shifted and turned back to her again, "What should I call you?" He asked for her name as he gently prodded Dia on. The rope tugged gently to urge the tow along.

    Gordon rose closely to the king to keep an eye on his charge. The other riders all fell in line, each one with one or two prisoners tied behind them. The cries of the women and children rose in volume as they began to realize that they were being taken from their homes. That their freedom had been taken from them. Some of the younger men had become restless and were fighting against the restraints. This often resulted in them being dragged instead of having the opportunity to walk.

    Vincent didn't stop the group despite the cries of man for an opportunity to rest. When one fainted from exhaustion, they were simply dragged until they got up or died. If they died, they were cut loose and left to be carrion for the forest animals.
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  12. She looked at him in disbelief. "We did not come from Ravenclaw. We came from Demathis," she said to him, looking at him as if she was looking at a monster. He had denied her, silently, to burying her fathers body. They were being taken as captives for threats of war that were not even from their kingdom. Demathis was a smaller kingdom, although it was considered just a small city, they had a King, a man she had never met before and had not stayed long enough to ever meet.

    She was tugged forward by the horse that seemed very annoyed that it had to drag Malece along. She looked at the old and the sick looking at them with sorry filled eyes as she and the others were pulled away. The farther they got from what was their home for the past month, the more the others struggled and and cried. She looked back, letting the horse pull her along but she continued to look behind her as they began crossing over a hill, she could see her brothers faces in the trees. The look in their eyes made her heart sink and fresh tears to fall down her cheeks.

    She finally turned away and looked at her bound hands as she was pulled along. After a few minutes, they were already away from the camp, when Vincent shifted and looked back at her. She wouldn't have known that he had done that, if he had spoken. He asked her for her name.

    She looked up at him, her emerald eyes alight with anger and sadness, the whites tinted red from her crying. She looked away from him and remained silent. He did not deserve to know her name.

    As the journey progressed they stopped, cutting loose some of the bodies of the ones who had died from the long trek. Among them were the two girls, Anne and Marie. The sight of the two little ones being tossed to the side on the road, without a care that they were children, made Malece's heart ache. She pulled at her binds, but the further they got, the more tired she became. No one had eaten that day and walking this much was making many ill, fainting or tripping and falling over, being dragged on anyway.

    Malece felt very light headed after three hours of constant walking. She had begun swaying somewhat as she was dragged along, her vision blurred slightly, but she didn't faint. By the time they reached their destination all of the children were dead and only a few of the men and women were left, staggering or their unconscious bodies being dragged along in the mud. Malece was one of the women that was staggering as they continued to walk. But she couldn't take it any longer and her legs gave out on her, making her fall to her knees.
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  13. Vincent was watching the surroundings when he heard a thud and felt Dia shift under him as she began to drag the weight behind her. He looked over his shoulder to see the woman being dragged by Dia.

    Quickly he pulled in her reins to stop her, "Woe, Dia," he called. The rest of the men stopped their horses as Gordon practically jumped from his. He slid beside the woman and scooped her up as Vincent slid from Dia.

    "Is she okay?" He asked, genuine concern could be heard.

    Gordon looked her over, "Minor scrapes and some reddening under the ropes. My lord, she won't make the march. She's exhausted."

    Vincent looked and saw that all who were still living were just as tired if not worse. He sighed as he mounted Dia again. The horse moved under him in what seemed like joy that she might be rid of the extra weight. But that would not be the case. Vincent scooted back on his saddle and turned to Gordon.

    "Give her to me," he said calmly. Between the two of them, they managed to place the bloodstained, barely conscious woman in Vincent's arms. He held her tightly and ordered his men to do the same with the women. The men would have to keep marching.

    Dia was even more upset now that she had to carry two bodies, "Shh, girl, we're almost home." They were too.

    Another three hours and Vincent sighed in relief as the palace gates filled his gaze. The iron gates with the crest etched into each door swung open welcoming their king and his men. Sarah and the other servants were waiting as well as fresh soldiers to take the captives to the prison until the king had found a need for them.

    The stable boy took the reins from his king, a carrot for Dia in his other hand. The horse cried out a thanks as it took the vegetable while Vincent addressed Sarah, "Bathe her and put her in one of Abigail's dresses. Let her choose if she wishes, but I want her at dinner and not in that filthy dress. Burn it." He gently lowered the still weakened woman from his arms to the awaiting servants.

    "What is her name, my lord?" Sarah questioned.

    "She wouldn't say," he said calmly but a hit of annoyance could be heard.

    Sarah nodded and led the woman to the awaiting tub.

    Vincent dismounted Dia, thanked her as he always did and marched to the study. He had a curse to study and beat.
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  14. Malece felt her body shift as she was still being pulled along and her body fell forward onto the ground. Her eyes were closed and her body ached all over from walking for so long. She was just so tired and so hungry. She barely registered that the line of horses stopped. The other captives fell to their knees as well, but they were still mostly conscious, Malece was the only one slipping in and out of consciousness. She felt her body being lifted from the ground by someone and she would have fought back, but she had no strength left in her body. The last two days she had given her food to her father and to a few others, that had been ill, until the caravan had stopped so the men could hunt. She had only eaten a few pieces of fruit, that she could remember.

    She felt a snap at her wrists and her arms slackened as she was cut from the rope attached the horse. She was suddenly lifted up off the ground. Give her to me she faintly heard Vincent say to whomever was carrying her. She opened her eyes a bit seeing as she was hoisted up, sitting sideways, cradled in Vincent's arms. She heard a few of the other women being hoisted up as well. In the back of her mind she was somewhat glad this man had some decency to help the women. She couldn't help as her head rested against his armored chest, her head reaching his collarbone. She kept her eyes open, looking at the male, not sure if he noticed her gaze.

    Three hours more and no one else had died on the march back to the castle. She had rested for the whole three hours, not moving much, but she looked up seeing the large iron gates, with the crest etched into them, open for the group. As they rode in, the others were either carried or forced in another direction, she assumed it would be to some sort of dungeon.

    Bathe her and put her in one of Abigail's dresses. Let her choose if she wishes, but I want her at dinner and not in that filthy dress. Burn it.

    Vincent ordered an older woman as he gently set her down on her own two feet and let a few other servants catch her. She would not let anyone touch her dress... but at the same time she did not want to keep it. It stunk of blood... her fathers blood. She felt sick but she said nothing as the servants helped her walk into the castle and up the steps. She was then joined by the older servant who ushered her into a room made of beautiful white stone and burgundy curtains. She had never seen such pale stone in all her life, but she wasn't allowed to stare in awe as she was brought into a large room with a hot bath.

    She looked at her hands, the blood had dried and some had gotten under her nails. She felt tears fill her eyes once more and she cried silently. When she felt hands at her back she pulled away, fear in her eyes. She relaxed noticing it was just the woman who had helped her into the room. "I... I undress myself..." she said, her voice hoarse as she spoke. Screaming and crying was not very kind to your throat.
    #14 Lawkheart, Apr 2, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
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  15. The room Sarah guided the young woman into was plainer than the rest of the palace, but it only made sense. To decorate a washroom was pointless. The room had a large open area that had steps leading down into a small pool, the hot water steamed up from within. Sarah moved to help the woman out of her bloodied garments only to startle her.

    "I....I...undress myself..." She said hoarsely.

    Sarah squeezed out a polite smile and nodded as she pulled away from the woman. She hated it when her king went on these pointless raids of bloodshed, but she understood the reason he did it. It didn't make it right, but how could she be angry with him? He had been through so much, he deserved a little release.

    This raid was different, however. He returned with very little in treasures, but seemed to treasure this young woman more so than the things of monetary value. Sarah studied the young woman. Her long brown hair, her pretty eyes, the figure of her body hugged under the close she was wearing. This was a woman of beauty, even more so if she were clean. Sarah now understood why the king was so demanding of her. She was to be another piece of his collection. At that realization, she felt a twins of sadness for the woman.

    Sarah waited until she was undressed, diverting her eyes so as to not be rude. Since is woman was to be a part of the king's collection, she was almost as important as he. This, she demanded, unwittingly of course, the same respect and honor as his majesty.

    Sarah spoke with her back to the woman, again out of respect, "I'm so sorry for what you must of gone through," genuine compassion laced her words.

    Vincent slammed the tome closed and threw it mercilessly against the wall. It made a this sound that brought no satisfaction, only the realization that he was one book closer to utter failure. How was he to lift a curse if he couldn't find the proper book to break it?

    He leaned over his desk with his palms flat against it. After letting out a deep breathe he slumped into his chair. He would never find the proper book if he wouldn't be patient and determined. He buried his head in his hands and closed his eyes. He was tired, perhaps a little nap would help him?

    "Dia, where are you?" Vincent called out as he tore open the doors to the wardrobe in her room. A smiled crept across his face as he heard the faint giggle of his youngest sister, "I'll find you, little sister, I swear I will!" He called out with a smile.

    "Which sister is that?" Came an older woman's voice from the doorway. Vincent looked to see his oldest, but still younger, sister smiling at him as he hunted for e youngest.

    Abigail was beautiful, the most beautiful in all the land. Her blonde hair fell just below her shoulders and curled only at the ends. Like her older brother, she had blue eyes that shone with nothing but kindness and the joys of youth.

    "Abigail, you must help me find our youngest, she is determined to drive me mad in an attempt to find her newest hiding place," Vincent jested a plea.

    "Oh, Vincent, your impatience will be your downfall in such games as hide and seek," Abigail smiled as she joined in the hunt.

    His eyes fluttered open to find that he had cried in his slumber. Tears now coated his hands. With his door to the study locked, Vincent gave in once more to the torrents of sorrow that filled his heart. His loved ones were gone, never to be heard again, and it was his fault.
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  16. Malece waited until the woman backed away from her before she began undressing on her own. She undid the corset, setting it down before she removed the blood soaked dress and then finally the long, once white, blouse. She set everything down onto a neat pile, standing naked. She then took the out the tiny pieces of twine out of her hair, letting her locks fall loose. Her hair curled at the ends naturally, like Abigail. The sight of blood brought her out of her daze, seeing as it had seep through and had stained her legs. She looked at the water and then looked at the woman who had turned away from her. What was she to do... she didn't know what she should do, what she could do now.

    She was so tired and so sad that she just finally sat down and hugged her legs and hid her face in her stained knees as she sat on the cold floor. Her tears began once more but she couldn't hold back the soft sobs that had threatened to escape since she had been bound. Her wrists were red and irritated and she had a bruise forming on her cheek along with another one on her forearm.

    I'm so sorry for what you must of gone through.

    She heard the woman say that with genuine compassion in her voice but Malece felt her own heart break as everything that had happened finally hit her in her saddened and tired state. Her eyes were wide with shock and disbelief at what she was remembering. "He... He wouldn't let me.... He wouldn't let me bury my papa... and the others... they were innocent people... children... and he left them to rot on the road..." she said, her voice cracking and the hoarseness becoming worse. She was shaking now, her head lifting up from her knees and she looked up at the woman. She was so upset, so tired, so hungry, so angry... she didn't know which one was the predominant emotion but she began to hyperventilate a little as she shook and cried.

    Malece had to close her eyes and breath in deep to stop her heart from racing, but her breaths came in the form of gasps as she clutched at her chest. She was now a captive of the man who had left her father to rot on the road. "I... I can't.... I can't breath...." she gasped out in whispers taking in short quick gasps that did nothing to help her calm down.
    #16 Lawkheart, Apr 2, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
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  17. Sarah listened with a shattered heart. Still turned away from the young woman, tears streamed down her face. What the young woman was describing was truly monstrous and horrid. But Sarah wasn't crying for the woman, at least not just her.

    Sarah remembered a Vincent few today had the honor of meeting. A kind soul, Vincent would of allowed this poor woman to bury her papa. They would have buried the others who had died. He would of not taken this woman and the others to do with as he pleased. But that Vincent died that horrid night.

    Sarah wiped her tears away but couldn't hide the red or puffy eyes before she turned and held the naked, devastated girl in a tight embrace, "I'm so sorry, child," she pet the girl in an attempt to calm her. When the mourning woman wouldn't calm Sarah asked herself what would calm her.

    Quietly, in almost a whisper Sarah told her a story, "Not long ago, in a prosperous kingdom , sat a king and his queen that everyone loved. You see, the king ruled fairly and justly with few mistakes and cared for all his people with a soft heart," she looked at the woman, and tears almost fell again. How could her prince, her king have done this so easily, "They were blessed with four children, three girls and one boy, the boy being the eldest. Just like his father he grew up learning compassion and gentleness," she continued as she tried to raise the young woman to direct her to the bath. Dinner wasn't too far off and the king had demanded that this woman be in attendance, "The boy grew in strength and heart as he aged always aiding his people in even mundane tasks," Sarah cracked a smile as she recalled a personal experience, "there was a time he helped a woman not too much older than you, dear, with removing debris from the roads when she was much to weak to do so herself. He was a good man, and one who made his father proud."

    Sarah nodded to the other young woman who had entered carrying Abigail's dresses. Sarah almost burst into the same tears this young woman was crying at the sight of them. They were all beautiful, and untouched since the day of Abigail's death. They were hung against the wall as Sarah continued to urge the woman into the water.

    "I'm Sarah, do you have a name? Or shall we call you Beauty?" Sarah was no fool, this broken woman rivaled and possibly could of been more beautiful that Abigail.
    Vincent composed himself and left his study. Dinner would be soon and he too needed to clean up for it. He peeled his clothes from his dirty body and sank into the bath drawn for him in his own washroom. The water was hot and relaxing. Something he needed after a day like today. He had found much more than he ever thought he would at that caravan.

    "I brought you another thing of beauty, mother," he spoke to an empty room, "Abigail, her beauty reminds me of you. Sister, she may even be more beautiful than you," he smiled at the thought of Abigail's response. She would of laughed and mocked the word 'impossible'.

    Vincent felt tears prick his eyes once more. Oh, did he love and miss his family. He dunked himself in the bath in order to wash away the tears. He would never be weak again. He will forever be strong and was his kingdom into prosperity, even if that meant going to war with the other three. How could they pass so much judgment on the way he ran things? Didn't they see how well it worked?

    It didn't take him long to finish dressing after his bath. He slipped into a forest green shirt that fit loosely and a pair of brown trousers. He wore his black boots and finished his wardrobe off by wrapping a gold chain about his neck with five gold charms hanging from it. No one dared ask of the necklace for fear of the king's response. They all knew why he wore it.

    The dining hall was one of the largest rooms in the building. The table stretched on seemingly endless with a thick white clothe draped over it. Thin burgundy lines moved in a seemingly random pattern about the cloth. Fine dining ware was properly set at each chair though tonight, dinner had only been prepared for three:Vincent, Gordon and the young woman.

    Gordon was already waiting and only sat after Vincent took his seat, "Where is the young woman?" He questioned. Gordon shrugged. Gordon was much more relaxed in the privacy of the palace. He and Sarah were the only ones he would ever allow that.

    Vincent waved over a servant, "Fetch me Sarah please," he asked. With a bow the young woman backed away before hurrying to complete her task.
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  18. Malece shook and cried but as the older woman hugged her and began telling her a story. She remembered that was something her mother would do to help her calm down when she was scarred. She could still remember those stormy nights that her mother would tell her stories from her child hood while rocking Malece back to sleep. She missed her mother. She missed her father and her brothers. Her brothers who would go to the ends of the earth to get her back and kill anyone in their way. That much she did not know, how willing they might be to kill to have her back, but she knew they would be trying to find a way to get her back, to save her from her captor and give her her freedom once more.

    She felt the warm water surround her body and she seemed to relax, her breaths becoming longer and less panicked. She let the older woman help her into the water but she didn't look to see the water tint pink from the dried blood slowly dissolving from the surface of her skin. She looked at the woman, her eyes eyes puffed slightly from her own tears. Malece looked at her, such intense sadness in the young woman's eyes. she relaxed in the water a bit more, letting her hands dip into the warm water and she rubbed her finger tips, wanting the blood to be off of them. She watched the woman smile and it calmed Malece more, like the woman was thinking of a happier moment in her life. When another woman came in, carrying a few dresses and corsets. They were beautiful, like nothing Malece had ever seen this close. She wondered who they belonged to. But from the look of the older woman's eyes, the pain that filled them and the tears that threatened to spill from her already red eyes, told Malece that the owner of those gowns was beloved and dead.

    I'm Sarah, do you have a name? Or shall we call you Beauty?

    She looked to the older woman as she said this, asking her for her name. Malece was hesitant, not wanting to tell for fear of the maid telling her captor her name... but she felt like she could trust Sarah. She genuinely felt for Malece. "My... My name is Malece," she whispered softly to Sarah. "Pl-Please... don't tell him... my name," she begged the older woman, looking terrified but angry as well.

    She looked away from Sarah and finally looked at the water. She began washing herself, scrubbing the dried blood from her body as she sat in the tainted warm water. She didn't want to see the bloody water any longer so she washed herself as quickly as she could, the dirt being removed, leaving her sun kissed skin. Other then the few scratches she had gotten earlier when she almost lost consciousness, she had bruises along her arm in the shape of a hand and another was forming on her cheek. She had been grabbed and shoved and slapped roughly today all by the men who had innocent blood on their hands.

    She was climbing out of the bloody and dirty water when another maid came into the room. "Sarah, the king has asked for you," she said to the older woman. Malece looked terrified at the thought of being left alone. She had connected with Sarah and she didn't know if she could trust anyone else. But she remained quiet as the other maid helped dry her and put some oils on her skin that made her smell nice. She shied away from the maid, not wanting anymore of the oil put on her. She just wanted to cover up. Her arm hugged around her chest, hiding her breasts while the other covered her most private of places. She had a strong yet feminine figure. She climbed trees often when she lived int Demathis, and she still climbed them to this day. With that came strength. She was not scrawny and even though she was soft, she had muscle definition of a woman who did not stand around while the men did things. She didn't know how to hunt, of course but she could climb high trees to get the best fruit. Her was wet, from being washed and she felt the weight of the long strands hiding her back.

    Who was the king? Was he Vincent? She had no idea... but she had this feeling that she would soon find out.
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  19. Sarah sighed and shook her head at the young woman and looked at Malece., "Now, Leah, you let the king know we will be there as soon as she is ready," she smiled at Malece, "You can't rush beauty, my dear."

    When Leah hesitated, Sarah spoke again, "Go dear, before he becomes impatient," the young lady nodded and scurried off.

    Sarah led Malece to the hanging garments. She reverently ran her hands through each garment as she remembered the first time she had seen them upon the small frame of their previous owner. She looked away from Malece as a single tear rolled down her face, "Forgive me dear, I-" she shook her head and smiled, "Forget it. The king wishes you to wear one of these. You may pick which one and may keep it."

    Sarah pulled away to allow the younger woman room to choose her new outfit. Her eyes fluttered from the still naked woman to the servants who were gathering her old clothes. She nodded silently to urge them onto their mission of burning the soiled garments. There would be no need for them when Malece would be inheriting Abigail's entire wardrobe.

    Sarah busied herself as best she could with cleaning the tub out and the floor around it. It was hard for her to see someone sift through Abigail's clothing. It had been five years since she had seen any of them. The king had ordered the whole royal housing wing sealed since the massacre. Even the king slept in a glorified guest room.

    Sarah would only cease once Malece was dressed. Then she would help the young beauty with her hair before leading her to the dining hall.
    The maid returned shortly after Vincent had sent her, "M-my lord," he looked at her, "Sarah said they would be here when they were finished. She said you can't rush beauty." The girl's voice cracked in fear of how he would react. If it were anyone else who had said that, then she would have something to fear.

    "So be it," he waved her away and turned to Gordon, "Have you moved any troops in response to the other kingdoms?"

    "Yes, sir, we will be prepared for anything they send or way," Gordon reassured. The general ran his hand through his hair and seemed to think before he asked his question, "My lord, if I may?"

    Vincent looked at him and sighed, "You're wondering why I spared the girl?"

    "Yes, sir," he looked away.

    "She's beautiful, Gordon and she rivals even Abigail, you must of known that," Vincent spoke.

    Gordon shrugged, "She was too filthy for me to know for sure," he answered.

    "The. I will let you judge when she arrives with Sarah for dinner," he spoke to his friend, his general. Gordon only nodded.

    Vincent sigh again. The woman was as beautiful as Abigail and took as log as she did to clean up.
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  20. Malece watched as Sarah spoke to the maid that had come in and relayed the message from the king. Malece was a little surprised by how the older woman spoke. But she must have been working for this family for far longer then any of the other maids, considering she was the one Vincent had entrusted to wash her. But she wasn't even sure at that moment. She was dry and stood there naked as she looked at the dresses. She couldn't bring herself to touch the beautiful garments. They were not hers and she did not want to wear another persons clothes, but she didn't have choice it seemed. She looked at Sarah, seeing the tear slide down her cheek before she turned and looked away. Sarah must have loved the woman who used to wear these clothes. Malece felt like she was tainting the clothes. "I... I don't... I don't want to ruin the clothes..." she said softly, but she picked the most simple of the dresses.

    It was a deep red dress with brown lace along the long sleeves that came to a point and had a ring of fabric to tuck her finger through so the point remained against her hand. The corset was similar to the dress in color and simplicity.

    She didn't feel comfortable wearing the clothes, but Sarah had her orders and Malece did not see her clothes, not that she wanted to wear the blood soaked clothes. She remained quiet as she dressed herself carefully. She pulled the dress on and flattened it out a bit in areas. It fit like a glove, fitting snugly against each and every curve of her body, which made her a bit self conscious. She slipped the cloth rings around her middle finger, looking at the lace detailing of the dress. She then put the corset on, not needing help since it buckled nicely at the front. The corset was a nice fit as well, holding in her waist and lifting her breasts just bit. She looked modest yet elegant in the simple dress.

    When she was clothed, she still felt naked. The clothes felt nice but she felt wrong wearing them. "I'm... I'm sorry..." she whispered to Sarah, not sure what else she could say.

    She was given a pair of slippers to wear before she was brought out of the bath and into another area. She sat down in front of the mirror and she saw herself for the first time in so long. She had emerald eyes that stared back at her with pain in them. Her face was pale, no color in her cheeks from how tired and hungry she was. Her hair had lightened a bit from being in the sunlight all the time. What she starred at though was the bruise forming on her cheek. It was closer to her hairline so she only had to have her hair hang to that side and no one would see, but she figured it wouldn't matter. She looked at her hands next. The blood was gone and she could see her skin now. She had her mothers hands. She felt tears forming in her eyes once more and a few felt onto her hands. She wiped them away though, looking up and looking at Sarah's reflection in the mirror.
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