Sunlight part 1
Rider fought the urge to surge after them and slaughter the two of them. The man was right...because of his impulsive defense of her virtue, the entire guard would be dispatched to capture him..them now. He took a settling breath and turned back to her. He wiped the blood from his sword on the bed and swallowed. "I am sorry, my dear, but it would appear that our stay has been revoked." He sheathed his sword and set the scabbard down. He moved to the foot of the bed and started to dress himself. "We will have to move quickly. It won't take long for them to be dispatched, especially with his missing eye being evidence of my apparent brutality."
Caelsuna glanced to the now open doorway and scrabbled into her shirt. When she was mostly covered she dashed to her room only to find that door open now too. The drake hissed. "They entered my room first." She growled to her mate before shimmying into her dress and slipping on her socks and shoes. Last was her hood which she tossed over her slim shoulders and stepped back into Rider's room.
When she returned in, he was stomping into his boots, foregoing his usual morning routine of making sure they were scuff free. He looped his sword over his chest and righted it so he could access the blade in a pinch. He seethed inside at hearing her words. "Any guard who gets in our way shall feel the burning edge of my blade." He swore to her, the audacity of this Prince! To break into the sleeping chamber of a lady guest was unthinkable, unforgivable. They couldn't stay any longer, he gathered the rest of his items onto the bed and hastily rolled them into the bed sheet, tying it off on the ends and looking back at her. "Do you think you can carry this? I hate to ask it of you, but if we are to escape, I must be free of the burden..." He hated his choice of words even more than the necessity of asking her in the first place.
The drake had taken over her actions and accepted the parcel without complaint... If Caelsuna had been in control she would still have been frozen on the bed. In a sudden inspiration her hand flicked out over the drapes, a long claw evident as she cut off a rope that ended in a tassel, tying the ends to create a strap and laid it across her chest. While Rider glanced into the hallway Caelsuna prepared herself. "They will kill us both, don't hesitate." She growled, ready to leave.
"I never have." He told her with a nod and headed into the hall. He drew his blade as he moved. There was no sense sneaking about with it sheathed, by now the Prince's forces would be mobilized against them. He dreaded the thought of when they reached the gates...there was always the hope that if they moved swiftly enough, that the runners wouldn't make it before them, however giving the namesake for their titles, he highly doubted that notion.
They turned a corner, startling some maids into shrieking and running away. Caelsuna breathed lightly at the surprise but decided it would be better if they started running. They were not too far away from the main gate, the dragon within her knowing which way to go. Another corner turned and Caelsuna skidded to a halt, two guards were blocking the archway to the outside.
Rider pulled the throwing dagger from his belt and in a swift motion, imbedded the blade in the forehead of the guard on the left. He rushed forward, moving with a speed that rather startled him. He plowed into the other guard, sliding his sword up under the man's armpit, angling it inward and up. Awkwardly, the tip of the blade curved off the man's collarbone and jutted out through his neck. He pushed him against the wall and held him as he retracted his blade. Wiping his sword on the man's tunic, he stooped and plucked the dagger from the other's skull. "I'm faster now?" He asked her in disbelief, it was startling how quickly he had dispatched the two of them.
Caelsuna nodded, "We derive strength from the paired soul within us. We also heal faster, but we can still die." She grabbed his sleeve, "Be careful." The gate was shut, it being at least twenty feet high and bared by several steel bars. "They are not allowed to leave!" yelled the captain who stood in front of ten other men. "They are under arrest, however any force necessary to secure them is allowed. Alive... or dead." One of the soldiers snickered. There was nothing the woman could do at this point. Rider had to take down these men by himself, unless she unleashed the drake.
He seemed to know what she was thinking and chanced a brief look at her, shaking his head. As far as the knights of the Endless Sea were concerned, what they were was only rumored. They had no evidence, if she were to change, it would only make them pursue them more thoroughly. His eyes scanned their immediate area, their options weren't exactly promising. Eleven soldiers...he didn't think he could take all of them, especially not while he was still learning of his new abilities. He looked at the gate, twenty feet was high...he looked at her, "Can we clear that?"
She grinned slowly, "I can."
Her answer unnerved him a little. If he was unable to clear the gate, he would have to fight them all...He licked his lips and swallowed, suddenly finding his mouth extremely dry. There had only been one time he had fought such odds before, but the other men had been inebriated and unarmed..These were trained soldiers... He looked at her pleadingly, then kissed her soft lips. It was a small and quick kiss, but full of the very passion that burned within his souls. "If you get the chance...go."
"I'm not leaving you!" Caelsuna cried out, the dragon within her adding, "Not when we just found you again after all this time. If I must, I will protect you with my true form."
He bristled when she said she'd protect him...that was what he thought he was doing for her. He took her hand carefully, "I will not have them capture you." Again his eyes looked at the gate, the height was certainly intimidating, that was the purpose of it after all. It was meant to deter people from scaling it. And he knew without a doubt that it worked marvelously for that purpose. "I must ask you again, Caelsuna, can we clear that?" He asked urgently, he had no desire to test his mettle against 11 armed and trained men, he knew he was good, but in his present state of discovery, he had become unsure of himself as well.
She looked into his eyes, the dragon staring back at him. "Yes," The female said, "As drakes we can. And we should hurry, they will notice our presence shortly."
He couldn't help but wonder if it was a wise decision or not to change...it seemed their only option at the moment. He sighed and sheathed his sword and took her hands in his. "What must I do?" He asked her, the last time he had become the drake, it was when the soul bonded with him. He had had no choice then. He had no idea what to expect, and couldn't help but wonder what would happen to their supplies. He hadn't become naked when he transformed back to a human, but he wasn't sure what would happen with the rest of their things.
Caelsuna glanced outside with narrowed eyes before sighing, "I've never had an issue with clothing, it seemed to be a part of me whenever the change took me. The supplies however, I'm not sure." She could feel his uncertainty and lowered the bag to the ground. The doorway was wide enough and tall for her to squeeze through with Rider on her back. Her form shimmered as she stepped away from him, making the decision. "No reason for us both to change, when we need your supplies." Caelsuna murmured quietly before the drake took her. Shortly after the female (rather hunched) became reality and lowered her shoulder to him. Take the rope from the bag, don't untie the bag but put the loop around my horns for you to hold on.
He nodded and hefted the bag over his shoulder as he climbed up onto her. He did as she instructed, looping and tying the rope onto one of her horns. He gently placed his hand onto the back of her neck, "Pray be careful...I do not wish you to be harmed."
Wrap the other end around my other horn too. You're going to need it to hold on. There was a purr in her neck, under his hand as she sent him reassurance. When Rider had done as she asked she eyed the doorway and backed up to get a running start. A few soldiers were running down the connecting hallway when they saw her, gasping and falling back.
The drake growled and she whipped her tail around, the loud CRACK echoing through the building, causing the soldiers ears to bleed while her tail came around for another swing, bursting through their torsos in a splash of blood and gore.
The captain in front of the gate whirled towards the door when he heard the commotion, yelling at his squad to be ready. What came through the door was not what he expected. The blue, almost black blur barreled towards them and it was only after he realized it was a dragon. It ran much like a giant lizard, but the giant leap that it took after reminded him more of a wolf. But no such wolf would be that huge, or jump that high. The captain recognized it as a female drake from books in the library. It reached the top of the gate with its torso, its back legs gouging marks into the stone as it scrabbled for a foot hold, the tail whipping around for balance and knocking several of his men down permanently.
Rider clung on for dear life as the world suddenly plummeted out from under him. He felt as though his stomach had been left behind, inside his boots, as she leaped through the air. When she landed atop the gate, the lurching effect nearly made him empty his stomach, revealing that it had not in fact been left behind a second ago.
Up on the wall and near the rooftops now, Caelsuna did a quick look around before glancing down to the soldiers on the ground. The captain gazed back up at them wide eyed. She didn't spare another moment and took off towards the closest desert side of the city, roof shingles crashing to the ground as she skittered across.
He watched in relative disbelief as they scaled first the gate, then the roof. If he wasn't hanging on for his life, he may actually have been enjoying the ride...
Soldiers ran along the alley ways, shouting and pointing to the roofs. Caelsuna wasn't worried however as her speed outmatched them easily. They were getting closer to the desert when the arrows started.
He winced as an arrow whizzed just passed his shoulder, the feather tips brushing against the fabric of his shirt. Her incredible speed, while exhilarating, did not permit him to do anything about the arrows. Not that he could without a shield to protect himself, or a bow of his own to return fire with.
The drake veered to the right, away from the soldiers attacking them. Their messengers wouldn't be able to keep up with her and they should be able to exit the city without much further incident. Alright back there? She asked him, worried he might have been hit. She slowed slightly, jumping for the far city wall before leaping to the desert floor and leaving a cloud of sand behind in her wake.
"I'm fine!" He shouted from where he sat, clinging to the rope and clutching her between his legs. If they weren't running for their lives, he felt he would actually be enjoying this. All the time he had spent in service to the Emperor, he'd never had to leave a city like this before...was it going to be like this from now on? Hiding, running?
The female slowed down to a trot once they were a few miles away. I have a feeling the prince was after my mate. Was that amulet a gift from your king?
"Yes..." He said slowly, understanding the implication of it..He couldn't go home. The Emperor would know immediately what had occurred and if he were to be allowed to live..he'd be marked as a traitor to the crown. He couldn't bear to face that realization. He slumped against her neck and hung his head in defeat. "I cannot go home..." He whispered and felt as though he had died inside...He did not mean to open the box, let alone allow any of this to occur. He was entrusted for this mission because he had never once failed in his integrity. Now..now if he were to return home again, he would have to lie to his King..leave whatever trace of his honor he had left from this failure and drag his reputation through the mud...To return to the place of his birth would mean the end of his life.
I'm sorry. The female uttered quietly, changing her course but still facing away from the city.
Rider slumped against her, slowly laying himself entirely flat against the back of her neck. He brought his arm to his forehead and laid it down on it. "It's...not your fault Caelsuna..." He tried to reassure her, he did not want her to feel any sorrow at his expense... He sighed and hung his head in defeat. "Is there a place you call home, dear one?" He asked her quietly, just because he no longer could go home, did not mean that she couldn't return to hers. If she had a place, surely she would permit him to go as well?
Yes, let me take you there. The dragon crooned and began to run, flying across the desert as if it were air. They arrived at a small oasis, a cave to one side. The smell of her musk ran in a wide circle, warning any thing that would approach of the danger within.
He looked out at the oasis and couldn't help but marvel at the simplistic beauty of the place. He would miss his home, he knew that without a doubt, miss his bed, his library most of all...but if he was to live anywhere other than there...this place would certainly be his choice. "It's beautiful..." He whispered softly in awe.
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