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The sound of hooves against the hard ground was so loud; they heard them before they came over the ridgeline. Their silver armor shone in the bright sun as their royal blue shoulder capes flew behind them as they galloped towards the startled companions.
“How did they find us?” said Zach “I thought we lost them in the forest.”
“What do you expect from them, a break?” replied Cally as she tightened a pouch to her horse’s saddle.
Zach had already climbed on his horse and glanced backwards to see that the royal guards were closing in much faster than the ones from yesterday. “True I guess, maybe one day if I could enjoy some relaxation, that’s all I really ask for.” Zach then urged his horse forward and entered into a gallop, glancing back just in time to see Cally spin around on her saddle, pull up her bow, knock an arrow, then let the arrow fly into the face of a royal guard. Helmets were useless when the arrow goes through the helmets eyehole. “Show off.” Grumbled Zach as Cally raced by with a grin of satisfaction on her face.
It was a good hour before they found themselves alone again only with the silent clatter of hooves to break the deafening silence. Conversation seemed to happen only if one asked a question to the other. Finally, Zach broke the silence trying to start a conversation. “So how’s your mother doing?” said Zach already knowing the mistake he made.
“She hates you still.” Said Cally without even turning to face him. Zach
looked at Cally for a second, then let out a sigh and mumbled something to himself. Cally heard him mumble, she turned to look at Zach. “What did you say?”
“Nothing.” Said Zach trying to drop the subject all together.
“It’s always nothing.” Said Cally as she rolled her eyes and looked forward again.
You could feel the tension hanging in the air as they rode along. Ever since the accident, it almost seemed that Cally would rather avoid him then confront him. Zach on the other hand, wants to get over it and forget about it all together.
They soon arrived at a medium sized village, which Zach was thankful for; the last village they rested at was a small one, which meant it didn’t have an inn or a local Hall. As they rode in, people smiled and waved to them. A little girl offered fresh bread to Cally and she took it happily. Zach saw that smile on her face again and shivers went through his body, then pain, almost like daggers, shortly followed. Zach looked away and waved to an old man before he could break down.
The inn was named, “Get-away”, why it was named this, they didn’t know, but it was acceptingly nice in the inn and cheap as well. The lobby had dark wood floors and grey stone walls. On the right hand wall laid a master fireplace and in front of it was an empty love seat. On the left hand side was a big painting of a magnificent white horse rearing on its hind legs, while its rider held his spear and shield in each hand. His royal blue cape blowing in the imaginable breeze as the sun set behind the Royal guard.
The innkeeper was very nice and even offered a complimentary wine bottle; Zach accepted it and half way down the hallway handed it to Cally knowing she’d use it before he even thought about opening it. They both went into their rooms, which were across the hall from each other. The rooms looked the same as the lobby, except for the feather bed, and a table and chair with matching bear pelt covers.
Zach sat down on the floor in front of the fireplace and started the fire, the flames slowly licked at the dry wood and soon the wood caught making a blazing fire. Satisfied with his work, he laid back into his bed and stared at the ceiling thinking. He set one arm over his forehead and his other arm at his side. Then he felt a hand grasp into his, he slowly looked over and saw Cally smiling at him, her hand in his. Zach blinked for a second and then the illusion was gone. He looked at his hand seeing that it was still laying there, untouched. He clenched his fist, he had to stop with these daydreams, they kept getting worse and worse each day. Some days he’d punch the wall until his knuckles bled, hoping that he’d wake up from this nightmare.
A knocking on the door tore Zach away from his thoughts. He sat up and walked to the door. “Who is it?”
“Room service.” Said the voice from the other side of the door.
Zach opened the door saying, “I don’t remember ordering room serv…” Zach was cut off as a metal shield flew into his face, knocking him on his back. He tried to stand up but multiple hands pinned him to the ground. He was thinking about how many ways to kill a person when he got beat in the face again with the shield and felt his eyes close as he blacked out.
Zach woke up to the blinding light of the morning sun. His head throbbed in pain as he tried to focus in on his captors. He slowly moved his hand and feet, only to find that they were bound together by thick rope. He noticed he was sitting on the ground, his hands behind his back, and his legs out in front of him. The tall trees around them where thick and had little hole for light to get through, he just happen to be sitting in the perfect spot. He tried to pull and heard a silent grunt come from behind him. He recognized that voice from anywhere; after all, he fell in love with that voice.
“Cally?” asked Zach with a knot forming in his throat. He hoped that only he was captured, not her as well.
“Well, nice to see your awake.” said Cally quietly.
“Hey, the guy is awake!” said a voice from Zach’s right.
Zach turned around to see his captors walking towards them. Their blue capes covered their right shoulders as usual. Their helmets were in their arms so you could see their faces clearly. One man had a long face and a fully-grown beard, the second man was cleanly shaven, another had a thin beard, one had a mustache, and one had a scar across his face. The man with the scar across his face stepped forward and stabbed his spear into the ground, only a meter away from where Zach and Cally where sitting tied to the ground. The man then pulled out a scroll and started reading in a deep voice, obviously experienced in taking prisoners.
As he rambled, Zach turned his head and whispered to Cally. “How long were have we been here?”
“Only 2 hours, I woke up after they tied us together; they wanted to wait for you to wake up until they went through the procedures.” Cally whispered back.
Zach nodded. “So what happens after he’s done talking?”
“Well,” said Cally uneasy, “either prison for life, or execution.”
“Great.” Said Zach, feeling the lump in his throat tighten.
The man was finally done talking and looked up at his captors. Then he said, “Punishment for the crimes that I have read is of the highest decree, execution. You will be given 5 min. to talk with each other. When time is up, we will return and begin the execution.” The man then pulled his spear out of the ground, turned, and walked over a small ridge as the other men followed in unison. After a couple seconds, Zach turned his head trying to look at Cally.
“I guess we’ve been in worse positions huh?” said Zach trying to lighten the mood.
“I guess.” replied Cally.
Zach sighed, “Look Cally, I’m sorry about what happened.”
“Its ok, you couldn’t have known they would’ve found us at the inn.”
“No, not this Cally, the accident, what made us break up.” Already Zach’s body was twitching remembering everything that happened from beginning to end.
Cally was silent for a second then through a choked voice, she managed to speak, “You hurt me Zach, you hurt me bad.”
“I know I did, and I’d do anything to make it up to you. I just want to be with you Cally, I love you so much.” Zach’ hands were now slightly shaking. “Everyday, I have dreams that you and I were still together. I keep feeling your hand in mine, even though it isn’t there. Every time I see you, I remember everything that I’ve done, everything that I’ve lost, everything that I loved. One of those things is you Cally, I love you, and I need you.” Zach felt several tears streaming down his face.
“I can’t trust you after what you did to me, cheating on me, then not even telling me, you denied it!”
“I know I did Cally, but I can’t live without you. I haven’t been able to actually smile since I lost you.”
“I do still have feeling for you, but I can’t take the risk of being hurt like that again.” Zach could feel her shoulders shudder in unison with her short gasps for air.
“And I love you Cally, we can make this work, you just need to give me the chance to prove myself. I will do anything for you Cally, anything.”
Cally didn’t respond to his statement. She sat there unmoving.
“Cally…” Zach still didn’t get a reply; he could feel tears slowly falling down his cheeks. Then he remembered something. He pulled out a pocketknife from his boot and through tear-stained eyes; he cut the ropes at his legs and hands. He then turned around and cut the rope holding Cally’s hands together. He then sat in front of her and cut her feet free. He glanced up at her face and saw tears streaks through her shut eyes. He then whistled softly, calling the horses. He took his hand, put it near her face and wiped away the tears that ran down her face. The horses trotted up next to them and snorted. Zach then carefully picked up Cally and set her on her horse, he could feel the warm tears still running down her face. He was about to mount his horse when he heard and yell from behind him.
“The prisoners are escaping!” yelled a guard as he unsheathed his sword.
“Crap.” Said Zach. His mind racing, they couldn’t escape, they would be caught before they could get onto their horses. They couldn’t fight, there was too many of them. Zach felt another tear stream down his face as he realized the only way for them to escape, or at least for Cally to escape. Zach spun around and slapped the back of both horses. They whinnied, and then ran off into the far part of the woods. Zach could pick out Cally’s fearful face as she watched him, standing there, she reached for her the reins hoping to stop the horse but didn’t grab anything, the reins where gone.
Zach let the reins drop from his hands as he stood there; he turned around slowly, handling his pocketknife with years of experience. The man charged at his, swinging his sword at Zach. Zach leaped back, then forward, tackling the guard. He then pinned the guards arm to the ground and yanked the sword out of it. The guard struggled to get free, but Zach refused to let him go. He spun the sword in his hand, grabbed it with both hands, and shoved it into the guard’s chest. The guard screamed in pain, the fell silent. Zach then felt a sharp pain in his right shoulder as a knife lodged itself into the joint. Zach reached at the knife, but was cut off as three burly men tackled him off their fallen comrade, and pinned him to the ground, one on each arm and the third holding his legs down. The man with a scar stood over Zach, furry in his eyes.
“You like taking lives don’t you? Well we will return the favor.” As he said this, he lifted his spear and held it above his head, pointing at Zach’s head. Zach struggled to move, he used every bit of strength he could muster to try to break free. The men around him laughed at his attempts to break free.
Zach finally stopped struggling, and whispered almost as if the love of his life could hear him, “I’m sorry Cally.” As he said this, the guard smiled in triumph and led his spear to its target…