|Series||Crossfire by Pixichi|
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Reaver lay on the edge of the deep well, his hand grasped tightly to that of the woman he loved. He felt the sharp pain and heard the loud pops coming from his arm, but still, he refused to let go. He looked down into the well. It was pitch black, too dark to see anything, save the face of his beloved, stark terror in her eyes, and the hungry shadow beasts lurking below. Their hungry glowing eyes seemed to be begging him to give into his fatigue and let her fall into the pit.
"Just hold on, I'll pull you out!" Reaver cried through the howling wind and stinging rain. The woman he was clinging to was crying out through her own pain, desperation was the only thing that kept her from letting go and falling to the evil monsters below.
"Victor! Help me, I can't hold on much longer!" She cried again. Reaver summoned all his strength and heaved as hard as he could. With one final sickening pop, he managed to pull her free of the pit. The young woman clawed at the grass as she found her way out of the well. Her arm was broken, but at least she was still alive. Then she looked around her, horror gripping her blue eyes. Her hometown was ablaze, dead bodies lay strewn around the once green hillside. In the distance, she could see her home, their home, completely demolished. She turned to her love, her face pale and frozen.
"Victor...whats going on?" She cried, gripping ahold of her rescuer with her good arm. Reaver looked at her, unable to find the answer to her question, for he was asking the same thing to himself.
"I-I don't know...it wasn't supposed to happen like this..." He shuddered. The woman suddenly rose to her feet in terror and looked out towards the schoolhouse. She started to run off, but the sounds of children's high-pitched screams stopped her.
"Opal..." The mother recognized her youths agonizing cry even a mile away. So did Reaver. He rushed to his wife's side, and fell to his knees beside her.
"Cammilia... I had no idea that they would-" Cammilia looked up at him. She had loved him with every ounce of her heart, she had never thought of him but in the best of ways. But now, their daughter was dead because of his selfishness.
"You used that tome you found didn't you? You promised me you wouldn't, Victor how could you?!" She glared at him. Reaver reached out to her, but she started to back away.
"Cammilia...I'm sorry, I thought-" He offered. He looked up at the carnage his foolish wish had cost. Then, he saw something else. Three shadow beings, emerging from the darkness, coming towards them. Reaver looked back to his darling.
"Cammilia. We need to get out of here right now." He wrapped his arm around her, never taking his eyes off the quickly approaching shadow judges. Cammilia pushed him away to his surprise.
"No...This is what you wanted isn't it Victor? You want to live forever that badly? My daughter has already paid for your selfishness. You leave me no other option." Reaver was horrified at her words.
"Cammilia, Opal was our daughter! You don't understand, this was all a horrible misunderstanding, this isn't what I asked them for. Your my wife, please, you have to belive me!" Reaver pleaded.
"Your not the man I married Victor. The man I married would never have done something like this." Her words snapped whatever sanity the young man still possessed like a weak twig. In one last attempt to reason with her, Reaver grabbed Cammilia and tried to pull her away towards the small cave that led to Bloodstone.
"Please, Cammilia. We can start anew. We can have another child, I'll always miss Opal, but if I lost you, then there would be no point in living anymore. Please, the shadows are coming for you, your the last one left alive in Oakvale. Please, just trust me Cammilia." Once again, Cammilia pulled away sharply. As the shadows closed in around her, her last words forever pierced the young man's heart. Through lost blue eyes, Cammilia let a single tear fall as she looked at her beloved, who was more doomed than she.
"I already trusted you Victor, look where it got me..." Reaver looked up to see Cammilia, when suddenly, her blonde wavy hair turned auburn and straight, and her long blue peasant dress turned to a midlength green one. She changed into another woman, a woman he loved even more. The shadows reached for a giant blade and forced the girl down to the ground.
"Connie!" Reaver cried out. He lunged forward to in a desperate attempt to save her, but his legs refused to budge, and he fell forward onto the charred earth. Through hazy eyes, he saw that it was too late. With one mighty thrust, they barred down and forced the blade through Connie's back...
"Connie! Come quickly, Master Reaver is calling for you." Courtney knocked loudly on Connie's bedroom door. Connie was still in her bed. She didn't want to come out. After the events of yesterday she felt hopeless. It was true, everyone had known it save her. She loved Reaver. But he was a heartless monster, and he would never return the affection. Connie had been up all night trying to figure out her plight. She had decided that it would be best if she just left Bloodstone forever. She had to forget about him, it was the only way. Today, she was going back to Lance, whether Reaver liked it or not. Courtney was still pounding on her door.
"Connie! Connie come on! Your going to get yourself shot. Master Reaver doesn't tolerate laziness!" Connie swung the door open, and looked at Courtney. She was wearing her usual green dress instead of the maid costume, and she hadn't brushed her hair yet. Courtney looked at her and made a face.
"What happened to you?" She asked.
"I'm going home today Courtney." Connie sighed.
"So you've paid your debt to Reaver then?" Courtney seemed a bit disappointed.
"Paid in full as far as I'm concerned." Connie looked at her friend.
"Well, I'm going to miss you." Courtney hugged her. Connie smiled and then looked up towards the pirates bedroom.
"Reaver? He was screaming?"
"Yes. And he was screaming your name. I assume that he wants to see you. Really badly." Connie was almost afraid to be face to face with Reaver after he had kissed her yesterday. But she felt the urge to go see him anyway.
"Thanks Courtney." She smiled weakly and then started upstairs. Reaver was laying in his bed when Connie entered the room. It was still dark inside, and the smell of bile and alcohol reeked in the air. Connie held her nose and entered the bedchamber. She wasn't even sure that Reaver was awake until she heard him release another load of vomit into the nearby chamber pot. She walked over to his side and looked down at him. Connie had never seen him look this bad before. His hair stood up in all directions, and dark circles hung under his bloodshot eyes. He looked as if he hadn't slept in weeks.
"Connie...I thought you were still asleep." He muttered.
"I was, but Courtney woke me up. Said you were screaming my name. Is there something you need?" Connie asked, trying to keep the concern out of her voice. Reaver groaned.
"I must have had a bad dream..." He rubbed his temples. Connie looked around the room. This was quite possibly the biggest bedroom she had ever seen. It amazed her how many hidden rooms Reaver had in his mansion. On her first visit, Connie had only counted four throughout the entire house, but since she had come to be Reaver's maid, she had discovered a striking ten more rooms. Reaver had a knack for hiding said rooms by having either hidden passageways, or doors that blended in with the surrounding wall. Connie could only guess that as a pirate, he would have need for a secret hideaway or escape route should the need arise, as it had after Lucien had sent Spire Guards after both her and Reaver a year ago. As she continued to stare at Reaver, Connie felt a surge of passion welling up inside her heart. She wanted to kiss him, or hold him, he looked so sick. But she knew that the feeling she felt for him would never be mutual. She glanced over at his bedside table and spied the goblet and bottle of wine.
"Do you want me to put this away for you?" She asked.
"I told you, your not my maid anymore." Reaver replied.
"Then why did you call me?"
"Alright fine Connie, do whatever you like." He snapped. Connie picked up the bottle and was surprised that it was empty.
"Did you drink this all in one night?!" She asked, shaking the bottle just to be sure.
"Yes yes, why does that concern you?"
"It might explain why your not feeling well this morning." Connie continued. Reaver frowned.
"What are you talking about? I'm fine. See?" Reaver tried to get up, but the sudden motion forced his head down towards the chamber pot again. Connie smirked.
"I can see that. Listen, I think you should get some more sleep." Connie grabbed up the goblet in her other hand and smiled. Reaver lay his feverish, aching head back down upon the satin pillow. As she turned to leave, Reaver's voice caught her.
"I'm sorry about what happened yesterday Connie, I didn't mean any harm."
"Alright. Whatever you say Reaver." Connie agreed and she turned again and left. She didn't want to spend any more time around him then she had to. She was going home.
As soon as she had left the room, Reaver growled under his breath.You fool! Whats the matter with you? Why are you acting this way? Reaver does not apologize, he does not show concern for another human being, and he does NOT fall in love. Your starting to sound more like that pathetic worm Victor...
"I am not he. I am Reaver!" He closed his eyes, trying to get back to sleep.
"Connie! Where have you been lassie?" Connie's boss yelled as he saw her come through the tavern door. Connie was in no mood to deal with him today.
"I got kidnapped if its any of your concern." She snapped. Her bosses hard scowl melted away and was replaced by a look of remorse.
"I had no idea, sorry I got all businesslike. You live in Bloodstone long enough and you tend to forget about all the crime around you. It becomes second nature, until it happens to you or someone you know. Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I'm fine." Connie smiled.
"Your mutt kept barking after you left the other week. But a man came and took him out of the room, said he was a friend of yours, and that he was taking care of him for you. He didn't say that you'd been kidnapped though." He continued. Connie felt a wave of fear. One of Reaver's men had already taken Lance!
"Did he tell you where he was going with him?" Connie asked annoyed that her boss would allow someone to take her dog out of her room like that.
"What do I care? You know that I'm not an animal lover Connie. I just assumed that he was acting on your behalf."
"Can you at least tell me what he looked like?" Connie pressed him.
"Uhh, old guy, white beard and hair, dressed like a homeless person, thick pirate accent. Know him?" Connie thought for a moment. Then she recalled the strange man she had met at the tavern the night Reaver had burned her house down. Clammy Claude. Instantly, she rushed out of the tavern, and down to the docks. Pirates and homeless alike often loitered around by the piers and ships, either hoping for a handout, or waiting to mug an unwairy traveler. The smell of fish coupled with salt lay strong in the air as she made her way around the docks, calling out for her wolfdog. After an hours of ceaseless searching, Connie was beginning to wonder if leaving Reaver's mansion had been such a good idea. He had already secured her dog as an insurance policy in case she had ran away, and Lance was now at the mercy of whatever brigand was holding him hostage. She was just about to head back to Reaver's mansion, when a triumphant bark made her whirl around. Lance was running up to her, his deep blue eyes wide with happiness at seeing his mistress after a weeks time.
"Lance!" Connie cried as she wrapped her arms around his warm white fur. Lance put his giant paws up on Connie's shoulder and covered her face with a series of wet slurps. She looked through her satchel and found a strip of beef jerky and tossed it to Lance. He guzzled it down quickly, and Connie was surprised that he hadn't lost that much weight in her absence. Whoever had stolen him had also been taking care of him to some extent, which surprised her.
'How did you break free I wonder?" She spoke to him. Lance just cocked his head at her words. The sun was already at its zenith high above the ocean, and Connie decided that it was time to think about leaving. She went through her satchel a second time, this time retrieving that small sack of coins that she had left. Just fifty-three gold?! She thought annoyed. That's when she remembered that she had spent all her money at the food stall, save fifty gold, and the three loose coins she had scavenged from her burned down home. Connie knew that she couldn't even think about leaving Bloodstone until she had enough money saved up again. She did not want to be caught on the road without a good supply of potions, and those could add up in cost. With a reluctant sigh, she headed back to the tavern, ready to serve drinks.
"Ah, so I take it you want your job still eh?" Connie's boss grinned.
"Yes. I didn't shirk my responsibilities Gregory, I was kidnapped. You know I'm a hard worker." Gregory bit his lip as he thought. Then he spat into the sink and looked at her.
"Your right. Your the best bar wench I've ever had Connie. Go on and get started." Connie's shift went by well enough at first. She served several regulars and travellers alike. All the while, she kept her eyes peeled for the strange pirate that had given her the mysterious letter, and the same one whom had stolen Lance, but he never showed up. About an hour was left until her shift was over. Connie was pouring another ale for a sailor when a woman shrieked.
"Its him! Its Reaver!" Suddenly, the mouth of the inn was crowded with more people than could possibly fit inside the place. And then, through them all, stepped Reaver, dressed in his usual red and gold. Connie felt her head ache and I tried to hide herself. But the pirate had already seen her. He waltzed over in both a dignified and casual manner up to the bar and looked at the young barmaid.
"I'd like a sample of your finest red please." Connie looked at him.
"Haven't you learned your lesson?" She asked him, remembering his hangover from earlier that day.
"The customer is always right my dear girl." Reaver replied.
"Alright. if you insist on killing your liver, I won't be the one to stop you. Let me see what we , it looks like our finest wine is table wine, so here you go." Connie poured him the glass of cheap wine and then grinned. Reaver looked at the glass and then at her and smiled.
"Did you really think that I would go out in the public filth of Bloodstone, be swamped by my adoring fans and ex-lovers, just so that I could drink wine that is of far less quality that that of which even my lowliest servants drink?" Connie shrugged.
"I don't know why your here Reaver, and frankly, I don't care."
"But my dear, we still have a deal." He purred.
"You said that I wasn't your maid anymore, so I got back to my actual life. So if your not gonna drink, than pay for it and get out. I've got a job to do." Connie replied coldly. Reaver looked around and chucked like he usually did when he found someones circumstances amusing.
"Yes I can see you do. What, trying to save up for another shack?" She chose to ignore that, as much as she didn't want to, but Connie didn't want to make a scene in front of her boss and his customers. Reaver knew that too. And so he kept on taunting her.
"So that's it. Your really going to play oblivious and act as if nothing happened between us?"
"Nothing did happen. Other than you kidnapping me and making my life miserable."
"What, by kissing you?" Connie felt her face flush brilliant red. She turned and glared at Reaver.
"You forced yourself on me." She hissed
"I did nothing of the sort to you dear! It was a mutual arrangement." Reaver cried, falsely offended.
"Its not mutual if one of the people doesn't want to be kissed!"
"You know what? I think that I was right. You do love me Connie." Reaver continued.
"Whatever you choose to believe..." Connie tried to distract herself by starting to wipe down the counter of the bar. Reaver leaned onto it smudging her work.
"Its not just a belief when one sees it with ones own two eyes dear girl." Connie stopped and looked up.
"What are you talking about?" Reaver chuckled.
"You blushed, your brilliant blue eyes were glazed over with passion, and oh! You left abruptly this morning when I mentioned it, obviously embarrassed. Isn't that right my sweet little minx?" Connie could stand it no longer. She turned to Reaver, and lost it.
"That's not the point Reaver! You burned my bloody house down, you betrayed me to Lucien, you tried to sacrifice me in the Shadow Court and NOW you have the nerve to say that I love you?!"
"I think that your dancing around the fact that you blushed when I kissed you, and every time I have mentioned it since." Reaver stood up. Connie fell silent and then whispered angrily.
"...You actually think that kiss even matters to me?!" Reaver looked at her surprised. Connie was even surprised at how cruel her words were.
"I would have hoped it would have anyway..." Reaver replied softly. Connie looked up at him in amazement. He was actually acting upset.
"Reaver..." She started in a low whisper, but Reaver had already turned to exit the tavern. Connie rubbed her forehead. Did I actually offend him? Perhaps I even hurt his feelings? No. That's not even possible... Connie thought as she watched him go. She had never been that cruel to anyone, not even Reaver, even when he had deserved it. To think that she was acting this way to avoid her feelings. She didn't want to be hurt by him. Connie knew better that anyone that Reaver was not to be trusted, especially in matters of the heart. But if she had gotten that sort of reaction out of him just now, maybe there was a chance. A chance that he might harbor some love in his heart for her after all. That thought came with a very unsettling feeling. If that were indeed the case, Connie couldn't help but wonder if she had been too harsh on the Hero of Skill. After her shift was over, Connie called Lance into her room and decided to eat some dinner. But she just wasn't hungery.