|The Rebel Princess|
|Series||Time To Rise by geekie beekie|
|Previous||Prologue: The Dream|
|← Prologue: The Dream||Chapter Chronology||→|
This chapter takes place in The Hole and includes some flashbacks to Life in the Castle. What I'm including below is a very rough draft only. I'd suggest waiting to read it until it's finished.
Chapter One: The Rebel PrincessEdit
She could still feel the soft velvet of his lips as surely as if he had just kissed her. But he hadn't and never would again. Anne struggled not to cry out from the pain that tore through her heart. It had been over nine months since that last day in the castle but any time she thought of Elliot it all came rushing back as if it had just happened yesterday.
The feel of his warm hand tenderly gripping hers as he escorted her into the castle. His hesitation at letting go as she stepped forward to face her cruel brother. How his sweet brown eyes shined with tears as he begged her to take his life...
...More here later
Anne was jerked suddenly out of her thoughts by the feeling of a cold, wet nose gently nudging her hand. She looked down at the fawn coloured boxer, his face full of worry, and couldn't help but wonder at how he always seemed to know her thoughts.
"Okay, Wolsey" she said, forcing a small smile, "I'll get up."
Anne rolled off the thin cot that barely afforded any cushioning from the cold, hard ground; a fact her aching body made sure she stayed painfully aware of.
"Last time I sleep in a bloody cave," she muttered under her breath as she stretched to alleviate the cries of her overworked muscles.
Anne heard a pained groan behind her and turned her head to look. Her dark eyes filled with concern as she took in the sight of her grey-haired mentor mumbling in his sleep. Since the crash of the monorail cable car yesterday, she and Walter had spent hours fighting through the seemingly endless waves of hobbes in this Light-forsaken hole. When she nearly collapsed from exhaustion Walter insisted they make camp and rest despite his intense dislike of caves.
If Anne was smarting this badly, how must he feel when he lacked her youth and Heroic healing ability? No doubt they would have to fight their way through more hobbes before reaching their destination. Would he make it?
Anne shuddered as it dawned on her that Walter could very well die fighting at her side. She had never thought of the possibility of his death before and the thought chilled her to the bone. Walter was more than a mentor, he was as much her father as the man who died before she could walk. She shook her head, as though the act could chase away the thought that terrified her more than anything. Standing there, watching Walter sleep in a dank hole that reeked of... well... she didn't want to know but it wasn't pleasant, she realized, perhaps for the first time, just how much she needed him.
Anne's eyes snapped to the shadowy entrance of the cavern as she drew her pistol, aiming where she'd heard scuffling steps. Wolsey let out a low growl that affirmed her suspicions, something was close and it wasn't friendly. She silently crouched, keeping her eyes and pistol trained on the entrance, and reached out her free hand to shake Walter awake. Her hand found nothing but empty air. Wolsey's growl was enough to pull the veteran soldier from what had appeared to be a deep, if troubled sleep; to his feet, sword drawn and waiting.
Walter gave her a wordless nod, signalling his readiness. The right corner of Anne's mouth curled up into a confident smile as she squeezed the trigger of her pistol twice in rapid succession. The groan and thud that soon followed affirmed that her bullets had found their target.
Their position known, the hobbes abandoned their cautious approach charged their targets. Able to see her enemies now, Anne shot with greater precision and downed three hobbes with head shots before having to reload. Walter and Anne fell easily into a routine that made quick work of the hobbes who tried, and failed, to surround them. She would empty rounds into the hobbes with rifles first, then the bloody wizards that annoyed her to no end; meanwhile Walter's sword sliced cleanly through any hobbe that got within striking range. Wolsey played his part too, viciously attacking the throats of any downed enemies.
"We make quite a team, don't we?" Walter said when the last of the hobbes lay dead at their feet, his voice filled with pride at his protégée's growing prowess in combat, "It was just like fighting by your mother's side."
Anne basked in his approval and set about brushing the dirt and grime off her clothes as best she could, examining them for any damage as she went.
...More here later
Satisfied that the state of her clothing wouldn't invoke more than mild consternation from Jasper, Anne smoothed her hands over her wide brown belt that hung slanted across her hips; her long fingers lovingly caressed the metal grip of the pistol safely housed in the holster attached to her belt.
"If you're quite done making pretty," Walter said, giving the princess a sidelong glance, "We should get going."
Anne heaved an exaggerated sigh of exasperation as she followed her mentor out of the cave.