“You could have at least hidden”. The handsome hunter purred down the long aisle of old books through the near empty library. Empty except for one other. She was young, petite, and very beautiful. Just like her sisters. Just like her mother. This beauty however had no use. Well, no, she corrected her thoughts as she watched her sister’s assigned guard and assassin slowly approach her. It had no use. It created a natural deception. This natural deception meant that this tall, blonde haired and blue-eyed pretty boy hunter was underestimating her as she thought about this. Her full naturally pink lips parted to speak but then closed them with a sigh. She returned her big brown eyes to the windows looking out over the small, isolated city surrounded by a wild expanse of thick green leaves.
She often daydreamed about the world beyond the walls of the city. The forbidden realm that her father, and his father, and his father, and his many fathers before him had forever and dutifully forbade the citizens from leaving. Soldiers were allowed to step beyond the walls but more often than not they did not return. The rare lucky ones that did either were so scarred they couldn’t bare to relive it or they became the generals that trained the future soldiers.
“You really are making this very easy, how boring, should I give you a head start running?”. He patronised her. She used to bristle at that. But it had happened so much now that the comment just bounced off her until she barely heard it. Instead, she inhaled deeply and stepped away from the window to face the man, she had gotten to know as Declan. He was smiling, she pondered if this was a wry smile, in an attempt to strike fear in her heart. It wasn’t until he stepped into the sharper light from the open large window that she could see that he was genuinely enjoying himself. The thrill of killing her was making him happy. That was why her sister had sent him.
“Are you aware that my sister is just trying to get rid of you? In the hopes that she can pick one that she genuinely likes?”. Her question made him pause. He dropped his smile as he considered the question. Then there was that stupidly foolish shrug that decided how this beautiful, clear morning was going to go. His smile returned as he continued his approach.
“You really are as stupid as your sister says”. He half chuckled before he launched himself at her. Abigail made a quick glance towards the old, slated homes that had been well kept with mismatched slates on their roofs. It was always the same. Every time. Sometimes it was multiple times in a week. How many guards had died? Declan was not going to be the last. She at least knew that. People were gathering around the courtyard of the large old marble castle. Its stone steps glittered under the rising sunlight. Her eyes returned just as Declan was a couple of foot away. Her leather booted foot shot directly up as hard as she could. Because he wasn’t expecting it and already in motion, he couldn’t protect his male valuables. They squished and she was almost sure she felt something pop against her shin as she connected with her mark. There was a loud roar that turned into a high-pitched cry. The pain that would be wracking its way through his body made him shrivel to his knees. The weapon, a pathetically small knife, clattered to the ground. Lara will laugh when she hears how this one went down.
He was breathing heavily. His body was quivering, and he was showing no sign of recovery. She looked down at the big built man, brought to his knees from one kick, and decided to put him out of his misery. She hooked a finger under his chin. She lifted his paled face to look up at her.
“Your body is probably going into shock, but before I finish you off, I want you to understand where you went wrong”. She could see the desperation that glimmered across his face. She registered this in her memory. Another face to add to her mental photo album. “You didn’t get to know your target”. She hissed. His eyes widened just as she pulled her fist back and smashed it into his throat. The apple in his throat crumpled and collapsed in on itself. He opened his mouth as if to gasp, but Abigail already knew that no air was going to pass through his throat. He collapsed to the ground breathless. She waited, letting the guilt of what she had done settle into her mind. Her heartbeat leaving a sting in her chest almost as if she was anxious. She returned to the window her hands clenched tight on the sill. She took deep breathes in. A large crowd had built up with a single line of specially trained men. She saw her father, mother, and sisters waiting for her. She knew why Eleanor always sent the men to their deaths. She was angry. And there was a constant dissatisfaction bubbling in her that she refused to accept. Or admit. Though Abigail, and even Ayla had seen it.
Once the feeling eating at her insides had ebbed, she abandoned the body in the library and set to join the choosing procession. Once she stepped up beside her sisters, her father gave a satisfied nod, her mother a disapproving shake.
“Really? Is that what you are wearing?”. Eleanor commented. Ayla nudged her and gave her a pointed look. Abigail appreciated the loyalty. She had earned it, but Ayla had kept to it since that day. Eleanor rolled her eyes and clicked her tongue against her teeth. “Fine, who are you going to pick instead?”. She smirked. Abigail looked to the single line of men.
“None of them”.