The title leaves nothing to the imagination
Lady Constance Reynard walked at a brisk pace. She thought: Why did I let mother talk me into this dinner with Lord Midgely? He is a complete dullard. Her dainty hands lifted the ornate purple gown over a puddle.
Lord Midgely was shorter than her. Her crystal blue eyes looked at the ridiculous Lord with his bulbous nose, toad eyes, and teeth more crooked than a goblin's. Constance felt embarrassed to be seen with him. The monotone sound of voice threatened to put her to sleep.
"And sometimes when I am in a mood, I put droll comments on my documents. A good chuckle..." Lord Midgely trailed off.
Constance took a moment to ensure the flowers woven into her wavy black hair remained stationary. Mother has the worst taste in men. I think she got lucky with my father. Are all mothers obsessed with grandchildren? She shivered involuntarily. Lord Midgely and I would have ugly children. His only redeeming quality is his enduring kindness.
Heavy boots echoed and came close. Men dressed in surcoats bearing the boar on a black field signified they were Lord Tuxleys men. She hung the brightly colored parasol on her slender arm and glared at their leader. "Captain Rexword, I thought I smelled raw sewage, and now the mystery is solved."
Lord Midgely screamed and fainted amid the laughter of the men in dull grey and rusty chainmail. "He's so brave. Midgely cried through fencing lessons, you know."
"Lord Tuxley is a pompous lout. I'd sooner have dinner with Midgely again than spent another skin-crawling moment with him."
The aging guard flashed his usual cruel smile, and his eyes raked over Constance hungrily. "Lady Constance, what if your future husband, Lord Tuxley, heard you speak to me in such a manner."
The men took a step forward at their captain's command. Rexword enjoyed his work a little too much at times. "I expect he would seek comfort in one of his many waspish maids like he did during our dinner."
Rexword took a step forward. His men followed suit and stepped in disciplined unison. A pallid hand reached out to touch the porcelain face of Constance. "Ouch," He cried, as the bright parasol rapped him on the knuckles.
Constance drew herself up to her full height and brandished the parasol like a blade. "You don't have permission to touch me, Sir Rexword. What would Lord Tuxely say?" Constance spat the captain's words back at him.
"Keep watch. I think the touch of an experienced man will tame." A tanned hand moved toward the sword hilt. "Did you see that?" Rexword asked. His head turned on a swivel. He pointed to a roof behind Constance. "What is that?"
Constance turned and saw a man dressed in bright silver armor. The plates threatened to burst with each breath he took. The stranger flipped to the ground and landed on both feet between her and Rexword. He towered over the soldiers, who stood blades at the ready.
The stranger turned. Instead of a face, a black mask with silver lightning bolts around the eyes greeted her. "Need some help?" the distorted voice asked.
"My lady," Constance said with hands on her hips.
"You forgot, my lady, at the end of your sentence," Constance said with grace and dignity.
The man ignored her words. A chain rattled and clinked. On either end of the chain sat a small weight. "Now, I don't know what's going on here, but I think the lady wants you to leave."
Books told stories of bold men upholding the honor of young maidens. Constance now felt like the heroine of such a tale and the nameless warrior her implacable champion.
Rexword chuckled, "Six to one hardly seems fair, sir?"
The newcomer bound himself in the chain. Constance tried to divine the method behind the action and came up empty of answers. "The name is Silverbolt. I'm sure you can find five more people to help you. I suspect I can rip through you all in under thirty seconds."
The captain raised his hands and shouted, "Teach this impudent fool a lesson." The men closed ranks and marched toward him.
Constance raised a hand to her pouting ruby lips in concern. "You'll lose..." Too late he's already engaging them.
Silverbolt moved with the grace of a gazelle and attacked with all the savagery of a wolf. The chain obeyed him without question and looked alive in his hands. Two guards fell after the first swing. The chain bound another's leg. "Ride the lightning asshole," Silverbolt said. A spark danced down the chain with deadly intent. The guard convulsed, and blood poured out his mouth because he bit his tongue.
Silverbolt paused as the other three guards dropped their weapons and stalked away. Rexword opened his mouth, but words escaped him. He pointed at Silverbolt, "This isn't over whelp. Next time, you won't be so lucky."
"Bring more men. It'll be less embarrassing when you lose." Silverbolt said. He stood in front of Constance. He waited until Rexword was out of sight before he attended to her and Lord Midgely. "Is he hurt?"
Constance felt faint, and her knees weakened in his presence. She almost fell but was caught in his steely embrace. Iron grey eyes stared deeply into hers with concern. "You're in shock." He tore a surcoat off a fallen guard and wrapped it around her shoulders. "You need to stay warm." He pulled a crate next to her. "Take a load off. I'll check on your friend."
The Gargoyle visage of Lord Midgely saw the armored form of Silverbolt. The cowardly noble screamed louder than a woman in childbirth and passed out again. "Does your friend pass out often?" his tone sounded grave.
Constance had to think about it. "Come to think of it, yes. Midgely has been susceptible to fainting spells since he was a child. Physicians are at a loss to explain it."
"His pulse is strong. It's not his heart. I suspect its a rare condition that causes him to faint at the slightest bit of excitement. I've seen it once or twice. Make sure he knows it was unpreventable." Silverbolt said as he turned. to leave.
Constance rose from the crate and gripped the hero's arm. The hairs on her neck stood on end, and he batted her hand away. "What you are experiencing..." Silverbolt started to say.
"Lady Constance, my name is Lady Constance Reynard." She said in a growling tone.
Silverbolt turned and faced her proper. "You are experiencing transference. The feelings you have for me right now are not real. It would be stupid to pursue this any further. Take care." He turned her around.
The sadness in the steel grey eyes was profound. Constance refused to let it go. "Wait, will I..." He was gone as quickly as he came.
Silverbolt leaned against a chimney and removed the mask. The words of his mentor Hexfist echoed in his mind. "Don't name the people you save and don't get involved with their business. You're there to provide a simple service."
He closed his eyes, and all he could see is the shining face of Constance. The hero remembered how she felt in his arms, the softness of her eyes, and her intoxicating smell. Silverbolt wanted more, but it was not for him. "Loved ones are a liability of our rarified profession. Family is complicated enough without being a superhero. If you want a family, do the right thing and quit. Assuming you can."
The crystal blue eyes continued to haunt him like an angry specter. "Its going to hurt like hell sometimes, especially when you meet someone who steals your heart."
Silverbolt stood and clenched his teeth in frustration. "I didn't come this far to be beaten by Constance's...damnit...I mean some stupid girl and her gorgeous...no that's not right. You are Silverbolt, a survivor of the foster care system, the scourge of Castle downs, the lightning bringing the thunder. Constance...damnit."