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Rated: E · Fiction · Fantasy · #571792
Read and discover Thorne. A Work In Progress.

The cold breeze touched upon Derrick's hot skin and quickly withdrew. Derrick turned and looked at the long, empty pass behind him. The journey was only beginning and he already felt the sting of his decision.

On his day of departure, he had stood before the people of ElderRhone, the small village bordering the warring lands of Intredlre and Smarthendre, the lands of trolls and warlocks, elves and hobbits. Derrick Bandi was the only hope for the small defenseless village.

Knowing this, he told them to leave it. Leave behind all they knew, leave behind the only home they ever inhabited. They did as he asked. He watched them pack up and wander slowly down the rarely traveled path that led from the village. Flaires Delyte remained behind.

Only the tall handsome protector she loved marked her hesitation. He stared at her, his deep gray eyes probing into hers, his lips soft and tender, full and pink, tempting her with impure thoughts and desires. His muscles rippled beneath his thin cloth shirt and his breeches clung to his powerful thighs. Flaires blushed as she studied him.

"Speak." He said in the deeply timbered voice she longed to hear in the night.

"I wish to go with you." Her voice was melodic and Derrick let it pour over him, savoring its effect on him. He stared at her long curly flame red hair and her deep green eyes. Her curves were hidden beneath the folds of her travelling cloak and so were the weapons she believed went undetected.

"No." Derrick watched her bite her lower lip in frustration and he longed to pull her close and kiss her good-bye. "It is not safe for a young woman."

"But you will protect me. If I ever need it, that is." Flaires stepped closer and Derrick crossed his arms. It was better if she did not know that he desired her, craved her, and burned for her. It was better for both of them.

"Stay with your people, Flaires Delyte." Derrick murmured as he watched her.

"They are not my people. I am a stranger too remember?" She demanded.

"I came here only a year hence. You have been here longer. You belong here." Derrick glanced at the darkening sky and cursed.

"I belong with you. I love you." Flaires urged.

"Love? You know nothing of love, child. I am thirty and nine years, you are only twenty and five." Derrick smiled a cynical smile. "Love."

"I will follow you." Flaires crossed her arms. "Do you not love me, Derrick?" She asked suddenly, her eyes sparkling with unshed tears.

Her question threw Derrick off guard. Of course he loved her. That was the only reason he was going on this journey was for her. The only reason he was saving her people.

"I do. For that reason alone you must not accompany me on this journey. Do not be foolish." Derrick said.

"How do I know you speak truth? How do I know you will return to me?" Flaires asked.

"You have my word, Flaires Delyte, if our love is true I shall return for you." She studied him then turned and slowly followed the villagers. He had expected a kiss, a passionate sampling of her charms to get him through the long journey ahead, to give him great cause to hurry back. She didn't even smile. She just strode away.

Now that Derrick stood alone on the path he wished she were with him. She was a powerful and crafty fighter, the only female fighter in the village. She bested most the men and the only one she had lost to was Derrick himself.

But it was truly Derrick that was lost. His heart was lost to her the day he saw her. He shook his head and pressed on. The sooner he reached the palace the sooner he returned to her. Then she would truly know how much he craved her. Then she would be reassured in his love.


Flaires Delyte moved many miles behind Derrick. She had thought and debated, argued and rationalized and by the time she decided to follow him he was far ahead. She moved steadily through the pass, her sword haltered at her hip and a dagger in her boot. She looked about warily and thought often of turning back until it made no sense to turn back for she had journeyed too far.

She had tied her hair back into a tight braid to keep the wind from tangling it. She wore the thick black wool cloak that had been a gift from the leader of the village a year past. She whispered silent prayers to all the gods and goddesses she could remember and even made some up. Still, a half mile behind Derrick, a troll halted her progress.

Trolls were hated and only slightly feared. If one knew how to handle a knife, one could handle a troll. They relied on fear and surprise, strength and stench, to capture their prey. They were stupid and slow and Flaires Delyte smiled as it growled at her.

"Let me pass." She said calmly as she drew her sword. The troll made a barking sound low in its throat and Flaires knew he was laughing. She stared at its bulbous nose and small beady eyes with disdain. "Really. Do you want to die today?"

The troll hesitated and an arrow whooshed past her and slammed into the beast's chest, quivering. A silver arrow with flame red feathers. Elves.

Flaires Delyte looked about as the troll fell to the ground dead. "Where are you?" She whispered.

"Here." Came a masculine voice behind her. Flaires turned and faced a handsome tall elf. He wore the greens of the forest and his hair was golden brown with silver highlights. The elves of SilverDawn were excellent marksmen and they protected the humans even though they rarely showed themselves.

"I am Flaires Delyte." Flaires bowed lowly as she kept her eyes locked on the crystal blue of the elf's.

"I know." The elf retrieved his arrow. "What are you doing here?"

"Following Derrick Bandi." She said.

"Why am I not surprised to discover Derrick has a loyal tracker?" The elf questioned as he raised a silver-colored brow and looked up the pass. "Well, come on then. I will see you to him safely."

"No!" Flaires Delyte shouted and the elf turned around and faced her. "I mean, he doesn't, that is I don't..."

"Please don't tell me you expect to follow him and never be seen. That would be-"

"Foolish." Came the deep voice both elf and human recognized. "Hello DarkLeaf. Flaires Delyte."

"Derrick!" Flaires cried out in surprise and dismay.

"Derrick Bandi. An honor, as always." DarkLeaf replied.

"The honor is all mine. What can I do for you?"

"First, allow me to return your loyal follower into your care. And second, allow me to accompany you to the palace." DarkLeaf replied.

"Why?" Derrick asked as his eyes remained on Flaires. She seemed very interested in the ground and Derrick had to bite back a laugh.

"I have sworn to protect you. I am the SilverDawn
escort my people have chosen." DarkLeaf watched as Derrick approached.

"Any other reason?" Derrick asked as he finally reached the pair.

"You know." DarkLeaf said.

"I told her to stay with the villagers." Derrick replied angrily and Flaires looked up at him in surprise.

"She would have been taken easily there. The villagers would have all been slain. She is safer with us." DarkLeaf said.

"Safer indeed." Derrick mumbled.

"What's going on?" Flaires Delyte asked anxiously.

"You will find out soon enough, Princess." DarkLeaf replied and Flaires Delyte froze. How did they know she was the princess?

"Come on." Derrick said roughly and they headed down the trail, each lost in his and her own troubled thoughts.
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