A Road to LovebyDaniellekitten©
I decided to do a bit of revisions on this and add to it for part of my nano story. I hope you enjoy!
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The sound of battle rose to the ears of the people, causing them to gaze with horror at the practice field where two men battled furiously. Steam seemed to come off of them on this day where the sun seemed cold and the gray sky did little to warm hearts or bodies.
Metal struck metal, shooting off sparks that landed about the two combatants. They ignored the sparks as well as those people around them that came to watch and admire the two men. They stood of a head, their forms evenly matched, their arms steady and true as they advanced or parried.
"You've improved," Lord Damien rasped, panting slightly as his son once more pushed him backwards in the training yard.
"Layna has had me sparring with her," Jordan said, grasping his father's wrist as their blades met and held. "She is a demanding partner."
"But her Tynan seems well suited for her."
Jordan growled at hearing the name of his son-in-law. "She is too young to be wed. She should have asked me about my opinion as is the way it is done here."
"But, as you continue to tell me, time after time, she is not from here, Jordan." Damien moved suddenly and slipped his blade under Jordan's guard, cutting through his leather vest and nicking him in the ribs.
Jordan jumped back, bringing his sword up and hitting his father's blade hard. Then he thrust forward, twisting his wrist and pulling the blade out of his father's hand. Before Damien could blink, Jordan had his sword point at Damien's throat. "Do you yield?"
"By the Spirits," Damien growled, disgusted with himself even as he was proud of his son for having bested him. "Where did you learn that?"
"Layna," Jordan said, dropping his sword tip. "She is a warrior to be proud of father."
"Tis too bad she has chosen to remain in the human world with her mate." Damien picked up his sword, sheathing it before holding out his hand and grasping his son's arm just at the elbow. "Well done, Jordan. I'd worried before when you were so obsessed with the human world that you would find succor there and leave us. Now I know that you were meant to take over here for me."
"Father, you won't be ready to leave the throne for a long time, you are still young as is Raven."
"True," Damien said, rubbing his chest just above the clasp of his vest. "Tis just nice to know..." The rest of what he had to say was lost as Raven pushed open the doors that led from the huge throne room out into the training yard. She called his name, panic in her voice until she saw him. "Damien!"
"What is it?" Damien called, striding quickly toward his wife. "What's wrong?"
She hurried toward him, her hand clamped firmly around the arm of a young brunette girl with big green eyes. Those eyes were wide with fright now as she stared at her lord.
"Tell him," Raven ordered sternly, ignoring the look of sheer terror that came over the girl's face. "Tell him now!"
"T-Tawny," the girl began, only to squeal in fright when Damien loomed above her.
"What of my daughter?" he shouted down at the girl. Antoinette was his youngest and his only daughter. She'd been sickly as a child, taking up much of Raven's time and healing powers. At one point, they'd thought they would lose her, only to have her pull through at the very last moment. Since that time, Damien had been a bit over protective of his youngest. "Where is she?"
"She...she made me promise I wouldn't tell you, Sire," Willia, Tawny's best friend managed to stutter out between trembling lips. She was pale but grew even waner when Damien's eyes begin to spark and turn red. "She went through the portals!" she screeched, ducking her head. She would have fallen to the ground at his feet if it hadn't been for Raven's hand upon her arm.
"She did what?!" Damien's voice reverberated around the training yard and what few eyes hadn't already been drawn to the scene playing out in front of them were now riveted. Jordan hurried to his father's side, seeing him now grabbing at his arm, his rugged face going pale.
"I..." Damien's voice trailed off to a gurgle and his knees gave way under him as he collapsed to the ground. Jordan grabbed for him, taking his weight before he could hit his head in the hard packed soil of the training yard. "Father!" he cried.
"Damien!" Raven let loose of Willia, dropping to her knees next to her husband, her hands shaking as she reached out to him. "Jordan, I need Ryder," she hissed, her eyes closed.
For a moment, Jordan didn't move, then he rose, shouting orders, watching as men appeared with a stretcher, quickly lifting Damien onto it and carting him through the vast expanse of Daring Castle. Raven never left his side, keeping her hands upon his chest, chanting silently, her eyes on nothing but her husband's face.
Even when Ryder skidded up to his father's still form, she didn't look up. He took one look at Damien's still face, his hands covering Raven's upon his chest, adding his own silent chant to hers.
They laid him on the wide bed he shared with Raven and she nodded for them to pull off his leather pants even as she unhooked the leather vest that covered his wide chest. His body was as firm, as muscled as it had been the first day she'd caught sight of him, so long ago when he had helped save her from those men who had taken her. His hair was still as thick, just a few gray strands in the dark auburn. But even unconscious, his hand grabbed at his arm, his face contorted into a grimace of pain.
"It's his heart," she said to Jordan as he followed them in. "He's been having pain on and off but he wouldn't let me do anything for him."
Jordan stared down at his father, the man who'd come back for him who'd rescued him from the world where the men were slaves and the women ruled with iron fists. He'd been bound for the pleasure shacks, small houses where women paid gold to take their pleasures with a pleasing man. Most wanted strong, muscled men, for they wanted their children, their daughters to be strong warriors.
Damien had come back for him, putting himself in danger to rescue him. He'd never been forced to bear the drug that had men hard and begging to cum for hours. He'd never been forced to pleasure some ugly woman who could only buy her pleasure. He'd been freed by his father and now that man, the one who'd been strong enough to fight a planet full of women warriors to rescue him, now lay helpless upon his bed.
Raven continued her chant, grabbing Jordan's hand as well as Ryder's. She placed them on her beloved husband's chest continuing the chant of the Chee, praying that she would be strong enough to bring him back to her.
Ryder's wife, Katrina, ran into the room. She stood at her husband's side, her hands going to his shoulder as she offered her strength to his. He opened his eyes, staring down at his golden princess, silently offering his thanks for her devotion and love.
Only when Raven lifted her head did the two men take a step back. "He's through the worst," Raven acknowledged. "I thank you, we thank you for your strength and your devotion to your father." She sank down onto the bed, her hand taking Damien's as if she couldn't bear to be parted from him.
"Jordan," she said after a moment. "You must go after Tawny. You know the human world; your daughter is there to help you. Tawny has no idea what she's getting herself into there. There is much danger for her. She must come back and you have to bring her back before Damien thinks he's strong enough to go after her himself."
Jordan scratched at his chin. "I will make ready, Raven."
"Take whatever you need, gold, silver, a mount. Whatever you think will make this easier for you."
"I will take gold. The human world is not a cheap place. Layna and Tynan will help me find her, Raven. Worry about father, I will take a blue stone with me, in case you have need of me."
Raven reached out her hand to her step-son, drawing him down so that she could kiss his forehead. "Thank you."
Jordan nodded. "She's my sister," he said softly, then glanced over at his father who seemed to be sleeping easier. He stood and left the bedchamber, striding swiftly down the stairs to where he knew he would find Willia. The girl was petting one of the many huge destriers in the stables. She jerked when she saw Jordan and then looked about quickly as if searching for a place to hide.
"It will do your cause no good trying to run, Willia. I will know what you know of my sister's whereabouts. Lie to me and I won't be happy, understand?"
"L-Lord Jordan...I t-tried to t-talk her out of it. S-she wouldn't listen. S-she wants to find her husband in t-the human world." Willia tittered and stuttered, wringing her hands in her despair.
"Where, Willia? Where did she go?" He shook the girl as she gasped and stuttered. "Where or I'll shake it out of you?"
"L-Lord J-Jordan..." Her hands grabbed at the ones that held so tightly to her shoulders. "You're hurting me!"
Jordan took a deep breath, trying to calm the fear that was tearing at him. "I need to know where the portal took her, Willia. Only you can tell me. You have to help me here."
"For Lord Damien?" Willia asked.
"Yes, for Lord Damien, Willia. Where did she go?"
"I don't know what it was called. It was huge with castles that reached to the sky and thousands of people. They rode in those metal horses, Tawny called them cars. She said if there was anyone there on this new world for her, she'd be able to find them there. That's all I know, Sire. I swear!"
Jordan stared down into the earnest face of his step-sister's best friend and tried to control the annoyance he was feeling. He knew Tawny; he knew how stubborn and determined she could be when she wanted something that her parents would tell her no about. He also knew that she was brave enough to get what she wanted, no matter who got in her way. He turned away from Willia, refusing to say another word to her.
He rushed back into the castle, taking the stairs two at a time to run into his father's treasure room. He filled a small pouch with gold and a few gems, tying it tightly and then strapping it to his sword belt. He went back to his Father's bedchamber, seeing Raven and Katrina sitting beside Damien in the bed.
"I've talked to Willia," he said in a hushed voice. "Tawny has gone to one of the big cities. I'll leave now. I promise, Raven, I will bring her back unharmed." He bent and gave Raven a kiss on the cheek, giving Katrina a small smile. "Take care of them," he whispered to his sister-in-law.
"We will," she whispered back. She hugged him and then watched as he left the room, picking Damien's hand up and stroking her hand over the back of his once powerful fingers.
Jordan was almost back to the stables when Ryder caught up with him. "I wish I could go with you."
"Your mother might need your help, Ryder. I'll find Tawny."
"I know my place, brother. I just can't help but feel envy for your journey. From what I've seen of this human world, it is a place of lights and glamour. I'd just like to experience it once."
"It's also a place of hardness and of harsh realities, Ryder. Be happy with your Katrina, take care of our Father and guard well his place as Lord here. I hope to find Tawny before she finds trouble or it finds her." He clasped his brother's arm and then turned into the stables, taking his horse and saddling it. A few moments later and he was galloping out of the stables and through the castle gates. He glanced back once, seeing the white walls of Daring Castle gleaming in the sun, the windows sparkling like tiny gems.
It was his home and he would miss it and worry about his father's health. But he didn't deny the excitement that grew inside of him. He'd been kept once in this world he was going to, kept by Lily Tremaine and her devious charm. She was Layna's mother and a woman he'd grown to despise, but he had enjoyed some of the riches of the human world and even while he did his duty, he wouldn't deny the pleasure.
The trip to the portals went by quickly. He spent it all in the saddle, eating bread and jerked meat, walking his horse when he tired. The cave that led to the portals was in sight when he leapt from the saddle, giving his legs a moment to get used to being on ground again before slapping his horse's flank and sending him back the way he had come.
The cave was a magical place, surrounded by desert full of dangerous predators. This wasn't his first trip through the portal, nor would it be his last. He bent his head, his dark hair falling over his blue eyes, as he walked through the cave opening.
There was an initial buzz of power that quickly subsided as he walked the narrow pathway. The walls were covered in wide gems that sparkled in many colors. They were the gems that powered the portals. No one knew who'd built this expansive place; no one could even guess how long it had been there. The path to the portal that led to Earth was well worn and he knew it well. He'd watched his daughter's life as she'd grown from a tiny baby to the female warrior that she was now. He'd seen some of her courtship with Tynan, though not all of it.
He gritted his teeth, thinking of the man who'd taken Layna from him. Yes, Tynan was a man of honor, one worthy of a woman like Layna, but he couldn't help but wish that he'd found another to give his love to. He missed Layna and the relationship that had grown between them. But he'd be seeing her soon and he felt a leap of excitement in his soul.
He passed a portal that led to a deep space satellite, his eyes watching in wonder as spaceships docked and took off. It was a place of many joys but also intense danger and he felt the pull to the adventurer inside of him. But he resisted.
The next portal showed a coliseum, two brutal beasts fought in hand to hand combat while a crowd of spectators wagered and shouted insults. That portal had no effect upon him. He didn't believe in battle for battle sake, only for honor or protecting that which was his to protect. He didn't watch as one stuck the killing blow, only slightly acknowledging the yells of the crowd.
There were more portals, and he glanced at each, curiosity forcing him to watch a few before going on to the next. There were battles with strange ships that seemed to float through the air and battles that waged upon high seas. There were girls upon beaches, dressed indecently to his warrior eyes though he did admire their luscious curves. But not a single portal held his interest any longer than a moment until he found the one he wanted.
A twinkle of light in front of the portal had him bending and he lifted a piece of golden jewelry, a tiny charm like bracelet. "Tawny," he growled, recognizing the piece as one his sister had never taken off since the day their father had given it to her. "By the spirits, girl. What have you gotten yourself into now?"
He watched as the pictures in the portal raced by, showing different places and different times in the human world. But he'd crossed this portal many times and he knew how to find Tawny. Lifting his hand, he took the bracelet she'd left and held it to a small green crystal at the top of the portal. "Find my sister," he said respectfully.
Then he watched as the space grew black before starting up again and showing him what he was looking for.
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Tawny Daring was excited. In front of her, the entire city spread before her as if being offered up to her and for her alone. She knew what she was doing could be considered dangerous and her parents were going to punish her in the worst possible ways they knew how if they caught up with her. But she needed this. She needed the newness, the raw excitement. After being coddled so badly by her parents when she'd been ill, she needed the chance to prove to them, and to herself, that she was old enough, adult enough to take care of herself.
She stepped out and through the portal, her eyes wide as she stared at the amazing buildings, at the people who barely stepped around her, brushing against her as they made their normal workday trek. She stared into the windows of the shops that she passed, noting the clothing, the jewels, the excitement all around her.
Tawny made her first mistake by stepping onto a busy street. A man grabbed her just as a cab came rushing past, yelling out his window at the stupid little girl and that she should run home to mommy. The man had been nice, his eyes staring down at her as if her outfit was inappropriate. When he ran one finger down the deep neckline of her sleeveless blouse, Tawny shrieked. She grabbed hold of the man's hand, her thumb digging into the back to find the pressure hold.
When he apologized on his knees, his eyes tearing up at the pain, she forgave him and then walked away, following the crowd of people as they safely crossed the busy streets. Her eyes were wide, amazed at the unusual sights around her.
It was a strange world; everyone seemed way too busy with their own lives to even notice her despite the difference in the clothing that she was wearing. Her golden hair was swept up on the sides, braided into a tiny weave that kept it out of her face. It was long and curling to her waist, almost thick enough to pull her head back from the weight. Her skin was golden from the sun and from her natural complexion, a gift to her from her mother's people. She wore a blue leather halter, tied at her neck and at her waist, cupping her lush, rounded breasts lovingly.
It exposed a good amount of skin at her waist before tight blue leather pants dipped below her navel. They were tucked into boots that were held on by thick laces that wrapped around her calves. Her hips were round, a good handful for a man if she ever found one that would catch her fancy enough to let them close enough to touch her. A sword belt was slung low upon her hip, her sword swinging comfortably.
She smiled as she walked, her eyes a tawny gold as she watched the people around her. It was nothing like her half-brother had said, nothing at all. Everything was loud, the people, the machines the metal horses that she was already fascinated with. She would control one of those horses before she left this world. She wouldn't be doing that until she found him, the man who would make her heart race, who would become her entire world.
Find him she would, and then she'd bring him home with her and prove to her parents that she wasn't still the weak girl, the sickly child she'd been when she was young. Now she was strong enough to set her own destiny. A smile crossed her full lips, a hint of straight white teeth peeped through. Her life seemed wide open in front of her, anything possible in this strange new world.
The items in a window display caught her attention and she slowed, her eyes going to the beautiful clothing in the bright colors before her. She glanced down at the alluring leather she wore, seeing it not as attractive and gorgeous. It was from her old life, her old world.
She grinned and pulled open one of the wide glass doors, stepping into an entirely different kind of world then what she was used to. When she needed a new gown, her mother called for the castle dressmaker. Her measurements were taken and then the gown delivered after two fittings. But here, everything was hung on racks, strange fake people dressed up and standing around in different outfits that had been taken from the racks.
She reached out, touching the strange material, curving her hands over the rough fabric of some of the pants, touching a beautiful satin blouse. She jumped when a strange woman came up behind her.
"Beautiful fabric, isn't it? You're what, a five or a six?"
"A five or a six what?" Tawny asked, staring at the woman in confusion.