|Living A Lie
Author: The Huntress of Darkness PM
Alexia -a slave of many years- finally escapes the horrid city of Lestrea and tries to find a better life. But her past keeps coming back to haunt her and when she meets a traveler with eyes like the sky, things get far worse. RaffinXOCRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Raffin & Katsa - Chapters: 2 - Words: 2,354 - Reviews: 27 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 19 - Updated: 06-26-12 - Published: 03-19-10 - id: 5827550
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
In Dark Waters
Summary: King Randa of the Middluns has suddenly died, leaving his son, Raffin to inherit the throne. With many endless burdens, Raffin goes off to find a wife worthy to become his queen. Meanwhile Alexia -a slave of many years- finally escapes the horrid city of Lestrea and tries to find a better life. But her past keeps coming back to haunt her and when she meets a traveler with eyes like the sky, things get far worse. RaffinXOC
Disclaimer: The characters and places that come from Graceling or Fire belong to their rightful owner, Kristen Cashore. I do not own any of them except any unfamiliar names you come across and am only using them for entertainment purposes, not money! Now that we've got that covered, let's start the tale, savvy?
Note: This story takes place nearly six years after the events in Graceling. It mainly consists of Raffin and several Ocs (If you don't like them, then please do not read further. No one ever wants their writing or characters to be cruelly criticized). Also, this is the first Graceling fic I've ever written. My first fanfic (Lord of the Rings) was harshly flamed by a reviewer so please don't flame my story. Flames hurt like arrow wounds and soon I would feel so hurt that I would never be able to write again. Alright, enough talk! Here's the preface. Enjoy!
Preface: Escape From The Darkness…
I didn't know how I had managed to escape.
They had chained me in the damp darkness of a cell, the hard, cold wall against my back sending constant chills along my spine. For countless days I had been locked down there, given little food and water, the layers of ageless grime covering my entire skin until I was left wondering what its original color had been.
Finally after I had firmly concluded that I would be spending my remaining life in the comfortless solitudes of a prison, they released me. The first glance of the bright sun filled me with hope and when a few dark cloaked men set several platefuls of food in front of me, the past memories of my treatment in the dungeons vanished and were replaced with nothing but gratitude towards these men.
Oh how I regret those moments.
I didn't even have a second's thought after finishing when I was thrust into the strong, controlling grasp of a tall, bearded man. The horrors I faced that night were nameless. There were no words to describe what had happened to me. He used me against my will, touching me in the places I had never wished to be touched, permanently scarring me for life.
For five years I had been treated in this ill manner, passed along the lord's men like a harmless plaything that they all used whenever they were in the mood.
But I was not the only woman enslaved under the lord's pitiless hand. There were others, some bought during the men's visits to their village while the rest had been kidnapped during midnight raids. All of the women were considerably young, the oldest being around seventeen years of age while the youngest was only seven. They all spoke of being captured when they were still innocent children, placed in the comfortless space of a cell only to be released a few weeks later to a life far worse than hell.
Nobody ever succeeded in escaping. All of the women who tried running away were eventually caught by the lord's men, later receiving their rightful punishment: death. No one knew what lay behind the stained walls that surrounded the city… No one ever made it that far alive.
I waited in the darkness of the night, silently listening as the deep breaths from the man laying beside me slowly subsided to a soft, flawless rhythm. Without even moving, my eyes carefully roamed around the room, searching for anything that might serve as a weapon.
Ah! There it was, just lying a few feet away. The faint light expelled from the moon playfully flickered across the sharp edge of the dagger that would soon help me betray its master. I had purposely left my right leg hanging over the side of the bed for this reason. With the soundless movements of a night thief, my leg slowly slipped further down until I felt the cool touch of stone beneath my foot. One step up, three feet to the right.
I sighed in relief as my toes met up with the bone handle of the blade and trying not to struggle, I soon managed to wrap my toes around its hilt in a tight grasp.
Careful now. I thought as I gradually brought my leg up. I don't want to drop it. If I drop it, it might slide beneath the bed and then where would I be?
Luckily, the loud clang of metal hitting the floor never happened. Bending my leg towards me, I raised out my right arm and grasped the cold handle of the knife in my fingers. Turing my eyes back on the sleeping man, I smiled grimly.
This man didn't know what was coming when he dragged me to his bed. When he fell into a contented sleep that he would never wake up from.
The only sound that came from him was a gurgle as I thrust the blade into his heart. The corpse slumped onto its back as I pulled the wet dagger back out, wiping the blade clean with the dark cloth of the blanket.
"You know you deserved this," I whispered into his ear. "Death was calling for you ever since you first laid your hands on a girl."
I may be weak but I was not stupid. Common sense told me that I would never be able to escape if I was dressed in the same clothing I usually wore. Scanning my eyes around the room, I spotted a black, hooded cloak flung across a wooden chair. Pulling my arms out from the sleeves of a tunic I had found on the floor, I placed the cloak on and tightened a belt around the trousers I wore.
With great disgust, I rolled the man's body on his side, covering it with a thick blanket just in case someone crept into the room after my departure. Placing the dagger in a pocket of the cloak, I pulled the hood up and opening the door, I slipped out into the hall.
Closing the door behind me, I soundlessly walked down the lighted hall. Everyone must have still been asleep at that time because there wasn't a single soul I came across on my path. After passing three corridors and several short stairs, I found myself breathing in the familiar scent of summer air.
Quickly walking through a few courtyards and under many tall arches, I finally saw what I was looking for: the gate. The massive, gray doors in the white stone of the wall seemed to taunt me as I approached it. You won't be able to get past us. It seemed to whisper. Turn back while you still have your life!
And then what? Face the punishment of murder? I thought to myself. If the consequences are going to be death either way then I might as well die trying.
"Well if it isn't Lord Aletra." One of the men standing guard by the gate spoke as I drew within hearing distance. "What is a luck man like you doing here during this hour?"
Swallowing down the fear that was slowly beginning to form in the back of my mind, I cleared my throat and in a voice that quite resembled Lord Aletra's I said, "Just going out for a midnight walk."
The man narrowed his eyes at me and for a few frightening seconds it seemed as if he could read my mind, that he could see the real person beneath all the heavy clothing and raise the alarm-
"Was the lady fun?"
A deep rumble escaped from my mouth and I bit back the surprised gasp I had almost released. "By the great seas, she was! Worked quite a bit of magic on that one, I did."
"She was a fighter, wasn't she?" The guard spat on the ground, wiping the excess spit with one hand. "I bet you spent a few precious minutes chaining her up."
"Aye," I grunted, lowering myself further into the dark security of the hood. "You should ask for that one anytime." I pounded the man in the back, the dark sleeve from the cloak hiding my soft, unmanly hands from his sight. "You know, I like you. You're a good man-"
I wish you would burn in Hell.
I was lucky he wasn't a graceling graced with mind reading because if he was, I would have surely been dead in a split second. But instead, he yells up to the men to open the gates, stepping to the side so that nothing was standing in my way.
"The doors will reopen in an hour." The man murmured as I slowly passed him. "Don't get lost in 'em woods! It's too dark out to see where you're going."
I couldn't believe it… Freedom laid just a few minutes away. Finally, a chance to be free from this life. A chance to-
"Wait!" Someone's arm flashed out in front of me and I found myself staring into the icy blue gaze of another guard.
"What is it?" The first guard glanced over at us, the doors of the gate slowly inching open.
"Ever since when did Lord Aletra grow larger in the chest?" The man gazed down at me and placed a rough hand on my shoulder.
Oh no. I fingered the dagger in my pocket as I thought this, eyeing the exit that happened to blocked by the man in front of me.
"It's true!" The first guard pulled off my hood, revealing my raven black hair that flowed down to my waist like a waterfall. "Shut the gates!"
"No!" I lunged towards the doors only to be pulled into the tight embrace of the other guard. "No!"
"You're not going anywhere!" He hissed into my ear, deflecting the few punches I threw at him. "It's time for a visit with a little friend I like to call…death."
"No!" I struggled as he dragged me back, pulling me farther and farther away from the doors…
Freedom… Oh how I yearned for it.
"Let. Me. GO!" At the last word, I drew the dagger out and stabbed the hand that had been holding me.
The guard's bleeding hand retracted from me, giving me enough time to break free from his grasp. "Why you little bitch! Hey! Don't let her escape!"
I don't know what it was that urged me to not look back. Perhaps it was courage… Determination… Or maybe it was rage. Rage against these men that had taken my life and thrown it down as if it were nothing but worthless dust. I deserved better.
With all the remaining strength I had left, I kicked and shoved my way towards the closing doors. Several rough hands reached out from the darkness and I heard the loud rip! as one of them tore the ends of my cloak off.
Once I had finally made my way to the doors, I squeezed through the small opening, gasping as the doors sealed shut only a few inches away from my booted feet.
There was a low whistle as an arrow flew past my ear. That was too close to my liking. I scrambled back on my feet and ran towards the only nearby safety: the forest. Arrows flew past me as I raced off towards my destination and I flinched as one of them managed to find it way to my arm.
Once I had made it into the woods, the arrows stopped but I didn't even bother slowing down. I wanted to get as far away from that place as much as possible.
I kept running.
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