She could only crawl. Her hands were coated with blood and dirt, slender fingers painfully hidden. Her feet dragged in the never-ending field of ash, smeared and tainted. Her knees threatened to rip apart at her every move, unable to continue yet unwilling to forfeit. No, her movements could not be identified as a crawl. An infant could do better.
As the ground beneath her was soaked by her tears, the remnants of her clothing and feral hair was soaked with the saliva of those who circled around her, trapping her.
She could feel them moving towards her. She was just another bird in its cage, an offending hand ready to slip in her confinement and destroy at any moment. She knew that like another animal under their power, she would be fed. Only she wanted none of their disgusting belongings.
She raised her eyes and hated. Hated death, life. Hated war that could easily determine one from the other. Hated the enemy who had scorched her city, tore through the streets and leaving nothing behind, slaughtered every living thing their foolish eyes could see. Except her.
She hated them for killing her family and friends, but decided to capture her alive.
"Oh? Look at that! The bitch is angry!" A mocking voice, followed by mocking laughter. She growled softly, had never felt such a thirst for death more in her life.
"Pride goes before a fall..." she whispered to herself, silent to the roaring crowd around her. How ironic that she had fell with such humiliation.
A voice cleared and her body tensed. Amused snickers were heard, having seen her reaction. Footsteps, taunting and at ease. Boots appearing before her, halting and menacing. Beautiful leather boots coated with blood and dirt; the same as her. She wanted to kill.
"In our country, a whore doesn't utter a sound, whether in pleasure or..." The husky, commanding voice paused as a foot disappeared from her vision and was jabbed harshly onto her small back. "Pain."
Her body was upright before she could stop the sound, toes desperately feeling for the ground. But even if she had wanted to yell and scream, a vice grip was clasped around her neck, tightening with every heartbeat.
He brought his smooth, clean face to hers and deliberately breathed hot air onto her face, lips curling upward at her flinch. Without a warning, she was acquainted with the dirt floor once more, her back screaming with pain from the impact, a dull throb resounding in her head.
As he strode towards her shaking body, she struggled to sit up and glared at the blonde man. She spoke, voice slurred yet frightening strong, strictly in beat with the pounding rhythm her body had attuned.
"Rape me or kill me, I won't go without a fight. Touch me again and I'll dig my claws into your flesh."
He looked at her. His turquoise eyes studied the tangled mess, and his insides flamed with fury. But no matter. She would be begging for death tonight.
Like a man who had been exposed to an incurable disease, he wiped his right palm disdainfully against his spotless armour. He spat on her; the men leered.
"I am Lord Jadeite, the First Commander of the Fifth Imperial Army of Sairelle, personal guard of His Majesty. You are more worthless than the dead of this city."
He turned towards the silent men circling them, and a cruel smile appeared on his handsome features.
"My honoured men, you shall feast tonight."
The hisses of laughter and whoops of celebrated scorn were cut abruptly as soft treading boots echoed the approaching dawn.
The woman slipped into unconsciousness as a voice stilled the chilly air and cleaned the stench of blood from the battlefield. A voice beautiful and terrifying, caressing and commanding, sensuous and sadistic. Piano and forte.
"Am I invited?"
I've always wanted to write a proper prologue.