Wanda had finally fallen asleep in Pietro's arms after being checked out by the healer. Luckily for them the healer had been an older female who was kindly and attentive to the numerous bruises that covered Wanda's arms and legs. It was good they had caught up with the two before Todd could do any more damage. The healer had said that she was just in a state of panic and just needed her rest. She would travel in the healer's wagon tomorrow in case she needed something and so that she could rest without worry.
Pietro was furious and anxious to go pay a visit to the slime that did this to his sister. When he was sure she was resting comfortably he quietly left the wagon in search of Todd. When he got to the wagon where Todd was being held and was surprised there were no guards around. He was even more surprised when he climbed into the wagon and found no one inside. Frowning he turned around to search for some answers when there was a commotion in the woods nearby.
When Pietro got to the area a crowd had gathered around a bleeding Todd. From what Pietro could gather from the conversations around him, Todd had told the guard he needed to go to the toilet. Once out in the woods he tried to escape only to be stopped when the guard hit him upside the head with his staff. The first blow hadn't been enough to stop Todd for long and he was soon trying to make a break for it again when the guard hit him again, this time hard enough to break the skin on Todd's forehead.
"Too bad he didn't kill him," Pietro muttered to himself. Several people around him nodded their agreement before asking how Wanda was doing. Pietro was walking back to the healer's wagon when he ran into John pacing not too far away. "What are you doing here?" Pietro demanded. He wasn't overly fond of the red-haired man and was worried he would turn out like Todd.
"I'm waiting for some word on Wanda," John stopped pacing to look at Pietro. "How's she doing?"
"She's resting right now. I would suggest you stay far away from her. If anyone else hurts my sister I am going to kill them and nobody will be able to stop me."
John's face turned the same red as his hair as he stepped up to Pietro, "If anyone else hurts Wanda there's no guarantee that you will be the one doing to killing. You may not care for me or me for you but Wanda is special and doesn't deserve to be treated like anything less than a princess." Turning to walk away John threw over his shoulder, "Don't make the mistake of threatening me again. I care too much for your sister to want to have to hurt her brother."
Pietro scoffed at the parting remark before finishing his trek to wagon where Wanda was sleeping. He found Amanda and Kurt sitting outside the door talking quietly. They looked up when Pietro got closer and motioned for him to join them. "Kurt just brought me news from the council gathered to decide Todd's fate. They have decided he will be taken into the forest tonight, blindfolded, and left there once they are sure he won't be able to find his way back before we leave in the morning."
"Is that it?! After what he did to my sister he should be neutered and left to bleed to death!!"
"Calm down, mein Freund, you don't want to wake your sister." Kurt put a calming hand on Pietro's shoulder only to get it shook off. "We are not murderers but there are some poisonous snakes in the woods as well as bears. There is a good chance he will not survive without weapons."
Pietro didn't seem to want to calm down so the two decided to take their leave and let him fume in silence.
While Pietro was fuming, Remy was in his tent with Piotr and telling him about his conversation with Rogue. "Ah don't know what ah was t'inking. She was apologizing for not telling us sooner and de next t'ing ah know ah'm kissing her and she's kissing back and it's absolutely amazing and den ah stopped and told her dat we should stay separate for the rest of the trip to avoid heartbreak at de end of de trip."
Piotr cut him off before he could continue in hopes he would breath. "Comrade if you don't breathe you are going to pass out. Now answer me one question, why did you tell her that you thought it would be best to stay apart for the rest of the trip?"
Remy looked at him funny. "Were you not listening? The more time ah spend wit her de more ah like her and dat would make it even harder when she had to go back to being a princess and marry the guy her dad picked out for her."
Piotr nodded. "Did you tell her any of this?"
"Oui," Remy was looking at his friend like he was a little off in the head. "Pourquoi?"
"Just stick with me for a moment," Piotr said. "What did she say about it?"
Remy looked confused for a second before understanding came across his face followed by a slight blush, "Umm, ah kinda didn't let her say anyt'ing. Ah left after ah said what needed to be said."
"Maybe she should be able to have a say in the matter? She's engaged to a man she's never meet so maybe she would like a chance to have a say in something that happens to her?" Piotr looked at Remy who seemed lost in thought.
"Do you really t'ink she might like moi?"
Now it was Piotr's turn to look at Remy like he was crazy. "Why don't you ask her?"
Remy nodded and ran out of the tent to find Rogue. He arrived back at the stream but found no sign of Rogue. Deciding she must have headed back to her tent he turned and headed in that direction only to run into Kitty and Lexa walking towards him. "Where's Rogue?"
Kitty and Lexa exchanged worried looks before Kitty said, "We were hoping you would know. We haven't seen her since she left with you earlier." With worry in their hearts the three started looking around for signs of Rogue. "Maybe we should get Logan," Kitty suggested. Lexa nodded and turned to go fetch Logan. She was back in two minutes with Logan and Peter.
"Alright, I want to know what is going on here and I want all the details now," Logan growled.
Remy gulped then took a deep breath and told Logan what had happened between him and Rogue. While he was talking he motioned to the spot where they had been standing when noticed a flower lying on the
ground. He ran over and picked up. Turning to look at the others he said, "Dis was one of de flowers I gave Rogue."
Logan came over and started looking around and noticed a set of footprints that lead into the woods in the opposite direction of where they were camped. Being an expert tracker he knew that the prints were made by a male and that when he left he was carrying something heavy. "I think the princess has been kidnapped," Logan said. "Come on, we'll follow the tracks."
Nodding the kids turned and went back to camp to break down. Everyone wanted to get as far as possible before twilight really feel and they would be forced to stop. Within minutes everyone was gathered back by the river and ready to go. A very demure group followed Logan as he set off through the woods.
Kitty fell back to walk next to a depressed Remy. "It's not your fault you know."
Remy looked up like he had just realized someone was next to him. "Désole petite but Remy would have to disagree wit you. If ah hadn't felt de need to push Roguey away she wouldn't have been alone to get taken. She would have been wit you and Lexa and safe." Remy heaved a big sigh as Kitty reached over and put her hand on his arm.
"You really like her don't you? I've never seen you this way about a girl before."
"Ah don't know what it is about dat femme but she got under my skin until all ah could t'ink about was seeing her smile or talk to her again. Ah felt so deflated when ah found our she was being forced to marry and then even more so when ah found out she was de princess and dat dere would be no way to get a happy ending for de two of us."
Kitty looked at him for a moment before saying. "Life has a way of throwing things at you to test your strength. You have to have some faith in Rogue's feelings for you. She never came out and said anything but I could tell she liked you. She was always watching you and seemed to become a little happier whenever you came around. If there is a way I would say Rogue will find a way to be with someone she wants to be with."
Remy managed a little smile at the perky girl next to him. "T'anks petite, but ah'm not sure she will be able to forgive me after the way ah treated her earlier tonight."
Giving his arm one more encouraging pat Kitty moves up to walk with Piotr. "He's taking this really hard."
"Da," Piotr nodded and took a quick look back at his friend.
Meanwhile, Rogue was starting to wake up. Groaning she tried to turn her head when she realized she was hanging like a sack across the front of a saddle. Fear coursed through her body and she jerked herself upright only to have pain pierce her skull and butt as she hit the ground. She heard a laugh from above her and glared up at the stranger still sitting on the horse. "Who are you and where have you taken me?" Rogue demanded with all the haughtiness she could muster after falling off the horse.
The young man dismounted before and gave a small bow. "Ah am your captor, Princesse Anna Marie. My name is Julien."
Rogue stood up and glared at the man in front of her. He would have been handsome if there wasn't a slightly crazy gleam in his blue eyes. He was a little over six feet and obviously was used to hard work since he looked to be in good shape and had calloused hands. "Ah don't think so. Ah'm leaving."
"And ah suppose you know where we are?" Julien questioned with an amused expression on his face.
Looking around Anna realized he was right. Even if she was delusional enough to think he would let her leave she had no idea which way to travel to get back to the camp where the others were probably still waiting for her to return.
Seeing her realize that she was stuck with him made Julien smirk wider. Now all he had to do was keep her from getting sense of direction she would be forced to come along willing until he was somewhere where he could get a message to the King demanding a ransom. He turned as he heard footsteps coming from the forest behind him. Turning he greeted two more men and a woman. The first man stood about 6'4" with muscles that made his shirt seemed painted on. His brown eyes and dark brown hair and skin made him blend in to the falling darkness. The second man had brown eyes and hair as well but his skin was darkened but sun and not heritage. It was the woman who caught Rogue's attention however. She stood about 5'8" with long blonde hair and purple eyes. She recognized the woman as being Belladonna from the description that Kitty and Lexa had given to her when they were telling Rogue about the woman who was obsessed with Remy.
"Julien," Belladonna said sweetly with just a touch of venom in her voice, "who is dis and why have you brought her here?"
Julien turned his smirking gaze to Rogue once more before turning back to his sister. "Well, ma sœur, dis is Remy's new femme."
Belladonna's glared narrowed even more as she neared Rogue, "Dat doesn't explain why you have brought her here."
"She just so happens to be Princesse Anna Marie." Belladonna whirled on her brother. "We are going to ransom her and den you'll have enough money to convince dat salaud you are so fixated on to be wit you for de rest of your life."
Hearing Remy called a bastard, even in French, made Rogue's temper flare and she launched herself at Julien surprising him enough to punch him in the jaw before Bella caught her hair and turned her around to backhand her across the face. "You salope, don't you dare touch ma frère or ma man again or ah'll kill you faster den you can blink."
Rogue pushed herself to her feet and got into Belladonna's face, "Remy's not your man anymore, he's mine and ah plan on keeping him."
Growling Belladonna made to strike the princess again when one of the men that entered the clearing with her caught her arm. "We won't be able to get any money out of her father if you damage her," he said before turning to look at Julien.
"He's right Bella," Julien smiled at his sister before looking over his shoulder at the stewing princess. "Don't worry, ah'll let you be de one to kill her after we get our money."
Bella smiled wickedly at Julien while Rogue went stiff with fear. Ah hope they realize ah'm missing and can find me before they get a hold of Daddy. Rogue thought as tears threatened to fall. Giving herself a mental shake she tried to pull herself together to keep them from knowing how scared she really was.
Well, here's the next chapter. I hope everyone enjoyed! :-) Please review and I will try to get the next chapter out quicker than I did this one. :-/