Torn Between Two

Quick Input from me: I don't own Eragon or Eldest, Christopher Paolini does...this story may get slashy, so if you no like that then GO! i would greatly love some feedback!

Chapter 1

Hazel eyes slowly opened. Murtagh winced at the painful sunlight and closed his eyes to slits.

"Good, you're up," growled his guard. He hit the metal bars with the shield on his left arm.

Murtagh bit his lip, covering his ears, and curling into a ball on the smooth cage floor, trying to escape the horrible ringing. Pain seared his whole body when he moved, but his head was agonizing, far worse than the rest of him.

Stop! He wanted to cry out, but by now he knew better than to speak.

CLANG! The guard rapped his shield on the bars again, laughing at the pain it caused.

This time Murtagh did cry out, clutching his head, he felt fiery tears on his face. He curled tighter, ignoring the protest in his surely broken ribs, and he hid his face the best he could in his knees. Anger rose in his throat and tightened his chest.

As soon as the moment presents itself, he promised himself, I'll kill him! NO matter what Father's and Galbatorix's orders are!

"Not so strong now, are you traitor?" sneered his guard. Murtagh pulled himself to his knees, refusing the shrieks from his broken body to win, and glared at the blue eyed guard. He gave a stubborn defiant smirk and braced his body when he saw the man move his left arm towards the bars again. He clenched his jaw and kept his glaring, hazel eyes locked with the icy blue ones.

"Enough!" ordered a strong female voice. The shield stopped dead, inches from the cage and Murtagh let out the breath he unknowingly held, relieved.

But who? his thought began. He glanced to where the guard was already facing and was shocked to see his ruthless captor bow his head slightly.

It's not Lady Nasuada, he concluded from the tone of voice, or Arya. Then who?

He tore his distracted eyes from his suddenly gentleman guard, but kept his eyes to the ground. He was not going to show manners or let his total curiosity be known. He let his eyes wander the dry, dusty dirt until they came upon the tips of black riding boots. Correction: black riding and walking boots.

A Rider?! he panicked, It can't be! Only Eragon and myself-, he cut his own thought off so he could finish his observation. He'd see soon enough if she was a Rider.

Murtagh let his hazel eyes wander slowly up the legs, counting five buckles on the almost knee-high leather boots. Tucked into the boots were black, loose fitting leather pants, boy style pants. He puzzled over this briefly.

Women, not even warriors or Riders, were not permitted to wear boy clothes. The warriors and Riders are made special clothes that closely resemble a man's wear, but are designed for a woman's body, he wrenched his mind from the thought.

A small smile showed on his lips when he saw the hilt of a dagger hidden neatly in the right boot. Forcing his eager eyes to be slow, he looked up farther. On the slender hips was a sword belt, complete with sheath and weapon. He allowed himself to admire the weapon, well the sheath, for several moments.

Sunlight danced and sparkled on the moonlight silver sheath, making Murtagh slightly envious. He'd been stripped of Zar'roc, his magic, and his connection with Thorn when he'd been "captured" and he had a longing desire to be reunited with them all. The elegant handle, which was also silver, had been crafted to look like bones, a midnight black gem (that he couldn't quite name) shone at the end.

It's quite a piece of work, he mused, I wonder what the blade looks like.

A pale hand fell on the handle, slender fingers carefully removed the blade three inches from it's sheath in a warning. He'd looked to long at her weapon. He dropped his gaze to the left quickly.

Damn! he scolded himself, Didn't even get a good look at the color. The sound of the elegant blade being re-sheathed signaled him to continue his study.

Murtagh quickly re-scanned the legs and hips, and slowed once more when his eyes met waist. More black leather clothing, boys clothing. The vest she wore was obviously a man's, but this had been altered to at least look feminine. Buckles held the material closed, left to right, and hugged her body, showing her curves.

Murtagh found himself wishing the vest were just a few inches shorter, so it would end right where the pant line was, instead of being a couple inches longer. Disgusted with the thought, he moved on.

The buckles on the vest ended just beneath her crossed arms. Murtagh smiled inwardly at her modesty. The buckles resumed above her arms and chest, but there were only two. Her shoulders were a little wider than most women's, not too masculine to be unattractive, and were very strong looking. Her arms were bare from shoulder down, smooth ivory skin pulled taught over her muscles.

He swallowed hard, suddenly appalled by how his body was responding to her. Women had never appealed to him, not like this. The last person to do this to him was. . . . . . Era-.

Clenching his teeth, he dismissed the memory and moved his eyes back up to her neck. Her pale neck was decorated with something like a collar. A metal ring held the two strips of leather together in the front and hanging from the ring was yet another black gem. Cut to resemble a heart shape, the gem was mounted on a silver base, with spikes surrounding the beautiful gem, making the whole piece of jewelry elegant and fierce.

A magic reserve? he wondered.

He moved his hazel eyes up, looking directly into her deep brown eyes. The sun struck her in such a way that at first he thought they were blood red; her red hair was pulled back to relieve some of the sweltering heat and erupted into locks of liquid fire.

Realization swept over Murtagh, turning his curiosity and awe into rage and disbelief. Standing here before him, even daring to stand up for him, was Eragon's personal body guard.

She heard the growl that emanated from the nineteen-year-olds throat and smiled inwardly.

So he remembers, she thought, pleased to have left such an impression on a ma only a year older than she.

Murtagh's hazel eyes, slightly obscured by the raven hair that fell in his face, burned with rage as he held her calm gaze. His strong, pale hands clenched into tight fists at his sides; his muscular chest heaving with anger; and his strong jaw clenched shut caused a shiver of pride down her spine.

Though the circumstances surrounding his capture and defeat seemed a bit strange, she took great pleasure knowing it had been herself and Eragon who captured him. She disliked the pang of guilt that she had suffered when she saw Eragon's hurt eyes as he watched the man who had been a best friend (and more, she felt certain of it) being beaten and caged.

Her heart had ached when she watched the young brunette plead with the guards to untie the teen so he could eat and sleep comfortably. Rage filler her when they had laughed in the blue Rider's face; he held more power than anyone in the whole Varden and they dare defy such a meager plea?

Eragon's power and level of respect was closely followed by her own, though hers was more from the fact that she was his guard and best friend, rather than her own strength. She was the only one in the Varden, besides Arya, who could even come close to Eragon's sword fighting. When Eragonhad come to her in the night sobbing, she had decided to take action.

She had approached the guard while he watched his prisoner breathe. She had noted the blood on Murtagh's temple, figuring he wasn't so much sleeping as unconscious. The guard, Dogon, had disregarded her like thy had Eragon.

"Now, why the hell would I want to untie him?" he had sneered, blue eyes like ice.

"So he may eat like a human, not a dog, and sleep comfortably."

"He is nothing more than a dog!" he roared.

"He is a teenage boy," she had retorted, "who was once best friends with our Rider."

"That was before he betrayed him," Dogon was inches from her face. "Now, he's merely a traitor."

"I'll ask once more: Please untie this man."

"No, he's too dangerous."

"How?!" her anger had broke. "His magic has been sealed, his connection to Thorn blocked, and his sword taken! He has nothing left! Only a fragment of pride, which you're doing your best to strip him of as well."

"My answer is still no." He crossed his arms defiantly.

Fine, she had thought, I'll do this the hard way. With one fluid movement, she had unsheathed her sword and had it resting on the mans neck. His blue eyes widened in shock as he put his shaking hands up.

"Keys!" she had whispered, pushing the edge of her blade into the flesh, drawing a drop of blood.

"My belt!" Dogon hissed with pain and fury.

"Now," she found the keys, "move from this spot and I'll leave you in the cage with Murtagh."

She had resheathed her weapon and unlocked the cage door. Kneeling beside the unconscious figure, she removed her dagger and cast a quick glance back to see Dogon still in place. She carefully cut the ropes binding the boys ankles and the one around his knees, admiring the solid muscle he was made up pf. When she moved to his wrists, Murtagh groaned and shifted in his "sleep".

"Shhh, Rider," she had placed her hand gently on his brow. Immediately, he fell silent and stilled. She cut the ropes and carefully moved the Rider's left arm from beneath his body before leaving.

Locking the cage again, she turned to Dogon.

"If I find that he's been retied," she gave the keys and rope to the man, "without the orders of myself, Eragon, or Lady Nasuada-." She left the rest to the man's terrified imagination.


"Dogon!" she ordered, keeping her eyes on the rage-filled, kneeling man.


"Bring him out," she said, removing her gaze from Murtagh to look at the guard. "We leave today."

"Aye," Dogon bowed. He motioned for two other men to help, he would need one to stand watch while himself and the other held Murtagh. When they arrived, Dogon cautiously unlocked the door.

Murtagh scrambled to the back of the cage, eyes wild with fear. he fought viciously when the strong men grabbed his arms and pulled him to his feet. He twisted one arm free and swung on Dogon, catching him in the jaw. The startled man let go and Murtagh collapsed back to his knees.

He's weak, Saphira's voice filled Reilyn's mind.

Aye, she agreed with the elegant beast, not moving.

They don't feed him well. He'll never make it to Alurra. Concern laced the dragon's voice.

I'll fix that tonight when we rest.

You best.

I promise, Saphira. Tell Eragon.

Of course, the beast said with a hint of a smile in her voice. She felt the connection go and returned her attention to Murtagh.

Before she could prevent it, Dogon hit the teen, breaking his lip open and making him fall on his side.

"No!" she yelled, moving toward the cage door. The man at the door stopped her. All she could do was watch as the other man, Jierden was his name, kicked the fallen Rider in his ribs.

Murtagh cried out in pain and curled up, trying to block the heavy boot. Tears streamed down his face as he received three more kicks.

"Letta!" she screamed, feeling the gentle pull of magic. The man's foot froze in mid-air, inches from Murtagh's broken body. She held the foot, feeling her magic pull at her, but she refused to let it go until Murtagh was guaranteed safety. She was strong, both physically and with magic and would hold him there until she could no longer.

"Jierden," Dogon barked, "that is enough!"

"Yes," the man breathed, looking at her. She released the magic on his foot and he lowered it very carefully.

"Go," she told the door-man, "bring me a healer and some decent food."

"Aye, m'lady," he bowed and skittered off.



"Bring him," she looked to the Rider, "we need to inspect his injuries before we leave."


Shoe: Woo!! finally done with a chapter!!! tell me what you think!