(A/N So, this was originally a OneShot. I assumed that I made that clear, but after I read the reviews, I realised that actually, this could work as a multi-chapter.
I'll have a go. If it's rubbish, then let me know, and we'll forget it ever happened. Yeah?)
He held her tightly against him, her head resting against his chest as he kissed the top of her head softly. Her tears soaked his shirt, but he barely noticed, focussed on the woman in his arms, the love of his life.
"I don't want to, Will... I would rather die than marry him. But we're betrothed... and a betrothal cannot be reversed"
"I know, love... I would rather die than see you in the arms of someone else. I can't lose you..."
"You won't. I'll get you out of here, I promise you..."
"No, Djaq. You'll get in trouble."
"I hate that it's like this! Will, I want to go back to England..."
The young man looked surprised, his handsome, pale face gaunt, dirty and tanned after many months in this foreign nation. They had caught him, supposedly a Prisoner of War, and he had been locked here for many months. Despite Djaq's protests, he had been left there for months now. He would bear it, though, for her, "Are you sure?"
"Yes, Will. I hate it here.. it's not the same. I feel smothered... stifled. I hate this," she tugged at the silky veil covering her face, the one that left only her deep brown eyes visible, "I want to be free. I want to live in the forest again. I want to fight..."
She left him, like she always did, alone and cold in his cell. She hated it. But she would not have to endure it for much longer...
"I must do this, Khyra. I will not marry him... if he thinks I am dead, then Will and I can escape, back to England, and I will be free to marry Will. That's what I want, more than anything... But I can't do it without your help! Just... please, give it to me."
Djaq's maid and close friend looked as if she might argue, or shout at Djaq, or cry, "But what about Will? You must tell him..."
"Very well," she consented, "I will send him a message." She reached for a page of thick, luxurious parchment, and wrote a few words in rushed, messy handwriting. "Give this to him. Make sure he knows..."
Her maid nodded once, tucking the note into her pocket and smiling sadly, "Good luck, Miss Saffiya." She handed her mistress a small glass vial, full of a scarlet liquid. Djaq took a deep breath, before pulling the cork from the bottle and holding it up to the light. It shone menacingly, the scarlet reflections playing across her tanned face, "To freedom..."
"To freedom," her maid agreed as Djaq downed the liquid. It burned like liquid fire in her throat, making her gasp and choke. She almost gagged, but forced herself to swallow the substance.
The unmoving, unbreathing body of the woman fell forward, the vial dropping from her hand and smashing against the floor. To all appearances, she was dead. She did not breathe, and her heart had stopped. Khyra, playing her part, screamed, "SAFFIYA! MISS SAFFIYA, NO!"
As they had predicted, footsteps came running. Hurried, shouting voices, speaking in Djaq's first language echoed throughout the house.
Her body was discovered later, apparently dead. They mourned her desperately, the cries and wailing resounding along the corridors and rooms. Her husband-to-be, a man named Raef, came quickly. His affected, haughty demeanour seemed to slip as he gazed upon the still body of the woman that he loved, "Why did she die? TELL ME!"
His raised voice silenced the cries. The servants stared at the floor, unwilling to reply or make eye contact. The man stormed from the room, livid with rage.
Her body was carried to her family tomb and lain there, pale and still. Prayers to Allah were said over her body, and tears wept.
It was a convincing show.
"No... no, it can't be true... she can't be... she isn't..." Will Scarlett was devastated. He crumpled, his head in his hands, against the bars of his cell, "Take me to her."
The grief and pain in his commanding voice made the guards hesitate. After a brief discussion, they unlocked the cell, and ushered him up the stairs in silence. Overhead, the stars sparkled, the midnight sky illuminated by the huge full moon. He felt like they mocked him as he stumbled along, unable to take it in. His love, the woman who made his life here in this hell bearable, had left him forever. He didn't think he could live without her...
They arrived at the tomb and he walked slowly inside. His eyes were immediately drawn to her body, calm and serene. He could have sworn she was sleeping, yet her chest did not move, and, when he felt her delicate wrist for a pulse, there was none. He was heartbroken.
He couldn't live without her. That much he knew. He would join her in heaven, because he could not survive here on an Earth devoid of her smile, beauty and intelligence.
Without a second thought, he pulled his dagger from his belt, examining it carefully. Could he...?
He did, with no hesitation. The blade penetrated his skin; piercing it, and stabbing through his broken heart. With a last, gasping breath he leant over, pressing his lips to hers one last time.
And then he died, his arm still resting across her form, the other hand grasping the handle of the dagger that had brought about his untimely death.
Djaq, who was not dead at all, stirred. The effects of the potion she had taken-- the one to induce a death-like slumber-- were wearing off. Her tomb had been deserted by now, but there was something heavy resting across her stomach. She gasped, her first breath in many hours, and her eyelids flickered slowly open. As she glanced down at the unexpected weight she smiled. Will must have received the note she had sent, and come to find her.
"Will? Will, my love, I am awake..."
The lack of response puzzled her, and she gently lifted his arm, trying to rouse him.
It was then that she saw the dagger, protruding from his chest, and her world went blurry as she fought of sudden, bitter tears. Her plan, clever as it had seemed, had backfired and Will was dead...
She pulled the dagger from him, choking with tears as the crimson stain across her white burial robes spread, a poisonous red flower.
"Will... no... it's not true. Please... Will! WILL! I can't, my love... not without you..."
She would join him. She would not be separated from him ever again, not by jealous ex-lovers, or by race, or religion... they would be together once more.
She plunged the dagger through her heart, crying out as a numbness flooded her body, "This, O dagger is thy sheath. There rust, and let me die..."
She grasped his hand once more, as her body shuddered, and then lay still forever.
'A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Saffiya and her Will.'
(I have recently discovered a love for Shakespeare, which I suppose explains the plotline. Loosely based, for those of you who have not read it, on Act 5, Scene 3 of Romeo and Juliet. The closing speech is the one delivered by the Prince. Now go and read the play. Seriously.