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I don’t bring forgiveness
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Her lovely blue eyes gaze around the court of the castle, taking in every inch of beauty. From the people to the architecture, the place itself is a fine work of art. She was newly invited to the court of lords and ladies who attended the parties of the king and queen. A new noble who was trying to spread her wings and she could not be more ready. Clinging to her companion’s arm, she tried to be keep her excitement from showing too much upon her face. She was going to...wait? What was that? There beyond the grand hall, she could have sworn that something had moved within the corner of her vision. Her eyes observed the shadows, trying to determine what had made them stir. A gasp slipped past her lips as her memories reminded her of the rumors she had been told.
***
“It’s said that something lurks within the shadows, Annalise. Something bloodthirsty and dangerous. It waits within the shadows, always watching and tracking those who enter and leave.” Ember drawled. “It’s said that sometimes, when it finds a particular lady it likes, it will lure her into the shadows until it is within reach,” she leaned closer, their foreheads almost touching. “And then?” Anna’s breathless whisper came. “And then....IT STRIKES!” Ember yelled as she lunged forward, grabbing Anna.
***
Anna was sure that she had never again screamed as loudly as she had then. Could the rumors of the shadow beast really be true? Her companion was speaking and she forced herself to turn her attention back to him, casting one more wayward glance towards the shadows. No, there was no beast. What kind of king would keep something like that within his home?

Only a king who had need of one.

The beast moves within the darkness, blending in like a chameleon with his background. His boots land upon small pockets and air, keeping his steps silent as he wanders towards the tapestry. Sliding beneath the tapestry, he makes his way through the hidden arch, following the twisting path in the darkness. He knows the path now, no longer needing a lantern or to use his hands to find the path.

When the beast reaches the alcove, he slips through the narrow crack, sliding past the narrow space with ease and little more effort than a duck of his head. He is well practiced when it comes to fitting in uncomfortable spaces. He slides down the small path, only releasing his breath when it opens up into a small hallway. It’s only a few steps now before his hand finds the smooth knob of the door. Slipping the key into it’s slot, the hinges give way with a gentle twist and push, swinging the wood door wide open.

He takes the steps down into the small room, shutting the door behind him. He doesn’t bother to lock it; he only does so when he is gone. The black hooded cape is disregarded, tossed lightly over the post of his bed frame. He moves to light a few candles upon the nightstand before moving to get a fire going within the hearth. Once completed, a small smile plays upon his smooth lips and a hand brushes back wispy brown waves of hair. He gathers the hair into his hands, tying the upper half so it is kept away from his face. With a soft roll of his shoulders, he moves to settle into one of the armchairs, sinking into it’s velvety cushion.

Something glides down from the ceiling rafters, the golden flakes within it’s deep violet wings shines brilliantly in the warm light of the fire. The small dragon, about the size of unfurled handkerchief settles itself upon his shoulder, curling itself up into a ball.

”I take it that no one broke into the room while I was gone, Morrigan?” The deep, rugged voice speaks aloud even though he doesn’t have to.

None. Take me with you next time.

A small smile creeps upon his lips. ”It was recon today, little one. Nothing exciting.” He closes his eyes for a moment before reaching into thin air, slipping a book out from seemingly nowhere. Poison and herbology, the title reads in dark gold lettering. ”Going to join me for some light reading?”

The little dragon nods. A new book? her words prick at his mind.

His only answer is a soft smile as he opens up the book and begins his studies.

It’s a few hours later when he hears the light click of footsteps coming down the hall. His eyes close for a moment as he listens to the rhythm and cadence of the steps, opening up as they come to a slight pause at the door. He knows that song of steps all too well. He doesn’t lift his gaze from the book as the door opens and the steps begin to wander around.

The gentle clink of glassware alerts him to the fact that the king has found the wine, but he continues his paragraph, letting the king go about his business. It is only when he hears the sounds of him sink into the opposite armchair that he raises his eyes above the pages of the book to meet the King’s. The man before him speaks and he lowers the book from his face, the smile now exposed.

”Good afternoon, Your Highness.” The book closes with a pronounced thud. ”Oh? Just what sort of tasks do you have for this beast of yours?” Wyvern’s mismatched eyes are the only sign of his excitement.



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