Don't Look Back

Romance Story written by WesJaz on Thursday 12, March %7

Member Avatar
Everything was perfect for Fianna in her little town until "He" showed up.

Overall Rating: 80%

This writing has been rated by 2 members, resulting in a rating of 80% overall. Below is a breakdown of these results:

Spelling & Grammar:75%
This is my story, and I don't take it lightly. It started a long time ago in a land far away from here. By your standards now it probably doesn't exist but to me it does and that is where I was born. The town was called Hiphindill and everyone there was peaceful. We had nothing to worry about, not a care in the world. An occasional wild dog straying into town was all that could upset us and that didn't happen too often. With sun shining and birds singing there really wasn't any reason to worry. Life was good and that is what I grew up knowing. If there could have been a more beautiful day no one would have known it at that point and that was the day I came into the world. Within a little hut on the edge of the small town my mother gave birth to me and only me. Now you think I'd be spoiled because I was an only child but in fact the opposite was true. I was helpful and generous with nothing leading me away from doing things to help out the people in this wonderful place. Just turning 15 I was on my way to becoming a bride myself. Everyone in town married at 16, well any woman, and I only had a year left before I would be a wife. I had practically nothing and I was okay with that until he stumbled into town. We had never had a visitor from the outside before and everyone was clambering to be able to see him. He wasn't too out of the ordinary from what I could see but there was something different about him that I couldn't put my finger on. His hair was a creamy brown mess of ends going every which way and those eyes, so blue like the sea seemed to stand out beyond comparison. He was covered in worn and tattered brown and green clothing, most likely some sort of camouflage that the outsiders liked to use. A dagger was securely fastened to his belt and he had a quiver full of arrows and his bow slung across his back. Along with his strange get up he also had a small pelt drawn over his shoulders, showing off the soft fur of his latest catch. All that was really unique about him from what I could tell was how tall he was. He seemed to tower over anyone he walked by but not by too much. Overall he seemed average to me. "Who is he?" I heard Morgan ask someone over my left shoulder but I didn't look to find out who it was. "They say he's a traveler and he hasn't said his name. I'm surprised that he would come out here this far." Sean replied, somewhere near her. "No one ever comes out here, we are the last town before the mountains." Jillian said from my other side. I almost jumped when she randomly appeared there. I hadn't noticed her come up and suddenly she was talking like we had all been huddled there for a while. I still didn't feel like participating in their small town gossip so I slid myself from the crowd and out around the tavern to the back door. For some reason no one had thought to come around back here and the door was completely unblocked. I needed a drink and no one was going to move so that I could get in the front door. There were only a couple other people sitting at the tables besides him and everyone was watching him like a criminal or alternate life form or something. I sat down at the bar and the bartender looked up at me and slid me my favorite. Jared and I had known each other since I was born. He was only a few years older than I was and probably the top pick to be my husband. I don't know exactly how it works but it's parents choice, not that anyone in town was bad. From what I'd seen about a year out from marriage all the eligible bachelors would start to woo their newest lady and try to get themselves a wife. It would be up to the parents to decide by the 16th birthday who their daughter would marry. I wasn't opposed to marriage this way since I really didn't know what I was looking for in a husband anyways but I just thought it weird that my parents got to say who I loved. I don't know, I guess I'm a sucker for tradition and then again, so is everyone else. It would also be kind of fun to see how many guys are actually interested in me anyways. My birthday was only four days ago but no one had come forward yet. Then again, for Nancy it was almost 9 months before all her suitors came out. Now she was happily married and had a child on the way. Ugh, children. That would be my first and only complaint. I didn't want them in the least, they were annoying, smelly, tricksters and you had to raise them until they had their own life. I don't know, that is just going to be the worst part of life. I polished off my drink quickly and slid it back to Jared. I guess he was kind of cute, at least he had a good paying job. He slid another drink over to me and I chugged half of it right away. I glanced to the side to see that most people had given up the attempt to watch the new guy and went back to what they had been doing. There were still a few that lingered but I didn't care and went back to my drink. I downed three more before Jared wouldn't give me anymore. He thought I was already too drunk but I didn't care and I just slammed my hands against the table and stared him in the eye, I think. I wobbled and fell off the bar stool but kept my balance. I knew I should have never drank that much but I had a week off of the normal working pattern because of my birthday and I was going to live it up. I turned to leave but stopped. He did cut me off but I would never be heartless enough to leave without paying. I turned back around and threw a few coins on the counter. Jared kind of rolled his eyes and took the coins. He always insisted that drinks were on him. I never understood how he got business that way but he didn't seem to do that for just anyone, only me. His eyes wandered around the room and he had stopped on the traveler whom was also paying and gathering his things. Jared wandered over to him and picked up his coins and counted them before nodding and letting the man go on his way. The man turned toward me and shot me a smile and I raised an eyebrow and then turned quickly and crossed my arms. Who did this guy think he was? I mean, seriously, no one smiles at me, or even paid attention that I existed actually. I stomped out of the tavern and was just about to open the door to get out when I stumbled over my own feet. "Fia!" Jared exclaimed but a pair of strong arms caught me and helped me up. "So, your name is Fia, is it?" The traveler asked curiously. "Thas Finaana to yoou sirr." I said, not noticing until now how badly I really was drunk. "And you are extremely drunk, little lady." He chuckled but then wiped it off his face. "Sho wat?" I asked, about ready to collapse. "I think you need an escort home." He offered his hand to me but I glared at him and walked out under my own power. As soon as I got outside though I had stumbled and actually ended up on the ground. It was sunset and would soon be getting dark. He emerged from the tavern and offered me his hand once more. I took it and got up before wiping off whatever dirt would be all over me now. "I get home fine." I said as I turned to walk away but everything started to sway before I barely felt him pick me up. I wanted to complain and protest but I had already made myself look stupid enough and I was ready to sleep anyways. I fell asleep almost instantly and I couldn't argue with this strange man anymore. * * * I awoke the next morning in a room I had only been to once. I was in the town's only Inn in the largest room that it had. We had used this room at Brandy's 16th birthday party a year or so ago and I had been invited. All of the children in town were close and did everything together. I scanned the room quickly and let out a little squeak and almost fell off the bed when I had seen someone else in the room too. I had almost given myself a heart attack but calmed down quickly when I noticed that it was the traveler from last night. He sat gingerly on the chair in the corner of the room and just smiled. "Good to see you awake." He said softly. My head suddenly throbbed and I let out a moan of pain as I pressed my fingers to my temples. I shook my head, not wanting to be awake at this point but it was probably later than I thought it was and I needed to be up. I looked up at him and he got up and moved next to me on the bed. "You shouldn't have been drinking so much." He said calmly. "I don't care." I said spitefully, turning away and crossing my arms again. "Wow, you are so feisty." He said but he got up and turned to the door, opening it and waving his hand to show the way out. I looked at him skeptically. "What?" "Here's the way out. You can go, I was just helping." He looked at the floor. "Oh..." I blushed in embarrassment. "Thanks for helping me out." I slowly walked out of the room but stopped right outside of the door and looked up at him. "I'm sorry I've been a bit of a bitch but could I still ask you something?" I wondered. He cocked his head to the side for a second. "What is it?" "What's your name?" I asked curiously, batting my eyelashes playfully. "Oh... Well... It's Bryson." I gave him a little smirk and continued my journey down the stairs, I could tell he stared after me but only for a little bit. I soon heard his door close and that was the end of that, he would probably be leaving the village today and no one would have to worry about him. I would never drink that much again and life was now back to normal. Or so I thought, but then again when something new happens here it never stays away from gossip. The walk home was slow and painful. All over town I could hear whispers and gossip. They talked about the traveler. Occasionally I would hear something about me but I shrugged it off and continued on. Also, my hand hurt and I couldn't figure out why. Without another thought I turned onto the dirt path that led home. Suddenly I was immediately ambushed by a small group of my friends. Jillian, Morgan, and Sean were all anxiously staring at me. All of them looked concerned as well and I just rolled my eyes at them. "Where were you?" Jillian asked in a slightly whiny voice. "I was where ever I felt like being." I answered nonchalantly, ready to just walk right past all of them. "But we saw him carry you away, what did he do? Who is he? Are you pregnant?" Morgan babbled. "First of all, he didn't do anything. Second, he's a traveler, I know as much as you do. Third, What?!" I tried to answer as quickly as possible. I was still feeling a little light headed from whatever I had been drinking. "You can't tell me that this freakin' gorgeous guy goes and hits on you and takes you away with him and nothing happens!" Morgan exclaimed. "Yes I can." I slid past them and kept walking. "You know, if you are pregnant, your parents are going to be so pissed." Sean said as he swung around in front of me. I turned and got in his face. "I'm not pregnant!" I could tell my face was red and I was ready to snap his head off. Without another thought I shoved him backward and stormed away. I only caught a small snip of what they said as I ran down the trail. "Wow, she's pissed." Jillian mumbled. "So do you think that what everyone is saying is true then? Did she really sleep with him?" Morgan asked. It was the last thing I heard before I turned the bend and sprinted for home. I ran through the door and into my room before anyone could stop me. I guess no one really stopped me because no one was home but whatever, life can throw you a curve like that. I looked at the door but nothing happened so I got up and walked out of the house again. I wasn't a coward like that, I could face whatever they were saying about me without flinching. So why was I trying to hide inside and stay away from everyone? I stepped into the sunlight and meandered down the road and as soon as I got into town, all eyes were on me. Ugh, how long was this going to go on? "I heard she slept with him." Brandy said to her husband. Great, now even Brandy thought that. She was always the last one to get any sort of news and by the time it got to her it wasn't really gossip anymore, it was fact. How could they say that? Why would they think that? I'd never done anything like that and suddenly everyone gets all hyped up about this new guy in town and they had to make it interesting. My reputation was shattered because of that guy. Bryson was it? My god, he was such an ass. I walked into the tavern and it went silent. I rolled my eyes and continued to the counter where I sat down and looked up at Jared. He looked like he had just seen a ghost and I really wasn't in the mood to be nice and figure out what was wrong, though I probably knew. "Where is he?" I asked cooly but inside I was raging. Jared ducked down to my level and whispered. "Did you really...?" "Not you too, I just.... argh." I wanted to strangle him too but I let it go. "Where is he?" I said with a little more anger coloring my voice now. "He was talking about leaving by midday today. Until then he was probably going to go find you again." Jared said, his voice a little on edge. "Oh get over it Jared, you're staying here and he's leaving anyways. You can settle down." I said. "Where is he going, did he mention?" "Not really, he doesn't say much. No one knows his name either, he won't tell anyone." Jared said, sliding a drink down to one of the others in the tavern. I got up and left without another word and headed into the village to find that scum. The fresh air and crowds didn't help in my quest until I heard someone finally not talking about me. Mitchel was talking to his father about the traveler and I locked in on their conversation in a second. "I mentioned that I knew Fianna and he asked me the strangest thing." Mitchel said. "What's that?" His father asked. "He asked me if she normally got really drunk." He said, very quizzically. "Why would he ask something like that?" His father wanted to know. "I don't know but I told him that normally she only had one drink a week or so. He looked surprised and he said he had to go off and find higher land. I totally didn't get what that meant." He said. I turned around and ran out of the large crowd and down a deserted dirt road. As I figured I skidded to a halt at the base of a large hill and he was at the top, sitting right in the middle like he was some strange psychic. I strode up the hill and stood before him with my hands on my hips. I watched him scrabble to his feet and stand before me. I wasn't smiling and I was about ready to kill him for ruining my reputation. I shoved him backwards in an attempt to get my anger through his head. "Whoa, what was that for?" He accused. "You couldn't have let me go home by myself? "What?! I don't see what your problem is." "Everyone in town thinks I'm a slut. They think I slept with you because you carried me off when I was drunk." I said fiercely. "Oh... Crap..." He hesitated and seemed like he was at a loss for words. "Yeah, I want this fixed, now!" I stomped my foot and he shook his head but walked slowly down the hill with me on his heels. I thought I heard him mumbled something about gossip being the death of him before he turned the bend but I wasn't quite sure. All I knew was that I wasn't going to let him leave until my reputation was restored. He seemed to know just where he was going and headed straight into the village so I followed diligently. "Woman..." I heard him mumble this time. "What did you say?!" I accused and stopped dead in my tracks, watching him turn to face me. "Nothing." He spat. I wasn't going to let this one go without a fight but it would wait. I watched as he turned back and headed into the tavern without another thought on the matter. He slid onto a bar stool and Jared looked up and almost bugged out because we were together. I sat down just as Jared composed himself and walked over. "So, what'll it be?" He looked from Bryson to me. "I'll have my usual." I said nicely and he seemed to cheer up a little. "Same as yesterday." Bryson said. Jared slid Bryson his drink and then pulled out the nice root beer for me. I was guessing that he was happy that I wasn't going to get drunk again and so he shot me a smile. I really wasn't in the mood to be friendly yet so I just rolled my eyes as he went to help another person. "If root beer is your usual, why were you drinking so much yesterday?" He asked in a more hushed tone. "I was celebrating my birthday, I just turned fifteen and that means I only have one year of freedom left." I said quickly. "Why?" He looked puzzled. "Well, we have a tradition that the woman have to be married at sixteen so that means all the available suitors have to start making their moves during that year so they can try to get their maiden." I gayly did a little eye flutter thing and then laughed it off. "Well, that seems quite interesting." He had a smirk on his face and I couldn't figure out why. "What?" I asked hesitantly. "Oh, if your freedom ends in a year, I don't see why you really need a reputation anymore." He said smoothly. "So I think I should ruin it a little more." Before I could react he had pulled me over and did a little dip as he kissed me. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Jared freeze in place, eyes wide and he looked pissed. Everyone else around the room gasped. I looked up at Bryson, I couldn't move my body and he seemed at an equal loss for mobility. It was my first kiss, not really how I pictured it but somehow it made time stand still, just the same. My head was swimming as he looked into my eyes. I stared back at him, not wanting to lose this moment though I knew it wasn't what it was supposed to be. He looked up for a second and that finally broke it. In a split second he swung me back up and I knew everyone was staring at us. Life finally started flooding back to me and he noticed too. He put his hands up as if to surrender but he could already see it on my face. I was on the rampage now and I jumped up and he spun around, almost taking the bar stool with him and took off out the door. I dashed after him, wanting to kill him about now and I knew I was faster, but he had a slight head start. Out the door and into the crowd we flew. My face must have been red hot, first from embarrassment and second from anger, though the anger is what showed on my face now. He easily maneuvered through the crowd and I followed suite. Everyone turned to stare but I didn't care, let them see me kill him. Then they will know nothing happened between us. He was faster than I thought and he made it out of everyone's sight and to the tree line that marked the edge of our village. I skidded to a halt right on the line and he looked back and stopped only a couple yards ahead. He looked at me in confusion and then noticed where exactly I stopped. "So you won't leave?" He asked, another smirk on his face that almost put me over the edge. "This is my home, I'm not leaving to chase a jerk like you." Was all I had. "Ouch!" He said sarcastically. "You can just leave. I never want to see you again." I turned and started walking away, back home. "Come with me." He said quickly, stopping me in my tracks. I turned around to face him. "What?!" I said breathlessly. He had his arm extended to me, looking totally serious on his offer. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, this strange man that had ruined my life and only been in town for a day wanted me to join him on his journey. Was this some sort of trick? There were dangerous things out there and I'll bet he just wanted me to be eaten. I glared and then turned around, flipping my hair over my shoulder. I stood there for a second before I walked back home, leaving him stunned and hurt at the lack of enthusiasm that I had for what he wanted. I couldn't leave anyways, no one ever leaves, at least not when they are fifteen, that just wasn't right. I could feel everyone's eyes on me again but I ignored them. For some reason this pang of hurt ran through me and I couldn't stop it. Tears started to build in my eyes and I looked at the ground and hid them as best as possible. My whole body ached to turn around and go after him but I knew it would be foolish so I headed home. I walked in and my parents were in the kitchen making small home grown salads. They looked up for a second and just stopped, my dad dropped the tomato that he was working with on the counter and folded his arms. I had managed to dry my eyes before I had opened the door so now I was guessing this was about me never coming home last night. "Fianna, your mother and I would like a word with you." He said harshly. I didn't say a word but I walked over to where they were working and sat down. My whole body seemed numb and I was barely listening to whatever they were babbling on about now. I just nodded in the right spots and groaned when they gave me a punishment. I was surprised though, they were only making me stay in the house for the rest of the day and do chores. I walked out the next morning feeling a little better but really alone at that point. I didn't know where I was headed but I walked down the path and when I got to the end I looked at the cross roads sign. Normally I would head straight into town but I turned and went toward the hill that I had found him at yesterday. It was deserted like normal and I sat at the top collecting my thoughts. I figured an hour past before I got up and headed toward town again. As I was walking I noticed that a seam in my shirt had ripped and I needed it mended before that would become a problem. It was right down the front too and if anyone noticed before I got it fixed that could be bad. I rushed to the tailor shop and greeted Mandy when she saw me come in. "How's it going? I heard that Sean has been lying about you. Yesterday everyone thought you were sleeping with that traveler dude and now he admitted to telling a lie. Everyone feels bad about shunning you yesterday." She went on. She was a big talker but I already knew that so I just pointed out what I needed done and she looked it over and continued talking. Mandy was probably one of the villages worst offenders when it came to gossip but usually it was funny so I would play along. She had just taken over her mothers tailor business here when she got married, she was only a few years older than me but she was smart. Now if she'd only use that mind for good instead of gossip. She finished quickly and I thanked her. She owed me one from when I got her lunch a week ago so she decided that she would repay me by fixing my clothes this time. I didn't mind, I needed to save my change, my week was almost over and I still had a few things I wanted to do with my free days. Somehow my reputation problem had sorted itself out and everything was back to normal. Or at least, it should have been. I walked into the tavern and that was normal, no one really paid me any mind except Jared who was beaming when I walked through the door. Great! I rolled my eyes but sat at the bar anyways. He came up, giving me root beer right away, not even asking me what I wanted, though it would have been the same thing anyways. He looked at me and leaned down. "So, I heard you chased that guy all the way out of town." He said, smiling at his own fortune. "Yeah," I took a swig of my root beer and placed it back on the bar. "So what? He kissed me and I wasn't having any of it." "Yeah, what was that all about anyways?" He asked. "I don't know, he just said that he wanted to ruin my reputation more." I said quietly. "Asshole." "Well at least he is gone now and I made sure that Sean got your reputation back to normal." He smiled again. "Um, thanks, I guess. I hope you didn't hurt Sean at all. After all, he is still my friend." I said skeptically. "Oh, no. I only threatened him until he told the truth." His sly smile made me roll my eyes again. I finished my root beer and finally took Jared up on his offer of the drinks being on him. It would probably come back to haunt me later but I was short on cash now. It was the second half to my punishment, I didn't get to have all my money to spend for the remainder of my birthday week. I said goodbye to Jared and meandered out into the streets. It wasn't as crowded as yesterday but it was bad enough. All the town shops were packed with people and I couldn't even go see a show today because for some reason they were cancelled. I walked down the streets, barely noticing who I was walking by and I could feel someone watching me. I flipped around and scanned the crowd but no one was around that I could tell. I don't know why I was suddenly paranoid but all day it felt like someone was staring at me. I didn't do much the rest of the day though. If a shop looked empty enough for me to get into it I would stop to see what they had but I didn't end up buying anything. Tomorrow would be my last day off and because I hadn't used any money today I had enough saved up to have some fun tomorrow. I went to sleep thinking about him. For some reason I couldn't get him out of my head but it didn't matter now, he had left and it was for the better. I drifted in and out of dreams all night but it was still pleasant and I woke right as the sun rose above the horizon. My parents weren't quite up yet so I snuck out swiftly and walked down my path. When I reached the end I froze. He was there, his arm extended, waiting for me to accept his offer. I blinked and shook my head and he was gone. More dreams, or fantasies for that matter. I could have never gone with him. I went to the tavern and noticed that Jared was just getting there. He always worked the weekday mornings and Marcus worked the nights. I watched him walk in and I followed a few yards behind, not wanting him to see me. His shift didn't start for a little while yet but he wanted a drink before he started. He sat down as I walked in and I could tell he had a sour look on his face as he stared off into the very corner of the place. I followed his stare to the last table past three other people to one person sitting in the corner, eating his breakfast. I froze again, rubbed my eyes and blinked but he was still there. Why hadn't he left? Didn't I chase him away, like my original intention was? He looked up and smiled, I couldn't help but smile back, pure instinctual reaction. He beckoned me over and I watched as Jared followed his stare over to me. I saw out of the corner of my eye when his face went completely red but he wouldn't come over. I stood there for a moment, debating whether or not it was a wise idea but my body made the decision for me and I slowly and gracefully walked over and sat down. I looked at him and he was smiling, not the stupid smile that Jared always got when I was around but a nice one, like he had been waiting for me. "So, I hear you got your reputation back, even after I tried to ruin it." He said slyly. "Yeah, Jared managed to track down the liar." I shot a glance at Jared when he looked like he was going to come over. "Ah, I see. Well, you have had a day or so to consider my offer. What do you say?" He put his palm out, as if inviting me once more to take it and follow him. I laughed and looked at him. "You're not serious, are you?" "Actually, it's the whole reason I came back. I wanted an answer from you first, before I left." He said and he pushed his plate over to me. He had plenty of food and didn't seem to care if I had some so I picked up the fork and took a bite of the scrambled eggs and bacon. Jared was getting really mad and now he couldn't do anything because he was working. I chuckled as I watched him break one of the glasses he was cleaning. "I have a question for you though." I said sweetly, hoping he would answer it. "What's that?" He asked. "Why am I the only one that you told your name to?" I wondered. "Well, I guess you were the only one that really asked. Everyone else just seemed to assume I wouldn't tell them." He said as he took a drink of whatever it was and then slid that to me as well. Wow, whatever it was that he was drinking, it was strong. It was worse than mine and I thought I was bad. I only had a few sips of it before letting him have it back. He seemed amused that I couldn't handle his drink but he continued to let me eat until I finished everything. I had forgotten what Marcus could do in the kitchen and I would have to thank him later. Jared wandered over and I could see the glare that he was giving Bryson as he gathered the plate and silverware. Bryson polished off the drink just in time to hand that to Jared as well and I gave him a smile and his anger seemed to melt away as she took the plates to wash them. I rolled my eyes as I turned back to Bryson and he laughed. "And you say I'm the jerk. God, that boy is probably... never mind, but that was just horrible." He continued to laugh. "What are you talking about?" I asked, confused. "You really don't know how good looking you are, do you?" He asked as he watched Jared fumble with one of the plates and almost drop it. Jared still had that smile plastered on his face. I rolled my eyes and just placed some money on the table. I could feel my cheeks going red but I didn't really think about it. Bryson threw down some change as well and followed me out. He wouldn't stop looking at me and I suddenly felt really self conscious. "What?" I asked, wondering if I had food all over my face. I could feel myself flush with embarrassment again. "You're just really beautiful when you blush like that." He said. I could feel my face getting really hot now and he chuckled a little as I looked down, trying to hide some of my embarrassment. I fiddled with my pull string on my clothing before taking the deserted path that lead to the only open field that we had that wasn't inhabited by farm land. We walked in silence for a moment and I looked up into the open expanse of land and it brought a smile to my face and I turned toward Bryson and he was beaming too. I rushed out into the middle of the field doing twirls and flips before laying gently in the middle of the grass. Bryson walked around the edge, as if not wanting to tread on the new blades of greenery. I didn't look at him, just the sky but I could tell when he finally strode over. He looked down and then dropped to the ground and lay next to me. I looked over to him and he was always the one that did something drastic. Our eyes met and he rolled over on top of me. My heart was going crazy and we looked into each others eyes. "I wasn't kidding when I said what I did." His words went over me and seemed to caress my body. I blushed lightly and he chuckled at my little display. "I still never really got an answer from you." He mentioned and tucked a piece of hair behind my ear. "Well, answers are over rated." I said slyly. "Will you come with me?" He looked up at me from under his lashes, as if begging for me to say yes. He seemed so innocent as he took my hands in his. I gasped and looked at him breathlessly. "Please, I'm actually begging, I need you to be with me on this journey." He said. I could almost cry as I looked into his eyes. His pleading face would have killed me to say no to. I held my breath and he gently rolled off me and kneeled on the ground by my side. "I'm not going to leave you. I wish to be with you always and I'm not afraid to admit it." He gently rose and offered me his hand. As I looked at him and made the difficult decision I took his hand and he lifted me to my feet. I looked into his eyes, caring yet guarded and especially kind. "I... But this is my home." I hadn't noticed that I had started crying until he reached up and stroked my cheek, spreading the little wet streaks. I held my breath but he just kissed my forehead, sending my head spinning. "I can wait for you then." He said lightly before walking me home. It was only around noon but I still felt tired and restless at the same time. I couldn't help but choke back tears as he said goodbye to me at my door. The look of sadness in his face was hard to deal with. My whole body seemed to throb for no reason and so I went to bed early, thinking only of him for the rest of the time. "No!" I shot up out of bed, my whole body in a dead sweat and my chest heaving. Through the night I had dreams, and not just one. They were all about him, every single one of them, whether good or bad and I was beginning to wonder if that day between us ever happened. I rubbed my eyes and yawned, calming myself down in the process before getting out of bed and getting ready for the day. My usual chores were waiting for me and I got right too them without a hesitation until I thought about it. If that day had never happened then it would still mean it was my last day of no chores. I turned when I heard footsteps and they were my fathers. "I see you are starting your chores earlier than expected." He mumbled, not quite ready to greet the day just yet. Earlier than expected... So it was just one of the many dreams. I didn't stop my chores just because of this fact but as soon as I was done I wanted one more piece of evidence so I ran out the door and straight to the tavern. I burst through the door and everyone looked up, confused for a second before going back to whatever they had been doing. "Fianna, what's wrong?" Jared asked, looking me over as I walked up to the bar, panting and out of breath. "Where is he?" I asked breathlessly. "Oh, him... You chased him away. Remember?" He commented. "You seem really out of it today, you should sit down." He offered me a chair but I refused and walked out of the tavern before looking all around me, hoping and wishing that what Jared had said wasn't true but it was. I dropped to my knees and cried before getting up and running. I just sprinted, both to the hill and the field and he was no where to be seen. I had really dreamed it all for some reason, I didn't know why. Life started to drift back to normal over the next week or so. I went back to my daily chores and Jared seemed to be the number one suitor again, though Sean had kind of joined the mix now. Neither of them were at an all out battle over me yet but it was still the beginning. Morgan and Jillian were still sort of ticked at me for chasing the traveler away and they refused to talk to me. That was the last anyone talked about of the traveler that had visited our village. Tomorrow was going to be the archery contest and normally I wouldn't care about anything like that but for some reason this year I wanted to see who would win. During the year I was born it was strange but there was only one other born that year and it was near the very end so I was the only bachelorette to wow this year round. How many of the boys would show off and how many would show off for me? I walked over to the field where they had it all nicely set up and ready for the big event. The men had all made places for their women to sit and it looked like it was going to be great. The last minute touches were being put on and they were finishing placing the targets just far enough away. The archers would be tested at 100, 300, and 500 paces to see how well they could shoot an arrow and hit their target. I knew Jared had been practicing for this event for almost a month now just to get my attention but Sean had decided he wanted to try as a last minute thing and he thought he would be good at it and be able to hit with no problem. I still laughed at that and I wanted to see him fail miserably. About half of the shops in town were closed today and almost all of them would be closed tomorrow so before I headed home I wanted to see if Mandy was still at the shop. The punishment had worked in my favor and when my parents gave me the second half of my money back I went straight to Mandy and ordered a grogeous dress. I was planning on dressing up and having my hair done in braids but I would have to get Morgan to talk to me again if I really wanted the second half. When I walked in, Mandy practically jumped me. She had been waiting all day for me to show up because she wanted to make sure the dress fit properly before it was given the okay. I slipped it on easily and stood in front of her and she just dropped her jaw and stared. The dress hugged my curves perfectly and I was absolutely in love with it. I made sure it was perfect, the front cut just low enough to be slightly revealing in a sweetheart shape and the straps fell lightly off the shoulder. The whole dress was in a satiny silk fabric and the top section was in a sort of cross over design. The top was a creamy white and at about a quarter of the way down the skirt section it started to fade into a deep royal blue until it reached the ground in an almost black but still blue in the light. I thanked Mandy and headed out. I still needed to make it over to Morgan's house to see if she would do my hair. As I walked up the path to her house I could see that her arms were crossed and she wasn't happy to see me. Her anger faded away when she realized what I was carrying though and by the time I actually got to her she was practically bouncing up and down in excitement. I had to calm her down before I could explain what I wanted and asked if she'd be willing to do that. She agreed right away and so I thanked her before heading home. I passed by a few of the guys practicing for the next day's event and Sean was among them. He was having trouble even holding the bow still, I didn't know how he would do tomorrow. I chuckled and waved at him and he waved back, giving his arms a rest from the strain. My walk back was peaceful and I was able to watch the sunset on the hill after dropping my dress at home. It was calm but something was missing and I couldn't put my finger on it. I shrugged off this little mystery and headed home for the night. I was excited and restless and knew I wouldn't get much sleep tonight. My hunch was right, all through the night I woke up and tried to fall asleep again. Finally, after the tenth time of waking up I just got up, it was just after sunrise anyways. Still early, I didn't have to hurry to get ready, Morgan wouldn't be here for a few more hours anyways. In the dim morning light I figured it would be safe to go wash up, not that anyone would be around our house to see me anyways. I strode down the the stream behind our house and took off all my clothes. I waded into the water, it was freezing but I didn't care. I started to gather my thoughts as the birds chirped all around, singing their love songs across the trees. "Fia." A familiar voice said behind me. I whipped around but no one was there. I had been imagining things yet again. I finished bathing quickly, now paranoid that someone was watching me. I dashed back to the house and put my dress on, waiting patiently for Morgan to show up. A few minutes later she was at my house and we had to hurry to get my hair done. She started with a french braid on either side of my head, kind of like pig tails and then braided them into one big braid down the center. As accents she made tiny little french braids all over and twisted them up, around and through the first two she had made. She used a deep blue ribbon in some of the braids to tie it into my dress a little more and she finished off with a very special flower from our town. It was a feathered blue rose, almost fully bloomed that she put on the right side, tucked lightly behind my ear and into the braid. As a last touch she draped the long center braid over my left shoulder and tied it with a blue ribbon. Morgan stepped back to admire her work and gave it the seal of approval before running home to get ready herself. I felt kind of useless at home now that I was all dressed up and so I decided to head to the field before it got too crowded. I just had to grab one last thing and so I snuck into my parent's room and grabbed my mother's royal blue, tear drop necklace to finish it all and I went out the door before my parents could see me. I wandered into town gracefully, on my way to the field. I got so many head turns and stares that I'd never seen before. Almost everyone that I was within a twenty foot radius of stopped to stare at me. I could hear whispers all around but of course there was always someone who spoke up. "Fia, is that really you?!" I heard Sean's surprised voice behind me and he rushed up, carrying his bow and a quiver slung across his back. "I guess it is." I said slyly. "You look really nice today. I don't think I've ever seen you in a dress before." He commented as we reached the edge of the field. Up ahead I could see a few guys practicing on some extra targets that were set off to the sides. Sean did a quick bow before running off to shoot a couple arrows before the contest started. I saw that Jared was already practicing, probably the first one here this morning. I walked by, toward the seating area but I saw, out of the corner of my eye, Jared did a double take before accidently releasing his arrow. It flew straight past the target and into the woods where it disturbed a few birds that flew out of their homes. He was stunned and speechless and couldn't move but I knew that wouldn't last long. I watched him occasionally, still dumbstruck but when Benjamin walked over to talk to me I saw Jared go red and walk over quickly before calming himself down and joining the conversation. "So, Fia, you're looking exceptionally fine on this fair day. Might I ask why?" Benjamin said politely. I'd always liked that he never said anything rude to a lady. A perfect gentleman if you ask me. "Certainly. I have decided that I didn't want to wait for all the men to come out of their shells as they pleased, so they have to impress their princess starting today." I said, a hint of pride in my scheme. Ben chuckled and looked me in the eye. "Well then, I guess I will just have to do well today and hope that later I may be obliged a dance from my fair maiden." He lifted my hand and kissed it lightly and I just smiled as he gathered his things. When Ben finally left I could tell Jared was pissed and he just stood there with his mouth a gape. I motioned with my finger for him to come over and it finally broke him out of it and we walked over, trying to be all high and mighty looking. "What was all that about?" He asked. "Like I said, I'm not waiting for you guys. I think I deserve that kindness at least." I set my lip in a slight pout but not enough to be annoying or childish. "And the whole dance thing?" He wondered. "I don't know, it was his idea, not mine. Although... I might just take him up on his offer." I said, pondering the thought and watching Jared go red again. He grabbed his arrows with more force than need be and stormed off. I rolled my eyes and let him go. He needed a little friendly competition to keep him in his place anyways. My suitors continued to file in and say a little something as all the other seats around and behind me started to fill up with plenty of spectators, signaling that the competition would be starting soon. A lot of the men were in the competition and they were split into two separate groups. The first was anyone under twenty five or unmarried. Basically, that was the group that I had to watch. The other group was anyone who was married. That group would go first and they were either showing off for their wives or showing off how well they could still use the favorite weapon of our village. Everyone in the group that was going first lined up as the announcer told the crowd how the contest would work and the rules. Each man would get three arrows for each distance of the contest and the closer to the center they got, the more points that each person would get. The one with the most points at the end would win the grand prize and there was a second and third for each group as well. Each person that went up would do all three distances before they would move onto the next person. I didn't know why I had never gone to the archery contest any other year, it was really quite interesting to see how well each person could do and the looks on the faces of the younger group as they watched the older and more experienced men take their turns, one by one. My father was in this group and I watched him closely as he shot each arrow. He did very well and I was guessing he would at least get in the top five. A few more men went before the last arrow was fired. All the older men lined up once more and took their bow before waiting for the results. The announcer walked to the middle of the line of men and looked to the crowd. He raised his arms for attention and quiet and everyone listened. "In third place will be Sir Henry Jensen." The man announced. Henry stepped forward, waving to the crowd and taking his place on the make shift podium that was put together for this year's event. "Second place goes to Sir Raymond Trillo." I clapped as I watched my father take his place on the stand as well. I knew he was one of the higher scores. "The Grand Prize will go to Sir Marcus Harper." Marcus played it up as the crowd cheered. He always loved being the center of attention. "Now, there will be a short intermission before we start the second half of our annual archery competition." The announcer said over everyone and some of the older and married woman got up to congratulate their husbands and either head home or bring them over to watch the future generations. I didn't move from my seat. I had the best, not that anyone would take it. Every year, the woman that were fifteen at the time of the tournament would get to sit in a special area to watch their suitors battle it out in this non-violent competition. This year I was the only one to be sitting in this special area and of course I had to play it up more than even Marcus could have done. Most people had taken their seats once more as the younger men started to line up. The contest would continue soon and I waved gingerly to all of the men who had come over to talk to me before the start of the show. Some waved back or blushed and a couple more finally looked up and did double takes as they saw me. First up was Ben and he fired his arrows with skill and strength, setting the bar high for any of his competitors that followed him. He turned and bowed to me after he shot his last arrow and then went back to his place in line. A few more men past before Sean was up. I was surprised to find that he had practiced enough to at least hit the targets. I wouldn't say he got an awesome score but it was good compared to some others. Jared was last and the whole crowd knew it. Everyone was silent as he knocked his first arrow and aimed for his target. He pulled back the string and stopped at the edge of his mouth and paused for a second before he released his prize. The arrow flew and hit just slightly off dead center and most of his other arrows did the same. He and Benjamin would have pretty good scores to compete with each other. The outcome would just have to wait until all points were tallied. The announcer stepped in front of all the younger men and faced the crowd once more. "Now, all the contestants have gone and the final scores will-" "Wait!" A voice came from behind the line of men and everyone turned to see who it was. The line parted to the man who had interrupted and he stepped forward, bow in hand and arrows waiting. I gasped, covering my mouth as I jumped up. It was Bryson. "I would like a chance to compete." He said lightly but everyone still heard him. The announcer looked stunned but thought for a second and then stepped out of the way to let him through. The man walked over to the crowd and right up to where I was sitting. I could hardly breath but I kept myself calm and collected the whole time. "Would the beautifully fair maiden have a favor for such a noble man trying to win her heart?" He asked. I knew everyone could hear. "You will have to earn it, like any other man vying for my affection on this day." I said with a little bit too much attitude but I didn't care. "Very well then." He took a step back. "I will earn it." He said matter-of-factly. I watched him walk to the standing place and he easily and swiftly pulled an arrow from his quiver and knocked it. He brought the bow up and pulled the string back, releasing it quickly. I doubted with such a quick movement that it could have even gotten close to center but I watched him smirk and I looked at the target and it was dead on bulls eye. I raised my eyebrow and clapped. I bet he couldn't do it again. He continued to amaze me, one right after another he shot just as quickly if not faster and each one landed straight in the center. He only hand one arrow left and this time he knocked it and brought up the bow but he held it there, building the suspense as he pulled back the string. I saw him glance at me and then smirk as he looked back and released his final arrow, splitting his first arrow, from that distance round, in half. The whole crowd cheered and I could tell Jared wasn't pleased in the least. Benjamin, always being a good sport, walked up to him and shook his hand. Everyone else was still in shock and after all of the cheering and noise subsided the announcer made the final announcement. "In third place, Benjamin Garce. Second, Jared Sindor. Grand Prize to... Um..." The announcer looked over to Bryson and Bryson leaned in and whispered something in his ear. " Bryson Wistlin." I raised my eyebrows once more. He actually told everyone his name. It was strange but then again I never really did figure out the reason no one else knew his name. I slowly rose and found that Benjamin was already at my side, offering his hand to help. I took it and he bowed his head. "Maiden, young and fair. I had but one request going into this contest. Though I didn't win first prize, may I still have my dance?" He said sweetly. I couldn't say no to Ben. "I would kindly oblige your offer." I did a little curtsey as I finally noticed that they had started the after competition entertainment music. We twirled and danced to the familiar tune and I was very aware of the many eyes on us, though other couples had joined in the fun. "I noticed Jared was still ticked but as I looked over with the rest of the younger men, Bryson was no where to be seen. Benjamin looked over his shoulder, momentarily distracted by something. We had just started our second song but it didn't seem it was going anywhere too fast. "May I cut in?" Bryson asked lightly, bowing to both Ben and I. I watched Ben smile and then step out of the way, bowing to me as I curtsied. Bryson watched him go for a second and then moved in close to me, wrapping his arm around my waist and taking my hand lightly with his other. I gently placed my arm along his one that was holding my waist. I looked up into his eyes and he was just smiling, making me blush. "You look absolutely lovely tonight." He offered, leaning down and kissing my cheek. I saw someone out of the corner of my eye and I looked over. Benjamin had to grab Jared because he was about to come over and break up our little dance. Ben was offering some words of wisdom to Jared but he wasn't listening. As if I hadn't pushed him a lot before the contest started, now his enemy from a week ago has decided to show up and wow his lady once more. "Thank You." I said, trying to ignore whatever jealousy issues Jared had. No one else cut in and I didn't mind, just being able to touch him, to make sure this was real was all I wanted right now. I hardly noticed anything going on around me but even if I did I wouldn't have been able to see what came next. As he twirled me around, suddenly everything went black. I heard voices, a lot of them, all around me, calling my name. They were all frantic and concerned. I finally opened my eyes to see a crowd of people around me. My parents, Jared, Sean, Ben, Morgan even. I was still in Bryson's arms and that made me feel a little better. A few others joined the group but I didn't care who it was. "Are you alright sweetie?" My mother asked, placing her hand on my forehead. "Yeah, I think it's just the fact that I didn't eat anything today." I said and my mother seemed pleased that I wasn't dying. Sean smiled and then got up and pulled Morgan away with him. I'd have to thank him later, he always knew what I wanted. Ben gave me a smile too and he knew that I wanted some more alone time so he got up and tried to get Jared to follow but this time Jared wasn't going to let Ben win. He stayed right where he was and didn't budge. I glared at him and he looked shocked but finally got up and left with Ben. My dad smiled at me and then looked up at Bryson. "Be sure she gets home safe, and get some food in her." My dad tossed a couple of coins to Bryson who nodded and we both watched my dad follow my mom back to the dancing crowd. I had just noticed that I wasn't in the place I had originally been when I dropped, they must have moved me out of the way so I wouldn't get trampled by dancing feet. I placed my hand on my head and slowly sat up. Bryson looked concerned but let me do it anyways. "You gave us all a scare there for a minute," Bryson paused. "especially me." He said, gently running his hand over my cheek. "Why would it scare you?" I asked. "I can't believe you haven't seen." He shook his head as he sighed. "I've tried to make it plain as day but since you don't seem to get it like you do with the jealous one over there," He nodded toward Jared who was watching us like a hawk. "I'm in love with you Fianna." He said in a whisper but I could tell he wanted to yell it to everyone. I went completely red and he just smiled and chuckled a bit. "And if you didn't get it before, you are beautiful when you blush like that." I froze for a second and looked at him, confused. "But that was just a..." I trailed off. "A dream?" He asked. "Yeah..." I said, now rather skeptical. "Yes, to you it was a dream. It was a potion that had connected our minds. I was able to dream the same thing you did, almost as if it were real. I wish it were but I was never really with you that day." He said in sorrow and held me a little tighter. "But the other dreams?" I asked. "I don't know, the potion wore off after that first dream, whatever after that was your own mind." He looked into my eyes. "How did you...?" I wondered. "This might sound bad but... that night that you were drunk and I took you back to my room... Well, I knew I had to show you how much I cared somehow." He said. "It was my only potion from Siraqui and the potion master there told me to use it well. I figured using it on someone I loved was a good idea." He smirked. "You know, you can be such an ass sometimes." I half laughed. Now completely serious he looked at me. "I still have to know what your answer will be." His eyes seemed to light up and I hadn't quite noticed but we were only inches away from each other now. "I don't know." I whispered. "I have thought about it but I have never left my home and I am only 15 now." His lips met mine in a passionate kiss. My eyes went wide in surprise before I closed them and enjoyed the feeling of his lips against mine. "Let me go Ben!" I heard Jared yell and Ben lost his grip and Jared was suddenly standing face to face with Bryson. "You come to our town and look to harm one of our beautiful women. I won't allow it." Jared took a step closer and Bryson didn't move. With one eyebrow raised Bryson put in his two cents. "I would not say a kiss would harm anyone, especially when it was wanted by both involved." Bryson corssed his arms. Jared was about to lose it and punch Bryson but I got in between them, defending Bryson with myself. Bryson didn't like that fact and neither did Jared but my death glare to both of them kept them from moving me. "I challenge you to a dual. Winner gets Fianna and Loser has to leave this village immediately." Jared proposed. "Fine, tomorrow at noon, be here or lose by default." Bryson countered. They shook hands though both wanted to rip the other's throat out at that point. I rolled my eyes and gave Jared another death glare as I turned and walked away, Bryson following me. "Why do you two have to dual over me?" I asked, kind of pissed. "I will never allow him to have you and for some reason he thinks just the opposite, that I should never have had you in the first place." Bryson said. "Don't I get a say in this?" I asked. Bryson lowered his head in shame. "Of course. If you say right now that you prefer him then I will back down and leave this village immediately." I paused in shock and my voice was a whisper. "But I can't say that. I won't." A smile spread over Bryson's face and he pulled me in close to him. I looked around and noticed that we had wandered into complete darkness. I could still see some light from the fires by the people but no one was able to see us. I wrapped my arms around his neck and brought him within an inch of my lips. He couldn't resist and he pulled me into his kiss.

Rate This Submission

Please take the time to rate this writing once you have read it. Our ratings system allows people to know both how popular the writing is, and how well the general populous of the site thinks it is written. This also allows the writer to have feedback about their writing, so they know if they need to improve their technique, or if they're on the right track.

The system allows you to vote on several aspects on the writing. Refer to the help text below each aspect for an explanation. Consider the different aspects carefully, and submit your vote using this form. It will be instantly weighted with the other votes given.

Depending on the writing type, give your opinion on the overall plot if it is a story, or the concept of the writing if it is abstract such as a poem. Does it seem to make sense, strike a chord with you or seem a well chosen concept? Did the author stick to the concept or did they change mid-thought?
Did the author use words and descriptions that allowed you to visualize the scenes portrayed in the writing? Did the feelings of the work stir your emotions as you read it?
Were the words spelled correctly? Was proper punctuation and grammar used? Could you easily understand sentences or did you have to re-read lines several times to understand what was meant?
Depending on the writing type, how did the writing flow? If it's a story, did it have a smooth, easy to follow flow? Did the flow of events make sense? If it's poetry, did the author stick with the syllable flow for that writing type? Did the lines rhyme properly if a rhyming device was used?
Did the author use the same words over and over or did they use a broad vocabulary to get their exact point across? Could better wording be chosen then what they have used?

1 comment

Leave a Comment

Please Login to Post a Comment.
  • A quite good story. It could, however, use a bit of grammar and punctuation cleaning. That would help with the flow. Also, there are some places in the tale that would appear to be logical chapter breaks.
    You could also build on this and continue further if you wished to turn it into a good novel. All in all, not bad!

    - March 13 2009 07:32:20