Chapter 19Mature

Lord Delorn paced back and forth in his office, his wrinked face lined with stress and worry. It was only a couple hours to midnight, and he still knew nothing of his daughter’s health and safety. He had waited close to eighteen hours for any word from the man he had hired upon his butler’s recommendation to retrieve his daughter from those scoundrel bandits, but still no news had come. There was a distinct tread in the rug where he had walked back and forth over and over again. He was beginning to think that one man was not enough to handle this. What would the bandits do to Katrina in retribution if the mercenary failed? What if he’s already been killed and the bandits were going to retaliate by violating his Katrina? Just as Delorn was about to literally pull out what hair he had left on his scalp, there was a knock on the door to his office. “Sir,” a smooth voice said softly. “It’s Gotts here. I have news for you.”

“What is it?” he said quickly, both relieved and terrified at the thought of finally hearing the news. The door opened to reveal his head butler, a tall muscular man who had been a former police officer in Valhalla. Gotts bowed to Delorn. “Mister Shavanza is outside the gates and wishes for you to come meet him.”

“Has he found Katrina?” Delorn asked apprehensively. Gotts had to resist smiling. “Come and see for yourself, sir. You need to take a break from your endless pacing anyway.” He looked pointedly at his master. Delorn gave a scowl.

“Oh confound you Gotts! You can be so infuriating sometimes.”

“But I am still your best butler,” Gotts countered.  “Now are you going to keep him waiting?” Delorn straightened up.

“Of course not; inform Mister Shavanza that I will be out to meet him shortly.”

“Of course sir.” Gotts bowed once more and closed the door,” smirking to himself. After putting on some more respectable attire, Sir Delorn soon stood in front of the entrance to his mansion, dreading what he would find on the other side of the door. Steeling himself, he waved at Gotts, who opened the door.

“Dad!!!” Delorn was nearly tackled by his daughter, who rushed forward to embrace him.

“Katrina, he said softly. Warm, sweet relief swept through him as the stress seemed to flow from his body at the sight of his only offspring’s return. He held her in front of him to inspect her for any injury. Apart from a few small tears in her dress and some dirt smudges, she looked no worse for the wear. But Delorn wouldn’t rest until he had checked everywhere on her body.

“OK, Dad, I’m not hurt at all,” Katrina said with some embarrassment after a couple minutes of bearing her father’s scrutiny. She loved him dearly, but sometimes he could be so stuffy and overreacting.

“But Katrina-”

“I’m fine Dad,” she repeated. “Thanks to Lee.” she looked over at her savior, who was leaning against his sleek, red monster of a motorcycle, and watching the encounter in amusement. She blushed a bit. “He was just amazing.” Her eyes gleamed as she started to recount the tale.

“He boldly strode into the bandit’s hideout and took out one of them with a shot, just as they were about to have their way with me. Then he rushed forward while they were still in shock, shot two more of them in the chest, and picked me up in his arms and dashed off before they could react. He then carried me throughout the forest, not slowing down until we were well away from their base, but he didn’t put me down until we arrived here.” She giggled a bit. “Seeing the look on the lead bandit’s face when we escaped was so worth it.” Lee chucked as well.

“Wish I had had a camera, because it was just a classic what-the-hell-just-happened face.”  Delorn looked at the free-spirited mercenary for a moment in amazement.

“Incredible,” he said. “When Gotts recommended you, he had nothing but praise for you. I see that he was not exaggerating.

 “I told you sir,” Gotts said. “Lee is an absolute pro. I never could beat him once when he worked with the force for a little bit.”

“Oh stop it Gotts,” Lee said. “It was no biggie. This was actually an easier job. I’m just glad I was in town for this.”

“Well however you did it, I don’t think I can express my gratitude for saving my daughter,” Delorn said. He bowed to Lee. “Now as for your fee…” Lee held up the bag holding the advance of the ransom.

“How much is in here?” he asked.

“5000 coin,” Delorn replied. Lee raised his brow.

“Then I’m good with keeping this.” The noble stared at Lee in shock.

“But that’s hardly a fitting reward for saving my daughter. Gotts please bring me another bag from the vault.”

“Seriously, you really don’t need to give me anymore. This is more than enough” He turned to leave.

 “Wait!” Katrina stepped forward and faced Lee. “There must be something else we can do to thank you.”

“Lee stopped and turned around. “Well…” Suddenly a mischievous glint appeared in his eyes. “You really want to do something to thank me?” Katrina nodded enthusiastically. “Alright then.” Without warning Lee stepped forward. With a sweep of his feet he knocked Katrina off balance, causing her to fall back. Just as she was about to fall, he wrapped his arm around her waist to catch her and lowered his head to capture her lips in his. Katrina’s eyes widened as she felt his tongue caress her own, but she quickly melted into the embrace and started to respond in kind, unaware, or rather uncaring, at the scene they were causing. Gotts’s normally cool façade was shattered as his jaw dropped open. Meanwhile, Delorn was floored by the display, literally. Seeing his little flower in a heated make-out session with a lethal mercenary, after worrying himself sick for the past two days was too much and he crashed to the floor.

The two ignored the reactions of the noble and butler and continued to make out for another minute or two before finally stepping away. Katrina was breathless at the experience. “Now we can call it even.” With that, Lee spun around and jumped on to his motorcycle. "See you all later. With a rev of the steam engine, Lee blasted away through the gates. "Time to head home to good old Valhalla," he thought with a grin.

The End

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