I was frozen in fear. Elves were shouting. Elwin was yelling at me but I didn't know what to do. Someone grabbed my hair and I yelped.
"You and little Miss Tsarra are going to make great bargaining chips," Theodore whispered.
I felt anger surge through me and, as if she had the same thought, Tsarra and I elbowed Theodore in the gut. He grunted and I grabbed her wrist, leading her somewhere safe. I hoped.
Elwin jumped down in front of me, looking furious.
"I told you to stay up there!" he yelled, oblivious to Tsarra beside me. "Are you determined to get kidnapped again?"
"I couldn't just let him hurt her!" I yelled back and that's when he looked at Tsarra.
"Come on. We need to get you two somewhere safe."
"I am not going anywhere without you," I snapped.
"Tsarra!" a voice screamed and Queen Keishara came running over.
"Somewhere safe!" Elwin ordered. "Now!"
"I'm not leaving," I growled and searched for a sword.
I found one and took Elwin's arm. I spun him around and kissed him roughly on the lips. He groaned in frustration but kissed me back.
He began to argue but I showed him the mark.
"I am staying with you no matter what."
"You're so stubborn!"
Theodore jumped to his feet and stumbled. Elwin docked an arrow and Theodore looked around desperately.
"You stole my wife," Elwin snarled, looking rather terrifying. "You beat her. You raped her. You tried to kill her. I won't let you do that to anyone ever again!"
He pulled back the arrow and I cringed as the arrow went flying between Theodore's eyes. It wasn't over, though. The goblins were still coming. Elves were stationed everywhere, some with bows and some with swords.
The goblins stopped about one hundred feet from the gardens. I ran forward, glad I wasn't wearing one of the gowns the queen had given me. A short, blue and green creature waddled forward. He was carrying a small club with nails hammered into it. Elwin stood at my side, pointing an arrow at the squat creature.
"You ran out of time," the goblin said. It had a rough voice and waved its club around with each word. "The Theodore has said that we would get the land if we gave him the princess. He lied. You are to die."
Elwin looked in a way I had never before seen. He didn't even bother with saying anything. He sent the arrow flying into the goblin's chest. In one swift movement, he had another arrow docked and was shooting at the oncoming swarm of goblins. I gripped my sword tightly and ran into the swarm, swinging it to hit as many goblins as I could.
Arrows were flying everywhere as more elves joined me with swords. With each goblin's head I severed, I was sprayed with warm blue blood. I ignored it. I wanted to kill these creatures that were threatening my life and the lives of those I loved.
I was running out of stamina, though, quickly. I took a breather when I saw a shadow fly over me. Someone grabbed my upper arm and I looked up, ready to strike. It was King Orist, though. He tossed me in the air and caught me around the waist.
"Hold on!" he yelled over the noise of the war.
"Where are you taking me?" I asked.
"I'm taking you back! You need Arl!"
"Look at your side!"
I did so. There was a large red stain. Shit.
He dropped me from the vine he was on and I landed on top of the bridge. I stumbled and felt Arl pull me to the side.
"Hold still," he ordered. "Don't move at all or I can't do it right."
"I won't," I panted, leaning on the sword for support. "How much blood I have lost."
"Not much. It's a scratch. I don't know why King Orist brought you."
I glared. Elwin was down directing. "I bet I know why. Thanks, Arl," I said and slid down the ladder. Elwin turned in time to see my angry face "Seriously, Elwin!?"
"I could tell you were getting overwhelmed," he argued. "How much were you bleeding?"
I rolled my eyes. "It's a scratch, Elwin. What's going on?"
"About half of their numbers are gone," he said, pulling me up onto a table so we could see over. "I've been ordered back here to shoot from a distance," he added bitterly. "What was it like out there?"
"Disgusting," I answered, wiping the goblin blood off as best I could. "When do I get to go back out there?"'
He smiled in spite of his anger. "I never would have thought you to be the blood thirsty kind."
"They kidnapped the princess, Theodore led them here, they're trying to take over the realm," I snapped. "That doesn't sit well with me."
He smiled and kissed my head. "All right. Well, for now we need to focus on the battle." His eyes swept around. "I hate to do this but I need you to go to the left flank and take out as many as you can. Are you up to it?"
I was already on my way. I heard his groan of frustration but ignored it.
I watched her run off and I glared. She was already gone, though, so I docked an arrow and honed in on the distance. I saw a goblin and let the arrow fly. I was trying to keep an eye on her at the same time but I quickly lost her.
I didn't have time to worry, though, as an arrow went flying through my shoulder.
I felt like something pushed me back. There was a burning in my shoulder and I stumbled. A goblin was coming for me so I threw my sword through him. I fell to my knees and a goblin jumped on my back. I growled and fell back, squishing him under my body.
I struggled to my feet. The goblins were retreating. I staggered toward the meeting table, ready to plant the biggest kiss on Elwin's lips.
But he wasn't anywhere to be seen.