"Well done, my lady, one point!" Malachai shouted, in higher spirits, watching on as the combatants grew more ambitious with the aspect of fighting.
Cole and Ruby fixated on one another, their eyes locked together. Cole seemed to be entranced by this sudden shift of dominance; he had never witnessed, until arriving at Avelen, how strong she truly was. While he stared at his friend, Ruby had time enough to reach her decision, and she planted a fist into Cole's ribs.
The blow forced a cough from him, but Cole regained his composure. His hypnosis had passed when the pain settled in his chest, then he began to work himself under Ruby's body, still pinned to the ground, yet initiating his escape plan. "All right, if that's how this is going to be," he uttered, and with his superior might, he thrust himself against her, launching the petite young women off of him.
Ruby fell to the floor, rolled over once or twice, but sprang to her feet as swiftly as she could. Cole had only managed to get to his knees before he had to brace himself for another impact; the fiery maiden flung herself at him again. They toppled over, embracing each other, Ruby's legs wrapping around Cole while his arms tightly clenched onto her.
"That's right, just like I demonstrated, Ruby!" Malachai shouted.
"Whose side are you on anyway?" Cole responded, just before being bit by Ruby; he had taken his eyes off of his target, and gave her an opening that she could sink her teeth into, to which the young man hollered aloud.
"I am quite impartial to the outcome, my king." There was a sheepish grin on the mouth of the woodsman, then he laughed at the site of each companion struggling with the other.
The amount of friction culminating between the two produced perspiration, and caused them to pant and sigh. Ruby exhausted her energy hoping to seize victory in another bout, but gradually she was losing her strength. She would have given in under normal circumstances, but Cole's cocky attitude and smug smile fueled her desire to win.
As the afternoon passed in this fashion, so too did the early morning frustrations, if only momentarily. No longer were there traces of anger; no more animosity existed between them. The surrounding scenes of Avelen, and even Malachai's boisterous voice, faded into a blur of distant detail. Cole and Ruby were isolated into a world of their own. Their faces were flushed, and their hearts were wildly beating like heavy drums.
It is a curious moment when one abandons an emotion only to be possessed by another, especially when that emotion holds more power than its predecessor, but both Ruby and Cole experienced this in a similar manner.
Cole initially felt the risk of damaging his pride, but as he continued to wrestle Ruby, with Malachai shouting out "point" every few minutes, the young man felt the whole session turn into a game. This was the first time he had to manhandle such a feisty female, and the fact that it was his childhood friend was intimidating, yet at the same moment quiet entertaining. The smug smile on his lips was the sign of enjoyment, though it also gave truth to a hidden arousal; there were strange sensations that electrified Cole's entire countenance when Ruby clenched her thighs tightly against him, or wrapped her legs around him while she lay pinned under his body. There was a certain magic in her frame, and Cole coyly strategized his movements, wishing to sustain the spar as long as possible.
Ruby commenced combat with the mindset of proving a point to Cole, but discovered early on that a hand-to-hand wrestling match with him was much different than a sword fight. She was almost always on the defense, yet every so often she perceived a peculiar notion; the young woman curiously wondered if, at particular moments, Cole suddenly surrendered a fraction of his strength, allowing her to regain a new and guarded position.
After a time, Ruby's burning temperament was replaced by a different flame, which doubled the heat searing within her. The hardened muscles of this new man, this "star-born king," coiled around her with a fascinating might. She delighted feeling his sculpted chest rub against her own shapely bosom, but her enjoyment was as secretive as the unknown kiss, and her stern expression never faltered. The only hint of her pleasure was revealed by a soft sigh that escaped her lips, when Cole thrust his pelvis into her, then quickly spun her figure around with astonishing precision, and mounted himself behind her; one hand grasped her dainty wrist and bent her arm behind her back with gentle firmness, while the other hand rested on top of the one Ruby was using to prop herself up, their arms paralleled in suspension and preventing the other from falling.
"And one point for our king, which concludes the training," erupted a voice that shattered the illusion of solitude, "well done! Your ability to master my training is most astounding. Each of you possesses a keen spirit, and attentive mind, but victory goes to the king."
Both Ruby and Cole were heaving from their physical exertion, and for a moment they remained attached to one another in a provocative position. Beads of sweat glistened as they trickled down Ruby's skin. For the briefest second of time she experienced a sensation she had never felt before, but its intensity betrayed her, and immediately brought to light the dark memories of the silent kiss.
"He said you won," Ruby reacted by bucking Cole off of her, when she sensed his strength lessen, "now get off!"
The king was prepared to deliver a snide comment and seal his victory, but as he opened his mouth, a loud shriek echoed down the corridors of the castle. Suddenly a young sage, one of the members of the Council, frantically entered the court garden. His eyes were wide, and tears billowed off of his cheeks, raining onto the stony floor.
"There you are!"
Malachai leapt forward, intercepting the sage, "What is wrong, Maseus?"
His speech was in stutters, but he gradually cried out, "The Elder, something as happened to the Elder - quick, you must come at once!"