~ The Rescue ~

She hovered above the fire, swirling with the eddies of the chill night air as the flames warmed them to rise. It was comforting… to be near the flames; comforting to be wrapped in its warmth. Its arms embraced her, its fingers caressed; air and fire, they complimented each other so well.

Her restful peace was interrupted, though, when two men sat down heavily next to the fire. Fiora recognized them. One was Commander Garvis, the other… one of his men. She started to come back to awareness of the waking world. She had been taken. The subordinate was at least two decades his junior and looked almost as if he were pouting when he spoke to his commander in a much too casual whine. “Why can’t we just load her up and go now?”

“Wisdom’s orders,” Garvis sighed as if he’d had this conversation a dozen times before. “If we jostle her too much before her wound can grow closed, she’ll lose more blood.” He looked at the younger man with a weary face before patting him on the shoulder. “It’s only till morning, Wendon.”

“But what if we were tracked?” he persisted. “Those men didn’t seem too keen on us taking her. They could have friends; even rally the town! You know relations with Brittner have been growing weaker by the year. There’s less than a dozen of us left! Why did the Lady insist on leaving for Kavaccet early with three fourths of our division? What if we’re attacked?!”

Garvis actually laughed in the face of the young man’s fears. “Let them come!” he roared with a wicked grin on his face. “The trip wires are set. I’d like to see them survive a half dozen bolts shooting at them all at once.”

Fiora opened her eyes gasping in dread, but all she saw was darkness. She no longer had the light of the fire to see by. Trying in vain to sit up, she found she was bound fast, by both hands and feet, to whatever they had laid her on. Panic rose as she thought of Civyl coming for her... straight into a trap!

The End

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