~ The Puppeteer ~ pg 3

Rough hands yanked him backwards and blinding white pain erupted from the bridge of his nose. Civyl fell backwards, landing hard enough to knock the wind out of him. His heard his sword clatter to the wooden floor as sharp cool metal now pressed at his own neck with such force, he could barely breathe. 

“Alex, please,” Fiora cried with a wavering voice. “Don’t hurt him!”
“Hurt him?! I should kill him!”
Please, he wasn’t himself!” 

The taste of blood ran down the back of his throat as Civyl blinked the haze away from his eyes. He focused on the growling man on top of him, registering Alex’s enraged face. Confusion reigned in his mind and must have been evident because in a swift jerky action Alex sat back and removed the knife. “What have I done?” he managed to choke out as he tried to keep a grasp on ominous memories that were fading away too quickly.

Civyl looked at Fiora, eyes widening in horror at the fresh blood that ran down her neck. Eyes flew to his fallen sword, tip red with blood… Her blood! His horror and self-accusation found its way to his voice. “Cursed Fates, what have I done?” 

----

The cool of a breeze had woken her when Civyl had left the bed. Perhaps to visit the privy, she had thought to herself, and closed her eyes. The sound of metal scraping wood startled them open again and Civyl had stood at the foot of the bed with a determined expression and his eyes focused on her. Still sleepy herself, she hadn’t understood what was happening right away. Even considered the possibility it was a nightmare, but the pain had been real enough. One phrase has finally snapped the pieces together in her mind… When Civyl uttered ‘kill the girl’. 

The lost and confused expression of remorse he wore now broke her heart and she left the bed to approach him. But Alex swiftly stood to hold her back. “Let me go!” she shouted, but Alex held her firmly with one hand while giving a shrill whistle with the other. “Alex!” she protested, “He wasn’t himself!”

“Perhaps,” he responded with a steely calm while forcing her to back up, “and perhaps he still isn’t. Best to wait for reinforcements, eh?”

The End

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