Beginnings & Endings
Blackness. Nothing, no light, no sound permitted her senses that had been honed with years of practice. Only the sound of her shallow breaths made enough noise through the sack over her head. They'd been going so long she could no longer tell that they were moving or, to her horror, in which direction. They'd originally started off south but, after that, they could be in another territory; or even another country for all she new. She shivered slightly as something in the air around her shifted and very abruptly she was pulled roughly to her feet. Calloused hands gripped her shoulders and steered her to an unknown location. All she could feel was the soft forest floor beneath her feet as they'd stolen her shoes. Leaves crinkled under her feet as they walked in deafening silence. Eventually her feet encountered soft grass, a meadow perhaps, she guessed. Then, the wooden steps of a porch. They creaked and groaned under the weight of the man behind her. The woman was lead inside and sat down in a hard wooden chair. The sack was removed and she hissed as the bright afternoon sun assaulted her eyes. After blinking about, her eyes slowly adjusted to the seven around her. She was in a very plain styled kitchen. Wooden counter tops and a roughly hewn table, at which she was seated. Her eyes wandered to the doorway where two large men, her kidnappers she assumed, stood. Each leaned his enormous frame against the edge of the door. They were both tanned and muscular, she would have even found the two of them attractive if not for the menacing glares that permeated their visages as they stared down at her. She opened her mouth to speak, the one closest to her shook his head slowly at her in warning. She huffed and leaned back into the chair and crossed one of her legs delicately over the other. Another man came into the kitchen, he was the same size as the other two but older, as if he could be their father. "Stand." the man barked. The woman frowned but followed his instruction, slowly pushing the chair back and standing proudly in front of him. "Strip," he barked again. Her brows furrowed, "No." she replied. Her lips twitched in amusement before a hand slapped her roughly across the face. He took a long, wicked looking knife and pressed it to the soft skin of her throat. In a cool but somehow more menacing tone, he repeated his command; this time making sure that she could feel the cold steel against her jugular. She stared him in the eye boldly and slowly removed her clothing till she stood bare in front of him. He sheathed the knife and slowly walked around her, examining her slowly. He lifted her hair, then inspected her arms and legs. She felt a burning constricting sensation at the humiliation of his movements and looked over toward the wall, still standing proudly as he circled her. A second pair of hands gripped her chin gently. Her head was turned to meet the eyes of the youngest man. His face was still stoic but there was a glimmer of something in his bright blue eyes. A softness, pity almost in his gaze as he looked at her. "She's very beautiful," He said taking her hands and holding them tenderly. "Her hands are too soft to work in the field. Keep her in the house, she'll be a wonderful maid." he said letting her hand fall from his grasp. "Or a decent fuck," the other man said leering at her from the doorway. The one closest to her threw a glare at the other, "Don't touch her." he said defensively before taking her arm and leading her upstairs to a small, closed off room. He rummaged through the drawers and pulled out a simple, but clean cotton dress and threw it to her. "Thank you." she murmured slipping into the dress and sitting back onto the edge of the bed. Her back straighter, she felt more of her strength returning to her. She shifted her gaze from her lap, and then to the man's face. The blue eyes that were so similar to the older man's now seemed softer, they shimmered in the candle light as he stared at her. "You have a name darlin?" he asked softly. She nodded, "Ella," she replied taking note of his lilting accent and meeting his gaze levelly. "It's short for Camella." she added without thinking, wondering why she was telling this man anything about her. "Will," he said with a curt nod of the head. He pulled up a chair and sat in it facing her. There was a good distance between them and the silence was almost palpable in the air. Ella bit her lip before deciding to speak "What are you going to do to me?" she asked with a calm that she was only just beginning to feel. Her hand reached out and tucked one of her curls behind her ear. Will stared at her curiously, he'd never seen a woman like her in his life, her hair was so long...a mass of shining black waves that ended in curls down her back. Her hair framed a soft, heart-shaped face and almond shaped eyes that glittered up at him with a similar curiosity, but also a nervousness. That discomfort made his stomach churn with guilt and unease "Look...I'm not going to hurt you 'n all that stuff. I said that stuff to keep you from being sent to work." his massive hand reached behind his head and rubbed it sheepishly. "Havin' slaves an all that is still a thing here n' a nice girl like you don't deserve that." He finished placing his hands on his thick thighs as he watched her. "I appreciate that." she murmured "I assume we'll be leaving tomorrow night then." Ella said hopefully, wondering if he was going to leave her to find her way out of this place. Will nodded silently, "You can sleep here, and resting up during the day no one'll bother ya." he said gesturing to the bed. "Thank you...Will." she replied softly, moving to stand. Her hands reached for the simple quilt that covered the bed and began to pull it down when she realized, the door hadn't closed. Ella turned to see Will, still by his chair. He was standing and slowly started to move toward the bed. Her dark eyebrows arched curiously but she didn't say anything as he neared her. Ella's eyes flashed humorously "I have to sleep here with ya I'm afraid. They'll only leave you be if they think that I...that we..." he paused, his cheeks flushing a slight pink "If they think we had sex." she supplied deviously. Will nodded his cheeks even redder, she smiled and crawled into bed. Ella watched as he moved around the room, pretending to stare at the ceiling. She watched him from the corner of her eye as Will began to undress. His body was hard and muscled, he was almost as dark as she from the sun. Eyes trained on the wooden panels of the ceiling , she heard the clinking of a belt and the sound of more clothing hit the floor. The mattress sank as his weight joined hers on the bed. Out of the corner of her eye she could see the outline of Will's body. "Tell me something about you," Ella murmured once again breaking the silence; she hated heavy silence. "I have a puppy. His name is Jim and I love spending time with him...more than anyone here at least." She smiled gently at his statement. "What about you?" he asked softly turning onto his side to face her. He could see the outline of her body in the blankets. The swell of her breasts and the curve of her hips. Ella turned over to face him, grinning. "I really like the color purple. " she admitted, "And I'm really glad that you're going to help me leave this place and you're not going to hurt me." she admitted sheepishly, her cheeks turning pink. Ella shivered slightly at the feeling of a breeze flowing through the room. She scooted closer to Will, "Do you mind if I warm up a little bit?" she asked softly. Will blushed in the darkness "It's fine." Ella moved closer and rested her head on his shoulder. Her long curls fanned out over the pillow and the palm of his hand. He marveled at the soft silky texture of it in his hand. He smiled at the feeling of her soft curves against his torso. "Do you ever want to leave here?" Ella asked quietly. Will bit his lip in thought "There are times yes, but you know... I wouldn't have no where to go if I did." she nodded, biting her lip as well "You could come with me if you'd like." she offered, her eyes wandering to the ceiling. "Yeah?" he asked softly. Ella nodded, before closing her eyes and yawning. "Goodnight." she murmured. "G'night." He replied, a soft smile playing at his lips. Happiness swelled in his chest, a hope that he hadn't felt since he was young. 'Maybe I will be able to get out of here after all' he thought to himself before turning over to stare at Ella's sleeping form. The sight of her made him smile before he too, closed his eyes and went to sleep.
The next morning sunlight streamed in through the thin white curtains and flooded the room. Ella turned over and nuzzled something warm and smiled in her sleep without waking. Will started slightly but didn't move as soon as he realized that it was Ella resting against his chest. His cheeks mottled and he smiled, looking down at her. She seemed to be in such a state of peace that it actually warmed his heart to see her like this. So soft, so vulnerable, the hard girl that had sassed him so blatantly before seemed finally at rest. He slowly reached out a hand and with a feather light touch explored the features of her face. Her nose was small, upturned like a rabbit. Her eyes were almond shaped, arched by intelligent brows that still seemed to question him even though she was asleep. Her cheeks added a rather feminine softness to what was a rather calculating face, and he noticed a scar. His finger gently traced it along her jawline, he wondered what had caused it. He removed his hand and watched her chest move evenly in the calmness of deep sleep. The sheet over them did nothing to hide the lovely curves of her body, he'd never seen a woman like her before. He marveled at the rich color of her skin, like coffee and chocolate her hands soft and smooth...beautiful. He remained that way for a bit in the silence, just admiring her unusual beauty. The door swung open slightly and the scraggly face of Will's father appeared. He noted the sleeping woman on his son's chest before winking and crudely licking his lips before leaving and closing the down behind him with a soft chuckle. Will couldn't help but be revolted at the old man's gesture, but deep down he felt his body stirring for her. The stiffness he had was growing more apparent and he hated his body for responding that way. He sighed and closed his eyes, trying to distract from the feeling of her body curled against his. As if the gods were playing some cruel joke on him, Ella shifted in her sleep, her body was now pressed flush to his. Her eyes slowly fluttered open and gazed into his. The bright green orbs flecked with brown and gold regarded him with great interest before she realized the juxtaposition of their bodies. She slowly sat up, untangling her body from Will's "Morning." she said softly, breaking the silence around them that had suddenly become rather tense. "Good morning." he replied, not moving from his relaxed position, though his eyes regarded her carefully. Ella laid back down and stared at the ceiling, biting her lip in thought. "We can leave tonight if you would still like to come with me." she offered "But we'll have to make our way to a port, because other than a few balloons, there isn't much out here by way of transportation and we need to get to an airship." she finished, rolling onto her side to face him. Will stared down at her blankly, astonished by the sight of her. Her hair fanned out on the pillow, her eyes glittering with a fierce intelligence and now amusement. He soon caught himself staring and nodded in response, clearing his throat. "That sounds perfect. The southern port is no more than a few miles south east of here. On horse back it shouldn't take too long at all." he said turning onto his side so that he could see her fully. They smiled at each other before Ella parted her lips to speak, "What time is it?" she asked looking around the room for a clock. Will sighed and turned over to gaze at the small white clock that rested on the bedside table. "Noon," he replied, sitting up and stretching. "If you want I can go downstairs and start grabbing clothes and supplies. But you should say here in this room. It'll be safer that way and no one'll ..." he paused choosing his words carefully, "Bother you." he finished, giving her a kind smile. "I can help you later in the night when we leave. For now we should start planning our route and have something to eat because our journey is going to be a long one." She responded before patting the bed beside her. Will raised his eyebrows at the gesture but sat next to her with a small smile playing at his lips. Ella shifted, sitting her legs so that they were crossed in front of her in a style that was foreign to him. Her hair fell across her shoulders, and shimmered with her movements, making her look even more beautiful to him than she was before. He pushed the thoughts away from his mind and focused on her with a curt nod. "Ok, so the port is only a few miles south east of here, and the least airship usually leaves a little after midnight. That will take us to the coast where my friends are waiting for me. They should still be there as long as we make it by the end of tomorrow." she finished glancing up at him after she finished speaking. Will nodded, his brows wrinkling his forehead as he contemplated her words. "And where will we be headed once we reach your friends?" he asked almost nervously as he met her gaze levelly. Her lips curled into a mischievous smile and her eyes twinkled with a fire that stunned him as her lips parted, "No spoilers."