Breathe

The Plan

The guards pulled Susan and Markell into Demeterius's tent once the Narnians left. Susan and Markell's hands were tied, and Demeterius told his guards to leave. They nodded and left the room. Before they did, one guard untied their hands.

Markell stormed up to him. "What do you want with us?"

Demeterius smiled. "The satisfaction of winning, and I need a Queen…I also need an heir."

Susan pulled her eyebrows together. "What about Autumn? She could take after you." Demeterius looked at Susan surprised she spoke. "Well that's none of your concern."

Susan said angrily, "If I am to be your Queen…shouldn't it be my concern?"

Demeterius pushed Markell out of the way to get to Susan. She backed up a little so he wouldn't be too close to her. Demeterius said pointing at her, "You don't ask questions….you are Queen for an heir. You also give me pleasure. You're also pretty to look at…that's all you women are good for."

Susan's mouth dropped open as she said in frustration, "How dare you say that? Half the women out there are better than any of you men. We are so much more as you say."

Demeterius rolled his eyes and sighed in frustration. He pulled her into a kiss, which Susan pulled away from immediately. Demeterius smiled at her. "I have missed you."

Susan gave him a grave look. "I couldn't say the same."

Markell was standing watching in horror he asked, "Did you just kiss her?"

Demeterius chuckled. "Yes I did….I love her." Susan backed up as far away from Demeterius as she possibly could. Markell didn't know what to say; he had so many things running throughout his head.

Demeterius yelled a guards name and said to him, "Take them to the tent I have arranged for them." The guard nodded as he started taking them away.

He put them into a tent and untied their hands. He looked at them and said, "No funny business; there are guards all around your tent so don't try sneaking out." He started to walk away, but before he walked out he turned back to them, "Especially you Queen Susan…King Demeterius would think you would be going back to him."

Susan nodded her head quickly as if to get off the subject. When he walked out, Susan gave Markell a big hug. She said, "I'm sorry for not telling you."

Markell was surprised one of the Queens of old was hugging him. Markell still hugging her asked, "What?...What do you mean?"

Susan sighed into his chest. "If the raid for Frederick and Lucy didn't work, I had a back-up plan."

Markell pulled his eyebrows together and pushed Susan back so he could see her face. "What do you mean back-up plan?"

Susan gave him an apologetic look. "If the raid didn't work, I knew that Demeterius would try and trade me and you with Frederick and Lucy. I found an old war proclamation from the Golden Age. It said that the two leaders from one country may challenge each other in a duel. If…."

Caspian looked at Peter and continued, "If that leader wanted something in return. The winner would get what they wanted. The winner is determined by death or forfeit."

Caspian stopped and looked at Peter again and said, "Your sister is a genius…she knew if the raid didn't work, I would have to fight Demeterius. I would fight for Susan and Markell back."

Peter nodded in agreement. "But Caspian you could die."

Caspian nodded. "I know but I will never go down without a fight…and it will be one hell of a fight."

Edmund heard the whole conversation and barged in, "So I guess you're talking about me right?...I'm going to fight him right?"

Caspian shook his head. "No I am. It says the leader of the country. You are King but not High King like me or your brother….but it's too bad because you are one of the best swordsmen in Narnia."

Edmund snickered. "Says the High King Caspian….the one who's been snogging my sister since we've gotten here."

Caspian turned a deep red and Peter felt ill. Caspian shook his head. "I'm serious Edmund. You're one of the best."

Peter nodded in agreement and said, "But Caspian should be the one fighting…..you love my sister, and I'm okay with that. Actually I'm glad she found you." Peter smiled, and Caspian's face brightened.

Edmund had a face of shock. "Who are you and what have you done with my big over-protective brother?" Peter and Caspian laughed.

Caspian turned back to Peter. "Why do you say that now Peter?"

Peter shrugged his shoulders. "You've helped her become better. You should've seen her when we left…." Peter shook his head at the memory and continued, "The way she looks at you. I've never seen her look that way at anyone else."

Caspian smiled even more. "Thank you Peter."

Caspian started to walk away before Peter stopped him by putting a hand on his shoulder. "And if you hurt her in any way…..I know where you live."

Edmund laughed and said, "Oh…and please don't tell Susan that she's a genius. If you do she will hold it over your head and always say she's right."

Caspian laughed uncomfortably from Peter's words. "Thanks for yours words of wisdom…but I have to go sort this whole thing out."

Lucy was tending to Frederick's wounds on his back. She was cleaning them, and Frederick would groan in pain. Lucy offered to use her cordial, but Frederick said not to waste it on him.

Lucy bandaged it up, and Frederick asked, "How are you?" Lucy stopped what she was doing to feel emotion, and she said, "Fine." In a false tone.

Frederick shook his head while he was laying on his stomach on the table. "No Lucy you're not okay, and it's all my fault for being cross with you."

Lucy tightened one of his bandages, and he groaned in pain. "Sorry…but Frederick I'm sick of everyone blaming themselves. My brother keeps telling me it's no one's fault."

Frederick sighed. "Okay fine…how 'bout we blame Demeterius?...He's not here to defend himself."

Lucy chuckled a little and yawned. "You're all done."

Frederick got off the table and put on his shirt. Lucy hugged him right when he put on his shirt. Frederick at first didn't know what to do then hugged her back. He smiled into her hair. "I'm glad everything's alright with you…now you need some sleep." Lucy nodded as she headed for her tent as Frederick did his.

Susan nodded at Markell who was still trying to understand. She asked, "Do you want me to repeat it again?"

Markell shook his head. "No but that's quite clever…I never actually knew the Queen of Narnia was that smart."

Susan shook her head. "Well you underestimated me." They both smiled, and Susan moved further away from Markell to give him some space.

Markell moved a little closer towards Susan and asked in all seriousness, "What's with you and Demeterius?"

Susan looked down at the ground she was sitting on and started pulling grass. "It's nothing."

Markell shook his head. "Nothing? You mean him kissing you was nothing?"

Susan felt tears behind her eyes. "I don't want to talk about it."

Markell yelled at her, "Look at me Susan!" Susan looked up at him with blurry vision from the water weld up in her eyes. Markell became less angry looking at her eyes. He said, "It seems as if I don't know everything about you Queen Susan."

Susan felt a tear trail down her cheek, and she wiped it away. "Do you really want to know?" Markell nodded and scooted closer to Susan that their shoulders were touching.

Susan sighed and said, "He almost raped me Markell. He took advantage of me and forced me to marry him or else he'd kill my family and Caspian."

She felt more tears falling down her face from the memories flooding back into her brain to haunt her. Markell put an arm around her shoulder and was surprised when Susan pulled herself into his chest.

She started to cry into his chest, and Susan said, "I'm…s..s..sorry the c..c..curse of an..ugly crier."

Markell said comforting words and started rocking her back and forth in his arms.

Somehow they were laying on the grass. Neither of them slept for almost two days and very easily Susan and Markell fell asleep in each other's arms.

Caspian was pacing back and forth trying to think of what to write in his letter. He wanted to know that Susan was safe. When he was in the cell with her, he knew if she was or wasn't. Now he didn't know if she was okay. It was driving him insane.

He wrote the letter and gave it to Edmund to take it. Edmund was a little scared at first but then felt honored. Everyone that was on the trip was tired though. Edmund said, "Caspian I will deliver this tomorrow."

Caspian nodded and said, "Thank you Edmund….I'm really tired myself."

Edmund put a hand on his shoulder. "Then get some rest I'll see you in the morning." Edmund went to their tent, and Caspian stood still in his place.

He was thinking about Susan and thought, "Markell will make sure nothing happens." He came back into reality by a pat on the back by Kale. Caspian turned to face him and smiled. "Hello Kale."

Kale nodded his head back to him and didn't say anything. Caspian was confused he didn't say anything. "Is anything the matter Kale?"

Kale pursed his lips. "I heard about the fight, and I just have one question….is she worth all of this?"

Caspian was startled by his question. "Of course…..she is your Queen, and I love her."

Kale smiled. "Well in that case I shall be training with you tomorrow for that fight."

Caspian laughed "So I taught you all you need to know but then again you're going to teach me?"

Kale nodded a little confused. "Yeah I guess so." Kale walked away and said, "Tomorrow after lunch."

Caspian said, "Okay. See you then."

Caspian went back to his tent to find Edmund snoring, and Peter and Lucy lying on their beds wide awake. Caspian had his bed in between Peter and Edmund. When Caspian took off his boots and then shirt, he pulled the covers over him to sleep.

Lucy got up a few minutes after Caspian laid down and walked over to Peter's bed. She tapped on his shoulder and whispered, "I can't sleep." Peter held out his hands for Lucy to embrace him. Lucy was tearing at the eyes, and she leaned against Peter.

Lucy whispered in a sad tone, "What happens if Caspian loses? Susan will have to be with that awful man, and if we ever got her back, the love of her life would be dead."

Peter felt upset by what Lucy was saying; he held her tighter. "Don't think about that Lu….Caspian will win."

Lucy felt a tear fall, and she said, "Yes okay, I have to be optimistic and brave."

Peter smiled in agreement. "Yes Lu…I bet you'll be seeing Susan in no time."

Caspian heard the whole conversation even over Edmund's loud snoring. He started to panic, "What if I did lose?" he thought then he shook it off. "I will win for Susan…I love her."

When Markell woke up, he thought, "Where am I this is not my tent….." He felt something move on his chest. He lifted his head a little bit to see what it was. When he saw Susan, he remembered everything.

He watched Susan sleep; her face looked like she was having nightmares. He wanted to sneak out so badly, but he knew about the guards. He got up slowly and moved Susan to the ground. She moved a little but didn't wake.

He went to the entrance of the tent and peeked out of the tent. He noticed a few guards standing in front, and it was about the middle of the day. He heard a familiar voice it was Edmund talking to Demeterius.

Edmund left when he woke up which was exactly at the earliest. He got on a horse and took off with Caspian's note in it. He got there around the middle of the day.

A few guards came at him with swords, and Edmund said, "It's okay I'm not here to do anything." He pulled out the letter from Caspian on the side bag on his horse. "I have a message to King Demeterius from King Caspian X."

One of the guards left to tell Demeterius, which left Edmund sitting on his horse awkwardly with swords pointed at him. The guard came back. "The King will see you now."

When Edmund got to Demeterius's tent, he saw all types of maps with markings on them. There was a table which is where Demeterius was sitting at. In the corner of the tent was a bed and a side table with a candle on it.

Edmund walked up to Demeterius and said, "I have a message from the High King of Narnia."

He handed Demeterius the letter, and he opened it up. Edmund saw his eyes scan over it in a quick way and his face became excited. Demeterius looked up at Edmund. "Would there still be war because it would be very disappointing if I brought my army all this way."

Edmund nodded. "There still will be war…you just wouldn't have Queen Susan or Markell."

Demeterius smiled and walked outside his tent, and Edmund followed. Demeterius stood outside and said, "I would look forward to seeing this King lose." Edmund's face became grim and didn't say a word.

Markell was watching them and knew why Edmund was there. He knew Susan's plan was working. He wanted to talk to Edmund to tell him something like he was sorry, or that his sister was okay.

Markell came out of the tent and a few guards held him back from running anywhere. Markell yelled, "Edmund..King Edmund!"

Edmund turned his head to see Markell being restrained by two guards. Edmund looked back at Demeterius who looked furious. Edmund asked, "If it's all the same to you, could I talk with your two prisoners?...just for a few minutes?"

Demeterius sighed. "Just for a few minutes…then I want you off my camp, and I shall not see your face until war."

Edmund nodded and ran to which the direction Markell was. The guards pushed Markell back into his tent. Edmund walked up to the two guards and said, "The King said I may visit with the two prisoners."

The two guards nodded and came in to see Susan awake sitting next to Markell who fell to the ground from the guards. Susan woke up when Markell yelled Edmund's name.

When Edmund came in, Susan ran up to him and hugged him. Edmund stumbled back from Susan but hugged her back. He noticed dried tears on her cheeks and a little black along her cheeks from her makeup.

Susan smiled at him. "I'm guessing Caspian got the thing on my bed then?"

Edmund nodded. "That was very smart thinking ahead….but very stupid putting yourself in danger."

Susan shrugged her shoulders. "I would rather have me here in this hellhole rather than Lucy." Edmund nodded and pursed his lips thinking about Lucy here.

Markell cleared his throat and said with a lump in his throat, "I'm sorry King Edmund….for not telling you."

Edmund put his lips in a tight line. "It's alright. If I had a father like that, I wouldn't want to tell anyone either….and just call me Edmund."

Markell smiled in relief for his forgiveness. Edmund walked over to Markell, and Susan stood where she was watching. Edmund squatted down next to him. "You better take care of my sister while she's here."

Markell nodded quickly as in no doubt about it. Edmund smiled and went back to Susan and hugged her one last time. "Everything's going to be okay Su."

Susan smiled in his shoulder. "I know…I love you and tell Lucy and Peter and Caspian." Edmund pulled away from the hug and started to walk from the tent. Susan felt a few tears leave her eyes.

When Edmund left, Markell was standing up now. Susan turned to face him. "I think I might have lied to my brother….I don't know if anything's going to be okay. Caspian might die, and it's all my fault."

Markell walked over to Susan and wiped a tear from her cheek. "I think you're lying to yourself. If I know my King, he will win no doubt about it. And nothing is your fault."

Susan looked into his eyes and saw hope. She wrapped her arms around him. "Why are you being so nice to me?"

Markell shrugged his shoulders. "You're one of the only friends I've ever had…I've never been a likeable person."

Susan smiled. "Well I think you've just had a bad life…when I first met you…you were mean and jealous and somewhat like your father." She pulled away from him thinking about what she just said. Even Markell looked conflicted by those words. Susan shook her head. "Sorry."

Markell closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. "I guess I was kind of like him huh?"

Susan shook her head. "I didn't mean it like that…Demeterius never changed…you did."

The corners of his lips curled up. "Well you know I was a messed up kid." He sat down and curled into a ball and put his hands on his head. "Me being a boy growing up without my father."

Susan sat next to him and pulled one of his arms down from his face. He looked at her confused and Susan said, "I would like to hear about your childhood…if you're comfortable."

Markell looked at her light blue eyes and knew she was a person he could trust. "Well I only lived with my mother and boys at the market teased me for being a mommas boy." Susan grabbed his hand to comfort him.

He continued, "I would be bullied because I was socially awkward, and I didn't have any friends…When I was twelve, my mother grew ill. I would care for her,e and I had no time for anything but her. When I turned fourtee,n her illness left, and I became involved with my archery. I was one of the best in Archenland." He smiled at that memory, and Susan noticed she was still holding his hand, and she let go. He laughed lightly then continued, "When I turned sixteen, things went wrong the rights of women were taken away and that was the war of Narnia and the Telemarines happened. My mother's illness came back worse than ever and then she died the next year. That was the year Demeterius was searching for young men to join his army. I ran away before they found me and came to Narnia

He sighed and felt tears well up in the back of his eyes. "When my mother died, she said I was one of the best mistakes she's ever had." Susan found his hand again and squeezed it.

"Of course I joined their army and lied saying I was a Telemarine. Well when I joined the army I was mean to almost everyone…I guess since I started a new life I didn't want to be bullied, so I bullied others instead. I had a few friends who I didn't pick on, and they thought what I did was funny. Once again they didn't really know me and only probably became friends with me so they weren't picked on."

Susan nodded feeling sorry for him; she was surprised she was actually having her feelings conflicted by his backstory. He sighed. "Well that's the main point, and I guess I am like my father."

Susan shook her head. "No you're getting better than when I first met you….Demeterius has had no progress…I actually believe he's becoming worse."

Markell nodded. "Well I'm glad you see me this way."

Susan smiled a crooked smile. "Well it's the truth, hotshot."

Markell laughed. "I thought that nickname was sarcastic."

Susan laughed back. "Well it was…at first."

They looked at each other for a few seconds and stopped when they heard a female voice at the flaps of the tent. When she came in, Susan knew that red hair from anywhere it was Autumn.

Susan was so angry and frustrated with her. Autumn smiled and said, "Hello brother…and Queen Susan."

Susan felt like she was turning the color of Autumn's hair. Susan released Markell's hand and went up to Autumn. Susan said in a quiet angry tone, "You didn't help me…you just left that room…and left me with him!" Autumn tried to say something but the look of anger in Susan's eyes were frightening.

Susan lifted up the shirt that she was wearing to show Autumn her scar and spoke louder, "Look at what he did to me…he scared me physically and mentally….I had to think twice before kissing Caspian for a while."

Autumn gasped at the long scar across her stomach. "Queen Susan I did help you…" She looked outside the tent and noticed the two guards talking amongst themselves. "I let your family and Caspian out of jail."

Susan took a few steps back and tucked her shirt back into her skirt. She looked at Autumn confused. "You did that and no one told me?"

Markell was just sitting down confused as to anything they were talking about. He was just surprised that he saw half of the Queen of Narnia's bare back. Autumn shrugged her shoulders. "They probably didn't want to bring back any bad memories to you." Susan nodded and Autumn sighed. "They did leave a cut across my father's stomach about the same as yours…it's kind of ironic."

Susan pursed her lips; she could have guessed who did that. Autumn went over to Markell and sat next to him. "I thought I would never meet you."

Markell rolled his eyes. "I never wanted the pleasure."

Autumn was shocked by his response. "Excuse me? I'm your sister."

Markell cleared his throat. "To be correct, my half-sister,"

Autumn glared at him "Are you always this mean?"

Markell shook his head. "Why didn't you ever visit me when I was younger?"

Autumn sighed grimly, "Father would never let me see you…apparently you weren't supposed to know who your father was."

Markell became angry. "Well I'm sorry my mother wanted me to know who my father was at her death bed."

Susan yelled, "Stop!.." They both stared at her with frustration. Susan stared at them and said quietly, "Please…stop."

Markell sighed as if he gave up. "I think it would be best if you left Autumn." Autumn stormed out of the room frustrated. All she wanted to do was get to know her brother.

Susan rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. "Did you have to be so mean?"

Markell looked surprised. "As if you weren't?" Susan looked down and blushed knowing she was mean. Markell's face softened and his muscles became less tense. "I'm sorry….I just don't want to look back at my past. I want to live for now."

Susan smiled. "I know how that is…It seems we have a lot in more common than I thought."

Markell shrugged his shoulders, and Susan laid down on the other side of the tent than Markell. She thought long and hard about her family and Caspian. She missed them already.

When Edmund got back, he saw Caspian first thing. "Demeterius said yes to the battle and there will be war." Caspian nodded and headed for his tent to start planning and Edmund stopped him. "Wait! Caspian!"

Caspian turned around to face Edmund, and he said, "Susan said she loves you and she's alright." Caspian smiled at the message from Susan. As long as he knew she was okay, he could breathe and start planning.

Lucy and Frederick were talking in her tent about random things. They were sitting on her bed with their shoulders touching. Lucy smiled without teeth and said, "So the other day you said I was pretty?"

Frederick blushed. "Yeah because you are Lucy." He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. They stared into each other's eyes and smiled.

Lucy whispered because of their proximity, she could feel his breath on her skin. "If it means the same…..I think you're handsome."

Frederick moved in closer to Lucy with his head tilted and kissed her. He put one of his hands on her cheek to deepen the kiss. When they pulled away, they smiled at each other. They turned their heads to the exit of the tent they saw a very confused Caspian standing there with his mouth wide open.


Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.