A Mouse's Tale

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Chapter 21

"Noooo!" Mouse screamed, leaping at him. Lord Gregory, caught off guard by the sudden voice behind him, loosened his hold on Arya, allowing her to break free as Mouse's body collided with his. The force sent all of them crashing to the ground.

Mouse didn't have time to check and make sure that Arya was okay, but she was sure that she would have rolled out of danger and into the protective arms of the older Knights. All of her attention was now on the man that she grappled with as they rolled around on the floor.

She tried desperately to keep him from getting on top of her because she knew that he would then have the advantage of size and weight over her. She tried, but she failed. As she was forced over onto her back she felt the exploding pain of pressure on her ribs as Lord Gregory sat on top of her, pining her to the ground. His hands were locked in hers as they struggled for control, though he suddenly released them, and Mouse panicked as she felt his large hands lock around her throat.

Her nails scratched and pulled at his hands, trying to get him to loosen their hold. She struggled to breath as black spots appeared around the edges of her vision. All she could do was helplessly stare into the wild eyes of the man who was slowly killing her as she struggled for air.

Suddenly the pressure was gone and air flooded back into her throat as Lord Gregory's body was thrown off of hers. She rolled over, greedily inhaling the air, coughing and gasping as its cool sweetness filled her lungs.

When she finally looked up, she could see Vyron now grappling with the former Duke, doing a much better job than she had. He succeeded in gaining the upper hand, forcing Lord Gregory onto his back. Vyron roughly grabbed the front of the Duke's shirt and punched him across the face, knocking him out cold. He let the unconscious man fall as he let go of his shirt, slowly standing and taking short, heavy breaths before he suddenly turned towards her.

"Mouse," she could see his lips form the word, though she heard nothing. He stepped over the large man and went to her, kneeling down at her side and taking her hands in his.

"Mouse, talk to me!" his voice was scared, worried for her. "Say something, anything!"

"Where's Arya?" she asked, her voice weak and hoarse. Vyron let out a light, soft laugh.

"Of course that would be the first thing you would say," he smiled.

"Where's Arya?" she repeated, trying to sit up. "Is she okay?"

"I'm okay, Mouse," Arya's voice came from behind her as Vyron helped her up. Mouse slightly winced in pain as she spun around towards the voice, putting a hand to the left side of her stomach where her ribs were.

Great! she thought as she looked Arya over. I probably broke a rib! Well, at least Arya looks alright... Besides the red stained cloth that she held to her neck, Arya looked okay, just a little shaken. Mouse's eyes flickered back to the cloth at her neck.

"He just nicked me a little," Arya told her as she noticed the younger girl's stare. "I'm fine, really. Are you okay?"

"My ribs," she winced. "I think they may be broken."

"We will have to get Iris to look you over," Arya said.

"You first," Mouse smiled slightly, making Arya smile as well.

"Mouse, thank yo- Mouse, behind you!" she screaming as she pointed to something behind her. Mouse and Vyron spun around to find Lord Gregory charging towards them, eyes wild and dagger poised, ready to attack.

Before she could do anything, Mouse felt Vyron slip his hand up into her sleeve and when it came out, he held one of her daggers. Within the blink of an eye, he threw it. Mouse watched it fly as if it were moving in slow motion, flipping through the air before plunging deep into the skin between Lord Gregory's eyes, making him stop suddenly and sharply. His eyes went wide and his mouth opened as if he were about to speak, but instead all he did was collapse to the ground, never to move again.

Vyron's arm was stilled extended from the motion of throwing the dagger, frozen there in shock. Mouse gently lowered his arm and turned him toward her. His eyes were wide with shock and horror and Mouse suddenly realized that this may have been his first kill. There had not been many battles to fight as they were in a time of peace with the other Kingdoms, so it was very likely that he had never killed anyone before.

"Vyron," she tugged on his sleeve, trying to pull him out of his trance. "Vyron, look at me!" His eyes slowly trailed down to her. "Vyron, you did the right thing. You saved not only our lives, but the Queen's life as well!" He blinked slowly as he processed her words before a smile slowly spread across his face.

"I guess we're the same now, huh?" he smiled slightly. "We've both saved the Queen's life. We're both heroes!"

"Heroes or not, you sill need to get checked out by the Physicians," Arya's voice broke into their conversation. Mouse turned back to look at her and laughed as she saw Arya's I-don't-care-what-you-say-you're-going stance.

"Yes, both of you need to be taken care of," Torden joined in. "I'll escort you there. Come along, Sir Darien. We'll have to get that nose of your's fixed too." Mouse looked over at Darien, who had not moved since entering the room, in an apparent state of shock. He slowly shook his head, before turning and exiting the room.

Mouse went to follow but winced in pain when she took a step. Sir Torden, seeing her wince, scooped her up in her arms, making a small squeak of surprise escape from her throat.

"Allow me," he smiled, starting to walk out the door behind Arya and a very concerned Lord Penton who was fussing over the Queen as they walked.

"Vyron?" Mouse called out, looking back over Torden's shoulder.

"Right here," he replied with a smile, following right behind Torden.

"Vyron, a word, if I may," Sir Gordon's voice called out after them. Vyron stopped and looked back at the older Knight.

"Of course, Sir," he nodded. "You go ahead, Mouse. I'll be along shortly." Mouse nodded uneasily as she let Torden carry her out of the room and down the hall towards the Healing Room. The gentle feeling of being carried soothed her and she soon found her eyes slowly starting to close as the gentle, rocking movement lulled her to sleep. The last conscious thought that she had before sleep over took her was of how she didn't get to tell Vyron what she had wanted to tell him all day: that she loved him.

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