Zakiah Adara: Year One

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Part Eight: Vermin

They should have asked for a fourth horse, but they didn’t. Instead she was more concerned about getting the dress and making Esperanza feel like a fool. Now, it was Devona and Kestrel’s turn to share a horse. Devona knew the reason Akki refused to ride with her. She tried to suck it up and ignore it. Still, every time she looked over at him sitting tall in the saddle she couldn’t help but think back to the dungeon. When she was sitting on his lap, feeling his chest as he breathed below, and his lips upon hers as she got exactly what she had been wanting. It was exactly what she had been afraid of. She knew that such a wonderful memory would bring such pain.

“Could you stop day dreaming while you have your arms around me?” Devona snapped back to reality to find Kestrel glaring back at her. Devona laughed, and nodded, trying to pretend that it wasn’t true.

Who was she kidding though? She was sure it was obvious. Even Akki had stopped looking over at her to make sure she was okay. He could probably feel her eyes burning through him every two seconds. She really had to get her head out of the gutter and back to reality. They were at war. Eventually she would actually believe it.

The last few weeks helped her realize that. Already she had watched four people die, two at Mushin’s hand and two at Akki’s. The scene with the duchess was still clear in her head and she knew that if Akki hadn’t stopped the woman that Devona would not be here.

She owed her life to him and, perhaps, to Mushin to taking his soul in the first place.

Devona sighed, trying not to think about that. It had been a week since they left the port town. They were slowly making their way across the Second Constellation, which apparently was named Tisiphone. It was a long name that she didn’t care to remember, so she was glad that most people just referred to the Constellations by their numbers.

Things had been smooth recently, too smooth actually. No warriors, no Black Dragons, only a few fellow travelers that seemed eager for company. However, every time they ran into someone along the road the group either let them pass or sped on around them. They all agreed that it was better safe than sorry.

“Whoa.”

Devona looked up to see all three of their horses had been pulled to a stop. There, in the middle of the road, stood two children: a boy and a girl. Both were dusted head to toe in dirt with some leaves sprinkled in their hair. They were dressed in stitched together rags. Their eyes were wide and sunken in showing the signs of malnutrition. It was something that Devona had only seen in the “help the hungry” commercials. It shook her.

“Please help us,” cried the boy.

“We are poor and starving,” begged the girl.

“What makes you think we would take interest?” Kai muttered under his breath. It shocked Devona that he would be so callous with children. Then again, he was a prince at one point, perhaps that made him numb to the pleas of the poor. Devona looked at Akki and Kestrel, neither of them made a move. What was wrong with this people? In disgust, Devona shoved her hand into her pack. Kestrel glanced back at her.

“What are you doing?” asked Kestrel.

“Giving them some food,” said Devona.

“We don’t have any food to give them. We have just enough to get us to the next town.”

Devona glared at Kestrel, “Well then, I’ll be slightly hungry till we get there. Or maybe you guys can go hunt some more. How can you possibly be so mean?”

“Excuse me for caring more about the life of the Princess than—” Kestrel cut herself off, but it was already too late. Akki’s head snapped around to stare at Kestrel. She sighed and slumped back into the saddle.

As an apple met Devona’s hand, her feet met the ground. The two children before her held out their hands eagerly. The joy on their faces brought warmth to Devona’s heart that she had never experienced before. It felt amazing to finally do something good, to finally feel like she was helping this world as a Princess.

The apple left her hand and was followed by a scream. She had been too far off in her own world to notice until a flash of red caught her eye. Looking down she realized her apple was on the ground and there was a red wolf with its jaws clamped around the little girl’s hand.

As the little girl screamed, Devona panicked. She backed away as the wolf shook its head violently. Something fell from the girl’s hand and the wolf finally released her. The two children ran off back from wince they came leaving Devona standing there with the red wolf. She looked back at Kestrel only to find her guardian staring past her. When Devona turned to follow Kestrel’s eye sight, she saw a woman standing where the wolf had been.

“Hello, and you’re welcome for saving your life,” said the woman.

Devona was still in shock from the attack that this woman’s words were not making any sense. Had she just claimed that she saved Devona’s life? No way, couldn’t have been.

The woman was slightly taller than Devona but much leaner. Every ounce of her was covered in toned muscle. Most of which was visible since she wasn’t wearing much. She was wearing a halter top made out of feathers and a short skirt of stitched leather. Her hair was long and with a slight wave to it, and seemed to be the same copper red color as the wolves.

The woman rolled her ivy green eyes and kicked the item that the girl had dropped. Devona looked down at it and saw a green wasp like object.

“See that?” asked the woman. “Its stinger is covered in poison. Those children have been luring travelers along this road for a few weeks now and killing them with this. Then they steal from their fallen prey. I’m Eve by the way, and you’re welcome again.”

Devona didn’t move. She simply looked back up at the woman. She couldn’t thank her, all she could think and ask was, “Were you really that wolf?”

Three pairs of feet hit the ground at once. As they did, Eve cocked her hip to the side and crossed her arms over her mostly exposed chest.

“What in the name of Blanca is wrong with you?” asked Eve.

“You’ll have to excuse her,” Kestrel’s hands landed on Devona’s shoulders. Devona jumped and Kestrel’s grip tightened. “She hasn’t been exposed to the world much. And,” Kestrel whispered the rest, “she’s a little crazy.”

“I am not!” said Devona.

“Thank you, Eve,” said Akki.

Eve’s eyes suddenly left Devona and to the man standing behind her. Eve’s stance softened and her angry face turned to one of happiness. In another flash she was gone from Devona’s sight. She turned to find Eve latched onto Akki, arms tightly around his neck.

Devona couldn’t help the pang of jealously that rose in her throat.

“By the Spirits, Akki!” Eve pulled back to look up at him. “You…you’re you!”

Akki actually smiled, “And so are you.”

“I thought I would never see you again. What are you doing here?”

“Hold on a second!” shouted Devona. All eyes turned to her. “What the hell is going on? You’re telling me that this woman was just the wolf that attacked those two poor innocent children—”

“I told you they weren’t innocent,” said Eve.

Devona glared at her, “We don’t know that for sure! Besides…how are you all okay with this?”

Kestrel patted Devona’s shoulder. “It’ll be okay soon.”

She didn’t want it to be okay. She wanted answers, and she wanted them now. Mostly, she wanted to know how Eve knew Akki.


“Our duchess in control of the port city is dead.”

Mushin looked up at her informant. It was a young man with black hair cut neatly at his chin. Those red eyes so common among his people seemed to shake in fear. Very few could stand in front of her without having such a reaction. Though, she was used to it, sometimes she wished that she didn’t have to see it.

“I figured as much when I heard that she was so eager as to try and take out Akki herself,” said Mushin.

“Bu-but my lady, there is more.”

This was worrisome. She was hoping that this was actually important and not just some news that the new kid thought was important. If it were not, she might have to kill the boy and his neat hair.

“What more could there be?”

The boy swallowed, afraid to even say the words himself. “The Black Wolf, he used the forbidden language to kill her.”

Now this was good news. She smiled and turned away from the boy. “Thank you young squire, you may return to your play now.”

He visibly jerked, and then steadied himself. He bowed and left her presence.

Horrible news to the world of the Black Dragons, it was wonderful to the demoness. If Ulric Akki was willing to steep low enough to use the forbidden language to kill one dragon, what more would he do in a worse situation? The more he let himself taste the dark again the closer he came to being under her command.

This was something to look forward to.

Mushin turned to one of her maids. She was another young Black Dragon girl, who was pale at the thought of the forbidden language.

“This calls for a celebration,” said Mushin. The girl’s eyes widened. “Send in my best lover. I am going to throw myself a party tonight.”


Always eager for free-bees, the group could not turn down Eve’s offer to join her at her house for the evening. They were also quite surprised to find out it was not a house but a group of huts set up in the woods. Looked like no bath-room facilities tonight either. Among all the huts were more women who looked like Eve: long hair, toned bodies, little clothing.

They did not receive the warm welcome that Devona was expecting. Each of the scantily clad women watched them with wary eyes. It was as if they had never seen someone like Devona before and they didn’t know how to react. One young girl even ran away at their arrival. What was up with them? And why were they all girls?

Devona leaned close to Kestrel and whispered, “Why so many chicks?”

“Excuse me?”

Devona sighed. The language in Zakiah Adara was very similar to Earth. They used some of the everyday slang that she was used to, so it often surprised her when they didn’t know what she was talking about.

She rolled her eyes and tried again. “Why are there so many girls?”

Kestrel looked annoyed at Devona’s question. Why did Kestrel always have to do that? Devona knew that she should have asked Kai. Then again, Kai was too busy looking at all the exposed skin to notice Devona.

“They’re amazons,” said Kestrel.

“Oh…”

Kestrel said it like that just explained it all. Amazons, Devona never thought she would encounter amazons. Then again, Devona never thought that she would end up in a world in-between heaven and Earth, be chased down by dragons, have to fight and evil demoness who wants her killed, and be saved by a girl who could turn into a wolf. Maybe amazons weren’t so out there.

Akki and Eve led the way, neither looking at each other. How could they go from such a joyous reunion to not talking? Devona didn’t understand. Yet, it brought her comfort that she still wasn’t willing to admit.

They approached a small hut near a pond. It wasn’t a very big pond, but it was bigger than the tiny hut. Were they really going to sleep there? The grass was looking better by the second.

“You’ll stay here tonight,” said Eve.

“Oh great,” whispered Devona.

“If you need anything let me know. I’m not sure how the others quite feel about your arrival.”

“Why is that anyway?” Devona thought she may have been too nosey, but she really wanted to know. She needed to learn to think before she spoke.

Eve narrowed her green eyes at her. “That is none of your concern girl. Be glad that you are still alive.”

With that, the ‘amazon’ left them to talk to a group of women watching nearby. Devona was still confused, but from her own quiet group she knew she wasn’t going to get any answers. So she sighed and headed into the hut.

There wasn’t much inside. Some hay on the ground, some blankets and pillows that were placed near the tarp wall. At least they had pillows. Kestrel followed Devona in, and immediately headed toward the bedding. Devona moved from the open entrance way while the boys waited outside.

She had so many questions to ask, but Kestrel was obviously not the right one. Sometime, later, she would get Kai alone and bug him till it hurt. They were not going to leave her hanging. She at least had the right to know how and why a wolf just saved her life.

And, maybe, why she knew Akki so well.

Later, she would corner Kai. Hopefully there would be less flesh around then. Or maybe, she could get some answers out of him by using her own.

The boys finally entered the hut and Devona put her devious planning aside. She helped Kestrel set up the beds while the boys watched. After a few minutes, Akki left without a word, worrying Devona even more.


It wasn’t hard to find Eve. She was near the central fire teaching one of the younger girls how to use a fighting staff. As she saw Akki’s approach, Eve whispered something to the girl and stepped toward him. He still couldn’t figure out how she felt about his arrival. His best guess was that Eve herself didn’t know how she felt.

She gestured for him to follow her, so he did. They ventured off into the woods near the settlement, but far enough out so that no one would hear them. He knew that Eve was eagerly seeking answers to her questions.

Once they reached the edge of a lake, Eve stopped. She turned toward Akki and shook her head.

“Traveling with a human, I never thought I would see the day. I bet she’s never even seen vermin like me, has she?”

“She hasn’t, but don’t take it the wrong way,” said Akki.

Eve laughed and shook her head. “How else am I supposed to take getting a look like that from someone who I just saved from certain death?”

How was he to explain this? Luckily there were still some people in the world who didn’t know about those like Eve, he could play Devona off as ignorant. But, there was no way that he could tell Eve that she hadn’t just saved Devona but possibly all of Zakiah Adara by her act of heroism.

Instead, he decided a change of direction would help the conversation. “She doesn’t quite understand, but I’m sure she knows that you saved her.”

Eve crossed her arms over her chest. “She had better.”

“Why did you attack the child anyway?”

“There are Black Dragons on the Constellation. There are rumors that the port city has even fallen to them.”

“It had.” Eve looked confused. Akki sighed and then explained. “We were passing through and I was arrested. They seemed to have recognized me, so they took both me and Devona into custody. We broke out with Arma’s help—”

He could practically see her hackles rise, if she had them at the moment. “That slime. You dare rely on him of all people?”

“I had no choice Eve. He showed up with the keys to the cell, what was I supposed to do?”

“Knee him in the groin and steal the keys.”

He actually laughed, “Well that’s what Devona did.”

“Maybe this ignorant girl isn’t so bad after all.”

“Anyway, we were stopped on our way out and taken to see the duchess. I had no choice but to kill her.” He carefully left out the part of how he managed such a task. “The port now belongs under Queen Oriana once more.”

“I see…”

Eve paused and took a step closer to him.

In her verdant eyes he could see all the pain he had caused her just as he had felt the pain rising off of her people as they entered the camp. All of them stared at him, wanting to rip his throat out for what he had done to them. What he had done to many others as well.

“Why are you back?” Eve finally asked. “Why now?”

How could he answer that? Had he known that the amazons were living here now he would have avoided them at all cost. The Lord must have certainly wanted him to deal with his past; either that or he had an odd sense of humor.

“I wouldn’t have come if I knew you were here.” At least he could admit that much to her.

She seemed hurt. “So, after all of this time, you would have avoided me?”

He cringed at her words. She still just didn’t get it. Why was it that Eve was the only one that still trusted him? She should have turned and run just like everyone else. Instead, she had stood there, stood in the fire of her burning home, and calling out to him.

“After what I did, I think it’s only right.”

“You didn’t do that, it wasn’t you.”

“It was me.”

“It may have been your body, Akki, but it wasn’t you. You had a moment of weakness—”

“Yes, and in that moment hundreds died because of me. Your home is gone, and some of your best friends, because of me. All of Kai’s family is dead because of me. My own family has been tormented because of me. Don’t you dare tell me that their deaths were not my fault!”

Akki knew he shouldn’t have snapped at her, but he was tired of people defending what he had done. He had killed people and he didn’t deserve to be forgiven. Yet, here he was, on the Second Constellation, having an argument with his childhood friend while protecting the Princess destined to save the world.

What a turn of events.

Eve was silent. Her eyes fell away from him and he knew that she couldn’t stand to look at him for another second. He would not allow himself to be forgiven for burning down her village and allowing his men to rape and kill her people. He was thankful that at least Eve didn’t fall victim to them, but he had protected her.

Even then, he protected her.

That was why she stood in the fire and called out to him. She tried to save him even as he killed her people. Instead of going to her, he turned his back, and left her to live or die. It was only when he saw her on the trail that he knew for a fact that she was still alive. He had hoped she was but he hadn’t dared pray.

“So,” she said. He was glad to see that she was going to change the subject. “Are you like me then? Vermin?”

“Even though I’m not longer under her control, my soul still belongs to Mushin.”

Her eyes sparkled as she looked at him. It was as if she had just ignored the part about his soul still belonging to Mushin. “Isn’t it liberating? Just letting go, becoming what you were meant to be. Feeling the way that our ancestors had—”

He turned from her and closed his eyes. He had never considered changing into a wolf a good, or even liberating, idea. All it had been used for was pain and suffering. Even now that he was free he still hated the transition. It didn’t make him feel powerful at all. He always felt weak and submissive.

“I’m glad that you love it Eve. That’s what it means to you and your people. But not to me.”

Her eyes lost the sparkle and looked sad again. He missed the sparkle and wished it would remain. This strong woman before him was not what he was used to. He missed the young adventurous girl that had almost led him to his death many times but somehow managed to get out without a scratch. That girl only lived on through the wit of her tongue.

Her sadness disappeared and all that remained was the strong woman he met on the road.

“I’m sorry to hear that Akki. I am glad to see you and know that you are yourself again, but you cannot stay. The girls already want to do what they could not before.”

“I understand that.”

“You will leave first thing in the morning, and don’t stop for any more children.”


Devona was ready.

Kestrel was off getting food from one of the amazons who had been nice enough to ask if they needed anything. Her guess was that Kestrel was also sneaking some extra into her pack to get them to their next location happy and full. Kai was off on his own, admiring the pond or something, or perhaps he was just getting a better look at the girls. Kai almost seemed shy around the girls. He didn’t seem like the type of guy to be leery around women. Then again, he was of royal blood and probably had women throwing themselves at him and not making the first move.

She decided to put her limited knowledge of seduction to test to get the answers she was seeking: what was Eve and how she knew Akki. The only thing that Devona could find to distract him was Kestrel’s red nightgown. It wasn’t much in comparison to lingerie on Earth, but she just hoped it could compete with feathers and leather for a bit.

The worst part about changing in a hut with no door on it, everyone could see as they walked by. Who doesn’t use doors anyway? This world certainly was strange. She pushed herself as close to the wall as she could next to the entrance. It was so embarrassing, especially when she saw a young girl walk by and try to peak in. Hopefully she hadn’t seen anything…but if Devona had seen the girl, then the girl had probably seen her as well.

Great.

Once she was finally in the tiny outfit, she had to admit what Kestrel had said before was true. There was no way that Devona could sleep in that thing. It cut into her rib cage and made it difficult to breath. It barely covered enough of her breasts and hips to not be underwear.

“Oh God,” she whispered, “please don’t let Kestrel see this.”

Already she was regretting the decision, but she had no choice now. It was do or die from lack of knowledge. She had to know, and if that meant squeezing herself into a tiny nightgown and embarrassing herself in front of a tribe of amazons, then by God it would have to be done. Devona took a deep breath, and then was off to find Kai. He was behind the hut, sitting on the edge of the pond, admiring the view of the girls. She shook her head and cleared her throat.

He didn’t budge.

She cleared her throat again.

Still nothing.

“Perv,” whispered Devona. She stepped out from around the hut, hoping to get his attention that way, but nothing. So she whistled. Finally he looked over at her so quickly it startled her. With a short amount of time to react, she leaned against the hut and tried her best to show off her curves.

“Hey there Kai,” she said in her best sultry voice.

“Hey.”

He looked away from her and back at the girls. She sighed and slowly started walking toward him. She made sure her hips swayed extra hard, but he still didn’t look at her. This was getting ridiculous. Devona stopped when she got next to the lounging prince. Finally he glanced back at her and his eyes grew wide. She smirked as he quickly took in what she was wearing. His eyes struggled not to focus on certain areas for too long.

Devona placed a hand on her hip and swung her hair around a bit. “Whatca doing?”

“Uh, nothing.”

Sure. “Mind if I join you?”

“If you want.”

She took a seat next to him on the grass. It was a bit soggy and she hoped it the nightgown wouldn’t be covered in grass stains. She sucked it up and continued with her plan.

“What are you wearing?” he asked before she could say anything.

She looked down at herself and back at him with a sly smile. “What? You don’t like?”

“It’s not that it’s just…” he paused and she was eager to hear his response, “I just thought that was Kestrel’s. Plus, it seems a little small on you.”

Damn, he did know that it was Kestrel’s. And why did he say it was too small like that was a bad thing? What a jerk.

“Uh, yeah,” operation seduce Kai was failing more and more by the second. Now it was time to see if she could at least get the information that she needed from him. “So, what’s with Eve?”

He looked confused. “What do you mean?”

“Well, the fact that she can change into a wolf is a little freaky.”

“She’s vermin.” He said it so matter-of-factly that it floored Devona. She had never heard him use such a harsh tone before. She was actually worried about pushing the subject any farther. “They all are.”

It was only then that she realized that he wasn’t watching the women in admiration. He was watching them in disgust. She never thought that someone who had been so carefree and happy this whole time could feel such hatred. This must have been similar to how he felt about Akki, but he was much better at hiding that.

Well, operation “get info from Kai” was a complete and utter failure. It looked like she would have to go back to trying to pry it out of Kestrel. That was going to be like pulling a child’s hand out of a wolf’s mouth.

“Okay, have a good night Kai.” She quickly made her way back to the hut. It actually felt warm and comforting compared to the frigid air that exuded from Kai outside.

Vermin? Was that actually a technical term? Or was that something he came up with on his own?

Devona sighed and sat over on her bedding. The night would not come soon enough.

“I got some foo—”

Kestrel stopped short as she saw Devona in her red nightgown.

“What in the name of the Spirits are you doing?” asked Kestrel.

“It’s a long story, but I have some questions for you.”

Kestrel shook her head, “Not until you change out of that you don’t.”

So she did. It was even more embarrassing this time since Kestrel stood over her and waited for Devona to hand her the outfit. Hopefully that was her punishment for taking it and callously parading around in it. Devona quickly pulled on her own nightgown, finding comfort in the coarse fabric. At least it fit.

“So,” said Kestrel. Devona looked back at her, thinking that the guardian was ready for Devona’s questions. Instead, she had her own. “Why were you wearing my nightgown?”

Too tired to come up with an excuse, Devona explained her plan to seduce Kai, or rather, seduce information out of him. Kestrel immediately doubled over laughing. The embarrassment just would not stop today.

“I thought he was distracted by all the boobs, so I tried to distract him back with my own.”

Kestrel finally forced herself to stop laughing and shook her head at Devona. “You are a very strange girl, you know that?”

“I know, I know.”

“I suppose that you want to know how it was that a wolf not only saved you but turned into Eve, am I correct?”

“Yeah.”

Kestrel sat down on her bedding and Devona followed suit. As she sat down she realized she was very close to Kestrel, far too close than needed when they were not on the horse. Devona scooted away. Kestrel shook her head and explained.

“Most people in Zakiah Adara have to aptitude to change into an animal. It’s just that most of us don’t actually do so.”

“What?” This was not the answer that Devona was expecting. “So, everyone in Zakiah Adara is a werewolf?”

Kestrel shook her head, “Not that I know what that is, but not. Not everyone can change into a wolf if that’s what you’re asking. Some can change into bears, tigers, snakes, hawks.”

“Why?”

“We are born with the ability, it’s in our blood. Just with most, it’s hidden very deep. I could never change, even if I wanted to. However, some can. They dig deep into themselves, becoming one with the animal, and bringing it out. They become that animal as well as remaining human.”

“So, they are animals that think as humans do?”

“When they are in the animal form, yes. When in their human form they take on some attributes that their other side have. Better sense of smell, eye sight, speed, it just depends on the animal. I’ve even heard of some of the snakes having venom after their acceptance.”

“Acceptance?”

“It’s what Eve and the others who change call it. They are finally accepting themselves fully they say. Accepting what they were truly meant to be.”

“Then why did Kai call them vermin?”

Kestrel looked sad at that. “Some people don’t accept those who can change. They believe that the abilities were hidden for a reason and look down on those who don’t agree. They commonly call them vermin, or other rude terms.”

“That’s horrible.”

“Sadly, people don’t like what is different. It’s not common, so when a person can change they are looked down upon.”

“I guess that explains why Eve was so upset that I didn’t thank her right away.”

“She probably thought you were just another person that was going to turn your nose up at her. I’m sure she had seen it many times.”

It made more sense now, but Devona was sure that there was something missing. Sure, people being able to change into animals made some sense in comparison with what else was going on in Zakiah Adara, but Devona was sure that Kestrel was leaving something out. She had to be.

From the pleading look that Kestrel gave her, she assumed that Devona was done questioning on that for tonight. Now, it was time to turn her attention to the other, not quite as important, but still meaningful to her, if she wanted to admit it or not, question.

“How does Eve know Akki?”

Kestrel smiled, “They were childhood friends. From what Ulric has told me before, Eve’s camp was originally near his home. Even though her family had finished their acceptance and Ulric’s hadn’t, they bonded with each other. Both tribes or towns or whatever you want to call them raised their children together. Ulric even said that a few of his cousins decided to become amazons.”

“Are they here now?” She was eager to meet his family.

“No, they’re dead.”

“Oh…”

“Anyway, now that Eve is older and the leader, she leads her tribe around the globe. They are nomads.” Kestrel paused and looked intently at Devona. “Are there any other questions?”

“Uh…” Devona was slightly embarrassed asking the next question, but she had to know. So, she sucked it up, and asked. “Were he and Eve ever romantic?”

It must have been exactly what Kestrel was expecting. She laughed at Devona and shook her head. “No, they were not nor will they ever be. However,” Kestrel got to her feet and turned her back to Devona. “She did know his dead fiancée very well, if you want to ask her about that.”

Devona understood the meaning of Kestrel’s words. Finally, for once in her life, she dropped the subject.

Time dragged on until it was almost nightfall. Devona found herself alone by the pond. All the amazons were off hunting or something, and her guardians were discussing food in their hut. She should be grateful for the separation, but instead she just felt lonely. Glancing back, she could see the others talking amongst themselves, and she felt left out.

She looked back at the pond. All she could see were waves crashing against a grainy beach. This was the longest she had ever been away from Florida and the longest she had ever been away from her family. Were they worried about her? According to what Queen Oriana said, time worked differently here. Had her family even noticed she was missing yet? Would they even care that was?

Did Mark care?

Did she care if he did or not?

Constantly being around Akki and Kai really made her think about Mark a lot. She actually missed him, and that surprised her more than anything. How could she miss someone that treated her like such crap?

“Because at least he showed affection without retracting it two seconds later,” she said to no one but herself.

“What does that mean?”

Or at least, she thought it was only to herself.

She gasped and looked back to see Eve standing there. The beautiful amazon with her long copper hair watched her with ivy colored eyes. She had changed and was wearing a bit more clothing. Dressed entirely in leather dress, still short, but at least she wasn’t flashing her flat stomach around anymore.

There was just something about Eve that rubbed Devona the wrong way. She was positive that it was just that she was jealous of Eve.

“Nothing,” said Devona.

Eve smirked, “Who has been showing you affection?”

“That is none of your business.”

“You’re rather rude, especially when I’m giving you a place to stay for the night and saved your life.”

“Sorry.” She did mean the words, but they didn’t come out that way. What was wrong with her today?

“Now, Princess, you should learn to be less trusting.”

There it was again. That word, oh how she was tired of hearing it. Arma said it with the same distain that Eve said it now. It was only after a few seconds of dwelling on the word that Devona realized that, for one reason or another, Eve knew she was a Princess.

“Wh-what?”

Eve rolled her eyes and strolled closer to Devona. “Akki told me everything. How they are your guardians and you are the precious little Princess.”

Akki told her?

Betrayal bit her heart. He was always the one saying that they couldn’t tell anyone. Then he reveals all to some slutty amazon? Even if he knew her from childhood, that was no excuse. How could he?

“Is something wrong?”

“No, but, I’m going to bed now. Goodnight.”

Devona tried to walk to her hut, but Eve grabbed her arm before she could pass. All her blood rushed to her already torn heart. She looked back at Eve to find her watching her with intent eyes and a tight smile. She tried again to retract her arm, but Eve wouldn’t let go.

“Don’t go yet, there’s something I want to show you,” said Eve.

“I rather not, I’m really tired.”

Devona was frantic now. Her gut told her to run for her life, but she couldn’t.

Eve dug her nails into Devona’s arm. Devona gasped in pain looked up just in time to see that Eve’s green eyes were now red. She wasn’t sure though, everything was blurry, and then everything was black.

“Sorry Princess.” She barely heard the words through the heavy black, but the voice was not Eve’s.


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