AIMNÉISE Place of Pendants 2

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Chapter Twenty Eight

Memory Returned

Sat in front of the soldier his arm tightly around my waist, the hardness of the saddle biting into my butt. His tongue slurped across the back of my neck, I shuddered at the disgusting feel, then I hit back with my elbow into his side, as hard as I could. There wasn’t much he could do with one arm around me and the other holding the reins.

He let out a small humph from the impact. “You’ll pay for that little girl, as soon as we stop. By the time I’m finished with you, your only wish will be to please me.”

“In your dreams, dipshit.” I shouted back at him.

He bit down onto my neck and I screamed from the bite.

“Now that is only a taste of what is going to happen to you.” The evil creature laughed. This lunatic thinks he is a vampire.

“My name is Ronaldo and you will be nice to me or you will get more than…that little love bite.”

Love bite, really, he didn’t know that I could fight, and he was going to find out that I’m not some silly, useless female who couldn’t defend herself. I’ll show him how hard I can bite.

We rode for another hour before we came to a clearing. The horses were brought to a stop. The idiot pushed me off the horse. I landed on the hard ground, my arms and legs aching from the impact. Getting to my feet, I backed up until I was flat against a tree.

Ronaldo got off his horse and untied a whip from the saddle. “Now I’m going to show you what happens to bad girls.” He laughed, slowly striding towards me, whip in hand.

I wasn’t going to show him any fear standing tall, determination set on my face. He cracked the whip and as he raised it to strike, I grabbed the end of the whip causing a sharp pain to streak across my hand. Pulling on the whip he stumbled forward close enough, I punched him in the face, then kicked him in the stomach sending him backwards sliding across the dirt.

I stood there panting with my arms stretched out in front of me. The ground began to rumble and shake, stones rolling towards him. Getting to his feet he put out his arms to steady himself as many of the other soldiers alighting from their horses did. Several horses reared at the disturbance and soldiers grabbed their reigns in an attempt to settle them down. What the fuck is happening.

Slamming my hands to the tree behind me to steady myself the ground quietened down, the soldiers looked at each other in confusion, some watching the ground in case it should rumble and shake again. Ronaldo’s eyes though were focused on me.

“You’re a witch.” He screamed. By his look he seemed to think I had caused the ground to shake, stupid man. It was probably a freaky mini earthquake or something similar. Shame it wasn’t stronger I could have ran.

He beckoned to one of his men. “Tie her to the tree. I’ll deal with her later and make sure her arms and hands are pinned so she can’t use them. “I rolled my eyes, if I had that much power, I wouldn’t standing here like a vulnerable woman in the midst of thirty or so soldiers.

A dozen soldiers surrounded me, looking like they thought I was a witch too. I had fought this evil man but against these many soldiers I had no chance, I put my hands up in surrender.

“You can’t honestly believe I did that?” The soldiers continued to glare at me creeping closer. “If it was me, do you think I would still be stood here instead of running for the hills?” My little speech did absolutely nothing to convince them.

I was tied to a tree, my arms and hands held tightly in the ropes to my body, damn I really needed to pee. Of course I did, my betraying body had to wait until I was tied to a damned tree.

I thought to ask the young soldier that was guarding me. I could though just pee standing up, I doubt Ronaldo would want to touch me if I was covered in my own urine, and it didn’t look like there was a lake or body of water around, not that I had any clothes to change into.

“Excuse me.” I called to the young soldier. He ignored me. “I said excuse me. I need to pee.”

The young soldier gave me a side glance. “You need to stay tied to the tree.”

“Well maybe so, but I desperately need to pee, would you prefer I just do it here tied to this stupid tree. Up to you, but just so you know, it will stink.”

He gave me another side glance, that dropped to the ground between my feet. His face reddening, probably with the thought of my threat. Huffing he strode to talk to Ronaldo. I could see them across the clearing, watching as the boy waved his arms towards me, obviously explaining what my problem was. Ronaldo gave me a scowling look.

When the young soldier returned, he untied me keeping a tight grip on my shirt leading me further into the trees. He stood there staring at me.

“Well, are you going to stand there and watch me pee?”

“I was ordered not to take my eyes off you.” His face was a blush darkening by the second, obviously embarrassed by his orders.

I laughed at him. “So, like a good little boy you are going to watch a woman raise her skirt and pee?” I went to lift my skirt and he quickly turned his back to me. “I thought so.”

When I was finished, he led me back to the tree and retied me. Thankfully not as tight as it was.

“What’s your name?”

“I’m not supposed to talk to you.” He said barely moving his mouth.

“I didn’t ask to have a conversation with you, I just asked for your name.” I whispered so only he could hear me.

He put his hand to his mouth and whispered back. “Mario.”

“Well Mario thank you for not watching me, back there.” Keeping my eyes on Ronaldo across the clearing shouting commands to two soldiers. I spoke out the corner of my mouth.

Mario’s eyes flicked to me then back to the front. Soldiers where setting up camp, a fire was lit and rolls for their beds were being laid.

Scanning the soldiers all dressed in burgundy doublets, with light blue tunics over the top, burgundy and gold stripped stockings. Across their chest a white bandolier with burgundy crosses at intervals, and swords hung from leather belts at their waists. On their heads they wore small round caps in burgundy. Most of them carried a ronca, a polearm weapon with a nasty hooked blade at the top end.

Ronaldo wore the same uniform with the only difference that instead of a doublet and tunic he wore metal torso armor and a helmet with a crimson feather hanging out the top. I chuckled to myself he looked as they all did like clowns in a circus.

A rider on horseback came galloping into the camp, he jumped off his horse and went straight to Ronaldo. Within minutes Ronaldo jumped on his own horse leaving with the rider in a hurry.

“I wonder what is happening there.” Mario didn’t answer.

“So, Mario how old are you?” His eyes side glanced me.

“Eighteen.” He whispered out the corner of his mouth.

“Oh, so young to be a soldier, you’re just a boy.”

His shoulders stiffened, his face contorting to resentment. He obviously thought my reference to him being a boy was an insult. Yeah men tended to be touchy about that sort of thing.

“I have been a soldier since I was ten, I am not a boy.” He ground out, again from the side of his mouth.

“Ten, but you were just a child.” I shook my head at the thought of a ten-year-old boy becoming a soldier and learning to fight. Mario didn’t look any happier at my comment, if anything he looked livid. He didn’t though answer me, his mouth tightening into a hard line.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to insult you. It’s just…that is so young.”

Mario stood straighter not looking any less angered.

“Mario do you think I could have something to eat, I’m really hungry?” Another side glance with no iritated.

I snorted sure that he wasn’t going to speak to me again. I stood at the tree for what felt like hours, and Mario continued to guard me without saying a word. My stomach growled, loudly. Well that got a side glance from Mario.

“Mario I am hungry.” I pleaded with him.

“Constantine do you have some bread over there?” Mario shouted to another young soldier unrolling his mat.

“Why you hungry Mario?” He shouted back.

“No, the prisoner is.”

Constantine laughed. “Tough, she can starve until the captain is back.” I sighed, this wasn’t going well. The rumbling of my stomach caused a few heads to turn, not one though offering to feed me.

“Mario do you know that I have amnesia and can’t even remember my name, or where I come from.” I shrugged the best I could being tied with ropes to this damned tree. “I don’t know anything about what is going on or how to get back to my family, if I have one.”

Mario frowned.

“I can’t tell you how old I am, I have no memory.” I carried on. “I wish I could remember something, but no, I can’t, not even a scrap of who I am. I could be a princess, you know. What if I am, what would you do then?”

Mario huffed just the hint of a smile at the corner of his lips.

“It’s true Mario, what if I am someone very important. What do you think I would say when, and if I am rescued? Would I tell them how awful you have been to me, or would I say you had been kind?” I raised my brow at him. “Hmmmm.”

Mario looked at my face on for the first time. “You look like a gypsy.”

“Sure, but that’s because I was on the run and hiding.”

“Who where you hiding from?”

“Oh, just some arseholes named Micheletto Carletta, Cesare Borgia and Ludovico Sforza.”

Mario’s face turned ashen white.

“Told you, I could be someone important. If I was hiding from them, clearly, I’m not some little gypsy, I could be…valuable.” I was hoping I wasn’t making a mistake telling Mario of who I was running from. He could just as easily inform Ronaldo and he, could just as well hand me over.

“You won’t tell Ronaldo, will you Mario. I’m afraid if you do, he will give me to them.”

Mario chuffed. “I am a Holy Soldier of the Pope’s army. I was chosen, and it is my duty to inform my commander of this.

I could have just made a whole lot more of a mess by telling Mario, but I am wishing he won’t. I am hoping he will help me in escaping from Ronaldo’s grasp and his infernal whip.

“Mario please don’t tell him. If he hands me over, I will tell them how unkind you have been.” I hated to blackmail this boy, but I was running out of options.

He sighed. “Alright for the moment I won’t say anything, but I do not feel right about this, I don’t lie. I will think about what you have said.” I couldn’t really ask him of more. I could only pray I could get him to help me escape. It was worth a try.

I am still tied to the tree when Ronaldo returns. As soon as he is off his horse, he holds a meeting on the other side of the clearing with several other soldiers. I can tell by the look on his face that something has angered him, as he flays his arms around at the soldiers surrounding him.

Well at least I’m not the only one having a bad day. When the meeting ends, Ronaldo strides towards me, his face still one of annoyance and irritation.

“The least you could do if you are going to keep me prisoner, is feed me. I’m starving.”

Renaldo smacks me hard across the face, causing the back of my head to hit against the tree. Tears sting my eyes, but I am determined not to cry, not in front of this arsehole. He hits me again, another smash to the back of my head.

“Untie her.” He shouts at Mario. Mario is quick to obey. Ronaldo marches off to his horse returning with the whip once more in his hands. He cracks it against the ground.

“This time you will learn not to offend me. You are going to learn to obey me, then you will please me.” He smirks.

Here we go again. I watch as the evil smile returns to his face, he cracks the whip once more. Yep, this Ronaldo is one evil son of a bitch. My head aching from hitting the tree.

Ronaldo raises the whip. I lift my hands up to protect my face and as I do so the ground rumbles and shakes. A memory suddenly flashes in my head like a lightning strike. Gasping I realize I can control earth.

“I am Fae!” I scream to a stunned Ronaldo still holding his whip, his eyes wide his mouth hung open.

I raise my hands again lifting dirt, stones and debris swirling in the air. Flicking my hands at Ronaldo, the wall of rubble hits him with force, knocking him down removing that damned evil smirk from his face. The other soldiers gasped looking at me as if I am a monster.

They screamed running to their horses, mounted and raced away, cowards. One attempted to help Ronaldo, up of the ground, but he was unconscious. It was Mario. I was actually hoping Ronaldo was dead. When Mario realised he wasn’t going to lift his commanding officer he took off into the trees, not even bothering to get to his horse.

I looked around, shite I’ve created a mess. The soldiers were gone. I hoped they would bloody stay gone. As for the arsehole on the ground I gave him a hard kick in the ribs walking past him.

Now what am I going to do? I’m not sure if I can remember the road back to the gypsies. It had taken us hours to get to this clearing and night was not too far away. God, I’m hungry.

Then I stopped, tears began whelming and stinging my eyes, a flash of pain streaked across my head. I couldn’t breathe, my legs felt like jelly, I dropped to my knees holding my head as if hold back an explosion. It felt as my head was being attacked by flashes of lightening, hitting me from every direction. Tears streamed down my face as my mind suddenly filled with memories of everything, who I was, where I’m from.

My name is Morgan and I’m married to Conall Sutherland. I screamed.

“CONALL!”

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