FOREVER KNIGHTS: #3 Forsaking the Vanquished

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1718 ACHARIUS - The Opposite of Luring Me

1718 Merwood, Dread Hideout

ACHARIUS

Acharius was deep in thought, as he collected his bow. In the mood for sport, he was intent on an early morning hunt. Emerging from the cave, startled by the overpowering scent of basil oil. Karina.

He groaned inwardly. She spends too much time making those basil and flowered potions.

“Karina. Come out.” He sighed. Already scanning the tree trunks beyond the dangling vines.

“How do ye alway know ’tis me?” She skipped from behind a tree. Clutching her skirt as she frolicked flirtatiously.

His shoulders slumped. Stomach dropping as he dreaded her approach.

“Don’t touch me…” He warned, noticing she drew far closer than he’d have liked.

She always touches me.

It was the first thing she did. Giggling as she put a dirtied hand to his shoulder, caressing down over his bicep and arm. Grip clinging to his thick wrist.

Shooting her a sideways look, he skid from her reach. Effectually shaking her off.

“’Tis impossible to sneak on ye.” She pouted. Giving her shoulders an exaggerated shrug that made one sleeve of her dress drop down her arm to expose the swell of a creamy upper breast.

Good. Then stop doing it.

“I don’t recommend it.” He lifted his bow purposefully and resumed heading through the trees.

“She talks about ye, ye know?” She dogged his step. “I thought ye hated that.”

“I do. ’Tis not safe.”

“Well, she does it.”

Go away. He willed.

“I thought you were her friend.” He argued.

“I am.”

"Not much of one." He paused his trek to give her a quizzical glance.

“Don’ ye wanna know what she said?” She frowned.

“No.”

“But ye said if I talked of ye, ye’d never speak ta me ’gain. Ye said tha'.” She pointed out.

I should’ve said if you talked at all…

“So, I did.” He turned to walk away while she hounded him.

“Well, what about ’er?”

What about her?

“She’s not you.”

“You like her better than me?” Karina cried.

Of course, I do.

“You’re easy to dislike.”

“That’s not what the village boys say.” She tossed her hair over her shoulder as she pranced to catch up to his deliberately fast pace. Drowning him in the dense scent of basil. Making his nose sting.

“Grand. Please go visit them, to repair any feelings I’ve hurt.” He said boredly.

“Ye’re cruel!”

Good. Stop following me.

“So, you’ll not be encouraged to follow me about? Hanging on my arm.”


“Ye know how I feel fer ye.”

I don’t care to know. I've told you no enough for a lifetime.

“I know not why.” He refused to acknowledge her.

“Because ye’re handsome. Large, well made, and I know with yer large hands and how they stoke yer bow tha’ ye’d be adept at-”

Enough! Not that. Don't say that. He wasn't sure he could bear the imagery that'd conjure.

“Stop.” He lifted a staying hand. Glancing at it in alarm as her brows lifted purposefully.

He immediately lowered it and cleared his throat.

He heard a rustle of movement. In a flash of motion so fast it was impossible to discern, he nocked his bow and let an arrow fly. Seating it firmly in the driter creeping through the underbrush.

Karina clapped joyfully, hopping up and down. Making her breasts bounce nearly from the top of her dress.

Purely incidental I'm sure.

“Me love driter meat. ’Tis suck’lent.” She prolonged the word as though he’d find it appealing.

Does she have a lisp? I hadn’t noticed afore. He glared over his shoulder. She does seem to speak distinctly through her teeth.

“Ye know wha’ else’d be suck’lent?” She murmured. Catching her skirt and lifting it to bare an expanse of slender ankle and calf.

"Stop." He said boredly.

She didn't. She continued lifting it to bear the slender thigh, running her hand over it inwardly.

He turned on his heel. Veering a new direction to evade looking at her.

He could feel her eyes roving his back hungrily as he stalked away.

"Why are ye upset now!" She huffed.

“I didn’t teach you that word for the use you’re attempting.”

“Ye taught me many words.”

“For your education. Not for attempts at seduction. Which you’re failing.” He kept his back to her as he approached his kill to clean it.

“Well, then. Ye know wha’ else be tasty?”

Please go away.

“Vegetables to go with the driter in my stew.”

“Our stew?” She said hopefully. Standing over him as he tended to the animal’s hide.

“Unlikely. I’ll leave you some at your cottage in the morn.”

“Why don’t ye come in?” Her voice dropped.

Why are you still here?

“Because I don’t want to.” He said dismissively.

Ever. Refusing to look at her.

“Why don’t ye want to?”

No one would find her if I strangled her out here. He tossed an annoyed glance up at her. She’s little enough it wouldn’t take much.

And she’d be easy to hide in the brush. His eyes glanced at it nearby. So close.

But she’s Chastain’s friend. He reminded himself. Sort of.

“What if I told her of ye?” Karina asked threateningly.

You’re going to threaten me? He rose to tower over her. Face a thundercloud.

“Then I’d never speak to you again.”

Her lip curled. “I hate it when ye say that…”

“Why are you pestering me?” He hissed more scathingly then he intended.

“Why are ye so mean? Ye used to be so kind.”

And you weren’t ridiculous. Behaving like a harlot.

“Because you didn’t used to disgrace yourself with this unbecoming behavior.”

“Ye mean trying to lure ye?”

If that’s what you’re doing, you’re doing it poorly.

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