FOREVER KNIGHTS: #14 Broken Birds

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LUCIEN - She Meets Tev

Whitwood, Isle of Wight


Meralee Carter awoke to voices in the woods and something snorting near her ear. Brushing her cheek wetly. Her eyelids fluttered, and she came to.

The large horse was nuzzling her cheek. Thankfully he’d stayed with her.

She slowly raised to an elbow. She leaned to a sitting position and spotted another Knight watching her beyond the horse. She leapt to her feet.

The stranger watched her with vibrant blue eyes shining from behind his white mask. White hair flowing around him as he offered her his hand.

She spurned it, climbing to her feet on her own instead.

Walking alongside her he said nothing. His intent to lead her to his encampment was obvious.

Coming to a creek she lifted her muddied skirts to make way through the shallow water that’d surely soak her worn slippers. She stilled mid-step when the immaculate cloak billowed out before her as he tossed it from his shoulders to land perfectly over the thin layer of water. Covering it enough she could cross without dampening those shoes.

“How incredibly kind.” She said in a honeyed voice.

Without a word, he nodded. Opening his hand to gesture to the path. His movements smooth and cold, despite the chivalrous behavior.

“You’ve no intention of talking to me, do you?” She remarked.

He shook his head.

“You’re displeased to be here?”

He half-shrugged.

“I as well…” She crossed the cloak carefully. Focused on her task. “Do you not like women, Knight?” She asked scornfully.

“My experiences with women have led me to doubt the virtues of the majority.” Bitterness tinged his voice, but he relented and removed the mask. Exposing striking eyes that were so light blue they were nearly white narrowed in suspicion. His face was handsome though it was currently sneering at her derisively.

“You love her?” Mera paused to turn and ask.

“Almost as much as I’m capable of despising her.” He was angry.

“An interesting statement. Is your anger at me?”

“No. ’Tis my woman that infuriates me.”

“If you have a woman, why are you here?” She asked, irate. “Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t this hunt for a husband for me, whether I wish it or not?”

“It is indeed.” He sighed. “And I am loyal to my leader, My Captain. The man I’ve always followed.”

“He sent you?”

“No. He dismissed me for my feeling for her. But I wouldn’t let the others combat without me doing the trials as well.”

“You compete for me…Out of duty?”

He nodded. Mouth whitening.

Mera’s confusion was apparent but she let the subject drop. “Anything else you have to tell me?”

“’Tis unlikely.”

“As I thought.” She commented. Giving the slight leap that got her to the opposite bank.

He collected his sullied cloak, draping it over his arm. “My name is Teverius. Marcus Teverius.”

“Well, hello Teverius.”

Despite her efforts he spoke little. Showing only anger most of the time.

“What is it your woman has done to irritate you?”

“She indicates desire for me, despite all my efforts to offer her only a respectful relationship…She’s made me weak.”


“She doesn’t understand the danger I bring with me.”

“Sounds like a strong woman.” Mera walked the direction he angled her. An admiring note touching her voice.

“That she is.” His face softened, and fondness relaxed the skin around his eyes ethereal eyes.

“Your anger isn’t because she’s strong-willed. ’Tis because you’re succumbing.”


“You’re an inspiring speaker.” She commented.

“I’ve great skill in inspiring people to change what they believed in.”

“By Miss Strong-Willed?”

“No.” He grunted almost laughingly. “By the many whose convictions I altered into following my guidance.”

“I’ve heard of those in myth that could do such a thing.”

“Yes.” He acknowledged. “They’re called Neophyters.”

“Does she know you’re one?”

“Not in truth.” He admitted.

“I sense there’s a lot she doesn’t know about you.” Mera said. Noticing the horse followed behind them. Occasionally bumping her with it’s muzzle.

“Very little actually. Other than that my heart rages for her.”

“She doesn’t know that? She should. A sad story undeniably.”

“Don’t pity me.” He ordered giving her a severe look.

“Ooh.” She reared back. “I pity that woman if she gets that look regularly.”

“Ha!” He laughed. “More often than anyone else, I’d guess!”

Mera quirked a brow at his commanding tone. “I need a moment to rest.”

“I apologize. I sometimes forget a woman’s constitution often varies greatly from a man’s.” He set his cloak over a log. When he turned his back, she lifted the cloak ends in both hands. “Teverius?”

When he turned, she caught him in the cheek with the weight of the damp cloth like a swinging a flat of wood.

Shouting obscenities, he put a hand to his face and crouched until his head stopped spinning.

She caught rein of her mount which had trailed behind them. Leaping up on it she gave it heel and guided it through the woods.

“Clever chit.” Teverius grumbled.

Scrubbing his cheek to dull the pain and verifying his teeth were in-tact as he adjusted his jaw as he stared at the trees behind him. “Good luck with that handful, Lucien. Suddenly my Huntress doesn’t seem quite so unmanageable.”

“Thank you for your support.” Lucien emerged from the trees.

“Sorry if you find my criticism offensive.”

“I find it accurate.” Lucien drawled.

“Good gad Man. Bast’s winged beastie may be more pleasant than that.” He gestured to the woman’s back as she faded into the distance.

“’Tis possible.” Lucien agreed. But his eyes were bright on her. A smile making his lips twitch.

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