Weight of the Heart

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Summary

Diran, a Master Assassin is on a warpath looking for the man who murdered his family. During one of his quests, he rescues a girl named Lusia, unaware that she will become his salvation. Unfortunately, she is not all as she seems. After her big secret is revealed, Lusia is forced to go back home where she awaits to fulfill her chosen destiny. After losing her, Diran takes on another quest where he will have to make a choice, between vengeance or love.

Genre:
Romance / Drama
Author:
Lucinda_Amare
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
12
Rating:
5.0 9 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter One: The Eagle

Locate.
Kill.
Escape.

With these instructions, I enter the city gates of Baghdad.

After a few long days of riding through the smoldering heat of the desert, I leave Berlo, my horse, at a stable for the animals of travelers. Here he can feed, drink, and regain his strength until we return back home.

An old woman stands by the local well, struggling to pull a bucket of water to the surface. I take the rope from her. “Here, let me help.”

Soon the bucket stands on the edge of the well. The woman smiles.

“You seem like a good young man,” she says as she fills a cup and hands it to me. “Here, looks like you need it more than I do.”

Parched as I am, I drink the cup and thank the woman as I hand it back.

“You don’t seem to be from around here,” she states and skillfully pours water into a narrow jug, leaving just enough for me to freshen up my face.

“What gave me away?”

She smiles and pinches my cheek. “I would’ve remembered a handsome face like yours.”

Her boldness makes me laugh.

“Could I ask for you to send me into the direction of the palace, please?”

“Oh, you’ve been invited to the Caliph’s grand feast?” She asks.

I smirk as a pull up another bucket to refill my water bag. “Well, I do have a surprise for him.”

After the old woman gives me directions, I thank her once again and set off to my destination.

The Caliph’s palace is a gigantic white marble building, with golden columns and domes on the various towers. By the entrance gates stand about a dozen guards in black uniforms with veils covering their faces. Large groups of people flock to them, all dressed in their finest evening wear.

I peer at the guards, knowing there is no way I’ll pass them without an invitation.

Off to the side, a lonely watchman lurks at a sensual street dancer who beckons him to come closer, giving him a little show. Grinning I walk towards the man and shoulder bump him firmly from behind. He turns and curses before coming after me.

I accelerate my pace and lure him into a deserted alley where I hide in the shades. When the watchman passes, I grab both sides of his head snapping his neck easily as a twig. Quickly, I change into his uniform and make my way back to the palace.

The veil of the Tagelmust hides my face, raising no awareness with the guards when I pass them by to the courtyard.

For a moment I am blinded by sunlight, reflecting off a gold fountain standing center of the square. All around are tables set full of delicacies served on golden platters that match the decadent wine cups.

Belly dancers wearing dazzling attire are scattered all over pleasing the eyes of many men and women mesmerized by their beauty.

A veiled girl, dressed in red, dances on a white pillar right in front of me. She moves in such a graceful manner making it almost hypnotizing to watch. I don’t even realize that I am staring until suddenly, I find her eyes catching mine.

At that moment there is an announcement, saying our host El Sibar, The Caliph of Baghdad, has finally arrived to join his party.

El Sibar is a mad dictator, who single-handedly forces his people into poverty. He sows fear by letting his brutes torture men, women, and even children, for the whole town to see, when they refuse, or cannot afford to pay him.

It has taken us over a year to get this chance to take him out. The magnitude of his personal security was the only thing holding us back. The Caliph is extremely fat. He can barely take one step forward, let alone fend for himself. That is why he constantly surrounds himself with at least a dozen trained safety guards.

Insincere cheers erupt when twelve slaves carry the Caliph onto the courtyard in a solid gold carrying chair. They place him down at a table in the front of the square.

Behind El Sibar stand a series of guards, wearing the same black uniform I borrowed from one of their helpful colleagues.

El Sibar thanks his guests before gobbling his food as if he has been starving for days. Grease runs down his chin after tearing flesh from a bone with his teeth.

When the surrounding guests sit down, minding their own plates, I see my opportunity to strike.

Taking a deep breath, I walk past the tables towards my target. Slowly I guide my hand to a dagger, skillfully hidden in my belt. As soon as I stand before the Caliph, I draw my weapon, piercing it straight through his throat.

Blood gushes from the gaping wound and he looks at me, astonished by my presence. Blood is spat on my face while he suffocates on the warm red liquid filling his lungs.

A woman screams and I see guards coming at me with swords drawn.

Leaving the dagger in place I turn and run the other way.

Jumping tables, I reach the wall and climb it, pulling myself onto a balcony. Once I am up there I enter the palace, zigzagging my way through corridors until I have shaken off my pursuers.

I enter the next door I see, swiftly shutting the door behind me. Not long after, I hear rumbling in the hall and nervously hold my breath until they have passed me by.

Relieved, I stand from the door and notice that I am not alone. Perplexed faces of about a dozen young women, dressed in obscure clothing, are on me. I put my index finger on my hidden lips while observing the rest of the room.

Covering their semi-exposed bodies, the women step aside as I pass. A strange tension fills the air and all of them seem scared. But it is not of me, seeing as I have no interest in them.

Having crossed the room I walk onto a spacious balcony. Below it runs a roof creating a perfect path for escaping from the palace, and getting back to the desert.

Before making my way down, strange noises trigger my ears. Glancing over my shoulder I notice they come from a room right next to me. It sounds like a girl pleading.

“No...no, please...Please! No...”

Followed by muffled laughter, and the rugged voice of an impatient man.

“Stay still whore! YOU...hold her legs.”

Some of the girls look at me expectantly, but what happens in the harem is none of my concern. The guards are still after me and I must get myself to safety.

A terrified scream sends chills down my spine, hitting me to my very core...

Looking back into the harem girls’ frightened eyes, my gut suddenly conquers my mind.

Steady paced, I walk towards the door shoving it open. Even though I knew what was going on, I try to comprehend the scene before me. Two robust men and a frail girl tied to the bed with ropes around her wrists. One of them is holding her leg, while the other is bent over her with his pants around his ankles.

Grabbing his neck, I drag the foul rapist along, smacking his head against the wall until I hear the satisfying crackling of his skull.

Tossing the shattered body to the ground, I see the other scumbag drawing a sword and running at me. Effortlessly I grab his armed hand, duck under his arm, and twist it pushing his own weapon through his stomach.

Gasping his last breath I turn the sword before pulling it out. The body falls back against the wall, leaving a trail of dark red while slowly sliding to the ground.

Catching my breath, I turn to the girl and realize I saw her before at the Caliph’s party. The belly dancer, in red.

I take my dagger and cut the ropes from her wrists. After I freed her she tightly grabs my hand. Her voice is hoarse as she pleads.

“Help me...please...”

With eyes repeatedly rolling back in her skull, she desperately clings to my sleeve. Her behavior makes me suspect she may have been drugged before being taken here.

This delay has already taken up too much of my time and I know the guards are still out there looking for me. Conflicted, I take another look at the girl, lying in different shades of red, and for some unknown reason, decide to take her with me.

Sighing at my own stupidity, I wrap de girl in satin sheets and take her in my arms before heading towards the balcony.

As I reach the railing, the entrance door bursts open and I find myself even more surprised. Adding to my series of unusual events on this mission, is the face of a man I haven’t seen anywhere but in my nightmares for the past twenty years.

My body trembles with hatred.

I want to charge him and slash his head off with my sword. But when I go to reach for it, I realize I am holding the girl, and she needs to be brought to safety.

Growling, I jump onto the roof below the balcony and run. Not able to use both hands makes climbing down somewhat difficult, but I hold the girl tight until the last stretch. Watchmen are shooting arrows when I venture a deep jump into the desert sand. The girl is released from my grip and hits the ground. Quickly I crawl towards her and notice she is unconscious.

I pick her up over my shoulder and run towards the city gate where Berlo is nervously neighing and waiting for me.

Cutting his reins I throw the girl over his back and urge him on to leave the city as soon as I touch the saddle.


We are a long way from Baghdad before I decide it is safe to stop. Night has already fallen and the temperature is dropping fast. No pursuer will try to find us this far away in the desert, nor at this time.

Carefully I lift the girl from the back of my horse and lay her down in the cooled sand. I unwrap a blanket tied to Berlo’s back and take a seat beside her covering us both underneath the warm fabric.

Strands of long black hair cover the girl’s bloody face. I stroke them back so I can take a look at the damage she’s suffered. Her left eye is swollen. She has a cut on her lip and bruises on both jaws. The friction of the ropes caused scarlet burns around both her wrists. Some of her fingernails are broken. Seeing this, I don’t even want to think about the damage done to the rest of her body.

The air becomes cooler and I wrap my arms around the girl, pulling her close against me to keep us warm. Suddenly she wakes and tries to punch me away. I grab her hands and try to get her to look at me.

“Calm down. I am not going to hurt you.”

Anxious she looks around until she realizes there is nobody here but us. A relieved sigh escapes her lips and I feel her body relax when I caress her cheek.

“Do not worry. You are safe with me.”

The girl struggles to keep her eyes open and starts dozing off again. I gently push her cheek to get her attention.

“Can you tell me your name?”

Her eyes flutter as she whispers. “Lusia…”

“It will be a long night, Lusia. Sleep, and I shall provide more help tomorrow.”

Right away she slips into a deep sleep and I decide to do the same. As soon as the sun shines over the sandy hills, I will take her home to Alamut for aid.

I pull her fragile body close to mine as I wrap us both into the blanket. Before I doze off I lay my head on top of hers.

She smells like wildflowers.

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