“If you touch my daughter, I will take your life before you know what has happened!”
Lucas somehow knew that voice, but he wasn’t sure who it belonged to or where he’d heard it before at the moment.
“Ah Raven Talmach,” the General boomed. “How chivalrous of you to come to your daughters rescue after all these years.” There’s a hint of trepidation in his voice.
Lucas could feel the woman’s presence but couldn’t see around the looming figure before him.
“Quiet! All of you!, ” the old woman yelled. “You will not come into my home and start some dreadful civil war!”
Suddenly the younger girls aura of fear diminished somewhat after both women had spoken. She felt safer.
The large monster of a man laughed heartily. “You think you scare me?” he asked the elderly woman. “Come closer, or better yet, let me seek you and I’ll crush your bones to make paste for mortar!”
Of course! His clan were Pursuers. They could only truly hunt an enemy if they were on the run. This was curious to Lucas. If this was their homestead then why was he here if he knew he couldn’t touch the girl? Any of the three of them?
“General, if you’ll excuse my petulance, why are you even here? You can’t touch any of them,” Lucas addressed the Castil.
Spinning around, long coat swooshing across the floor, the General had Lucas held by the throat instantly and his feet dangling. Quiet grunting sounds came from Lucas’ mouth as the warrior held him in place, staring deep into his eyes. “I have no idea why you are even here Brennan! Whatever your connection is, I’ll find out mind you and then you will find yourself worried about me as well,” he spewed at Lucas before letting him fall to the floor.
Lucas sat on the floor rubbing his neck and taking in air for a few seconds before standing again and facing the General. “To be quite honest I have no idea why I’m here either. I know nothing of any of these women and honestly do not care to. I don’t even care to investigate why I was brought here, rather I would take my leave now than to become ensconced in any more of this bizarre event.”
“General Rothen if you’ll be so kind as to make your leave now,” the elderly woman said politely. “We have no business with you and you are quite interrupting our day here.”
Standing taller now, running his hands down his coat, the General stepped towards the old woman.
“That’s quite far enough. You wouldn’t want any trouble from the council for barging in here and starting something that you can’t even finish,” she hissed at him.
A snarl left General Rothen’s mouth and with a flash of light that almost blinded Lucas, he was gone.
For a few moments Lucas worked to regain his sight and was now facing a very old lady dressed in a flowered dress and apron. Wrinkles covered her face and her gnarled hands were on her hips as if she were still facing an adversary.
“What are you smiling at Brennan?” she asked him sharply.
Lucas hadn’t even noticed he’d been smiling but quickly changed face. “It’s just…I didn’t expect…”, he trailed off.
“What? A Talmach dressed for work in the kitchen? What did you expect? An empress with a crown? Or perhaps someone of more formidable stature that would talk to a Castil General the way I just did?”
Lucas cleared his throat and made a quick bowing gesture and turned to go. “I will just bade you all farewell. It’s been an interesting time…”, he started to explain.
“WAIT! Brennan, do not go!” the voice he couldn’t place ordered. “If you do you must take Marisol with you!”
Stopping dead in his tracks, he turned around and looked slack jawed at the elderly lady. “T-take Marisol with me?” he asked incredulously.
“Raven! What in the world are you talking about?” the old woman asked looking up into the air.
Who the hell was she looking at? Where was this woman who spoke? The situation was becoming stranger by the moment and deep inside of his gut Lucas knew he was being drug into something bigger than anything he’d ever been a part of in his whole life.
“Marisol will be safest with him,” the woman said. ” Rothen only came here today to throw his weight around and to try and flush you out. Brennan is right and you know it. He nor the Castil clan can touch any of us unless we are fleeing them. That doesn’t mean that he won’t be back. His purpose today was to merely confirm that Marisol was here. Now that he knows he’ll be back or he’ll send others from his regimen to cause trouble. He’ll flush you two out eventually.”
“Raven, you can not be serious. If Marisol leaves the protection of the house she will be in extreme danger. We don’t even know this man!” she said.
“We have a connection,” the woman stated. “She’ll be safe with him.”
As the conversation continued Lucas grew more and more confused. “Look here miss. I have no idea who you are, any of you. As a matter of fact I dare say I’m the first of my ancestors that I even know of that have ever looked into the face of a Castil warrior, much less the General! I will not be taking anyone with me and that is that!” he said loudly to the air.
“Brennan, you must. There is no other choice. You were brought here today to fetch Mari. You can not leave without her,” the woman said.
“Who…,” Lucas began, “…I brought you here! Mari is in danger and the time has come that my mother can no longer protect her the way she used to,” the woman bellowed with a tinge of regret.
“Why can’t you show yourself woman?” he asked angrily.
Just then the young girl came around her grans skirts and looked at Brennan with a smile. She was dark haired and fair skinned with the most piercing blue eyes he’d ever seen.
‘She’s right,’ the young girl spoke, except her lips never moved.
“I can’t. Not now. I would be in even more danger than my daughter and if I were to perish then surely would the last of our clan. Our heiress. Marisol.”
Staring at the old lady, Lucas swore he saw a pang of sadness cross her face before her features hardened again.
“You must trust me Brennan. You are our only hope in survival. I don’t have time to explain now but you must not leave here without the girl,” the woman said again, more urgently this time.
With the woman’s last words, the little girl tugged at her grans skirt and the old woman looked down at her.
“Gran? It’s time for me to go isn’t it?” she asked quietly and unafraid.
Lucas found her instantly in front of him before she’d even finished her question. Reaching for his hand, the little girl looked up at him and smiled.
“Hi. I’m Marisol. Heir to the Talmach throne. I think we’ll be great friends.”