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 Another Novel Idea (Chapter 1)

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Posts : 102
Join date : 2012-12-13
Age : 46
Location : Florida

PostSubject: Another Novel Idea (Chapter 1)   Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:25 pm

Mille approached the tavern from across the street and stopped. The rain only added to the gloom and disrepair of the place. The sign over the door swung violently in the wind making it difficult to read the sign, but Mille had already been here last week and knew the name. The Happy Centaur, huh? Doesn’t look so happy now. She was soaked to the skin, but she didn’t care. She walked up to the door and entered.

The large blazing fire in the center of the room was the first thing she noticed. “Shut the damned door!” Someone yelled. She stepped into the semi-darkness and closed the heavy wooden door behind her. All eyes were on her and all conversations stopped. Mille didn’t care, she was there for a very specific reason. She looked around the room, noting everyone and dismissing them quickly. Where are you? I was told you were here. Finally she spotted the woman sitting at a corner table and smiled. As Mille approached the table, she could feel all eyes following her. Mille stopped at the table and stared at the woman who returned her stare with a smile. The other three at the table were ignored. “Adora, you are coming with me. You must appear before the Council to answer for your crimes. Please come with me quietly. There doesn’t have to be any problems.”

Adora’s smile didn’t fade. “Mille! So good to see you again. Won’t you sit down?" She waved to one of the benches around her table. "No? Very well.” She refilled her glass from the pitcher on the table and sipped it before speaking again. “You came here alone? No, you’re too smart for that.” Adora sighed, “You know I can't come with you. The Council and I don’t really...get along and honestly, I don't believe I am responsible for what I have done.”

Mille’s jaw dropped, “Not responsible?! How are you not responsible for the murders, thefts and secrets you have stolen only to sell to those with the deepest pockets? We have witnesses and other proofs of your crimes. You are very much responsible.”

Adora sighed again, “I knew you wouldn’t understand so I won’t get into it with you. Especially here. So I repeat…no.” She looked around the room and smiled again, turning her gaze back to Mille. “You really should’ve brought in more people with you.”

“Where can you go? I have the building surrounded. You…”

Adora interrupted her, “How many times have we been in this situation before and I have slipped through your grasp?” Adora chuckled, “That’s gotta be frustrating.”

Mille scowled. “You will come with me now.” She reached over the table to grab Adora’s arm, but hers was grabbed by a strong bald man who has several tattoos on his face. Mille stared at the man, her eyes narrowing, “Let me go and you will not be held responsible.”

The man laughed and his grip tightened on Mille’s wrist. With lightening speed, Mille punched the man’s face, breaking his nose. The speed, more than the pain, shocked him and he did let go. Mille straightened up and stepped away from the table, her focus now on the bald man. He wiped the blood from his nose and looked accusingly at Mille. Adora chuckled, “Now you’ve gone and done it. Mille, this is Yavu.” The man stood and he was shoulders above Mille and his strength was obvious even in his loose fitting clothes. “He is very dedicated to me, so now as you two play, I will take my leave.” Adora stood and as Yavu slowly approached Mille, Adora slipped out behind him and made her way behind the bar. As she turned to look, Mille had just dodged a blow from one of Yavu’s massive fists and was pulling her mace. “There is a 5,000 gold bounty on her head!” Milled yelled, pointing at Adora, but no one made a move to stop her. Adora smiled, “Good luck Mille. And better luck next time.” She laughed and opened the trap door in the floor and jumped into the darkness.

The cellar was cool and dark, but Adora knew it well. The sounds of the fight could still be heard through the floor above her, but the sounds were muffled. She made her way to the deep recesses where the barrels of wine were kept. In the corner, one large barrel had been placed on its side and tapped. Adora grabbed the spigot, turned it and pulled. The whole barrel and part of the wall opened to reveal another dark passageway. With a smile, Adora slipped through the door and pushed it shut behind her just as a crash of glass was heard from the upper floor. I’ll have to pay for that. The silence was immediate as well as the darkness. Adora shifted into a jaguar and the darkness brightened. That’s better. Knowing there was nothing in this tunnel, she broke into a loping gait. After about an hour, she came to the end of the tunnel and shifted back to human. She climbed the four steps that were created and placed down here, reached above her head, and unlocked on the wooden trap door, opening it just a crack to listen. Hearing nothing but normal forest sounds, she raised it just enough to look through the opening. Nothing but the woods around her. She opened it all the way and finally poked her head through, looking all around her. She was safe. Climbing out of the tree stump, she closed and re-locked the opening.

Adora frowned and began to walk. Damn Mille! I was just about to get the information I needed when she barged in and ruined everything! I just hope I can still contact that guy. I’ll set Yavu on it in the morning. Adora allowed her feet to follow the well-known path while her mind churned. Now I’ll likely be punished - again. I have been working a whole month to find that guy and now there’s no telling when I’ll be able to find him again. Damn it! She came to a clearing and there was a small house in the center. It wasn’t much, but it was hers. Adora opened the door and frowned as she locked eyes with Flagg. He was sitting on her couch, sipping tea. Adora closed the door behind her and stood there. The man stared at her, waiting, his grey eyes never wavering. Adora considered beating about the bush, but knew it was pointless. “I didn’t get the information. Mille showed up and ruined everything.”

Flagg nodded slowly and set down his cup on the side table. “I see. That is most disappointing. I will have to tell your father and he won’t be pleased.”

Adora nodded, “I know. Not much I can do about that now. I will set Yavu on his trail in the morning.”

Flagg looked around the tiny room as if he expected to see Yavu hiding somewhere. “Where is Yavu?”

“I left him fighting Mille. She is determined to bring me before the Council.”

“At least you were able to get away. We don’t need to upset your father any more than necessary.”

Adora growled, “Yes. That would be a damn shame.”

Giving Adora a half smile, Flagg turned and acted like he was turning the knob on an invisible door and opening it. He stepped through the opening and disappeared.

Adora collapsed on the couch and tried to not think about her father’s wrath with Flagg’s report. She took off her boots and placed them beside the couch. Should I get undressed or not? I can’t afford more clothes right now, should he decide to rip these off me. Sighing, Adora took off her clothes and laid them on the couch. She then climbed the ladder to the loft and laid down on the bed. She was too keyed up to sleep and simply waited. It didn’t take long.

“Adora,” her father’s voice came from down below. Her stomach sank as she got up and climbed back down the ladder. Turning around, she looked into his eyes for just a moment before falling to her knees and bowing her head. He took a few slow, deep breaths and she could feel him staring down at her. “Adora, I ask so little of you and still you fail me. I simply asked you to get the location of the silver arm band of Santinaya and you use the excuse of Mille interrupting you for you not getting it?!” His voice was rising and Adora clinched her fists in preparation for the coming pain. “How many times must I beat you? Was all your training for nothing?” He paused and she waiting for the coming blow, but it never came. “You’re expecting me to strike you, my dear? No, I have come up with a better plan. I will withhold your antidote until you get the information.” Adora gasped and her eyes shot up to his. He smiled and she cringed. I hate that smile. He continued, “Perhaps the pain will be a motivator for you. Since you normally wouldn’t need it until tomorrow, that gives you four days. Don’t waste them.” Her father opened the invisible door as Flagg did earlier and disappeared.

Adora stood. Well, so much for sleep. She dressed and left the house.

# # #

Mille struck Yavu again with her mace, but it was like hitting a stone wall. The man simply grunted and kept swinging those massive hands. She knew if she let him hit her it would be all over. Thankfully no one else at The Happy Centaur was getting involved; they were just trying to stay out of the way. She had lied when she said she had the building surrounded and now she wished it were true. Yavu never lunged at her, but kept coming towards her, throwing tables out of his way, forcing her back until she finally was against the wall. She had nowhere else to go and swung out again at the man. He caught her mace this time and jerked it out of her hands. Then he grabbed her neck and slammed her head against the wall. Mille’s eyes rolled back in her head and she collapsed. Yavu picked her up and carried her to the front door, throwing her and her mace outside into the street. He stepped out of the tavern, looked down at her crumpled form for a minute, then turned and walked away. He turned down a nearby alley and was gone from sight. Those still inside the tavern watched him until he turned into the alley then all eyes turned back to Mille. After a moment’s pause, they backed up into the tavern, shut the door and went about righting tables and returning to previously interrupted conversations.

Adora gazed down from the roof of The Happy Centaur at Mille’s crumpled body and frowned. Stupid woman. Coming into this part of town without more protection. Well, perhaps this will teach her. Adora climbed over the roof to the back of the tavern and dropped softly into the back alley. She slipped in the back door, unnoticed so far, and looked at each person, hoping her informant was still inside. She smiled. What luck! She approached the man from behind and whispered, “I still need that information.” The man squeaked and whirled around. “Adora!” He instantly relaxed, “I thought you had left. I’m so glad nothing happened to you.”

Adora smiled. I’m sure you are. After all, I haven’t paid you yet.

“Shall I order you a drink?” He said. Adora shook her head, “My payment still stands.”

“Yea. About that. I have been going over it and since we didn’t shake on the earlier suggested amount, I was thinking it wasn’t enough.”

Her eyes blazed and she curled her hands into fists. She barely kept her voice low, “How much more do you want?”

He held up his hands and smiled, “Oh, I don’t want more gold. That amount is fine. But I also want something more…physical.” He licked his lips and looked over her body before his eyes returned to hers. “You are a beautiful woman, Adora. And I know you need this information.”

Adora was a mixture of rage and refusal. The man called over a waitress and ordered 3 shots of alcohol. Adora was trembling as she sat down and drank them, one after the other. She stared at the empty glasses long enough to force the man to speak again. “Well, Adora?”

Adora clenched her jaw and nodded. The man grinned, showing his teeth. “Wonderful! Why don’t we leave here, then and you can follow me to my place. It’s not far from here.”

Adora nodded again and left with the man.

His information was solid he not only told her the location of the arm band in the morning hours, but gave her a map. She dressed, put the bag of gold on his bed, and left without another word.
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