Apologies for not flashing last week but Nano has been keeping me busy. I am proud to say, though, that my word count is over the 42K mark. *grin* The prompt I used this week was: "You're deluding yourself if you believe that"
If you don't remember what happened to Rodric in the last two chapters, you can read them HERE. (Scroll to the bottom). Otherwise, read on and enjoy!
Myths, Secrets and Love 3
Rodric kept his gaze fixed on the stretch of sand looming before them. The two sailors on the small boat heaved and puffed with exertion as they rowed toward Arvynen Island. Unicorn Island. Rodric frowned. Why would they take Fergus to such a place? The horse people were not friends with other creatures. They kept to themselves for the most time and did not enjoy any company. Rodric scratched his head, cursing the damn lice crawling through it. Even if the island gave him a bad vibe he would be glad to be stepping on some firm land. He was tired of the sea. Tired of searching for Fergus. This voyage had been going on for too long. Were he another man, he’d have left Fergus to fend for himself. If he was dead, he was dead. There wasn’t really anything he could do about it. Except, his damn consciousness didn’t let him rest. If Fergus was dead he wanted to take his body home. His heart squeezed at the thought and he shook his head. Now, if Ferguson was alive... Rodric grinned. A shiver cursed through him and he fisted his hands into tight balls. He hoped he was alive because he was going to give the infuriating man a well deserved throttle.
“What you grinning about, Captain?” one of the sailors asked him. His furrowed brow and wide eyes indicated he thought Rodric had gone mad. Maybe he had.
“None of your business, Kane.”
“Captain, there are people on shore.”
“Aye.” Rodric made no comment about the evident fear in the man’s voice. Unease curled inside of him. The horse people were waiting for them. Why didn’t it surprise him? As they came closer he began to distinguish the features of those on the shore. Two of them were men or centaurs, the upper part of their bodies that of a man’s anatomy, the bottom that of a horse. The third party waiting for them was a woman with silver white hair that flowed loosely in the wind. He rubbed his eyes. What was a woman doing among them?
“Is she naked?” One of the sailors cried out.
“Quiet now, you fools. Don’t say a word unless I tell you too. I don’t know who she is or why she is scantily dressed but those men look like they will kill us if we try anything.”
The men grunted and nodded their agreement. William fingered the pistol at his side. Damn, Fergus had taken his sword. He bit back a sigh. Who knew where it was now? He squirmed in his seat as the boat approached the shore. He could feel the heavy gazes of those on the shore. By the Gods, he hoped the sirens hadn’t deceived him.
Finally, Rodric got out of the boat and stepped on firm land. He breathed a sigh of relief. Land. If the unicorn’s hadn’t been watching him he would have sunk to the ground and kissed it. Instead, he put on his best smile and strode up to the inhabitants of the island. Bowing in respect, he gave them a cocky grin. The woman’s pale eyebrows lifted, clearly unimpressed. The men did not move a muscle.
“Welcome Rodric Belavue. We have been expecting you.” Rodric started. The woman’s voice was incredibly soft, like the whisper of the wind against the trees on a breezy autumn day. One moment it was there and the next it was gone.
“Thank you.” He cleared his voice. “You know then about my quest?” Straight to the chase, there was no point in pretending he was here for other reasons if they had already been expecting him.
“Yes. The Queen and King demand your presence. Your sailors will stay here. Jairod and Kairod will see to their comfort.”
Rodric raised an eyebrow, surprised. “You will travel with me without an escort?”
The woman laughed, the sound pleasing to his ears. “I am a woman of the Arvynen and I fight just as well as any of the men. Better even,” she said, flashing him a broad smile. “Besides,” she said, beginning to walk ahead of him into the island, “that gun you carry is useless. It is water logged.”
Rodric swore under his breath. He waved at his sailors to stay with the Arvynen soldiers and followed the woman into the island. After a few minutes, he cleared his voice.
“You’re not one of them, are you?”
The woman glanced his way, her eyes dancing with mirth. “"You're deluding yourself if you believe that."
“But, you’re not, er,” Rodric coughed. How to tell a woman she didn’t look like a horse without insulting her.
The woman laughed. “My name is Arjä and I think, what you’re trying to say is that I don’t look like a horse.” She slowed her gait, coming to walk at his side. William noticed then that her long hair was not white but a very pale yellow. “The Queen will explain as soon as you swear to secrecy and fealty.”
Rodric stopped in his tracks, staring at Arjä’s back, who continued on without him. Swear to secrecy and fealty? He wasn’t swearing anything to anyone, especially not to a race that was known for its disgust toward humans.
“You want to find Ferguson, don’t you?” She called, teasing him.
Rodric swore loudly. Darn Fergus. Slapping his hand against a tree, he raced to catch up with the petite unicorn woman.
To be Continued…