So before I began working on The Hanover Chronicles series, I had been working with another set of characters. Recently, I shelved that book, but two of the characters wouldn’t leave me alone. I hope you don’t mind me sharing a set of short scenes about this couple.
Anna trudged defeated through the rebel camp. Beautiful pinks and oranges painted the sky and she stopped to observe the sunset. Since she got here, she had cherished each sunset not knowing when her last one would come. Often times, she was faced with a beating for some act of insubordination within an inch of her life. Nola tried to shelter her at much as possible by keeping her working in the kitchen away from Milcal.
“Anna!” Nola called from a few houses away and Anna hurried towards her, pushing open the door to the kitchen.
“My apologies, mistress.”
“It’s okay. Milcal is just getting anxious for dinner. I tried to cover for you as long as I could.” Anna nodded, solemnly and placed the meal onto two plates. Steeling herself, she entered the dining room. Milcal sat at the table twirling a knife.
“My apologies, my lord.” She bowed as she placed the plate on the table. Milcal grunted and she back away slowly, not trusting the man in front of her. She turned towards the door and heard something whiz by her ear. She reached up a touched the tip of her ear. Her fingertips came away red and her heart raced. She turned around and Milcal stood, grinning sadistically, with another knife in his hand.
“You’ve earned yourself another whipping.” Anna’s heart went cold as Milcal approached her. He gripped her arm and pulled her out of the house and into the chilly night. Anna fought against him, kicking and screaming, desperate to get away from him. The familiar leather bonds brought tears to her eyes and she slumped onto the muddy ground.
The first lash took her breath away and she strained against the bonds. At some point her mind went numb and each lash sent pain to every inch of her body. After 20 lashes, she screamed. After a few more, the lashes stopped. Her screams echoed in her ears and slowly died down. She blinked the haze away from her eyes and struggled to lift her head. She sent silent thanks to God for rescuing her. Her eyes grew heavy and blackness danced on the edge of her vision. Her name echoed once and than silence.
“Hey gorgeous,” a warm voice murmured in her ear and she turned her ear, blinking slowly. Her sense returned to her and she smiled. Warmth and safety surrounded her and she sighed. Her breaths echoed loudly in the small room. Something covered her mouth and she reached for it, but his hand stopped her.
“Leave it.” He reached over her and pressed something above her. Something cool flowed through her veins and her head felt drowsy and heavy. Her eyes met his in a panic.
“Shhh…it’s going to be okay, Anna. Just sleep,” he soothed her and smoothed back her hair. His kind blue eyes were the last thing she saw as she slipped into a drugged sleep.
The next time she opened her eyes, he was sleeping, slumped on her bed. She lifted a hand and ran it through his hair. He stirred in his sleep and blinked awake. His sleepy blue eyes smiled at her.
“Hi.” Her voice was hoarse from disuse.
“You’re awake,” he stated and she nodded, sniffing. Something was in her nose and she reached up to see what it was. Her fingers came in contact was plastic tubing and she started to pull it out, but once again his fingers stopped hers.
“Don’t take it out. It’s making sure you breath,” he explained gently. His calloused fingers intertwined themselves between hers and brought her hand up to kiss it.
“I miss you, darling.”
“I miss you, too,” she whispered. His eyes brightened and he leaned towards her. Their lips met in the middle for the first time in two years. She wrapped her arms around his neck, ignoring the tugging from her injuries.
“I love you,” he confessed. She smiled at his words, but didn’t repeat the sentiment.
“Where are we?”
“The hospital. Your father is outside waiting for you to wake up.”
“Can you get him for me?” Kenton nodded and stood. Anna grabbed his hand and pulled him back to the side of the bed. She pulled his lips down to hers again and kissed him deeply.
“I think I love you too,” she murmured. He walked out of the hospital room with a smile on his face.