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Rebekah King Rebekah King
Recommendations: 21

LAS IX - Fury

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This part continues on from the scene in Part 8

Lan moved swiftly, watching the ground before him as he ran, his sharp eyes detecting the most noiseless path through the brush. He was like a bullet, fast and silent, focused on his target. He did not stop until he reached the other side of the clearing. He knelt down to catch his breath and analyse the scene before him. He could see them clearly now, three men on this side of the fire.

He watched the men as they walked slowly about, patrolling the area, planning his attack in his head. He needed to take them all out without any of them or the others near Sorraru knowing. He needed to do it swiftly and silently. Luck was with him, he found, as he saw one of the men heading for the trees near him. He hadn’t heard him, Lan knew, so it was another purpose that drove him to the trees.

As soon as the man stopped, Lan moved, soundlessly towards him. He drew a bone arrow from its quiver, placing each step as carefully as he could. He was focused now, focused on his target, with the arrow grasped firmly in his hand, he poised for the kill. He was fast, drawing the tip of the razor arrow across the man’s throat before he knew what was happening. Lan broke his fall and laid him on the ground, stealing a glance at the clearing. The other men hadn’t heard a thing.

Lan moved back towards the clearing, kneeling just in the trees, out of sight in the darkness, and waited. Eventually, one of the men came over to investigate why his friend hadn’t returned. As soon as he was in the trees, Lan swiftly ended his life as well. He then unsheathed his bow and quickly loaded it with another arrow which he sent flying into the heart of the third man in the clearing. As he moved out of the trees, Lan hoped the roar of the fire hid the sound of the body hitting the ground.

Lan skirted the edge of the clearing until he had a clear view of the other two men near Sorraru. He looked at her briefly and it seemed she was still sawing through the rope. Lan had to wait until she made her move before he took the men down, and that needed to be before the dead ones were discovered and the alarm raised. Lan willed Sorraru along in his mind, hoping she could move fast enough. Her concentrated expression suddenly turned to one of surprise and then anger as she reacted to one of the men calling something at her.

Lan watched as the man approached Sorraru. He could hear the man speaking, but he couldn’t make out the words. Sorraru’s expression remained defiant and she said nothing in reply. Lan heard the man’s voice raise as he took another, more aggressive step towards her. She jumped slightly, but her face betrayed no emotion. Lan saw her lips move as she said something back, then his own expression became angry as he saw the man strike Sorraru right across the face with the back of his hand.

Lan burned with fury, his hands twitching, wanting to strangle that thug until he turned blue. Lan watched Sorraru’s hand – she had stopped sawing. She couldn’t with the man watching her. She lifted her head and Lan saw tears in her eyes from the force of the man’s blow. Sorraru’s anger got the better of her and she spat right in the man’s face. He staggered, wiped his face with his arm, and strode right back over to her in a rage. He slapped her again and put an arm against her chest, then leaned his head down to her neck.

There was no more time – Lan had to act. He loaded his bow, ready to strike, then suddenly Sorraru was free. The rope fell away from her arms and she brought the bone knife up into the man’s throat. He staggered back and clutched at his throat, blood spraying between his fingers. Lan adjusted his aim and shot the other man in the temple. Lan charged forward from his position until he was level with Sorraru and they took on the rest of the thugs together.

Lan had never seen such pure fury from Sorraru before. She fought like a warrior, using her rage, but also her head, making her a deadly weapon. She took two of the remaining four men down on her own. The other two fell to Lan’s arrows, one to the neck and the other between the eyes. When Sorraru’s last victim finally fell dead at her feet, she simply stood, staring at the body. Lan saw, moment by moment, her rage starting to ebb and realisation take over.

Sorraru turned to Lan then with an expression that was somewhere between disbelief and gratitude on her tear-streaked face. She ran to him and threw her arms around him, a hysterical sob escaping her lips. He returned her embrace, holding her close to him, never wanting to let go. He would not let them be so vulnerable, he would not be so careless, he would never let them hurt her again.

“Thank you,” Sorraru whispered through her sobs.

Lan wanted to speak reassuring words to her, to let her know he was there, he was there and he would protect her. But words failed to form on his lips, sense and reason abandoned him, and his vision blurred once more. Lan felt his body grow heavy, his eyes droop and his limbs fail him, and for reasons he could not explain, Lan collapsed.

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Next: without you (it's not as much fun to pick up the pieces)