Seals of Power
Remy LeBeau stared at the bracelet, conflicting emotions reflecting on his
handsome face. Joy, that he had finally found what he'd been looking for,
relief, that his crusade was over, the permanent anger that he even had to look
for this little piece of silver, and, what was worst, sadness that he had had
to take it away from the one person he had already taken everything from
(hurt the most in his life). He knew he could never make up to her, not in her
eyes. To her, he was a monster, that had not only ordered her father's death,
but also her being raped. But there was nothing he could do about that now,
even though the memory of their last encounter still sent twinges of guilt
through his body.
He had returned to the hut to retrieve his few possessions (he had decided
not to take any of the things they had stolen with him). He would have left
even those behind, had it not been for the framed picture of the most beautiful
woman Remy had ever laid his eyes on (and there had been many!), the only
person in this world he cared about.
When he had entered, carefully avoiding eye contact with the hut's
irritating prisoner, she had looked up at him from her sitting position and had
demanded back her bracelet with a stern voice that allowed no contradiction. She
hadn't begged, hell, she hadn't even asked. She had simply stated the fact that
the bracelet was hers and undoubtedly would be again.
With a sigh, he put the object of both their grief into his saddlebag and
walked over towards his horse. That was until he heard a female voice he had
come to know very well recently.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?"
Jacqueline paced back and forth in the small hut, trying to calm down her
nerves, unable to sit for a second. Not only was she the prisoner of a brutal
gang of thieves who had killed her father, her bracelet, the only reminder of
her dead mother she'd never known, taken away, but also she'd also been
raped, a memory that still send shivers of anger, disgust, shame and, even though
she hated to admit this, fear down her spine.
Her situation was driving her insane and she just knew that she had to do
something about it, no matter what or how stupid it may be. Stupid like fleeing
from a thieves' hideout, full of strong, brutal men in full sunlight. Filled
with sudden determination she started to check the wooden walls of the hut
for any sign of weakness. And she found it. One of the wooden boards was
already beginning to rot and thus could be easily removed. A small smile graced
the young woman's lips. LeBeau had been stupid not to tie her up again. And
when he would return she wouldn't be there anymore. She bent down, took a tight
hold of the board with both her hands and started to pull at it with all her
might. With a loud crack the wood broke off and Jacqueline was sent flying
backwards, landing rather uncomfortably on her backside.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?"
Jacqueline froze, terrified. Had her foolish attempt at escape only worsened
her situation because she had been caught in the act? It took her some
painful moments, in which she held her breath and tried to ease her heart's hard
thumping against her chest, to realize she wasn't the person addressed.
Slowly crawling backwards Jacqueline tried not to betray her presence.
Panting, she leaned against the wall, right beside the whole she had somewhat
provisionally covered, and concentrated on the sound of footsteps that stopped
right on the other side of the wall. Obviously there was an argument going on.
Trying not to make any sound Jacqueline pressed her ear against the wall
"Don't you just walk away! What's going on? Where are you going?"
Jacqueline recognized the voice as that of the girl that had captured her.
She heard the tension in the thieves' leader's voice. Panic filled the young
woman. What would happen to her if LeBeau left her with his gang? If she was
at the mercy of people like Chatton.
Stupid girl! Jacqueline scolded herself As if your situation was any
better now with a monster in sheep cloth in charge.
"Where? And when will you come back?" Sarah demanded to know.
"Never said I'd stay forever. Have business in London." he answered, his
voice strangely bare of emotion.
"But... but you can't just go!" the young girls normally snarling voice was
suddenly almost hysteric. "You are our leader, you can't just leave us
"Dere be 'nough people ta take m' place."
Again Jacqueline heard footsteps. Obviously LeBeau had turned away and left
the girl standing there.
"Then I'll come with you!" These words made him stop dead in his tracks
"You will stay away from me, and London, understood? Understood, Sarah?" his
voice was intense and almost cracking with suppressed fury.
"Understood.." she answered through gritted teeth, her anger no less than
Jacqueline heard a sound as if the girl had to pull out of a tight grip and
then her light footsteps hurrying away. A deep sigh was audible, though
Jacqueline doubted that LeBeau felt sorry for his harsh words. Her thoughts were
interrupted by Sarah's voice, already far away.
"Don't forget your little toy when you're going! I'm not gonna protect her
from the asshole, you know?!"
She had just managed to hurry back to her seat and put on a blank expression
as he slammed the door open. His features as emotionless as hers, he took a
bag she recognized as her own out of a chest and told her to come with him.
His grip on her upper arm was almost violent as he led her to her horse and
Jacqueline could see his inner fight.
As he started to bind her arms again, she couldn't hold back any longer.
"And what is that supposed to mean?" she demanded, eyes blazing with barely
suppressed anger at his rude treatment.
"Y'goin' home." He answered through gritted teeth, without even looking up.
For a second, Jacqueline was too stunned to even react. But just for a
"What the HELL do you think you're doing here then? How am I supposed to
ride when my HANDS are bound?" Her anger made her pant as if she had run for
miles. Remy sighed. He had expected that this wouldn't be easy.
"Y'horse knows the way home."
"And if I'm attacked?" she asked condescendingly, as if he were retarded
enough so that she had explain to HIM that that there were criminals in this
forest. But all her arrogant attitude faded when he pulled out a dagger and she
winced against her will. LeBeau grinned grimly, as if he wouldn't like the
fact that despite all her behavior she was deep down still scared of him,
expected the worst of him.
"I put this in the saddlebag. You'll be far 'nough from here until you'll
manage to get it out. And then you can free yourself." When he had done so, he
lifted her in the saddle and bound her hands tightly on the reins. Jacqueline
gritted her teeth as if the sensation of his skin on hers was an unpleasant
one. LeBeau kept his eyes fixed on her hands, even after he had finished his
task, but suddenly, his hand shot up to her neck and he pulled her down into
a passionate kiss.
At first, the young noblewoman was too shocked to stop him or even react,
then, she couldn't. She would never admit this to herself, but the shivers that
ran down her spine when his tongue played with hers weren't out of sheer
anger. Panting, LeBeau pulled out of the kiss, not looking her in the eyes.
Before she could react, he murmured something that sounded like 'au revoir' and
slapped the horse on the backside so that it started trotting away. The woman
turned and their eyes met. Neither of them looked aside as she departed. Remy
still stared at the direction she had taken when she was already outside his
field of vision. The young noblewoman had left the life of the thief, and he
didn't dare to take a closer look at the feelings her departure had aroused.
To be continued.
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