FINISHED A FEW MORE FOR YA!
It had been so many cycles since he’d seen her, that Ihsan didn’t recognize the beautiful woman lying in the Majii’s bed. Not at first. She’d grown up and filled out in places he hadn’t set his eyes upon in years. It wasn’t until her hair fell away from her face that realization set in. She was as naked as the day she was born and mere feet away from him.
Ihsan told himself the Majii wouldn’t be so bold as to band him from the only girl he’s ever loved, then bed her and assign him to her protective detail. However, there she was…the girl who’d ignited a burning passion inside him all those years ago. A girl he told himself he would die for. He almost did.
Looking back on it now, he told himself he should’ve seen it coming. He’d noticed the way the Majii looked at Arya. At first it was as a father who admired his daughter, but as she grew, her beauty with it, the Majii’s adoration turned into lingering stares. The favor he once had with the Majii had turned to animosity.
The Majii began to do everything in his power to drive a wedge between he and Arya. Ihsan noticed the Majii began to send him on dangerous charges that were beyond his skill. He narrowly escaped death each time.
When that didn’t work he began to impose sanctions and rules, dividing him from her. Still, even that couldn’t keep the two apart. Ihsan snuck into her room one night after curfew and kissed the girl of his dreams. He nearly paid for it with his life.
After being healed by the Magus, Ihsan was promptly beaten to within an inch of his life, beatings he would gladly suffer to be near her again. And after each beating, the Magus would heal him only for him to be beaten again. The Majii hoped the beatings would cause him to break, but he never did. He never broke…shedid.
Unable to take watching him be beaten and tortured, Arya cracked. She promised never to lay eyes on Ihsan again. He begged her not to acquiesce but the guilt she felt was insurmountable.
Pleased with himself, the Majii locked Ihsan away in a cell, never to be opened or retrieved again if it weren’t for preceptor Mekhi. He fought on Ihsan’s behalf, begging the Majii to turn him over. After a cycle, the Majii conceded. Ihsan was slowly able to put back together some semblance of a life. He found a purpose. He would become the greatest soldier that ever lived and when the moment presented itself, he would come for her.
Day and night he trained for many terms to perfect and hone every skill. Alone at night he’d continue his training. He excelled faster than any other of the Majii’s pupils and won one of the coveted positions of an alumni assassin.
Ihsan knew the Majii would put his skills to the test, sending him on charge after charge…the more difficult the better. And each time he came back victorious.
After one of his charges, he was called into the Majii’s chambers and told Arya had died during her combat training. He lost all of the fight in him that day, and mourned his lost love. That is, until new alumni began to rank up. They would tell tales of the fierce beauty the Majii held back, undoubtedly so she wouldn’t rank up to become alumni. If she did, she’d find Ihsan waiting and the Majii wouldn’t stand for it.
He confronted the Majii with what he knew to be truth and was promptly beaten within an inch of his life. He could see it in the Majii’s eyes…that rage…rage only a man in love could inflict. Ihsan’s very existence threatened what the Majii sought the most, so he kept Ihsan hidden and Arya subdued.
He’d heard whispers that the Majii had taken an assassin as a lover. He’d hoped and prayed it wasn’t her. The Arya he knew wasn’t submissive. In truth, she would have made a horrible wife, but standing before her now, staring down at her beautiful face, he knew it was true. The Majii had somehow gotten her to submit. Or perhaps his eyes were playing tricks on him. It wouldn’t be the first time he’s imagined her.
The girl in the Majii’s bed stirred. She sat up and her curly hair hung round her face, falling to her waist. She stretched like Arya would stretch after a night of good rest. She wasn’t always able to get good sleep. She had nightmares…terribleones. She’d often awaken clutching a stiletto, always ready for battle. He’d hold her until she was no longer frightened. Now he wondered if she still had those dreams. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she wrapped the bed sheet around herself. He tried his damnest to keep his eyes on the floor but failed.
She ran herself a bath, either unaware of his presence or she simply didn’t care. After bathing, she dressed in something Arya would wear and armed herself to the teeth with hidden weapons. He wondered if she was still as lethal as he remembered.
“Where is the Majii?” She asked. He couldn’t speak. Hearing her voice had rendered him speechless. He kept his mouth shut and his head down. She scowled at him. “The Majii isn’t present, you have my permission to speak. I swear it will stay between us.”
He still couldn’t speak. Growing more aggravated by the second, she gripped the stilettos at her side, brandishing them, but he didn’t flinch. He was too focused on her beauty to speak. A rage he hadn’t felt in a long time coursed through him now. She’d betrayed him…their love…their promises to one another. And she’d submitted to the man who’d hurt them both.
Arya flung her stilettos at him, impaling the hood of his cloak right off his head, pinning it to the wall. Slowly he looked up at her, revealing his face, that anger reaching its boiling point. But then he saw the look on her face, an expression of both pain and disbelief. It was as if she thought she was staring at a ghost. “Ihsan?” She whispered his name. At least she remembered that much.
Arya reached up to touch his face and he bristled. “Don’t. Touch. Me,” he growled at her.
She hesitated. Tears formed in her eyes and her breathing increased. Her chest began heaving up and down rapidly. She was panicking. Wide eyed and astonished, she couldn’t tear her eyes away from him.
Again she reached up to touch his face. This time he let her and she gasped. “Are you real or am I dreaming?” Arya asked, tears pouring from her eyes. “Please tell me you’re real. What a cruel dream this would be.”
“You’re not dreaming,” Ihsan replied.
“You’re not dead?” She asked.
Dead? It didn’t take much to understand what transpired after she’d watched him beaten to within an inch of his life for the last time. They never saw each other again. Somehow she’d been convinced he was dead. Only the Majii could break her like that. He took away the one thing that fortified her love for him…hope.
Ihsan was still angry, but it wasn’t just at her anymore. He’d deceived them both. Ihsan had once believed she was dead as well. He kept them far apart from each other…out of sightand out of mind. Separately, he worked them over until they’d abandoned their love.
The Majii kept Arya secluded and banished Ihsan to the plane of seasons. A plane he never intended to come back to, but that had recently changed.
“No, I’m not dead.”
“Where have you been?” Arya asked.
“Ask your lover.”
She took all of him in, raking her eyes over every muscled inch, and vomited on the floor. Sobbing, bracing herself on her knees, she pleaded, “Forgive me…I’ve failed us both.”
He wasn’t sure if he wanted to have it out with her just yet and thankfully approaching footsteps interrupted their brief reunion. The Majii walked in, took one look at Arya standing before Ihsan and lightning danced about the Majii’s fingertips. He slid his eyes to Ihsan, cold and murderous…a warning to him.
“Arya,” the Majii called her name.
She goes still. Her sobbing has stopped and Ihsan isn’t sure, but she may have stopped breathing. Her fingers clench into fists and she slowly slides her gaze to the Majii. Quick as lightening, she sends a handful of throwing stars singing through the air. They’re met with electric currents and swatted to the ground.
One minute she’s standing before him and the next she’s before the Majii, sword in hand, driving it through his abdomen. The Majii staggers backwards and looks down at the hilt of her sword protruding from his stomach, eyes wide with shock. He should’ve seen it coming. Arya wears her heart on her sleeve and her anger leading to violence was normal for her.ns 188.8.131.52da2