I looked at Jessamyn. She held her head down and her eyes closed. Her blonde hair was sliding down her neck, not tied in a ponytail with the usual, red ribbon.
"You have to understand, Kuutamo," she said in a low voice. She never called me Kuutamo, it was always Tam. "We can not keep on doing this," I said. "They will kill us both. We were not supposed to run away from the castle. I should have known they would come after us." She did not look frightened at all. "The people who shoot you in your shoulder, it was them. I do not want to lose you like that, Amyn. They wont get you. I promise." I looked steadily at her. She sat on the bed with her legs crossed. The dagger lay in her hands, shining. Finally she raised her head and looked at me. Her eyes were usually golden, but now they started to look grey and transparent. She looked sick.
I rose from the chair, walked across the room and sat down beside her. She pulled her hair back with one hand. "I shouldn't have dropped that painting. I know it was old," she whispered. A weak, nervous laugher escaped her throat.
"Jessamyn. This isn't all because of the painting. They need you. Especially when you have both your powers and my powers." I could never forget yesterday when she had stolen all my powers by an accident. I was supposed to give back hers, but I said too much Elvish stuff, so she ended up with my powers too.
"But.. I can kill them, and you could help me." I shook my head. "We can fight and defeat four people at the same time, but they will strike in with hundreds of men if they have to. And we can't stand a chance against so many men," I said.
"Then we need to find the other witches and wizards. I know one of the servants in the castle, though I really don't know where she is at this moment. I didn't have the time to say good bye. And you following me was a bad mistake. Big mistake. Huge." She raised her voice and looked at me.
"How come it was a bad idea? You wouldn't stand a chance without me."
"Because I love you and I don't want you to be killed!" she shouted. Tears started streaming down her face. She brushed them away, but they kept coming.
"And that is why we have to hide. Because, if you die, I will curl up in a corner and stay there until I die of hunger, sorrow or sickness." She knew I was telling the truth. I had been in love with her from the first day we met, from the day she was ordered to be my servant. But we both had really proud souls, so none of us said anything about it until two days ago.
"Yes, I know you will. And you know why? Because I was your servant for too many years and you ordered me to do this and bring you that."
"Don't bring that up again, please. You would not be allowed to put your foot in the castle without being my servant," I said.
Amyn laid her head down on the pillow, looked up in the roof.
"I don't want to lose you, Tam. I don't," she whispered.
"And I don't want to lose you either."
I leaned back, rested my back on the mattress.
"That's why you are so overprotective all the time," she whispered as she lifted her head so that she could rest it on my chest.
"I'll be awake," I muttered.
"OK. Just.. Don't get killed. And don't you dare to leave this room before I know where you are heading."
"Just sleep, Amyn." I smiled, and looked down at her, stroked her back as she started to fall asleep.
Her low snoring sounded more like a cat being petted than a warriors snore.
"You asleep?" I whispered, just to be sure that she would not hit me or cut me with her dagger if I moved.
"No," she muttered. "I want to be awake when you leave."
"I wont leave, I just have to move my leg, and if you are not awake when I do that, you will probably hit me so hard that I'll faint."
Now it was her time to smile.
"Just move your leg if you have to."
I think she had fallen asleep around four in the morning, and she woke up quickly as a crow started croaking, followed by the sound of a males voice.
"I want that girl untouched."
The words made me jump off the bed and reach for my dagger as Jessamyn stumbled away from the pillow and almost crashed down at the floor. I took her arm, helping her stand up.
"Are you OK?" I whispered.
"Yes." She bit her lip and looked away.
"Are you sure you are not feeling sick? Remember what I said when I healed your wound. If you feel dizzy, get the fever or have to puke, we have to get you to a doctor or healer so that he or she can heal you better than I can."
She nodded slowly. "I'm OK."
"I trust you."
Someone was pulling the pub's door open, walking in with heavy boots that made them sound heavier than they were. I took my cloak and fastened it around my shoulders before I went down to the window. It could not be opened. I looked at my hand, totally forgetting that Amyn could remove the whole window in no time, clenching my fists I hit the glass so hard that it broke. It did hurt, but I was too stressed to say anything. I brushed away some blood that was seeping from my hand. Jessamyn stood behind me.
"Jerk," she muttered, giggling. "I could have done that."
"I totally forgot."
I was the first to jump out of the window to make sure that everything was clear, but when I looked up I could hear someone scream. Jessamyn was no longer standing by the window.
My heart started beating fast and I tried to climb up the wall again, but I did not succeed; the walls were too slippery and wet. "Jessamyn!" I shouted.
I shivered when I heard something being set on fire and then stiffened. After the something had fallen down on the floor, I heard someone punch another something, and it seemed to me like it was a nose because of the loud 'smack'- and 'crush' sound. After what I had heard, she was either perfectly fine, or she had got her nose broken.
I held my gaze on the window, waiting for her to show up, but she did not, and while I was standing there, someone hit my head with a heavy object and I fell to the ground, fainting while I heard a girls voice screaming my name.
"Nah. He's not alive."
"Of course he is. Can't you hear him breathing?"
"Well, the girl's definitely dead."
"Yes. And so will you be when Master finds out what we have done to her."
The voices were low. The first one who had been talking about me not being alive, sounded more like a lion or something, while the other one sounded like a snake.
"You are stupid, Maliak. We'll not give her to him, we'll get another girl and toss some magic on her. And then we'll run away before he knows it's not the Chosen one."
"You are clever, Rashjan." The snakes, or Maliak's voice was close to my ear. I opened my eyes slowly, but stopped before they where all open. I could not see anything. They must have had taken something over my eyes.
"And then," it was still Maliak talking, "and then we throw them to the little ones." He made a weird clicking noise with his tongue and hissed. "The little ones, yes. They will like to have something else to eat. They're tired of birds and horses and children. They'll like to eat them. Yes they will." Maliak kept clicking his tongue as he spoke.
"Silence, Maliak!" Rashjan hissed.
The whole thing about us being thrown to 'the little ones' made me feeling sick. And Jessamyn could not be dead. She never died, she was always a lucky girl. She always survived. I started moving, to show them that I was alive. No one reacted, so I began to babble strange things in elvish that made no sense at all.
"Looks like the boy's awake." Rashjan poked me with one large finger.
"Why cannot we eat him?" Maliak asked. "He looks tasty."
"Because he is going to be delivered to Master to check if he still has got some magic in him and then he will be thrown to the little ones'es."
"I beg your pardon," I said. "But, I would like to have this thing removed from my eyes so that I can see you when you explain to me why this Master wants my girlfriend."
Maliak and Rashjan looked at each other, surprised by my friendly voice. They quickly removed what looked like a bag before they sat down three metres away from me. I sat up, wringing my hands. I sighed before I looked at Maliak and Rashjan. They were ugly creatures. Their eyes were glowing orange in the dark and their heads and hands had the same size, which meant they were bigger than two of the largest books in the wizard's castle's library. And those books were huge.
They looked more like trolls than human beings. The largest one, seemed to be Rashjan, and he also seemed to be the leader of the two of them.
I looked for Jessamyn, but I could not see her because of all the darkness.
"What did you do to her?" I asked. These trolls or men or orcs or whatever started to piss me off.
"Nothing. She fell out of the window. Yes yes. Fell out of the window she did. After she blew my brother to pieces and turned my sister to stone. Evil girlfriend of yours. Yes yes. Evil girlfriend," Maliak said. The clicking sound he made reminded me of a clock.
"Where is she now?"
"Over there," Rashjan said as he pointed on a rock.
"That's not Amyn, that's a rock."
"Check it out then, boyfriend," Maliak hissed.
"What if it is another trollish creature instead of Amyn. What if it is a trap?"
Rashjan and Maliak looked at me with curious eyes. I shook my head. Brainless people. I crawled over to the bundle.
"Jessamyn?" I whispered as I took the cloak of her. She looked dead, and her nose was definetely broken, but when I leant down I could hear her breathing.
"She is sick.." I whispered.
"No I am not." I startled when she whispered to me. She opened her eyes.
"Jessamyn Muse," I whispered, "you scared the Hell out of me."
"I am pretending to be dead here. And you'd better pretend that I am dead too. I have a plan. Trust me." And then she closed her eyes again and went silent. I brushed some light hair straws away from her face before I kissed her forehead and put the cloak back over her.
"She is dead," I whispered, swallowing. "She is dead and it is all my fault!" I crawled up against a wall or rock, pretended to cry. It was not hard, because there were tears, I actually made myself think that she was dead and the thought made me start crying.
"Boyfriend has lost his mind. Boyfriend is sobbing. Poor boyfriendie. Are we sad?" Maliak and Rashjan started laughing. They laughed and laughed until they did nothing but harsh hiccuping and sneezing.
I wondered what might be on her mind. She had a plan. I knew that. But which plan?
I was still sitting in the corner when Maliak and Rashjan started making a fire. I was actually glad they made the fire, because then I could get a view of the place we were in. The flames licked up against the stone wall, setting the whole cave in light and shadows. It was a really simple cave. Some weapons were lying beside Rashjan and the food laid beside Maliak. There were a half pork, a turkey, some fish and a big bottle of old beer.
"I think he is sleeping now," Maliak said. "So. What's your plan?"
Rashjan looked at me for a second or two before he turned to Maliak. "Master wants the girlfriend, but we don't want her to be his favourite. So we will toss her out of a cliff after boyfriend has helped us take her powers and given it to us. And then we can kill the Master and make him our slave and we can rule the whole Middle Earth."
"I like this idea. Yes yes. I like."
I coughed. "I don't like the idea."
"He was not supposed to know anything about it," Rashjan whispered in surprise.
"Then why is he awake?" Maliak asked.
"Because he fooled us. He was just pretending to be sleeping. Boyfriend is hanging in a thin thread now. Thin thread."
Rashjan rose, grabbed a sword and started walking against me. I stood up, looked all over for my dagger, but my robe and my belt was gone. He came closer until we were standing nose to nose and stared in each others eyes.
"You will die."
Rashjans breath smelled like old fish, mud, rotten cheese and ham.
Go to the left, there is a button on the legde of the wall. Click it and keep a good hold on my hand when I start running. But first you have to think about me. Very hard. Think. Think and pretend to be me. You will perhaps get your powers back in that way, but just for a couple seconds. Now!
It was Jessamyns voice and I understood. Talking in someone else's mind was difficult, but she did it well. And, the task was easy.
I thought of her. Thought of her long, blonde and almost white hair. Her golden eyes. The red ribbon. When I met her grandmother Kari, and she helped me give back Amyns powers. When I realised that I had given her my powers too. The day she told me she did not want to loose me because she thought she loved me. I thought of the first kiss, and when I had punched that half drunk, half dead man for touching her. When I killed my own father because he worked for the Master and wanted to kill Jessamyn. I thought of her smile, the first time I saw her cry. I thought of the day she decided to leave and I was ready to leave with her.
All the times I had looked at her while she washed my room. All these times I wanted to save her. I thought of the pissed voice of hers she used to use when she looked like she wanted to take the first thing she saw and toss it in my head.
I thought of the first day we met, when she looked at me with anger in her eyes. I thought of how it would be without her, and I thought of how it would be if I had never met her.
All these thoughts showed up in my head in less than a second, and slowly I began to feel numb in the tip of my fingers.
It is working.
I smiled, looked steadily at Rashjan. "You won't be able to kill me without a sword," I whispered as I called for the sword and grabbed the sword while it was starting to circle around Rashjans head. "And you wont be able to kill me without hands." Suddenly, his hands were gone. Rashjan looked pale, he hurried backward. "And you wont be able to flee without legs." Now his legs were gone too. He fell to the ground, screaming, bleeding. It felt good. The power felt good, but as soon as he was down on the ground, crying and begging, the powers started to fade.
I sat down beside Rashjan. "This is for taking my girl away from me," I hissed as I stabbed him in his stomach with his own sword. "And this," I said as I pulled out the sword and stabbed him in the heart, "was for wanting to toss her off a cliff." I looked up after Rashjan had stopped breathing, my eyes was fixed on Maliak.
He is not worth it. He has got all these weapons. He will kill you.
I looked at the bundle. My anger was driving me crazy. I wanted to kill Maliak. I really wanted to kill him.
Don't do it.
"I have to," I whispered.
You are ruining my plan!
I did not hear the last sentence though. My mind was too focused on killing Maliak. I walked towards him. Maliak crouched down and started sobbing.
"Now who's sad?" I snarled.
"Don't kill me. No no. Don't kill me." It looked like Maliak had decided to be strong and brave again because he stood up and clenched his fists. I cut them both off with the sword without thinking. It all happened so fast. A half second later he was on me, forcing me down on the ground and biting my neck. The pain was horrible. I grit my teeth. It felt like some kind of poison was starting to soak around in my blood. My sight started to fade and my muscles weakened, twitched, but weakened.
"Lay still," Amyn whispered. She forced a dagger into Maliaks back, pressing it down and seeking his heart. Then she kicked him off me and reached out a hand. I grabbed it as best could and she helped me up. "He bit you," she muttered, looking at the open wound. "That bastard bit you." I nodded.
"I think it was a poisonous bite," I whispered.
"Well, we'd better get you to a healer. Quick."
She pushed the button I was supposed to push earlier and the stonewall separated. The darkness opened in front of us. It was difficult to see anything but the moon and the pack of stars, but I could see the shape of houses and trees, and I could hear a river thundering somewhere near the houses. Amyn looked at me, smiled.
I took her hand and started running down the hill.