12

1. Morning

Stubbornly his golden eyes opened. Glancing around, he threw back the covers. The bed wasn't the only piece of furniture in the room. There was a desk to his left, a dresser a little bit farther away, and a chair next to the door. Clothes were popping out of the dresser drawers. The desk was the only thing in the room that wasn't a true clutter. His papers were pilled neatly, his ink well and quill were all in place. 'Where am I?' Was the phrase that repeatedly played in his head over and over again.

Slowly, the door opened just a tiny bit, enough for a brown haired little girl of about 7 years to peek around the door. A giggle escaped from her throat when she saw that he was awake. Her startling green eyes opened even wider causing him to suck in his breath. With another giggle she was gone. He could hear her feet pounding down what sounded like stairs. Then suddenly, almost directly under his feet, he heard two people mumbling, or at least what he thought were two people. Within 2 minutes he heard the little girl's footsteps as well as someone else's.

The steps were to light to be a man but to heavy to be a child. Once again the door opened, but this time wider and quicker than it had before. A woman walked in of about 20 years, her eyes were outlined blue but filled in silver and held a gentle tone. She was about 5 ft. 7 in., her yellow hair was bound up in a braid and reached the middle of her back. She wore a simple dress of light blue which empisized her eyes wonderfully, as well as her figure. Her eyes and her height were rare in women, but because of the laws forbidding anyone of bearing children with silver eyes you rarely saw it in either sex.

The little one that'd he'd caught a glimpse of earlier was gazing at him from behind the older woman's skirt. She was really tall for her age. Her brown hair was in two different braids. Her dress was a light blue. Her eyes sparkled with laughter, and her smile was warm and fun loving. The little girl so much resembled her older sibling. Other than the eyes and hair color, their face shape and stance was similar. The lady had a gentle but fun loving smile on her face.

"Well, hello. Glad to see, that one such as yourself, should finally join us again. I'm Arnea (r-nea) and this is Fay, my younger sister. You are in our brother's home and are our guest." Arnea said quietly and gently.

"What's your name? How long till you get better? Can you come outside and play? Why are your eyes gold? Are you a good person? How old are you? What…" Arnea cut Fay off in her storm of questions.

"Are you hungry?"

"Ah, yes actually. Some soup or bread would be great. Thanks," His voice came out a little grated because of the lack of usage.

"Um… what is your name? It would be a big help to know what to call you."

"Uh… oh, right! My name is Leon." His eyes glued themselves to the floor in preparation of her expected ridicule.

Instead he was met with silence. Righting his gaze again he noticed that she'd gone to get him some food. As if on que his stomach growled.

"How long 'ave I been asleep?" He muttered unhappily.

"Oh, I think you 'ave been as'eep for a'most 2 weeks." The reply came from the doorway.

There stood a 5-year-old girl. Her hair was raven black and lose. Her eyes were a light brown but looking everywhere at once. She was blind.

2. Hurt Bad

"Here's your soup, Leon."

"Oh, thanks. Arnea, aren't you afraid of me… don't you hate me?" For the first time in a long time, Leon felt a little scared.

"No… should I be?" Her confusion was written on her face.

"Don't you know who I am?"

"Yes. You are Leon," A small laugh escaped her throat.

"But, Arnea, I'm so much worse than that. Arnea I'm an…" Suddenly the youngest girl cut him off.

"He's a n'asassin, Arnnie. But I wouldn't worry, he's a good man who's just been taught different'y." Her small voice announced with assurance.

"An assassin? How can you be sure, Meli?"

"Because he told me so," She stated.

"He told you so?"

"Yep!"

"Wait a minute! I never did no such thing! How'd you know?" Leon's voice was amazed and shocked.

"Well, he didn't tell me in words. Not iterally anyways."

"What do you mean not literally, Meli?" Arnea's voice rang out through the tension stripped room.

"Nothing that I can es'pain, Arnnie. U jus' 'ave to understand," On the note Meli turned and left the room.

"How old is she?" Leon asked before taking a spoonful of soup.

"5 moons," Arnea didn't even hesitate to answer as she went about the task of tidying up the room.

Almost choking on his soup he managed to spit out, "How old?"

"5 moons. Why does it shock you so?"

"How do you guys gage ages?"

"Well, once every year the larger moon, Aturis, shows herself. On this night there is a huge bonfire and everyone is invited. This is the night when couples get married and people begin to harvest their crops. This is also the night that shows us that we have finally gained another year. Now of course, everyone has their own days they were born but I was born the night of the Aturis moon. We all were…" Her voice died away as two tears slipped from her eye.

"I'm sorry that I've upset you. Forgive me. Don't speak of it. In fact, why don't you help me downstairs I'd enjoy the fresh air compared to this stuffy air I've been breathing!"

"Alright," Just slightly the edges of her mouth turned up and the sparkle returned to her eye.

With only one groan on the way down the stairs, they finally reached the bottom. With a sigh, Leon sat down, his face twisted in pain. Arnea, stood to the side gasping for air. Suddenly the front door banged open to reveal a tall, broad shouldered man in the doorway. With a start, Leon slipped off of the lower step and hit the hardwood floor with a thwap. Pain shot through him, making him straighten in anguish. He bit his tongue to bite back a yell.

"Leon! Jaron, why do you always have to come in with a bang?!" Arnea yelled at her eldest brother.

"Sorry, Arnea. It's not like I did it intentionally. Hey, mister, you okay?" Jaron's deep voice rumbled.

"Y…ye…yeah…" He attempted to tell a lie which didn't work.

"He's 'urt bad. Arnnie, bad!" Meli yelled down the stairs before tripping and falling head over heels.

"Meli!" Jaron and Arnea yelled at the same time.

"Oh this is gonna hurt!" With that Leon jumped up and threw himself in the little girl's path. Catching her, he quickly laid her down on the steps and passed out. Even though he was out of it, Meli hung on for dear life. She was screaming up a storm, causing Fay to rush into the house to see what all the commotion was about.

She took the seen in, in one glance, "Well, looks like you all had a party and fergot to invite me."

Everyone burst into laughter except for the blubbering Meli and the unconscious Leon. Jaron rubbed his kid sister's head and then went to the task of helping his sister haul Leon up the stairs. She told Jaron to go because she had to give him a half bath and men were to ruff to do a woman's job. She shoved him out with a word about him having to cook dinner that night. Then with a job ahead of her that she was definitely not going to enjoy, she headed for the bucket that was in the downstairs closet to haul water.

3. Heading Out

About, 3 weeks after the whole stair accident, Leon was finally managing to walk and ride on his own. One evening, after a day of taking walks and riding out to a creek they had, Leon was sitting on the front porch. He held a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade, his eyes surveyed the only place that he'd stayed for more than 2 weeks, in more than 15 years. Across the yard, a little to the left of where he sat, sat the barn. It's big doors looked mightly inviting, he started when he realized, he was ready to move on.

Looking to his right, he glanced down the dirt road. He could see the blue outline of more mountains on the horizon. Glancing around he noted how green the closer mountains and hills were now that the summer months were to start soon. He knew that he needed to head out, and it needed to be soon. Hearing a creaking door jam he looked up to see Fay pulling the barn door open.

Without too much thought, Leon got up and headed inside and upstairs. He was leaving, it was time. He quickly grabbed some clothes and an extra pair of boots. Throwing it all into an old cloth bag that could be stored in the saddlebags. Snatching his knife off of the desk he slid it onto his belt and pick up the quill. Settling into the chair he wrote Arnea a letter. Smiling softly he signed the letter and set it on his pillow. It was time.

Padding out to the barn he opened the door and searched the corners of the room. Fay was nowhere to be found. He relaxed a bit, maybe it wouldn't be so hard to leave if he didn't; have to explain it to the youngster. Sliding the bridal over Storm, his horse's neck, he quickly threw on the saddle. Throwing everything into his saddlebags he suddenly realized that he hadn't any food. With a sigh he headed back into the house.

Reaching the kitchen, he peeked around the door jam. There, in front of the sink stood Arnea. Her hair reflected the light just so that you wanted to reach out and touch it. He quietly attempted to sneak in and grab some bread and some salted pork that they'd had for lunch earlier that week. With an unexpected turn, Arnea ran right into Leon's chest. Gulping, Leon glanced down only to meet with two silver orbs. Gently and without thought, Leon put his hand to the side of her head, and the other to the small of her back.

"Arnea…" Was all he got out before she kissed him.

"What's going on here?" Jaron roared as he walked into the kitchen to find his sister in tears, a few minutes later.

"He's gone! We kissed, then he told me he was leaving, before I could even formulate an answer he had grabbed some food and left. He rode out just a few minutes ago!" Her voice wavered from her crying.

"Who?"

"Leon!"

"What?"

"Arnnie, where's Leon? Oh! Arnnie, what's wrong?" Fay cried running to her sister and kneeling to give her a hug.

"Honey, Leon left. He went to go visit his family and … whoever else… I guess," Arnea forced herself to calm down and come up with a lie to ease the truth of Leon just up and leaving.

4. Confusion

A couple nights later, Leon woke with really bad nightmares. He remembers killing innocent people, people like Arnea. He also dreamt, or remembered, working for a guy by the name of Kyrone. This guy, Kyrone, kept appearing in the dream. He'd tell Leon whom to kill and the next thing you know, Leon is staring the person in the face going to kill them. Not only was he going to kill them, but then he did. These nightmares were something that Leon hated. Leon couldn't believe that he'd be capable of killing anyone person just because they were of a certain race. The dream continuously repeated, until one night a man popped out of the bushes.

"Hey, man where have you been?" The short, chubby guy smiled with relief.

"Who are you?" Leon asked with unsurity.

"Hello, you saved my life!" The man stared at Leon's blank face. "Here maybe this will make you remember. Captain Luis of Lythron, Sir!"

"So you would be Captain Luis? I still don't know you. I'm sorry, I just don't remember much from before the accident. In fact, I don't remember much about the accident either."

"Help!" A high female scream came from outside their little grove.

On instinct Leon drew his sword and slipped into the trees on silent toes. What he saw made him almost yell out. A lone man with two horses had a girl by the hair. She looked to be almost Arnea's age. The man threw the girl to the ground, that now she was facing his way. His blood chilled, it was Arnea!

"Kiev! What do you have there?" Luis called, walking over to the man and inspecting Arnea.

Leon felt his blood boil. How dare Luis, or anybody else hurt Arnea and her family. Why would anyone hurt her anyways?

"She was spying, sir! She's working for the Northerners! She won't tell me who though."

"Well, we have ways of making all people talk."

"Luis! May I ask what is going on here? I may not remember you, but I'll tell you that I remember the regulations of our army!" Leon yelled stepping out into the sunshine.

Shock became etched on Arnea's face as she saw Leon step into the open. She couldn't believe that he even knew these men. They were Southerners… suddenly she realized something she'd missed the entire time Leon had stayed with them, so was he!

"Sir, she works for the Northern army!" Luis stood straight and looked his superior in the eye.

"How do we know? Do we know this only because the Northern army hires women or just because of the place and blood that her parents gave her?" Rage rode in his pale gold eyes, turning them a brighter, stronger gold.

Luis looked impish; he had no proof only Kiev's word. He knew that Kiev had no proof either so he wisely remained quiet. Till randomly he thought of a way to tell whether or not his superior was corresponding with the Northern army.

"Sir, how can you be sure that she's not a spy?"

Noticing Luis' change of stance and attitude, Leon realized he was being tested, "Do you dare defy your superior officers? I could report you! Of course I have no proof either, but that doesn't make it ok to mistreat her, especially since it is a woman. You are thinking that I either have become weak or else I want her for my own pleasures. No, neither. But I refuse to allow you to use her or mistreat her. We wouldn't do that to our women so I refuse to do it to any other females until we have proof! Am I understood?" Leon raised his voice at the end.

"Yes, sir!" The two men hollered in response.

Glad that he was back in charge, he decided that he'd try to keep Arnea close enough to manage to get her back to her family, "The girl will stay in my tent, I'll sleep outside. She'll be tied up at night and a watch kept on during the day. She's remains in my tent! You'll leave her alone, unless ordered otherwise, understand?!"

"Yes, sir!" Luis bellowed.

"Sir, there's two other girls. Sir, they're too young to be in the army. They may alert the authorities, though. To our being here," Kiev drug in two little girls.

5. Promises

"Fay! Fay, where are we? Fay? Who're you? Arnea! Fay! HELP!" Meli screamed at the top of her lungs.

Her eyes were wide with fear. Her raven black hair clasp hard in Kiev's grasp. She was struggling, but not enough to hurt herself or to make Kiev let go. Her face was sheet white. Tears rolled down her cheeks and you could tell her heart was going 100 beats per minute. Fay on the other hand struggled relentlessly. Kiev held her arm instead of her hair and was bruising the flesh trying to hang on.

"Arnea! HELP!" Her eyes flashed once to me but only begged me silently. Suddenly she turned to Kiev, "LET MY SISTER GO! ARNEA! HELP!"

Arnea made a move to go to her sisters, but as much as it hurt him Leon grabbed her, begging her to trust him with his eyes, "You do not move or I'll have Kiev kill the pigtailed one!" His voice was low and filled to the brink with anger.

"KIEV! Since when do we mistreat little girls?! I realize that the sighted one could've brought the Northern army down on us, but could the blind one? Let them go, after all they're just little girls. Because of your ignorance, they have to remain with us, but they'll stay with the older girl. A what's your name?" Leon asked looking over to Arnea.

"Arnea… and the brown haired one is Fay, the blind, dark headed one is… is… Meli." Her voice came out like a whisper as she revealed her sister's names.

"Arnea…" a whimper came from Meli.

"Give them to her… NOW!" Leon yelled at Kiev, making all the girls flinch.

"Arnea! Here take my hand Meli, I'll take you to her." Fay's voice got gentle, soothing enough that Meli calmed down enough to think rationally.

"Fay, Arnea… I'm so scared!" Meli cried when Arnea's arms came about her.

"Shh, it's ok, honey. I'm here now."

"Follow me to the tent where you'll be staying. As for you two, set up camp!" Turning stiffly, he stalked away, the girls following behind.

"Here's your tent, it should be comfortable…"

"Oh, Leon! My heart almost stopped when I thought you might behead me or hurt my sisters!" Arnea threw her arms around his neck once the tent flap had shut.

"Leon, look, that man hurt my arm," Fay came up beside Leon and held out her arm for inspection.

"Oh, honey, I'm so sorry! I won't let him do it again, I promise."

"Leon!" Meli walked towards him waving her hands about as to not run into anything.

"Meli."

"Leon, I was scared!" Little rivers flowed down her cheeks.

"It's alright! I promise to keep you safe, OK?" Leon reached out and wrapped his arms around her.

"OK. I trust 'ou Leon," A hiccup passed her lips as she tried to calm down, and soon enough she was asleep.

"Oh, Lord, help me keep them safe. Please forgive me for all the wrongs I did in my first life, help me to run a new course. Help me to protect them, give me the courage and wisdom to protect them. Thank you, Amen," Leon prayed that night as he peeked in the tent to make sure everyone was snug in bed and asleep.

"Morning! Rise and shine, ladies, rise and shine!" Leon called from outside the tent.

"Uhhh!" Was the only reply he got.

"Huh," he laughed.

"We'll be out soon… Sir. Just give me a few minutes to tend to the little ones, please," Arnea's drowsy voice came from the tent.

"Sure! Hurry it up, though."

Turning around with a smile on his face he came face to face with Kiev, "Sir, I think that there is something you should see!" His voice held an urgent ring.

"Alright!"

6. Surprises

Following Kiev to the surrounding trees, Leon made sure to have a sword for protection just incase. He didn't exactly trust these people you could say. After only a couple minutes of walking they finally came to a stop. They weren't in a clearing and they definitely weren't in a clear place, but soon enough he saw what they'd wanted to him to see. There on the forest floor lay a man, he was still alive but weakly. Kiev rolled the man over, not gently either. It was the one person Leon had hoped would stay away.

It was Jaron. 'Oh, Lord, no please no!' was all Leon could think for a few seconds till Jaron finally tried to speak.

"Le…," he paused to spit blood out of his throat, "Take care of th… them! P… pl… plea… please?" He managed to say, but was more speaking with his eyes.

"Don't worry Jar… Jaron. Nothing will happen to them, I will protect them with my life!"

"Goo," another coughing/ spitting attack hit him. "Good. Treat them well, she likes you… Le… and I tr… ust you…" Suddenly his body went stiff and straight as a board and he barely managed to mumble out, "to take care of them. Tell them that I love them…" with a gasp of pain he went pale white and then his eyes shut and his body relaxed.

He was dead. The news was like a sharp pain, even if they hadn't known each other long, Leon and Jaron had become good friends. Struggling to hide his anger at Kiev for causing such pain to the girls, Leon turned and clenched his fist. Tears stung his eyes but none slipped to his cheeks. Kiev noticing his commanding officers tenseness took a step backwards.

"Bury the body, get rid of the evidence!" With that Leon stalked off towards a river that he knew was near by. He needed to ware off some anger.

Feeling ready to explode he burst into a full tilt run, completely unaware of anything but the trees that were in his way. Reaching the river he dove head first in, not even taking off any clothing. Pushing up off of the bottom his head broke the surface. Water wasn't the only thing rolling down his face. Feeling completely exposed in his emotional state he dunked his head once more before coming up again. Breathing to calm his self down.

"AHHHH!" A female voice screamed causing him to pull his dagger and whip around.

"Hey, honey… where are you? Ah, come on the boss wants to talk to you," Luis called out.

"Why? He could just come in here to talk to me!" Arnea snapped appearing from behind a changing curtain.

"Well, aren't we snappy today!" He took a step near her.

With quick steps backwards she lowered herself into a fighting stance, "Don't come near me! I'll show you what my brother taught me!"

"Oh, do you mean the guy we just killed? I don't think that his fighting lessons will help you any because he's dead!"

"NO!" Arnea screamed charging him and knocking him flat.

"Ouch! Hey easy girl! I could have Kiev in here in a minute and you wouldn't even have time to throw a punch!"

"You! You killed Jaron?! I could kill you right now!" Arnea raised her hand to punch him.

"Arnea! No! Jaron wouldn't want that! Plus he's not even worth it! Please, Don't!" Fay cried out running to her sister and grabbing her arm.

"Pweeze!" Meli begged hanging onto the side of the dressing curtain.

"Fine! But from now on you leave me, and my sisters alone! Understand?" With his conformation Arnea stood up and knelt by her sister.

"Thank you, Arnnie!" Fay grabbed around her older sister's neck and hugged her with all her might.

"Arnnie? Were's Leon?" Meli whispered, seeming to be really perturbed.

"I don't know. Why, Meli?" Arnea murmured, gathering her littlest sister in her arms.

"Cause I feels like somesing 's wrong. I can't es'pain any better'n that. It's just a gut instinct."

"I'm sure he's fine, Meli. Leon can take care of himself, I'm sure he's fine," But she sounded more like she was trying to convince herself more than the girls in her arms.

Lil' pink Review: Dude-man-bro its is a good story but I think it cold flow better I really like the charcters you are very good at describing them way better than me

Morning