This is a 'fragment' of the whole story i'm writing, but the rest is still undergoing some fairly heavy editing. It may appear up here later when i'm happy with it (and that could take a while!). This is the beginning, so... enjoy!
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Evuria ran down the cold stone halls, carefully hitching her skirts to avoid tripping and losing her dignity. The golden-weave waist-cord felt far too tight as her heart pounded, blood racing through her veins, her lungs desperate for clear cold air.
The guards standing either side of the throne room doors stood aside for her, and she burst into the smoky, dim, and mostly empty interior.
“Abriell!” she called, fury making her voice rise, in both volume and pitch, and pinching her pale cheeks. Her cold blue eyes blazed with anger. “Abriell! What have you done?”
“Done?” he repeated, reluctantly turning away from conversation with one of the Guard Captains she was unacquainted with, and his mocking gaze searched her face. “Done, dear sister? I don’t believe I know what you’re talking about.” He waved a dismissive hand at her, and turned back to the Captain, who watched her with deep, dark eyes. It only served to worsen her temper.
“Don't you dare turn away from me!” she yelled, slipping between them, and pushing Abriell back with her hands on his chest. “What have you done?”
“Sister.” He said coldly, a warning she wouldn’t heed in his voice. “If only I were aware of what you were talking about.” His tone told her differently, but she was already aware that he knew exactly what she was talking about.
“What have you done with it all, Abriell? You’ve taken things before, but how can you claim that a whole room’s contents can just… vanish?”
“ ‘Vanish’?” he smiled benignly. “You sound like you still believe in fairytales and stories told to frighten little children. ‘Vanish’. How can something ‘vanish’?”
“You tell me, Abriell.” He sighed deliberately.
“If I must, though I’m not really the one who should be telling you.” He smiled wickedly. She could remember a time when his grin had been mischievous and not… malicious. “Father was thinking, and he’s decided that-”
“Father?” she questioned, suddenly furious again. “Father? Abriell- Father’s dying! He can’t make decisions! He can’t think! What you mean is that you’ve gone and made another decision in his name for your own profit!”
“So?” All trace of humor in his voice was gone. “Who’s going to oppose me- the Queen, my mother? The courtiers? You? Or maybe you thought father would magically recover and step in? They look to me as king, anyway. Tell me, Evuria, What are you going to do about it?”
She glared at him in fury. “I’ll expose you for the power-hungry traitorous cur that you are!” she shouted, stepping closer. He was still taller than she was, despite the few years she had on him.
“Oh, really?” he smiled at her, like he knew something that she didn’t. Fear began to gnaw at her heart. What scheme had her evil half brother and his grasping mother cooked up now? She hated the Queen with a passion, but after her own mother had mysteriously disappeared under more than suspicious circumstances and been proclaimed dead, the King had taken her brother’s mother to wife anyway. “And exactly what are you going to do?”
“What are you going to do?” she shot back at him. “You have the throne anyway- after ‘father’s’ last creed that women can’t inherit- I can’t claim it- why are you fighting me for it?”
“Only because you fight me every single step of the way!” he hissed, anger sparking in his own eyes.
“I’m not going to stop fighting you, Abriell- it’s wrong! Father isn’t even dead yet, but you can’t even respect your position and the trust he has in you to just stop this idiocy and let him go in peace! I’m going to stop you Abriell- you’re never going to-”
“Of course you are,” he said distractedly, turning back to the captain, who was watching her with a dark, calculating gaze. “And mother and I will enjoy your letters. Now,” he looked like he’d just realized he could ignore her and hope she would go away.
“What?” she whispered incredulously and stepped infront of him again. “So you’re going to kill our already dying father, who gave us nothing but love, and take the throne by force when it’ll be yours in a few months anyway, and worse, you expect me to let you?”
“No.” he smiled. “In fact, quite the opposite. I had no reason to believe you would stop fighting me, and that, incidentally, is the reason you’re being… displaced. Your fighting, futile as it is, should concern me even less when you’re residing on the other side of the world.”
Evuria stared at him for long moments. Her hand, which moments ago had pointed an accusing finger at her brother, dropped nervelessly to her side.
“What?” he grinned, seeming to enjoy her sudden confusion and loss for words. “Only moments ago you were asking where your stuff was, and now I tell you, and then you have no more to say? Sister, I’m thoroughly disappointed in you, but, I am sure you will have a lovely stay in Marindor.”
“Marindor?” she protested, finding her tongue. “But I’m not going to Marindor! I’m staying here and-”
With a gesture she could barely make out, Abriell turned and grabbed her hands, rendering her near helpless as the Captain grabbed the cloth from the table and held it over her mouth and nose.
She vaguely recognized the scent, but could guess from the sickly sweet aroma that it was a drug of some kind. Something that would make her sleep. Evuria desperately tried to hold her breath, but met the Captains cold, hard gaze and realized she didn’t have much of a chance at all. Panic flooded her mind as she realized she couldn’t force her limbs into action, couldn’t fight anymore.
Abriell gently laid her on the floor, surprisingly for what he was getting her into, but keeping the cloth over her mouth and nose.
“You know the ship, Furor?” he asked the captain, his words barely registering in her mind as she floated dizzily, her vision darkening. “It leaves on the morning tide. How many men are you taking with you?”
“Twelve, sirrah. Includin’ mesself.”
“Good.” She felt him nudge her with a foot, then saw him looking down at her. “I’m really very sorry about this, but the only other alternative I had was to kill you.” He smirked. “So you see, I’m not such a power-hungry traitorous cur that I have no heart left at all, now am I, dear heart?” Then something heavy hit the side of her head, and everything, finally, went black.
Evuria woke in pitch blackness, unsure of where she was, or when it was, still drowsy, and feeling nauseous, though, she considered, that could have due to the way she was being jolted, and not to the stuff she’d been forced to breath. She closed her eyes again, unable to tell the difference, and tried to brace herself against the hard object next to her as the jolting grew worse.
By the sound and feel of it, she was in a carriage, and most likely bound for the docks.