This is the first part of "Bending the Unbreakable", a Fantasy themed slash-fiction story. Please be aware of strong, dark bdsm content.
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A bell was ringing, filling the streets with its heart-thrumming, clarion sounds. Each ring made Niro try to run faster, although he was already sprinting outright, out of breath, and out of options. There was no possible way to hide in broad daylight, not on a break day, and definitely not from the eyes and ears of the townsguard. They were following him with as much fervor as blood hounds were wont to show, and the sun-kissed heat of mid-summer made every step a hurdle.
It had been such a stupid, high-handed idea to wait a few days before trying to get a recharge for his mimikry talisman. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Had he really thought the Fae townspeople would ignore a human boy wandering around their commerce district, just three short weeks after they had taken over the city? Amidst a war against his race, and smack-dab in the middle of the frontier?
But now it was too late.
It didn’t matter how well he knew the streets, because by now the Ailill, or Fae, or elves, whatever they were called, had learned all the hidden routes by heart. They were proficient at their jobs, much better trained than the human townsguards had ever been. They had to be; there had been multiple attempts to take back the city in the last few days, and each and every one of them had been stopped before the assassins had even reached the main square. And now, Niro was using the exact same rat runs to flee.
Timber framed plaster walls raced by as he tore through another carriage way and towards the east gate. Thick, sticky sweat burned on his back and arms, ran down his spine and drenched his torn linen pants with the smell of dread. He had been thirsty before, but by now his tongue was sticking to the roof of his mouth, and every breath stung in his dry throat. He didn’t need to look back for his pursuers though, he knew they were still on his tracks by the rhythmic clinking of their chain armor, and by the sounds of their whistles and shouts. They hadn’t managed to gain ground yet, but they still were able to keep up with him, and they definitely could out-wait him. He was already flagging.
The cobblestones beneath his naked feet were rubbing his soles raw as he skittered around another corner, trying his best to minimize the distance to his destination. There it was, the east gate, still laying in waste and broken, and therefor uncloseable. It was well guarded on the outside, but nobody would expect a dirty, young street urchin try to break out by simply hopping the boulders. He had done it once before, and right now it was his only chance to escape.
Nearly there, only a few more seconds…
Twenty feet from the gate a shadow stepped out of a side street just as Niro ran past.
Something hard and long slapped against his chest, slamming him onto the ground hard enough to steal his breath and paralyze him for a few seconds. When he finally could, he screamed with frustration and panic, only to be silenced by a ruthless kick from the woman who had brought him down with one arm and a well placed step. The Fae in guard uniform didn’t gloat or wait though; she was on him before he could make another move.
Her weight ground him into the dirt-laden plaster stones beneath him, and he gasped for air, breathing in the stink of days old dung, ash and straw. It only made him struggle more, and this time the sheen of sweat came to his help. The guard’s grip slipped again and again as she tried to wrench his arms behind his back, accompanied by his breathless, wheezing screams.
“Stop struggling, you filthy maggot,” she finally bellowed, and slammed his head against the stone hard enough to make him black out for a few seconds. He could feel her shackle his arms tightly behind his back, then she kicked him again and let him lie there as she turned around to wait for the guards still running towards them. Niro still gasped for air, trying to breathe through the pounding in his head and the sick feeling of panic in his stomach. It would have been the perfect moment to run on any other day, but not this time. As much as he wanted to use her negligence, the world was spinning too much to even think of moving without spilling his guts onto the floor.
He lay still, panting, as the other guards stopped next to his captor. “Quick little rabbit, isn’t he?” Niro could hear one of them say, and that bastard didn’t even sound breathless.
“They are always this agile when they are young. But then they grow up and get slow and fat,” the female guard huffed dismissively, and Niro felt her gaze wander over his body. “I can’t even guess what age this one is, he’s so filthy and emaciated. I wouldn’t be surprised if they just send him north and be done with him. Nobody needs a starving boy in times like these.”
A fearful whine crawled out of Niro’s throat before he could contain it. To be sent north meant to be sent into the mines of Northvale, and that was tantamount to a death sentence. The guards laughed in response, happy and uncaring enough to match the moniker humanity had bestowed on them: ‘Alb’, nightmares in the flesh.
“Well, that’s that then. Get him upright and take him to the reeve, he’ll know what the House will want to do with the boy,” one of the male Fae said, then he raised a hand and waved at the bell tower three times.
The female guard bent down and pulled Niro up by the nape of his neck, but it was too fast and too harsh a movement for his spinning head. The last thing he heard over the sounds of him vomiting was the ring of the warning bell, telling everyone that the danger was over. Then he thankfully blacked out.