Apr. 18th, 2002

rsadelle: (Default)
Unrelated 1: What happend to the Master_Apprentice archive? Is there a mirror of it somewhere that's still up?

Unrelated 2: Chicken gyros, good. Don't use their sauce recipe, though. Pick a different tzatziki recipe.

Unrelated 3: Strawberries with ice cream, even better than chicken gyros.

"My lord!" The guard burst through the door. "My lord, the castle is under attack."

Viggo leapt out of bed, reaching for his clothes. "Wake everyone. Bring all the slaves into the keep. I want every guard at the walls," he ordered.

While the guard went to do as he'd been told, Viggo strapped on his armor and grabbed his sword. "Get dressed, and stay put," he ordered Orlando. He leaned down and kissed him hard. "I don't want you in the fighting. You're a bedslave, not a warrior."

Orlando glared at him and started to protest, but Viggo's hand over his mouth quickly silenced him.

"I mean it," he growled. "Stay out of the fighting. This is the center of the keep. You should be safe here." On his way to join the fighting at the walls, Viggo threw a quick prayer up to the Father Warrior asking him to protect the boy.

The invading force wore neither livery nor insignia. "Raiders," he yelled to Captain Bean.

"Trying to take us by surprise," the Captain yelled back at him.

"Not in my castle," Viggo muttered.

Captain Bean fought his way to Viggo's side. They grinned at each other and turned back to back to fight off the raiders who slipped through the walls.

Somewhere in the second hour, a sword nicked Viggo's arm, tearing through the leather and cloth on his forearms and slicing through skin. He cursed and ran the man through.

By the third hour, there were only a few small fights still going on, and Captain Bean reorganized his men to capture as many of the standing raiders as possible.

"Report!" Viggo barked at a soldier exiting the keep.

"Two raiders made it in," the man told him. "We got one before he could get too far. Your bedslave went up against the other one."

Viggo swore heartily. "Sean," he called, "I'm going back into the keep."

Captain Bean nodded his acknowledgement. "We'll put them in the dungeons," he said, gesturing to the captured raiders.

Convinced that they would be taken care of, Viggo followed the guard into the keep and up to his own bedroom. He swore again at the scene he found there. There were bruises already starting to show on the boy's body, and a shallow gash across his stomach spilled blood onto the carpet. One of the slave girls had a cloth pressed against the wound to stop the bleeding. Viggo sheathed his sword and dropped to one knee next to the boy. He took the cloth from the girl and examined the wound.

"Fetch me a healer," he ordered.

"My lord, you're bleeding." The girl tried to take his wounded arm.

Viggo jerked away from her. "I will tend to myself. Fetch me a healer for the boy. Now!" His voice rose until the last word was a shout. The girl scampered away, her face pale and afraid.

The boy's eyes flickered open. "Goddess protect me," he murmured.

Viggo glared down at him. "I hope for your sake that your Goddess cares more for you than my God does."

The boy's eyes drifted shut again. "Her will be done."

"Where's that healer?" Viggo roared.

"Right here." The woman slipped into the room and knelt by the boy's side. "It won't kill him," she said after examining the wound. "But it needs cleaning and stitching."

Viggo sat back and let one of the slave girls, not the same one who'd gone for the healer, bandage his arm while the healer stitched Orlando's wound.

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Ruth Sadelle Alderson

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