Charles 14 Sophie 13

~ Prologue ~

Mizano is taking Sophie to her sisters house in a village only a few hours walk away. Mizano wants to take her because she thinks some spontaneous combat will be good for Sophies development. All fighting she’s done so far has been really close to her home. Out between towns she’ll have to think quick and will have opportunity to fight things she hasn’t before. Sophies dad and Charles absolutely hate the idea but Mizano and Sophie insisted.

~ Chapter 1 ~

“I can’t believe it’s time for you to go” Rowne said to Sophie. “Dad I’ll be fine! Stop it! I’m so excited! Why can’t you be excited for me like mom is?”

“You’ve always been my baby. I want you to be tough and strong I just worry Mizano is taking you out too early. You’re my only little girl. Just be careful for me.” Sophie hugged her dad “I will be safe, it’s not like I’m walking alone. Mizano will be there.”

“I love you, Charles is waiting for you to go say bye to him. Arch is doing lessons with him later today so that he could see you off.” Mizano cleared her throat behind Rowne “She’ll be fine, don’t you trust me?”

“Sophie run along and say bye to Charles while I talk to Mizano.”

“Yes sir! Bye!” Sophie grabbed her bag and left. “You keep her close.”

“I think you’re worrying too much. You wouldn’t be this fussy over a boy.”

“You know that’s not true Mizano. My wife can’t have any more children. If I lose Sophie that’s it! Dont you dare spat cave man crap like that. I’m proud of my daughter”

“Calm down, I understand. I promise not to let her out of my sight. She may get hurt but if i see things getting out of hand with a monster I will step in.”

“Just keep her close. I understand she may get injured but she best come home alive.” Mizano laughed. The walk is only a few hours. What’re you going to do when she comes of age to go on her journey?”

“She’ll be of age then not thirteen.” Mizano sighed “all fathers should be as loving as you. We’re spending two days with my sister so expect to see your daughter again the day after tomorrow. The sun has only just come up so I’ll count this as a day since I have Sophie tagging along. She’s going to have a lot of fun, don’t worry” Sophie ran into Charles “I’m going to miss you Sophie. Please stay close to your teacher.”

“I will” she said hugging him tighter. “what’re you going to do while I’m gone?”

“Not a clue to be honest. I guess I’ll just train more.” Sophie laughed “there’s more to life than me and training.” Charles smiled and kissed her forehead. “You just be careful.” Charles was a wreck with worry but he knew it would insult Sophie if he actually showed it. He also knew it wasn’t a long walk. He’d just pray they didn’t encounter anything. Between this village and that one there really wasn’t a lot that was very aggressive. Mizano appeared behind Sophie. Charles looked away so not to glare at the older woman for ever asking Sophie to go with her. “Come Sophie we must get going”

“Bye Charles”

“Bye Sophie” When she was far enough away he whispered “I love you so much, please stay safe”

~ Chapter 2 ~

Charles wouldn’t be meeting his teacher until a little after lunch since they didn’t know just how early Mizano was planning on leaving with Sophie. Charles couldn’t be alone with his thoughts for that long. He decided that while she was gone was the perfect time to push himself to be able to do more push ups. It would pass time and help him get stronger. He liked to do them by the river so he could jump in and get cool. The water would also get him moving again so he could push himself as long as possible. He walked down to the riverside and began.

He just kept reminding himself how short of a walk it was. Connie, a sixteen year old girl with long blonde hair, sky blue eyes and a very slender body was eyeing Charles again from a tree. She thought he was incredibly sexy, especially when he was out doing push ups. She shivered with the intensity of how turned on she was by his body going up and down with sweat beads forming. Sliding down his already incredibly built body. She knew Sophie wasn’t going to be around and she saw this as her chance to creep into his thoughts. It was infuriating to her that he’d never give her a second look. She felt she was much hotter than Sophie so it was ridiculous how he ignored her.

“Hey Charles” He looked up “Hey Connie.” He stopped then stood. “One second” he jumped in the water then came back out. He seemed to move in slow motion to her eyes. “what do you want?”

“Just to see if you’d spend time with me.”

“I’ve got lessons in awhile.”

“You’d hangout with Sophie”

“I don’t want to hurt your feelings but that’s Sophie.”

“Why is it you only care about her?”

“Not this again please Connie.”

“I’m way sexier than she is.”

“well go find somone who wants to be with you. My heart belongs to Sophie. I must have told you this the other times you’ve tried to seduce me.”

“I’m not doing that right now I just want to hang out with you. You can’t even hangout with me?” Charles knew if he wouldn’t she’d whine and carry on so he said “do you promise no trying to steal a kiss or anything crazy you’ve done in the past?”

“Promise”

“fine, just until I have to go. I’m meeting my mentor in thirty minuets and it’s a long walk” Charles lied it was really two hours but he wanted to get away from her. Last time she had almost caught him offguard enough to nab a kiss from him. It made him like her even less when she’d just throw herself at him. “walk with me to get blueberries then I’ll let you go”

“ok” they walked side by side. He only spoke to her when she spoke to him. “You’re not being very fun Charles. I see you with Sophie. You talk almost non stop unless she is. Why wont you talk to me?” Charles rolled his eyes. “I don’t know how many times I have to say it but she’s Sophie. I want to be with her for the rest of my life. You make it really hard not to hurt your feelings Connie.” Connie took off her top. Charles wanted to close his eyes but it would make it easy for her to grab him. “You’re really telling me you don’t want this? Sophies boobs arent as big as mine”

“Put your damn top on, please atleast have a little respect for yourself.”

“Just make love to me once. Just once, is it because you’re a virgin? Are you scared?”

“It’s because I dont want you god damnit. I’m leaving. Get your clothes on before your father finds you like this.” Charles ran as fast as he could to get to where he trained with Arch. He didn’t stop until he was there. He knew Connie couldn’t keep up so he wasn’t afraid she was nearby. Just when he thought he couldn’t think less of her she went and did that. He laid down and began to think of Sophie. He wondered how eventful or uneventful things had been so far. She would have lots to tell him when she got back and he couldn’t wait to hear it.

~ Chapter 3 ~

Charles realized due to Connie he had left his shirt by the water. It was probably why she took her own top off. Charles did like the reassurance he looked good though. He tried to keep himself looking as good as possible for Sophie. Time was crawling knowing he wasn’t going to see her until the day after tomorrow. He decided to do more push ups to pass time until his mentor got there. About half an hour later Charles heard Arch come “I thought i was getting here early, what’re you doing here?”

“Hiding from Connie” Arch laughed which annoyed Charles “It isn’t funny! That girl is annoying and needs to keep her clothes on. “Poor Charles, a very sexy woman is throwing herself at you. How will you survive?” his teacher said mockingly. “Yeah yeah laugh it up, can we train early please?”

“Yeah, I’m glad you’re here so I’ll have something to do. My wifes getting on my nerves and I wanted to get out.”

“By all means train me until you can’t any longer. I want to stay busy until Sophie gets back.”

“She’s only just left Charles, besides Connie will keep you company.” His teacher winked then laughed harder than he had in awhile when Charles gave him his death glare. Arch did have to admit to himself it did intimidate him slightly. Arch knew Charles would be a great warrior, probably better than any the village had seen. He had more drive to be so because of his love for Sophie. He had never seen a man, especially so young be so in love with a woman.

Sophie was bouncing up and down excitedly. A tiger had tried to attack them and she managed to shock it. Mizano was the one to make it go away but she had gotten it once. “Very good Sophie, we’re almost to my sisters village.”

“Does she know I’m coming too?”

“Yes she, her husband and son are very excited to meet you.”

“She has a husband and son? You’ve never talked about them.”

“I dont like her husband very much, my nephew I’ve mentioned many times but you seem to tune out anything about any other man but Charles.” Sophie blushed. “So you two aren’t dating yet?” Sophie got even more red and her teacher laughed. “I look forward to seeing the two of you married one day. I’m telling you he’s going to pop the big question, probably soon after asking you out.”

“sooo how old is her son?” Sophie said to change the topic. “thirteen like you.”

“Will he be there?”

“It is his home. We dont have to talk about Liam, I wont mention you marrying Charles again.”

“Thank you” The rest of the walk was uneventful. They knocked on Mizanos sisters door and she quickly answered “welcome! You must be Sophie. Mizano is so proud of you. She boasts to me in letters. My name is Heather, This is my son Liam and my husband is George.”

“Nice to meet you all.” Heather hugged Sophie and so did Liam and George. Sophie felt Liam lingered a bit too long on his hug but she ignored it. “May I talk to you alone Mizano?”

“sure, wait out here Sophie.” Sophie felt awkward when her teacher was gone. She didn’t know these men and Liam was staring at her. “stop that please.” she said quietly. “Hm?”

“You keep staring at me.”

“Oh was I? I’m sorry. Youre just…you’re so beautiful. I will try to be more courteous though.”

“Thank you”

“Want to see my village? I bet you can find something you like to take home.”

“That would be fun, shouldn’t I tell Mizano first?”

“I’ll tell her” george said promptly. “See, my dad will tell her. Come with me.” Sophie stood not sure but she went with him out the door. When Mizano entered again she asked “where’s Sophie?”

“Liam is showing her around. You should’ve seen the eyes he was making at her. Too funny.”

“Has he got himself a crush?” Heather said laughing. Mizano added “He better be careful or Charles will run here and kick his butt.” Heather laughed harder. “I love when you tell me about the things that boy does because of Sophie. He sounds like such a love sick pup. I should probably let Liam know he doesn’t have a chance with little Sophie.”

“That is if he wants to live” Mizano added with laughter.

~ Chapter 4 ~

Sophie really liked their small village and wished Charles was there to see it. “What’s on your mind?” Liam asked. “My best friend Charles. I wish he could’ve come.”

“Do you have a boyfriend then?”

“Nope, I’m not interested though if that’s where you’re leading.” Liam smiled “I guess the staring was a give away huh?”

“Yeah, I wish you’d stop.”

“I’ve actually been trying. There’s just somthing about you. You have this honest beauty.” Sophie looked away because he was making her feel very uncomfortable still. “why wouldn’t you consider dating me?” Liam stopped walking and Sophie stood with her back to a tree. “I’m waiting on Charles to ask me to be with him.” Liam laughed “How long have you known him?”

“Since we were babies.”

“I hate to break your heart hun but if he was going to ask you he would’ve. You’re far too pretty and seem so sweet. He wouldn’t be dumb enough not to hurry and swoop you up.” Liam touched Sophies face and she pushed his hand away “Please dont’ touch me.”

“I don’t live far from your village Sophie. I would come to visit you frequently and just stay with my aunt. Please be mine.”

“You’ve only just met me.”

“That doesn’t matter, I dont waste my time when I see somthing I want.” Liam got closer and Sophie moved away from the tree. “I wasn’t going to bite, only kiss you. I’m sure a gorgeous girl like yourself has been kissed many times.”

“I haven’t had my first kiss and I dont want it from you.”

“Thirteen and no kiss? Is your village filled with gay men?” Sophie shook her head “No none of them are gay, they just aren’t rude and try to kiss girls who obviously don’t want to be.”

“I’m sorry, I promise I wont try again. You can’t blame a man for trying the first time though.”

“I guess, just please stop staring and no touching.”

“On my honor.” He bowed and Sophie laughed even though she was still tense. He showed her around until it was getting late “My mom should be making dinner.”

“Alright lets go.” They walked back in and Mizano asked “did you enjoy your day Sophie?”

“Their village is nice, it was a nice day for the most part.”

“What was bad about it?”

“Liam tried to kiss me.”

“Liam!” his mother exclaimed. “No mam, it’s fine. He says he wont do it again”

“You better not bother this young lady while you’re at her village.”

“When he’s at my village?” Sophie said looking confused. “Yes, the private matter was her asking me if Liam could go back with us for a few weeks. Will you be too uncomfortable?”

“No Charles will be there. It’ll be fine.” Mizano smiled. “alright.” They ate and got ready for bed. Charles was still out training even though the sun was down. Charles knew he couldn’t sleep anyway so he was letting Arch pretend he had to punish Charles again so he wouldn’t need to go home until he was sure his wife would be asleep. “You sure you aren’t too tired boy?” Arch asked. “I don’t know how Sophie is or if she’s safe. Do you really think I’ll be doing a lot of sleeping until she gets back?” Arch laughed “Not knowing you. To thank you for this no lessons the day she gets back and non the following day.”

“Thank you sir”

“Your mind would be wandering anyway wanting to leave and be with her.” Charles smiled and Arch asked him to sit down in the grass. He did and they just talked until Arch was exhausted. “Goodnight Charles. I’ll see you tomorrow around three.”

“Three it is.” Charles began to walk home. He was glad it was so late because Connies dad would’ve made her go to bed by now. He went to the river to get his shirt but it was gone. No doubt Connie took it. He walked home annoyed, That had been his favorite shirt and she would give it back. Sophie made it for him. He walked quietly into his home and up the stairs hoping to not bother his parents.

He put down his sword and laid looking at the ceiling. He should be tired but he worried about Sophie. He forced his eyes closed and tried a trick that always worked for him. He got on one side and grabbed a pillow imagining getting to sleep beside his love. Eventually he relaxed and drifted to sleep. In his dream him and Sophie were by the river. “You look so handsome today Charles”

“Thanks Sophie”

“Can I kiss you?”

“What?”

“Come here” Sophie grabbed him and they began to kiss. It felt so real, his heart thundered. Suddenly he was laying on his back with Sophie sitting on his hips but it didn’t feel right any longer. She began to rub his chest and it still didn’t feel like Sophie. His eyes snapped open and there was Connie on top of him. He pushed her off onto the floor. “Jeez, do you greet Sophie like that when she wakes you?”

“Of course I don’t, how are you in my room? My mother knows not to let you in.”

“I climbed in your window. You’re so mean.”

“Then leave me alone.”

“We can have just a little fun, what if I promise not to tell Sophie? We could be a fling on the side.” Charles scoffed “where did you take my damn shirt while we’re at it?”

“You have lots of shirts.”

“That’s the only one Sophies made me though. It was a birthday present and you need to give it back.”

“I’ll give it back for a kiss.”

“I’m not joking” He said no longer controlling his tone. Charles father came in “whats all this noise so early? Connie?”

“She climbed in my window and stole my shirt yesterday dad.”

“Tattle tail!” She snapped. “Come with me now! We’re going to see your father.”

“Please dad get my shirt back.”

“I will son.” Charles was glad his father had woken up and taken that tramp out of his room. She had slept with more men than any proper lady would. Even some married ones,which was absolutely disgusting to him. The married men more so than her. He’d never do a thing like that to Sophie if she married him. He prayed she hadn’t done anything to his shirt that couldn’t be cleaned. He’d be so disappointed if he lost it.

~ Chapter 5 ~

Charles paced waiting for his father to come back. He started kicking himself for not being brave enough to go back right away. Connie was just a woman, her touch just repulsed him so much. He wasn’t going to try and preserve her feelings any longer. Even if his favorite shirt wasn’t ruined she had gone too far. She didn’t deserve his patience any longer. He heard his front door open and ran down. “here you go son. Regrettably she slept with it last night.” Charles could tell even if his father hadn’t said it. It now was tainted with Connies vomit inducing smell.

His dad saw how upset Charles looked. He put a hand on his sons shoulder “Maybe Rowne will let you put the shirt in Sophies room so it’ll smell like her.”

“We should rinse it first. I don’t want any of that girl in Sophies room.”

“Go do that while I ask Sophies dad. We can just grab it back before Sophie gets home.” Charles ran off quickly to rinse his shirt. Now Connie had done him a favor without meaning to. Charles had missed how much it smelled like Sophie when she first gave it to him. Now he could get a little of that back. Charles rinsed it well then made sure it was dry before he walked to Sophies, her dad nodded to give his answer and Charles bolted up the stairs. He pulled Sophies blankets back laying the shirt between the sheet and her covers.

He stood there for a moment. He felt such comfort in her bedroom. He needed the calm to help him deal with Connie. Hopefully Connies dad grounded her so he could have some peace. Charles walked back down the stairs “thanks Rowne.”

“How could I say no when your dad described how heartbroken you looked when you got that shirt back? I’m glad you like it so much. Sophie was really excited about it when she was making it for you.”

“My favorite presents are the ones your daughter makes me.”

“It’s very obvious. Do you train today?”

“Yes sir. I’m meeting Arch at three”

“what’re you going to do today?”

“Hide from Connie and maybe work out some.”

“You just have to get through today and she’ll be here tomorrow.” Charles blushed knowing Rowne was teasing him. Charles waved bye and left. He looked all around him so Connie couldn’t sneak up. When he was sure the coast was clear and she was most likely locked in her room he took up his place by the creek for push ups. His mind filling with the sweet dream of kissing Sophie. It fueled Charles making it easier to keep going with his push ups.

~ Chapter 6 ~

“would you like to see some beautiful rocks Sophie? I know where some absolutely gorgeous ones are”

“That would be perfect! Charles loves pretty rocks. He collects them. I could carry some home for him.”

“Is that man all you can think about?” Liam said hiding how annoyed he was by her constant talking of Charles. He thought maybe if she wasn’t so stuck on him he could have a chance. “he’s my best friend, who I spend all my time with so yeah he’s in my head a lot. Why do you care?”

“No reason, lets go.” They told Mizano and his mother bye then walked off. Liam did his best to keep his eyes ahead but Sophie was nearly impossible not to look at. They finally made it to a cave. “is it safe in there?”

“I woudn’t take you if it wasn’t.”

“alright” The cave had such a wide mouth you could see fairly far back. She saw the most beautiful purple and blue stones. They were perfect crystal. Charles had some green ones he adored so she could only imagine if she brought him the purple and blue crystals. “Thank you Liam!”

“Not a problem, theres more nice ones over this way.” Sophie got up and followed him “we’re getting out of your town now aren’t we?”

“Yes but I’m pretty decent with my magic so you’ll be ok.”

“Oh, I was wondering why you didn’t carry a sword like Charles does.”

“Yep, I was more interested in magic than being a brute.” Sophie shot him a glare “ouch, sorry.”

“Not ok, Charles is the sweetest man you’ll ever find”

“Sorry, don’t get all worked up” Soon they heard loud footsteps pounding the ground. Then chilly breath hit Sophies neck. Liam turned, his face shifting to fear. A Cresil was behind her and now staring Sophie down. (see image below)

Liam quickly yelled fire at Sophie. Sophie hadn’t worked much with fire but tried anyway. They managed to get it aflame pretty well then he grabbed Sophies hand and ran. It was soon following them. It was very pissed off and they both screamed for help knowing it was much too powerful for beginners like themselves. A man named Gavern heard them and saw the Cresil chasing them. He quickly came with his sword drawn and fought with the creature until it was laying on the ground dead.

Gavern turned to Liam sternly “why did you have a little lady like Sophie out there! You’re supposed to keep her safe while she visits!”

“I just wanted to show her.”

“Enough, I’ll be going with you back to your mother” Liam hung his head. He knew when he took her he shouldn’t have. He just hoped to impress Sophie. Gavern explained what happend and Liam was scolded again by his mother for taking Sophie out there when he knew there had been problems with those creatures lurking around town “You could’ve gotten Sophie killed. She had no way of knowing those were out there. You knew it.”

“But I knew going out was bad.”

“If you knew that you would’ve stayed Sophie” Mizano said quickly. Sophie looked to the floor. Mizano knew Sophie well enough that she knew Sophie wouldn’t take that risk. “You’re right, just don’t be so hard on Liam please. He was trying to be nice”

“Nice but dumb, You would have died if it weren’t for Gavern.”

~ Chapter 7 ~

Liam was sent to his room the rest of the day. So Sophie just got to know Mizanos sister until night came. “I’m sorry that happened today Mizano”

“It wasn’t your fault. He didn’t tell you they were having a problem with Crisils. If you had that information you wouldn’t have been in that spot. He was careless with you and if you would have died my head would’ve rolled when I got home because of that stupid boy. please go to sleep child. Liam deserved the tongue lashing he got. I don’t think you understand how evil Crisils are. It wouldn’t have just killed you.”

“Yes mam, goodnight.” Sophie went to sleep excited about seeing Charles tomorrow. Charles made sure his window was locked before settling in his bed. He rolled from side to side not being able to sleep. He got up and did more push ups until he was sore. He laid back down thinking about how he would greet Sophie tomorrow. He decided he’d wait in the tree that was by the entrance to town. He could jump down then lift her into his arms in a nice tight hug. He worried again about any possible injuries she might have obtained on her journey.

Charles grabbed his pillow and closed his eyes. He hummed the lullaby he heard Sophie singing frequently. It didn’t sound half as good when he did it but it reminded him of her and brought him comfort so he could shut down for the night. It was nothing but nightmares this night of things attacking Sophie. He woke up sweating and breathing hard. He could see the sun was just starting to rise. He laid back down glad it was only a dreams.

Sophie was woken up by Mizano. “I want to hurry home. Your encounter has gotten me wound up.” Sophie wasn’t going to complain. She was glad, Sophie went to breakfast while Mizano got Liam out of bed and told him to pack for his visit. Liam came out when she was almost done eating. He briefly looked at her then turned in shame. She could tell he felt really bad about yesterday. His mother hugged him bye then her sister and Sophie “safe travels to you all ok?”

“Thank for letting me come too.” Sophie said. “You’re welcome any time sweetheart.” They walked with Liam never lifting his head. The one time he tried Mizano gave him a look like she would slaughter him if he spoke a single word. Since neither of them had been hurt she wished Mizano would stop it. Sophie knew better than to speak so quietly walked on. She would be able to see Charles in only hours.

When Charles got out of bed he walked to Sophies to get his shirt. He remade the bed then put it on. Charles thanked Rowne again and went to sit in his tree. He didn’t care if she didn’t get back until midnight, he was staying there until he saw her beautiful face.

~ Chapter 8 ~

Mizano paused, Sophie and Liam came to a halt. “Just give me a second to breathe children. I’m mad at Liam but not mad enough to feed him to the wolves by letting your father and Charles know what happened. It felt like a very long time to hold still because Sophie wanted to get back to her village but Mizano was right, Liam wouldn’t deserve the anger he’d get. Especially from Charles if he found out Liam had knowingly put her life in danger.

With what happened yesterday Sophie had forgotten Liam tried to kiss her. Sophie couldn’t have been happier when they started to move again. When Charles could make out Sophie he jumped down running to her. Rowne who had come to wait too just smiled. He’d hug his daughter when she arrived. Charles lifted Sophie into a hug. “I’m so glad you’re back.”

“Me too, I’ve got a present for you.” Sophie noticed Charles was wearing the shirt she made him yet again. It made her happy he wore it so much. It looked like it was getting too tight on him. She decided she’d make him another soon. Charles carried Sophie the rest of the way home. Liam looked over a few times in jealousy. She had gone almost pale when he simply touched her cheek and she seemed happy as could be being held by Charles.

Charles set Sophie down so she could hug her dad. “Is this your nephew Mizano? Its been years.”

“Yes, he’s staying a few weeks.”

“Why don’t you seem happy about that?”

“I’m fine just tired. Lets go home Liam.”

“He hasn’t even seen the village yet.”

“I believe he’s done enough touring. He can play tomorrow. Today he comes home with me.” Rowne wondered what happened. He could tell Mizano was pushing back anger. Liam looked a little worried then said “Bye Sophie, I hope to get to see you tomorrow.” He shot her an apologetic look and followed his Aunt. “what did he do?” Rowne asked “It’s nothing to worry over. Lets just be happy. I’ve missed you guys.” Rowne wanted to push it further but could see his daughter didn’t want to talk about it. He’d ask her again when Charles wasn’t around even though he could see on his face he wanted to know too.

Charles and Sophie sat down by the water “How was your trip?”

“Very fun, I wished you could’ve come with me though.” Charles smiled “I would have liked that.”

“How was things here?”

“Eh” Sophie laughed “eh?”

“Nothings fun without you.” Charles heart warmed then Sophie continued. “Oh your present” she dug in her bag and gave him the two crystals. “do you like them?”

“They are magnificent! Thank you” He hugged her tightly giving her a kiss on the cheek. Charles noticed a small amount of blood on her bag he knew wasn’t there when she left. “Sophie.”

“Yes Charles?”

“What happened that got blood on your bag?” She looked at it and saw the blood from the monster there too. She was upset with herself for not making sure it was clean. “Well there were monsters to fight, nothing too bad.”

“You promise?” Charles asked her that because he knew Sophie would never lie on a promise. “well” she sighed “Liam asked me if I wanted to see some pretty rocks so I went with him. I didn’t realize before we left it was outside of his village but followed anyway and we ended up chased by a Cresil. I wasn’t hurt atall though, it’s only the things blood. A man was walking by because they had been lurking around the village for a few weeks now I think they said.”

“So he decided he was just going to take you out knowing those were around his village.” She felt Charles anger as he held her a little tighter “well I wasn’t hurt”

“You could’ve been killed by the damned thing. How big of an idiot is he.” His tone was growing cold. “dont be angry Charles, I’ve missed you so much.” He started trying to calm himself for her. He didn’t like to let her see him mad but those were very dangerous and she would’ve died miserably. They liked to make their victims feel as much pain as they could before allowing them to embrace death. All he knew in that moment was Liam was very lucky nothing happened to Sophie.

~ Chapter 9 ~

“Lets go put these away before anything happens to them.”

“Sounds good.” Charles really wanted to get them up incase Connie assaulted him again. She only ever did it when he was alone but there was always a chance and he wasn’t going to let her touch another gift from his Sophie. They walked to Charles home talking about everything that happened except Liam trying to kiss her. She didn’t feel Charles needed to know about it. They went up to his room and put them where he kept all his other ones.

“Wow you’ve got a lot now. I guess I should stop picking up the ones I see.”

“Oh no I love them, please don’t stop.”

“You sure?”

“Very sure.”

“Do you have training today Charles?”

“Nope, I’m free all day today and tomorrow.”

“Good, I don’t know when Mizano will want to start again but it will probably be awhile.”

“I guess what she’s angry about is the Crisil?”

“Yeah, I was a bit worried his mother and MIzano were going to kill him. Even Liam looked worried about it.”

“Well he would have deserved it.”Charles said with a bit of anger in his tone. Sophie laughed and hugged him. “I hope next time she takes me somewhere she’ll let you come.”

“She’s going to do that again in the future?”

“She wants to.” Sophie seemed very excited about it so he kept his sadness about her going again to himself. Sophie looked on the floor and picked up somthing. Charles couldn’t tell what it was until Sophie was holding it. “why is a jewel from Connies necklace in your room?”

“She climbed in my window like a psycho. I got her out quickly.”

“why did she climb in your window?” Even though it wasn’t his fault Charles was embarrassed and didn’t want to tell her that Connie was lusting after him. “Charles?” She persisted. “I don’t know, you know how crazy she is.”

“Man crazy” Sophie laughed and felt a little sad. Jealousy welled inside of her as she wondered why she was in here. Charles acting so nervous about it was doing nothing to comfort Sophie. Everybody knew what Connies reputation was. She had even broken up a few marriages. She got even more sad wondering if Charles had maybe fallen for her too. She pushed it out of her head quickly. “Charles is a better guy than that. I shouldnt think such thoughts.”

“You kids hungry?” Charles mother called. “Yes mam.” Charles said glad they were breaking away from the topic of Connie. Sophie pocketed the jewel to give to Connie later. Charles mom wanted to know everything about Sophies trip too. The conversation was still going well after lunch. “I’m so used to hearing your voice daily Sophie, it was weird for you to be gone.”

“I doubt I’ll be leaving again any time soon.”

“Good, I know Charles missed you. Do you mind if I get him to chop some firewood for me?”

“Not at all.” Charles took off his shirt making sure to put it upstairs then walked outside with Sophie and his mother following. Charles was glad his mother wanted him to chop wood so he could get some of his aggression out. Not only had Liam put Sophies life in danger during the trip, now Sophie found a piece of Connies necklace in his room and he could only imagine what Sophie was thinking. He’d give anything to know her thoughts.

~ Chapter 10 ~

Night came and Charles walked Sophie home. “I’ll see you in the morning?”

“like always” Sophie smiled as the words left her mouth. He hugged Sophie tightly, still worried about what she may be thinking about Connies necklace. He stood there as she walked inside then made his way home. “Charles, what’s bothering you son?” His mother asked when he was passing her to go to his room. “You know what happened with Connie?”

“yeah?”

“A piece of her necklace was left in my room from where I threw her off me. It must have broken off and I didn’t see it on my floor. Sophie found it, with Connies reputation who knows what Sophies thinking. I don’t want her to think of me like that.” She held her son to comfort him “Sophie knows you sweetheart. Did you explain?”

“Kind of, I was embarrassed and worried so I didn’t really tell her the whole story. When I wanted to explain how she’s been after me I couldn’t do it. She looked sad like she was questioning if I had slept with Connie. I’d never” HIs voice broke and he ran upstairs. Charles mom was angry at that little tramp for doing this. She decided to go talk to Connies mother and make sure she was being punished. Connie wouldn’t be the way she was if her parents did anything to punish her behaviours. Drea couldn’t believe they weren’t embarrassed.

Not very surprised Drea found Siyo drunk again in the pub. Drea rolled her eyes and stomped out. She’d have her husband talk to Connies father. Sophie sat in her room, not able to fall asleep. Pictures of Charles making love to Connie kept flashing through her head even though she knew it wasn’t possible. Connie was just so pushy and persistent. She decided she’d start on Charlies new shirt to keep her mind busy.

Sophie already had everything she needed in her closet to make him a new one. She went down stairs to get somthing to cut with then pulled the material and other things she needed out of her closet. Eventually she couldn’t help it and began to cry. Rowne heard her and came in “Sophie honey, what’s wrong?” She didn’t answer so he came and sat by her. “did you hurt yourself?”

“No sir”

“Then what’s wrong?” She pulled the jewel out of her pocket. “I found this in Charlies room. It belongs to Connie.”

“Oh honey, I dont think Charles would touch that disgusting girl”

“I dont think so either but what if he did. I mean I’m not his girlfriend so I guess it’s not my business….I’ve just always thought….I’ve always thought he loves me but maybe I’ve been kidding myself.” Rowne lifted his daughter and put her in his lap. He held her tight “Sophie, really think about it. Who does Charles spend all his time with?”

“Me and his teacher.”

“Do you ever see him even look at Connie?”

“No”

“Do you honestly believe in your heart he’d touch that girl?”

“I guess not but just the thought makes me sad.”

“I understand sweetie, but you do know he didn’t right?” She nodded feeling better after talking to her dad. She hugged him “I love you dad.”

“I love you and Charles loves you.” He held his daughter until she fell asleep then laid her down. He put her things away incase Charles came in the morning. He knew she’d want a new shirt to be a surprise. Rowne walked out to see if lights were on at Charlies house. He wanted to ask his father why Connie had been over there. He knew Connie stole his shirt but not the whole story.

Rowne saw Charlies parents outside talking. “Hey Rowne what’s up?”

“I just wanted to see why Connie was over here. ” Charlies mom sighed “Sophie thinks somthing doesn’t she?”

“No no, I talked to her and she knows Charles better than that but the poor girl still cried herself to sleep.”

“Oh no” Drea said in a very sad tone. Charlies dad said “God, Connies parents need to stop letting her do whatever she wants. It’s disgusting. God help that little girl if she ruins Charles chances with your daughter.”

“I’m pretty pissed too. I’ve never seen my daughter so upset in my life. What happened though?”

“She crawled in his window like the little expert she is and he had to throw her off of him.”

“I see, so thats probably when the jewel came off.”

“Probably” Charlies dad snarled. “well like I said my daughter is fine, I just wanted to know what went on incase I need to talk to her again. I’m going on a walk. Seeing Sophie cry so much because of that girl has really got me riled. I need to release my frustration.”

“I’ll come too. I’ll see you later Drea”

“Be safe boys.” She waved them off then went up to listen at Charlies door. She could tell her son wasn’t sleeping but knew he probably wouldn’t talk to her any more. The person he needed was Sophie. She opened the door and asked her son “want me to see if you can spend the night at Sophies?”

“It’s late, they are sleeping.”

“No her father was just here, I’m sure her mother is still up. Sophies sleeping but I know you take comfort just being around her.”

“Could you ask then?” Charles said with hope in his voice. “Yes I’ll be back” Charles waited very impatiently for his mother. He was in front of the door when she came back “you can go just don’t wake Sophie.”

“I promise I wont” He bolted out wanting to see her. He wanted to talk but Sophie getting rest was more important to him. He walked in her door where Sophies mother was waiting with his blankets for the floor. He opened the door to Sophies room as softly as possible making his bed. He walked over to her to give Sophie a gentle hug and he saw that her face was wet. Horror struck his heart when he realized it was tears. He hugged Sophie as tears started rolling down his own face. He hated Connie right now. Hated her with a burning passion “That bitch is going to regret it if she ever touches me again” he thought to himself followed with many other angry and sad thoughts.

~ Chapter 11 ~

When Sophies dad came back from his walk he heard Charles crying he opened the door and Charles quickly stopped hugging Sophie. “I’m so sorry sir” he whispered in a panic afraid he’d now be thrown out. Rowne motioned for him to come out and Charles just knew he was being asked to go home. Rowne went with Charles to the kitchen “Don’t be sorry, I understand.”

“How long was she crying?”

“That’s not really”

“How long was she crying?” charles interrupted knowing Rowne just didn’t want to tell him. “I’m not sure, I just heard Sophie in her room and then went in to talk with her. She cried until she was sleeping.”

“She thinks I slept with Connie?”

“No, I promise she doesn’t. I spoke with her and at first she was leaning to it but in the end she had no doubt you didn’t. There wasn’t a moment where she was sure you did and she fell asleep not thinking it atall. Only the thought of it was bothering her.” Charles was relieved, he’d never want Sophie to think that. “Now son listen to me”

“Sir?”

“You can sleep with her tonight because it’s breaking my heart how sad she is and nothing perks that girl up like you. Don’t take this as an every time you spend the night thing. Only tonight and you better not do anything I wouldn’t approve of you got me?”

“Yes sir” Charles said with happiness now shooting through him. “Get up there and remember to be a gentleman.” Charles smiled and went back upstairs. He was more quiet than normal, He went up to her bed and got on the side she wasn’t on. He wrapped his arms around Sophie pulling her into him as slow and carefully as possible. Burying his face in her sweet smelling hair Charles relaxed fully. He was going to get to really sleep with Sophie. Somthing he could only imagine doing before was happening. He never felt such comfort as this. It was pure bliss laying with Sophie. Charles now didn’t want to sleep. This was a chance that may never happen again.

Charles smiled to spite how upset he was, it was impossible not to smile holding Sophie. He decided to let her go so she would flip. He saw her do it every night he slept over. She’d start one way but would end up the other. He wanted Sophie facing him so he could admire her beautiful face. He waited patiently until finally she rolled and he quickly but still carefully wrapped around her again. Having her facing him filled him with even more butterflies. He rubbed his thumb over Sophie cheek and kissed her head. “I want to stay like this forever” he whispered then gave her another gentle kiss on the cheek.

Charles laid there happily until the sun was rising. He couldn’t believe the whole night had already passed him by. It wasn’t fair, he wanted more time to be with her. Sophie moved about an hour after the sun was up. Her eyes widened when she realized Charles was holding her. She looked up, her eyes meeting his. “Good morning Sophie”

“What’re you doing?”

“Hugging my seemingly sad best friend”

“I’m not sad.” She said and smiled. “You sure?”

“Yes, I was sad about something really stupid last night but not any more.”

“Want to talk about it?”

“It was really so dumb it doesn’t merit conversation. What I was sad over was absolutely ridiculous” Charles smiled and pressed Sophie into him a little more not wanting this moment to end. “Dont let ridiculous thoughts make you sad again.”

“I’ll try” Soon Sophies mom opened the door and smiled “Come get breakfast you two” Charles let Sophie go and they got up. Charles wasn’t tired in the slightest even though he stayed up all night. He was soaring from holding Sophie for so long. There wasn’t a thing that could drag him off this high cloud of happiness. Everything was right again, Sophie was happy and he was going to make sure Connie never touched him again. If he had to get a little rough he had to. He would never let her make Sophie cry again.

~ Chapter 12 ~

“Where’s dad?” Sophie asked. “He went with Charlies dad to do somthing.” Charles hoped they were going to talk to Connies dad. They were, the two of them knocked on the door. They could hear Connie laughing with her father. Her dad let them in and they said “why is she out having fun after all the trouble she’s caused?”

“Please, she’s a teenager and so is your son. She’s just doing what any teen should do, Having some fun.”

“She needs some rules.”

“You raise your children and I’ll raise mine. You two need to get out.”

“How your raising your daughter is affecting both our children badly.”

“If crybaby Sophie can’t handle a little competition she wont make it in the adult world.” Him saying that greatly offended both Charlies dad and Rowne. They got out before they beat the crap out of him. They decided to go to the elders. They explained everything to the elders and they said “We will speak with him. I’m sorry, we’ve never liked his daughter or wife.”

Back at Sophies house there was a knock on the door. “Liam, welcome” Sophies mom said. Liam looked to Sophie “is it still alright if I play with you today?”

“Yep”

“Just so I know before the day gets started, am I allowed to touch you yet?” Sophie had forgotten all about him trying to kiss her between everything that had happened since so she started to ask “why can’t y, oh wait, nevermind. No you can’t. That will be the rules until I change my mind. I’ll shock you if you do.” Liam laughed “Damn, If only I wouldn’t have asked. I can’t believe you forgot about it.”

“A lot had been going on but thank you for reminding me.” Liam kept laughing “You forgot because it wasn’t as big of a deal as you took it as.”

“What did he do?” Her mother asked. “Don’t worry about it.”

“Why because it’s not a big deal?” Liam said grinning. “I’d shut my mouth if I were you.” Liam kept grinning and said “yes mam.” Chalres curiosity was killing him. Sophie was very friendly so he wondered why she wouldn’t allow Liam to touch her. Not that he had a problem with her making a rule that any man couldn’t touch her. He wished that was the case for every male on the planet but him.

“So this is the famous Charles?”

“Yep.”

“Famous?” Charles said. Liam answered “Yep, I couldn’t get her to stop talking about you while she was in my village. Somehow every topic found it’s way back to you.” Charles smiled but noticed that Liam was upset about that. “Great, another man thats going to try and get Sophie” Charles thought. “are you going to return the favor and show me your village Sophie?”

“Sure, lets go”

“Be good, especially you Liam.”

“Oh mam I’m always good” Liam winked then laughed again. They started walking around showing him everything. Charles didn’t like she showed him their favorite spots. Sophie made sure Charles was always between her and Liam no matter how hard Liam was trying to walk by Sophie. “I thought you should know when we take lessons tomorrow we’ll be doing it together. Mizano is going to keep my lessons going while I’m here. I’m wondering how me not being allowed to touch you will work with that.”

“I doubt there would be a single reason in the world for you to touch me Liam.”

“Well we’re both magic, she might take the opportunity to teach us co op magic.”

“You have to have some sort of bond for that to work right and I don’t really have a bond with you.”

“Ouch”

“I’ve just met you, don’t be hurt”

“I’m trying, my ego is still recovering from what happened at my village.” Sophie sighed and Charles asked “what happened?”

“I only tried to kiss her, I’ve never seen a woman move so fast in my life. You would’ve thought I was going to hurt her somhow. It was cute but she was very upset. She made me promise to not stare at her or touch her ever again.”

“It was rude, you cant just lean in to kiss girls you’ve only just met. Especially when I told you at your house your staring was making me uncomfortable.”

“I didn’t take you seriously, a lot of times girls dont mean that stuff when they say it.”

“I was very serious.”

“I know that now, I haven’t done anything more have I?”

“No”

“See, I’ll be a good boy. You’re beautiful but I’ll be good.” Charles now didn’t like Liam atall.He felt like punching him for making a move on Sophie. He was going to find a moment alone with him at some point to make sure he didn’t try anything with her again. Charles was glad Liam didn’t succeed in getting Sophies first kiss.

~ Chapter 13 ~

Liam could tell hearing about that pissed off Charles but he didn’t care. Sophie was single, he had no right to dictate what other men could do with her. Liam still was intent on getting Sophie to want him. “That’s really everything there is to see.” Sophie said now standing still. “It’s lovely here, who knows. Maybe my mom will let us move here so she can be close to auntie Mizano.” Charles shot him a quick glare making sure Sophie didn’t notice. Liam smiled happy to accept the challenge. Liam felt Charles thought he was tougher because he could wield a blade but Liam had beaten many men with swords using his magic.

“Hey Sophie, why don’t you let me get to know Charles alone. Maybe I can figure out why he’s so great.”

“Um, do you want that Charles?”

“I’d love to. I’ll meet you at your house ok?”

“alright see you two later.” Sophie wasn’t sure what was going on but she worried it had something to do with Liam trying to kiss her. She had began to notice that it so happened boys would end up pretty wounded that made moves on her. She never mentioned it to Charles because the boys would never admit it was Charles they fought with to her. She figured Charles was probably threatening them into not telling her.

Charles and Liam watched Sophie until they couldn’t see her any longer. Charles threw down his sword. “why’d you do that?” Before he finished his sentence Charles had closed the distance between them. “Because I dont want to be tempted to use it. How dare you try and kiss Sophie.” Liam scoffed “She’s a gorgeous and single woman. There’s nothing wrong with a man trying to kiss such a beautiful creature.” Liam was slightly intimidated but didn’t show it. Something about Charles made him shake and he didn’t know why.

“She’s going to be married to me one day.”

“She’s not even your girlfriend.”

“I’m taking my time and making sure I do it right, she’s more precious to me than anybody or anything. I wont rush it. What we have now is perfect. I’ll know when the right time is here. Then we’ll be together forever.”

“I will flirt with whomever I want. I plan on trying my damndest to make her mine.” Mizano saw the two boys. She ran up “stop it you two.”

“Aunt Mizano stay out of this. If Charles wants a fight I’ll beat him”

“Liam you dont know Charles” Liam scoffed again. “let us men have our duel.” Mizano rolled her eyes “fine you little asshole but don’t say I didn’t try to save you from yourself.”

“You ready?” Charels said “why ask?” With that Charles punched Liam in the face. Liam was in shock at how much force was behind it. He could see he was strong but. The thought couldn’t finish before Charles slugged him in the side of the head two more times. The two boys rolled on the ground. Liam managed to knee Charles hard in the stomach but it seemed to not even slow him down. Before Liam knew it Charles was on top of him punching him repeatedly. Liam tried to get away but couldn’t no matter how he tried. Charles suddenly stopped “You give up on Sophie yet?” Liam was in so much pain it hurt to speak. “fiine, fine.”

Charles got off of him and Liam spitefully shocked Charles. Charles grinned and glared at him as to dare him to flirt with Sophie again. Liam was infuriated. Not even being electrocuted bothered Charles. “whats the fucking man made out of” Liam thought as he hobbled back to his aunt. Every bit of him aching. When he got to her home she said “I told you not to fight with him over Sophie.”

“Why does nothing hurt him?” She started to clean Liam up. “when it’s over Sophie nothing slows him. You could set him on fire and he’d fight you. He honestly loves that girl, more than you probably ever could. You need to leave her alone.”

“Hell no, I will try again. I just needed him to stop so I could plan a better strategy next time”

“You wont beat him.”

“yes I will.”

“Your moms going to be sad at your funeral hun”

‘I’m your nephew, why dont you have more faith?”

“You dont know Charles, I’ve watched that boy grow up. He will fight until death over Sophie. Nothing pisses him off more than when a man comes on to her. He plans on marrying her when they are older.”

“I know that, he said as much”

“Back off sweetie please.”

“I will not, she’s single and I will make her want me.”

“Fine, I’m just trying to look out for you. You should also know youre the ass in this situation not Charles. She wants him and wants nothing to do with you.”

~ Chapter 14 ~

The next morning Liam felt sick with pain. Mizano knew he’d be like that when he came home from fighting Charles so she had already planned for him not to be in her lesson that day. She went to check on him and one of his eyes were swollen shut. “I can’t move” Liam moaned. “I tried to warn you. You still going to try for Sophie?”

“Fuck yes”

“Liam, I’ve seen a young man try twice before. He didn’t dare try a third. Please don’t or you really wont be able to move. You probably wont believe me but Charles goes easy the first time. He was rougher with you than most but I know how much of a jerk you can be so I’m sure you provoked it.”

“I will not back down”

“There’s other woman, Sophie doesn’t even want you.”

“She just doesn’t know she wants me. I’ll make her see it”

“My friend Clara is coming to help you while I’m teaching Sophie. I’ll see you when we’re done.”

“I can’t come later?”

“You can’t even see out of one eye.”

“So? It’ll make me look tough to Sophie.”

“Just stay here you moron. I hope you’re not honestly stupid enough to mess with that girl again.” Mizano left frustrated with her nephew. She would send him back if her sister wasn’t in such need of a break. He had been giving her so much trouble lately. He had always been a bit of a handful but age seemed to be making him worse. When Mizano made it to where her and Sophie train she noticed Sophie looked really tired “why so sleepy hun?” Sophie got closer and whispered “I’m making Charles a new shirt. I stayed up really late because I want to hurry and finish.”

“That last one is getting very tight on him. That’s a good idea. He’d probably keep wearing it even when it cut off his circulation.” Mizano laughed and so did Sophie. “Yeah, I love how much he seems to love it. I really didn’t think it was that awesome of a gift.”

“You could give that man dirt and he’d keep it forever.” They were both laughing again “serious time now, I’m sure since you’re no fool you know that my nephew isn’t feeling well today so it will be the two of us.”

“Oh my, whatever is wrong with him?” Sophie said sarcastically. “Charles thinks he’s so smart keeping that stuff from you.”

“Men all think they can outsmart us. We just need to be nice and let them think it” Sophie winked. They walked out to begin their lessons. “what’re we looking for?”

“A rather large snake. That’s been giving Clara trouble. In exchange for tending to my nephew we’re going to kill it.”

“He’s that bad?”

“He can’t get up” She noticed Sophies shocked face “Charles went a bit harder on him than he normally does, he knows Liam tried to kiss you doesn’t he?” Sophie nodded “I figured with how my nephew looked. I’m sure it doesn’t help he has an untamed tongue.” They walked on and on in the areas Clara said the snake was. It was taking forever to find it. “geez can something this hard to find be that much trouble?” Mizano laughed “I know, this is ridiculous.” Just as they said that they heard him slithering and hissing at them. “Oh my god!” Sophie exclaimed. “I told you it was large”

Large? Large is an understatement! That’s taller than a house and thicker than a horse!”

“Fire Sophie.”

“You aren’t going to help.” Sophie said dodging its jaws as it lunged ta her. “You can do this, i’ll step in if needed.” Sophie was non stop moving and shooting flames at the snake. Her heart was hurting it was beating fast with excitement. It was scary but she loved when her mentor let her fight things on her own. She was exhausted but she killed it. As Sophie panted Mizano said “Good job! Wow! I was expecting to step in, especially since you didn’t sleep last night.”

“Yeah” Sophie said through labored breath. “I’ll collect the fangs dear, rest now.” Sophie plopped down. She was glad grown men would come out to drag this thing back to use rather than the two of them. “alright lets go back home.” Sophie looked at the sky, she knew Charles wouldn’t be home yet but she wasn’t too sad. This way she could finish up his shirt. She only needed a few more hours. When they arrived in town Sophie was almost ready to crawl because she was so tired. Kaji saw Sophie barely walking “are you ok sweetheart?”

“I kicked a huge snakes ass today. I’m awesome, just tired.”

“Can i carry you home? You look on the verge of passing out.”

“I’m almost there now, don’t be silly.”

“Alright, can I walk along side you to make sure you get there?”

“Sure” Kaji hugged her when she was in front of her door then ran off. Sophie fumbled into her door “Are you alright Sophie?” Her mother asked “yes mam, just very tired.”

“Go to sleep then.”

“I want to finish Charlies shirt.”

“I’m sure he’d rather you rest.”

“OK, I’ll nap for like ten minuets.” She actually did crawl up her stairs. She didn’t want to waste the energy getting on the bed so she just kneeled by it laying her head on the matress. She fell asleep quickly. Two hours later Charles walked in with Rowne. Rowne liked to go with Charles and Arch on lessons somtimes to work with Charles. It was a way Rowne felt he could bond with his future son. “Hey, is Sophie back.” She chuckled “Yes”

“What’s so funny”

“I don’t know what she did with her mentor today but that girl looked like she was risen from the dead when she walked in that door. I’m not even joking when I say she crawled up those stairs. She litteraly was on all fours. She didn’t even make it up in one go, I saw her pause for a breif moment just laying there on the steps. I doubt when she got in bed she took her shoes off.” Rowne laughed “Lets go check on her Charles” Charles nodded and they went up the stairs. Rowne went in first and started laughing. Charles came in and smiled at the sight of Sophie kneeling by her bed. The laughter woke Sophie. “I’m glad I’m so hilarious to you dad.” Sophie didn’t see Charles so wasn’t aware he was there since he only smiled. “why dont you get on the bed?” Rowne asked

“That would require me moving more and my back hurts way too much”

“want me to rub it for you?” Charles asked. “Oh hey Charles” she said flipping herself around “You don’t have to.”

“I want to” Rowne left the room and Charles helped Sophie lay on her bed. Charles took off his sword, Sophies shoes and then his own shoes. He began to gently but firmly rub her back. Sophie sighed happily at how good it felt. She wondered how hands that could do such damage to another person could be so gentle when they touched her. Charles smiled, it filled him with happiness to see how much Sophie was enjoying his massage.

When her back was as lose as it could be he moved on to her arms. “Thank you” she said in almost a whisper. “I don’t mind atall.” When her arms were loose he rubbed each of her legs. “Get on your back.”

“why?”

“So I can do your feet of course.”

“You are too good to me Charles.” Sophie said then flipped over. Charles grabbed one foot and placed it in his lap “do you feel better?”

“So much better, thank you” She smiled at him and he smiled back. Sophie could see overwhleming happiness on Charles face. Sophie closed her eyes and just enjoyed Charles rubbing her. “I can do your hands now.”

“You’ve done enough. You must have been rubbing me atleast for an hour now.”

“Let me finish, I still haven’t gotten to your hands, neck or shoulders.” Sophie hugged Charles “I wish I knew why you were so good to me. You spoil me rotten.” Charles laughed “give me you hand.” She gave it to him and he rubbed them. He noticed a few small cuts on her hands. “where did those come from?”

“I’m making somthing and I worked on it so long last night I kept falling asleep so sometimes I’d fall asleep while I was cutting somthing.”

“Why would you do that?”

“I’m excited about finishing it.”

“what is it?”

“Can’t tell you. You might blab.”

“You know I wont”

“Just be patient” He finished the rest of the massage. “I have to go do some things for my mom but I’ll be back. She was expecting me right away but I’m going to make up something.”

“You didn’t have to stay and rub me.”

“I wanted to. Can’t let my best friend be so sore she can’t make it to her bed now can I?”

“See you in a little bit”

“Of course” Charles responded smiling.

~ Chapter 15 ~

Sophie got out everything to finish Charlies shirt as soon as he was gone. She worked quickly but made sure it was perfect. She thought this one looked much nicer than her last one. She couldn’t wait to see how handsome he looked in it. Sophie folded the shirt then cleaned her mess. When she went to grab her shoes she noticed he left his sword. When she lifted it she almost fell. “wow, he makes this thing look light”  Sophie put it over her shoulder and stuffed the shirt in her bag.

Charles was working outside with his mom and noticed Sophie carrying his sword “Mom thats too heavy for her I’ll be right back” He took off running then grabbed his sword from Sophie “I would’ve gotten it later.”

“I figured since I was coming over I’d bring it.” Charles didn’t want to say anymore but his mother added “that thing is heavy dear, it’s meant for an older swordsman than Charles here but he’s stronger than a normal fourteen year old. I’m surprised you could carry it atall Sophie. I’ve tried to lift it before.”

“I definitely couldn’t carry it all day like Charles does.”

“well you’re a gifted girl. Mizano showed me the fang of that snake you killed. That thing must have been huge.”

“It was, certainly had a lot of energy.”

“I know, Mizano is proud she didn’t have to help you.” She looked at her son “go on, spend time with Sophie. I have it from here.”

“You sure mom?”

“Yes, go ahead.” He hugged his mother then turned to Sophie “what would you like to do?”

“Give you your present.” She pulled out the shirt she made and handed it to him. “The last one I made seemed to be getting tight so I designed another one. I think this one looks better.”

“What you were making last night was for me?” Sophie was about to say aw because of the truly touched expression on his face but Charles had lifted her up and started hugging her so tightly she couldn’t talk. “Thank you so much” She saw Charlies mother smiling. Drea mouthed “you just made that mans week” Sophie smiled back. She doubted with how tightly Charles was holding her she could manage to even mouth anything back.

Charles set her down and said “I’m way too dirty to wear it right now. Want to come with me to rinse in the river and I’ll try it on?”

“Sounds great.”

“Can I carry you so we can get there faster?” Sophie laughed “Yes.” He held Sophie close then ran as fast as he could with her. When they were by the river he sat her down in the grass then took off his shirt. Sophie hadn’t seen him shirtless in awhile, she couldn’t believe how much more sculpted he was than the last time. “It should be against the law to be so sexy charles.” Sophie thought to herself. Sophie couldn’t break her eyes away from him so ended up staring as he got the dirt off himself. Charles was so concentrated on hurrying that he didn’t notice.

When he felt like he was fully cleaned he got out and laid by Sophie to dry for a second before putting it on. “That was amazingly sweet of you, I’m really happy to have another one. The shirts you make look so good. I’ll still wear the first one until I can’t any longer” Sophie was forcing her eyes to stay on Charlies face rather than travel across his torso. It was proving to be difficult until she once again saw how touched and happy Charlies eyes looked. He sat up then pulled the shirt on. “How do I look?”

“amazing” Sophie smiled. Charles held out his hand to help Sophie up. She gladly took it and stood. “lets take the shirt I was wearing home.” They walked and talked about the snake Sophie fought. Charles ended up teasing Sophie about how she fell asleep just as they were getting back to his home. Drea said “Another really nice shirt Sophie. You should make those and sell them. I bet you’d make a lot of money.” Sophie shook her head “I only want to make them for Charles” Drea planned on teasing her son later for the look he had on his face when Sophie said that. He looked as if he might burst.  Drea hoped that Sophie really knew that she was Charlies sun and moon.

~ Chapter 16 ~

Liam tossed and turned in pain. Next time he was going to fight dirty and give Charles a few good jolts while they rolled around. The smug smile Charles had on his face when he won was pissing him off. Clara spoke “stop scowling”

“stop telling me what to do, you’re just here to feed me and help me if I need it.”

“I’m here to help my friend Mizano, when are you going to grow up and quite being such a pest?” Liam didn’t respond. He was too busy brooding. A few days later when Liam was fully functional again he got up early “I’m going to go on a walk ok?”

“Alright, be careful.”

“I will” He made his way to Sophies house. He was getting a kiss, he knew she wanted it. He would show her how badly she wanted him. He knocked “Hey, Mizano wants us to meet her. I’m supposed to bring Sophie.”

“Ok one second” Sophies mom went upstairs and got her out of bed. Sophie sighed but got up and came down “I thought we didn’t have lessons today?”

“She changed her mind, theres a problem with some lions. She’s already out there trying to take care of it and needs us too. She thinks it’ll be a good learning opportunity.” Sophie hugged her mom and followed Liam. “where is it?”

“Just follow me, I’m not good at explaining things.”

“Why didn’t Mizano get me?”

“She needed to hurry and help jeez.” He sighed then continued to speak “Sophie, you know I’m not ugly and I know I can be way more fun than Charles.”

“Shut up, I want Charles not you.”

“You wont even give me a chance though”

“Please stop.” He sighed and kept leading her away. He wanted to get somewhere where nobody could stop him. He knew he would have a hard enough time just getting Sophie wrestled down to kiss her. They went further and further and Sophie got steadily more uncomfortable. “Geez you’d think they’d send warriors and fully trained magicians this far.” Suddenly Liam grabbed Sophie tightly by the arm “what’re you doing?” He grabbed the other and tried to pull her into a kiss. “No!” She screamed then shocked him. “Sophie don’t make me do this the hard way.” She turned and began to run back to home.

Sophies mom wondered the same thing Sophie did at first. Why didn’t Mizano come. She always came herself for Sophie if she had a last minuet lesson. After awhile she couldn’t ignore the nagging of her conscious and went to make sure Mizano wasn’t really home. She prayed the whole way Liam hadn’t lied. She didn’t trust that boy atall. She knocked on Mizanos door and to her terror she answered “yes? What’s wrong?”

“You didn’t have a last minuet lesson for Sophie did you?”

“Liam told me he was going for a walk…that little shit!”

“What could he want with her alone?”

“Nothing good, Find your husband and I’ll start searching for them.” Sophies mom looked frantically for Rowne. She found him joking around with Kajis dad. “what’s wrong?”

“Liam lied to me, he came to get Sophie saying Mizano wanted the two of them to meet her somewhere and we have no idea where he’s taken her. You need to help us find our little Sophie. I don’t trust that boy and for whatever reason he wanted Sophie alone.” Without a word Rowne bolted and Kajis dad said “I’ll go look in between our village and his ok, we’ll find them.” Sophies mom nodded and clutched her shirt over her pounding heart. She took a deep breath and began to run to start looking for her daughter aswell.

Rowne ran through the woods as quickly as possible screaming “Sophie!” If Rowne would’ve known where Charles was training with Arch he would’ve had him help too. It would waste time looking for them so he just kept running to find his daughter. If Liam felt he had to lie to get Sophie somwhere then it couldn’t be good. Rowne wouldn’t let him hurt his only baby.

Liam caught up to Sophie jerking her on the ground. She pressed her hands on his back and jolted him with all the force she had. He let out a loud scream and she punched him taking off again. “Two can play that fucking game” He cast fire in front of her but she just ran in the other direction into thick tress. He couldn’t start fire there or would burn the whole woods down. He built up his electricity as he ran after her. He cast it trying to hit her but he kept only hitting the trees.

Sophie was getting tired and didn’t know where she was any longer. He had forced her to turn so many times and Mizano had never taken her this way. She had to stop and fight before she drained all her energy just trying to run. A clearing came and she stopped, trying to control her deep breaths from all the running. She could tell she drained quite a bit of his energy too but she also saw he was very charged up. He cast a massive amount of electricity into her. Sophie fell back, there wasn’t a muscle in her body that didn’t ache from the charge.

She forced herself to her feet just as he caught up to her again. He punched Sophie as hard as he could making her fall with a loud thud. It was the first punch she had ever gotten. It stung massively but she cast her own jolt at him. It was very weak since she was so drained. Liam was on top of Sophie in seconds “I see you’re losing all that energy.” He pinned her arms down and tried to kiss her again. She kneed him in his manhood over and over. Liam responded by headbutting Sophie.

Rowne was still going as fast as he could. He called Sophies name begging the universe to help him find her. Like the world was answering he heard his daughter screaming. He followed the sound until he could see her struggling with Liam. He grabbed the boy by the back of his neck. “What the fuck are you doing on top of my daughter!” Rowne saw how beat up Liam was and felt pride surge through him. “You got the little fuck good huh Sophie?” Then he looked at his daughter and clamped down harder on Liams neck. Her nose was bleeding and he could see bruises on her head and cheek. Sophie stood “he was trying to make me kiss him.” Rowne growled “and god fucking knows what else. Can you walk fine baby?”

“Yes sir.”

“Good” Liam was slightly choking with the grip Rowne had on him. Sophie followed at her fathers side to their home. She was relieved she could fight him off until someone found her. “You go straight to a healer ok Sophie.”

“Yes sir”

“I’m proud of you. You obviously did well at protecting yourself. Your mentor I’m sure will be bursting with pride.” Sophie smiled, for a brief moment her fathers words took away the pain she was in.  Mizano saw them and looked at Sophie “O my god! What was he doing”

“Trying to force himself on my damn daughter is what. Luckily she is strong and kept him away.” Mizano looked at Sophie and she could tell her mentor felt guilty. “You are not to blame for his actions Mizano” Rowne spoke again.”I’m taking him home. Can we go right now? I’ll kill him if he stays in this damn village and he doesn’t want to be here when Charles finds out.” Mizano nodded. “I’ll get a bag ready. Meet me at the exit of our village.”

“He’s going to break my neck! Make him stop Mizano!”

“You just shut up. Your bring such shame to your mother. She loves you and has raised you right and this is what you want to be.” She turned and ran to her home to get a bag ready. Rowne looked at his daughter with more pride swelling. He could see her exhaustion and injuries that must be horribly painful but she walked straight up not showing it atall. His daughter was becoming a strong woman. He hated he had to see it this way but he was so proud of her.

~ Chapter 17 ~

When they made it to town Rowne asked “Can you make it to healer Mandas house so I can go ahead and meet Mizano?”

“Yes, get him away from here as fast as possible.” Sophie couldn’t stand the sight of Liam any longer. She slowly made her way to Mandas. Her head pounding and her nose still gushing. Philip saw Sophie “Sophie! What happend?”

“I will explain later, will you please take me to Manda.”

“Of course” He lifted Sophie. He could tell her wounds were from a man not a beast. Philip wondered what fool would dare touch Sophie this way. He figured whoever it was was laying dead somewhere if Charles knew. They would deserve it too. Sophie was the nicest girl Philip knew. Sophie fought sleep knowing it wasnt a good idea until the healer took care of her. Sophies condition caught the attention and questions of everyone Philip passed. He finally made it to Mandas and knocked on the door. The healer came out and looked shocked. She could also tell those were marks from a man and not a beast. “who did this to her?”

“I’ll explain after you help me. Thank you Philip, I owe you.”

“No you don’t, all that’s owed is an ass kicking to who did this. Please tell me Sophie.”

“It was Liam but like I said I will explain when I’m healed. No need to search for him. My father and Mizano are taking him home as we speak. Thank you for caring.”

“Come inside child, no more talking” Manda said ushering Sophie in. Sophie had dripped blood all over Philip but he wasn’t going home to change. He wanted to see if that asshole was still in town. He started walking to the exit to see if he could spot Sophies father. Charles was coming home and noticed Philip, He ran over to him. “what happened to you?”

“Nothing happened to me, have you seen Liam?”

“No, I don’t wish to either. Why are you looking for him?”

“Because this is Sophies blood and he’s the cause of it. I just had to carry her to Manda. She didn’t explain what happened but he beat the piss out of her.” Philip saw Charles eyes grow very dark and icy. “we will fucking find him.” Charles said “it may be too late. Sophie said her father and Mizano are taking him home as we speak. I was hoping they hadn’t left yet.”

“we better run then to catch them” The two took off but Charles was way ahead. He reached where the end of town was and cursed kicking the ground. Rowne and Mizano had obviously left.. Charles decided in that moment that he was going to check on Sophie then go to Liams town. Charles wasn’t sure what he was going to do but Liam was going to pay for hurting Sophie.

Charles ran to Mandas, The woman could guess why he was there. “I’ve sent her home, she’ll be ok. There will be no permanent marks, only bruises that will fade in a few days.”

“Thank you” he said then took off again to find her. He didn’t even knock when he got to her door. He just burst through and ran upstairs. She sat up and he saw the bruises, he felt sadness rush through him. “Oh Sophie” He pulled her into his arms. “I’m ok”

“What the hell did he do?”

“He was trying to force me to kiss him. My dads worried he may have tried more if he hadn’t found us but all he had been trying when my dad came was to make me kiss him.”

“He didn’t did he?”

“No, I kept him off.”

“Good.” Charles said trying not to hug her too tight. ‘Calm down Charles.”

“I would if I could”

“I’m tired but there is still so much day left. You go do something. You don’t have to sit here with me”

“What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t read to you to help you go to sleep? A good nap will help you tremendously.”

“You sure you want to?”

“Lay down.” Charles said as he let her go. Sophie got under her covers and Charles grabbed a book. He sat down on the bed and flipped it to where he left off the last time he read to her. Sophie just relaxed and let her imagination take her away. She was really enjoying this story. Before he even finished a chapter she was gone. Charles sat there a few moments. He wanted to kiss her but wanted to be sure she was deep in sleep first. When he was sure he kissed Sophies cheek then left. Charles decided it would be wiser to leave during the night to teach Liam a lesson. Rowne or Mizano may stop him if he went now.

Charles started searching the village for Philip. He found him cleaning his clothes. The sight of Sophies blood destroying all the calm he found sitting with her. “I’m going to Liams village tonight and am going to teach him a lesson. I need you to come with me.”

“Why?”

“Because I might kill him if I go alone. I don’t want Sophie to think of me as a murderer so I need you there to pull me off and remind me of what Sophie would think if I killed someone.”

“Sophie does have too big of a heart to excuse even that low lifes death. Yes I’ll go, I would love to see you kick his ass. Just don’t hurt me while I make you stop.”

“Thank you. Meet me at the exit of our village when your parents have gone to bed for the night. I don’t want anybody to stop me.”

“How will we find where Liam lives?”

“I remember absolutely everything Sophie tells me. I save it all. She described everything about his town and home. I will know which one.” Philip nodded not doubting him. His memory was amazing when it came to Sophie. Charles could repeat things Sophie said to him years before. Sometimes the guys would test him just because it was so crazy how much detail he could remember about everything when it came to what Sophie did or said.

~ Chapter 18 ~

That night Charles sat in his tree at the exit to town waiting on Philip. Sophies bruises ingrained in his mind. Philip finally showed up “I thought you had backed out.” Charles said as he jumped down. “I may not love Sophie as much as you but I care about her very much. Even if I didn’t, Sophie is a really nice person and in no way deserved what he did to her.”

“Lets hurry, I only get more pissed by the second and I need to be able to stop.” Charles began to run as fast as he knew Philip could go. Having Philip there to make sure he didn’t do somthing he’d regret was worth getting there slower. Philip was having trouble after the first hour. Charles slowed down to a jog “are you ok?”

“where do you have this energy?”

“I train at night most days. When Sophie can’t hangout with me I spend almost whole days working out.”

“why?”

“I’m going to be the strongest and fastest when I grow up because Sophie deserves to be with the best. Philip smiled “I hope I meet a girl who gives me the drive Sophie gives to you.”

“Lets walk until you feel you can run again.”

“I’m sorry”

“You dont train like me, I knew I would get there slower. Don’t worry. If you need to sit tell me. We have the whole night.”

“since it’s a three to four hours walk we must be close running like that.”

“I estimate even if we walk the rest of the time it will take one more hour. We covered a lot of ground.”

“does Sophie know how hard you train yourself for her?”

“Nope”

“Why don’t you tell her?”

“I don’t do it to have something to brag about. I do it for her so I can be the man she deserves.”

“i’d brag, just saying” Philip said clasping his hands behind his head. They walked on in silence until they reached Liams village. Philip started following Charles since he knew where he was going. Charles knocked on a door with all the confidence in the world he had the right one. “Hello, can I help you?”

“May I see your son Liam?”

“Liam!” she called “what’re you doing here Charles? Is Sophie with you?”

“No she is not, why would she come after what you did?”

“You here for another fight then?”

“If you’re up to the challenge.” Charles was trying to be calm and respectful in front of Liams mother. He was technically in her home on the doorstep and she didn’t deserve disrespect because of her son. He could see she was a kind woman. “I’m up for it.”

“Mam, I hope what i do to him doesn’t cause you much trouble. I’d have a healer ready.” Heather nodded. Liam came out “what you going to double team me?”

“he’s only here to make sure I don’t kill you.” Liam laughed “I’ve got magic on my side and I’m not going to be fighting fair.”

“Good, gives me more of an excuse to beat you to a bloody pulp.”

“If she just would’ve let me kiss her I wouldn’t have had to hurt her. She made me do it. Women should be obedient. My dad says men are stupid who don’t keep control of their women. Sophie wouldn’t stop fighting me no matter what I did so I roughed her up to try and put her in her place. I could’ve managed it if her dad hadn’t yanked me away from her.” Liam had only succeeded in fueling Charlies rage. He gave Philip his sword and had Liam on the ground faster than Philips eyes could register.

Liam shocked Charles with all he had to make him stop but it did nothing but make his blows harder. Philip was slightly in shock. Charles could easily intimidate him but right now he was absolutely terrifying. Philip was so accustomed to the sweet gentle Charles he saw around Sophie seeing this was almost unthinkable. Especially since the two of them had become friends. Philip noticed how bad Liam looked. “Charles stop! You’re going to kill him. Sophie wouldnt forgive you” Charles almost couldn’t pull himself off but he managed.

Liam was unconscious so Charles checked his pulse. “Is he alive?” Philip asked “yes but you shoudl have stopped me sooner.”

“I was a little bit shocked to be honest, I’m so used to seeing you around Sophie. That was just…the way you looked….it was like you weren’t even you.”

“Sophie wouldn’t like me like that. I keep control of my temper around her. It’s not that hard, she makes me feel at peace. She’s my rock in the storm when i get angry.”

“I already knew you keep yourself calm around her but damn. You really hold back when you fight in general. You held nothing when it came to him.”

“He hurt my Sophie. He didn’t deserve any mercy. He doesnt deserve to live. He only lives because she wouldn’t be happy with me if I killed him.” Charles picked Liam up. “ask his mother where I can take him. He still may die if he doesnt get help. You really waited too long.”

“yes sir” Philip ran back to Liams then came back. “She gave me directions. Follow please.” Charles begrudgingly carried Liam and handed him over to the healer “do not let him die please. The woman I love would hate me.”

“I will save him” she sounded like she didn’t want to. He guessed the people in his own village didn’t like Liam much either. They went home and got in their beds. Charles worry was keeping him up. He was afraid Liam would die and that Sophie wouldn’t look at him the same.

~ Chapter 19 ~

As soon as he saw the first rays of morning glazing the outside grass he jumped out of bed. It was finally a decent time to check if Sophie was up. He quickly cleaned himself then put on the newest shirt Sophie made him. He started to fix his hair and realized he needed a hair cut badly. Charles wondered how long Sophie liked his hair. When he asked her she always said it looked good any way he had it. It was a frustrating answer but she would only give him that one. He’d ask his mother to do it the next time he couldn’t hangout with Sophie.

He wanted to run down his steps but didn’t want to disturb his moms sleep. Charles walked down them as fast as he could without making a noise then walked to Sophies. Rowne was laying on the porch “wow, you’re here extra early this morning. I can guess why though. I’m up myself because I was so pissed off yesterday. I can’t stop picturing Liam on top of my daughter and her screaming.”

Charles sighed and looked at the ground. Rowne continued “Lucky for you she’s awake in her room. You can go on in.”

“Thank you sir”

“No no, thank you.”

“Excuse me?”

“I saw you leave the village last night Charles. I’m pretty sure I ahve it pegged why you left. Thank you because as a grown man I couldn’t whip the tar out of his ass but you are his equal. Thank you for doing it. It’ll make me rest better tonight.”

“You wont tell Sophie right? I don’t want her to think of me like that.”

“Of course I wont. I just wanted to be sure to thank you. He deserved death but whatever you did to him I’m sure was close enough.” Charles smiled “It was, I actually may have gone too far. I was just so angry, he only made it worse when I got there.”

“by the way I would’ve come to get you when I couldn’t find Sophie if I knew where you were. I just didn’t want to waste time and knew you’d rather me help her as fast as I could.”

“I figured sir” Charles walked in and knocked on Sophies door. “Come in.” Charles hated he could still see the bruises. Sophie stood “good morning Charles” Charles pulled her into his arms “good morning Sophie.” The two just stood there until Sophie said “why are you up so early? I hope it’s not because of me. I promise I’m not in any pain”

“Good” His eyes saddened Sophie. They looked so tortured as they examined her face. “Don’t look at me like that, I’m truly fine.”

“I’ll try, I just hate seeing you this way.”

“Well we could not hangout until the bruises are gone.” Sophie smiled and almost laughed at the look he gave her. Charles huffed when he had to push his hair to the side for the fourth time this morning. Sophie laughed “you don’t normally let it get this long. Want me to cut it for you or would you rather your mother do it?”

“You know how to cut hair?”

“Yep your mom taught me. She said with all the time we spend together I should learn because you’d probably want to do that with me too.”

“I’d love that thank you. When can you do it?”

“Well we have no plans, let me go ahead. Lets go outside.”

“we can go by the river so I can rinse off after”

“Sounds good.” Charles silently thanked his mother. He planned on baking her a pie later to show his appreciation. They got situated by the water and Charles took this opportunity to figure out what she liked “You don’t have to do what my mother does, I’d prefer it if you styled my hair the way you wanted to. You make such nice shirts I’m sure I’d love what you’d make of my hair.”

“are you sure? You’ll be stuck with it.”

“Hair grows”

“alright” she began to cut. Charles loved the feel of her hands running through his hair when she’d move it. Once again he found himself thanking his mother. She deserved more than a pie. He’d have to think of something better. She came around to the front, Sophie was smiling so he could tell she was happy with what she had done so far. It wasn’t much longer before she finished. Her face looked so pleased. “Oh I actually did good in my opinion. If you don’t like it please be honest.”

Charles nodded then leaned over the water to see it before he jumped in. He smiled back at Sophie. “You did an amazing job. Thank you so much. Can you maintain this for me?”

“sure, I can cut your hair once a month.” With that Charles jumped in the water. He could finally have his hair the way Sophie wanted it. It was all thanks to his mother, he really owed her and would make sure she’d collect.

~ The End ~

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *