Charles 17 Sophie 16

~ Prologue ~

A widely known competition was coming in just a few days. Charles had been talking about competing since he found out it existed when he was ten. It was where men from all around gather and do competitions of strength, endurance and speed. You can enter when you’re sixteen but after what happened just the year before Charles turned sixteen he couldn’t go. He was too afraid to take Sophie and wasn’t willing to be away from her for a week.

After she came that close to death by the demon hound Charles wouldn’t even leave the village with her to explore. He’d get too afraid that somthing may happen to her. Sophie told him to go last year but he refused. This year he finally had the courage to take her out. He didn’t really have to ask her father any longer to take Sophie places because he said she was becoming an adult and needed to start making all her own choices.

Charles hadn’t spent the night at Sophies house since her attack. No real reason besides not having a reason to sleep over. He would’ve gladly taken any reason but he had to make sure it was good so she wouldn’t catch on how much he cared for her. Sadly none came so he was excited to be spending a week with just her and sleeping by her side every night at an inn.

Charlies mother had given him more than enough money to do whatever he wanted with Sophie between competitions. It was going to be a lot of fun. He had been trainign extra hard because he didn’t want to lose at anything in front of Sophie. He quit going to watch her lessons all together so he could just train himself as hard as he could. Every single night he’d be working out even if he had already done it during the day. Once again he was outgrowing a shirt Sophie made. It was saddening but he hoped she would just make another like she did last time.

~ Chapter 1 ~

Sophie of course was busy at work making him another shirt. She had been trying for about two weeks but kept not liking how they turned out and thinking Charles wouldn’t like them. She was slowly becoming more and more self conscious about things about him. He just seemed to get more attractive and amazing daily and she felt like she couldn’t stack up. Like he would quit wanting to spend all his time with her and find a girl who looked better. There were so many women in her village she felt were prettier.

Sophie shook her head pushing those type of thoughts out. She told herself she didn’t care if Charles started falling for some other girl. She only needed herself and his friendship. She was mainly getting insecure because he still hadn’t asked her to be with him after all this time. She wondered if he ever would. Sometimes she even told her dad she felt Charles may not love her like he used to. That it may have changed to a sisterly love.

This shirt had to be perfect, she had to be perfect at something. Rowne came in and saw cloth and finished shirts all over the place again. “Sophie just give him one. They all look good, you’re over judging them.”

“None of them are good! Go away!”

“Honey if you don’t stop I wont be able to find you in here one day because you’ll be buried.” The sight of her was funny to her dad but he held his laugh. It was cute how she started to over think everything when it came to Charles.It even gave him hope even they’d get married. Rowne sighed and shut her door so he could run outside and laugh. He sat down under a tree and let all the laughter he held in out. He could picture mountains of shirts in her room.

Charles walked up “whats so funny?”

“Shouldn’t you be at lessons?” Rowne said wiping his eyes. “Arch canceled last minuet. I was going to see Sophie.” Rowne couldnt help but laugh again “what?”

“If I tell you dont tell Sophie.” That worried him “please just tell me.”

“Well, the shirt she made you about two years ago is obviously getting too small so for weeks this girl has been making shirts but she hates every one she makes. She thinks you wont like them. I think there’s about twenty shirts laying around her room right now. She lays them out when she’s trying again to try and learn from whatever mistake she’s making. I’m telling you there HAS to be at the minimum twenty shirts Charles. One day I’m going to walk in there and I wont be able to find her under all the shirts she thinks you wont like. I love my daughter so much” Charles didn’t find that very funny and ran to Sophies.

He hoped she hadn’t thrown any away. He knew he’d love them all. He walked in her front door like it was his own home and opened her bedroom door. She was holding her head in her hands. “dad stop it. They are all horrible. He’ll hate them. I just cant make a good shirt any longer.” Charles looked around and he liked every one of them. He started to pick them up and Sophie lifted her head “Charles?! You’re supposed to be at lessons.”

“and thank god they were canceled. I love all these. I dont know why you think I wouldn’t. I’m taking every one home and wearing them all.”

“You dont have to do that Charles.” He looked at her very seriously. It was the most serious look she had ever seen him make. “I’m not doing it because I have to Sophie. I like every one of them. You clean up all your materials while I take these amazing shirts home.” Sophie felt a smile on her face. She hugged him from behind since he was already holding all the shirts she made “I’m happy you like them.”

“I’m happy I found this out. Don’t do that again Sophie. Please tell me you didn’t burn any or get rid of them.”

“Well.”

“Sophie” he said in a disappointed tone which made her heart skip. “He really does love them” Sophie thought happily. Charles left and she cleaned up the materials she worked with when making shirts. She got ready and waited for him to come back. He lifted her into a hug. “Never throw away anything you make me. You should’ve let me decide if they were good or not. I’m really sad, I now will never have however many shirts you got rid of. Thank you for taking the time to make all these though.” Sophie just hugged back.

“Am I really that hard to please Sophie?” She looked at him confused “well you must see me as over critical about somthing to act like that. What am I doing?”

“Nothing, I just didn’t think I was making very good shirts.”

“Promise?” Charles was actually really concerned he had done somthing to her to make her doubt how much he cherished everything she made for him. “I promise silly, I’m so happy you like the shirts. I guess my dad was right and it was just me.” Charles felt like kissing Sophie but controlled himself like he often had to do in her presence. “when do we leave?”

“Tomorrow morning.” he said with a smile then continued “I don’t want us to have to rush the whole way there.”

“Ok” Charles couldn’t get rid of the slight pang of sadness thinking about Sophie and those shirts. She looked so sad and defeated when he walked in. He was mad at Rowne for laughing about it and not telling him sooner. He wouldn’t yell at him though. He could easily forbid his daughter to go with him on the trip. He’d miss her too much and fail everything if she couldn’t come.

He just concentrated on the happiness that he now had so many. He counted them at home and there were twenty seven. He could almost go a whole month wearing a Sophie shirt without having to wash it. Now he wouldn’t have to worry so much about something happening to one or wearing a shirt too much. He had plenty to switch to. “I love you Sophie” very nearly slipped out his mouth. It came out as “I Sophie” as he tried to stop it. “I Sophie?” she repeated looking confused. He laughed “sorry, just gibberish. If you’re going to act crazy i guess I better too before you find somone else to be crazy with” Sophie laughed warming Charles heart.

~ Chapter 2 ~

The two spent the day laughing and messing around. “we should go ahead and pack for tomorrow Sophie. I want to share a bag with you so that we only have one.”

“alright, I’ll go with you to pack yours then you can come with me to pack mine.”

“Sounds good” They both started walking to Charlies home and went up to his room. Sophie sat on Charles bed and he suddenly noticed just how messy his room was. He hoped it didn’t bother her. She kept her room so tidy. He packed quickly since he pretty much only packed shirts Sophie made him. “Lets go to your home now. I’m sorry my rooms so messy”

“I don’t care” She said as she walked out. When they walked in you would’ve never known the pile of shirts and fabrics that were just all over the place when he first got there. She took the bag from Charles and packed what she needed. “My mom wants us to eat dinner with her if that’s ok”

“Ok, I havent gotten to really talk to your mom in awhile anyways.”

“Probably too busy making shirts you weren’t going to give me” Charles teased with a small hint of sadness in his voice. She couldn’t believe it bothered him so much. Sophie hadn’t realized how much he liked the clothes she made. They sat in her room and talked until the sun was setting “lets go eat” Charles said grinning. He was very hungry. They walked over to his home. Drea hugged Sophie “You look more beautiful every time I see you Sophie” Sophie blushed a little “Thanks”

“why haven’t I gotten to see you much lately? You used to come see me somtimes when Charles was busy”

“I”ve been doing a lot of stuff. I still love you don’t worry”

“You better” Sophie helped Drea set the table then they all ate.  Drea hugged Sophie again before Charles walked her home. Charles once again lifted Sophie into a hug. He had begun to always do that instead of just hug her like he used to. She liked this better though so had no complaints. “sweet dreams Sophie. I’ll see you very early in the morning.”

“You too Charles” She gave him that smile that made him weak in the knees. He turned to go home, he was so happy he’d get to be with her almost non stop for a week. There wouldn’t have to be goodbyes at night or almost full day long lessons to attend. He wouldn’t have to share her with her family, philip or his own family. It would just be him and his Sophie.

Charles laid in bed almost too excited to sleep. The only thing that got him to rest was that he didn’t want to be tired if anything attacked them along the way. The competition wasn’t far from their village atall. They’d be there in about half a day but he had to be sure. He was determined to never see Sophie in the state he found her because of Connie and Kenneth. He’d never forgive those two and hoped he’d never have to see their ugly faces again. All he could ever think was what monsters they were and how disgusting it was they did that to Sophie.

He relaxed into sleep. When morning came he couldn’t get to Sophies fast enough. She was waiting with her father. Rowne hugged Sophie “be careful”

“I will dad” If it were anybody but Charles Rowne would be nervous about her being out of the village for so long but he knew Charles would die if it meant protecting his daughter. “I promise to take care of her.”

“I know you will son.” Sophie thought it was funny how her dad more and more frequently called Charles son. She felt maybe it was to tease her for how much she adored him. Rowne watched them walk off until he couldn’t see the two any longer. “So Charles, why are we leaving so early since the first competition isn’t until the day after tomorrow?”

“You haven’t gone out much because I’ve been a scardy cat so i thought we’d leave with enough time to stop anywhere you wanted on the way. If theres anything you see you’d like to stop for you can do it this way.”

“You’re so thoughtful”

“You’re thoughtful for staying in the village for me for so long.” She laughed “well we have just as much fun within the village limits. Anything with you is fun, that’s why you’re my best friend” He smiled. Sophie thought he seemed overly happy “You look like you could burst with how happy you are. I wish you would’ve gone to this last year and enjoyed yourself.”

“I wasn’t ready last year”

“Please, you probably could’ve beat anybody at this competition when you were fourteen.” Charles smiled briefly showing his teeth. “You think so?”

“Of course.” Honestly, Charles was very excited about the competition but what was truly making him so happy was knowing he now had Sophie to himself.  Not having to force himself to leave her side was going to be amazing. It was already starting out good. He knew he had to calm down though. He felt he may make her uncomfortable with how overly happy he was. He wanted her to come again if he joined in next year.

~ Chapter 3 ~

They walked along stopping to see many things. Charles was glad he decided to leave so early for her. Sophie looked very happy and this got him more time with just her anyway. “are you getting tired Sophie?” Sophie had been exhausted for awhile now but as she got older she liked asking Charles to carry her less and less. She felt as a grown woman he didn’t need to be toting her around all the time. It would be one thing if they were together but they weren’t. When Sophies didn’t answer he swept her off her feet.

“I don’t mind Sophie, you chose magic and I chose the sword. I’m trained to walk more than you are.” She laid her head on his shoulder and he carried her the rest of the way there. It was well after nightfall when they arrived because they stopped so frequently. He got them their room then she walked upstairs even though he tried to lift her again. It made him sad but he knew Sophie just liked being independent. He’d love just to take care of her but he wanted her to be happy more so he didn’t insist like he wanted to.

Sophie sat down and took her shoes off. “want me to rub you as thanks for carrying me?”

“If you’d like to I would appreciate it.” She smiled and got to the side of the bed patting the empty area. He took his shoes and sword off then crawled on. He laid on his stomach and she started on his back. Charles just went limp, it felt so good when she would do this for him. When his back felt loose she did each of his arms then turned the other way so she could loosen his legs for him. It hurt badly since she hadn’t done his legs in awhile and he just walked all that way. “better?” she asked when she was done. Charles sighed “very much, thank you.”

“You want to go to sleep?”

“Do you?”

“This is your trip Charles, I’m just tagging along. Are you ready to sleep?” She said it seriously so he’d know that he’d have to answer without her answer. “Yes I would, I’m very tired.”

“was that so hard?” She said smiling. He chuckled “no it wasn’t. Since we’re sleeping in the same bed I feel I should ask if it would make you uncomfortable for me to sleep shirtless. I’ve started sleeping without it on, I’m much more comfortable that way but I’ll wear it if you want me to.”

“It’s fine, why would that bother me?”

“Just making sure.” Sophie actually now slept in nothing but her underwear and bra but she definitely wasn’t going to do that. She got under the covers and Charles stood taking his shirt off. She had to fight back a blush at how amazing he looked. It was almost hard to breath. She was glad when he was under the covers with her so she didn’t have to see all of that sexiness and have to be good. She wanted him really badly, had started seriously lusting after him last year. He had always been attractive to her but now it was jaw dropping.

Sophie just closed her eyes and quickly fell asleep. She was glad Charles picked her up when he did. Charles looked like he was sleeping but really wasn’t yet. He was just enjoying the calmness that washed over him laying with her. He longed to hold her close to him. He wondered if he could get away with pulling her close while she slept and blame it on moving in his sleep. He decided against it though. He didn’t want to be deceitful with the woman he loved more than anything. A few stolen contacts like he used to get when he had sleepovers was enough until she was hopefully his one day.

He felt that maybe he could summon up the courage while they were here to tell her how he felt. He hated that every time he tried he froze like an idiot. He couldn’t beat out the part of his mind that kept telling him she’d say no, that he could never be good enough for a girl as sweet, fun and beautiful as Sophie. A girl who countless guys seemed to want to be with. He had to ask one day. He’d hate to grow old never asking her because he was too chicken.

~ Chapter 4 ~

When Charles decided he needed to go to sleep he grabbed Sophies hand for a minuet and held a kiss to her forehead. He got lost in it so didn’t know how long he held it before he let her hand go and fell asleep. Sophie woke to some very rude people in the hall making a lot of noise. She could tell they were drunk. She looked over at Charles who of course wasn’t disturbed by their loud talk and laughter atall. It was still very dark outside so she needed to get some more sleep. She moved herself in every position she could think of and couldn’t get comfortable.

She knew Charles had to be exhausted from the walk here and how hard she knew he had been training lately for this. He talked about this trip so much and it made her feel guilty she robbed him of it last year. She knew he would’ve gone if he hadn’t been worried about her. With how happy he seemed now that he was here she would make sure he never stayed home just because of her again. She’d be happy knowing he was this happy here.

Sophie crossed her arms over Charlies chest trying to relax. She figured she’d do that for awhile and then lay back down the way she was. Trying to force herself to rest wasn’t going to get her to sleep. Before she even realized it she fell asleep like that. In her sleep she uncrossed her arms with one over his chest and the other hanging off him and over the side of the bed. Charles forgot to close the curtains before they laid down last night so the sun came through and got in his eyes waking him. He started to get up when he felt Sophie on him. He smiled and lifted her hand that was hanging placing it back on him.

Charles placed his arm over his eyes so the sun wouldn’t bother him. That way he wouldn’t have to move and wake Sophie. It was incredible the peace he felt laying with Sophie. She was his greatest comfort in life. He wasn’t sure how she ended up on his chest but he was very happy she did. Even happier he took his shirt off so he could feel her body against his skin. He put his hands over her ears when two teenage girls were gossiping and laughing in the hall. He wished they’d do that in their room. If Sophie woke up she’d move. Sophie did end up waking up making Charles curse in his head. “Sorry Charles, that was the only way i could get myself to fall back asleep.”

“I didn’t mind atall. You can do that the whole time we’re here if you need to” Sophie smiled at him “thanks, do you want to change first or should I?”

“Go ahead.” Sophie got up and went into the bathroom. She quickly changed and came back out. She looked especially beautiful in the outfit she was wearing. It was one of Charlies favorites. Charles got up showing off his perfectly sculpted body. Sophie couldn’t have imagined Charles better looking. She didn’t allow herself to stare though. Charles put on one of his new shirts Sophie made and looked at himself in it in the mirror. It fit him so perfectly. She always had it just right when she made him clothes.“Now if only I could get her to start making me pants too” He came out and she smiled.

“are you wearing that to prove a point?”

“Nope, I’m wearing it because I like it. I like all of them.”

“what’re we going to do today since nothing happens until tomorrow?”

“We’ll just let whatever happens happen. I’ll get us some breakfast if you’d like to stay here and wait on me.”

“sure” Charles put his shoes on and left quickly. Sophie laid back down on the bed. She couldn’t get the image of Charles body out of her head. She sat back up when she began to feel herself get excited. She didn’t need to think those thoughts while they were alone, far away from their parents. She just may jump him and scare the crap out of poor Charles. She laughed though knowing forcing herself on him was impossible due to how strong he was.

She hoped Charles hadn’t been stuck awake too long with her trapping him. He was too nice a guy somtimes. She wanted him to enjoy every second and hoped he’d wake her up next time so he could start his day. She wondered what he’d bring back for breakfast. She didn’t go with him because she knew he could get it and bring it back much faster without her. Sophie looked out the window. She really enjoyed the landscape here. She wondered if Charles would want to just walk around with her to see everything.

~ Chapter 5 ~

Charles stood thinking about what he should get Sophie to eat. It would’ve been easier to have her to tell him what she wanted but he didn’t want her walking around without eating breakfast first. He thought about it and finally decided on fruit. With Sophie you could never go wrong chooseing some sort of fruit. He found some and then walked back happily hoping she’d be happy. He opened their door to see her looking out the window. He smiled “want to go on a walk after we eat? We can go look around at everything.”

“That would be great” She responded excited. He smiled and sat down on the bed. Sophie sat cross legged beside him as they ate. “Did you sleep well Charles?”

“Yep, I’m surprised with that fat head of yours on me” She nudged him and he laughed “You know I kid. I hope you slept alright. Why did you wake up?”

“Just some drunks, people can be very rude. You made a fine pillow though so it wasn’t a problem. Now that i know what a good pillow you make you’ll regret your offer because I’ll be sleeping like that every night while we’re here.”

“I guess I’ll just have to live with the consequences of offering that to you. I didn’t think you’d accept.”

“Oh I know, shouldn’t offer things if you dont want  a lovely lady like myself to accept” She smiled brightly. Charles sighed feeling blessed to have this time with her.” You ready?” She practically jumped to her feet. “yep” hey walked out of their room and started exploring the area. Charles would point out where certain events would be held and what they would do at each one. He loved how Sophie was hanging on every word he said. She was actually very interested and everything was beautiful here. She thought it would be a nice place for a wedding. Hopefully hers one day. She got lost wondering if it would be to Charles.

“Sophie.” she heard Charles say loudly “Hm?”

“You were day dreaming.”

“Sorry”

“About what?”

“Oh nothing really, it’s just very pretty around here.”

“I still have a lot more to show you”

“Oh good, I’m glad we came early”

“Well this is why, I want you to have a lot of fun.”

“Don’t worry about me, this is your trip. You’ve always wanted to come to this. When you first heard of it it was all you talked about for a week. You just seem to be over flowing with happiness now that you’re here and nothings even begun yet. I’m going to kick your ass if you ever don’t come again because of me.”

“but you’re why I’m so happy here” Charles thought to himself then continued showing her things. Sophie was talking about some of the flowers when Charles startled her by suddenly picking her up. “what are you doing?”

“I dont want you getting exhausted like yesterday.” Sophie laughed ‘how do you always know when I’m tired?”

“We’ve been together almost every day since we were small children Sophie. Why wouldn’t I be able to tell?” She smiled “well you shouldn’t let the other men see when they get here. They’ll figure out you’re really a softie even though you look so tough.”

“well then they’ll learn quick I’m only a softie for you.” He said then hugged her “dont kid yourself, you’re a sweetheart all the time.” He just smiled down at her, happy she thought of him that way. “want to go swimming with me?”

“sure” Charles took off running and didn’t stop until they were by a small lake. “Oh wow, how’d you know this was here?”

“I asked all the men in our village what all there was around so I’d have plenty to do with you.” He placed Sophie on her feet then took his shirt off. It didn’t help her in the slightest he shot her that dreamy look again. The look that sometimes screamed to her that he loved her. He ran over picking her up then throwing her into the water. She came up laughing. As soon as he swam up to her she pushed his head under to get him back. They missed lunch they were having so much fun in the water together. Time had escaped them completely.Charles lifted Sophie and without a thought she wrapped her legs and arms around him.

Charles held her and found himself moving in slowly to kiss her. Sophie didn’t move, she was a little in shock, “is he about to kiss me?” Just as the thought finished she heard Josep “well well, haven’t seen you two in a long time.” Charles mouth had almost reached Sophies when he interrupted. “I fucking hate that man…i was so damn close. I’ll never get that nerve again” 

“Hey Josep!”

“Wow you’ve grown Sophie. Such a pretty little thing.” Josep sat down by the water and Charles put Sophie down. He was very pissed off. He finally found it in him to try and kiss Sophie and Josep ruined it. He wanted to beat the mans face in. Probably would’ve if he could get Sophie somwhere else where she couldn’t see. Josep knew what he’d done. In fact he had run to prevent it from happening. He still very much wanted Sophie.

~ Chapter 6 ~

Charles couldn’t believe Josep was there. He had this teeth clenched together hard trying not to curse the man out. Charles didn’t think Sophie had ever heard him cuss and he wasn’t going to let her hear it now. He bet that asshole knew what he was interrupting and just didn’t give a shit because he wanted Sophie. “perverted bastard”Charlie thought angrily as Josep talked to his Sophie. He was supposed to have Sophie alone this week. He tried to breath and gather himself. He was starting to feel like a child throwing a tantrum. Sophie wasn’t really his so he tried to calm down but couldn’t find the calm within him.

His heart had been thundering in that water. His body seemed to even shake when he was about to kiss her. For the first time he was able to ignore his fear of Sophie rejecting him. Barely one more movement and her lips would’ve been on his. Josep just popped out of nowhere and ruined their moment. He wonderd if Sophie had realized what he was doing. She didn’t move if she had. He sighed “she probably didn’t know I was going to kiss her. I bet she would’ve jumped right away if she knew her best friend was trying to be anything more.”

“I promised some other men we’d go hunt dinner. I will part with you for now. You and Charles have fun Sophie.” Josep looked over to Charles with a snide smile “Thanks for bringing Sophie Charles” Charles didn’t respond. He only thought “you better run now before I lose the control I’m keeping for Sophie” 

“I’m surprised you let us miss lunch with how hungry you always are.” Sophie teased “You’re just that fun” he said with a loving smile. She smiled back and he wanted to carry her again but she didn’t seem tired in the least so he couldn’t use that excuse. They found an elderly woman who was making tacos for a very cheap price. They bought some and ate. They talked to the old lady who gave Charles more for free. He wanted to pay but she said “It’s for the company my boy. I’m afraid you get old and nobodies interested in you any more but you and this bright eyed girl just made my day. Come back and talk with me again please.”

“I’d love to”

“I go anywhere she does” The old woman smiled at him knowingly. She could always easily spot a man in love. His love took no effort in spotting though. She felt it pour out of him. Every bit of his energy screamed of the love he had for Sophie. She could tell the two weren’t together and wondered why because she sensed Sophie felt the same. It wasn’t her place to meddle so she didn’t. Charles and Sophie got up and went to their hotel room. Sophie stopped “I’m still slightly wet. One sec” She used the wind to try her. “want me to dry your pants?”

“sure, thank you” She then blew the wind around him. She liked the way it tussled Charlies hair. She stopped and they walked inside since it would soon be dark. “That was fun. I can only imagine what everything will be like tomorrow.”

“If you get bored at events you dont have to watch me. Just stay close. I’ll get scared if I cant find you.” Sophie giggled “I’m sure I’ll enjoy watching you. I’m here to spend time with you so I wont want to go anywhere else.”

“good” Charles started talking about what would happen tomorrow. He went on and on excitedly until he felt tired from all the swimming he had done with Sophie earlier. He could tell she was sleepy too. “ready to rest Sophie?” She nodded and he jerked back their covers and took off his shirt. Sophie admired him for a brief moment then got in bed too. He noticed the pause but didn’t realize it was because she thought he looked good.

Charles quickly laid flat hoping she really would sleep on his chest. To Charlies delight she slid an arm behind his neck and put the other on his chest beside her head. He felt her relax and he couldn’t help but grin. “Goodnight Sophie.”

“Are you sure this is ok?”

“Yes, go ahead and sleep.”

“Goodnight Charles” she said allowing herself to drift. It was very easy to fall asleep this way. When he could feel that her breath was even he happily wrapped his arms around her. He gave her a slight hug then rested a hand on her head. His heart was tingling and his joy was making him warm. He had six more nights after this one to be with Sophie like this. Six more nights of heaven on earth with his Sophie. There would be a lot of people here tomorrow and Charles hoped it would make it hard for Josep to find them again.

The only good thing about Josep being here is that Charles had the opportunity to beat his ass with his skills. He knew he’d atleast beat Josep at everything. Charles started to rub Sophies arm as softly as he could. He let his fingers slide up and down her back too. He didn’t feel there was any harm in helping his beautiful friend sleep better. “If you knew what you do to me Sophie.” he said in a whisper. His mind drifted to the water, It would’ve been so amazing if their lips had actually met. He could try again though, He hoped he could make himself try again.

Sophie let out a gentle moan and shifted. Charles froze afraid of her waking up and changing her mind about using him as her pillow. He relaxed again when she stayed asleep. He decided to go ahead and get some rest. He closed his eyes and let Sophies warmth, the peace he felt when the two of them were touching, that tingle in his heart that would sometimes make it go way faster than it should lul him into unconsiousness.

~ Chapter 7 ~

Sophie woke first this morning. “Charles.” she said checking if he was awake and just not moving for her. He was asleep because she knew he’d never ignore her. She moved as high as she could on his chest to be able to admire his body better. She started to let her finger tips explore his chest and stomach. It felt as amazing as it looked. She really hoped he had been doing what she thought he was doing yesterday. Maybe he’d try and kiss her again today without anybody interrupting him. Then again, it could always be just the wishful thinking of a smitten girl.

She decided she was going to have to bake for Charles more often to try and get this body to stop looking so irresistible. Sophie was battling the urge to climb on top of him and start making love. She wished he’d just wear a shirt to bed. He was much easier to resist when she couldn’t see what he looked like under his clothes. That would make him uncomfortable though and it wouldn’t be right to make him wear a shirt because she couldn’t control her attraction. 

She started getting excited again and closed her eyes not rubbing him any longer. She had to calm down before she embarrassed herself. She thought maybe it was just too much sexual tension. She could just relieve herself quickly when Charles went to get breakfast. Hopefully after that she wouldn’t be thinking of pouncing on him any longer. It helped at home when she started thinking about him that way too often.

Sophie was blushing badly, she felt like such a pervert. She was laying there planning on masturbating the second Charles left. This was supposed to eb a fun trip with friends and she was being gross. Charles spoke “good morning Sophie” she looked up quickly “morning” His happy expression turned to concern “are you ok?”

“Of course why?” He sat up putting a hand on her head. The covers exposing him again “You feel hot.”

“I’m fine, I promise.” He hugged her. She hugged back trying not to get too thrilled by him. “please put a shirt on charles” she thought. He got out of bed and stretched. “I’m getting us breakfast again. Is the same thing ok?” She nodded and Charles left really concerned. He wondered what was wrong with his Sophie. He really hoped she wasn’t going to get sick. Sophie quickly started to rub herself. She thought of Charles and found an orgasm easily. She had grabbed a random shirt and stuck it under her so she wouldn’t make the bed wet. She wiped herself with it then went to the bathroom where she rinsed and dried it with the wind.

Sophie changed her clothes and took a deep breath feeling worlds better. She set the shirt back where it was and double checked to make sure there wasn’t anything on the bed. Her placing the shirt under her and cleaning herself with it had worked thankfully. She often got teased by the other girls because she was still a virgin. Many guys had offered to take her virginity but she only wanted to do that with Charles. 

Charles came back still looking amazing without a shirt but it didn’t bother her so much now. She was happy her idea worked. “did you fall or somthing while I was gone?”

“what?”

“The shirt I set out to wear today isn’t in the spot I left it”

“The shirt..you set out to wear today?”

“I think you are imagining things. That shirt is where you left it.”

“Nope, my memory is amazing you know that. It’s moved slightly”

“I guess you caught me then. I put it right back where it was though when i knocked it down.”

“O MY GOD THAT’S THE SHIRT HE’S GOING TO WEAR TODAY. God kill me now…..only me…only me.” Nothing short of him walking in on her could’ve embarrassed her more. She was red again and concerning Charles “Sophie, I dont think you’re ok.”

“I really am.”

“I wont get mad if you dont feel good.” She shook her head “I’m fine.” He sighed “alright, but I’m bringing you back to this room if you get too bad.” she nodded and he took the shirt and some pants to the bathroom. “he can’t know, he wont know…just stop being weird Sophie. You cleaned it well and he wont know.” Charles changed his pants and then paused as he pulled his shirt over his head. It had a different scent to it. He inhaled it for a moment “That is such an amazing smell” Charles thought. He wondered what could’ve possibly made it smell like that.

He came out and said “My shirt smells different” Sophie felt like she was going to pass out now. “I think I’ll stay here Charles”

“So you ARE feeling sick then.”

“Oh yes, I just want to lay down.”

“Ok, I’ll check on you in a few hours and see if you feel up to doing anything. I have to register this morning.” She nodded and he left. He hoped whatever it was wasn’t too bad and she wouldn’t be miserable. Sophie felt like dieing. She wanted to hide under a rock and never come out and face Charles again. She had to pull it back together before he came back to the room.

~ Chapter 8 ~

Sophie paced and took deep breaths. Finally she laid on the bed and sighed. She tried to will sleep to take her so it could calm her down. It finally did and she didn’t wake back up until she heard a knock. She wondered why Charles was knocking. It was Josep. “Hey sweet Sophie.”

“How did you find our room?”

“I have my ways. Why are you alone?”

“I don’t feel well.” she blushed again. “I see.”

“what does I see mean?”

“It means I see.” He gave her a funny look. “why are you looking at me like that?”

“I think you know why.”

“How in the hell would i know why?”

“Calm down kitten, I’ll tell you if you promise not to get angry.” Sophie glared and blushed more “what you ass?”

“your curtains were open” he winked and she wanted to die even more now. “dont worry my pet only I saw.” She slapped him “you god damn pervert.” Josep looked at her shocked. “holy shit, I didn’t know you had it in you to slap someone.”

“Get out. I really hate you right now.”

“Sophie, youre turning into a woman it’s only”

“shut up before I kill you.” he smiled “why are you mad at me, I’m not going to tell Charles what naughty thing you did with his shirt.” She now looked like a cherry. Charles came back “hey Soph I.” he saw Josep “what are you doing? She doesn’t feel well.”

“I know, such a shame on such a pretty day.” he giggled and left “bye now you two.” Sophie didn’t move. Charles came over and hugged her. “you still look terrible. Why are you standing over here? Lay down please.” She nodded and laid down. Charles held her like he used to do when they were younger and she was sick. His immune system was even amazing. She only remembered him getting sick once from this. Sophie sighed “I have a little while before the first event. I’m really hoping you’ll feel well enough to come.”

“I hope so too.” she whispered worrying Josep would tell Charles. Joseps jaw stung. She had a pretty mean slap for such a tiny girl but he couldn’t help but tease. He couldn’t believe what he saw this morning. That memory was somthing he’d hold onto. He was sad though that she’d now probably keep those curtains closed. He went into full stalker mode and followed Charles and Sophie the first night they got here so he’d know their room. He wasn’t planning on telling Sophie that though.

Charles held her but kept looking at the sun to make sure he wasn’t late. Charles was glad to get to hold her some in the day time too even though she wasn’t feeling well. He felt her head “you’re better it seems.”

“Yeah, thank you.”

“I’m so happy, you can come with me then.” They got up and walked out. Sophie grabbed his hand. There were a lot more people there today and she didn’t want to get lost. Josep appeared out of the blue. “hello again my dear.”

“Hi Josep.” Sophie said not looking at him. Charles thought it was odd she seemed so uncomfortable and it made him wonder what Josep was doing in their room. He’d kick his ass if he did something out of the way to Sophie. He’d talk to Josep about it later. H epulled Sophie faster hoping to lose the man but it didn’t work. Charles walked with her so he’d know where she was going to sit. As much as he hated it Josep sat by her “I’ll watch little Sophie while you get ready” Josep smiled. Charles sighed and released Sophies hand walking away. He absolutely had to get ready.

“You made my jaw hurt”

“Good”

“Sophie, why so upset.”

“I cant believe you watched.”

“How could I not.” she glared again “sorry, I’ll quit talking about it.”

“Please dont tell Charles”

“why? He wont hate you.”

“Please”

“I guess I wont”

“Thank you”

~ Chapter 9 ~

“why aren’t you in this one?”

“I will lose horribly to be honest with you. I only enter two of these events.”

“Too chicken?”

“I wouldn’t tease me little one. I thought you were so innocent too. Turns out not so much.” Sophie frowned and looked really sad “hey hey, no I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to make you sad. I was just having fun. If it’s that upsetting I’ll stop.” Sophie looked at Josep who looked like he was truly upset he made her sad. “so I guess you do care about other people besides yourself.” Now he was frowning. “I care about you a great deal Sophie. I cried when we were looking for you two years ago and I feel guilty I made you sad. I didn’t know you couldn’t take the teasing. I will most definitely stop. I just had to come when I saw Charles was wearing the very same shirt.” She looked at him with eyes that looked like he had just beaten her.

Josep actually felt a great pain in his heart. He hadn’t meant to upset Sophie so much. He didn’t speak to her or look at her. Philip had just arrived, he had to leave late because he got grounded. His parents forced him to miss the first event. He couldn’t hear the exchange between Sophie and Josep but he had seen Sophie go from uncomfortable to hurt looking. He was pissed Josep was messing with Sophie. She was like his sister now and he was going to pull him aside as quick as possible.

He wouldn’t tell Charles if he didn’t have to. Charles even scared him when he was angry. Especially when it has anything to do with Sophie. The first event was simple speed. When Sophie heard that she could figure out why he wasn’t joining. She had not been impressed in the slightest with how fast Josep could run. Charles would easily leave him in the dirt. She decided not to be so down. She’d go back to just enjoying her time with Charles. It would be stupid to let one thing ruin the wonderful time she’d been having.

She cheered herself up with how caring Charles was when he thought she was sick earlier. He was honestly the nicest man she knew. He was always sweet to her and making sure she was ok. He had been her everything from a young age. Someone she could always depend on and always made her feel cared for and important. Sophie loved Charles more than she would ever be able to tell him. She hoped he’d kiss her like he tried to before Josep ruined it. At this point she didn’t like Josep atall and would be happy if she never saw him again.

She cleared her mind because they were about to let them take off to see who reached their points quicker. Apparently there were people every so often for each person to make sure they didn’t cheat. Whoever went around and came back fastest won. Sophie knew Charles would win, she would honestly be shocked if he didn’t. She searched the men for Charles and found him. She was filled with joy when she found him because he had been looking at her.

Sophie couldn’t see his face well but she could tell he had been looking at her. A lion was made to roar and they all took off. Just as Sophie expected Charles even started ahead of the rest. Sophie smiled. Josep trying to redeem himself said “Charles will win huh? I can see on your face you have zero doubt he will”

“Yep, he’s the fastest man I know. He’s honestly the best at everything.” Josep wanted to tease and say “well you dont know that yet” implying sex but he decided against it. He felt really tortured knowing he had made Sophie sad. He never saw a more heartbreaking look than the one he saw a little bit ago. Sophie almost jumped up in excitement when Charles won. She couldn’t contain a slight squeal which made a few men that had been watching her smile. “I wonder who that cutie is” Josep heard one of the men say. It didn’t look like Sophie heard it because she seemed focused on finding Charles again.

She saw Charles coming and stood. He lifted her into a hug and she said “you were amazing.” he smiled at her very proud of himself “Thank you.” She kissed his cheek making him take a sharp inhale. He hadn’t been expecting that. He wondered if he’d get one every time he won something. That was all the more motivation to win. It only increased his happiness that Sophie looked completely fine again.

~ Chapter 10 ~

Philip came over “Hey Charles and Sophie”

“Hey, I thought you weren’t coming?”

“They decided to only punish me by making me miss the first event since this only happens once a year.” Josep walked away so Philip decided to follow. “I’ll see you guys later.”

“Bye” Charles and Sophie said at the same time. Philip caught up to Josep “what was that about?”

“excuse me?”

“I couldn’t hear what you guys were saying but you made Sophie really upset.”

“I just got carried away teasing her. I honestly didn’t mean to make her sad. I should’ve known not to tease a virgin that way so it really is my bad. All Sophie needs is a good fuck to unwind her. She’s getting too old to have never had sex.”

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with Sophie not having sex yet. She’s a wonderful and really nice person. Once Charles and Sophie realize how much the other one loves them it’ll happen.”

“why does it have to be between her and Charles?” Philip took on a serious tone “if you even attempt to touch Sophie I’ll help Charles kick your ass.”

“Sophie is a very grown and very beautiful young woman who neither you or Charles own. I plan on making that girl mine. I just need to break her tunnel vision on Charles” The two stood, staring eachother down. “what have you been teasing Sophie about you pervert?” Josep laughed “I think you’d kick my ass if you knew so I wont give you a reason to. You’ll upset Sophie if you ask her so don’t run to her either. Not everything is your business.” Philip walked off hoping Josep would leave Sophie alone. He was debating asking her or not. It peaked his interest that whatever it was Josep thought it upset her so much because she’s a virgin. He just couldn’t fathom what it could be.

Charles had gone back to the room with Sophie and was laying down with her. “I really am fine Charles”

“I want you to stay fine so today we relax between events. You aren’t getting up” He was laying on his side holding Sophie gently. His head resting just above hers so he felt her every breath on his chest. “was it as exciting as you thought it would be?”

“It was, I’m glad I wasn’t too afraid to come this year. You don’t have to let Josep sit next to you you know. He seemed to be making you feel uncomfortable.”

“It was fine, don’t worry about that.”

“If he starts to bother you you’ll tell me right? Please?”

“I will”

“Thank you, it’s important to me you have fun here too.” Sophie smiled. He was once again making her feel so loved and safe. Laying with him was amazing, she could feel how important she was to him in his every movement. Sophie suddenly hugged him tightly. Charles held Sophie a little tighter and closed his eyes enjoying the moment. This was much better than whatever they could do outside. When he was ten this trip was about competing but right now it was just about being with Sophie and impressing her.

He really hoped he’d get a kiss each time he won. Just a simple kiss on the cheek sent his heart into over drive. Today was one more event about speed. He’d have to run a course where there would be a monster every so often. You were to kill it then run on. Whoever got to the end first won. He hoped Sophie wouldn’t be too upset since all the creatures in the event were very violent. Some people didn’t even make it to the end because of the sheer violence of the creatures they’d put on this course.

He’d been practicing with the beasts they generally used for this so he was very confident in winning. Especially with a kiss from his Sophie to help him along. He hoped he had really wowed Sophie with how fast he was today. He took a deep breath and decided to try and ask her to be with him as more than just his friend “Sophie?”

“Hm?” she said gently. “would you..” he paused again, freezing like all the other times. “would I what Charles?” He tried to force it out “Would you give me a kiss for good luck before every event?”

“That is not what you wanted to ask you idiot” He yelled at himself in his head. “Sure, every man needs some sort of good luck charm.” He smiled. It was somthing he wanted and he was very happy but he was once again disappointed in himself. Sophie was the only thing in this world that terrified him. She could crush him into a million pieces with the simple spoken word of no. They continued to lay together until Charles needed to get to his starting position. The two put their shoes on and walked out holding hands.

He loved the way it felt when Sophies hand was locked in his. He wanted to be able to hold her hand all the time. He decided to stop sulking, he knew one day he’d manage to ask her. They were still young and he felt he was doing well at keeping all other men away from her. He just needed to get Josep to back off. He thought he wouldn’t have to see him again since he hadn’t been around since what happened to Sophie. Men from everywhere come though so he guessed he should’ve expected him here and lurking.

This one Sophie wouldn’t see most of but she still wanted to come. Philip would be joining in on this event. Charles followed Sophie to where she would sit. He hugged her bye then she slipped her hands behind his head into his hair and gave him a long kiss on the cheek. Her hands slowly sliding out of his hair and down him covered Charles in goosebumps.”Thank you” She smiled “good luck” Her kiss had given him a burst of energy and a wonderful feeling danced in his heart. A man tapped on Sophies shoulder when Charles was out of sight “What is he to you? I’ve been trying to guess since I first laid eyes on the two of you.”

“He’s my best friend”

“aw, how long have you two been best friends?”

“Since we were toddlers.”

“It must be nice to have a friend you’ve kept that long”

“It is” She said politely but could hear the flirtation in his tone. She wasn’t in the mood for anybodies nonsense. She just came to watch Charles. He got down and sat beside Sophie. “I’m Mark”

“My names Sophie”

“do you have a boyfriend?”

“Nope but I’m not interested in hvaing one.”

“Why not?”

“Because, there’s only one man I want and I can’t seem to have him. If I can’t have him i wont have anybody.”

“So you’re crushing on your best friend huh?” Sophie blushed and nodded “I think he likes you too to be honest. You lit him up when you gave him that good luck kiss.”

“really?”

“Yep, I’m surprised he hasn’t asked you out.”

“I hope he will one day. I’d ask him out but I’m afraid of rushing him. I don’t really know what he wants. Sometimes I feel he loves me and wants to be with me and other times I wonder if I make it up in my head because I want him.”

“Us men like to be the askers anyways. I wouldn’t ask him.”

“I dont know if I’ll have the patience to wait on him.” Mark laughed “seriously don’t ask him.” Sophie decided that Mark was right and she shouldn’t do it. She was getting more and more tempted all the time but really just wanted him happy. If friendship was what he wanted that’s what he would have with her.

~ Chapter 11 ~

Philip didn’t finish, a healer had to run out to him and he came back very sad. He was glad his girlfriend didn’t want to come here with him. Philip tried to walk proudly but Sophie could see he was torn up about it. She leaned over to Mark “will you move back to where you were so my friend can sit next to me. He’s obviously sad.”

“sure thing cutie.” Mark smiled and got back behind her. Philip went over to her and sat. “Thanks for moving.”

“The little ladies wish is my command.”

“Dont look so sad Philip.”

“I’m not sad”

“Liar” Philip laughed “I’ll be ok, there’s more events. I mainly look sad because my shoulder hurts. I’m apparently going to scar from that blow.”

“I bet your girlfriend wont be happy about that.” Philip laughed again “probably not.”

“How is she?”

“She’s fine, I wish she would’ve come. It would’ve been fun.”

“She just doesn’t like to be outside our village.”

“I know, I just wish I could coax her out more. You having fun here with Charles?”

“Oh yes, I’m glad he decided to invite me.” Philip laughed really hard at that “Like he would ever go anywhere without you unless he was forced”

“Well I’m making him come here alone next year if I can’t come. He’s having so much fun. I feel so bad he didn’t come last year because of me.”

“What happened last year?” Mark leaned down to ask. Philip turned “Charles was afraid to leave her because she was attacked by a demon dog just the year before. Those two have been best friends since I can remember. They are pretty tight.”

“what kind?”

“I’m not sure, it was very large though. Bigger than two homes standing on eachother.” Mark seemed to get concerned. “Are you still scared of them now?” Philip looked at Mark like he was nuts “What kind of a dumb question is that? Would anybody be comfortable around those?” Mark kind of glanced to the side “what color was it?”

“Black and had very shaggy fur” He gave Sophie another look and Philip said “what?” Mark sighed “I dont think she would be comfortable at the event the day after tomorrow. Thats one of the ones I came for. Each year they pick a beast that’s almost impossible to beat. The point is to fight it as long as you can without having to be dragged out.”

“I’m fully aware of that, I came last year” Philip said annoyed. “Don’t get snotty I’m just concerned for Sophie because I think it’s the same type of demon dog that attacked her. I know it’s one of the large ones’ Sophie actually felt nervous. She hoped it wasn’t the same one. Philip looked shocked. “how are they keeping it contained for the day after tomorrow?”

“With all their might, apparently eight people have died just trying to keep it. It was supposed to be the last event like normal but they want to get it over with so they can release it again before too many more workers die.”

“Maybe you should go home Sophie.” Philip said looking worried. “I’ll be fine” Sophie said hoping she would be. “why don’t you and I take her to see it? It’s locked up right now and we can view it from a far distance. This is a long event so we have time as long as Charles doesn’t lose against something.”

“Charles wont lose with Sophie here” Philip replied to Mark. “well then lets see so she knows and can decide if she wants to go home.”

“I think that’s a good idea. Do you want to see if it is what Mark thinks it is?” Sophie nodded. Her curiosity would plague her if they didn’t go. Mark, Philip and Sophie got out of the seating area letting Mark lead them to where the demon hound was being held. “Cover her eyes so she’ll only look when she’s ready.” Mark said stopping. Philip held his hands over Sophies eyes then they moved a little further “Ok Sophie just tell Philip when you’re ready.” Sophie took a deep breath. Visions of that horrifying night and attacking going through her head. “I’m ready Philip”

Philip slid his hands off her eyes. Her eyes instantly widened and both men knew it was the very same type of beast. “Do you need to go home Sophie?” Sophie couldn’t find words at first but then said “No, If I leave Charles leaves and I wont run away from it. I fought it then and I will stand now. I’m not a coward.” She felt like trembling but tried not to. She couldn’t ruin this for Charles. She had to be the strong woman her dad was raising her to be. The beast glanced in their direction and growled making Sophie want to dart away. She turned her head unable to help it “lets go back before Charles finishes.”

“Sophie, really Charles wont mind going home.”

“No offense Philip but I’m not your girlfriend. I stand to my fears.”

“None taken Sophie, sorry for treating you like her. I just love you like you’re my own sister and the fear is all over your face.”

“I just want to go back” Both boys nodded and walked with her back. “How did you survive?”

“a very kind man saved me.”

“I’m surprised even with help. That things is”

“stop talking” philip snapped. “sorry” Mark replied. They sat down and Sophie did her best to relax so Charles wouldn’t ask her what was wrong. He may try to force her to leave if he knows before the event happens. Philip talked about anything he could think of to keep Sophies mind of that demon dog. He soon could see her fear slowly fading. There wasn’t a trace of it left when they announced Charles tied for first place with another man. She was so proud, she waited excitedly for him to find her. He lifted her up making all the fears she had go away. She kissed his cheek. “I’m glad I get that even when I only manage to tie with someone.”

“You still won, it just so happens another man won at the same time” She smiled brightly almost forgetting about the beast. Charles smiled back hugging her again before setting her down. “I’m starving, lets go eat with that old lady again”

“I’d love that” Philip and Mark followed which upset Charles but he couldn’t say anything about their intrusion with Sophie right there. When they all had food Charles said “so who are you?”

“Mark, just met Sophie”

“I’m Charles”

“I know, we only talked about you.” Sophie was glad Mark said that. It made her feel comfort he wasn’t planning on telling Charles. Philip looked conflicted about it. She figured he was afraid of Charles beating him senseless if he found out then found out Philip knew. They all ate happily and Charles talked about everything he fought. The old lady said “and not a scratch on you. Very impressive for a young man.” Charles smiled proudly. She loved his smile when he felt proud of himself. It made him look both handsome and adorable at the same time.

  • Edit Quote Like Delete Reply
  • ~ Chapter 12 ~ 

    That night Sophie was plagued with nightmares about her attack. She was fourteen again, her head throbbed from Connie shocking her directly holding her head. She couldn’t think and morning was coming. Her dreams were flowing through her memory. Once again that hound and the troll were in front of her. It lunged at her ripping her flesh. There was no man to save her this time and she was bleeding out fast with it coming at her a second time.

    Charles woke with a great pain in his chest. Sophie was sweating and digging her nails into him. She was actually drawing blood. He sat up with Sophie and shook her slightly. Her eyes snapped open, she was relieved to see Charles concerned face instead of that evil hound and wrapped him in a tight hug as she trembled. “are you ok Sophie? What were you dreaming about?”

    “I’m ok but I don’t want to talk about my dream if I don’t have to”

    “Of course you don’t have to.” She felt something wet on his chest and noticed she had both scratched him and dug her nails into his chest. “Oh my gosh I’m so sorry” She pressed her hands on his chest and quickly closed them. “It’s ok Sophie, it didn’t really hurt. Just woke me up” She started hugging him tightly again. He held her and rubbed her back “I’m more worried about you than some scratches Sophie. You sure you dont want to talk about your dream?”

    “I’m sure, I just want you to hold me please” He sat there until she was finally sleeping again. He kissed her forehead lovingly. He could tell it would be morning in about two hours so he decided to stay up so he could wake her if she had it again. He hated how afraid she looked when she woke up but was happy she let him hold and comfort her. He was glad he was always the one she wanted when she was afraid. Charles laid his head on Sophies as he held her in his lap. When morning came he moved Sophie on the bed so he could have breakfast for her the second she woke up.

    He opened the door and gazed at her one last time before walking out. He forgot his shirt again and noticed a small scratch on his shoulder Sophie must not have noticed. It would heal on it’s own though.  He wondered what she could’ve been dreaming about that would make her tremble like that and squeeze him like she’d die if she didn’t. He wasn’t going to force her to talk about it though. Filling his curiosity wasn’t worth making Sophie upset.

    Philip was laying in some grass, he was still wearing that conflicted look Sophie noticed last night. Charles walked up to ask him to let him be alone with Sophie this week. “Hey Charles, where’s Sophie?”

    “still sleeping, I want to be alone with Sophie this week.”

    “That’s fine, are you doing all the competitions?”

    “Yep”

    “Figures you’re good at everything.” Charles laughed “I try to be. I really really hope Sophies been having fun here with me.” Philip paused then said “she is, she told me yesterday.”

    “Oh yeah you failed the competition. I’m sorry”

    “It’s ok” Charles thought his sadness was about that “don’t let it get you down. There’s more things you can enter. I’m really hoping I can beat whatever the monster is we’re fighting tomorrow.” Josep suddenly appeared “It killed another man last night. I’m going to check it out before we fight it. Why don’t you two come?” Charles walked over “That’s a good idea, you coming Philip?”

    “I don’t know” Josep laughed “Chicken.”

    “I’m not a chicken, fine I’ll go.”

    “Touchy, jeez”

    “I think he’s crabby because of losing yesterday.” Charles added. Philip sighed and looked anywhere but at Charles. He felt guilty for not telling him and hoped the price wouldn’t be not being able to move for a week. “Hey Charles, why do you have a scratch on your shoulder? You and Sophie finally have sex?”

    “No we did not. Sophie had a really bad dream last night.” charles said quickly back making Josep laugh. “what was it about?”

    “she wouldn’t say.” Philip started to feel himself shake a bit with fear. “Philip, weren’t you going to enter the competition with this in it? How are you going to fight it when you’re this weird about it now?” Then they made it to where Josep could see the beast and he gasped. “wow that thing is actually sort of intimidating.” Charles said. He saw Josep now glaring at Philip, before Charles could ask why Josep was standing in front of the shaking Philip. “when the hell did Sophie see this?”

    “What’r you talking about Josep?” Charles asked “combined with the fact philips being so damn weird and Sophie had nightmares last night I can gather Philip and little Sophie decided to come see this beast already. Why didn’t you feel the need to say something you shit?”

    “So so so Sophie asked me not to. Charles please don’t kill me.”

    “Charles isn’t your only concern kid. That thing is the very same beast that almost killed her two years ago. I know she was scared when she saw it. You should’ve said something.”

    “How did you know this hound was it? You guys found her after they had healed her?”

    “she had a damn claw mark still on her face when we got there. Each demon hounds claws leave different wounds.” Josep pulled up his shirt to show a very big scar. “I’ve been hurt by one myself but I didn’t get help as quickly as Sophie so I know well what it’s claws look like when it’s ripped into flesh.”

    “she just didn’t want to go home. She thought if Charles knew he’d make her go home.” Charles just stared at the growling, angry creature. He was determined he’d kill it tomorrow. He had to, to show Sophie that there was nothing in this world he would let hurt her. Josep almost couldn’t believe how easily Charles knocked him down and out of the way to stand in front of Philip. Philip stood there bracing “You should have told me. You are my second best friend and have always been truthful with me and helped me with Sophie. How could you not tell me she was afraid, that she had seen this beast here that is the very same creature she almost died at the mercy of?”

    “I’m sorry, she just” Charles gripped his shoulder painfully. “You were doing something Sophie asked so I’ll let it slide this time. You will regret it if you ever keep something like this from me again though. Do you understand?” Philip nodded. Josep just sat there on the ground. Charles was so dark, so cold with a voice that was unnerving. He had pretty much only seen charles around Sophie so he could barely even understand what was going on. Charles ran, he ran so Sophie wouldn’t be alone.

    Philip sat down and Josep came near. “was that really the same Charles i see around Sophie?”

    “You have no idea, Sophie brings out the light in Charles. When Sophie isn’t around he is definitely a person to be afraid of.” Philips voice was shaking. Josep was still just trying to comprehend the situation. He felt bad for Sophie. He could only imagine how she felt seeing this creature again. She was stronger and older but what she had gone through was horrible. He couldn’t believe she wanted to stay after seeing it.

  • ~ Chapter 13 ~ 

    Charles made it back to the room. He was glad Sophie was sleeping still. He didn’t want her alone while that beast was near. He got her into his arms and just held her close until she woke up “good morning.” he said smiling at her sadly. “Good morning. I’m really sorry about last night.” he shook his head “stop being sorry, you didn’t hurt me. I hate that you went to bed scared and had bad dreams.” She looked at his eyes and could tell he knew. “So you know what you’re fighting tomorrow then?”

    “I went with Josep and Philip to check it out this morning and Josep could tell. I really wish you would have said something Sophie. I wont try and make you go back home but I’ll take you if you decide you need to leave. I know you like to face anything you’re afraid of but with what happened to you it wont make you any less tough to go home.”

    “i want to stay” She kissed his cheek and he leaned into it a little. A small blush creeping in like always. “I didn’t get you breakfast because I didn’t want you to be alone. would you like what I got you the past two mornings or something new?”

    “Same thing, it’s really good and we dont have that kind near our village.”

    “Can I take you with me instead of leaving you?” She nodded and he carried her there and back. After they ate she said “I bet you’re tense from everything you did yesterday, want me to rub you?”

    “Only if I can return the favor when you’re done.” She smiled “lay down.” He did and she climbed on top of him. He was happy he hadn’t put a shirt back on. He loved the feel of Sophies hands against his skin. When she had worked him completely loose he got up so she could lay flat on the bed. Sophie just smiled and relaxed as Charles massaged her. It felt so good she was having to fight off sleep. Sophie only just woke up so had no plans on resting again. Charles rubbed her much longer than he needed to seeing how comfortable and at ease she looked.

    “you sure you dont want to stay in here until I kill that thing tomorrow?” Sophie laughed “They pick those beasts because they are nearly impossible to kill”

    “I’ll be killing it tomorrow. I’ve decided it” She laughed knowing he was absolutely serious. He pulled her into his arms again. “I’m ok Charles”

    “Good, I wouldn’t let anything hurt you. I’m glad you want to stay so you can watch me beat it” Sophie smiled and just sat there in his arms. “If you don’t kill the hound tomorrow I wont be disappointed.”

    “I know” he said in a whisper. Charles wanted to stay like this all day. The competition would be in only an hour though so he knew he had to let her go soon. When they finally absolutely had to get ready Charles said ‘you can change first Sophie.” She grabbed some clothes and went in the bathroom. Charles just grabbed another shirt and pulled it on making sure his dirty ones were in a neat pile. He didn’t want to make the room messy since Sophie kept her room at home so clean.He smelled the shirt he wore yesterday one last time wondering why it was different from the other ones she made. Sophie came out and Charles gave her that dreamy look making her heart pound. “You look pretty”

    “Thank you” He walked over offering his hand so they wouldn’t get separated in all the people. Sophie went ahead and gave Charles his good luck kiss. Today would be the wrestling competition. This one would take the whole day since so many people were in it. Charles just left his sword in their hotel room so he wouldn’t have to keep track of it. Normally is was divided into two groups but there were so many people here this year they decided to start it in four groups. Charles really hoped he’d get to wrestle Josep out of the game. If somebody beat him to it he’d be ok with it though.

    Philip ended up in another group so Charles wouldn’t be wrestling him unless he beat everybody in his own group. Sophie was sitting alone since the only three men she knew were all in this one. A woman who looked to be around twenty with strawberry blonde hair sat next to Sophie. “That’s a handsome man I saw you come here with. Is he your brother?”

    “No he’s my best friend.”

    “Does he have a girlfriend?”

    “No” Sophie wanted to lie because she knew why anybody ever asked that question. “How old is he?”

    “Seventeen” She sighed “aw, he looks older. I was going to try and get him in my room but it would be horrible of me. If only I hadn’t just become an adult last month. “Oh so you’re twenty one?”

    “Yes mam, how old are you?”

    “Sixteen.”

    “well tell me, how do you stay his friend with him looking like that. I’ve seen him shirtless in the mornings when he runs to get fruit. I’ve been shamelessly eye balling him but haven’t gotten a chance to talk to him.” Sophie laughed drawing Charles attention. He smiled and waved. They waved back. Charles was glad for once to see a woman talking to Sophie and not some man. He doubted there were any men that hadn’t joined in this though.

    “I guess he is taken.” Sophie looked at her confused “that man almost broke his neck when you laughed. I’d say he has his heart set on you. I kind of saw it when I’d watch you two together but I was hoping you were just brother and sister or something.”

    “Plenty of men have looked at me when I laugh. Doesnt make them all want me.”

    “It’s just the way he did, when you’re as old as me you’ll understand” Sophie laughed again “you arent very old”

    “It feels like it. I’ve been trying to get laid this whole time and no man has been drawn into my room. Have you had any luck getting some?” Sophie turned blood red and the woman almost fell over laughing “Oh god,you’re a virgin aren’t you?” Sophie just kept blushing. “at sixteen, wow. I lost my virginity at fourteen.”

  • ~ Chapter 14 ~ 

    Sophie was glad when the competition started and the woman started watching the men with her hungry eyes. Sophie hoped she wasn’t going to go after Charles. “what’s your name?” the woman asked “Sophie”

    “I’m Marina” She went right back to staring at them. Sophie just watched Charles talk to the men beside him while they waited their turn. She wondered what they were talking about. “My girlfriend is killing me with her snoring since we’ve been here. I didn’t know she snored until now. We’ve been together about two months.” The other boy laughed “well I’m just glad my girlfriend didn’t want to come. I enjoy being able to flirt with women. Is that girl you keep glancing back at your girlfriend?” A question now directed at Charles.

    “No, she’s my best friend. I want her to be my girlfriend. Just haven’t asked her yet.”

    “why not? She’s gorgeous.”

    “I just can’t seem to manage to.” Timothy laughed “You look like such a tough guy to be afraid of a girl.”

    “She’s not just a girl.”

    “Uh oh, the marrying type huh?” Charles smiled and the boys mockingly said aw. They laughed and then started talking about the other competitions. Charles was glad when his name was finally called. He hoped to be wrestling the entire time. In this you wrestled until you were out or won against everybody that was left.  Charles took down the first three men with ease. It was almost too easy. This fourth guy seemed to Charlie to be about thrity so he was nervous but kept his confidence. He wouldn’t get another kiss from Sophie until tomorrow if he didn’t win. This one took quite a long time but Charles managed to pin him down.

    It was now time for them to break for lunch. It was only thirty minuets so they all had to hurry. Charles ran over and hugged Sophie quickly. He was pleasantly surprised to get another kiss on the cheek. He looked at her and smiled “well I thought you’d need another one since they gave you a quick break”

    “Yeah, thanks” He was tempted to lean over and kiss the lips he desired so badly but he ran off to eat somthing so he wouldn’t tire out wrestling. “that was cute. He wanted to kiss you for real.”

    “I think you are just sexually frustrated” Marina laughed. “I’m glad I sat by you. You are keeping me very entertained.” Philip still hadn’t gotten a chance to start yet. Joseps group had almost gone all the way through with Josep still winning every time. Sophie had not expected that. “who do you know here Marina?”

    “My brother Mark. I come to see him compete.”

    “I’ve met a Mark. Not sure if he was yours but I met one.”

    “He’ll come over here if he loses. Then you will know.”

    “Do you know anybody besides Charles?”

    “Yeah, She searched for and pointed out Josep then searched and pointed out Philip.” Marina blushed when Sophie pointed out Josep. “I’ve had sex with him”

    “wow really?”

    “You dont think he’s handsome?”

    “He’s handsome but I dont like his personality.”

    “You dont have to like personality for sex”

    “I do or will I guess”

    “Probably why you’re a virgin.”

    “You say that like its bad”

    “You’re missing out. Get yourself laid and you’ll hate yourself for waiting so long.”

    “I’m fine”

    “Maybe I could ask Charles to take yours for you.”

    “Dont joke like that please.”

    “aw ok” It was now time for the wrestling to start again. Charles got back where he was supposed to be and started with the man they called. He was going through them easily again until there were  only two other men left in his group. The second to last guy was hard but the final one was even more difficult. He almost got the upper hand on Charles but Charles still managed to pin him down and make him go out. Now he could sit until the two groups that hadn’t gotten to the last man standing finished.

    He looked over and Josep was the one who won in his group. It made Charles hopeful he’d get to wrestle him. It seemed to take the other two groups forever to get to last man even though they had divided each group evenly. Philip almost made it to last man standing aswell in his group. Sophie was proud of him. Philip needed to accomplish something. Fighting with his girlfriend all the time kept him distracted and everything seemed to be slipping. She wasn’t sure why he stayed with a girl who didn’t like any of the same things he did. He liked adventure which is why he hungout with Charles and Sophie so much but his girlfriend was afraid of everything. She was one of those women who was always needing to be taken care of.

    Philip looked a bit sad for someone who had just beaten his whole group then it dawned on her “Charles must have yelled at him for not telling.” She was going to make Charles apologize. It wasn’t fair of him to get mad at Philip when he wasn’t mad at her. She hoped Charles wasn’t too hard on him. She had asked Philip to keep the secret after all so the only one he should be mad at is her. “why so serious now Sophie?”

    “Personal things that would take way too long to explain”

    “alright”

  • ~ Chapter 15 ~ 

    It was now Josep and Charles. Sophie didn’t know if Philip would win against the really large man he was wrestling with. He was actually bigger than Charles. It wasn’t attractive though. Charles body looked good but that mans looked way overly big. Just as she worried he took Philip out pretty quickly. Philip walked over to Sophie. Charles told him he wanted Sophie to himself but he figured Charles wouldn’t mind if he sat with her until he could. “You did so good, I can’t believe you made it so far.”

    “Yeah I know, I cant wait to tell my dad.”

    “I want you to answer somthing honestly please.”

    “yeah?”

    ‘Did Charles yell at you because you didn’t tell him about the demon hound?” Philip hung his head “yes.”

    “He’s going to apologize, that’s not fair to be mad at you when he isn’t with me.”

    “It’s really ok Sophie.”

    “No it’s not. I’ll get him to do it later on ok. He’ll either be mad at both of us or neither of us.”

    “How’s that going to work?”

    “I’ll be sleeping on the floor if he chooses to not forgive you because that means he’s mad at both of us. You wouldn’t sleep with someone you’re angry at” Philip laughed “I guess I’ll get an apology then. Just be sure to tell him you guessed so he doesn’t think I’m a tattle tail.”

    “Of course, I feel bad he yelled at you.”

    “Don’t, it’s not your fault. In fact I’m glad for you. Who knows what Charles would be like if he wasn’t worried about your opinion so much. Somtimes I shudder thinking of the Charles that would exist without you.”

    “He’s not that bad, Charles is a sweetie.” Philip smiled “I’ve told you countless times Sophie, you’d be surprised the difference between when youre at his side and when you aren’t”

    “I think you exaggerate, he’s just a large marshmallow who sometimes gets all burnt on the outside. Once you get that off he’s gooey again” The three of them started watching intently at Charles and Josep. They were still rolling around. It dragged on into the longest wrestling match this event has held. Sophie was glad the sun was making it’s way down. She had been so hot. Josep almost got Charles pinned when he managed to get on top of Josep again. “god dammit” Josep panted. The two of them were very sweaty and tired. Finally Charles got Josep down and stood as the winner. Charles and Josep had wrestled so long the judge ordered an hour break before the final match.

    Charles could barely stand he was so tired. He still hobbled his way to Sophie and collapsed with his head in Sophies lap. She rubbed his seaty hair. Josep hadn’t moved. He didn’t feel like getting up and there was no one for him to go to. Philip got up and left with Marina close behind. She had plans on seducing him. Sophie smiled down at Charles and he just looked at her “No good luck kiss for this match.”

    “why?”

    “I’m too gross.”

    “I think I should decide that. You’re getting one.” he kept smiling and closed his eyes. Charles fell asleep while Sophie slid her fingers up and down his back. She let him rest until the hour was about to be over. “Charles get up” He slowly opened his eyes “You’ll need to fight the last guy in about ten minuets.”

    “Sorry I fell asleep on you.”

    ‘I would’ve fallen asleep too after all that.” Charles got up and stretched. Sophie stood and pulled his face down to kiss his cheek. “I really appreciate that Sophie, I think it’s helping me do better.” Charles hugged her then walked away. Josep sat next to Sophie sulking. “You did very well.”

    “I should’ve beaten that kid. I’m eight years older than him”

    “Charles trains while you’re having sex with everyone. I just met a girl you’ve had sex with.” Josep laughed “really?”

    “Yeah, Marina.”

    “Oh her, she was ok. I just really needed to get one off. It was nothing that good or special.”

    “How is it special atall when you’ve slept with so many women?”

    “what do you mean so many?”

    “My dads told me about you.”

    “I just havent gotten with the right girl. You could be my mrs right Sophie.”

    “No thank you.”

    “Because of Charles?”

    “yep” Josep sighed “what can i do to get your attention away from him?”

    “Nothing” Josep rolled his eyes and decided to drop it before he made Sophie mad. Charles easily got the other man out and was champion. Sophie clapped and he ran to her and spun her around in a hug. She held a kiss to his cheek for a few second then he carried her back to their room. He was still very tired. Josep watched Charles walk away with Sophie extremely jealous. He had thought of Sophie often these past two years. Josep decided to steal the shirt from Charles that Sophie had used the other day. He’d wait until they were out somewhere then climb in their window to take it.

    Charles opened their door and set Sophie on the bed “I’m going to shower.”

    “alright.” Charles grabbed some clothes and then went into the bathroom. Sophie went to look out the window at the gorgeous sunset. Before she knew it Charles was out. She bit her lip not meaning to. She quickly stopped but Charles saw her do it and thought it was sexy. He immediately started thinking of disgusting things like he did anytime she did something sexy so he wouldn’t get excited. Charles walked over and laid on the bed “after the event tomorrow I think I’ll skip everything the next day.”

    “I think you’ll need it. You look so tired.”

    “Josep is what got me. He was better than I expected. ”

    “how’d you get that really large man so easy?”

    “Because all he does is lift stuff. He trains in nothing else. You can’t just concentrate in one area like that. Josep seems to train almost everything. I was very impressed at how hard I had to work to get him down. Did you enjoy talking to that girl?”

    “she was ok.” Sophie sat by Charles on the bed and ran her fingers through his hair. “how tired are you?”

    “Now that I’ve showered I feel much better why? I’ll do anything you want to do.”

    “I want you to tell Philip you’re sorry, you can’t be mad at him but not mad at me. That isn’t fair. He also didn’t tell me. I figured it out. So are you mad at both of us or neither of us?” Charles sighed “neither of you then.” He stood and left to tell Philip sorry. He really didn’t want to but she didn’t give him much of a choice. He knocked on Philips door. Philip answered “don’t worry about it. I’ll tell her you said sorry.”

    “Thanks, goodnight Philip.”

    “Night Charles” Charles walked back, he was glad he didn’t have to say words he didn’t mean. He thought it was absolutely fair to be mad at Philip. He should have told him right away. When he got back to his room Sophie was standing there waiting on him when he opened the door. She ran into his arms and he lifted her up “thank you Charles.” He sat down with her. “is there anything you want to do?”

    “You should rest, the sun’s almost down and I can see how tired you are.”

    ‘i guess, you wont leave though right?”

    “I’m going to sleep too silly”

    “Ok” Charles said looking very happy. Charles laid down and Sophie just laid on her side then pulled his arm over her “I’d rather sleep like this tonight if you don’t mind.”

    “are you afraid of scratching me?”

    “Yes, I wont sleep on you until I know I wont torture you.”

    “But how will I wake up if you’re having a nightmare?”

    “just shush and go to sleep.” Charles laughed “yes mam”

  • ~ Chapter 16 ~ 

    Sophie wasn’t as nervous about the dog as she thought she’d still be. She just hoped it didn’t hurt Charles too badly tomorrow. She hoped it wouldn’t kill him since it already killed nine people. She couldn’t believe tomorrow would be their fourth day out here. It was really nice getting to be with Charles all the time. She hoped they’d go swimming again at some point and maybe take up where they left off before Josep ruined their moment.

    This trip made her see even more that she wanted to spend her life with him. She didn’t want to go home when the time came. To have to go back to not sleeping together and having to say goodbyes. Charles was so warm, she slept better by his side than by herself at home. She wished they still had sleep overs but she knew they had gotten too old for them. Sophie was glad she made Charles lay down. He was already knocked out cold. He forgot to pull his shirt off which was slightly disappointing but atleast he wouldn’t be so tempting tonight.

    Sophie got a little closer to Charles and cleared her mind. It would be a big day tomorrow. Charles woke up a  few hours later, he was very uncomfortable in his shirt. He sat up and took it off, he threw it on the floor so he wouldn’t have to get up and move the bed. He settled himself back in and pulled Sophie until she was pressed against his chest. He fell back asleep in seconds. Nothing woke the two until morning arrived. Sophie was shocked she was up before Charlie was. She decided she’d wake him up to breakfast this morning.

    Sophie grabbed her shoes and walked out being careful not to close the door too hard. She came back to Charlie still sleeping. She didn’t know when the event was so wasn’t sure if she needed to get him up. She decided she would ask Philip. She put the fruit down on the small table in their room and left. She went to his door and Philip looked terrible “what’s wrong?”

    “I’m a horrible person Sophie.”

    “why? No you aren’t”

    “I almost cheated on my girlfriend. I have to break up with her now. It really put things in to perspective for me. I can’t love my girl with how close I came to sleeping with Marina last night.”

    “so you didn’t?”

    “No, I’d never stoop that low but I’m still breaking up with my girl when we get home.”

    “You shouldn’t be alone Philip. Come hangout with us.”

    “Charles wants it to just be you two.”

    “really?”

    “Oh shit, yeah. Don’t tell him you know but every time he talked to me about this trip when we were home it was always about how excited he was about getting you to himself and not having to leave you every night. This trip is really about you and not the competitions.”

    “O my gosh..that’s really sweet.”

    “He loves you Sophie. I can tell you start to wonder because he hasn’t asked you out but he loves you.” She hugged Philip “you’re a good friend”

    “If only I wasn’t a shitty boyfriend”

    “Don’t say that, your girlfriend makes you miserable. I’m happy you’re leaving her.” Sophie talked to Philip a little longer then Philip told Sophie the event wouldn’t be until right after lunch. Philip went in his room still looking pitiful while Sophie went back to hers. Now she just wanted to hug Charles. She wished she knew why he wouldn’t ask. Mark was probably right in the fact she should wait on him to ask but how long was she expected to wait. She walked back in their room to Charles still sleeping very hard. She went ahead and ate then got on the bed behind him and wrapped her arms around Charles. She wasn’t going to be able to wait until he was awake to get her hug.

    She had to take her arms back when the one under him started to fall asleep. She didn’t really know what to do with herself so she got up and sat by the window. She daydreamed until she realized it was almost lunch. She shook Charles “You’ll sleep past the event today if you don’t get up. He sat up quickly “what time is it?”

    “Calm down, it’s almost lunch.” She brought him the food from the table. “You should have woken me up. I know you were bored.”

    “I was fine” she said happily. He ate then got dressed. His muscles still hurt from the wrestling. “need me to loosen you again?”

    “You’ve already done that for me twice here.”

    “and I can do it again. Lay down.”

    “You sure?”

    “Very now get over here before I punch you” he laughed then laid down. When she was done he sat up and she hugged him as tightly as she could. “what’s this for?”

    “For being such a good friend and for bringing me here with you.” Charles smiled. “we need to go now. You’re really sure you’ll be ok? You’ll be sitting alone because Philip and Josep are in this one too.”

    “I’ll be alright Charles” Sophie said trying to tell herself that too. She felt the fear creeping back in that she felt when she saw the hound again. It’s mean eyes and menacing growl. The pain she felt when she was fourteen. Her heart was starting to race. She tried not to show it as they walked to the very large arena. Charles found her seat with her like always and hugged her softly hoping to give her comfort and that she wouldn’t be too afraid. It didn’t show on her face but he knew she was shaking on the inside. This was something Charles both loved and hated about Sophie. He hated it because she got herself into trouble so much but loved it because she was a very strong woman who never let fear guide her. Most women would’ve run screaming home but Sophie wanted to stay.

    Charles left and Sophie took a deep breath. She noticed most of the other men were in the audience this time. She wondered how many had actually entered. At this arena where everyone sat was much higher up and the men were inside a room. She guessed the big gate was where the hound would come in from. She began to worry about Charles dieing. The thought thretening to draw out tears when Marina came “are you ok Sophie?”

    “Yes I’m fine”

    “You look sad”

    “I’m really ok, thanks for your concern.”

    “Can I sit with you?”

    “I’d love the company.”

    “Me too, I struck out again last night. This is getting to be too much. The man even cried. I brought a grown man to tears with my lust.”

    “He has a girlfriend”

    “So, hasn’t stopped men before.”

    “You don’t care?”

    “Not really, what happens here stays here as far as I’m concerned. I’m actually a very good girl at home. It’s a shame though, I even tried Josep last night but he wouldn’t have me. He seemed so heartbroken when i came to his door that I thought good sex would cheer him but he told me he couldn’t. The great promiscuous Josep actually turned a woman down who propositioned him. I really am losing it.”

  • ~ Chapter 17 ~ 

    “He’s probably just down about losing to Charles yesterday. He was really upset about it afterward.”

    “Maybe, he didn’t really say. He just wanted me to leave so I did. I’m surprised he’d fight this beast. It mauled him pretty good a few years back. I think he was twenty at the time. He thought he’d be badass and went into Blynot. Don’t think he’s ever gone back.”

    “really?”

    “Yeah, he swore he would never go anywhere near there again for any reason. The way he spoke of that place makes it sound like hell itself. I hope I never stumble into there. I mean can you imagine?” Sophie didn’t speak, she actually felt moved he had come with her father and Charles when they found out she was there. “Maybe Josep isn’t such a horrible guy” Sophie saw him running as fast as he could knowing he was late. Marina laughed “he almost missed deadline. I wonder if they’ll allow him to compete now.”

    “with so few people seeming to join I doubt they’ll give him trouble since it hasn’t started”

    “true, this competition always has very few competitors. Its the most dangerous one. Men have died entering it because they couldn’t pull them out fast enough.” Sophie heart almost jerked to a stop. “Please don’t talk like that. Charles is competing today.”

    “aw sweetheart dont worry, he looks tough. Just enjoy the show of how sexy men look fighting large beasts. I always feel like getting up and screaming take me now” Sophie couldnt contain her laugh. She pictured Marina doing that. It looked so silly in her mind. “There, glad I made you feel better.” Charles sat with the other men wishing he could see Sophie. He didn’t know if she was still ok. He wished she would’ve stayed in the room or somthing where she wouldn’t have to look at this creature again. Josep sat in front of Charles panting. “You’re really late.”

    “Yeah I had to pay extra to still get to do this.”

    “What took you?”

    “None of your business”

    “Fine, just trying to be nice since I have to deal with you”

    “Youre no picnic either kid”

    “It’s funny how you call me kid but refer to Sophie as a woman when I’m a year older than her. Pervert.” They both rose to their feet quickly with a hand grazing their sword when a ref came over “you are not fighting eachother right now boys! You can leave or do this later” Charles sat down with Josep slowly following. The two men didn’t look at eachother because both desperately wanted to stay in this competition. They  knew if they got up again the ref would kick them out.

    Josep felt nervous about the fact he had been in their room. He hoped Charles wouldn’t notice. It was just a shirt anyway, or so he thought. Josep knew Sophie wouldn’t have told him. Even if she tried she’d probably be dead from embarrassment. Josep smiled. He loved her face when she was embarrassed. It was absolutely adorable. Charles just tried to mentally prepare himself. He was going to kill the hound. He needed to for Sophie. Anger and adrenaline were already rising within him at the memory of what Sophie went through. This was somthing he could do for her. It couldn’t take away that memory but he hoped it would assure her that he’d always protect her from anything. He’d gladly die to keep her from even being hurt.

    The first man was called. Charles hoped his turn would come soon. Sophie saw the large gate open and the demon hound step out. She almost couldn’t breath, the fear she was pushing back gripped her. She almost felt the searing pain again of it’s claws. The wind reminding her of it’s horrible breath. ‘Sophie are you ok?”

    “Yeah” she forced out and tried to calm herself. It couldn’t reach her here. A man stepped out and began to fight with it. Within five minuets they were pulling him out. He had a horrible head wound. “Impressive” Marnia said “impressive?”

    “yeah, there are people who get killed or pulled out from this tournament within the first two minuets.”

    “wow”

    “Don’t be so worried Sophie, Charles will be alright.” Mark was now the man out there “go mark!” Marnia cried. He started to duel with the beast. He managed to drive his sword into the things side. It hit him hard throwing him all the way across the ring. He laid there passed out and some men jumped in pulling him out. “He’ll be proud he landed a blow on it.” Sophie sat there wanting Charles to back out. She was terrified seeing it take down those men so easily. If she could speak to him she would’ve begged him not to do this. A third man was called. He barely was in with it a minuet before it was mauling him. Blood covered the ground and people gasped. Two mages jumped in fighting it as hard as they could while another managed to get the badly bleeding man out.

    Marnia hugged Sophie “Oh sweetie I dont think you should watch this.”

    “I have to be here for Charles” Marnia laced Sophie fingers with hers “I’ll be here for you while you’re here for Charles”

    “Thank you”

  • ~ Chapter 18 ~ 

    Charles was called, he got to his feet and looked at Josep “I guess you wont get to compete in this one.” Josep looked up “I hope it eats you.” Without another word Charles walked out. As soon as the days light hit him he looked up at Sophie. He couldn’t see her as well as he would’ve liked but he could tell she wasn’t comfortable. They let the demon hound back out. It bared its fangs then ran at him. Sophie saw Charles not moving, she screamed in her head “move charles!” When it was about to land on him Charles dropped down under the beast thrusting his sword up into its stomach.\

    It let out a loud howl of pain and jumped back. It started trying to catch Charles in its jaws. Sophies heart went faster and faster as she saw Charles fighting with it in the ring below. She was close to tears when it would come close to slashing or biting him. Marnia looked like she just might orgasm watching Charles. The hound was getting tired from bleeding and chasing Charles. It’s what he had been waiting on so it couldn’t throw him off when he attempted to get on its back.

    Charles and the hound ran at eachother. It lunged it’s head down to bite him and to Sophies terror Charles pierced the hounds nose with hsi sword and pulled himself onto it. The hound thrashed trying to get him off. Charles almost got knocked off a few times but managed to get to its neck. To Charles frustration one of it’s paws finally got him and slammed him into the ground below.Sophie stood holding her hands over her mouth in worry as tears finally started to fall. A man dropped into the ring as Charles stood “No! I’m not done.” The man looked at him impressed and got out. Every bit of Charles hurt now but he had to finish it. The hound slashed him ripping his shirt open leaving claw marks on his shoulder.

    Charles fought with the hound until he was once again on its back. With every bit of strength and adrenaline he had in him he thrust the sword down into its neck multiple times. The beast dropped, Charles didn’t move incase it wasnt dead. A man came running out and pronounced the beast dead. Two healers came to Charles and closed up his shoulder. Sophie was bawling as the crowd cheered. Charles got up and ran to get to his Sophie. He found her and held her tightly for a few moments before lifting her to take her back to the room. “Don’t carry me, you have to be in so much pain” He smiled down at Sophie then gave her a kiss on the forehead. “I’m ok Sophie. I do need to lay down though.”

    Charles walked into their room and sat on the bed with his arms tightly wrapped around Sophie. He felt Sophies hands slide under his shirt. She took it off of him to look at his shoulder. “They healed it, quit worrying and please stop crying.” She kissed it then placed her hands on his chest sending healing energy through him. Charles took a long relaxing breath then  Sophie grabbed his face in her hands holding his forehead against hers. “I was so worried about you, I need you Charles. I dont think I could live if I didn’t see you every day.”

    Charles forgot all the pain he felt in that moment. He so badly wanted to respond with “I love you” but the words weren’t coming. He didn’t know if this was an appropriate time. He had just killed a beast that almost killed her. He worried she might say yes simply because of that fact and he didn’t want that. If she said yes he wanted it to be because she really wanted him as more than her friend. He wanted her to want to spend the rest of her life waking up to him. Asking her could wait for another time. He was just going to enjoy this moment and let her words warm his heart.

    They laid down wrapped tightly in eachother. Charles fell asleep, it took all of his energy to kill that beast. Holding Sophie and her saying she needed him gave Charles more happiness than he thought his heart could handle. He fell asleep close to tears himself. Sophies heart was still pounding. She just looked at him and rubbed his back. “I love you so much Charles. Thank you” She pressed her lips against his chest and held him. Eventually tiredness over came her too.

    Charles woke around one am since they went to sleep so early. He was happy to see Sophie still in his arms. He gently hugged her again while breathing in her sweet scent. His muscles were killing him. He decided he needed a shower to get the blood off. He knew the water would help relax him aswell. Charles put each hand against the shower wall letting the water pour down him. He couldn’t believe he did it. If only he had been there for her back when she was attacked. Atleast now he wouldn’t have to carry around so much guilt. Even two years later he felt bad Sophie went through that because Connie wanted him. It was his fault even though Connie did it. This was somthing he could do for his Sophie. He hoped she’d rest easier at night knowing he could protect her from somthing like that. Rowne told Charles on nights Sophie would have nightmares still.

    They got less and less frequent but when she had them it broke his heart. He hoped this would make them stop happening. He stepped out and dried himself. His muscles were still hurting but not as badly. He smiled thinking Sophie would rub him again when she was awake. Charles went to their bag to pull out pants and the clothes were all moved around. Charles was confused knowing Sophie hadn’t been alone to mess with their clothing. He shrugged and thought maybe she woke up at somepoint. He’d ask her about it when the sun was up. He quickly put on some pants before Sophie woke up. He didn’t have the courage to ask her to be his yet, let alone have her see him naked.

  • ~ Chapter 19 ~ 

    Charles got on the bed again and held Sophie. The overwhelming happiness he felt before falling asleep came back and he allowed himself to slip into the pure bliss of the moment. “You are so beautiful Sophie” Charles said as he let his thumb slide over her cheek. “I hope you feel safe now” He kissed her forehead then put his against hers. Charles just laid there smiling hoping day would come slowly. Charles realized when the sun rose it would be their fifth day here. He’d have to take her home in three more days. He didn’t know how he was supposed to go back to how things were in the village.

    When the sun was beginning to glaze the grass Charles got up to clean the room. He picked up the stems of the fruit they ate and took it out. Then he folded the dirty clothes into a pile by their bag. Charles looked under the bed and in the bathroom to make sure he got everything because one of his shirts was missing. He looked and looked but couldn’t find it. The room wasn’t that big so it was very frustrating. It was the shirt that had the subtle sweet smell to it. He hit his head getting up when he looked under the small dresser in the room which woke Sophie.

    “I’m sorry, I’m just looking for my shirt.” Charles said holding his head. “You’re missing one?”

    “Somehow yes, It’s the one I said smelled different.I just can’t find it. I’ve looked and looked.”

    “well it has to be in here, you haven’t taken your shirts off outside unless you’ve been modeling for the ladies when I sleep” Charles laughed “no, there hasn’t been any modeling.”

    “want me to help you?”

    “Please” Sophie got up and searched every inch of the room. “Maybe some small animal climbed in the window and took it. Have you emptied our bag out to be sure it didn’t get stuffed back in there?” He lifted her into a suffocating hug “thats such a good idea.” He set her down then dumped out the bag on the bed. They went through each piece and it wasn’t there. “don’t look so sad Charles, you have a bunch of shirts now” he sighed “yeah, I just wish I hadn’t brought the clothes you made me. I should’ve known I’d lose one.”

    “I can make that same shirt again”

    “You worked hard enough, I do have plenty.” She pulled him into a hug “you killed a demon hound for me. I think I can take a couple hours to make you a shirt.”

    ‘i’m sorry i lost it.”

    “I’m sure some animal just crawled in and took it.” Sophie hoped what she was suspecting wasn’t true. She found it odd that shirt was missing. With how perverted her father told her Josep was Sophie suspected he had something to do with the missing shirt. She had no proof so she’d wait until Charles was sleeping and talk to Josep. Even if she wasn’t worried Charles would flip she couldn’t explain to him why Josep would want that shirt. It was far too embarrassing. She wanted to get Charles mind off of it so he’d be happy again. “want to get breakfast?” Charles nodded picking Sophie up. “do you think after we eat you could rub me? That hound slamming me on the ground really killed my muscles.”

    “Of course” Sophie said smiling at him. They got their food and ate by a tree. When it was time to go back Charles almost picked Sophie up again but thought he was probably doing it too much and should stop before it upset her. They got back and Sophie pointed to the bed “Lay down” Charles did as he was told and Sophie sat on his hips. She rubbed him for a short while then let her fingers slide slowly across him. She was touching him so gently her fingers were barely making contact with his skin. Sophie started laughing “what?”

    “Your skin is covered in goosebumps. I thought this would be good. Nothing relaxes me more than this. I can go back to massaging you if you prefer it though.”

    “Oh no, this is perfect. It’s very relaxing. Hence the goosebumps. I’m not going to do any of the competitions today. I was told of a few places I thought you would enjoy if you want to go out.”

    “You sure you feel up to it?”

    “When you get done doing this yes”

    “Then of course. You’ve never taken me anywhere I didn’t enjoy.”

    “Great, one of the more beautiful things I have to show you I cant until tonight. I’m really excited. I hope you like it as much as I think you will”

    “I’m sure I will” Charles could’ve fallen asleep again with Sophie sliding her hands up and down his back. “alright, you ready?”

    “yep” he said then got up. “where are we going first?”

    “Today will be a surprise ok?”

    “alright” Charles hoped Sophies dad was right. He got the things he’d show her today from Sophies father. Rowne used to come to this yearly so Charles asked him if there was anywhere Sophie would love. The two walked and talked until Charles picked Sophie up “close your eyes please” Sophie did and Charles walked a little further. “You’ll scare her if you say anything so be quiet when I tell you to open your eyes.”

    “Ok” He paused for a minuet then walked a bit further. He sat down still holding Sophie then put his mouth up to her ear and whispered open your eyes but remember to be quiet.” Sophie did and saw a pegasus playing with her baby. Charles put his mouth up to Sophies ear again making her blush “There aren’t very many left alive but your dad found this one here. Don’t tell anybody or they may kill her for her blood. Humans are the reason these are almost gone. She must have found a mate since she has a baby now.” Sophie nodded.

    It was hard for Charles not to stare at Sophie instead of the pegasus. Her gorgeous face was so lit up. He thanked Rowne silently. Sophie got up by Charles ear and whispered “we should go before she sees us and we upset her. I’d hate to spook her away since she’s done such a good job hiding here. She needs to stay safe for her baby.” Charles stood then walked out of the woods with Sophie.

  • ~ Chapter 20 ~ 

    Charles stood Sophie on her feet before he did something he’d regret. That radiant smile she had on her face made Sophie look like a goddess. “where are we going now?”

    “I told you, all we do today is a surprise.”

    “Now I really want to know, that was so amazing to see.” Sophies voice was filled with excitement and happiness. Sophie looked up at Charles with her saddest puppy dog eyes “Please tell me” He looked away as quickly as possible. “That isn’t fair Sophie. Don’t do that to me.” Sophie laughed “alright but a big tough warrior shouldn’t be able to be torn down so easily by a simple look.”

    “You’ve got that thing perfected”

    “How do you think I get my way all the time with my father?” Charles laughed “Can’t blame him for crumbling. Be good and let me surprise you.”

    “I guess, but only because you’ve shown me such a good time since we’ve been here. I’m so happy you brought me along”

    “It would be odd to be away from you for a week. The longest we’ve been apart is three days. Those three days were very very long. Ridiculously long actually.”

    ‘They were” Charles heart fluttered again. He was happy Sophie felt the same. “I’m glad we came a day early too. Will you bring me if you come to this again?”

    “Of course” Sophie hadn’t stopped smiling except when she gave Charles that puppy face. Suddenly she was being lifted again “how do you grab me so fast? I don’t even see you move. I just am walking one moment then in your arms the next.”

    “I’m much faster than you think” Charles said smiling at her then added “I can do it slower if you want.”

    “No it’s fine, it just baffles me how you do that.”

    “will you close your eyes for me again?”

    “Hecks yeah” she said, her tone getting excited like it was before. When he asked her to open her eyes he could see the wonder in them “O my god are those really?”

    “Yep, they have a small pack here. I thought these creatures were cool and somthing told me you would too”

    “Can I get close to them?”

    “If you move carefully. Hold out your hand.” Charels set Sophie down and whistled at one of the Vorin Wolves(see Picture Below)

    Charles was really nervous but they were rarely violent as long as you respected them. Sophie loved animals and nature so he was confident she wouldn’t get hurt. It came up to Sophie slowly then pushed its head into her palm “it’s allowing you to pet it.”

    “Thank you” She said in a squeaking tone due to her excitement. She scratched behind its ears then rubbed its white and blue fur. The wolf rubbed its head against Sophie making her laugh. She hugged the creature gently then it licked her face. “it really likes you” Sophie just kept smiling and petting the wolf until it walked away. When the wolf and its family was out of sight she turned around and glomped Charles “You are the most amazing man ever!” Charles couldn’t have been filled with more joy. He lifted Sophie into a hug “Rowne you are the best damn man in the universe. Thank you for telling me about these things” 

    Charles wanted to do any favor her father wanted for him but knew the man wouldn’t let him. When he’d give Charles an idea for Sophie he’d always say that his daughters happiness was the reward he got in return. Sophie talked non stop about the wolves and the Pegasus as they walked further. Sophie had spent so much time with the wolf he wasn’t sure he’d have the time to show her everything he wanted today but he still had three days with her. He’d just miss more competitions to show her everything. It wasn’t like any of them mattered to him anyway.

    Sophie was so thrilled she would’ve dragged Charles to the next thing if she knew what it was. Charles was very hungry but he didn’t want to go back into town yet. The sun told him they had missed lunch by a very long time. He guessed Sophie was having too much fun to notice she was hungry too. Charles decided he’d just wait until dinner to eat again. Seeing Sophie this happy was worth being hungry.

  • ~ Chapter 21 ~ 

    When they were almost to the herd of Guanxi Charles picked Sophie up like the other two times and she shut her eyes instantly. “I guess I don’t have to ask any longer.” Sophie shook her head. Charles only walked a little further than put Sophie on her feet. Sophie was speechless when she opened her eyes. (picture below)

    It amazed Charles how much animals enjoyed Sophies company. These creatures were easily frightened but she was playing with them. Sophie would laugh as they’d run around her. She crawled on one of their backs and let it ride her around. This made Charles tense. He was afraid it would run off with her. These creatures were food to some very dangerous animals and he’d hate for Sophie to get swallowed while something was trying to eat one.

    Finally Sophie realized Charles must be starving since they hadn’t eaten since breakfast. She got off even though she would’ve loved to stay more. “I’m hungry, It’s almost dinner time if you’d like to go back.”

    “I’m hungry too. Want to ride on my back and I’ll run us back to the inn?” Sophie nodded and Charles knelt down. She clung to him tightly then he ran until they could see the inn. “you have a crazy amount of energy Charles. I feel worn out and yet you still had it in you to run.” Charles laughed not knowing what to say. He could do that because any moment he couldn’t be with Sophie he worked on his endurance and his fighting. He couldn’t say “well when I’m not around you I spend my time making myself into a better fighter and stronger so that I can always make sure you’re safe” They went to a small restaurant and ate. When they were done Charles said “I have one more thing to show you tonight.”

    “Good! I can’t wait to see it! Today has been better than I could’ve imagined!” The two got up and walked out. They walked side by side with Sophie getting increasingly worn out. Charles smiled at Sophie and picked her up. She closed her eyes “No, you’re just tired even though you wont admit it. I’ll carry you the rest of the way.” Sophie wasn’t going to argue. She felt like she was about to collapse and was grateful he picked her up. She really wondered how Charles wasn’t tired.

    Suddenly they were walking down a path with trees that had light purple leaves. Sophie thought they were gorgeous “can we stop so I can take some home?” Charles set her down and she grabbed a couple putting them in her pocket. Charles lifted her again and Sophie hugged him. Sophies eyes darted around until Charles said “Ok time to close them” Sophie held onto Charles tighter in her excitement. She wondered what she could possibly see with it being so dark outside. When she felt Charles sit down she opened her eyes to see small orbs of every color Sophie knew and more.”These are pixies. They live here. Don’t touch them ok?”

    “alright” Sophie said as she shifted herself so she was leaning back against Charles. He wrapped his arms around Sophies stomach while resting his head on her shoulder. He closed his eyes just enjoying it knowing Sophie wouldn’t notice he wasn’t looking at the creatures. She was completely captivated by how beautiful the pixies looked in the dark. Their colors shining brilliantly. “I wish there was some way to save this moment.” Sophie said then Charles answered softly “I know.” Squeezing Sophie just a little tighter. Just like he thought Sophie hadn’t noticed he wasn’t looking at the pixies.

    Hours passed without Charles even realizing. Sophie said “we should go back now. It’s so late” To Charles it hadn’t even felt like thirty minuets. He wanted to stay and keep holding Sophie like that but knew they should get some sleep. He headed back, not noticing Sophie fall asleep about halfway there. When the lights touched Sophies face and he noticed her sleeping he smiled lifting his arm so her head would get close enough to his face he could kiss her head “You can’t possibly know how glad I am you had such a good day Sophie.” Charles got to their room and carefully opened the door. He got in and laid her down under the covers. He took Sophies shoes off then his own before getting in.

    He wanted Sophie on his chest but doubted he could move her there without waking her up. Charles settled for pressing his forehead against the side of Sophies head giving her cheek a very long kiss. He then allowed himself to slip into a very blissful sleep laying as close to Sophie as possible. Sophie woke to sun beams warming her skin. She didn’t remember falling asleep on the way back but she knew she must have. She didn’t mind though, why taint a wonderful day like that with fighting Josep over Charlies shirt.

  • ~ Chapter 22 ~ 

    Sophie got up deciding to seize the opportunity to shower. She walked into the bathroom then got the water ready. She washed quickly hoping Charles would be awake soon. She stepped out and sighed when she realized she forgot to bring in something to change into. She peeked out the bathroom door to see Charles sleeping soundly. Sophie pushed open the bathroom door as gently as possible then tip toed to the bag they shared. She knelt down and pulled out clothes quickly. She slipped her pants on then tugged the shirt over her head. She laid there happy she avoided Charles seeing her naked again.

    Once Sophies heart slowed she pulled out her hairbrush to fix her hair. All the while listening to the sweet sound of birds chirping. Sophie couldn’t believe the day she had yesterday. It was so perfect. She decided to get them breakfast since Charles seemed to be out cold. She pulled her shoes on then walked out to find somthing tasty. Almost as soon as she was in the grass she heard Josep “hey Sophie!”

    “Yes?”

    “Where were you and Charles yesterday, I didn’t get to see you atall.”

    “Charles took me to see some pretty things some of the men from my village told him about.” Josep rolled his eyes “you stop that you ass! I don’t like you in the slightest anymore so go be a dick somewhere else” Josep looked shocked “Sweet little Sophie cusses? I’ll be damned. Why are you mad at me?”

    ‘You know good and damn well why. You took Charlies shirt. I know it was you because it’s pretty fucking odd that one disappeared.”

    “What does it matter? Why does he get everything? You are always with him so I think I can have a damn shirt that you cleaned yourself with.”

    “Dont say that so damn loudly” He grabbed Sophie by the wrist “fine then come talk to me in my room” He only pissed Sophie off more grabbing and pulling her like that. Mark saw and ran up “is everything ok Sophie?”

    “oh hey Mark” she jerked her wrist from Josep “everything fine. Dont worry about me.”

    “You sure Sophie?” Mark said giving Josep a mean look “it’s fine just go please”

    “yell for me if you need anything.”

    “I will” Sophie looked at josep “don’t ever grab me like that.”

    “well come to my room so nobody hears.”

    “fine” She followed Josep into his room. “Just give me the shirt please.”

    “No i will not.”

    “Fine then fight me for it.”

    “are you kidding me?”

    “I’m absolutely serious. We’ll have a magic duel.”

    “Sophie no.”

    “Give me the shirt or fight me for it.”

    “So if I duel you with magic and I win youll leave me alone about the shirt?”

    “Yes I will”

    “Fine you got yourself a deal.” Josep held his hand out to shake on it. “There’s an arena just for that. We will have to get a judge to use it.”

    “Fine by me” Josep told Sophie to follow and she did. He told a judge they wanted a duel but for it not to be announced to everybody. The judge agreed and walked with them to the arena for dueling with magic. Mark followed wondering what was up. When he saw Sophie and Josep enter the arena he got in the stands to watch. The judge spoke “Do not punch or kick one another. You must give me your sword Josep.” Josep handed it over “You may only attack with your magic. If you do anything else you will be declared the loser. Just to let you know Josep I think you’re a low life for fighting a child. You’re a grown man and I’m ashamed to see you still aren’t acting like it.” Josep didn’t say a word in response. The judge left to sit in his place to watch.

    “Sophie please don’t make me hurt you”

    “Shut up”

    “Begin!” the judged yelled. The judge felt bad for Sophie expecting this to be over quickly but was soon shocked at how well she was handling herself. So was Mark, he went to go get a few friends. Josep and Sophie fought and fought as more people gathered. Word got to Philip and he knew he had to tell Charles what was going on. Philip ran as fast as he could and banged on Charlies door. Charles woke startled, especially when he saw Sophie wasn’t there. He answered the door “what? wheres Sophie?”

    “Before I tell you I need you to know this fight is sanctioned so you can’t interfere.”

    “Fight?” Charles said with anger crawling into his tone. “Josep and Sophie are having a magic duel. I don’t know what over or why but they are fighting in the magic arena.” Charles grunted then threw his shoes on. He ran with Philip to the arena. Charles wanted to break Joseps neck. Charles and Philip sat down. Charles had his hands balled so tightly his nails threatened to draw blood as he saw Josep actually casting at Sophie. Charles was impressed at how well Sophie was dodging. Her spells seemed to be much more powerful than he knew them to be. He wondered about this until he heard a man in his thirties behind him whisper to a man who looked around the same age “you are going to get into so much trouble for lending that girl your power.”

    “Only if they catch me so shut up. I can’t just not help her. I can’t believe that asshole would challenge a child, a girl no less to a magic duel. If she wins its by her own accord. I’m simply leveling the playing field. When I first got here I couldn’t believe how well she was fighting and dodging. If she simply had the years he had on him she’d kick his ass with almost no effort. She deserves the boost in magic.” Charles smiled, he’d thank the man later. He didn’t want any attention drawn to him. He’d get kicked out if they caught him. Charles was glad something like that isn’t easily detectable.

    A couple people cringed as Josep landed a very cruel and intense bolt of electricity to Sophie slamming her to the ground. Sophie felt like screaming but held it in. She stood even though she was in tremendous pain. A few men in the crowd commented to eachother ‘Holy shit, I can’t believe she got up”

    “I know, that looked really bad”

    “That’s one tough girl” It took everything Charles had not to jump down there after that. He just gritted his teeth and kept his fists clenched. Josep didn’t think he could fight with her any longer. He was hoping if he actually landed a blow with all his power she’d give in but she didn’t. He knew she had too much will in her to stop fighting with him so he decided to get himself disqualified. He ran towards her, when he was close enough he moved like he was going to punch her. The judge screamed “You are out Josep! Don’t you dare strike that girl! Sophie wins” Charles was boiling. He may have not punched Sophie but just Joseps threat of it sent Charles into a deep rage.

    “Calm down Charles, it’s over. Sophie will be coming. You don’t want her to see you like this right?” Philip said hoping Charles didn’t run down there right now and kill Josep. Charles tried to breath, it was hard but he was forcing himself to find his calm. He would pulverize Josep when Sophie slept tonight. Sophie stood there for a moment and realized there were people watching. She had been so angry and concentrated she didn’t notice anybody until the judge made them stop fighting. She searched the crowd for Charles and could tell he was deeply upset when she spotted him. They asked for this to not be announced so she wondered why all these people had showed up.

  • ~ Chapter 23 ~ 

    Sophie ran out of the arena to get to Charles. She finally found him and hugged him tightly. She could feel his heart pound against his chest. Charles breathed Sophie in to help himself calm down. A healer walked over to them “Sophie, let me heal you. I know you must still ache badly from that jolt Josep gave you” Charles let her go, the Healer bent down grabbing Sophies shoulders. Sophie sighed in relief. She wasn’t aware of how much pain she was in until the man took it away. Her legs felt weak it was such a difference. Charles quickly cradled Sophie “Thank you sir’

    “You fought well, It was amazing honestly. You fought like a woman beyond your years Sophie. If your fathers here I know he’s proud.”

    “He’s not here but thank you.” The man smiled and walked away as Charles almost ran he was going so fast back to their room. Charles sat Sophie on the bed. His face was full of worry and concern over her. “I’m fine Charles, calm down.”

    “Why was that bastard fighting you?”

    “He’s just an ass Charles. I was trying to put him in his place.” Charles smiled at Sophie the best he could and said “You fought well. I was impressed. I bet you could’ve won if he didn’t get himself thrown out of the match.” Sophie smiled brightly then wrapped her arms around Charles to hug him again. A rage still boiled in Charles but he had it under control now. Most of the reason why he took her to the Inn was to make sure he didn’t see Josep walk by. “Could i gently rub you to help you relax?” Charles asked “I’d love it, thank you” Sophie took off her shoes then laid on her stomach on the bed. Charles knelt over her hips sliding his hands slowly into the back of Sophies shirt.

    This helped him too, any contact with Sophie was extremely calming. It soothed his soul to hear her sighs of comfort. He decided to be a little brave and ran his hands down both of her sides. Sophie blushed minimally. When she didn’t protest Charles breathed again. He held his breath afraid of upsetting her when he attempted that. Charles planned on doing this until Sophie asked him to stop. Quite a bit of time passed when Sophie said “If you don’t quit I’m going to fall asleep.” in a voice that told Charles she was very near it.

    “I don’t care if you do” Charles said happily. “I don’t want to sleep.” He took his hands out of her shirt “Ok.” Sophie sat up “Thank you very much”

    “anytime.”

    “Knowing you you’re starving. What would you like to eat?”

    “I’m good with anything.”

    “I really like that old lady”

    “Then lets go” They walked side by side. A few people stopped them to compliment Sophie on the fight. Charles wanted people to quit reminding him of it. Sophie and the old woman talked about it briefly but then Sophie started to brag about the wolf, Gunaxi and pixies she got to see the day before. She left out the Pegasus to make sure the beautiful creature got left alone. When they were done Sophie asked Charles ‘what’re you competing in today?”

    “I thought I’d show you some more things.”

    “There’s more!” Charles smile stretched as big as it could go with Sophies excitement. “Yes there is. I hate we’re getting such a late start because the thing I want to show you most is pretty far.”

    “when can we go?”

    “Are you ready now?”

    “Yes!” She said almost bouncing. The old woman laughed “You two have fun.”

    “Bye!” Sophie started walking with Charles away from the small town the competitions were held in. Charles led her down a path that was tunneled with trees. On either side was almost nothing but endless pink and yellow flowers. “The paths you take me on just to see these things are gorgeous. I dont see how you don’t get us lost.”

    “You seem to forget the memory I have.” Charles smiled “I guess I shouldn’t, there really isn’t anything about you that is not amazing.” Charles laughed “there’s plenty of things. Mainly the fact I’m such a hot head.”

    “You’re not that bad. People exaggerate I think.” Charles chuckled hoping Sophie never knew the extent of his temper. She was the only one who really hadn’t seen it since she always kept him so calm and happy. The only time Charles ever felt at peace was in Sophies company. Charles picked Sophie up when they were coming off of the path and she quickly closed her eyes. She felt them slide but Charles seemed calm so she guessed they were supposed to. She loved the smell of the earth as some dust came up from Charles sliding sideways down the side of the hill. Open your eyes Sophie.

    Sophie quickly opened her eyes and saw beautiful fox like creatures playing around a small pond. “They are so cute! What are they?” (picture below)

    “I don’t know, your father told me about them but didn’t have something to call them.” Charles put Sophie on her feet and she slowly approached one that was laying beside the water. It lifted his head and looked at Sophie. She sat and opened her arms hoping it would come to her. The fox stood and cautiously walked to Sophie. Charles hoped it wouldn’t change its mind and run. She looked so eager to touch it. It crawled into her lap and she hugged it gently then ran her hands along its soft fur. Its pelt was the softest thing she ever touched. “If I didn’t worry about you missing your family I’d want to take you home little guy. I hope you’re a guy and I haven’t offended you. If I did I’m so sorry miss.” Charles laughed on the inside as he smiled. Only Sophie would speak like that to animals. She spoke to every one she ever met that was friendly. She was frequently talking to animals when he’d come to find her at home.

    The crazy thing was it seemed like they understood eachother when she spoke to them. Charles knew it was impossible but it seemed like it. Sophie laid down and the fox settled itself on her. Two babies ran up and licked Sophies face causing her to laugh. It was just the comort Charles needed to let go of his anger. He now was fully at peace and just enjoying watching his Sophie. He let the melody of her laugh wrap around his heart.

    Charles shut his eyes and relaxed until he heard somthing move in the water. Sophie was startled at Charles suddenly running past her. She turned to see what the noise was and the beautiful fox creatures all ran in panic. (picture below)

    It was about to eat one of the small babies when Charles swung his blade seperating it’s torso from its legs. Yellow blood oozed from the creture as its corpse floated on the water. Charles pulled the baby out and handed it to Sophie. The foxes mother came running and Sophie sat the baby down. “You’re welcome” she told the fox as it ran away with its baby. Charles hugged her, she could tell he had been afraid when he saw that. “I don’t think you should sit that close to water that we’ve never been in.”

    “want to leave?”

    “Please” Charles picked Sophie up and ran back up the hill he came down. “maybe we should hangout in town. You’re a bit pale Charles”

    “I’ll be ok, just give me a second to breathe.” He sat down and held Sophie tightly until he was at ease again. “you ready to see somthing else with hopfully less excitement.” Sophie nodded giving him the warmest smile she had to help calm him down. Charles smiled back then let Sophie walk.

  • ~ Chapter 24 ~ 

    They walked while Sophie talked excitedly about the foxes. Charles thought it was funny how Sophie acted like seeing them was absolutely peaceful and a monster didn’t come out of the water. He finally asked “that thing didn’t scare you in the slightest?” Sophie looked confused for a moment then smiled “why would it when you’re with me?” Charles smiled. “I was just curious.” Charles walked her through many beautiful pieces of land and forest until another day was coming to an end. “it’ll be sun down soon Sophie, we should go back.”

    “aw alright” They started heading back to their room at the Inn. When the sun fell below the horizon Charles grabbed Sophies hand since he couldn’t see her well. As much as he didn’t want to he let it go,He released her hand when the lights of town allowed him to see clearly again. They went into their room and settled in for the night. “what’re we doing tomorrow?”

    “There’s a competition in the morning I want to do. There will be four tomorrow in total but after the first one we’ll just do what we feel like.”

    “Sounds good, how long have we been here?”

    “Tomorrow will be our seventh day”

    “wow so that means we’ll only be here tomorrow and the day after.”

    “Yeah, we’ll stay all day the day after tomorrow but we’ll have to leave at sun up the following day.”

    “Hopefully I’ll get all the way home without you being stuck carrying me”

    “I don’t mind Sophie.”

    “I know” When Sophie fell asleep he debated if he should confront Josep or not. He worried Sophie might get up and see them fighting. She’d give him that horrible disappointed look. The anger he felt watching them was rising again. All he could think about was Josep jolting Sophie and then having the audacity to attempt to punch her. He decided he better go talk to Josep tonight or he might lose it with him in a competition or worse start beating the man in front of Sophie. He waited an hour to make sure Sophie was fully out then he carefully moved her off of him. He put a pillow under her head and then tucked her in under the blanket.

    Charles checked the window to make sure it was locked before he left so nothing could crawl in and hurt Sophie. Once he was sure all was right and Sophie would be fine while he was gone he took one last look at her then left. He shut the door checking it twice to make sure it was locked then walked to Joseps room. He knocked gently hoping he’d answer. Charles didn’t want to disturb the people sleeping in the rooms beside him. Josep did answer, he hadn’t been sleeping. ‘Come in I guess, I figured you’d show your ugly face.” Charles stepped in then said “why were you and Sophie fighting?”

    “Why is it your business? You aren’t her father, brother or boyfriend.”

    “I’m her best friend and have been since we were kids. It is my damn business.”

    “You’re still a kid for four more years.”

    “You know what I mean you ass”

    “You know I’m really being nice to Sophie by not telling you. I’ll level with you kid if you promise to keep that head on straight.”

    “Stop calling me kid.”

    “Fine I’ll level with you Charles if you promise you wont attempt to beat me senseless.”

    “I’ll try not to” Josep laughed “good enough I guess, you see I stole your shirt. I crawled into your bedroom looking for a specific shirt. The best part is why. You sure you want to know? It’ll kill Sophie if she finds out you know.” Charles paused to think but decided it was fine for him to know because he’d never tell Sophie anything that would upset her. “Tell me” Josep chuckled “I only do this because Sophie technically won today and if I’m going to have to hand over the shirt It’ll give me a kick to tell you why.”

    “Just tell me”

    “Well it seems one morning when you left to get breakfast little miss Sophie was all hot and bothered if you know what I mean.” Josep winked then said “who knows, it may have been all the topless and sexy guys around these events but anyway she had to quell herself. When she was done relieving all that tension she used one of your shirts to clean herself up with. I was in stalker mode looking in your window that morning which is how I knew this happened. I decided I wanted such a thing. I teased the little thing about it and about killed her. She gave me a good slap for” Charles punched him interrupting his sentence. “You said!”

    “That was before I knew you watched Sophie” He couldn’t say it. Charles went into a full blush and Josep laughed “You two are too much”

    “Give me the god damned shirt before you can’t walk” Josep pulled himself up and grabbed the shirt out of his bathroom. When Charles had it he said “If I see you so much as looking at Sophie the next time I come at night I promise you will be as close to death as possible before I get off of you.” Josep laughed “You can’t control what I do.”

    “Fine, I’d love to kick your ass but Sophies here with me. You not listening to me tomorrow will give me plenty of reason not to control myself. Please, give me a reason.” Charles walked out and back to the room. He opened the door slowly and saw Sophie was still sleeping. He was still blushing. He couldn’t believe Sophie had done that. That subtle scent he was loving so much was her. Even in thought it was hard to complete. He put the shirt in the bottom of the bag before anything could happen to it. Charles was blood red thinking about Sophie pleasuring herself. Before he knew it he was hard. “shit” He said softly then ran to the bathroom. He finished himself as quickly as possible then crawled in bed with Sophie. He slept facing away from her just incase he had a sex dream because of this.

    He had managed not to so far but he wasn’t sure if they’d stay away now that he knew what Sophie had done with his shirt. He hated not to sleep near her while he had the chance but he’d never be able to forgive himself if Sophie woke with his manhood shoving itself into her side or somthing. Charles closed his eyes allowing sleep to take him. Just as he feared a very unwelcome sex dream crept into his mind.

    Charles was eating her like he needed to to live. Sophie moaned and gripped the bed as he held her still. He started kissing up her stomach then up her neck before thrusting into her. He nibbled and licked at her ear and shoulder as he slowly moved in and out of Sophie. When he was near finishing he whispered in her ear “I love you so much Sophie, I’d rather die if I couldn’t have you in my life.” In his dream Charles realized this wasn’t really happening, he was sleeping beside Sophie having a bad dream about her. He woke himself up. Charles sat up quickly in a panic. He looked over thanking god she wasn’t awake. He was rock hard and in immense pain. It had been awhile since his morning excitement had been painful but it was the worst it had ever been this morning. He ran to the shower like there was a wild beast after him. He turned on the water and jerked himself off to what he had dreamed.

    Charles turned the water off feeling terrible he had such a dream right beside Sophie. He could only imagine how upset she would’ve been if she woke up. Charles walked out and changed his clothes for the new day. He went out to grab breakfast. He wanted to give Sophie a kiss on the head but he couldn’t bring himself to. He really meant the things he was only brave enough to say in dreams. Sophie lit up his world, made him feel whole. If she ever decided not to talk to him any longer he knew he’d lose the will to live. The only time he was really happy was the time he spent with Sophie. That smile, that laugh, he just couldn’t imagine his world without her. There wasn’t a single thing he didn’t love about Sophie.

    He decided he wasn’t going to try any more this trip to tell her how he felt. The risk of her not even wanting to talk to him any more if she didn’t feel the same was too much. He needed Sophie any way he could have her. He got back to the room and set the food on the table. He was ready so didn’t need to wake Sophie until right before he had to go. She never took long to get ready. He just sat on the floor beside Sophie simply taking in her beauty while he could.

    Sophie woke about ten minuets later “morning Charles”

    “Morning Soph”

    “How long have you been up?”

    “Not very long” Charles said as he stood to bring over the food. He handed her some and they ate together. Sophie got out of bed and grabbed clothes. She was out and ready in no time. Like the other days Charles walked to her side and offered his hand. “I’m going to miss how well I sleep here” Charles smiled “I sleep pretty good here too” The next two days were uneventful. Josep kept his distance and Charles won nearly every competition he joined. They stayed up late the last night talking and laughing about their trip. So late that Charles just carried Sophie all the way home. He was glad they had done that so he could just enjoy these last few hours of Sophie only being his.

    When they arrived at Sophies door Charles hugged her goodbye. Sophie said “that was such an amazing trip Charles. Thank you so much for inviting me”

    “I’m glad you came, I think that’s the most fun we’ve ever had”

    “I agree” Sophie said smiling. “I’ll see you in the morning Sophie”

    “See you in the morning”

    ~ The End ~

Leave a Reply

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