Rowne 16

Chapter One

Rowne knocked on Dreas door as he did every morning he could to spend time with her. Today he had a date planned and hope she would be pleased. Her father Maximus answered and grunted angrily “you again”

“yes me again you prick, where’s your daughter?”

“Drea!” Maximus screamed overly lous. Drea almost fell down the stairs she beckoned so fast to his call. “Yes sir”

“You’re boyfriend is here” Drea smiled at Rowne then quickly pulled her shoes on. As soon as they were out Maximus slammed the door and Rowne pulled Drea into a kiss. They both smiled as theri lips parted. Rowne brushed some hair out of Dreas face “I wish you didn’t have to live with that man.” Drea looked down and away making Rowne notice some new bruise marks on her neck. He instantly filled with rage and went for her door but Drea held tight to his arm “please dont Rowne. Lets just have fun. You’ll only make it worse for me. Please”

Rowne sighed, knowing her words were true. As her father it was his right to punish her as he saw fit but Rowne knew she didn’t deserve this treatment atall and it killed him inside. He lifted his girlfriend into his arms and held her close as he walked away from the house. When they were in cover of the woods he sat down and hugged her. “I hate that man”

“I know baby, I only have to live with him seven more years”

“Thats seven years too many. You don’t deserve what he does ot you. You’re so wonderful and sweet and” His words halted when tears started falling from his eyes. “Oh Rowne, please don’t” He locked their lips, his tears hitting her face. “I love you very much and I will never touch you the way he does. I can’t wait until I can marry you and we can have our own family.”

“I get to name our first daughter Sophie right?” Rowne nodded with a smile “Yes, of course you do. You can name all our children if you want.”

“The only name I’m set on is Sophie” The tears dried up just as Drea hoped when she brought that up. “Have you thought about a boys name?”

“I like Bryan and Thaddeus”

“Well our first one can be Bryan while our second is Thaddeus”

“What if we have all girls?”

“Well then come up with more girls names” Drea giggled and Rowne kissed her lips again. “I love you, I dont know how you stay so happy with a father like him”

“Because I ahve you, I’ve always had you”

“That you have, I was so afraid to ask you out but I’m glad I did Drea. These past three years have been amazing.”

“They have, I think you’re the only man around that wants to wait until marriage for sex too.” Rowne chuckled “You are a woman worth waiting for. The village looks poorly on women who give it up before marriage and I want them all to have respect for you as you deserve. Me getting pleasure isn’t worth the possibility of you being looked down upon. Its silly anyway being that almost everyone did have sex before marriage.”

“You’re such a sweetheart Rowne”

“You deserve a prince so a prince I am” He said with his most charming smile. Drea completely melted then wrapped her arms around him to give him a passionate kiss. They kissed until Rowne got excited and pushed her away. Drea kissed his cheek and Rowne blushed “don’t be embaressed. You’ve gotten hard on me many times”

“It’s still embaressing” Rowne stood “I have plans for us today my love. Can I carry you through the trees?” Drea nodded happily and Rowne knelt down so Drea could climb on. He walked with her until they were at a dense part of forest. He climbed up then started to run with her. Drea laughed and held tight as the wind tussled her hair. She loved when he did this with her and he knew it which is why this was how they were starting their day.

When Rowne jumped down Drea slid off him laughing “thank you so much baby”

“I love doing it” He took her hand and guided her out of the village limits until they came upon a big body of crystal clear water. The top of the water shimmered as the sunlight ran across it. “I thought this would be a nice place to go swimming. Nobody should bother us here”

“I love how clear the water is. I’ve never seen water where you can plainly view the bottom”

“That’s because people aren’t around here to pollute it. There isn’t much that seem to live in it either. Just a few types of fish so there isn’t any demons mucking it up either.” Drea kissed his cheek and he grabbed her face “I think I deserve a better kiss than that.” He said in a very seductive voice. He drew her face into his. It was just a sweet, loving meeting of the lips that lingered for a long time until he said “lets jump in my gorgeous Drea” He took her hand and guided Drea into the surprisingly chilly water. Her skin now a blanket of goosebumps over her flesh and bones.Rowne had some too but not as bad as Drea since he had been trained to withstand cold. Rowne pulled her body against his and smiled as he looked deep into her light green eyes. It was the softest green he had ever seen. Her eyes had made green his favorite color.

Once he was pulled out of those amazing, green pools he began to tickle her. Drea thrashed around and tried to pull away but the arm he was holding her with was immovable. He finally stopped to let her breath. She bit his shoulder as payback making him laugh. Once she caught her breath he walked until the water would be about to her shoulders and set her down. “want to float?”

“Of course” They laid on their backs, side by side. Rowne grabbed Dreas hand so they couldn’t drift apart. They laid there like that, talking the day away. Before Rowne knew it the time came to take her home. He sighed and got out quickly. He knew if they were late she would pay a horrible price. He picked up Drea and ran as fast as he could back to the village. He dropped her off at her front door and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He watched her walk inside before heading home. “You were almost late” Dreas father Maximum growled from his chair. “we lost track of time sir but we were reminded of it in the nick of time”

“Good, for cutting it so close you’re not getting dinner. Girls should skip some meals anyway. Keeps you from getting fat. You’re chances of someone being fool enough to marry you are low enough anyway without you letting your figure go”

“But why should I pay when I made it home on time?” Maximus quickly stood, his eyes threatening and Drea took a step back “You want to say that again”

“No sir, I’m so sorry” She ran to her room while she could, praying her father wouldn’t follow. He sat down, glaring up the stairs. He hated the mouth Rowne had given her. Before they started dating it was always yes and no sir but now his little brat seemed to be developing a mouth. He couldnt’ wait until he found an opportunity to remove that pest from his life and get his submissive daughter back. Drea had lessons in the morning but couldn’t get to sleep. She was afraid her father might take her by surprise while she was resting. She could never fight back much but it seemed to be worse when he could get her offguard. She stayed awake, staring at her bedroom door for hours until she passed out. She was woken by her father jerking her out of bed and throwing her on the floor “you’ll be late you stupid worthless child! Get out of the god damn house!”

“Yes sir, sorry sir” Drea said not changing her clothes. She simply ran to her mentor. “are you sick Drea? You look pale and tired.”

“I’m ok, stayed up too late”

“another date with your boyfriend?”

“Yes” Drea smiled remembering yesterday. “why don’t we take it easy today. We can walk out to where nobody can see us and just relax. You are much more advanced than the other children your age anyway. You can definitely afford a day of rest.”

“Thank you so much, do you care if I get a little sleep?”

“Not at all” They walked out until Tresnia wasn’t visible and Drea laid down. She was sound asleep in moments. Her mentor Sulvy rubbed her hair. She knew what she went through with her father and knew how frightened she always was to sleep at home. It’s why when she saw Drea getting really beaten down with exhaustion she woudl let her have a day at rest so the girl could get some real sleep. She wished there was anything that could be done about Dreas father. Drea slept until a little after lunch and rubbed her eyes “Hungry?” Her teacher asked and Drea nodded “catch us a rabbit then cook it please”

“Yes mam”

“after that you are dismissed for the day” Drea nodded happily then went to search for a rabbit. Once she spotted one it was dead in an instant. She brought it back to her mentor triumphantly then prepared it for eating. They ate and talked about her mentors husband and Rowne. Sulvy hugged Drea “have a fun day with Rowne.”

“He has lessons, I can’t see him until later”

“Lets just see if that changes. Run along and I’ll go talk to his mentor”

“Really?”

“Really, go by the river. I’m going to tell him to send Rowne there” Drea hugged Sulvy again “thank you!”

Drea sat in the grass, searching for Rowne excitedly. Drea leapt to her feet when she saw Rowne running to her. He lifted Drea into a hug “I’m so glad lessons ended early for us both today. How are you gorgeous?”

“Amazing now that I have you. What should we do?”

“Go hide before your father finds some reason to separate us. We can talk and cuddle in our favorite tree.” Little did they know they climbed up the tree that would in the future be where his daughter and her son would claim as their favorite tree. Fate would be cruel to these two lovers and send them on separate paths with separate lovers. They talked and held eachother close, passing another day in total bliss. Rowne felt the normal weight be added to his heart as he saw it was time to take Drea home. He hopped down then had her jump into his arms. He carried Drea home and set her down in front of her door “I love you so deeply Drea.”

“I love you too Rowne” Drea kissed his cheek then sadly went inside. “Your mother is sick, make dinner”

“Yes sir” Drea nearly cried as she cut up carrots for soup. She knew her mother being sick was code for he beat her too badly to be able to come down and cook. “You’re going to get tears in the damn food Drea. Stop that whimpering right this second!”

“sorry sir” she said wishing she could stop at his command but him yelling made it worse. Next thing she knew her father jerked her back and punched her in the face then gave her a swift kick in the stomach “If you’re going to cry you may aswell have a reason to. I work hard for you bitches and shouldn’t have to deal with this shit. Your mother was all whiney about her fucking period, like I care about that shit so I gave her a reason to to lay up in that damn bed. Go to your room and I’ll manage dinner myself.” Drea got up as fast as she could and scrambled to her room. She shut the door and laid on her bed. She wanted to go comfort her mom and knew it would make Maximus angry. Drea cried herself to sleep. She woke in the morning to the sound of her front door slamming. She knew that slam, it was her father leaving. She quickly jumped out of bed and ran to her parents room. Her moms face was covered with bruises. Drea had started getting her period so could only imagine how miserable her mom was dealing with that and a beating.

“I’ll go to one of the healers mom and get you some pain medicine.”

“Your father wont pay for it”

“Rowne gives me money to spend on what I want. I’ll buy it mom”

“Oh sweetie, he buys that for you to get things for yourself. Don’t spend it on me”

“I want to mom please”

“Thank you sweetheart”

“It’s no problem. I’ll hurry so you can take it before he sees” Her mother looked like she was going to cry so Drea bolted for the door before she broke down. She felt worse for her mother than herself. She was stuck with Maximus forever while Rowne was going to take her away once she came of age. Divorced women were treated badly for ruining the sanctity of marriage and her mother cared too much about others opinions to leave her husband. It was somthing Drea understood and never blamed her mother for. Drea quickly bought the herbs then ran back to her mother. She poured her a glass of water then entered the room “here mom, I bought plenty so when you need some just get it out of our hiding spot ok? I’m leaving the extra there”

“You are such a wonderful daughter”

“I can only help because I have such a wonderful boyfriend”

“I didn’t know he was giving you money.”

“Yeah, when he realized dad never gives me anything he started giving me half of his allowance. His parents give him an allowance every week. I tried to refuse it but he wouldn’t stop insisting”

“I’m so glad you’re going to lead a happier life than me baby.”

“Hopefully dad will just get killed by somthing so you can be free”

“Drea! Dont say such things”

“I love you mom but thats how I feel. Hes a monster and I hate him.” Greta sighed :I guess I can’t blame you. He didn’t start hitting me until we were married or I wouldnt have married him. He was smart about it. I didn’t want to bring a child into our relationship. I love you so much but I hate you have to suffer like me” Greta began to cry so Drea climbed in the bed and cuddled her mother. She knew Rowne was waiting on her but also knew he would understand that her mother needed the comfort. When the herbs kicked in her mother fell asleep. Drea hid the herbs in their secret spot then ran to meet Rowne. She actually hoped she didn’t find him still standing by the apple tree nearest to Kevins house but sure enough he was. Drea ran to him and he said “your father keep you again?”

“No, My mom needed me. I’m sorry Rowne”

“Don’t be sorry, you’re never late without a good reason. Besides, if you dont comfort your mom nobody will.”

“Well, she’s in a lot of pain because its her time of the month. She’s tired and wants to rest…theres chores that need to be done so I really want to do them for her so he doesn’t beat her again. I’m so sorry you waited this long for nothing but I need to go home and do my moms chores for her” Rowne kissed her cheek where he saw Dreas light bruise “we can still be together, let me help you”

“But you’re a man and thats womans work”

“I dont believe in that term Drea. I’m coming to help you” Drea hugged Rowne again “thank you”

“anything for you. What stupid reason did he have for hurting you two this time?”

“Moms time of the month is really bad so he hit her for whining. I cried because he hurt her so he hit me too. He gets mad when we cry” Rowne groaned angrily. “I really wish I could teach that bastard a lesson. I would if he wouldnt punish you for it”

“I knwo you would Rowne. I love you”

“I love you too Drea. I just wish I didnt have to wait until you were twenty one to save you from him.” Drea squeezed his hand and smiled at him. It did little to quell his anger but he smiled back for Dreas sake. When they arrive at dreas they quickly got to work. With both of them working as fast as they could they finished about an hour before lunch. “You sit and I’ll make sandwhiches”

“I’d love that Rowne but dad is coming home for lunch. I can’t let him see you doing womans work” Rowne sighed “Ok” he said as he sat down. Drea made sandwhiches. She wanted to take one up to her mother but knew Maximus would get angry if she wasnt present for lunch. “will you help me get my mother too the table.” Rowne stood and followed Drea up the stairs. Drea shook her mother “I did your chores and made lunch. Dad will be here soon so you need to get up. Rowne and I will help you to the table mom” Rowne was just standing there horrified at the sight of Greta. He couldn’t believe that Maximus could be worse but he obviously beat his wife worse than his daughter. When Greta managed to push herself up Rowne helped her out of bed then told her to drape an arm around his shoulder. Drea went to get the other side but Rowne said ‘I have her honey, just go downstairs”

Rowne tried to keep his outrage contained. These women dealt with enough anger and didn’t need his too even though it wasn’t directed at them. They hadn’t been at the table long when Maximus walked in, tracking mud through their home. “why are you here?”

“I’ve spent the day with your daughter but I’ll go”

“Good, get lost” Rowne grabbed his sandwich and walked out as Maximums dropped down in a chair. “I thought I’d come home to find you had been lazy all day Greta. I’m glad you didn’t force me into teaching you how to behave again” Greta just nodded and ate even though her stomach was hurting. Time seemed to crawl as they waited for Maximus to leave again. He finally stood and kissed Greta cheek “I love you, goodbye. Goodbye to you too brat” Was all he said before walking out again. Greta stood and slowly walked back to her room. Drea went for their hiding spot and fetched more herbs for her mother. When Drea brought them and a milkshake upstairs her mother shook her head. “what will you do if you need pain medicine sweetheart”

“I don’t care about that mom. Please just take it. If I really need anything Rowne will get it for me”

“Thank you” Greta said as Drea handed her the cup and herbs. Drea loved how content her mother looked as she drank the shake “I’m going to go find Rowne again. I’ll clean up the mud and get going”

“Thank you for being such an amazing daughter”

“I really do love you mom”

“I love you too, I really am sorry you’re stuck with this life”

“Don’t worry about me, I have Rowne” Drea went downstairs and grabbed the mop. Once her fathers mud was cleared she left the house. Rowne suddenly jumped down form the roof startling her. He pulled Drea into his arms “sorry for scaring you. I just didn’t want to miss out on more time than I had to with you”

“I’m glad you waited here”

“Does your mom need anything else.”

“No, I gave her some more medicine so she’ll be ok”

“Atleast your father is kind enough to do that for her.”

“He isn’t, I bought some with the money you give me.” Rowne sighed “well then you obviously need more.” Rowne grabbed Dreas hand and went back in the house. They went in her room and he poured out his money bag “you’re taking it all and I wont hear no, understand?” Drea almost cried and hugged him “thank you”

“Giving you money is all I can really do right now so I’m happy to do it. I’m glad my parents give me such a nice allowance. Buy as much as you need for your mom. You should have plenty now” Drea nodded and Rowne kissed her “Lets go, we can play with my cat” They left Dreas house and walked to Rownes. His cat Jasper was laying on his bed napping. Rowne pet him and Jasper purred. Once Jasper noticed Drea he ran over to her and rubbed against her legs. Drea lifted the cat “it’s good to see you too” Rowne happily watched as his girlfriend played with Jasper. He had gotten the cat for her. She wanted one but her father refused so he got one so she could play with it. Rowne hated the sun when it was once again going down. “You ahve to go, I dont want you in trouble”

“Bye jasper” Drea said sadly then walked with Rowne to her house. He kissed her goodnight and they parted ways. Drea was especially sad tonight because she had a few days of training lined up and so did Rowne. Their teachers were nice enough to coordinate their schedules once they started dating. Rowne worried about drea since his training kept running late into the night so he wasn’t seeing her very much. He never knew what that monster was doing to her. It was like he would beat her for any reason he could fathom. It wasn’t fair, tonight he was having an especially hard time training. His mentor sighed “Worried about your girlfriend again?”

“Yes sir, I’m sorry”

“I understand, If I’m one of the respected elders when I age I will work to change the law that men can punish their wives and children how they wish. Men like Maximus take advantage of it. Greta and Drea don’t deserve one bit of what he does but until I’m an elder I cant do anything.”

“I just hate she is stuck their for seven more years”

“well you can spend the rest of her life making it up to her”

“I plan to” Talking about it helped Rowne finish up his training. He went home even though he wanted to check on Drea. He knew that if he stopped by her house at this hour she would get a beating. Nothing hurt him worse than when he caused Drea to get hurt. The last and only time he went to her house after curfew she got a pretty severe beating that left Rowne crying all that night and heartbroken for days afterward. He had just wanted to give her a present but her dad used it as a reason to hurt her. Rowne took his shoes off then pants before settling into bed. He planned on waking up early and writing Drea a poem. Rowne hoped he would wake early enough in the morning to write Drea a poem. He liked to give her poems when they were both too busy to be together so she would know how loved she was. He knew her father was always belittling her. Maximus wasn’t afraid to do it around him. He wished she knew how beautiful and amazing she truly was but her father made her unable to realize it.

Much to Rownes dissapoint me he hadn’t gotten up in time. He sighed, frustrated with himself then got ready to meet his mentor. Once he was set he had five minuets. He decided to work out what he could and finish it later. He filled his head with all the things he loved about her then suddenly his pen started flying. He got lost in his sweet words, hoping to make it so Drea could see the beauty in herself. He finished it then looked at the sun in horror, he was twenty minuets late and it would take him ten to reach his teacher. He hoped he wouldn’t get punished. Rowne decided since he would be scolded anyway he could drop this off to make Drea smile today. He ran to where Drea took her lessons and quickly kissed her cheek. He gave her the poem and without a word was gone. Sulvy shook her head “he’s really late”

“I know, I hope it’s not my fault. I don’t want him to be punished today”

“Can I read the poem he wrote you? He writes you the sweetest things” Drea blushed slightly and opened it to read it out loud. She couldn’t very well let Sulvy read it before she did.

Your beauty is like a sunset on the ocean shore
You’re everything I want and more
Your eyes twinkle like the stars in the midnight sky
Your presense makes me feel like I’m flying high
Your scent is like the sweetest rose
Your beauty runs from your head to your toes
Your beauty takes my breath away
Your voice is so sweet no matter what you say
Your beautiful face glistens and shines
Your beautiful soul makes me love that you’re mine

~Love Rowne, smile for me today sweetheart. My heart will be filled with joy if this poem gave you even a moment of happiness.

Dreas heart danced as her eys grew wet “that Rowne is such a sweetie” Sulvy said and Drea nodded then had to wipe away tears. Rowne made her life easy. Things had been almost unbearable until he asked her to be his. He was always finding some way to make her feel special even though she knew she wasn’t. She would save them with the rest of Rownes notes and letters. She saved them for when Maximus made her feel low. She would read his sweet words and whatever pain she felt would lighten and somtimes go away all together. Rowne was the greatest blessing of her life. She hoped she would never do anything to make him not love her any longer. She didn’t know what she would do if she stopped making him happy. One day she knew he was going to see what her father saw, a worthless waste of space. She would do anything she could to keep Rowne thinking she was wonderful.

They trained until lunch then Sulvy told gave Drea the rest of the day off so she could respond to Rownes poem. She hugged her mentor then ran home to eat and get to work on a response. She grabbed some cookies so she could hurry upstairs. To her horror she heard her father bark ” What the fucking hell are you doing eating cookies at lunch time! You need real food you cow! No wonder your figure is slipping” He took her cookies and threw them away. She kept quite and grabbed an apple before running away. Her mother looked sadly up the stairs then plastered on a smile so Maximus wouldn’t hit her. Drea ate her apple and scolded herself, she should have known her father would be home but in a way it was good that he was. She looked in her mirror and began to see herself as fat even though she was unhealthily skinny.

She threw away what was left of her apple, unable to eat any longer. She had to stay pretty for Rowne. There was a knock at the door and her father screamed that it was Paul. She sighed, preferring to write the poem but she ran down anyway. “I saw you come home. Want to hangout?”

“Sure” Drea pulled on her shoes and went out. Paul was her best friend but she really wanted to stay and write. She couldn’t tell him no though. Paul is who Maximus wanted her to date so she would get punished for telling him no. Paul and Drea just played around Tresnia until Drea heard Rowne call her name. Pauls happy expression instantly became sour as she ran to Rowne and leapt in his arms. It only worsened his mood when Drea kissed Rowne. He hated sharing her for the rest of the day. It seemed Rowne never gave them a moment alone. It was infuriating to hear Drea go on about how sweet Rownes poem was. He had to tolerate it though so that maybe one day he could have a chance to be more than her friend. She was the only girl in the village he wanted and he already had her fathers blessing.

The next morning Drea woke with the urge to throw up. She ran to the bathroom and emptied her stomach. She flushed then sat on the floor because her stomach still hurt. Her father opened the door a little while later and his expression turned angry “what the fuxk are you doing? You have lessons”

“I can’t go dad, I’m really sick”

“Nobody cares Drea. Gte off the god damn floor and get ready” Dreas body didn’t want to move but she forced herself up. She went to her room and threw up almost the second she was in there. Her father came in cursing and slammed her down into it. He kept picking her up only to slam her back down. Dreas cried and ended up puking again. He finally stopped and drug Drea by her hair to the shower. “Clean yourself up then go to lessons. I hope your teacher doesn’t go soft on you for being late” She heard Maximus screaming at her mother and the heard her mother run by the bathroom. Drea knew her father was probably commanding her to clean up the mess. “I’m sorry mom” Drea whispered then finshed cleaning herself. She got dressed and ran outside. Her ribs hurt from how hard her father was throwing her into the floor. She walked once she was out of the house, knowing her mentor would show mercy. Her mentor could tell Drea was ill once she came into view and ran over. Sulvy felt Dreas head “O my god, what’re you doing out of bed with a fever like that?”

“My dad made me”

“Thats god damn bastard. You’re coming to my house and you’re resting Drea. First we’ll stop by a healer so she can instruct me on how to tend to you. I’ll tell your father were going on an overnight trip so you can sleep tonight”

“Thank you mam”

“Don’t thank me Drea, this is just human decency. I dont know how he can be so cruel” Sulvy lifted Drea and walked her to healer Mindys house. Mindy felt her head and gasped “Her fevers getting to high. Get a cold rag ready while I make her somthing Sulvy.” Sulvy instantly obeyed and the healer began to mix things. “Can’t believe her father sent her out like this”

“You mean sperm donor. He’s no fucking father”

“Mind your tongue aroudn the child.” Sulvy put the rag on Dreas head while Mindy made her drink the tonic. In seconds Drea was sleeping. It scared Sulvy “is she ok?”

“Yes, I put somthing in there to make her sleep. She’ll need rest to get better”

“Can you watch her for a second while I go lie to her parents so I can keep her at my house?”

“Of course, I’m glad you’re doing that for her. She’s very ill and without proper rest this coudl turn more dire.” Sulvy nodded then ran out. Mindy rubbed Dreas forehead “Sulvy and I will make sure you get better. I’m sorry you were forced to come out so ill. Maximus truly doesn’t have a heart.” Sulvy came back a little while later with her brother Marcus. Sulvy wasn’t strong enough to trust herself toting Drea. Especially with her so ill.” Mindy already had the potions ready. “She cant take too much of this. Give her as much as she can stomach. The most important thing is to get her to eat. She’s ill due to malnurishment. She’s gotten Xulprinma.”

“Only old people get that”

“The youth can get it too if their bodies aren’t taken care of. She will die like our elders do if you dont get her fed and properly nursed through this. Keep her eating and drinking as much as you can. She wont want to but the tonics should soothe her enough so that she’s able”

“I understand”

Chapter Two

Once Drea was comfortable in Sulvys bed she asked her brother to sit with Drea while she went to go talk to Rownes mentor. Sulvy ran until she came upon the two. She instantly caught their attention and she explained how sick Drea was and asked if he could spare Rowne until she felt better. “Of course, Run along Rowne” Rowne and Sulvey went quickly back to Sulvys house. Once they were back Marcus went home but told his sister to send for him again if she needed help. Rowne sat on the edge of the bed and held Dreas hand. “she’s going to be ok though right? What did Mindy say?”

“All she needs is to be fed. Drea is very malnourished. Mindy says she will be fine if I can get her to eat”

“It’s not enough that he beats her, he has to starve her too” Rowne said near tears with his frustration. Sulvy rubbed Rowne back “be strong for her Rowne. If you promise not to tell on me I’m going to let you share this bed with her until she’s healthy. You’re a strong young man and she wont make you sick”

“Thank you Sulvy”

“You just help me make her eat. Drea would do anything in the world to please you Rowne. We talk about you all the time.”

“I’d do anything for her too. I’ll make sure she eats. Once she’s better I will keep making sure she’s eating”

“Good, also try not to wake her. She needs sleep”

“Will I hurt her if I hold her?”

“No, I was hoping you would come cuddle with her” Rowne smiled “Thanks Sulvy”

“Dreas a sweet girl who has been dealt a rotten hand in life. I would do anything for her just as you would. I’ll be in the living room. Get me when she’s up and I’ll cook her somthing”

“alright” Rowne snuggled up to Drea on the bed. He held her as close as he could. When Drea woke she still felt horribly nauseated. Her eyes lit up when she noticed Rowne “hey handsome” Drea said softly “hey beautiful, let me go get Sulvy” Rowne jumped up and came back with Dreas mentor. Sulvy handed her another bottle to drink. “I’m going to cook for you and you have to eat alright.”

“How can I eat like this?”

“That tonic will help settle you enough that you can manage it.” Drea sighed and Sulvy left the room.  Rowne wrapped his arms around Drea “Nothing would make me happier than to see you eat”

“If it’s for you I’ll eat”

“Thank you” Rowne said as he moved into a kiss. “why haven’t you been eating? Is your dad not letting you?” Drea laid back down and Rowne stroked her face. “Somtimes it’s my dad but..I just..Maximus says I’m fat. I want to be pretty so somtimes I don’t eat so I wont be so fat” Rowne grabbed Dreas face and made her look at him “You are not fat and you never have been. Your father is a cruel, horrible man and i don’t want you to ever listen to him. Everything he tells you you are is a lie Drea. You’re amazing and beautiful. Please, eat every meal. Hell eat anytime you’re hungry. Pleas don’t ever skip meals, especially because of me. I’ll always think you’re beautiful because I love you for more than just your body Drea. You are the most spectacular women I’ve ever met. Please, always eat and if your dad wont feed you tell me and I’ll make sure you eat.” Rowne kissed Drea “Promise me you wont listen to your fathers lies anymore Drea”

“I promise to try and I definitely wont skip meals any more.”

“Thank you baby. To get better you need to eat and sleep as much as you can. Promsie you’ll eat and sleep every second you can?”

“Promise” Drea said with a heartfelt smile. When Sulvy came back with the food Drea sat up and began to eat. Her stomach didn’t like it but she had to for Rowne. If eating was what made him happy she would gladly do it. She cleared her plate and Rowne hugged her “thank you” Sulvy smiled sadly “we need to get as much weight on you as possible before you’re home so I’ll be feeding you as much as you can stomach.”

“alright”

“Do you think you can get more sleep?”

“I can try, I’m pretty sure I could with Rowne here”

“Then I’ll give you two some privacy. Rowne, your mentor is lieing to your parents too and saying you’re going on a journey. Make up stuff to tell them when you go home.” Rowne nodded and thanked Sulvy again. Sulvy returned only to give Drea more tonic then left. Rowne laid down and drea settled on his chest. He slid his fingertips up and down her back and arms until she was sleeping soundly. Rowne prayed Drea would be ok. Mindy wouldn’t lie so he took comfort in the fact that if he just kept making her eat and sleep she would recover. He wished there was anyway to make sure she continued to eat right after this. He was disgusted her father had been telling Drea she was fat. Rowne had noticed how skinny Drea was but he never said anything because her self esteem was so easily wounded from the constant verbal pounding of her father. Rowne had been afraid of making her cry if he suggested she eat somthing.

Drea was still sleeping soundly when lunch arrived. Rowne was only resting his eyes when Sulvy came in so when she stepped in the room he opened them. Sulvy whispered “I’m going to make her somthing to eat. I’ll be back” Rowne nodded just enough for Sulvy to catch it. Rowne kissed Dreas head, glad she had rested so long. When Sulvy came back with grilled cheese Rowne gently shook her “Drea baby, wake up please” She sat up quickly and held her side “I know honey, drink this” Sulvy said setting the plate down and handing Drea another tonic. “My dad will know I didn’t leave if he receives a bill from Mindy.”

“I’m taking care of it Drea. As my pupil you are also my child. I want to take care of you” A few tears fell down Dreas cheeks “I dont deserve you two” Rowne hugged her “don’t say stuff like that. What you don’t deserve is how Maximus treats you.” Rowne held her a few more moments then insisted she eat. Drea didn’t know how she was expected to eat three grilled cheese sandwiches but she had promised Rowne. She ate them as quickly as possible then Sulvy went to fetch some apple juice for her. When Drea downed it Sulvy smiled “you’re already getting a little color back. Isn’t she Rowne?”

“You look radiant beautiful, keep this up and you’ll be good as new” Drea hugged Rowne “I love you so much”

They continued on like this until she was perfectly healthy. Drea was still a bit underweight but at this point it was nothing that eating steady meals wouldn’t fix. Sulvy let them stay two days after Drea was better then knew she had to return this poor little girl to her father. Rowne didn’t want to give her back. She had gained a lot of confidence over the time she had been sick and he knew it would probably only take one day at home for Maximus to rip her to shreds. He was terrified of giving her back but knew he had absolutely no choice in the matter. Sulvy walked Drea home and Maximus glared at his daughter “did she behave?”

“She was very good”

“Good, now get inside and make somthing to eat. Your stupid mother burnt dinner”

“Yes sir, bye Sulvy”

“Bye sweetheart” Sulvy said sadly. She almost couldn’t walk away but managed to make herself. Rowne was sitting in Sulvys room crying when she returned. Sulvy sat down beside Rowne and pulled him into her arms “She’s strong, everythings going to be ok”

“Nothings ok, how he treats her isn’t ok. She could have died from somthing young people dont even fucking get because he talks down to her and tries to make her feel as horrible as possible.” Rowne sobbed out. Sulvy held him until he was done crying. She spoke to him again now that she was sure he would hear her “All you can do is keep being the amazing boyfriend you are to her. When you two are adults you can save her.”

“Thats seven years away for Drea, She’s only fourteen.”

“I know baby, I’m going to go find your teacher so he can tell your parents you are home” Rowne nodded and Sulvy walked out. After dinner Maximus laid down by the fire. He told Drea to make him some hot chocolate and she obeyed like always. He had left mud all over the floor again which made things slippery. She tried to be careful but ended up falling and spilling hot chocolate all over her father. Drea instantly began to shake in fear as he quickly stood. He held her above the floor by her hair “you stupid fucking little bitch! Can’t you or your god damn mother go a day without pissing me off”

“I’m so sorry daddy, the mud” He punched her and allowed her small body to slam into their floor. He kicked her repeatedly. He kept going until Greta screamed for him to stop. He turned to her and grabbed her tightly by the wrist before punching her in the stomach and face a few times. He then went back to Drea who was holding her stomach and crying. He pushed Drea on her back with his foot then knelt over her. He pounded her face until he knew he had to stop so he wouldn’t kill her. He grabbed her hair again and drug her up the stairs. He lifted her up and dropped her on the bed as she cried. When he went back down stairs he heard her father yelling then the yelps of her mother. “I’m sorry mom” she whispered like always. Drea pissed him off more often than Greta did but it seemed her mother always bore most of the brunt of his abuse.

She was grateful their were no lessons today because Drea couldn’t move her body. She didn’t stir until her father screamed up the stairs that Rowne was there. She almost couldn’t force it but managed for him. She wouldn’t disspaoint Rowne like she had her father. She hobbled down the stairs and saw Rownes eyes widen. She didn’t know what she looked like but it was obviously bad. Rown ebegan to shake a little as he tried not to scream at her father. When the door was slammed behind them Rowne lifted Drea into his arms and ran. He kept running, wanting to be as far away as he could get from that demon of a man.

He sat down with Drea, cradling her in his lap as he sobbed. Drea shushed him and ran her fingers through his hari and across his arms. “You’ve only been home one night Drea”

“I spilled hot chococlate on him.”

“So, accidents fucking happen”

“Shhh baby, it’s going to be alright”

“It’s not, it wont be, what he’s doing is not ok.”

“I didn’t mean it like that” Drea decided her words weren’t going to help so just allowed him to get his tears out. Once he coudl stop he locked their lips. They got so lost in it neither were sure how long it lasted when they both pulled away. “I love you baby. I hope I don’t look too ugly right now”

“You could never appear ugly to my eyes Drea. I wish you could understand that”

Rowne spent the day making Drea laugh as much as he could. He wanted to make her as happy as possible so she’d have a little armor tonight when she went home. The only thing that forced Rowne to take Drea anywhere near her home was that fact that if she was late her father would hunt her down and deliver another beating. Rowne kissed Drea “I love you so much. Do you know how beautiful and amazing you are?” Drea smiled and kissed him again then nodded. “Be careful tonight sweetheart.”

“I’ll try” When Drea was inside he couldn’t move. Rowne just stood there crying. Late in the night Maximus came out and snapped “what the fuck are you doing out here!?”

“You have to stop beating Drea” Tears and rage in were in Rownes eyes as the two men stood before eachother. “I don’t have to stop anything Rowne. As the man of my household I can punish my daughter as I see fit. Any adult or elder would tell you that. If I want to strip her naked, pour water on her and beat her with a whip it’s my right as her father. She’s lucky I dont do that to her since she deserves it. You make her act like a little boy Rowne. It’s disgraceful! She needs to be a lady and I will teach her to be. I’m tired of your shit and filling her head with nonsense. She never once stood up to me before you and it ends Rowne. Right now you hold Dreas future in your hands. If you choose to remain her boyfriend I will beat her as long as her little body can take it without dieing every night for the rest of her life. She will deserved to be punished if shes stupid enough to be your girl. All you have to do is break up with her tomorrow and I swear I’ll never beat her again. I will still give her a good slap when she needs it but i wont beat her anymore. You can’t be her friend either until she has a new boyfriend you understand? So whats it going to be Rowne? You going to have me beating her as close to death as I can get her every night or will you walk away and I’ll never do it again”

Rowne stood there with his mouth gaping open. The angry tears now turned to those of sorrow. Rowne hung his head “You really wont hurt her anymore if I quit being her boyfriend?”

“Yes, this is a one time offer and if I see you two paling around before she’s taken by another man its off and I just may beat her until she dies. I will go unpunished since I gave her life, I’m allowed to take it away.”

“How can you be such a monster?”

“She’s just a woman Rowne”

“You’re a monster”

“Think what you will Rowne, do we have a deal?”

“Yes”

“Good, I expect you to break up with her tomorrow. If she’s still with you by dinner time I will beat her right then and there.” Rowne ran, he didn’t know where he was running but he ran until his legs agve out. Rowne laid in the dirt, his anguish being released in loud wails. His heart crumbled in his chest and he felt sick to his stomach. He lived for Drea, breathed for her but this was the only was to ensure that bastard would quit beating her. He could save her from it and if she wasn’t engaged by the time they were adults he could still marry her. His mind raced through so many worries, of how she would take this, if she would hate him. He also worried she may find another love before he could be with her again. He only wanted her happiness but she was the only way for him to truly be happy. Drea was too wonderful to not be snatched up in seven years so he knew Maximus had just ensured he wouldn’t get to marry the girl that made his heart beat. He could feel it slowing as he laid in the dirt. He ended up falling asleep in the woods from his anguish.

He woke up in the morning feeling empty. The only thing that told Rowne he was living was the fact his blood still pumped in his veins. It had taken on a new rhythm though. It went from happy and in rejoicing love to what he thought the undeads blood must flow like. Rowne stood, knowing Drea would be meeting him at their favorite tree. He walked hunched over towards where she was. Drea worried when she saw Rownes stance and ran to him. “are you ok? You look like you’ve been out all night” Drea said as she embraced Rowne. Rowne grabbed her hips and pushed her gently away. “Rowne?” Her tone got even more worried. They stood there in silence. The words Rowne was being forced to say he coudlnt’ make pass his lips, he would be saving her this way but hurting her again. He knew he had to do this, he couldn’t bare the burden of being the reason Drea got beaten every single night to the brink of death. He coudln’t be that selfish and remain her boyfriend.

He tried to speak but choked on the words. Drea went to embrace him again but he lifted a hand. He channled into his anger at Maximus. It was the only way to actually go through with this. He finally looked up, his eyes cold as he pushed out and locked away his feelings. “I don’t want to be your boyfriend any longer Drea. I’m done” The horror and pain in her eyes was almost too much to bare. “what did I do! O my god no Rowne! What did I do! I’ll change! I’ll do anything! Don’t leave me” Rowne turned to walk away and Drea fell to the ground, grabbing his ankles. “Please Rowne no, please” He lifted her off the ground and stood her up. The tears tried to escape but he managed to hold them at bay and keep his face emotionless “I’m sorry Drea, I don’t want anything to do with you. Maybe we can be friends once you have a boyfriend” Drea was sobbing as she spoke. Rowne couldn’t undertsand a word at this point “Bye Drea” was all he said then ran, knowing she couldn’t keep up.

Drea sat there in shock. She sat on the ground, hugging her knees and cried until her friend Mizano came over “What’s going on Drea?” She asked as she rubbed Dreas back. “Rowne broke up with me” Mizano couldn’t believe her ears. She hugged Drea “There’s more boys. He’s dumb for leaving you” Drea cried harder until she finally said “I’m dumb…I’m dumb for thinking I could ever keep a boy like Rowne”

“Don’t say that”

“It’s true, my dad is absolutely right…I’m just a nuisance” Drea ran home and straight to her room. She slammed the door then jumped in her bed. She was hyper ventilating she was so upset. Her whole world was falling apart. She didn’t know how she was going to handle living with her father without Rownes comfort and help. Her tears got a second wind and she began to sob again until terror stopped the tears in their tracks as her father swung open her door. “Shut your god damn mouth! I’m trying to sleep you annoying piece of shit! Why the hell are you blubbering?”

“Rowne left me, I’ll be quiet. I’m sorry”

“You better be sorry. I will not have you crying over that loser. Get out of that damn bed and make yourself beautiful. Once you’re presentable go hangout with Paul” He slammed the door without a response. Drea was just grateful she hadn’t gotten hurt by her father since he normally hit her when she cried. She got up before he changed his mind. She went to her dresser and almost grabbed a new pair of jeans and a tshirt but she sighed “Maybe Rowne would have stayed if I were more like a girl…maybe my father has been right about everything” With that thought she went into her closet and grabbed a dress. She walked into the bathroom and showered. Once she was out she put her underwear on then her dress. She sighed as she brushed her hair. Once her hair was in a side french braid she opened the make up her father bought her on her twelfth birthday. He had told her that she was becoming a woman and needed to start trying to find a husband. He didn’t think she coudl without painting her face. Drea put on eye shadow that matched her dress then a light shade of lipgloss. She looked at herself sadly, wishing she had listened to her father sooner. Rowne had obviously been lieing about the fact she had natural beauty. She hated herself for being such a fool. She knew she would never have a greater loss in her life than today when she lost Rowne.

When Drea walked out she jumped because her father was standing there. He smiled which was somthing Drea rarely saw. “There, glad you’re being more mindful of your father. Hurry up and present yourself to Paul. He’s the only other fool who would marry trash like you” Drea nodded then ran downstairs to put on sandals. She walked out and quickly made it to Pauls house. She knocked on the door and his mother Penelope answered “Wow, don’t you look extra stunning today. What’s wrong though? Your face looks sad.”

“Rowne broke up with me. I was hoping I could hangout with Paul today.”

“He’s still sleeping but go wake him. He would love to be woken by you. Especially all dolled up like this. You are always beautiful but wow Drea”

“Thank you mam” Drea said as she walked inside and up the stairs. Drea pushed open Pauls door and found him sleeping only half covered. He wasn’t wearing anything but his boxers which made Drea blush. She walked over and set her hand on his chest. He grabbed it instantly and sat up. It scared Drea, especially when he just stared at her without saying anything. Paul was just trying to figure out if this was a dream. Drea cleared her throat “Paul? You ok?”

“Yeah, I’m sorry” He said in a hushed tone. “Good, sorry I just came in here. Your mom told me to”

“Don’t be sorry. I’m always happy for you to come in my room. Why are you so dressed up today?”

“I’m going to try and be more girly, do you like it?”

“I love it. You look really beautiful”

“Thank you”

“What did you want to do?” Drea almost answered but then remembered her father telling her men dont like women with opinions so she shrugged. She hoped if Rowne saw or heard of her acting how a woman should he would come back. Paul stood and walked over to his dresser. He pulled on his pants then slid a shirt over his head. “well if you don’t know I would love to take a walk with you”

“a walk sounds wonderful” Dreas voice cracked and Pauls happy face turned sad “what’s wrong Drea?”

“Rowne left me” She said and began to cry. It would mess up her makeup but she couldn’t stop herself. Paul pulled her into a tight hug “I’m sorry Drea” He lied even though it had instantly excited him. He finally had a chance with her. He could comfort her, make her feel better than finally date her. When she quit crying she had gotten makeup all over Pauls shirt “I’m sorry” She said wiping her face “My mom can clean it. Go ask her to help you fix your face and I’ll change my shirt.” Drea nodded then did as she was told. She found Penelope in the kitchen “would you help me with my face?”

“Of course baby, follow me” They went into the bathroom. Penelope first cleaned off Dreas face then reapplied make up. “There, just as you were before”

“Thank you”

“No problem” When they walked out Paul was waiting “You ready to walk or woudl you like me to hold you?”

“walk”

“Then we will go on a walk” Rowne laid on the ground in the woods all day and well through nightfall. He didn’t eat or sleep. He didn’t even think to with how much what was left of his heart ached. Seeing Drea cry had been even harder than he imagined. He hated causing her tears but he woudl save her so much pain this way. Finally Rownes mentor found him “what’re you doing child. Your mother is worried sick. It’s three am and she hasn’t slept atall” Rowne looked up at Hault with empty eyes. “are you ok boy?”

“Maximus made me leave Drea” Rowne could barely speak. “fucking christ, god fucking christ are you kidding me?”

“why would I joke about somthing so horrible?” Hault lifted Rowne off the ground. “you can always go after her again when she’s a woman and not living under her fatehrs rule.”

“I truly hope so…I’m just worried….seven years…..she may not even forgive me..”

“She’ll understand”

“How am I supposed to live seven years without holding or kissing my world….she’s my very heart beat….I’m afraid it’s going to stop without her love”

“Just be strong Rowne. You can still be her friend right?”

“He said I couldn’t until she had a boyfriend” Hualt rolled his eyes “the mother fucking bastard. You do need to go home, your mother is worried sick” Rowne nodded and walked to his house. When he entered his mother swooped him into a hug. She noticed how broken Rowne looked and she asked what was wrong but he couldn’t bare to say it again right now. All that came out was a stream of tears. His mother just stood there and hugged him. “Shhh, you don’t have to talk about it tonight. We will discuss it when you’re ready” Rowne nodded and clung to his mother. His father came in angry but Lisa glared at him and he kept his mouth shut. He was glad he did when he heard his son crying. Mark wasn’t good with emotions so he just walked upstairs and left it to his wife.

Rowne broke his mothers heart as he stayed in a zombie like state. Rowne had absolutely no life in him as days turned to weeks. Instead of getting better he was actually seeming to get worse. One day when he was walking home from lessons Patrick ran up to Rowne. “hey buddy, how’re you?” Rowne looked at Patrick, his eyes drenched with his despair. “woah…sorry I asked…anyway, I just thought you should know Dreas got a new boyfriend.”

“Who?”

“Paul” Rowne sighed. Atleast now he could be around her but he hated it was Paul. Paul was about the worst boyfriend Drea could have chosen. Rowne knew Paul wouldn’t treat her with the respect she deserved. Still, some color came back to his face as he started to search the village for them. He found them by the river, Paul had a firm grasp on Dreas hand. He smiled at how stunning she looked but was further baffled by the fact Drea was wearing make up and a dress. Drea saw Rowne out of the corner of her eye and lifted her head to look at him. Her emotions mixed inside of her. She was happy he would be in her presence again but it was still painful to look at the man she loved so dearly. Paul contained a groan when Rowne came over but managed because Drea was his now and there was no way he would lose her to him. He could tell Rowne was interested in being Dreas friend again but since he was the one to break up with her he wasn’t afraid.

They all talked until it was just the three of them. A little while later Pauls dad hollered for him so Paul ran “Bye Drea, Love you!” Drea gave him a smile. Paul was a little hurt she didn’t say I love you too but didn’t have any time to dwell on it. Drea had wanted to say it but she still didn’t mean those words. Rowne standing there made it impossible for Drea to lie. Rowne nervously asked “I know I was an ass but I was hoping that maybe you would forgive me and let me be your friend. I understand if you dont want that.”

“Are you kidding? I’m really glad you have changed your mind. It would be wonderful for us to be friends.” Rowne smiled then told her goodbye. It would be hard to get used to being around her as only friends so at first he would need to be with Drea in small doses so he wouldn’t ruin everything. If Dreas father killed her because of him he doubted he could ever recover. Dreas life was precious and now she could live it without being beaten by her monster of a father. He hated she didn’t know his true reason for leaving her but he knew if he told she would insist on them getting back together and them great harm would befall her. Out of love, he would do this. He would live with the torture of longing for a woman he couldn’t kiss and probably would never have again. He had hope that maybe he could be with her when she was an adult but Rowne knew Paul would cling to Drea for dear life. Rowne had always known Pauls feelings for Drea but he didn’t mind them since he knew Drea was a faithful girl.

Once he was out of her earshot Rowne whispered “I will always love you Drea. No matter what you will always hold a place in my heart. Even if I love again, you will always be my greatest love.”

~ The End

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