Hello everyone! Here is my submission of fanfiction; rated M for mature audiences (you've been warned)
For the source of the story please go here:
It's hard to explain my feelings toward war. I believe that it's necessary for some issues that cannot be solved with words. I do believe though, that war is wrong if you don't know which side you belong on. I was wrong. I had been wrong for so long that I had forgotten I could be right. That's why I left the wrong side. My name is Riven, the exiled.
The night I left Noxus, the war raged on. Ionia was in shambles, due to the destruction cause by Noxian soldiers, but that wasn't the worst. It was when I saw Singed use his chemical warfare on all suspecting people, even Noxians. I saw my friends gasping for breath in the midst of chaos, these were the warriors I stood by as we trained together, hoping that this war would be one of our last. I used to run into to battle without fear, not even the fear of losing my life. That all changed when the poison seeped into the clothes of my colleagues.
I began running then. I ran as far as I could from the war, the screams, the stares, I ran from everything. My lungs screamed at me to stop, to breathe, but I couldn't. If I stopped they would find me. Katarina, Singed, Darius, all of them. I couldn't stop running. Eventually I did from exhaustion, the Ionian forest floor welcomed me as I collapsed on the ground.
Now here I lay, my sword in hand. It never used to weigh me down. It was my sword. The blade was made for me by the sorcerers and armorers of Noxus, but now that I don't belong to Noxus, I guess it doesn't belong to me. The emerald runic symbols brightened like the stars on the night's sky. I traced their symbols like I had every night, but it felt different now. I began to smell the chemicals from Singed's poison and soon I found the blade revolting. Standing up I found the nearest rock, and with all my strength, swung the sword down on it. The blade didn't break, so I swung again, and again, and again. Red filled my eyes as I felt the anger that I had towards the nation I had so strongly protected. The adrenaline that filled me during battle was now here as I battled the rock of Noxus. Soon the blade gave way and shattered into fragments. All that was left was a third of the sword that it had been in it's glory. I sat and looked at the broken sword and my tears came. I wept for the loss of my place in the world, I wept for my fallen comrades, and lastly I wept for the fall of my beloved country. I wept until I passed out again.
When I woke up I realized that this was the longest I had ever stayed in Ionia. The forest of the Ionia was also the only one I had truly felt peaceful in. I tried to stand, but soon realized that was a difficult task. A sharp pain shot up my right leg and I stumbled. I grabbed the nearest tree for support and looked down. My armor had been cut and a wound was beginning to fester and ooze on my thigh. Singed's chemical warfare must have infected the wound. Looking for shelter, I began to stagger my way through the forest. If I was to treat the wound, I would have to find a place to remove my armor. Even though the Ionia forest was peaceful, I wasn't a fool, and I knew I wasn't safe in uncharted territory.
I continued to search and soon I came across a small pond. The moonlight reflected so delicately in the pond and I couldn't help but smile. Noxian skies were full of smoke or cannon fire which caused the moon only to show on nights where the army was away. At the pond I began to remove my armor. I stripped down to my cloth armor. I unhooked the belt that was around my waist and used it as a tourniquet on my leg. Using my broken blade, I tore up pieces of cloth from my tunic to dress the wound. I reached over and dipped some cloth bandages into the water. Using the bandages, I cleaned the wound with the water, hoping the wound wasn't too badly infected. I didn't know the most about caring for wounds, but I did know the basics.
"Riven?" A voice said behind me. I instinctively reached for my sword and held it up at the intruder. I couldn't see past the ring of trees. The moonlight only aided me in seeing the pond.
"Show yourself." I said calmly. I couldn't do much fighting with the wound, I suffered, but I wouldn't go down without a fight.
Out of the woods, stepped Talon. He was hooded as usual, but he looked unarmed, or so it appeared. He was known for assassinating enemies quickly, without being suspected. While I knew we were comrades, my self-exile wouldn't have gone without notice in the Noxian army.
"Riven, what are you doing?" He asked stepping towards me.
"What does it look like?" I asked sarcastically holding my blade. Talon smirked at me and walked towards me.
"It looks like you ran away." Talon hit the blade from my hands and the sword went toppling to the ground. My already guilt-ridden mind worsened. I didn't realize how weak I had become until that moment. He then began working on moving me away from the pond. "We thought you were dead." I heard the tint of relief in Talon's voice, but it was gone quickly.
"I might as well be." I said. He picked me up and placed me by the tree on the edge of the pond. "Are you going to take me back to camp?" I asked. I hung my head and looked at my battered palms. I knew what waited at me for back at camp, a death sentence. Noxus didn't accept any form of treason, not even from their most valiant fighters.
"No," he said. I looked up at him. His eyes were settled on mine from under his hood. "You had your reasons for running."
"Noxus doesn't keep traitors." I said.
"That's true." He said.
"Then why protect me?" I asked.
"Because I don't serve Noxus." He said. He flipped his hood up and his long black hair cascaded down his back. His eyes were dark and didn't break eye contact with mine. The pain in my leg didn't disappear though, it only increased. I let out a shaky breath and Talon looked away from me. He opened his side satchel and brought out a vial. He held my calf steady before he poured the vial on the wound on my thigh. My wound burned and I screamed out. I knew it was beneficial toward my leg health, but it didn't disregard the fact that it felt like the poison in my leg intensified by a million. Talon moved quickly and silenced my screaming by placing his hand on my mouth. "Shhh... shh..." He said soothingly. Soon the burning sensation lessened.
"Why are you helping me?" I asked. Talon and I had never been close. He had been a handpicked boy from the sewers to serve the Du Couteau family. I had known him from the High Command military. He was also the right-hand man to Katarina, so he never fought with me either. We had talked a few times, he seemed to be a worthy adversary of Noxus.
"It's not like you haven't saved me on more than one occasion." He said as he wrapped my wound. "I'm just returning the favor." He tied the bandages and stood up. I looked up at him questioningly and nodded.
"Thank you." I said. He turned and it seemed he was going to leave. Then he turned back to look at me.
"Where will you be going?" He asked.
"I don't know." I said. Talon nodded again.
"What do you want?"
"I just don't want this to be the last time we see each other." He said looking at me again. "You're a great fighter."
"You want something." I said again. Talon couldn't hide the smirk, even if he wanted to.
"I want you." I was skeptical then. Everyone knew that Katarina had a thing with Talon, it was the most known secret in Noxus. "Not like that, or maybe, if you're interested." I rolled my eyes. He walked over and leaned really close to my face again. "There's a revolution in the making." He whispered. I gave him a look again.
"A revolution?" I asked. He raised his eyebrow.
"Of course, there has to be a reason you ran." He said. I thought about it for a minute and there was. Noxus was falling. A place once made for deadly warriors, was now a place for chaos. "When the time comes, I want you to be apart of it."
"And your precious Du Couteau's are okay with this?" I asked.
"It was Kataraina who told me about the plan." That was surprising. Katarina was the most faithful member of Noxus. Her father practically ran the place. "Not that she would betray Noxus, but she is planning to betray those who are corrupting the nation." He said.
"And whom is this that you're talking about?" The pain from my wound had begun to subside completely and I was beginning to feel exhausted.
"Swain, Darius, all those guys in charge of the armies." He said. "Look," He pulled out a green crystal. "I want you next to me when it all comes crashing down." I took the crystal from his hands and felt around its edges.
"What is it?" I asked.
"When you need it, you'll know." He said. "Are you with me?" I looked into his eyes. I bit my lip and looked down at the crystal again. I flipped it over in my hand and admired it. It reminded me of the green that glowed from the runic inscriptions on my sword. "Riven," Talon said softly. I nodded then.
"Yes," I said confidently. "I'll help you." Talon gave a small smile.
"Good," He said standing up. He held out his hand and I grabbed it. Suddenly I was full of energy, I felt rested, ready to fight. Then I was covered in black leather. A black helmet rested on top of my head and gold reflected from my new leather gloves and a gold embellishment on my chest. I gasped and looked up at Talon. His face was completely covered by a black mask that was also covered with gold. He picked up the green crystal from my palm and placed it in the center of my helmet. I heard a whirring from my left and I turned and saw my blade transformed. It resembled something from Piltover, gun and blade in one.
"You're apart of the Crimson Elite now, Riven." Talon said. Removing the crystal from the top of his helmet and mine, we returned to our normal attire, and my blade returned to its broken resemblance. "We'll see each other soon, and then we'll talk further." Talon said and he grabbed my shoulder, and then was running past me. I watched him leave as he pulled up his hood and disappeared into the trees. I stood there, holding the green crystal in my hands. I continued to flip it over until I placed it into the small satchel on belt. I looked over to the scattered remnants of my armor and decided it would be best if I didn't put it back on again, I would be too easily recognized. I kicked each pieces into the pond and watched it float to the bottom. I picked up my broken blade and with some irony realized that it resembled me too much. Broken. Looking up to the place where Talon left, I also had another thought. Maybe I'm not broken, maybe I'm just in pieces. Then the blade glowed and the pieces forged together. "No more looking back." I said outloud. Looking at the last piece of my armor drowning into the pond, I walked off into the forest, looking forward to starting anew.
Where do I begin? Over the past few months I have been on the run. I began my new journey as an exiled-Noxian by staying in Ionia, which is known for peace, but apparently because of the war, all unknown members are thrown out. Even those who are suspected of treason, like a man I know, who is called Yasuo. Apparently during the war he was to protect an elder and he slipped away to help the fleet. I, unfortunately, slipped in and killed the elder in the beginning of the war. He is now being blamed for the murder, I committed. Ionia has no idea of my involvement since, because of my stealthy ways. I also have been undetected in the nation ever since I ditched my Noxian attire.
I now live in the Freljord, in a secluded village. It seems wherever I go there is war occurring. The two queens have annihilated any ties between each other, which has put the entire Freljord in jeopardy. Queen Ashe seems nice enough, while Sejuani is more of a dictator with a Noxus-like attitude. Ashe has let me live in a remote village on the outskirts of the main village, which I'm perfectly content with. While the climate is less than desirable, the people are very welcoming and enjoyable. I have refrained from battle while I wait for Talon to tell me where the battle is to be had. The village is very informed of the outside world, so if a civil war was to break out, I would be able to know.
The other members of the village have brought me into their hunting group. On the outskirts we hunt for anything we can really find. Elk and deer have been the main meat for our village, and the occasional frost berries. Surprisingly with the help of Demacian forces, the villages have been able to adapt to farming in these icy mountains. The cozy village has become a true home to me. No fighting, or corruption, it is filled with just simple people who have simple needs. It's all I've ever wanted.
I walk towards my hut and greet my neighbors as I walk. It's smaller than the other homes, but that's because of my little family of one. It's made of brick and only has one story, two rooms and a bathroom. I walk into the cozy place, brushing off the snow from my winter coat. Inside there is a fireplace, a couch, and a small kitchen set to the side, equipped with a fridge and oven, and a few cabinets. The small room to the side is my bedroom, which has a bed, a chest, and dresser. Inside the chest are various items, mainly my hunting gear, but underneath in a secret compartment lays the crystal and my broken blade. While the villagers accept me and treat me kindly enough, they don't know my Noxian past. They wouldn't understand, and I wouldn't expect them too. I believe that what they don't know won't hurt them.
Once I'm inside, I start a fire and start a pot of boiling water, and combine the herbs I gathered from Mrs. Ravonski into a small mug. Pouring myself an herbal drink, I sit down on the couch made from rabbit skin, and sip carefully. I begin to slowly reflect on my past and can't help, but feel my guilty conscience come back to me. Truly, I'm not accepted anywhere. I can't help, but know that no matter where I run, I will always be haunted by my past. The chemicals. The burning. The screaming. I couldn't forget that either. I could never forget that. Their screams still echoed my dreams. Even the screams from before then. The people I had tortured while under Noxian rule, have haunted my dreams as well.
"Why can't I forget?" I scream out, throwing my cup into the ground. My time in the village has been ruined by the never ending memories from my past in Noxus. Once I hear the mug shatter and I can become of what I've done, I can't help, but feel tears rush to my eyes. "I don't deserve to forget," I say to myself head starts swimming with a guilt that I can't forget. It feels as though the world has settled itself on my shoulders. I sit back on the couch holding my head. "I don't deserve to forget." Their screams continued to echo in my head.
"Riven, stop." A voice says calmly. Strong hands grip my forearms. "It's okay." The hands pull my arms down. "Shh... Shh..." I calm myself down and looked up. Dark eyes looked back up at me.
"Talon?" I ask. His smirk appears in front of me for the first time in months, and I hadn't realized how much I have missed a friendly face. He slowly releases my arms and nods. "Has the rebellion begun?" I ask. He looks into the other room and emerges Katarina from the darkness. I gasp and bow my head towards her.
"Are you ready?" She asks. Her red hair flows elegantly behind her. She took her place next to Talon and they looked so comfortable together, like a perfect match in that moment. I nod towards her.
"Yes commander." I say obediently. Katarina had always been my superior. Her father let her obtain that role. I'm not saying that Katarina isn't a worthy soldier, but I don't think she can command an army.
"Good, we're leaving now." I ran into my room and packed my things to prepare myself for the trip to Noxus. I had a burlap sack donated to me from the village, and it came in handy quite a lot. I put some clothes inside it, no armor for me, I wasn't the warrior I once had been. I hid my blade inside as well, I hope we won't need it until we leave the Freljord.
"Is it okay if I say my farewells to the village?" I asked once my things were packed. Katarina nodded and I walk outside. I went up to Mrs. Ravonski, a few of my neighbors, and asked the leader if he would give my regards to Ashe. Everyone seemed sad to see me go, maybe I would return, but who knows.
Once I returned, there were three horses waiting for my arrival. Katarina and Talon were already ready to go, sitting comfortably on top of their respective horse, they were dressed in winter coats and heavy clothing items to deal with the cold. The Freljord is very different from Noxus' warmer climates. The fact that they aren't shivering like I was, is impressive. I walked over to my horse, a white mare, and settled myself on top of her. She whinnied as I sat on her back, and then Katarina began moving out without saying a word. Talon and I flanked her as we moved across the Freljord and nothing was said for a while, the silence as thick as the snow around us.
"I suppose we should talk about our battle plan." Talon said.
"Yes, we should, now that we're out of any listening range." Kataraina continued to ride on into the dry winter air. "Ever since General Boram Darkwill was assassinated, the High Command has been in a political war over who will take his place. As you know, the military is everything in Noxus, and only the strongest will prevail." I nodded, a pang of guilt from my past surging through me. "Well this time it was wits, instead of strength. Swain came back after the war with Kalamanda and instantly formed an alliance with Darius. Then the time came and Swain was only opposed by Keiran Darkwill. Keiran challenged Swain to a duel, and shockingly Keiran lost."
"But, Keiran is one of the strongest duelists in Noxus." I said aghast.
"That's what everyone thought, but now Jericho Swain is the new Grand General of Noxus." I could feel the anger coming from Katarina. "And now Noxus is becoming something that I was never a part of."
"What about your father?" I asked.
"My father has disappeared." She said. Talon stiffened next to me and I could feel the growing tension.
"What is our battle plan then?"
"We sneak you into Noxus, assassinate Swain, and take back the general command." Blunt and to the point, that was Katarina's style. As a commander myself, it seemed way too simple, but Talon and Katarina are assassins, so they were the experts on how to kill quickly.
"I'm not much of an assassin, but I will do my best." That earned a laugh from Katarina and Talon.
"You're kidding right?" Katarina said, turning around and raising an eyebrow.
"I mean you're the first Noxian commander that is an assassin." Talon said. "I mean you can get in and out can't you?" He said with a stupid smirk. I nodded sheepishly.
"Speaking of which," Katarina said coming to a full hault. She turned and looked at me dead in the eye. Her blue eyes sparkled with anger. "If you leave us or betray us, like you did Noxus, I will have your head." She pulled out her blade to make her point. I gave a curt nod. I have never feared Katarina, and I wasn't going to start now. She may be the jewel of the Du Couteau family, but she hasn't matched my skill in a long time. "Good, let's keep riding then." Katarina led us into the outskirts of the Freljord and then into Piltover. From there we traveled by boat to Zaun, and then we were outside of Noxus. It took about a day and half to get here, but the trip was led in silence by our trio. I didn't want to be the one to start talking, but I also didn't really want to have a conversation begin anyways. I wasn't a social butterfly like Cassieopia or Draven. I lived my life by the word of Noxians, so I kept my word shut. I had no one to command anyways. What would I say to these two anyways? How's Noxus since I've been gone? Is the market still good? Have we changed our colors? All stupid questions.
Once we were outside Noxus' city limits, Katarina stopped. Talon got off his horse and beckoned me down with him. I unhooked my burlap sack and jumped down, hefting the bag onto my shoulder. He handed the reigns to Katarina, who took off with the horses. She ran into the city without being stopped by any soldiers, a perk of being a Noxian princess.
"Okay, here's the part that gets tricky." Talon said smirking at me. He handed me a bag of clothes. I took the bag and looked inside and saw various items: tights, high heels, a corset, and... bunny ears?
"What is this?" I asked. He chuckled lowly.
"It's a costume. We need you to use it to distract the guards." I shook my head instantly.
"I will not succumb to be a lowly dancer for some perverted high command officers." I said.
"You will succumb to treason though?" Talon asked. I frowned and took the bag. "I'm sorry I didn't mean it like that." He said again touching my shoulder. I looked up at him, his face didn't show any emotion to make me believe him, but Talon was a man of few words so I let it slide.
"It's fine." I said. "Where can I change?" I asked. He pointed to a tent by the gates. Quickly we walked over there, trying to not arouse suspicion. Once we were inside the tent, I began removing my winter cloak and clothes. Talon gave a small blush and moved outside quickly.
"You could have warned me you were changing." He said from outside the tent. I rolled my eyes. It's not like he hasn't seen a naked woman before. He goes to the Noxian dancing parties too, just like every other male in this city. I began to put on the uniform and once it was on, I felt a little sexy. Not enough to erase the shame of wearing such a provocative outfit. As I placed on the bunny ears to complete the outfit, I felt the last of my pride leave me. I walked outside the tent and watched Talon watch me. He looked me up and down and he let out a small whistle, while giving me a smirk.
"Shut up." I said. I had my broken blade in hand and I wasn't really afraid to use it on him.
"What? You look great." He said smirking. "How do you feel?"
"Humiliated, but what else is new?" I asked, giving a sigh. I hefted my blade onto my shoulder and popped my hip to play the part. "Let's go." I said. He nodded and led me to the gates. The soldier standing by didn't even recognize me, he just looked me up and down and whistled. This is how Cassiopeia probably felt when she used to be a beautiful woman, but she probably liked it. Talon quickly took my blade and hid it under his cloak. We walked side by side for a while, receiving dirty comments as we went.
"Talon, got yourself a nice broad there!" "Does she have a sister?" "Is she a part of the Du Couteau family also?" And other sayings like that, Talon didn't say much, he just played the part that Talon plays I guess. I stayed by his side, clumsily walking in the high heels he gave me. Soon we arrived to Noxus' Bunnies, people were already lined up at the door, and the whistling only increased when they saw me. Talon guided me towards the back of the dance club and a bouncer was located outside the back door.
"Oh who is this?" The bouncer said eyeing me up and down. Talon pushed me forward rather roughly.
"Some girl wandering around outside, thought you might be interested." Talon said, and he promptly left me. Is he really leaving me here? I thought panicking.
"Get inside, baby, you and the others are on in 10 minutes." The bouncer said pulling me inside. I was lead into a room filled with other bunnies. They were all fixing their hair and their make-up. Some girls were running around without anything on, or hastily pulling up their outfits. "We got a new one over here!" The bouncer called out. A few girls came over and pulled me onto a chair, practically pulling my face in different directions to inspect me.
"Ooh, you already have the outfit on, perfect!" One of them said. She had red hair pulled back into a ponytail. Looking around, everyone had the same outfit on, bunny ears and all. "Do you have any make-up on?" She asked and I shook my head. She used a hand motion and several girls came over, applying mascara, eye-liner, foundation, blush, lip gloss, the works.
"Her hair is too short to do anything with it!" A girl complained behind me. I felt my irritation rise, but honestly I never gave any consideration towards my hair. Long hair got in the way of battle, so I always kept it short.
"Don't worry about it then!" The red-haired girl said. She seemed to be the leader of the entourage. Suddenly the group of girls fixing me up left and the leader did a few extra touches. "Alright honey, you're ready to work it!" She said excitedly. I was pulled out of the chair and rushed over to the curtains. "Okay people, we're on in 10, 9, 8..." The countdown started and instinctively I popped my hip out and did my best to look sexy. So far, I just felt incredibly awkward. The curtains went up, and male cheers went up around the audience. The stage lights blinded me and I missed the beginning strut to the end of the half-circle stage. I hurried to walk with the girls and instead tripped over in the high heels. Landing face flat on the floor, I was officially and horribly humiliated.
"Come on, get up." A girl said nudging me in the side with the toe of her heel. I did my best to not look like a bigger fool than I already did while standing up. As I looked out, I saw the washed out faces of men staring at me. They were whistling like they did in the streets and were cheering for the dances to start. A jazz number began playing and the girls broke out into sexy dancing. It was probably choreographed, but all it looked like was dancing that was to appeal to the male ***. Any other dancing might have ruined the effect of the delusional perfect woman. I tried to mimic their gestures, but only felt more awkward due to the fact that I wasn't used to sticking my butt out that far or bending in certain ways. Girls started working the runway, and some other girls walked off stage to go greet the men. My mission started coming back into mind, and slowly I worked my way off the stage and went to go find Swain. I did my best to flirt with men as I looked for my target, so as to not look suspicious. These men were animals though.
I had never felt so many hands on me besides in the event of hand-to-hand combat. My ass had been grabbed several times, but at least my chest remained untouched. I fought my way through the hands as I spotted Swain. He was flirting with several girls, who were probably trying to find a way into the Grand Commander's heart.
"Is that Riven?" A voice called out. I turned to look behind me only to see Darius. He was standing up, and was not in his usual Noxian armor. He seemed to be dressed more casual for the ladies. **** I thought. I quickly moved, trying not to be spotted, but it wasn't working. Darius followed me throughout the crowd and several other soldiers started noticing. I could hear the comments about who the new bunny could be, but I kept walking towards Swain, trying to look confident. Then an arm slid around my waist and drew me away from the line of eyesight from the men.
"Hey, I don't know who you are..." I was cut off by a hand on my mouth and I looked up into Talon's eyes. He was wearing his usual hood. He made the motion for me to be quiet, and then started twirling me.
"You're gaining a lot of attention." He said, looking somewhat angered.
"I'm sorry that I have a familiar face." I said. He smirked at me. We continued to dance as the stares shifted back towards the dancers. Darius roamed the dance floor searching for me, but Talon kept dragging me away.
"What should I do?" I asked. Talon shifted his gaze as we continued to dance. Suddenly he pressed his hand into my lower back and he crushed our pelvises together. I gasped and he wrapped me in his cloak.
"Attack." He whispered. Under his cloak he handed me my blade and then pushed me up the stage stairs. I stumbled up the stairs and I heard the roar of laughter coming from Swain. Locking onto my target, I felt the surge of adrenaline that came to me during battle. My animal like instinct came back to me as I imagined my lioness figure gracing myself once again. I looked over to see the runic symbols on my blade light up. I walked up the stairs confidently, hiding myself behind the dancing bodies of the other bunnies. I weaved through the bodies as I was losing sight of my target, but then with a stroke of luck, I spotted Swain in the right center side of the stage. And for a moment it felt like I wasn't wearing heels, I ran straight forward gracefully like a lion and sprung for Swain. My blade in the air, I swung down and landed on a table, that crumbled under my feet. Swain and the others moved away quickly to avoid collateral damage.
"Riven?" Swain gasped out. I looked up at him and went back into action. I went into my attack combo and Swain was slowly running out of space to run away. Crows were flying into my face, but I knew where he was and I kept rushing to attack him. A sudden pain ripped across my abdomen and I was pulled back. Darius held me in his arms and looked down at me smirking.
"I see you've broken your blade, what a shame." He said, fingering the shattered edges. "You're dead to Noxus," he said to me and raised his axe. I dodged away quickly, and I surged all of my power into my blade. The shattered pieces formed together and I felt the weight come back to me, everything for a moment felt natural and right. I raised my weapon up and cut Darius down. Luckily for me, my blade was infused with wind powers and I slashed out the wind energy towards Swain. Both men fell, but soon the other soldiers collapsed on me. The adrenaline of the fight continued to rage through me, and I was trying to dodge all of the attacks.
"Riven!" I heard someone shout out, and then I was being carried. "Hang in there!" Talon, I thought, it was Talon who was carrying me. I looked up at him and his hood and cape were gone. His black hair was flowing behind him. As the adrenaline wore off, I started to black out. "Hang in there, just for a bit longer." He said. And once the words were out, I felt my abdomen burn in pain. I felt the pain surge through me and I reached my hand out to touch the wound. The blood had seeped through my clothes and made my hand wet as I touched.
"The Freljord, get me to the Freljord." I said weakening. Talon scoffed and continued to run. I looked out past his arms and noticed that we were on top of some buildings, but I don't remember any jumping. Once we were on the outskirts of Noxus, Talon placed me down on top of concrete building. He took off his shirt and ripped it apart and made makeshift bandages. He carefully lifted me and ripped apart my corset, my top half exposed. He reached into his side bag and took out a needle and thread and a vial.
"You're bleeding too much, I have to stitch the wound as best I can." He said. He poured the contents of the vial carefully onto the wound, disinfecting it as necessary. The burning pain from the liquid brought me out of my groggy state. "I'm sorry Riven." He said. And then he threaded the suture through the needle and began sewing the wound together. The pain was so intense that any drowsiness I contained was washed away. I was more alert than I had been before, and the pain only became more and more evident as he continued sewing. I held back my screams as best as I could, but every now and then the muffled yelp came out. Talon did his best to soothe me, but nothing was really working. As he finished the last seam, Talon brought out his blade and cut the rest of the suture and finished.
"Are you okay?" He asked. I nodded and then he picked me up bridal style again. My abdomen was quite sore, but I was so exhausted from the pain I barely noticed. "I'm taking you back to the Freljord. We have to get out of here." He said as he started moving. I didn't realize how much endurance Talon had, or if I was just that light. Slowly I passed out in his arms, slipping into a sweet darkness.
"Riven," a voice said. As my mind grew more alert, I could feel the stiffness of my body and the dull, aching pain. "Come on, Riven, wake up," the voice insisted. Groaning, I slowly opened my eyes. In front of me was the shriveled form of Mrs. Ravonski. "Atta girl." She gave me a yellow-toothed grin. I made my best effort to smile back, but my body was quite injured, and the smile was short-lived. I took my time in observing my surroundings, and it seemed that I was back in my old home in the Freljord.
"How are you feeling my dear?" Mrs. Ravonski asked. Her familiar face made me feel more at ease. When I came to the Freljord, I was very malnourished and emotionally drained. She had been a local medicine-woman for most of her life, but had retired to her gardening. Once I arrived, she took me in instantly and had provided food and shelter until I was able to provide for myself. She was the grandmother I never had, but always wanted.
"Tired," I answered. I heard a low chuckle from the other side of the room. I moved my head to see Talon leaning against the wall. He hid in the darkness of the room, almost becoming one with the shadows. His face was silhouetted by his hair and I couldn't see his eyes. Noticing my gaze on him, he walked towards the bed.
"Hello," I mumbled once he seated himself nearby. He seemed a little relieved to see me awake and talking. Flashbacks from the rough night in Noxus came flooding back to me, and I became curious to how I was so injured. I usually healed very quickly or was rarely injured, even in war I was quick on my feet.
"Hey," he returned, coolly. Mrs. Ravonski seemed to notice the moment became a private one, and she left the room. I was grateful for her attentiveness, it's probably why I admired her so much. While it was a small gesture, she always seemed to notice my needs and tend to them. She was a mystery though. Mrs. Ravonski had been in the village for as long as anyone can remember, the only few members that were older than her, didn't say much and tended to stay in their homes. She didn't have a husband or children, but also never seemed lonely. I watched her leave the room, and once she did I turned my attention back to Talon.
"What happened?" I asked. Talon moved his hand to lightly to touch my stomach, as if the wound brought back his memories of the night. His touch was as light as a feather and I felt nothing from it.
"Darius took his axe to your stomach," he said. "He wasn't gentle about it either. It ripped through your skin and blood was pouring out of you." He touched lightly across my sensitive skin, the clumsy stitches were still there, but a light scar was forming, which meant it was healing.
"How long have I been asleep?" I asked.
"About four days, but you've been in and out of it." He looked back at me, taking his attention off of my wound. "Every time you woke up you would ask if I was here, and I would talk to you, but you would fall asleep again as soon as I said hello." He gave a small smile.
"I'm sorry I wasn't more attentive," I joked. "What about Katarina? Is she here?" I asked. Talon shook his head.
"She was supposed to help you once you attacked Swain, but I guess she couldn't go through with it," he sighed. "I don't think she could bring herself to betray Noxus." He leaned back in his chair and watched me with a stoic expression, as if Katarina's betrayal didn't bother him in the slightest. I suppose if I knew Katarina as well as he did, I would understand, but I didn't. I shouldn't say much either, I did exile myself.
"What happened after I was attacked?" I continued, deciding not to press him about Katarina, "I remember you stitching my wound, but after that things got blurry." At the mention of my stitches, Talon cringed.
"You were unconscious for the trip, so I had to carry you out of Noxus. Riding a horse was difficult- I had to make sure you wouldn't fall off." I gave a small smile. The image of him struggling to manage a horse and my limp body was amusing to me. "I did my best getting to the Freljord, but I got lost in the mountains a few times, and we didn't get here until a member of your village recognized you. They took you and brought you back here, and Mrs. Ravonski took care of you. They didn't let me in here for a while, but you're neighbor, Mrs. Ravonski, took charge and commanded that I see you. The village had to accept."
"She must like you." I said. He smirked, then stood up and began walking to my bedroom door.
"I'll leave you here to rest, don't exert yourself too much. You are very injured." I nodded.
"Thank you for taking care of me," I said. He nodded back and left the room, closing the door behind him. I laid there for a while, then slowly went back to sleep, my thoughts drifting to Talon. Back in Noxus, we rarely talked, and now it seemed we were closer than ever before. Not much was said between us, but when I woke up, I felt it, and I knew he could, too. Everything between us had changed.
I didn't know how much time had passed or if it was night or day. Curtains covered my bedroom windows and there was no light emanating from them. I was very thirsty, and I felt strong enough to get up, so I moved my legs to the side of the bed and took tentative steps. When I stood, I could feel the soreness in my abdomen. Clutching my stomach, I walked towards the door. I felt a chill spread through my body as I moved, and when I looked down, I found myself flooded with embarrassment. I was completely naked, other than the bandages covering my torso. This led me to the conclusion that Talon had seen me in the nude already. In the military, soldiers are accustomed to seeing mangled corpses, but the rest of the army is covered in full battle armor. I remembered being unabashed about my body back in the tent at Noxus, but now I felt like a shy schoolgirl who was too afraid to wear a swimsuit in front of the boy she liked.
I gently put on some flannel pajamas. Now satisfactorily clothed, I walked out of my room with the intent to pour myself a glass of water. Once I stepped out, I heard a soft snoring coming from the couch. Creeping over, I found Talon sleeping on the cushions, curled up in a blanket. A smile crept on my face, seeing him sleep so soundly. I tip-toed over to the kitchen and went to reach for a glass to fill with water. Once I completed my task, I turned to walk back to my room. Turning around I came face-to-face with Talon. He regarded me groggily and took the glass of water from my hands.
"You shouldn't be walking around," he scolded. He placed a hand on my back to guide me back to my room.
"I'm a warrior of Noxus, I should be fine," I argued, snatching the glass of water.
"You were a warrior of Noxus," he corrected. The blow stung a little, but I let it slide. Talon was blunt, he couldn't help it. He again grabbed the water from my hand and this time put it on the table. "I'm going to help you get back to bed. I'll let you have the water when you're laying down." He pulled my arm around his shoulder and lead me to bed. I gently sat and laid back down. Talon brought back the glass of water. Watching him, I noticed how askew his hair was. It made me glad that my hair was kept short. "Here." He placed the glass of water on the bed stand. "Please ask me next time you need anything." He turned around and returned to the couch. I took a sip of the water and fell asleep again.
The next few days I stayed in the Freljord, trying to rest and regain my strength, Talon and I really melted into the village scenery. He joined the hunting squad in my place, and I stayed home helping Mrs. Ravonski with her gardening. She taught me how to grow herbs in the snow and how to tend to my own wounds so she could stay at home. Talon had become my stay-at-home nurse instead of Mrs. Ravonski, but I wanted to learn more about medicine and how to treat wounds, just in case. Every night, I would stay at home and cook meals for the two of us, and Talon would return with some meat or supplies, provided by the village. We would share stories about our day and laugh at the jokes. It felt like we had lived like this for forever, and it was wonderful, filled with a kind of completeness.
On some rare mornings, he would wake up and make breakfast. The only thing he knew how to cook was meat and eggs, but it was delicious none-the-less. Other mornings, I would wake up to the smell of tea brewing in the kitchen and a note saying that he would be back later. Talon was an early bird, and I never really got to see him in the mornings unless it was a Sunday. That was the day where the hunting group would spend time with their families and have fun in the village. Talon and I would spend those days roaming the village, visiting the various sights of the Freljord, or visiting Mrs. Ravonski.
The village slowly grew to accept Talon as one of their own as well. He was becoming an honored member of the hunting group, and became one of the leaders in their routine scavenging. Some nights he would be in the town with the men, but most of the nights he came home and spent time with me. He wasn't much of social butterfly, a trend I thought would break once we left Noxus, but has continued anyways.
I wasn't stuck at home either. I had my own friends in the village, one of them was Rosanna. She was one of the only female members in the hunting group and we had become quite close. We didn't do much gossiping or talking, but we did talk about strategy and more efficient ways to kill. I taught her the ways of Noxus, and she showed me the ways of the Freljord. Rosanna had immediately picked up on my roots and she gave no judgement on them.
"Noxus, is just another country, and Freljord is the land of free people." She said. "As long as you're here, you aren't bound by anyone." Those words were the words that set me free. She didn't know who I was though. She had no idea about the people I tortured, or the sinister things I had seen. No one knew about it, only Talon knew. Talon knew exactly what I went through, and he probably gone through the same, or even worse, kinds of things I had been through.
One night, he caught me screaming from a nightmare. I woke up in a cold sweat, the haunting screams bounced throughout the room and I couldn't seem to escape them. Talon rushed in and caught me by my wrists and pulled me close to him. He was wearing a simple shirt and flannel pants. His hair was messy as usual and he didn't seem at all bothered by my screams. Talon pushed me into his chest and ran his hands up and down my back.
"Shhh... Shh..." He whispered as he stroked my back. Slowly I relaxed and just ceased my screams to sobs. He rocked us back and forth until I calmed down. His head rested on top of mine and I felt myself succumb to a sense of comfort. Talon's arms continued to hold me even after my sobs died down. "They're just dreams, they can't hurt you." He said. I nodded in his chest. Slowly he laid down on the bed with me, his arms still wrapped around my frame. We laid there for a while until I fell asleep in his arms. I wasn't sure if he stayed the night with me, because when I woke up he was gone. And our days continued to blissful like that. His presence had begun to make me feel safer than I had ever felt in my entire life.
"… And this group of trolls came, but luckily I knew how to deal with them," Talon said, telling me about a dangerous hunting trip he'd been on today. He was animated and passionate about it. His eyes lit up like a young boy's and he would smile and laugh when he finished his story. I joined in on his laughter and I couldn't help but admire his smile and the way he was beginning to look at me as of late. Slowly, his eyes slipped into that trance. He stared so deeply into mine and his face started to show an emotion you wouldn't often find in the people of Noxus. I began to feel it as well, and I abruptly stood up.
"I'll clear our plates and start the dishes," I said intently. Talon's face became stoic again and he nodded.
He thanked me as I took his plate. His eyes continued to watch me as I cleaned the table. He didn't get up to help as he usually does, but that was okay, because I needed the space. I started cleaning the dishes and grabbed my sponge. I was busied rinsing them when strong arms encircled my waist. I could feel Talon pulling my back into his chest and I could feel his heartbeat reverberating in mine.
"What are you doing?" I asked. I dropped the sponge and plate I was holding and placed my hands on his, moving them away. He only pulled me tighter. "Talon, what-?" I was cut off when his lips reached down to kiss mine. His hand tilted my head back so he could kiss me better, and soon I was entranced. I hadn't realized how much I longed for this until it was happening. I turned around in his arms and wrapped my own around his neck. He lifted me up onto the counter and we were in bliss. I had been with other men, but Noxian men were aggressive and insistent. Talon's kiss was more passionate, his lips patient and gentle against my own. It was refreshing, and enticing.
"Riven," he said, breaking away from the kiss shortly. I broke away and eyed him. He smiled and leaned his forehead against mine. His eyes were filled with a fire, and momentarily I felt intimidated by the way he was looking at me, but I knew we were both warriors of Noxus, and I was brave. "Are you okay with this?" he asked. I nodded eagerly and couldn't help but return his smile. He resumed the kissing, but this time there was more passion and more intensity, our tongues danced with each other and I pulled at his hair. I hadn't been kissed like this before. I hadn't felt this way about anyone before, and I was totally involved in it. There had been other encounters in the past I felt myself only wanting for it to end, but with Talon, I wanted it to last into the morning. I wanted him every night and day. The thought of stopping wasn't even an option in my mind.
Talon picked me up and he carried us to my room, laying me down on the bed. Talon stripped away his winter cloak and only left his pants on. In that time, I pulled off my own clothes and lay naked on the bed. This time, I didn't feel self-conscious or shy, I felt confident and beautiful, and the way he was touching me only strengthened that feeling. His body was mesmerizing as well. He had a perfect, chiseled figure, scars littered across his chest. They shone on his skin like badges of honor. His skin had become more pale due to the snow and lack of sunlight as of recent, but that only made his black hair seem more dark in contrast, and I loved it. He leaned over me and we kissed once again. His hands roamed my body, from my breasts to my thighs and back up again. This was different from the other times I had ***. This was so much more intense. I could feel every nerve in my body responding to his touch, and when I touched him back I felt him quiver in pleasure. I touched each of his scars tenderly, and made it known how sexy they were to me. I traveled my fingers from his hair down to his pelvis and entertained him. His breath quickened and I knew I had him where I wanted him. I unbuttoned his pants and lowered his clothing just enough to reach him easier. As I pleasured him, I looked at his face. Most men close their eyes and focus on themselves, but Talon didn't. He looked back at me, he met my gaze, almost challenging me to continue. And I did, until he moved me away and pushed me back down on the mattress. He smiled wickedly and we continued to please each other. We didn't say anything, because we didn't need to, and the only thing I could hear was the sound of our love-making.
His hand reached my breast and he played with me for a while, my breathing becoming more ravaged. I could feel an unfamiliar passion building in my belly and I knew then and there that I wanted this man in my life. He broke away from our kiss and quickly removed what remained of his garb. His erection stood proud, and he leaned over me again, trailing kisses from my neck to my womanhood. I purred for him to continue, but once I finally felt ready for him to claim me, he hesitated and our eyes met. His hands were resting on both sides of my head, his mouth looking delectable from this angle.
"Are you sure?" he whispered into my ear.
"Yes," I said, running my hands through his hair. Then he entered me, and I couldn't stifle my moaning. He kept his mouth on my neck, his breathing in time with my own. His thrusts began slowly, but he steadily built up pace, and soon, I was melting into him, and he was melting into me. As our fervor intensified, he began to bite me. Not hard of course, but enough to leave small marks. Some were on my neck, others on my breasts and ear, and I loved all of it. As I was beginning to near, I placed my hands on his back and crushed our bodies together and screamed out. He came with me and we both fell into an ecstasy. It felt as though we were truly one at that moment, and I felt like I knew everything about him, and he knew everything about me. I was breathless and we were tangled together in the blankets. My legs encircled him and his arms held me close, his head against my chest. We were both sweaty and panting, and for a while we simply listened to each other breathe. Finally, he lifted his head to look at me and laughed.
"I can't believe we just..." he trailed off. I laughed along with him. We laid there for a while, enjoying the simple bliss of being in each other's arms. The Freljord's most deadly blizzards couldn't cool our passion. I was curled into his side, his hand resting on my back, trailing lazy circles with his fingers. We didn't say anything else for the rest of the night, we just fell into a peaceful sleep to the sound of our breathing.
The next morning, I woke to an empty bed. I didn't panic, because I didn't expect Talon to stay. I rose from the bed, put on my normal attire, and walked out of the room. I was going off to meet Rosanna. I was well enough to join the hunters and I was excited to begin training with her again. It had been a while since I had wielded my knife and I needed practice. When I grabbed my winter cloak, I felt arms wrap around me and Talon's mouth on my neck. I smiled and turned to face him.
"Good morning," he greeted me, pulling me into his chest. He was still naked, and I could feel that he was rather happy to see me.
"Good morning," I returned, smirking at him.
"Where are you going?" He asked. His voice had a hint of teasing behind it and I knew where he wanted me to be, but I had plans and just because we had a new romantic aspect to our relationship, didn't mean I could forget the village I had come to love.
"I'm meeting a friend," I told him. He leaned down for a kiss and let go.
"Okay, I'll be here," he said, and I left.
As I walked outside, I noticed that the Freljord was much more quiet than it usually was. The streets were eerily empty, and it was odd that nobody was commuting at this time. My mood was too elated to be bothered by it, though. I continued walking towards Rosanna's house, holding my knife under my cloak, anticipating my practice. I was at the center of the village when I heard a horn blast. It wasn't a Freljordian horn, however- it belonged to Noxus. I remember the sound very well of this horn, it was another scream from my flashbacks and dreams. It haunted my nightmares, and I felt myself tremble at the sound. I immediately turned around and sprinted for my house to get Talon. I had no idea how Noxus found us, but I knew I needed to run. For myself and the village.
I burst through the heavy oaken door and searched frantically for Talon, winter winds clawing at my back as the cold invaded the comfortable atmosphere.
"Talon?" I called out. Pulling my cloak tighter, I searched throughout the living room and kitchen, seeing if he left any traces of his whereabouts. His clothes and blades were absent from the spare chest I'd given him. I entered the bedroom, hoping to find a note he might have left. After turning up nothing, I felt myself begin to panic. Memories from the previous night came to mind, and the thought of losing Talon now was a painful one.
Typical, I thought, spitefully. I don't know why I expected him to stay. It could have been Katarina's plan all along to trick me. I knew she wouldn't just let my betrayal of Noxus slip by. Maybe Talon wanted me to fall into a sense of security, then draw the Noxus army to take me. Katarina was probably behind the whole thing. The sense of betrayal sept into my heart, and my anger swirled dangerously, and I went to go grab my sword from my closet. The only way I could get out of this situation was to fight, there wasn't anywhere where I could hide. That would endanger the village. When threw open the doors to the closet, I was pulled inside. Muscular arms bound me in a snug embrace, a hand covering my jaw, silencing me. I could smell Talon through his winter coat.
"We have to wait here for a while. We won't be caught, I promise-" he quietly informed me. He stroked my hair and we stood noiselessly in the dark confines of the wardrobe, listening to the rampage of the Noxian army outside. I couldn't tell who the commander was, or how large the army was, but from the frightened screams of the Freljordians in the village, I could only imagine the terror they would cause. Talon continued to hold me, and I stood wordlessly, listening to chaos beyond my control. I thought that the screams of the people I cared about would someday end, and I could move past my life in Noxus. It seemed that Noxus would forever haunt me. I felt tears well up in my eyes, and I couldn't help but let them go. My appearance in the village would only make things worse. The Noxian army was here for Talon and I. They weren't here to raid, and hopefully they would leave the innocent unharmed, but if Talon and I showed our faces, they would be annihilated for housing traitors. Therefore, Talon and I remained, hoping that the army would soon move on, perhaps to look in the next village. As the soldiers came closer to us, the cries grew louder, and Talon gripped my cloak in anger. His breathing became sharper and I knew he wanted to act. I wasn't any different. In the corner of the closet, the runic symbols on my blade were glowing. It was as if the blade was calling for me to wield it, and slay all those who threatened to harm Talon and I or the villagers. I wanted nothing more than to take the sword and kill every one of them who brought harm to the innocent villagers. I resisted though, the thought of any more harm coming to the people I cared for was too much to bear.
Suddenly, I heard the door crashing down, hitting the floor with a loud thud. The clamoring of soldiers came into the room, and they began to ransack the place. The doors of the wardrobe flew open, and I wanted to scream as the Noxian soldier seemed to look right at us.
"They can't see us, don't worry," Talon whispered into my ear, barely audible to myself. Talon firmly kept a hand over my mouth, and the soldier motioned for the others to check out the closet. I held my breath and Talon seemed to hold me so tightly I could suffocate. Reaching in, the soldier pulled out a handful of simple clothes.
"This is definitely Riven's house." He said holding up bunny ears. A few soldiers stopped and gave a giggle. The soldier holding the bunny ears placed them on his head and put a hand on his hip mockingly. "Do you think I can take down Darius or Swain now?" The group of men started chuckling then. I watched, my irritation slowly rising. "Typical Riven, can't hurt a man unless they're looking at her ass." Now I was angry. I would execute him on the spot if I could. I thought, humiliated. Talon seemed completely stoic, which added more to my irritation.
"Hey! Knock it off." A louder man said, and the soldier ditched the bunny ears and continued to search my room.
I slowly calmed myself as the soldiers left the house. Talon released me from his hold and set to work packing clothes for the two of us. He was silent as he moved swiftly and gracefully through the bedroom. I stayed inside the closet, a little stunned, wondering how we were invisible to the soldiers. Talon returned with a stuffed satchel, drawing me from my reverie.
"Riven, we have to go-" he urged. I nodded, grabbed my blade, and followed him into the snow. It was convenient for us that the Noxian army weren't known for being the most attentive of armies. Since they had already pillaged my house, we were able to simply walk out the door without much trouble, so that's what we did- sneakily, of course. Talon carried our things, and I flanked him as we crossed the road, careful not to be seen. Soldiers littered the streets, but Talon was, of course, a master assassin, and they were taken easily with a blade to the throat. I could only follow him. I wasn't as silent or subtle as him, so I took it upon myself to watch our backs. As we reached the edge of the village, Talon handed me the bag.
"Riven, I need you to secure a horse. I'll protect you," he said, and then vanished into the shadows without another word. I couldn't see where he went, so I started to look for a horse without the slightest clue where to begin. The stables were on the other side of the village, but it was too dangerous to go back now.
How am I supposed to get a horse? I thought.
I climbed on to the roof of the nearest house, hoping it would give me a better vantage point over the village. As I ascended, I could see the destruction of my home more clearly. I had never felt this sort of rage. In Noxian training, we learned how to control our emotions in battle, because they could get in the way of completing the task at hand. I never understood that until now. In my mind, I knew that escape was the only chance of saving the village, but in my heart I felt that killing the ones responsible for their suffering was the only way to truly solve things.
As I strode past various shops and houses, I saw furniture and marketable goods thrown carelessly in the roads. Windows were broken and shattered glass littered the streets. Some of the villagers huddled together in alley ways to stay out of the way of soldiers, and the crying of children could be heard. Some houses had smoke coming through the windows, and villagers ran to escape the building. I could feel my blood boil, and I almost ran out to help them. Focus, Riven, I said to myself. And I continued to move through the roof tops.
I moved quickly toward the center square, whilst running on the rooftops. I managed to keep myself out of sight for the most part. I hadn't realized how silent I could truly be- I must be learning from Talon. Eventually, I was catching up to the main bulk of the militia. In the center, there were several cavalry on the backs of horses, bulls, mules, etc. There was no chance I could steal any of them, as much as I wished I could. I crawled on my stomach to the corner of the rooftop I currently occupied, and peering over the edge, I could see their commander: Darius.
How did he know I was here? I thought. I maintained composure as I watched him barking orders to his men. No one seemed to be harmed, which I was very thankful for. It was unlike Darius to allow people live, but he was on a mission as well. I continued to scan over the army in search of an unattended horse. Soon I spotted the stables just a few hundred yards away. Moving quietly, I closed the distance. The soldiers seemed distracted with their current search and seizure, so it was relatively easy to continue along the rooftops until I was forced to return to the ground. From there on, I walked swiftly, eager to remove myself from sight. It wasn't until then that I considered the noise that the horse could make.
****. I thought. I entered the stable, and searched inside for a harness or reins. Finding none, I decided to go with a rope that was wound on a post. I approached first horse I could see, and it was a brown stallion. He seemed like an able steed with his winter coat still intact, so he would make it through the snow with ease. I gently tied the rope around his neck, and tried to coax him to move out of the gated area. He refused to budge, because of course that would make things easy for me, and decided instead to continue eating his hay as if I wasn't there. Becoming frustrated, I gave a strong tug on the rope, hoping he would give in. The horse just gave me a look of distaste and carried on its business. I sighed, and reached up to remove the rope and find another horse.
"We've got to go," Talon said behind me. I gasped in surprised as he lifted me up onto the animal's back, placed there like a child. Talon sat himself behind and grabbed the mane of the horse. "Hi-yah!" He cried, and with a jolt the horse launched across the icy landscape. We jumped the fence and continued to gallop into the Freljord. I was still recovering from the shock of his sudden appearance, but his arms were easy to relax into. His scent through his clothing gave me a feeling of safety, though I continued to look behind us to make sure we weren't being followed. We rode for a long time without saying anything.
Soon we were in the low parts of the mountains, where the trolls lived. It was dangerous territory, but we would only stay for the night. We came across a medium sized cave, descended from the horse, and brought him inside. Talon seemed totally prepared for these events, in which he brought out a large piece of canvas fabric, and strewed it across the opening of the cave. He hung it using a hunting knife on each side, driving them in between the crevices with his strength alone.
"I'll be right back," he said, and left. I sat inside by myself, watching the sun dip under the horizon and darkness overtake the cave. In that moment, I hated being left by myself. My thoughts filled the silence, and the screams and sounds of destruction filled my ears. I looked up at the uninviting rocks above and I tried to stop myself from crying. I had to be stronger for this. I couldn't let myself get worked up every time something went wrong.
I'm a warrior, I thought. Warriors fight when something goes wrong, they don't run and hide. The horse whinnied, drawing me from my thoughts, and I looked towards the great stallion. He was probably hungry. I got up and searched through the bags, hoping something would be there, but I don't remember grabbing any oats or carrots. I looked at the beast hopelessly.
"I'm sorry," I said, stroking his snout. The horse was quiet after that, as if he understood there was nothing I could do. I sighed in defeat and sat down again. When Talon returned, hopefully we could come up with a battle plan. I wasn't certain how I long waited until he came back carrying firewood, and another bag of things.
"Where did you find all of this?" I asked. He placed the firewood on the ground and pulled out some flint stones.
"I went looking for them," he answered simply, "I also found some food." He motioned to the extra bag. I had no idea Talon could be so resourceful- it left me feeling somewhat inadequate.
"I'm sorry I haven't been much help," I said, glumly. Suddenly the fire was ablaze, and the cave lit up. I sat close to it, warming my hands. Talon settled in next to me and bumped my shoulder.
"You can't do everything," he said.
"I haven't done anything. though," I argued. He shrugged and put an arm around me.
"You've done enough." He rested his head on mine and I felt myself beginning to relax, but then I felt something in my chest, telling me that this wasn't okay.
"No I haven't," I said, moving away from him. I stood up and I felt angry- everything at that moment seemed to make me bitter, especially Talon. "You have done everything for me, and I haven't given you anything in return. You gave up Noxus for me!" Talon only eyed me steadily, which infuriated me even more. "Well- say something-!" I stammered.
"Noxus was never mine to lose," he responded frankly. I balled up my fists and I felt like hitting him. How was he always so calm?
"Why are you here?" I pressed. He smirked then and poked at the fire.
"Would you rather that I not help you?" he questioned, staring into the flames. "I thought you liked having me around?"
"I do like you being here, but I don't understand why you stay here." He stood up then.
"Because I want to be, Riven. I wouldn't be here if I didn't want to be." He got in my face then. "Why is that such a problem for you?"
"Because it doesn't make sense!" I snapped back at him. "You are the prince of the Du Couteau family. A family so loyal to Noxus, yet you can stand to betray them- just like that."
"I haven't betrayed anyone," he said. He was becoming irate as he spoke, his eyes slitted. "General Du Couteau is missing- he was the only one I cared about."
"What about Katarina?" I asked. He laughed at me.
"Katarina means nothing to me. If anything, she was a sister, but when she abandoned us, I couldn't care less." I was silent for a moment, surprised by his words. "Is that all?" He asked.
"Yes," I said. He ran his hands through his dark hair. "So that's it? That's why you stayed?"
"Because I've wanted you since I first saw you." He looked me dead in the eyes. "I have never wanted the jewels that lived in the Du Couteau's, I wanted a sword that had been forged in Noxian fire." For a moment, his eyes held that same look again, and I fell silent. He then broke off in a childish grin. "You had no idea did you?" I shook my head. He then erupted in a real laugh, one of amusement and shock. "I thought you just didn't want me."
"I had no idea..." I said quietly. Talon was still laughing and I felt my anger toward him return.
"God damn it Riven, I wanted you the moment I saw you take command of your first army." He said, falling into a serious tone. "You were a queen among grotesque soldiers, and you took control of your armies like a rider to a horse. General Du Couteau never saw you as anything more than a sword, because his daughters were his prizes, but to me, you were everything. At first, when I visited the training grounds and saw you train as a soldier, you interested me. You held swords that were twice as tall as you were. You were determined, you had conviction, and I couldn't stop watching you.
You were the most graceful soldier on the battlefield, and you defeated all those who stood in your path. Riven, you went into battle without a single doubt in your eyes, you could command an army like no other general could, and you did this all before you were even 21." Talon's eyes were lit in admiration. "I didn't realize how I felt about you until you held this sword in your hands. I watched as this sword was being forged, and when I saw the size, I was shocked. I didn't think any warrior of Noxus could wield it- but you did. You took it on and made it truly yours." He hand covered my sword hand. I could see the excitement in his eyes.
"Talon, this is so-" I started, but he cut me off.
"I knew I had to have you, when you took down Darius and Swain. I knew that you were mine when you called out for me in your sleep. I knew I loved you when you had me that night." His face came close to mine, and I could feel the warmth of his breath. I felt overwhelmed. He loves me? I thought. I felt my heart race in my chest and I didn't know how to process all this information. He kissed me then, and it took me back to that night, but now there was a gentle affection. There was a new kind of passion in the way he held me and I wasn't sure how much I returned the affection. And then it came back to me, the love, the passion, the intensity. I felt my heart become overwhelmed and I knew I was in the right place, with the right person.
"I'm sorry." I said, breaking away from the kiss. And when I broke away, I realized how ridiculous it was that I didn't see it in his eyes. No other person in Noxus had the same look that he did. The people of Noxus had the look of war and violence in their eyes, they walked with strength and an intimidating presence. Talon had the strength and the presence, but his eyes possessed the passion of a sun. This love was so new to me. I hadn't known love from anyone before, not even my parents. My mother and father trained me to be a soldier of Noxus, and had never shared the words of appreciation of affection. "I'm not used to this." I said.
"Neither am I." Talon said, giving me a small smile.
"What if it doesn't work out?" I asked. He raised an eyebrow. "What if something happens, like I die?" I asked. He laughed for a moment and leaned his forehead on mine.
"I would never let you die." Talon smirked.
"Well what if you die?" He gave a low chuckle and raised an eyebrow. "Fine, but what if we grow to hate each other?" I asked. He shook his head and leaned away from me.
"I intend to have you, Riven. If you don't want me then that's too bad. I had you one night, and I intend to continue having you for the rest of my life." Pulling me close to him, his face became serious and his voice matched. "I haven't wanted something like I want you, and I don't see myself wanting anything like you in the future." And my heart grew warm, and it slowly spread to the rest of my body. I hadn't felt anything like this, even in Noxus when I received *** from other men. Even then it was just ****ing, there wasn't any affection, just self-gratification. With Talon and I, from the time we made love, it was different. It was something that should be written down in books as the first time a couple from Noxus truly loved each other. I smiled warmly at him, and I hadn't felt this happy in a long time. He smiled back at me, his eyes glowing in the firelight.
And so it became silent in our cave. The horse was calmly laying on the floor nearby, keeping warm by the fire. Eventually, I broke away, exhausted, and began to lay out the small blanket Talon had packed. The assassin gave the horse some food he had found while gathering the firewood.
Without saying a word we both laid down, facing the flickering flames like stacked spoons. We used our winter coats as blankets, and quietly slipped into sleep.
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