Amaranth of the Wild Things
by Brieanna Robertson
He was hewn from cruelty and violence.
He felt nothing, he was nothing. He was wild, untamed, a shadow, a hand of death, a law unto himself. He had never known love. He had never felt love.
For the amaranth flower. Perfect, undying, beautiful. The only soft thing in his hardened world. The only thing he had ever held in reverence, and the only thing to ever offer him solace.
He had never faltered in his assignments. His hand had never wavered. But that was before he'd been ordered to kidnap her. A woman of unique disposition, undaunted in the face of her adversity. A woman bearing the same name as the immortal flower he so cherished.
She could be his greatest downfall…or his greatest treasure.
An owl hooted outside, it's call low and mournful. For some reason, that made her shiver also.She frowned, wondering where her jitters were coming from. She hadn't been scared of the dark since she'd
been five, and she usually found the sounds of the night calming and peaceful. She shook her head. She was probably just on edge because of her worrisome thoughts. It would do her well to get a good night's
Turning away from her vanity mirror, she moved toward her bed, but stopped with a gasp when she saw a shadow pass across her window. Her heart stuttered in her chest, then thumped hard against her rib cage. She blinked and kept her eyes on the window for several seconds. No other movement came.
She debated on her course of action and knew she should leave her room to go find a servant or a guard, but she was no cowering child. Besides, she didn't even know if she had actually seen anything at
all. She was exhausted and there was a very good possibility that that, coupled with all the worrying she had been doing all day, had made her eyes play tricks on her.
Taking a quick glance around her room, she snatched up a heavy, silver candlestick. It wasn't the best weapon, but it was better than nothing. Clutching it tightly in her hand, she approached her window, which lead out onto a balcony.
Tentatively, she poked her head out and scanned the area. Nothing.
She breathed a sigh of relief and stepped out onto the balcony,letting her eyes gaze across the moonlit gardens of the castle. She smiled and turned to go back inside, but in-stead of finding the open window
granting her access into her chambers, she bumped into a solid object that caused her to gasp and stagger backwards.
She grasped the candlestick tight and raised it, ready to swing away, but her hand stopped in mid-air as
her eyes fell upon the face of the stranger before her.
He was very tall and dressed all in black, almost as if the night itself was cloaking him, and his face… It was wicked. Demonic almost in its darkness with green eyes that seared her…like jade fire. His black hair framed a face harshly and cruelly beautiful and shivers broke out all over her body. Shivers of fear.
The menace that radiated off of him was almost nauseating in its intensity and her shock abated into horror. Something clicked back into place in her mind and she swung her arm at him in an attempt to hit him with her weapon.
He shackled her wrist easily with his own large, gloved hand, and he squeezed until she was forced to drop the candlestick. It fell to the ground with an echoing thump. His burning eyes never left her face,
causing her heart to hammer in fear as his sculpted lips broke into a malevolent sneer. He stepped up close to her, trapping her with his presence alone, and she felt a scream boil up her throat. She opened
her mouth to release it, but no sound emerged.
He grasped the back of her head and pressed a cloth over her nose and mouth, restricting her air supply and replacing it with something noxious, something that made her stomach turn and her vision go blurry.
She squeezed her eyes shut, vaguely aware of the fact that she was fighting against him, not that it did any amount of good. The stranger was as solid and unmovable as an oak tree. Slowly, her consciousness slipped into dim confusion. Then…darkness…