39| Her Hand Over Heart

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___________________________The words didn't quite amount to the crushing feeling that capsized her heart when she heard Nathan speak

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The words didn't quite amount to the crushing feeling that capsized her heart when she heard Nathan speak. Her heart started beating so fast she barely registered the pulse anymore.

Her world narrowed in on Archer standing there, unable to reach the face she grown to memorize behind the daunting mask.

She crawled to the edge of her bird like cage and stared at him with wide fearful eyes. Sadness plagued her for him, her arms yearned for his touch.

She wanted to hug him, feel protected and safe once more, and comfort her person.

Yet she laid sprawled out in a cage, with barely anything on, and a price tag on her freedom.

Tears welled up in her eyes as Nathan clicked his microphone off for a moment. He leaned over and mumbled to her, "Don't cry darling, your makeup will run. People are killing for your pretty face,-" His strikingly cold eyes locked with hers, making her beating heart still.

"Don't mess it up." He snarled out at her then clicked the microphone back on, plastering his sick smile back on like second nature.

"Now that we are aquatinted with our champions! How about we see them fight!" He yelled from his elevated podium making the air fill with bloodthirsty cheers from the crowd.

"Fighters, if you'd will kindly...." Nathan said and the lights killed out. Two spotlights lit up small x's drawn on the floor where the fighters would start.

They obliged, both calmly standing strikingly tall and ready on their respective spots.

Worry and fear knitted Violets intestines up in a knot as she watched Archer. She gripped the bars wondering how he could even remain his cool and levelheaded-ness when he knew the person who murdered his family stood a hundred feet in front of him.

She glanced at Nathan who watched Archer with a panicked fervor, probably wondering the same thing she was.

How was the reaper calm right now?

Violet could only ease her mind a little bit knowing that the new information didn't seem to affect Archer's demeanor, and thus not his performance.

He had to survive, because she didn't think she could if he didn't.

Nathan's jaw tightened and his eyes narrowed in on Archer as he stood still, with a firm grip on his weapon.

She could see Nathan's hands shake with anger before he whipped around to his right hand man, whipping out a gun and pressing it under his jaw.

The man shrunk back and pleaded as Nathan pressed the cold gun into his throat, "you fucking imbeciles. Find out why he's acting like that! He should be a mess! A fucking mess, go you idiot before I shoot you dead."

Violet swallowed hard and stood up, looking back down at Archer. Both men staring each other down, waiting for their cues to start.

Nathan flicked the microphone on and tamed his exploding anger with a chilled smile, "now, fighters, on three."

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