Chapter Thirty-One

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I could hear the panting of my breath, heavy and slow. My legs were exhausted from running. I was covered with blood all over my body. A snap of twig and a crunch of dry leaves made me quickly crouched down behind the bushes and placed my hands over my mouth covering the sound.

"Lets split up here," a gruff voice said. "Remember, not to engage with that man, Nikolai. He ordered us not harm Nikolai only the girl with him."

"The girl is beautiful it's too bad if we just kill her," another man said. My heart trembled in fear, my hands shook over my mouth. I could still feel the flesh of that person.

It was just the other day that Nik became my guard. This morning we went to the Silver Sea Port which took us four hours travelling. Since Evie and Nadie were being summoned in my grandfather's house I was left with Nik. He stands out in the crowd of people even he's wearing traveller's attire.

He was lean, muscular and a head taller than me, bone structure was fine and perfectly symmetrical. His thick dark blue hair that almost look black was tousled and his face was strong and well define with his eyes glistened brightly, cold and metallic. They were beautiful that I felt the urge to scoop his gray eyes out from the sockets.

Did I made the right choice? Maybe I should have made him beg for mercy, kiss my foot and make him my dog. Making him my bitch would be great.

A hand held my arm pulling me. "Don't wander off like a child, we'll get separated easily here. Stay close with me." He was looking forward as he speak. His eyes darting to different places then gazed to me. "Understand?"

I bobbed a nod and looked over to my arm where he was holding. He immediately released it and apologized. "Sorry." He looked away. "We're near the stadium."

The stadium weren't that packed when we got there and the play had already started. I loved watching plays when I was child, whether I was Catriona or Catherine. Magdalena, my mother, who had the passion and talent of acting in front of the crowd had introduced me to the world of stage play. Even she was a noble lady it didn't hinder her free spirit.

After the play I was very much satisfied. We were about to go to the carriage when something caught my eyes over the rows of tents. I walked over to see it clearer. My guess was right.

"Coffee," I said like I was high as I grab two hands full in the sack. It's not exactly the brown coffee bean that was already been roasted, still in its fruit form. Small red cherry like fruit.

"That's a weird name for this fruit," a young man said inside the tent. He looked about my age or a year older with tanned skin, blonde hair and striking pale blue eyes. "Coffee. I recently discovered this plant in my home land and called it red berries although it taste like sweet berries but it made me stay awake for quite a long time in the night everytime I eat this fruit."

Sweet taste. It must be Arabica. "It's because it has caffeine." I muttered placing back the berries.

"I don't know what caffeine is but I know that you're quite knowledgeable," he said giving me a smile. He then looked at me head to toe pausing on my bandaged neck, eyes glistened in interest. "A noble lady underneath a traveller's clothes." How did he know? He smiled wider flashing his white teeth. "You're too clean pretty lady. Tell me, are you a run away?"

I was wearing a black cloak and underneath was plain white tunic, brown pants and a pair of comfy boots. I glared at him. "It's none of your business."

"Feisty. You should be hiding your beautiful face behind an expensive fan blushing like all the noble ladies do."

I was well aware that he's a looker but this guy was too full of himself. "I'll punch your face before hiding my triumphant grin."

He laughed. Then someone called him. "Master, the captain wants to see you."

"It's nice talking to you, pretty lady. Perhaps next time we meet, you'll give me your name."

"In your dreams." He chuckled at my retort and walked away. I turned to the man with bald head and full of tattoos . "How much is this whole sack?"

He looked dumbfounded. "Are you sure, Miss? No one bought this fruit in days." Though he looked scary but the way he speaks was soft and humble.

"I never been sure in my life, sir. Are there more sack of these?"

"There are two more in the back."

"Then I'll take them all." I grinned at him. "How much?"

He stared at me for a while and was about to oppose but sighed in defeat. "That will be fifteen gold coins." I gave him my payment which was for the jewelries but coffee was life. "Do you need help on moving the sack, Miss."

What a sweet fellow, unlike someone else I knew. "There's no need, good sir. My guard will—" I stopped.

Nikolai wasn't with me.

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