Welcome back to the final installment of Smoking Guns. I hope you enjoy it. Next week will begin a new short story.
Smoking Guns Part Three
©2018 Misty Harvey
‘Father. I’d wondered how they’d known where to find me. I suppose that question is answered.’ Demetrius muttered. He kept his head bowed in front of the king but glared upward toward his own family. It was quite a feat to see, but he managed to make it work for him.
‘Now, Demetrius, that is no way to be in front of royalty.’ His father reprimanded him. The elderly man shifted from one foot to another. He gave a brief glance to the king before turning his attention back to his son and adjusting his elaborate overcoat.
‘Then you should have simply come to visit me instead of kidnapping me in an alley.’ Demetrius growled between clenched teeth. He hated when his father did stupid shit and accused him of being disrespectful. It was one of the things that had driven a rift between them. The other was the fact that he had no respect for Demetrius. He’d already told his father that he had no interest in serving in the royal army.
‘I’ve been very busy.’ His father waved a hand in dismissal at Demetrius’ suggestion. ‘Now, we have something important to talk to you about.’
Demetrius forced himself to a stand, regardless of being tied up. He remained bowed from the force of the hands on his back trying to get him back on the ground but didn’t budge otherwise. ‘I mean no disrespect, Your Majesty.’ He bowed his head at a slow pace. ‘And I’m sorry that your time and resources have been wasted, but you see, my father has done you a terrible disservice. I have no wish to join your royal army, at all. My life is rather set, and I’d like it to remain so.’
‘Now, Son.’ His father shook his head. ‘That is no way to talk in front of our king, is it? I know I taught you better manners than that.’
Demetrius shook his head. ‘You’re impossible to talk to. Now, if you’ll excuse me.’ He handed the metal cuffs to the guard next to him as he stood all the way.
Shocked faces surrounded him as he started toward the door. Two more guards stepped into his way, their guns raised at his chest. He took his arm, sweeping the pair of them to the side. Both guards’ fingers compressed on the trigger regardless.
The sound reverberated in the large room. Several new guards rushed to remove the king from the room to safety in the background as Demetrius grabbed the scruff of a new guard’s neck and shoved him into a line of new armed guards. The first few toppled under the weight. While it didn’t take them all down it did provide enough of a distraction that Demetrius was able to exit the room.
He glanced around to see if he could figure out where his things would have been taken to. Normally, he’d leave it all behind, but that was his third cane this moon cycle. Demetrius ducked at the sound of another gunshot. He could smell the acrid scent of blood. He’d just have to sacrifice the new cane once more or risk losing his life.
Demetrius darted down the hallway, compacting his large frame to as small as possible. The smaller the target, the less likely they would be to hit him. He tucked his frame into a doorway when the guards came tearing around the corner. They were firing willy-nilly. Their bullets ricocheting everywhere, taking chunks of the granite building and breaking precious vases that stood prominently in the hallway.
Demetrius waited until they needed to reset their guns. That had to be the downfall of such weaponry. A good sword was more reliable in a fight, at least when you had the aim of these lot. He slid out and around the corner. The door to the outside was right there. He could just make it out in the distance. If he picked up his pace, surely, he could get out into the light before the guards caught him. They’d stop firing because they wouldn’t want to make fools of themselves. Yes, that is how it would work in his head.
He’d hit the foyer at a dead run, but his shoes gave a loud squeak as an hourglass figure came around the corner into the foyer. The sunbeams caught her auburn hair setting it a blaze of color. Air ceased to exist, and his lungs no longer moved. Demetrius came to a stop before her, bent in half as if on purpose. This close he could smell her dainty perfume. One he knew well.
‘Demetrius.’ The way his name rolled off her tongue was melodic. A hand fan snapped open and she waved it before her face. Bending at the waist to bow to him
Demetrius half closed his eyes. His bow grew deeper and more prominent. ‘Annabelle.’
‘That is princess to you, street merchant.’ The head of the guard barked. He approached beside Demetrius, lifting Annabelle’s hand to his lips and brushing a kiss there.
Demetrius couldn’t tell if she liked it or despised it at that angle. All he knew is that anger boiled up inside of him. His vision turned red and he wanted to fly up to beat the head of the guard.
‘Annabelle is just fine. Demetrius and I go way back. Don’t we?’ Her voice was light as a feather. She walked toward him, place a hand under his chin.
It was soft as silk. A memory he recalled so clearly as to have all her wrapped around him. Years had passed since he’d recalled it and now so vividly in his mind as she stood before him.
‘What brings you here?’ Annabelle shut her fan, placing both hands on his arm as she stood so close.
He could feel the heat radiating from her body. His lips were parched, causing him to flick his tongue out over them. When she used a hand to dust the powdered granite from his jacket he fought back a shiver. It was when her fingers came back red, and the horrified expression on her face that Demetrius looked to the part of his arm she was now engrossed with. There was a gash in his jacket, held open by the shiny liquid. It coated it, making it black and gleaming.
‘I was just…’ Demetrius forgot where he was going with it, seeing the way that she was now gingerly trying to pull the fabric out of the wound.
‘This is terrible.’ Annabelle tsked. ‘Who shot you?’ She glared at the head guard and those that were remained bowed behind him. ‘I want him taken to my room and a medical kit brought in.’
‘Princess.’ The guard’s eyes were wide and horrified. ‘I don’t think that is such a wise idea. This man…’
‘I did not ask you.’ Annabelle put her hands on her hips. ‘I gave you direct orders.’
‘Princess.’ The voice familiar to him, caused Demetrius to groan. ‘I see you’ve met my son. He’s joining your father’s army. Isn’t that grand?’
Annabelle’s face lit up. A smile spread across her face as she turned her attention back to Demetrius. ‘You are? Oh, that is so grand. We need loyal men we can trust. There are so few that Daddy and I trust.’ She practically vibrated with the news. Her body so close to his as she pressed a kiss to his cheek. One of her hands now ran along his tie that had been exposed in his escape.
‘Um…’ Demetrius knew he should protest. Claim them all for the liars they were. Instead, he stood silent, wrapped in the scent that was her. The feel of her body against his soothed an ache he long denied himself since that night.
‘It is true, isn’t it, Dem?’ Annabelle turned her perfect green eyes upon him. The line of pale freckles flowed from one cheek across her nose to the other. It all made her eyes more prominent in her creamy skin.
‘Yes, of course, it is.’ The words came out with little thought from him. Be damned if his father didn’t know him better than he’d thought. There was no way her coming around that corner was a coincidence. And now…now they owned him – lock, stock, and barrel. He’d do anything for his redheaded princess and with her back in his life that wasn’t about to change.
In case you’ve missed the previous two parts.
We will see you next week for a new short story. Remember to L.O.L. (Live it, Own it, Love it) or it isn’t worth doing.