He stepped toward me and I felt my instincts telling me to run but Nate had said this man was a friend.
“You’re a pretty one you are.”
The man lifted his hand to my cheek rubbing his dirty, grimy hand over my face. I tried not to flinch at his touch; his eyes were cold, bitter. Suddenly he grabbed me by my waist and spun me around making me dizzy, then it stopped and his face was inches from mine, panic gripped my body. What was he trying to do? Then it hit me, he was trying to get Nate to say something, fight, anything to pin him for breaking some sort of rule. I looked at Nate and saw he was fighting so hard not to say something, he was almost crying, I had to do something, fast.
“Sir, if you’re wanting something from me I don’t think I can help you there. Now my sister, Isabel might be able to help you, for I can’t bare any children.” I smiled at the look on his face and scrabbled away. “Nathan, was helping find my way to my sister’s house in Gondor, I had gotten lost.”
“So it would seem that you had gotten lost, but tell me then, why do you smell like him so much? It’s in your hair and your clothes.” He smirked wickedly.
“I fell-” I started only to have Nate interrupt me.
“Pertin, leave her be, she’s done nothing wrong! I’m helping her find her way back and then I was going to head back to the head station.” Nate shouted wrestling the men from his arms.
Pleasure spread on the Pertin’s face, “So you wouldn’t mind that your friends have a little fun would you? After all she can’t have a child.” He grinned again and grabbed my arms and bound them together. “Lets go to camp were we can have some privacy.”
Everyone set up back towards the trees; I had been tied up to one of the horses saddle bags and was almost having to run to keep up with the horse. I was confused, utterly confused, Nate said these people were friends, why would they tie me up and why had Nate lied to them? My mind was racing once again when we reached the trio’s camping site. There were two pitch tents that were really a long cloak-like material draped over a rope that was tied between two trees. How could they live like this and not get sick? I was untied from the horse and shoved towards their camp fire.
“Let’s see what she has to say about you Nate, shall we?” Pertin snarled his voice threatening as I was moved closer to the fire; I felt it burning at my skin. It was so hot.
I was forced to my knees and watched as a stake was hammered into the ground holding the rope. I tried to stand but could only stretch onto my knees all the while the fire grew hot, my eyes watered uncontrollably. Resisting the instinct to put out the fire I glared back at the men, Nate was standing in the back, his eyes downcast. The others were smiling at me. Why is he just standing there? Do something please; I can’t stand this much longer! Finally, she couldn’t take it anymore.
“Nate! Please help me!” I screamed out.
To my horror the men’s smiles grew louder. Nate turned his back to me a shining despair in his eyes. You can’t leave me like this! I can’t die. Then Pertin spoke again, his voice this time teasing, happy.
“Go ahead scream, beg, and plead with him. How could he just leave you to burn to death?” He said an evil grin on his thin pale lips.
That shut my mouth up; he was testing Nate, but why? My left legging caught fire; I wiggled trying to put it out for it was burning my flesh. The vial flame continued and rose slowly up my leg. Desperate now I screamed, tears flowed mercilessly, my heart tore and bled watching Nate’s back.
Lifting my head up to face him I whispered, “Nathan, look at me!”
He turned slowly, tears falling down his cheeks onto his stubble. His eyes met mine and I knew he couldn’t, wouldn’t let me burn. Stepping forward he wrestled past the three men, knocking them back then kneeled by the stake. From his belt he pulled a dragger and with one stroke cut the rope. I reached up to grab his hand and he pulled me up on my feet.
“Go ahead and get rid of the fire.” He said his voice harsh.
I went to one of the water skins and twisted off the cap, then pulled the water out quickly spinning it into a glowing blue vortex. Moving it towards the legging I ran my hand three inches away from the burning cloth, the water put out the flame with a loud hiss. With that done I stood straight up and glared at the men’s shocked faces.
“Just for the record I could have done that at anytime.” I snarled.
Pertin didn’t seem too surprised, “Well, we knew something had to be different about you if Nate had disobeyed his orders and fallen in love with you.”
“His orders, what were his orders?” I said my fists clenching tightly.