1 Day after kidnapping:
Alyara sat in the quiet room, curled up in a ball at the edge of the bed. Tears still streamed down her cheeks from the previous day. The images of her mother and father lying dead in woods, with blood all around them, haunted her. She did not understand why this had happened, or where she was—or why she was here.
This only made more tears come.
The salty drops stung as they rolled across the cuts on her cheek or met her raw palms. She had put up a fight for as long as she could muster, and she had cuts and bruises all over her to show for it.
Suddenly, the locked doors to the room opened up, revealing the man responsible for killing her mother and father, two men in silver standing guard outside the door, and a woman with red hair and green eyes.
Alyara jumped up and ran over to the man who had kidnapped her and started hitting him. "Why did you do this!? Why did you hurt mother and father!?" she cried. "Why!? Why!? Why!?"
"Stop it, girl!" Arcrilis snapped, grabbing her by the wrists.
Almost immediately, Alyara bit his hand.
Arcrilis yelped, letting go, then growled. Before she had a chance to do anything else, he pulled back his hand and smacked her across the face.
She cried out in pain and surprise, hitting the floor fairly hard.
The woman behind him jumped at his viciousness towards a ten year old girl, but did not dare stand against him.
Arcrilis glared at the girl for a moment before he said, "I suggest you behave yourself if you know what's good for you. This is your home now, whether you like it or not."
"You big meanie face!" Alyara yelled, rubbing where he had hit her with even more tears shining in her eyes.
Arcrilis smirked, amusement flickering in his deep blue eyes. "You do have quite the fight in you," he commented. "Let's hope it lasts… Just so you know: No one is coming to save you. The guards won't help you, the maids won't help you, and no one knows you're here. I suggest if you want things to get better for you, you help the maids and don't go causing trouble. Otherwise…" He lifted his fist up in the air to give her the idea.
Alyara whimpered quietly and shied away from him.
"Good, you understand," Arcrilis sneered before turning to the woman who followed him in. "Valaena, get to work. Tell the guards when you're done treating her."
"Yes, lord Arcrilis," the woman murmured with a small bow.
Once he left the room, Valaena rushed to the young girl's side. "Oh, you poor girl, are you alright?" she asked as she gently brushed a bruise on her arm.
Alyara just looked at her sadly.
"Right," Valaena sighed. "Stupid question, of course you're not." She took a deep breath. "I'm Valaena, the healer of the estate. I'm here to help you with your bruises and scratches."
Alyara shook her head. "That's what mother did… You're not mother…"
"Dear girl, please, let me help you feel a little better."
Again, the girl shook her head. "You work for the meanie face—I don't like you!"
"I work for him because I don't have a say in the matter," Valaena told her. "I'm like you. He stole me from my home and family…"
Alyara gave her a curious look. "R-really?"
The healer nodded.
"Why did he do that?" the young girl wondered aloud. "Why does he steal people? It isn't nice…"
"I wish I knew," Valaena admitted.
Cautiously, Alyara held out a little hand. "It hurts…" she murmured.
"I know it does. May I make it better for you?"
With gentle hands, Valaena took Alyara's hand in hers and began murmuring an incantation. As she spoke the words, a soft golden glow appeared in her hands. At first, the young girl flinched, and then she relaxed as her cuts began to heal.
When the wounds on her arm and hand healed, Valaena took her other hand and did the same thing. Once that arm was free of wounds as well, the healer released her hand and asked, "Do you hurt anywhere else?"
Alyara thought for a moment then pulled up the skirt of her little golden dress until her knees were showing. She pointed at her knees, which were scraped up.
Valaena took a deep breath before getting to work on the young girl's knees. After they were taken care of, the healer brushed the little girl's curly hair aside to take care of the bruises on her face and head.
Alyara flinched but tried to remain still as the last of her injuries were healed.
"Thank you," she murmured very quietly, pulling her knees up and hugging them.
"You're welcome, dear," Valaena replied with a weak smile. "I suppose I should go now…"
"Do you have to?" Alyara asked, seeming desperate.
"But, you're nice," the little girl muttered. "And I don't want to be alone… I'm scared…"
"I'm sorry, but Arcrilis—"
"Meanie face," Alyara interrupted.
Valaena smiled. "Yes, the meanie face, he said not to let you out of this room without his permission. I don't want either of us to get in trouble, okay?"
Alyara seemed reluctant, and then she nodded. "Okay…"
"You'll be alright," Valaena said, though the look in her eye told Alyara that she did not believe what she was saying.