Flame's Desire


Written By: RougeScribe

Lucy knew she was going to die. Leering at her from across the flames were men covered in dirt and sweat. Their skin tan from working in the hot sun day in and day out. They had examined her earlier, unbinding her from the wooden slats of her cage to bring her out among the crowd. The other's locked with her, cowed away from their wondering eyes, and it was decided she would be their entertainment for the night. The mere thought of their rotting teeth and dirt covered hands wandering the expanse of her body brought a shiver to her spine.

Exotic they had called her. With hair golden like the sun. They figured she would fetch a hefty price in the Market. A good Slave and trophy. She could only assume they were correct.

"Do yeh think she's been with ne'un b'fore?"

"Nah, her skin's too tight n'supple fer that."

She grimaced as they spoke lowly to each other. At first Lucy didn't understand their thick accents, but the way they licked their lips while their eyes roved down her body spoke volumes. If not that, the painful shrieks and cries for mercy from other women they had taken each night was hint enough. Most of them had been returned to their cages after being traded about nightly, but many often died from the rough treatment. A large part of Lucy desperately wished she wouldn't be part of those growing numbers while a darker, more hopeless place in her mind, begged for her torture end fast, leading her to an unknowing darkness.

Attempted escapes could lead to her death and they would not grant her a quick one no matter how she pleaded. With hands and feet bound, it wouldn't be possible to try. No, she'd have to find another way to deal with being violated. If not...

If not -

The fire crackled, interrupting her thoughts and the men laughed at their own jokes, voices thick with ale and shirts tossed aside. Hearing the shrieks from across the camp grow louder, Lucy assumed another woman was undergoing the same treatment as the others before her.

"Girlie," One of the men said as he slapped his knee for attention, "do yeh like gettin' yer hair pulled?" She refused to answer and kept her eyes on the bonfire. "Hey, girlie! I know yeh can understand me! Hear the otha girl? She's havin' a good time. Bet yeh wanna good time too..."

Bile rose in her throat as the shrieks and moans rose in a crescendo and Lucy winced when nails bit into the palm of her hand. Clenching them to fists, she stubbornly kept her head down towards the fire while the men roared in amusement, but her lack of response soon riled them. "Hey, I'm talkin to ya', wench!"

Pushing himself up, the man advanced, but he barely made it two steps around the fire before the sound of cutting air whistled passed and a dull thud met their ears. Staring in shock, his mouth gurgled as a spear pinged through his chest and his body crumpled. Speechless, she watched the man fall as the others stood, their weapons drawn in a flurry of confused shouts. They were followed by the pounding of hooves and more death cries from across the camp.

A group of riders and cloaked figures burst through the woods, shouting a battle cry as they ran through the group. Lucy heard arrows fly, swords clash and saw red and purple fire burst through the perimeter. Perplexed, she stared at the scene, to stunned to move while the earlier cries of assault turned to the dropped of dead bodies and the heavy smell of gore. Then it hit her: Her captors were under attack. When a cage full of captives crashed to the ground, splintering as the slats broke open to provide an exit, Lucy reacted. She rolled her arms and legs straight into the now forgotten bonfire.

The flames bit at her skin and she seethed at the burns- crying out as her reflexes tried to force her from the licking heat. Holding fast, the fire burned the taught ropes binding Lucy and she tore them away. Taking the opportunity, she looked for the closest escape into the woods and darted off without any hesitation.

"Kill the outriders! Blast 'em from their horses n' secure our shipment! D'mmit! Th' gold one is gettin' away ya' damn idiots!" One of her abductors shouted as the clattering of battle echoed through the sky, but his words went unheard. Lucy disappeared into the underbrush, ignoring the pain in her bare feet as they came across sharp brambles and roots.

There was no time to think. There was the blood pounding through her ears and the adrenaline coursing through her veins. She continued her dash, ignoring the sounds of battle growing distant. Lucy could smell the fire in the air and knew she had to go further. With lungs burning from exertion, she ran with only the moonlight and stars as her guide. She had to get away. She couldn't stop. There was no chance for survival if she stayed and to run left her future open to the unknown. It was a better chance than death.

Gasping for air, she caught the sounds of a babbling brook and veered in its direction. She'd need water if she was to continue, and it would help to lose her tracks. With hope in her chest, Lucy caught sight of the dark waters trickling in a stream and gave a final burst of strength to reach it's bank. Closing in on the waters, a burst of pain stabbed into her leg and she crashed to the ground.

Lucy never heard the twang of a bow until after she landed, screaming out in choked frustration. The shaft of the arrow held erect in her calf and Lucy struggled through the dirt: feet away from the waters edge. Ragged breathing from behind fueled her desperation as branches broke under the weight of footsteps. Turning to see her assailant with shaking arms, Lucy moaned in despair.

He looked as if he had been thrown through fire, with dark hair askew and blood dripping down his face. He was one of the slavers that had dragged Lucy from her cage. He dropped his weapon and sneered."Yeh thought yeh'd git away did ya?" Stumbling as he advanced, he fell before her with eyes that gleamed madness. "Thought yeh'd be safe..."chuckling hoarsely, his bloody hands reached for her and she shrieked, shuffling frantically to escape.

The burns slowed her and the blinding pain of the arrow caused her to see stars, but still Lucy desperately clawed away from his questing fingers, gripping for anything she could use for defense. Laughing, he grabbed her ankle and yanked, pulling her back just as her fingers came across a sharp rock.

Lucy's first strike was quick and she heard the crack of his jaw when it connected. Gasping in pain and garbled curses, he retreated for to hold his jaw, but rallied as she moved to hit him again. Catching her wrist, he twisted it, forcing the stone from her hands as he overpowered her, shoving Lucy to the ground. With more force than necessary, he dug the arrow deeper into her leg and Lucy howled. Her back arched as tears pricked at her eyes.

"Bitch!" He shouted, his accent and the damage taken to his jaw garbled the words into a sloppy growl. His own wounds bled and dripped on her cheeks as he pulled her closer, raw breath fanning her face, "I'll fuck ya' til ya' beg me to slit yer throat!"

Feeling sick, Lucy stuggled against him. He tore what little clothes she had from her bod and his hands roughly grabbed at her while he adjusted himself. With bloody bites he assaulted her neck and arms, each touch met by her shrill shrieks and attempts to buck him off. Her throat tightened, hoarse from Lucy's exertions as he bit her enough to draw blood. Lucy cried out in vain, her gaze catching the stars above them in a silent plea that spilled from her soul, "N-no! Stop!" She'd beg him to cut into her now if it would have saved her from this.

"See? We knew y'could speak... stop fightin' and I promise yeh'll like it. " Ignoring her attempts for escape he began to loosen his pants while using his body to hold her down. In those moments, Lucy felt her mind drift from her, imagining she was with her family laughing in the summer with the smell of smoked deer in the air - the stars bore witness to her fight and a sob wracked her frame.

Lucy's mind began to drift through happier memories, to mentally run from this man as he moved to settle himself between her legs. Lucy's strength was fading, her body growing tense to prepare for the worst, but her imaginations dissolved as a roar echoed through the sky. A burst of heat so strong it dried the tears from her eyes and blinded her. White hot flames sprouted on her attackers back and he crushed her with a biting howl of pain echoing into her ears. Relief from the weight followed as he was yanked from Lucy's body, careening through the air. With wide eyes Lucy watched as another blast of fire, as bright as the sun, engulfed him. Shrieking, his limbs flailed as he rolled along the earth attempting to smother the flames and escape his fate, but he was held fast. Another figure gripped him tight with cold fury, silhouette darkened by his own shadows while the flame's crackled high.

It took only a moment before she witnessed her attacker stop moving. His skin sizzled and the stench filled her nostrils forcing Lucy to retch. Yelping in terror and sickness, Lucy gagged and rolled to empty her stomach on the ground beside her. Tearing her gaze away from the twitching body. When she was done, she shakily turned back to the dimming clearing and froze when she met the eyes of her savior.

The moon illuminated him and he gasped for air- lungs pulling for life from his earlier sprinting. He wore the clothes of a nomad, with more skin than cloth covering his chest. He was covered in fresh cuts that gleamed angrily in the night, but his dark eyes held her in place, burning furiously. Above all, her mind noticed the mass of pink hair glowing in the low light that was more rare than her golden tresses.

When he took a step towards her the moment broke into a million piece and Lucy reacted without thought. She grabbed the rock at her side and pulled away, brandishing her weapon in earnest. "G-go away!" She shouted, voice hoarse. He growled swatted the rock from her to save himself from a bludgeoning attack and grasped her shoulders to still her.

"Calm down! I'm getting ya out of here." His voice was rough, and it seeped into her bones, holding her fast. With a shuddered breath and the adrenaline finally leaving her, her body slumped in defeat. He sighed in relief and pulled her to his arms to stand. While her body tenses from the touch, he tsk'd under his breath, the harsher tone slowly melting to soothing, "You're safe now, I promise." She barely heard the words. Her mind was too jumbled, too shocked and exhausted, but Lucy felt his calloused hands as they held her and they more gentle than anything she had felt in weeks.

He turned back towards the camp and she swallowed, face paling. If he noticed, he said nothing and instead he whistled a high tune that made her wince. A few seconds passed and an answering whistle echoed back. He grinned, "Good, no one's hurt." Jostling her to gain her attention, he ushered a warning, "Hold tight for a second."

Confused, she didn't grasp his meaning until he almost dropped her. With a yelp of discomfort, she wrapped her arms around him tightly and watched as his free hand sent a blast of fire towards the still sizzling body at their feet. Torching it in a blast of flames, she buried her face into his shoulder to protect her eyes and tried to ignore the sounds of a corpse becoming charred beyond recognition. When the roar of his magic died down, his grip tightened as he began the trek back to the camp she had just escaped.

Whimpering, Lucy dug her nails into his skin and tightened her grip when he hissed, "I... just left from there. Why are you taking me back?" Surely he wasn't going to lock her up again, was he? Lucy assumed he was part of the attacking outriders, but how could she be sure it wasn't just a rival group looking to secure their own shipment?

"You think I'm going to leave you behind, wounded like that?" He snorted and raised a brow."What sort of strange girl are you to think I'd let ya' run off to who knows where, naked with an arrow in her leg?"

Realization at her appearance struck her to silence and Lucy was ashamed to admit he was right. With quivering arms, she covered herself and let tears silently drip down her nose. "S-so... what now?"

"Hmm?" He didn't seem to understand her question and she choked on her own tears.

"What are you going to do with me?" She rephrased, unable to hide the tremor in her voice.

With a tone far more lighthearted than she had heard in months, he chuckled as the now destroyed camp came into view,"Why keep you of course! Can't send you off with the others with you wounded like that, can I?"

Lucy puzzled over his words. She didn't want to return to the camp, but what did he mean by keep her? Send the others where? Eyes scanned the camp and she was surprised by the destruction. Carts and wagons were toppled over, the cages that held her and many others were opened and the former attackers were giving blankets and baskets of food towards the others. They worked quick and efficiently as the mark of their clan shone visible on their skin, but Lucy couldn't make the design out. That's when she finally understood that they all were saved.

"Natsu! Who do you have there? Bring her over so Wendy can patch her up!" She heard a commanding voice shout and tried to see who it belong too, but her adrenaline was finally gone, leaving just the pain of her wounds and sore muscles to blur her vision. Her body throbbed and her head pounded while spots appeared before her eyes. Lucy couldn't focus on who was talking and with whom.

"I'll bring her over!" Her savior exclaimed, re-settling her in his arms for a better hold, "Let's get that arrow out of your leg, eh?" He smiled brightly and looked to meet her gaze, but she never heard him.

Lucy had fallen unconscious.

This Chapter Has been Edited on 2/28/2020