Here's the latest installment of Scorpius' boyhood back story.
Scorpius is a character from my dark fantasy work in progress. For the first twelve scenes posted for the Weekend Writer's Retreat, we follow him as a seven-year-old, fetched from the nursery by a falconer to become his apprentice.
The next twelve scenes follow ten-year-old Scorpius as he discovers the dangers of serving the nobles he'd once imagined were family.
The third set of twelve scenes give us a thirteen-year-old Scorpius, who discovers the true extent of his master's attempts to shield him from the cruelties of life outside their falconer's cottage.
We rejoin him at age sixteen.
You can follow the progress of this story arc by clicking on the Works in Progress link just under the blog header.
She took him by surprise, her slender fingers cupping his face before he could catch his breath.
His eyes widened with shock, only to see her lashes closing before him, too near to focus. He stiffened as she had done, but when her lips covered Scorpius’, he kissed her back.
She’d caught him on his knees, twisting back from securing the replacement perch in one of the hawk mews. When he wrapped his arms around her, she pulled back to gaze down at him.
The look in her eyes left no doubt that she desired him. His confusion must have played over his face, because she traced the line of his eyebrows with delicate concern.
“Alegreza,” he said. But she placed one finger on his mouth, shaking her head solemnly.
A deep shiver of delight ran its way through Scorpius at the way she gazed at him. He could forget all about the way she’d huddled by herself in her ma’s empty room above the clothier’s shop. Her eyes weren’t shadowed by grief, weren’t shimmering with tears which raked across his heart every time they rolled down her face.
Now she radiated command, as though her entire life wasn’t dependent upon whether the falconer’s lover could find a position for her to serve at an estate. It made his heart swell to see her gaze down at him like this.
He was just covering her hands with his own, intending to kiss them, when his master’s voice rang out in the distance. Scorpius made to gain his feet, but Alegreza pressed down hard on his shoulders.
Glancing up in irritation, he wasn’t prepared for the flood of longing that rushed through him at her silent order to keep quiet. She slowly shook her head no, raising bumps all over his skin.
Richolf’s voice grew closer. Scorpius couldn’t stop himself from moving to answer several times, but she held him like a hunter holding back the dog. Eventually his master went searching for him elsewhere.
“What-?” he asked, grabbing her wrist as if to shake her off.
“Isn’t this what you wanted?” she said. “The other day, in the field?”
He nodded, swallowing hard.
“Well, I want it, too.” She slipped her arm from his grasp, once again taking hold of his face, which made his heart thump in anticipation. “And if I’m to go to an estate to serve, I can’t wait for things to happen someday.”
It weighed heavily inside him, the image of her departure haunting his mind’s eye.
When Richolf’s voice called out again, he looked up into the market girl’s eyes and saw her determination to seize this moment while she was still mistress of herself.
He’d never openly disobeyed his master before. If he’d done anything wrong it was because he hadn’t understood something, or had acted in error. But right now, hiding in the mews with Alegreza, Scorpius too felt the need to reach for a little piece of his own joy.
Grabbing her tightly to him, Scorpius kissed her deeply, so deeply she sagged to her knees to join him.