Finding Gratitude, Part 19

Lady Violet

Sela woke up strapped to a chair.

Her eyes flickered open. The leather around her wrists and ankles was tight, barely allowing blood to flow. Any attempt to escape them was going to require losing the use of an arm for a long time. Too long if she wanted to escape.

Instead, she inspected herself. Down to her underclothes, smart. Easier to bind her up without all the folds of her loose clothing, and she was effectively searched. And for others, this was probably humiliating enough to make the victim more docile.

However, they seem to have treated her well. No bruises beyond the head wound, and the chair was comfortable. A pillow over an iron chair. That was rather considerate.

She faced ahead, and focused. Sela was in an office, and a rather opulent one at that. Rich tapestries on the walls, wide windows that let in the morning light. A cherry wood desk. Carpets that one’s feet could sink into. This had to be the mayor’s office.

A door opened behind her. “Oh, good. You’re awake.”

A woman walked into view. As she came into sight, Sela could feel the role mayor on her. She certainly looked the part. Tall, curved, with dark skin and a smile that promised everything was going to be okay. Her eyes were bright, and welcoming. She would promise the stars in the sky, and people would believe her.

“Get me out of here, you sick, demented…”

The mayor smiled. “My name is Gianna. It is a pleasure to meet you, Sela.”

Sela stiffened. That was the second time the Mayor and her men had named her. She had not spoken her name to anyone since she stepped in Gratitude. And the Heroines had been careful to outrun any reputation. Even then, she had been Lady Violet. How did they even know?

“Don’t look so surprised.” The mayor walked over to her desk, and looked through her records. “Even a little speck like Littlebrook makes its way into the papers every once in a while. Like that exceptional duelist winning awards. Or the three girls that decimated the local menace and had to flee town.

“Though of course, I know a bit more about you, and that sword, than most.”

Sela pointed the sword in Gianna’s direction. Her arm turned against her bonds.

“Why don’t you tell me what’s really going on?”

The mayor walked up, and looked at Sir Violet. The sword had been locked away, bound in iron and more than a few protection spells. For this to be anywhere but a secure holding facility six blocks away was, well, impossible.

“Truly fascinating,” the mayor murmured. She looked at Sela, and smiled. “He might just be worth the price.”

The mayor batted the sword away, and sighed. “But there are so many other things to worry about, Sela. Namely, about whether to have you and your little friends killed before lunch.”

The mayor gripped the chair, and for the first time glared at the duelist.

“So I’d listen if you want to keep that pretty little sword of yours intact.”

copyright 2018 Jack Holder

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