Merry Christmas! Here’s a little chapter to enjoy :)
“Stick ’em up!”
Atrocious came to consciousness slowly and reluctantly. She had not slept at all well. The stone hearth was uncomfortable and her dreams had been… disturbing. It appeared that morning was not going to bring any relief from her ongoing woes. As sleep fog faded from her mind Atrocious became aware that she was being robbed before she’d so much as opened her eyes for the day. It was almost enough to convince her not to bother getting up at all.
“Stick ’em up,” a strident and enthusiastic voice demanded.
“I do not think so.” Kira spoke to Atrocious’ left.
“Nor do I,” Ayla chimed in on her right.
Atrocious risked opening one eye. The sight that greeted her surprised her into opening the other eye too. They were being robbed by a young woman about the same age as her, a woman who seemed to have fashioned her attire according to entirely fanciful whim. Her bright blue pants were wide and baggy, after the fashion of a pirate. The leather vest she wore looked sturdy enough, but the gaudy yellow shirt underneath it was bright enough to qualify as an assault on the eyes in its own right. In addition to the blue and yellow attire, she was adorned with colored bangles clattering up and down her arms and wide gold loops that had been stuck through her earlobes.
She was pretty. Very pretty actually. Her eyes were almond shaped, vaguely exotic and her skin had a natural native tan that would have needed no sun to maintain. Her lips were full and sensual, smeared with red berry juice. Atrocious might have been tempted to think that she was a sweet sort of person, but the fact that she was threatening the three of them with a curved scimitar and the sort of broad grin that suggested she enjoyed what she was doing rather a lot could not be ignored.
“Stick what up?” Atrocious inquired, endeavoring to be more helpful than Ayla and Kira. Their flat refusal to stick things up would hardly be improving the situation.
“Oh sorry. Your hands. Stick your hands up,” the robber clarified.
“Nobody is sticking anything up,” Kira interrupted rather crossly. “Run along, little girl. You do not want to start trouble with us.”
The robber took umbrage to Kira’s dismissal. Her brow furrowed deeply and she took a step towards the warrior. “Listen, crone,” she sneered. “I’m the one saying what’s going on here.”
Atrocious’ tummy rumbled. “I’m hungry,” she said, sitting up. She was not overly concerned by the robber. Why should she be? Ayla and Kira had demonstrated that they were more than capable of dealing with brigands and bandits of all kinds. A sole robber dressed in outlandish clothing was hardly going to do any of them harm.
“Give me all your gold,” the robber demanded. “And in return I shall spare your lives.”
Kira growled and started moving forward but at a sign from Ayla, she stopped. Where Kira was irritated and Atrocious hungry, Ayla seemed faintly amused by the situation. “What a fearsome robber you are, and what a generous offer you make us,” Ayla said, trying and failing to keep a patronizing note out of her voice.
“I see what the problem is,” the robber declared. “You aren’t taking me seriously.”
“They don’t take me seriously either,” Atrocious commiserated.
“Have you tried poking them with something sharp?” The pretty robber made the inquiry with genuine interest. It seemed that Atrocious had found something of a kindred spirit.
“I haven’t actually,” Atrocious said.
“She wouldn’t be silly enough to try,” Kira interjected. “She knows the consequences would be unpleasant.”
“You should definitely poke them with something sharp. Especially the old one.” The robber ignored Kira entirely and addressed Atrocious. Whilst Atrocious was giggling at the way the robber had so very neatly found a button of Kira’s to press, Kira was losing her temper and lunging at the robber. She came rushing by Atrocious in a mass of feminine flesh and rage, her fine musculature being employed to one end: capturing the robber.
“You’ll learn a lesson today my girl!” The warrior declared in a snarl. Thankfully she had not unsheathed any weapon, but Atrocious knew well enough it would not be pleasant for the robber if Kira managed to get a hold of her.
She needn’t have worried. When Kira got to the spot where the robber was standing, she wasn’t standing there anymore. She’d taken a leaping jump backwards, leaving Kira to fall fowards. Whilst the warrior was a victim of her own momentum the robber took a running step and jumped, using Kira’s back as a spring board. She landed on the hearth next to Atrocious, who applauded her acrobatics with great vigor.
“Ladies, you are having the pleasure of being robbed by the great Rogette,” the robber announced as she took a dramatic bow. “Please place your valuables in front of you and take your leave through the front door.”
Kira stumbled up to her feet, her face beet red with embarrassment. “Get out of here,” she said to Rogette. “Get out of here while I’ll still let you live.”
Rogette smirked. “You can’t touch me, let alone kill me,” she taunted Kira.
Atrocious was rather enjoying the showdown between the robber and the warrior, but Ayla had to go and ruin it all by casting a spell. Rogette had been thoroughly distracted by Kira, so she didn’t see the paralysis spell coming. Atrocious didn’t see it coming either, but she knew what had happened the moment the robber’s eyes went wide and her muscles strained against invisible bonds. Suddenly unable to keep her balance, Rogette began to tip forward and would probably have smashed her face into the stone surrounding if not for Atrocious, who caught her and guided her down safely. “That was a dirty trick,” she scowled at Ayla over the fallen robber.
“You would have preferred being robbed?” Ayla’s amusement was very much in evidence, her cheeks were dimpling with the humor of it all.
Before Atrocious could make any reply, Kira came forward and stood over the robber with a gloating smirk on her face. “Well what shall we do with her? How shall we teach her a lesson?”
“You’re not going to do anything,” Atrocious insisted. She felt quite bad for Rogette, who appeared to be quite a good robber, if not for a certain lack of magical resistance.
“You don’t have any say in this,” Kira snapped.
“The hell I don’t,” Atrocious replied, drawing on all her courage as she stood up to the warrior. She shuffled around to place herself in front of the prone robber, making sure Kira couldn’t get all grabby with Rogette.
Kira looked down her nose imperiously at Atrocious. “Do you want to share in this robber’s punishment?”
“Do you want my foot in your ass?” Atrocious wasn’t sure where the threat had come from, but she liked it, it sounded good, strong.
What didn’t sound nearly as good or strong was the squeal that she emitted when Kira picked her up by the front of her shirt in one swift, strong movement and fixed her with a glower. “I like you. You’re cute most of the time,” she said, her voice sonorous and low. “But if you push me, I will whip your ass.”