What in the name of Tarran… Tayne blinked drearily, the thick layer of sleep-scum quickly began to crack as he worked his eyelids up and down in blind panic. His right arm shot upwards without thought, the only thing on his mind, to clear his eyes.
“Argh!” Tay roared as his broken wrist flopped painfully backwards. “Ahhh!” He continued to yell as he stumbled to his feet, his injured wrist clutched tightly within the palm of his other hand. “Fuck!”, his voice reverberated around the empty space, which only served to add to the confusion. With his eyes tightly sealed, the freshly sobered drunk cursed as he lurched around the room blindly. “Calm it down Tay…” Tayne whispered softly to himself as he rebounded off of what he assumed was the table. The man stilled. His body shuddered as he inhaled a deep breath, his heart had already begun to return to its normal rate, it’s rapid tempo immediately mellowed. “S’only a finger. Wrist’ll heal.” Again he whispered to himself, although this time the words were punctuated by slight sniffles of self-pity. His eyelids fluttered rapidly against the sleepy goo that held them tight. “Come on Ta-” Unknowingly, Tayne had stepped forward, straight into the puddle of his own blood. Barefooted and already off balance due to the rapidly all consuming hangover, he never stood a chance.
The slick surface felt akin to freshly spilled oil under the man’s worn skin, his foot shot backwards behind him as his other moved forward to compensate, somehow his balance precariously maintained. Suddenly he was faced with but another disastrous situation. Where he had lent his body forward to maintain equilibrium, he had incurred a substantial amount of forward momentum. Smash. Tayne’s head forcefully connected with something solid, his entire body shook from the impact. Here, you would have thought Tayne’s little incident would desist; the shock of the impact would put an end to the poor man’s blind forward run. But no. Whatever the object was that had become such a close friend with the drunk’s forehead, seemed to move outward under the pressure Tayne’s fuzzy noggin had applied, until abruptly it was no longer there.
The pain from his wrist and finger forgotten, both hands flew up in front of him, one with fingers outstretched whilst the other flopped about like some kind of dead animal. A woman’s scream tore through the air, deafening to the extent that Tay’s lids broke free of their sticky bonds as his eyes shot wide with surprise. Light blinded the vagrant as brightness flooded his senses, a large hulking silhouette the only thing visible through the strained blur.. Shit. He thought as he realised the huge shape was on the rapid approach and the speed he had reached meant a collision was imminent.
“Wha-oof” A strange deep voice called as Tayne ploughed straight into the solid shadow-like mountain before him, still his momentum kept him going with the blurred shape pushed at force in front of him. Vaguely, Tayne could make out what appeared to be some sort of filthy cloth, and… and… a wall?
“Fuck!” Yelled Tayne again as he prepared for the second heavy contact. His eyelids slammed back shut as he willed with all of his might to be anywhere but where he was in that instant.
“Ughh…” the dirty cloth huffed as it was thrust into the wall from behind,
“Oomph” Countered Tayne as split seconds later, his face was buried in the dirty, and apparently quite smelly cloth. The filthy fabric entered his mouth as the air was knocked from his lungs, the gasp turned quickly into a violent choke.
“Son of a-“ He called as he leaped to his feet, anger replaced the fear in an instant, even the pain was forgotten his fury so potent. “My…” He paused to spit a bloody glob to the grimy street. “Mouth.” At this second utterance, his foot swung forward as hard as he could until hit bootless foot made contact with a round eggshell coloured object that seemed to sprout from a hole in the cloth.
“Thank you!” A female voice from behind caused Tayne to spin in surprise, just in time for a silken blue blur to launch itself bodily into his torso, thin pale skinned arms wrapped tightly around his chest. A head of golden blonde hair buried just below his left pectoral, shuddered as tears wracked the small attached body.
“Hey what… who uh… who are you?” A panicked stutter left the man’s lips, his brown eyes wide with alarm as he scanned his surroundings to ensure no one nearby would misconstrue this awkward situation as something of his concoction with seedy intent. The blonde hair slowly pulled itself away from his dirty bare chest, strands of gold left stuck to the skin in its wake as tear acted akin to a glue of sorts. Two, almost inhumanly large, stormy blue eyes, stared back at him, red rimmed with tears. Tayne Gasped. He knew this woman. Everyone knew this damn woman. Amelia Von’Faygan… Her father was the second richest of the merchant princes in the whole of Sulpi, behind only the Von’Kara’s,
Fear stilled Tayne’s heart. If anyone who was anyone saw this girl as she was, anywhere near him… his life would be forfeit.
“Release the girl!” Tay grimaced as a cold voice called from behind. Shit. Tay turned his head as he kept his body still, just in case any sudden movements were misconstrued by this new arrival as a threat on the life of Amelia. Shit. Tayne’s worst fears were confirmed as he was greeted by the blue and green tabard of the Von’Faygan, worn over plate-mail of immaculately polished steel. “Shit.” The word escaped his mouth before he could stop it. This wasn’t just a Von’Faygan guard… It was the Von’Faygan guard. Lord Thorne Von’Faygan, or more commonly known as The Bloody Thorne. Amelia’s uncle, and head of the family’s elite personal bodyguard. “Release the girl…” Thorne stated again, his voice low and menacing as he strode forwards, a razor sharp broadsword as long as the man was tall, hissed as it was drawn from the scabbard that ran down his back. His hair, the same golden blonde as Amelia’s, fell slightly down over one eye, a cruel smile curled one corner of his lip, mirrored in an evil glint of his sapphire blue eyes.
“Release the girl? Girl release the Tay!” The words came out in a rush. Aware of how stupid he sounded, Tayne’s face began to colour. Ridiculous. You’re about to get another part of you chopped the fuck off, and you’re worried about looking the fool in front of a pretty face?
“Uncle stop!” Amelia’s voice, shrill with panic, shattered Tay’s half coherent thought.
“What she said!” Tayne yelled in agreement, his arm somehow without his knowledge had wrapped itself around the beautiful girl’s shoulders in fear. Amelia turned her face upwards towards his at the contact, her luscious lips parted in a smile, so stunning, that blood began to race uncontrollably towards a certain bodily extremity. The situation was beginning to get rather… Hard. Obviously the poor deluded girl has misinterpreted the move as perhaps… something protective maybe, rather than its true intention, that being the fact that he wanted to place himself at a better vantage to grasp her by the shoulders should he need a human shield against that terrifying blade.
“Amelia?” Thorne called questioningly. His advance halted, a quizzical frown pulled his eyebrows down into a “v” shape.
“He saved me uncle!” Amelia tore away from Tay’s body as she spoke, the naked skin of his torso suddenly cold where the touch of her warm form had been replaced by the cool morning breeze. Wait, what? I saved who? “He came charging through that door-” The girl paused as she pointed towards an open wooden doorway, the door itself cracked neatly in half. “Fearless, like one of those heroes from the stories that father tells!” Who the hell is she talking about? Tay thought to himself, confused. Amelia paused again as she turned her gorgeous gaze back towards Tay, her full lips quivered as she suddenly swayed on her feet, her preened eyelashes fluttered as she moved. Did she just fucking swoon? Tayne checked over his shoulder to see just who it was that had this incredible effect on the richest, best looking and don’t forget richest girl in the whole of east Sulpi. Tay shuddered as he relished the thought of all the money the Von’Faygan must poses. Amelia squeaked, a blush of rouge spread quickly across her cheeks. What the hell. She thought that shudder was about her? Why isn’t she running in any direction but towards me? With a final smile, the girl turned back to her uncle.
“Look!” she called as she lifted the hem of her skirt and skittered back further into the alleyway. Tay followed her gaze. Shit. There, on the floor behind him was that horrible dirty, smelly cloth. But that wasn’t the problem. Inside, the horrible, dirty, smelly cloth was Bakka. Bakka the Bull. Bakka the Tarran Damned King of the bloody Sulpi underworld. Bakka, that right now wore a footprint the exact shape and size of Tayne’s own right foot, right in the centre of his ugly scarred face. His bald head drooped to the side to lay in a pile of muck, completely out cold.
“Well I’ll be…” Thorne spoke in wonder as he moved closer to the prone crime lord. “You’ve performed a great duty…” The Knight paused as he struggled to find the correct way to address the, what appeared to be, beggar, stood before him.
“Tay.” Tayne prompted helpfully.
“Sir Tay.” Thorne finished. Tayne began to correct the statuesque man before him, Ain’t no sir. He was going to say. Then shrugged as he realised he didn’t care. “Saved the life of the daughter of Raydian Von’Faygan, and felled the self-proclaimed King of the criminal underworld, all in one fell swoop.” Thorne grinned disarmingly as he finished his words. Tayne started as he found himself with the expression mirrored. Damn this bloke was charming.
“Is not of no things!” Tayne proclaimed loudly in his best attempt at a posh accent. Couldn’t really reply to that with “Ain’t no thing” could he now? Amelia giggled prettily as her uncle’s eyebrows dipped again with confusion. For a moment the man appeared at a loss for words, until, with admirable speed, the smile flashed back to his lips, his perfect teeth exposed.
“You must allow me to escort you to the palace; you will be welcome at my Brother’s table tonight. I’m sure he shall want to reward you personally.” Tayne snorted as the Lord finished his sentence. The Von’Faygan’s eyebrow popped up on one side in confusion. Oh! Tay began to panic as he realised the Knight’s invitation was genuine. He couldn’t, surely? He was a nobody. Tayne had spent about as much time in a sodden gulley at the side of a tavern, as these people had in a feather and down bed. He couldn’t step foot into somewhere like the Von’Faygan palace.
“I Respectingfully de- ” Tay paused as movement near the rooftop caught his eye. No… His mud brown irises were met by the dull grey stare of Hack. Bakka’s right hand man. Named so because… well he liked to hack. People. The brute glared angrily at Tay, one finger raised to his throat, before he began to slide it across from one side to the other. “Accept. Let’s go.”