A mistake, one of the first she made in the thirteen years they had been together. One slip of the mind and now he knew her secret. His face twisted in horror as he stared at her true body, her true face. He closed the door as quick as he opened it. She could only imagine the questions formulating in his head. A part of her wanted to go after him. She looked at the wooden door but leapt out the window instead.
Monster… Demon… Witch…Words from the mouths of those who died at the tip of her blade. She was the Mercy, one of the only women to survive the bonding. The Bonding which brought her from the realm of humanity into the realm of things none believed. He had just seen her at her worse. Could he still love her? Would he understand? A dark voice inside told her to concentrate… the night was young… the mission incomplete; this was not the time.
His wife was the Mercy. The thought chilled him. Tears streamed down his face as he looked at the sword hanging over their doorway. Before he could stop himself he had the heavy black blade in his hand. What was he going to do? Questions impeded action but before he knew it he was out their door into the night.
For three weeks word amongst those who lived in the town was that Mercy was going after the King. A king no one loved, secretly they wished its success. She landed on a thick thatch roof, her face shifting from shadows to normal. She appreciated the towns confidence in her but the King was a man not to be taken lightly. She wasn’t ready nor given the signs from the darkness to go after that man. No her prey was one of them, a friend. A friend whose touch had given her chills, a friend who had saved her husband many times during the war with the Veterans.
He moved through the streets with his head down; his hood thrown over his eyes. She had betrayed him, how long had she been the killer of shadows? How long has a demon slept in their bed? Fredrick would know what to say, would know what to tell him. The sword swung from side to side unsheathed, those walking the night quickly moved out of his way.
The shadows covered her decent, and smothered the sounds of her footsteps. She had hoped to get in and out as quickly as possible but the second she stepped foot inside the humble home the glare of a sword brought hers up in defense.
Fredrick was more than just a man living in a small town, more than just an old war veteran. He was a man with a secret as deep as hers. As their swords flashed, clanged, and met in dance, she thought of the images that swirled upon their first touch. He must have known she would come for him… must have known the second the rumors of the Mercy became fact. That would explain his readiness, a man under the watch of Mercy could afford no sleep.
“You have been judged…”
Although old, gray, and a little round at the waist he understood what this was. His life was in his hands. He with his sword made the decisions, he made parry, thrust, slash after slash but she was faster, younger, and demon. How he had prayed for the day his sins would be accounted for… A war like any other had its casualties, its innocents. She was here to make him pay for his crimes then… Here to give him the peace he yearned for. So why did he fight so?
He had reached his destination, the door was locked but the sounds coming from inside were not of a friend in sleep. He kicked at the door till it ripped from the frame. His eyes widened as he watched his friend in the dance of warriors.
The door being kicked in didn’t stop the two from fighting but the sound of her name caused Fredrick to look in that direction.
Mercy looked from her husband to the man she meant to kill. Her mind was a cloud of darkness. If she wanted to stop now she couldn’t… Her husband wasn’t as important as the task in front of her. The demon urged her forward and down came her sword.
Fredrick brought his sword up out of instinct but was too late… Lucky for him his friend was there at the last moment.
“Drien what’s going on?”
The black blade held hers inches away from Fredrick’s chest. Drien couldn’t find the words to explain to his friend. Susanna pushed with both hands, struggling with the demon, his sword, and wanting of running away.
“My wife… our friend… is the Mercy…What have you done Fredrick?”
Shadows shifted and Susanna spun away from the two, now she had two enemies… No… One… The voice inside told her to do what she had to… Fredrick stood back to back with his friend of many years, like they did in the old days.
“I’m sorry… Drien… Let her kill me…”
Drien sighed deep… the love was there… would always be there… She was the teenager who took away the dirt that was once his life. Everything that was her… he loved… But did he truly know her? Did he truly know Mercy? His black sword shook as the two men spun around the room, waiting for an attack from the woman they both thought they knew.
“I’m sorry Fredrick…”
The shadows parted once more she came in fast… Her husband spun with his sword embedded in the side of the man he loved.
He looked to his wife with tears in his eyes.
Her sword and Fredrick fell to the floor. They looked at each other, her without the shadows, and he without anger.