Of Love and Honor

By Calla Lily

Chapter One


“Our torments also may in length of time
Become our elements.” - Milton

In the dying light of the day in the Mortal Realm, Anubis watched
with keen, arresting eyes the slender figure of the russet-haired
girl as she leaned against a railing, oblivious to his presence. The
dark forest concealed his movements, and for that, he was grateful. After
months of tracking the Ronins, he had finally pinpointed their sanctuary:
the rather large home of this young woman, whose very existence was a
mystery to the Warlord of Cruelty, and the only reason he hesitated in his
assault upon the building now.

She was exhausted; from her weary posture, he could tell that much. And she
was lonely. As one who knew the feeling all too well, Anubis easily
recognized the quality in her solemn features. During his brief existence
as a mortal, he had never felt close to any particular person, and his
distance from others had definitely grown upon his recruitment into the
Dynasty. Over the course of the centuries, Anubis had thought his heart had
hardened completely; this occurance was surely evidenced by all the violence
and cruelty with which he found himself surrounded. However, one look at
this slip of a girl made him question everything.

He wondered about her, as he had done the few times when encountering her in
his battles with the Ronins. Along with being strikingly beautiful, she was
intelligent and courageous, if lacking in any fighting skills. His interest
in her had been piqued first when Talpa had wanted her taken captive at the
beginning of the Dynasty’s invasion of Earth; with time, it had only grown.
She struck a chord in him somewhere, and though he was not one for
over-analysis of his emotions, he knew instinctively she would play an
extremely important part in his future.

Watching her for the first time in an unhurried manner, his initial
impression of beauty proved inaccurate; put simply, she was stunning. Even
in the horrid shade of pink she always seemed to wear, Mia still looked
elegant and delicate. But the Dark Warlord knew she also had a strong
will. This unusual combination of beauty and strength drew him to her, and
he wasn’t sure how much longer he could ignore his impulses...

His thoughts were interupted by a sharp gasp from the girl. Alarmed that
she had seen him, Anubis ducked further into the shadows. However, Mia only
was surprised by the sudden arrival of Wildfire. Anubis growled inwardly
with frustration. The pesky Ronin of Virtue always showed up at the most
inopportune times. Looking at the easy comaraderie shared between the two,
Anubis felt rage course through him, bitter and hard. For some inexplicable
reason, when Ryo lifted Mia into his arms, some primitive part of Anubis’
soul longed to rip the teenage boy to shreds. Even worse, it appeared that
she returned the embrace. This action only fueled the Warlord’s jealous
ire. ‘Why am I reacting this way?’ he thought, very confused. ‘It’s not as
if she belongs to me.’

‘But that can be remedied,’ came the unbidden thought. Anubis
scowled as he turned the idea of kidnapping Mia over in his mind. It wasn’t
as if her capture would prove harmful to the Dynasty in any manner. She
possessed no powers, and her disappearance would certainly hamper the morale
of the Ronin Warriors. Since Talpa had already expressed the desire for
Mia’s imprisonment, Anubis saw no reason why his plan would not work. ‘And
if I please Talpa, perhaps he might see fit to reward me with her,’ he
thought, grinning wickedly.

Always pragmatic, the Warold of Cruelty could not deny that he lusted for
the mortal girl. He must ensure she be given to him. The thought of her
rotting in the dungeons of the castle, or even worse, in the arms of one or
more of the other Warlords, sickened him. Continuing to watch Mia, Anubis
reveled in the thought that soon her arms would twine around him, and her
angelic, yet seductive, smile would only be bestowed upon him.

*Anubis! Return at once to the castle!*

His thoughts were once again interupted by the summons of his master.
Casting a longing glance at Mia, Anubis felt torn. He should obey Talpa
with all haste, but his desire to gaze upon her was strong. ‘Argh!’ he
growled. ‘Get a hold of yourself! She’s only a girl!’ The thought that a
mere mortal could cause him to lose self-control was frustrating and
humiliating. If the other Warlords ever discovered his feelings, they would
use it to their advantage to make him look foolish in front of Talpa, and he
could not allow that.


Again, Talpa screamed harshly through the Warlord’s mind. ‘I am
coming, master,’ Anubis answered back in an obsequious tone. Already, his
mind churned with plans concerning how to bring Mia to the Nether Realm
while keeping his feelings closely guarded, and casting one last glance at
her, he drifted into the night shadows.