Of Love and Honor
By Callia Lily

Chapter Three

“Ooh!” Mia groaned. “They’re such children!”

She stalked angrily into her room, slamming the door on Sage’s
smirking face.

“Why can’t they be normal for once?” she wailed.

Pacing across her floor, she attempted to analyze the situation.
The Ronins, after all, were anything but normal. In fact, the times
when they were able to be just themselves were few and far
between. Thus, some allowances had to be made. ‘But must I
always be the one to bear the brunt of their escapades?’

Giving in to an overwhelming wave of self-pity, Mia threw herself
face-down, diagonally, across her bed, rumpling the near perfect
comforter. She was at an angle to view her reflection in the
dresser mirror, and she did so with care. Overall, the impression
wasn’t that impressive. ‘I’m just tired,’ she thought, yawning.
Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, Mia was plain,
old exhausted.

‘Maybe I’ll go to the summer house this weekend,’ she pondered.
It wasn’t too far a drive, just two or three hours up the mountain,
and offered the peace and seclusion of the thick forest. The guys
could surely survive without her few two or three days.

Mia was so relaxed just thinking about some time off, that she
didn’t notice the balcony door open. Nor did she see the dark,
silent figure that crept in with the shadows. Anubis gazed at the
woman lying on the bed, admiring the clean, smooth lines of her
form. ‘Soon, she will be mine,’ he patiently said.

His purpose in visiting her again that night was not to kidnap her.
Surely she would not come without a protest, and the Ronins
would be fighting on familiar territory. Too many things could go
wrong if he attempted to abduct her this night, with nothing to
distract the Ronins.

However, that did not mean he could not play with her a little.

Creeping behind the opened balcony door, he just watched her.
Anubis noted the soft play of light off her hair, the illumination
picking out bronze and gold highlights in the mass of deep auburn.
Languidly, she turned over onto her back, stretching like a kitten.
Instantly, Anubis felt the temperature in the room rise. ‘How
does she affect me like this?’

So consumed with the vision before him was Anubis that he didn’t
realize he’d shifted his weight, immediately sending an audible
creak to Mia’s ears. Shooting up as if out of a nightmare, she
swung her piercing, midnight-blue gaze about the spacious room.
The Warlord of Cruelty shrank back behind the door as far as he

“What on earth--?” he heard her exclaim, his heart beating rapidly
as her footsteps approached his hiding place.

“Stupid door,” Mia muttered. “Always opening with the slightest

Anubis saw her delicate hand curl around the door, readying to
close it. He cringed, knowing he would have to use force to keep
her silent, but he had no other choice. Mentally banishing his full
armor, he prepared an offensive stance just in his light-blue

However, the moment to attack was delayed. Finding the gentle
breeze alluring, Mia stepped out onto the balcony, reveling in the
feel of the wind in her hair.

Meanwhile, Anubis made use of her distraction to sneak behind
her turned back to the other side of the room, alongside her
dresser. It was inevitable that she discover his presence, but he
would have the advantage of surprise on his side.

His patience was not tested as Mia reentered her room only a few
minutes later, so diverted by her own thoughts that she didn’t
immediately notice the imposing figure in her room. Casually, she
dug in one of her dresser drawers, hunting for pajamas, when the
feeling of being watched came upon her.

Looking up, she yelped, not believing at first that the Warlord of
Cruelty stood less than five feet from her. ‘And in my own
room!’ she thought numbly. This was the kind of thought that
took place only in her darkest fantasies.

Smirking at the dumbfounded expression on Mia’s face, Anubis
said, “We meet again, my lady.” Courtesy forbade him to address
her as anything less.

Never one to be thrown off guard for too long, Mia blinked hard,
accepting the situation as real. “Wh-what d-do you want?” she
asked, mentally cursing herself for her stuttering.

Anubis’ eyes bored into hers, locking them into a stare rife with
heat and tension. Cautiously taking a step forward, he replied
enigmatically, “I just came...to look.”

Instinctively, Mia moved further away, swallowing hard, hoping
her fear and anxiety didn’t show too much. “Well, you’ve looked,
so just leave!” She indignantly pointed towards her door, giving
Anubis good reason to smile.

Closing the distance between them with un-human speed, Anubis
grabbed her out-stretched arm and spun her around, bringing her
back hard up against his armor-clad torso. One arm held her
pinned, the other went to cover her mouth.

Naturally, Mia struggled, wildly like a frightened rabbit in his
arms, but it was to no avail. Anubis’ embrace was of iron. Cold,
stiff, unyielding. Devilishly, he enjoyed her fight. It showed her
strength of spirit, something he’d found decidedly lacking in most
of the females of his prior acquaintance. Leaning down, his lips
grazing the shell of her ear, he whispered, “Now, now. We can’t
have you screaming and alerting those pesky friends of yours, can
we? Cease your struggles, and I shall loosen my grasp.”

Mia’s senses were on overload. She was trapped by a madman;
that was what her rational side told her. However, the more
emotional Mia was consumed with the sensation of Anubis’
sub-armor, warm and strangely non-threatening, against her back,
and the way his soft breath tickled her ear. ‘Dear God, what is
happening to me?’

“What shall it be?” he asked again, seemingly with infinite
patience. Anubis’ heart was racing; contact with this mortal
seemed to awaken some dead sense deep within him. Despite his
want to figure out his emotions, he knew he had to remain calm
and cool, for if he didn’t Mia would surely use it to her advantage
and alert the others.

To establish himself as the stronger, he tightened his grip on her,
pressing her harder against him. Mia began to struggle violently,
but abruptly she stopped, coming to her senses. ‘If I act like I’m
weak and docile, he’ll let go,’ she thought sensibly. ‘Then I can
whack the tarnation out of him and run like hell.’

Slowly, she relaxed in his arms, letting the tension drain away. As
he felt her submit to his will, Anubis chuckled, “That’s better.
Much better. Now, if you promise not to scream, I’ll remove my
hand, and we can have a proper conversation.”

Meekly, Mia nodded, silently cursing his upper-handedness.
‘How dare he treat me this way!’ she thought indignantly.
Though her manner seemed submissive, if Anubis could have seen
her eyes, their gaze would have been lethal.

Moving his hand to rest lightly on her throat, he breathed deeply,
loving the fresh wildflower scent of Mia’s hair. Several moments
ticked by, him just enjoying the feel of her in his arms, Mia just
getting more confused. Finally, she snapped under pressure.

“What the hell do you want?” she demanded.

However, Anubis was too enraptured by her spell to answer
coherently. Instead, he began gently stroking the base of her
throat, the arm encircling her waist once again pulling her tightly
back to him. “This...” he replied softly. With that, he began to
place light kisses down the elegant column of her neck.

Alarm bells screamed through Mia’s mind. Not at what his was
doing, but at the fact that she was enjoying it. ‘What is wrong
with me?’ It was her last thought before the sensations, warm and
exciting, rolled within her, taking away her breath. Melting into
Anubis, she let all her weight rest in his embrace. Slowly, he
began to turn her around so that she was facing him.

Seeing her crystalline eyes clouded by desire, Anubis lowered his
head, wanting the kiss her. Mia eagerly arched her back, wanting
his touch with a fervor she never knew she possessed. Their lips
grazed quickly, softly, furthering the fire already ignited between
them. Immediately, they leaned toward one another again---


The loud call of her name startled Mia, breaking the spell.
Recognizing Sage’s voice coming from down below, horror
replaced desire in her eyes as the truth of her actions settled upon
her shoulders. “Oh, no...” she moaned, pushing the object of her
desire away.

Anubis, seeing what was happening, grabbed her arms, saying,
“No! Mia, stop! This isn’t wrong!”

Tears shimmered in her eyes, falling down her flushed cheeks.
“Yes, it is!” she screamed. “How could you do this?!?!”

Struck by a moment of inspiration and fueled by adrenaline, she
kicked him, squarely in the shin. Caught unawares, Anubis
howled in pain. Though his subarmor absorbed some of the blow,
it still packed a wollop. Letting Mia go, he bent down, cradling
his injured appendage.

Momentarily free, Mia ran. Anubis blocked access to her door, so
she sprinted to the open balcony door, not sure of what she
should do. Angered that he had let himself become vulnerable to
her, Anubis, in his rage, sent the dresser and mirror crashing to the
floor before following Mia in hot pursuit.

Having regained her wits, Mia stopped to catch a breath, looking
around desperately for an escape route. Jumping down was a last
resort; the only option left was to go up onto the roof. Grabbing
the rusty drain pipe, Mia hauled her weight up onto the railing,
panicking when she saw Anubis’ form break the light spilling onto
the balcony from her room.

“You can’t get away!” he snarled, his mouth curling into a feral
scowl. He didn’t want to harm Mia, but she had to understand his
superior will.

However, his outburst only caused Mia to scramble more quickly
to the roof. Anubis was about to lunge after her when the pipe
suddenly snapped, pulling Mia down with it.

“AHHH!” her scream pierced the night silence. Knowing she was
about to meet her death, Mia’s mind went numb, her body
preparing for the jarring blow that would bring certain death.