The air seemed to freeze as his eyes bore into hers. Confusion and pain flooded through her as well as excitement and relief. "He didn't die." was all Kyera could manage to think. Tears welled in her eyes but the hair on the back of her neck refused to lay flat. There was something wrong about his eyes… he was angry. Then she remembered the dress.
"Verone, I am sorry. I waited for you, I did not intend to marry. Then I got word of your death and the people needed protection. It's the only way I could help them." Kyera tried to explain herself. Tears spilling down her cheeks. She felt as though she had betrayed him. The ring on her hand and veil still in her hair clear signs of her sin. He watched her, emotionless. Turning human, he stood before her. Naked.
"You sold yourself to help these spineless filthy creatures? I thought you were low before. Now I know your useless. Why would I come back to you?" he demanded, his face twisted in a snarl. Her heart fluttered hard as pain shot through her. The hatred in his eyes seemed to set her body into painful flames. Tears flowed more freely down her cheeks, unable to stop it.
"I sold myself to protect our families, or don't you remember? We swore to protect our own." Kyera tried desperately to remind him. She was grasping at straws to defend her wounded soul. There was something wrong here… something very wrong.
"Those things are not my family. Spineless worms. I have no use for them. Give me the man cub and go, while I feel merciful. Wake up, Princess you still have time to fix yourself before you become completely ruined." he spat at her moving to pass her. Kyera moved so she stayed directly in front of him, protecting the tree the Princess was treed in. He glared at her, those eyes that had always doted on her and showed unending care regarded her with complete disgust. There was a sense of pain deep in her soul, but not enough for her to forget the unexpected and unconditional love of the child she protected.
"Verone, you know I will die before I let you hurt that which I protect. That little girl has a name and a family. I won't let you take her from them, from me." Kyera added softly, no matter how much she didn't want to fight him. He might not give her a choice.
"Then you are no different than those murderous soft skins. I will take your soul from your body then hers from her. Makes no difference to me if I kill one or two tonight." Verone replied before allowing his claws to extend on his hand and swiping at her. Kyera took the sweeping blow across her chest as a graze, dodging the majority of true force. The nail tips bit into her skin and drew a cry from her lips. It wasn't a cry from the pain of his touch but her own desperation.
She lunged at him knocking him back amd rolling with him. Tears blurred her vision but they had tumbled before. She knew him, every motion every technique she learned with him. There was more to it this time. The intent to kill changed everything. It was completely terrifying. She could feel the force of his blows vibrating through her body, bones seeming to crack against bone. A test of durability and ability as she tried to knock him out and he aimed to kill.
"Was any of it real? Did you ever love me?" Kyera demanded a roar ripping from her human mouth. The tigress within writhing in agony at every blow she delivered to his skin. Red blood drenched her hand, hot and sticky on her palm. His blood. His pained growls and snarls tore at her heart.
"You delusional witch. I don't know you. I've never been related to you. Just die." he growled leaping at her throat. Kyera knocked him back, her claws ripping at his face. He rolled over and faced her his expression sharp, glaring at her as though she was his arch nemesis. She forced herself to remain numb to it, taking the sword from its sheath holding it in one hand, her claws extended on the other hand.
Deep down she prayed she wouldn't have to use it, she wasn't sure she could. Judging by his expression, and the way his eyes flicked from her to the tree he was gauging his chances. He reared back on his haunches and launched at the tree. A blur of a crossbow bolt and the white and silver fur colided with him shoving him away from the tree. Both tiger and tigress skidded across the ground, pain and stabbing from various sources left kyera weak on the ground. As she tried to rise, she saw she was alone. A deep set pain in her side. Once again she found herself cursing her shoulders.
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