|Fake book cover... because I can't help it.|
One of the funnest things about writing is that I can put people I know into interesting situations. Obviously the characters who come out on the page aren't ever exactly like the people in real life, but this particular scene was one I've had in mind for months, and just recently finished. The names will likely change, especially the surnames, but these characters are very much based on two of my WriteClub friends, Carey Torgesen and Beau Barnett. This scene takes place at about 75% through the story.
Please keep in mind, this is a first draft, and my first drafts are always skin and bones. This is most definitely NOT going to stay this sparse. Right now, this is just a fun little thing for my friends, and I hope it stays in the story. :)
The following day, Carina’s back had healed enough she felt up to going to watch. The fight was between Carey Torgen, who Carina had only met once at the opening ball, and Beau Barnett, who Carina had never met. The winner would be Carina’s next opponent. The chance to watch them from afar was too good to pass up.
They arrived early enough to find seats on the front row of the stands, right behind where Beau Barnett was sparring with his father. Carina watched carefully as he practiced. His blocks were quick, but his attacks lacked the finesse of a more experienced fighter. Across the field, Carey Torgen went through a slow set of forms with her mother. She seemed very good, patient, practiced, focused. It should be an interesting fight.
At midday, one of the king’s advisers took to the center of the field and announced the beginning of the match.
“I’ll be very surprised if Sir Beau wins this one,” Asher chuckled. “His entire family are kind, but they’re very…”
“Sappy?” Merlin suggested.
“What does that mean?”
“It means… sentimental,” Merlin said. “Sometimes silly. Prone to great excitement and passionate behavior.”
Asher nodded. “Then yes. Sappy.”
Carina smiled. “And what about Lady Carey?”
“She’s as tough as they come, that one,” Asher said. “Doesn’t help that their families have been fighting over trade agreements and taxes for a few years. They’re probably going to let out all their family’s frustration on each other.”
As the adviser finished, Carey and Beau made their way to him and shook hands. They backed away to take up their fighting positions. Swords to shoulders, shift to fighting stance. Carey struck first.
Carina flinched at the noise of steel on steel as Beau blocked the attack. The crowd around her stood and shouted their hatred or support for the fighters, but Carina knew they couldn’t hear it. Locked in the fight as Carey’s sword rapped against Beau’s beat after beat, driving him toward the edge of the field.
Then in a moment, the fight shifted. Beau attacked, driving Carey back to the center of the field. The girl’s face was patient, though, waiting, watching. Carina smiled. Carey was letting him think he had the upper hand. If he was smart, he’d know that, but he seemed too excited at his progress to notice the sly smile on Carey’s face.
Carey took an opening and practically dove at Beau, knocking them both to the ground in a cloud of dust. Healers ran from the edges of the field, pausing to let the dust settle and see what damage had been done. Carina stood, squinting into the brown cloud as it faded back to the ground.
As the crowd realized what it was seeing, people slowly began to snicker. Carina bit her lip and covered her mouth to keep from grinning. Carey Torgen had Beau Barnett pinned to the ground, though he was in no hurry to get up. Their hands had dropped the swords, and were now wrapped around each other as they kissed passionately in front of the audience, covered in a thin layer of dust.
After a few minutes of awkward laughter and calls from the crowd, the king’s adviser approached and broke them apart. A quiet discussion took place, and the adviser stood.
“Ladies and Gentlemen! Being that this is a… highly unusual end to a match, I have offered these contestants the option of a second fight, which they have refused. Sir Beau Barnett has forfeited his position, and therefore Lady Carey Torgen will move forward to the next round of the tournament.”
Applause came from the stands, and Carina leaned to Asher. “She’s the better fighter, anyway.”
“Wouldn’t you rather fight the poorer fighter?” Merlin asked.
Carina shook her head. “What kind of fight would that be?”
Carey and Beau made their way off the field holding hands. Their parents were livid, but made no effort to tear them apart. Carina followed behind Merlin as he led them out of the stands and back to Cait’s inn.