Taylor sighed and got a far away look on his face as he recalled a day that he had long wanted to forget.
He took a deep breath before beginning.
"Well, I was on a quest like my brother is here, but I was a tad younger than the lad before you. About 5 years ago, I was sent after young Jillian McLeoud.."
Taylor snuck into the darkened camp of the McLeouds. Hatred boiled in his veins. Hatred towards the McLeouds. It was their fault that he had lost his oldest brother.
The scowl on his face darkened as he remembered the last words of his bloodied and dying brother.
"Don't let me go, Taylor. Don't let me go."
The thought just made him clutch his sword handle even tighter. He had to refrain himself from killing the young girl upon sight.
He quietly advanced towards the tent of the soon-to-be-captive, only to find her already dead.
She was not breathing and her pulse had apparently stopped long ago.
Too busy to worry about his surroundings, he panicked and thought of his fathers reactoin and then why she had died.
Another woman came into the tent.
She appeared to be the deceased girl's mother.
A cry escaped from her lips and Taylor looked up to see that the tent had been arranged for a funeral pre-action, in which members of the clan came to pay their last respects.
Men with their swords soon filled the tent. He was dragged out and brought before the cheifton, the father of young Jillian. Uncle to Tasha.
He was brought back to his father's camp by the leaders of the McLeouds. A fight occured and his father was wounded. A deep scar across ihs father's back reminded him every day of the failure thta Taylor had encountered.
2 days after his unhonorable return, he was tried by the elders and forced to leave.
That is how he ended up in the small village of Shelton. It was there he had met Lindsay. She had taken him in and cared for him until hehad managed to get a job at the pub. That is how he got there.
"Aye, I remember that. I always had fancied you for several months after that. A mysterious young man was just the thing my young mind needed to center my dreams on. I forgot you after a while though. I suppose it was for the better after all." Tasha admitted.
Tay blushed a fair sight at this remark, as he himself had remembered her. A kind of light in that dark night. She had watched him silently from the crowd and wordlessly expressed her sympathy for him.
Zac however was stewing angrily.
"You NEVER have paid attention, have you?? YOu cost Dad his honor!! You cost the whole clan their honor. The McLeouds look DOWN upon us as inferiors who can meddle up the easiest task! You FAILED Isaac! You failed me! You failed Mum! You are a failure." He yelled at Taylor.
This was enough to push the usually fair natured Taylor over the edge.
He jumped to his feet as did Zac and tackled him to the ground.
Blows wree dealt left and right.
Tasha was about to jump in and stop them both but Lindsay grabbed her arm and pulled her back. "
Tis of no use trying to stop the boys. A lady only jumps in when a weapon is drawn. Never before. Never after. They will settle this fast enough." Lindsay advised.
Tasha nodded in agreement and the two girls watched as the brothers knocked the senseless crap out of one another.
Out of boredom, the two started talking.
"So you took him in? What happened after that?" Tasha was curious to this mans past.
"Well, we just became good friends and started seeing a great deal more of each other. He stayed with my brother and I and so nothing was said of it. We fancied each other a great deal suppose and so the next logical step was a proposal. And that is where we are at the moment."
Tasha nodded in understanding.
"How exactly is it that you 'bumped' into Zachary?"
"Actually," Tasha cleared her throat.
"I'm kinda on my way to the clans camp. I guess the hatred has grown for our clan and they will ransom me as they tried to ransom Jillian." Tasha could not look Lindsay in the eyes after telling the lie in the pub.
"So why did you not just say that?" Lindsay asked.
But Tasha could no longer hear her. The world was spinning before her eyes.
In a flash of white she fell backwards and passed out.
"OHMIGOSH!" Lindsay screamed.
"What just happened?"
Both of the muddied boys looked up to see what Lindsay was talking about.
The trees edging the field saved the group of 4 from passerbyers watching as they traveled along the rutted road that led past the field and into the village.
"What is going on?" Zac jumped to his feet for fear that he had lost the ransom cause for his clan and would be banned like his brother.
Oddly enough, Taylor did not say anything, just sat there looking at her.
"I knew I should have told her." he softly whispered to himself.
"What did you just say?" Zac whirled around and faced him, anger flashing in his eyes.
Taylor ignored him and stepped towards Tasha.
Zac quickly jumped in his way and pushed him down to the ground.
Taylor stood up quickly, his temper shortening.
"Zachary, the longer you take to get out of my way, the less time you have for your young captive here to survive." Taylor warned.
"I said, What. Did. You. Do?" Zac demanded through gritted teeth.
"She ordered the strongest drink in the house." Taylor explained as he knelt down by Tasha and held her head up in his arms.
"We have to get her out of this sun." Taylor observed, more to himself than to anyone else.
He picked her up and carried her over to an area shaded by a thicket of trees.
"But Taylor, I don't think she ha ever drank before. That drink could kill her." Lindsay said, knowing how potent the alcohol was.
"As could Zac here." Tasha spoke from her position.
Everyone gasped and looked at her.
"She spoke!!" Lindsay said.
"Yeah. I would have spoke sooner, but then again, why the hell should I. Nice to know that SOME people here care though." She sat down on the grass and looked pointedly at Zac, as if saying that he did not care.
Zac turned away from her accusing glare and looked for Lindsay's expression.
"Maybe you would have been better off with the alcohol." Taylor said quietly.
"Maybe." Tasha met his gaze and saw sympathy in his crystal blue eyes. The same sympathy that she had shown for him 5 years previous.
She looked away and said," But my fate is sealed. Zac and I must get going if we want to beat the clan's search party."
She stood up and brushed the dirt from the back of her long cloth skirt.
Taylor gave her a perplexed look.
"I can not have 2 people banned from their clan."She said.
"Two?" Taylor questoined.
Zac stood up and was ready to walk off.
Tasha turned to Taylor with tears in her warm brown eyes.
"It was I who told Jillian's mother that I saw a stranger in her tent."
She turned and walked off behind Zac, heading across the field.
Taylor and Lindsay sat there for a minute looking at each other.
"WAIT!!" They both shouted before jumping up and running after them.
"We are coming with you." Lindsay said.
"We must get out of this town anyway." Taylor added.
"I do NOT need more people, especially one who was caught by a young girl before." Zac said.
Tasha stopped in her tracks.
"They WILL come." Tasha demanded.
"And who are you to make such decisions?" Zac was angry.
"I am the one who is shouldering the fact that if I do not come, you will be banned from the clan." Tasha defied.
"I will be banned already." Zac hung his head and looked at the ground.
"And why is that?" Tasha questioned.
"Because I am taking you back to your camp." Zac started off again.
"But why?" Tasha caught up to him and asked.
He pulled her away from the other two that were near and brought her out of ear range.
"Because I have fallen for Lindsay." Zac explained. Tasha looked at him in surprise and then back to Lindsay and then back once again to Zac.
Tasha lowered her voice and then looked at him regretfully.
"But you can not." Tasha looked at him sympatheically.
"She belongs to Taylor."
Zac's brown eyes filled with hurt and he dashed off in the woods, making sure that he had his dagger with him.