Fate's Dagger

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"Destiny?"

"No."

"Predetermination?"

"Unfortunately not."

"Soulmates?"

"I don't think so."

"You don't believe in soulmates? But it's so romantic!"

Lady Sienna looked up in surprise from where she was lounging in the grass. Her lavish robes spread around her like the wings of an angel, or like the gown of a drowned Ophelia. Her eyes shimmered in challenge at the stoic women standing guard behind her. "Why don't you believe in fate, Mila?"

Mila stood in silence for a long time. When she first took on this assignment she never would have imagined that she would be discussing the cosmos at the late hours of the night with the future inheritor of the crown. She never would have imagined that the country's next monarch would decide one night to grab her by the hand to go stargazing in the dirt. Yes, she had taken the job as a guard to get close to Lady Sienna, but Lady Sienna's fast attachment to her had been a complete surprise. She brought Mila everywhere, and they often had conversations that lasted well into the night. But Mila would have never, in her life, imagined that she would be in such a setting, having such a conversation, with such a person.

She never would have imagined hesitating to kill Lady Sienna.

But here Mila was, with her mark lying prone and vulnerable in a secluded location and finding herself wanting to throw away the dagger she hid behind her back.

"I like to believe our choices lead us to our futures, not the stars, my lady," Mila finally said. Yes, Mila believed in choices. She had to believe in choices. If her fate was predetermined, then there were no choices she could have made to avoid ending up in this exact spot. There was nothing she could have done to stop Lady Sienna's cousin from coming to her in a bar and paying her to kill the future queen to make way for himself in line for the throne. She could have done nothing to avoid needing the heaps of gold tossed on the table for taking the job. In a world of fate, she was always meant to kill the wonderful woman in front of her, and she had no power to stop that.

Mila couldn't believe in fate because that would mean admitting that she had no control over her situation, and Mila hated not being in control. If her future was determined by the choices she made, then she could blame herself for where she ended up. She could look back and find where she went wrong and fantasize about doing things differently. Blaming some outside, abstract force was not a comfort. It was a luxury someone like her could never afford.

No, she chose to take the job, she chose to pretend to be Lady Sienna's guard, and she chose to get close enough to gain her trust. She shouldn't have taken the job, she shouldn't have gotten close, and she most certainly shouldn't have fallen in love with the person she was very literally paid to stab in the back. But those were her choices and she could only blame herself for her current hesitance.

"Well," Lady Sienna started, laying back down in the grass. "I think some people were destined to meet. Like us." Mila's stomach sank. She imagined the very eyes that were now trying to pick out constellations, wide in shock as the dagger went through her spine. She almost dropped the knife there.

"You think we were destined to meet?" Mila turned away from the girl on the ground. She couldn't bear to look at the woman who had welcomed her with such open arms into her life. Her golden hair spread around her head like a halo only reminded her of the gold hidden away for her to find after the task was complete. Mila did not want to see Lady Sienna's smile and imagine her final breaths coming out of her mouth, choked and ragged. "My lady, you are generous, but Fate would never have brought someone as wonderful as you to someone like me by choice." She twisted the dagger in her hands.

"Well, you did say you believe in choices, didn't you?" Mila swung around when she felt a soft hand on her shoulder. She hadn't even heard Lady Sienna stand. Mila brandished her dagger.

"Don't come any closer!"

Lady Sienna stayed where she was. Her soft features hardened as she addressed Mila with a power she had never wielded before while they were alone. Her gaze pierced Mila's heart as if it were a blade itself. She looked every bit the monarch she was meant to be. "You said you believe in choices. If that is true, then you have a choice to make, Mila." Lady Sienna gestured to the knife aimed at her stomach. "I know what has been asked of you, and I understand you've been promised a reward for killing me." She stepped closer. "But, if you truly do not believe that you are destined to do anything, then you must decide now if this is your only option."

"Sienna, I don't have–"

"Yes, you do, Mila. Prove you are above your fate." Mila's eyes began to well up. She didn't want to kill Lady Sienna. She had never wanted to kill anybody. When did she stop believing she could do something other than what was set out for her?

Mila's hands shook as she let Lady Sienna ease the dagger from her grasp. As the dagger hit the ground, so too did Mila fall to the dirt in shame. She felt Lady Sienna's arms wrap around her, and through the tears streaming down her face, she once again saw that wonderful smile. There would be no bloodshed tonight.

Kneeling before the stars, weeping in the arms of the woman she was meant to kill, Mila felt free to choose for the first time.

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Abigail Haworth · ago
❤️❤️❤️ Amazing!!!
Both women totally captured my heart