Chapter Seven: Rejection
Trace jumped onto the ledge and crouched low. She saw a lone mercenary and was primed to strike him down.
Trace: (This is for Vex you fuckers!)
She rushed towards the mercenary and suddenly another appeared out of nowhere. However Trace wasn’t unnerved. Keeping her cool she battled the pair and was slightly disturbed by the lack of armor on one of them.
Trace: (His nipples are disturbing…)
Trace: Let me remedy that!!
Trace tried to slash the man across his chest but a well-timed block with his club and axe, that she broke through, redirected her attack causing it to go lower than expected.
Mercenary 1: Fuck! Y-you bitch!! My stomach!
Trace: Yeah, yeah.
She twisted her blade and the mercenary continued to cry out in pain.
The mercenary’s ally tried to assist, but Trace wasn’t about to let him. Throwing the first mercenary to the side, she went all out on the second one with an assortment of attacks that slowly caused him to back up.
Once she’d created some distance, Trace could feel her anger begin to boil and gathered some magicka in her left hand.
Trace: I’m done with you!
She aimed her hand out towards the mercenary and could feel her tension dissipate as a gush of flames shot from her arms engulfing him…
Trace: Ha! Stupid mercenary! Did you really think you could face me?!
Trace knew he was dead, her rage was in check, but that didn’t temper her vengeance. She wanted these men dead, deader than dead. So dead that there would be nothing left of them in this world or the next.
Trace: You’re going to burn little man… Cinders? Ash? There won’t be dust left of you when I’m--!!
Seeing something out of the corner of her eye, Trace angrily shot her flames towards it and was actually satisfied when she found herself roasting another mercenary. Her pleasure quickly turned into frustration when this new mercenary refused die from her magic.
Trace: Why won’t you fucking die!!!
Mercenary: Heh, and you thought I was like the others… Ha! I’ll have you know that I’ve trained myself so when I breathe I naturally—
Hearing enough, Trace swiftly circled about him and slashed his neck and broke his arm. The mercenary tried to scream, but only gargled noises came out.
Trace: What’s that? Are you trying to say something?
Trace: Because I can’t hear you over the sound of your body being burnt to a crisp!!
This time when she tried, Trace released much more flames than before and coupled with the mercenary’s already fatal state he went down quickly.
Trace was about to continue burning this man like she’d done to the previous one, but stopped when she hear a female’s angry cries and the clashing of steel. Goosebumps crept on her skin and fear began to creep in.
Sure enough, Vex was fighting off two mercenaries of her own and was doing a fine job of it. Last Trace knew, the thief’s combat skills could use a bit of work, but from the looks of things she was more than capable when the odds were against her as she ended up holding them off and when Trace showed up making them retreat.
The mercenaries tried to retreat past the bridge to where the bee hives were located and join up with their allies; however Trace and Vex quickly destroyed that pipe dream of theirs. With this small lull in the action, a childish wave of happiness came over Trace.
Trace: Just like old times, huh? This reminds me of our first—
Vex: Why are you here? I didn’t need your help!
And as quick as it had come, that happiness was gone.
Trace: I thought you may have needed some help! Don’t forget that I’m not the one that was badly injured the last time she came here!!
Vex: !!! S-shut up! Leave me alone and get—!!
An arrow whizzed by Vex’s head and she got back on guard.
Vex: Great… And now you’ve alerted the whole damn Estate. Good job, Jalena…
Trace could feel the venom in Vex’s words, and momentarily felt like coming here was a mistake. She threw away those feelings, though knowing it was just her frustration, and sighed.
Trace: Yeah… just like old times…
The two of them made a mess of things, tearing through the mercenaries with ease, but it seemed that there biggest problems were each other. Although normally a close up fighter, Trace was in full out burn-everything-to-the-ground mode, whereas Vex was utilizing a dagger and her dexterity. Suffice it to say, although the mercenaries were dying, the two Imperials weren’t meshing.
Vex: GO OVER THERE!!!
Trace: You know, you can be an ass sometimes.
Vex: STOP ALMOST BURNING ME, BITCH!!!!
Trace turned around and saw another shirtless mercenary charging her and instinctively stabbed him in the neck and slit his throat.
The mercenary tripped and fell off the ledge and Trace could hear something pop. Being the humane person she was, Trace decided to burn him rather than see him suffer to his death through a slit throat and broken bones.
However, while she was incinerating him, something snapped within Trace and when it did, she could feel her magicka overflowing.
Trace: Why am I here? Why am I helping Vex? She doesn’t want me here, and honestly I hate who I become when I fight…
It was surreal, this calm that had taken hold of Trace. She could still feel the stress, the frustration, the hurt, the pain, the anger… but as her flames raged on with more power than she ever thought possible, Trace could feel all of her worries melt away…
Trace ceased her magic and stared off into the distance as if in a trance.
Vex: …ce… race..!! ..Trace!! Trace!!!! Snap out of it! There are more mercenaries up ahead!!
The two Imperials met up with what seemed to be the final pair of mercenaries in the estate’s exterior. Taking into the account that that Vex didn’t care for her magic all that much, Trace tore into the heavier dressed mercenary as his partner looked on.
However taking his eyes off of Vex would be a fatal mistake as she swiftly and inelegantly…
Stole is last breath.
Vex: Hmph, didn’t even work up a sweat. You doing alright Trace?
Vex went over to Trace when suddenly Trace began pelting the mercenary with the biggest onslaught of flames Vex had ever seen.
Trace: Burn… burn… you’ll all burn for harming my Vex…
Vex blinked in astonishment at Trace’s raw emotion, but then scowled.
Vex: (‘My Vex’? Who on earth does she think she is?) Hey Trace, he’s dead you know.
At the sound of Vex’s voice, Trace stopped burning the mercenary and without warning or prompting turned and hugged Vex. Vex was so in shock of the action that she simply stiffened up and let it happen.
After a few moments, Trace pulled away from Vex and grabbed her hands.
Trace: I’m so glad you’re alright. When heard that you were heading here, to Goldenglow… the thought of you being hurt…
Vex: Wait! Wait a second!!
Vex took a step away from Trace in order to catch her breath and wrap her head around what had happened.
Trace: No, I’m done waiting. I should have done this a while ago.
Vex: What are you talking a—
Suddenly Trace kissed Vex, and the platinum haired Imperial stood their paralyzed as Trace had her way with Vex’s lips and invaded Vex’s mouth with her tongue.
When Vex’s brain finally registered what was going on, shock, then pleasure, and finally rage consumed her and she forcefully pushed Trace off her and to the ground.
Trace: What in Oblivion was that for?
Vex: Are you for real? Didn’t I say that I didn’t want anything to do with you? I wanted us to be done! So what’s with this bullshit you just pulled?
Trace: I love you Vex! Dammit do I really have to come out and say it? I love—
Vex: You don’t love me. Right now, I’m just the only available bitch that you’re in like with. I know I’m in third place behind Mjoll and your assassin wench.
Trace: Astrid isn’t a wench! And I am in—
Vex crossed her arms and shook her head.
Vex: You just don’t get it do you. No matter how I feel about you, I know that I’m not number one in your heart.
Trace: But you are Vex! You’re all that I think ab—
Vex: I’ll ask you again, why did you tell Brynjolf and not me that you were leaving? And don’t give me any bullshit about hurting me. Brynjolf was fucking torn up about it for weeks!
Again, words escaped Trace and she turned from Vex.
Vex: I see… don’t think I also don’t know about the detail you’ve been putting around Mjoll to make sure she doesn’t get killed or thrown into jail. And yet, mysteriously, there’s no such detail around me? Funny, right?
Trace: V-Vex!! I thought… I thought that you didn’t need… If you’ll just let me explain—
Vex: I hope that your little plan to win Mjoll back is going well, because after today we’re through. Now since you want to burn shit down, go and burn down two more of those bee hives. And make sure not to fuck it up like you always do.
Trace: (This can’t be happening…)
Nothing was going right for Trace. No matter what she did, she was just getting further and further away from Trace. She even saved the Imperial’s life but ultimately it amounted to nothing.
???: Destroy… everything…
Utilizing two magic circles, Trace let go of all her frustrations in the form of a concentrated inferno and proceeded to burn down the bee hives.
Trace: You’re so stupid Trace… so fucking stupid! I mean kissing her? What was I thinking…
Trace wiped the tears from her eyes as she could feel the last bit of magicka drain from her. It would take quite some time for this to recover seeing as she wasn’t an actual mage. Looking before her she saw the result of her magic, and only felt sadness as the flame clouds soared into the air.
Hearing a noise from behind her, Trace tried her best to stop sniffling and straightened herself up.
Trace: It’s done…
Vex: Not bad… not bad at all. You might not be much of a thief, but you might you’ll make a decent mage one day.
Since she had returned to the Flagon, Vex had been particularly sharp with Trace and that quip was the final stroke. Before when Trace was the Guild, Vex would openly show her contentment with having Trace in the Guild and how Trace was going to be its future one day. Vex would praise her, and get on the others to step up their game else Trace would over shadow them. With that little jab, Trace knew they were done… knew that Vex was completely and utterly finished with her.
Vex: Alright then, now I’ve just gotta get that bill of sale and we’re done here. Come on!
Trace looked toward Vex, and as the thief walked away Trace could see the possible future of them being together disappearing with it. Blinking back the tears because she knew everything was indeed her fault, Trace took a deep breath and followed after her…