How was she able to do that? Why had he underestimated her? Because she was female? Because she had the prettiest blue eyes he’d ever seen? Or was it because when they had shared the searing, gut wrenching kiss, she had seemed so vulnerable, so fragile, that he couldn’t imagine her being capable of protecting herself? He cursed himself, only half aware that he was striding over to Alyssa. The fight kept replaying in his head. Alyssa getting punched square on the nose, blood trickling down her face, and a wicked smile on her face. Alyssa unsheathing two daggers, pouncing on her opponent, and cutting his throat open into ribbons. And Alyssa taking the sword of the now dead opponent, holding it high above her head as the crowd cheered, with a triumphant, bloodthirsty smile on her lips. He shuddered. That was not the Alyssa he had grown to know. That was a warrior. And with any luck, she would be the key to winning this war. As he was walking, he felt his mind begun to clear, and saw Alyssa look up at his approach. Her eyes were guarded, her posture stiff and her lips in a harsh, thin line. Her usually bright blue eyes were now dull and lifeless, and even her red hair seemed to be muted. She looked distraught, and it made him want to hold her and never let go.
“Alyssa-“ he started.
“If you’re here to congratulate me, don’t waste your breath. I’m disgusted that I had to go that far, that I had to kill a man, for you and everyone else to believe in me. I don’t care if he was a criminal, I don’t care that he was a traitor. I. Don’t. Care. If that’s what this war is going to be like, then I want out. I will not kill. I do not enjoy it like the rest of you. So please, just go.” She said in a rush. There was fire in her eyes again, and she was panting by the end of her speech.
Though his head was spinning, Justin simply put a hand on her shoulder, noting the small tremors going through her body, and looked her in the eyes.
“Alyssa, I am sorry. I underestimated you and I’m sorry it had to go that far. I don’t know about the rest of them, but I do not enjoy killing. And yes, this war will involve a lot of death, on both sides, and I will not pretend otherwise. But you could be the key to minimizing it. With you on our side, the king, and other kingdoms will think twice before attacking us, especially after that fight. I refuse to lose you simply because of your conscience. This is war, morals have no room on the battlefield. So as your commander I am telling you to go get some rest, and come back to me tomorrow with a clear head. Don’t forget what we are fighting for, what you are fighting for.” Justin said, turning his heel and leaving just as quickly as he had come. She’ll come around. She had to. There was no other option. If they wanted to win the war, they needed her. Thinking back to the kiss, he got idea. If she thought she could trust him, things would move a lot quicker. And Seducing her wasn’t going to be such a hardship anyway. Yes, she would come around. He would make sure of it, no matter what the cost.