❯ To Save an Assassin – To Meet a Bodyguard ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
“Master Artemis, as your bodyguard I cannot possibly retire and leave you unprotected.”
“No, Butler, you have to. As you get older your reaction time slows. If someone were to shoot at you, you could not possibly move in time to dodge the bullet. I could never live it down if you were to get hurt. I don’t want to lose you again like the time at that restaurant with Spiro.”
“Artemis, as the one who you hired, I have the choice whether I want to retire or not!”
In the next room, Juliet sighed as they continued to talk about Butler’s imminent retirement in raised voices. This argument had been going on for days. Juliet was rather partial to the part of her brother, but… She had deduced from their numerous conversations that being part of this argument was not good for one’s mental state. Therefore, she merely sat and stared stupidly at the television set until the argument subsided and the two males entered to sit on either side of her on the couch.
“Who won?” she asked them.
“Actually, Juliet, I did,” replied Artemis from the right. Butler, sitting on her other side, growled, and muttered something too low for them to hear.
Artemis continued, completely unperturbed by this interruption. “Juliet, I would like for you to accompany me to find a new bodyguard. We should probably try the Guardians of Water Corporation, their training sessions just ended, so there should probably be some good ones. Green, perhaps, but still good.”
Juliet pouted and said in a mock-playful voice “And what about me? The poor little sister would love to be the bodyguard to Master Artemis!”
Butler merely flicked a glance at her before pointing out that Artemis already knew her name, and had, most likely, grown too attached to her, thereby winning the argument.
The last week flew by, and Butler handed in his resignation. That very day, Juliet accompanied Artemis to the Guardians of Water Corporation building.
“Hello, and welcome to the Guardians of Water Corporations. We are happy to serve our esteemed guests. You are here for a bodyguard, I presume?” This question, asked by a well-groomed man in a business suit who looked about 30, was directed toward Artemis. He had barely noticed Juliet, who was right behind him.
She stepped forward and nodded. The moment that she stepped forward, the man in the business suit, who was oh-so-serious moments before, suddenly whistled low and said, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively, “Well, beautiful young woman, who might you be? I would be willing to help you in any way possible.” She slapped him. Hard.
Rubbing the new red handprint on his cheek, he stepped back into the serious young executive mode. “Now, may I show you the new arrivals?” Juliet merely nodded, face as hard and emotionless as stone. They followed him into the next room.
Once there, he dimmed the lights. This move made Juliet rather furious and she held up her hand rather threateningly in his direction. He quickly started the program, so she would see that he had pure motives. A hologram appeared in front of them, slowly rotating. She was a brown-haired human. Muscles lined her arms and legs, and her hair was braided and coiled. On her back was a quiver of arrows, and she held the bow in her hand. She was clad in deerskin leggings and tank top, and wore mid-calf length boots.
“Now this specimen,” began the man, who had not seen fit to announce his name “Is top of the breed. Her name is Angela. Human, Native American, trained in both armed and unarmed tactics, best weapon is a bow” Juliet just shook her head, without looking at her young charge, who looked rather bored.
A young man with dog-ears and tail appeared next. The man introduced him as “Inu, Dog demon, Japanese, trained in all tactics, specialty: sword.” Juliet merely shook her head.
Then a blond girl with white-feathered wings. “Veralidaine, Angel, European, and specialty: bolts of power, which she issues from her hands.” Juliet frowned, so the man hurried on. They went through two more humans, a half demon, two wolf demons, another angel, a few dwarves, fairies, pixies, mages, sorcerers, and priests before finally hitting one that Juliet liked.
A brown-skinned, green-eyed faerie, she hovered about a foot above the ground on her iridescent wings. Her long, dark hair swirled mysteriously from a high ponytail, as if even her hair defied gravity. She wore an exotic cloth, cut modestly and sensibly, but still beautiful. Her name was Holly, and she lived in the underground city of Vroengard. She was well trained, better than most, and she could use magic and weapons especially well. Juliet nodded, sealing her fate, the fate of her charge, who was now sitting straight up staring at the somehow feral face of his new guardian.
­­­­­­­­­­­ ;­­­
The bodyguard arrived at their door in about a week. She carried a duffel bag, and a weapons bag. Her sword hung at her hip, and her quiver and bow at her back. If one had looked, they could have found at least thirteen daggers on her person, and her hair housed five more lethally sharp knives.
Juliet showed her to her suite, and helped her unpack. She chattered for a while, giving tips as to when to avoid Artemis, who Artemis was, who Butler was, and never to go to the fifth floor without permission. She tried to continue the conversation, but her partner was completely unresponsive, though she had the feeling that Holly was silently listening and trying to understand her.
Finally, Juliet just showed her to Artemis’ room. She knocked softly on the door.
“Yes, come in.” said a voiced muffled by the wood.
Juliet gave Holly a wink. “You’ll do fine.” Then she left, her footsteps muffled by the carpet.
I wonder what my new employer will be like. Oh, why did the Juliet character leave? Aaahhh… okay, I must open the door. No, I will just knock again… Okay, on the count of three, knock. Oh, no! What if he is some evil person, he did not look very interested at the introduction. Then, he did not know that we were all watching. Okay, 1, 2, 3.
However, just as Holly was about to knock on the door, it opened, and inside the door stood Artemis. Whoa, he is pale. What is he, a vampire? No, he does not have the aura or the physical attributes. He probably is just what he seems – a human boy. She snapped to attention just as Artemis looked at her weirdly before saying loudly and slowly, as he would to a small child. “I just asked you a question for the third time! Do you not understand English?” What is he thinking, of course I understand English! No wait I must calm down. I can’t get fired on my first day. He’s just a kid.
“Sorry, Master Fowl, could you repeat the question?”
“No, it’s too late now. Though I doubt that even if I did repeat the question you would be able to understand it. Clearly you are no more than muscle and have no brain cells at all up there.”
This kid is such a brat! Time to show him who’s boss. “Look here kid,” she growled, “In my culture it’s considered impolite to speak that way to your superiors.”
Artemis smirked. “In my culture masters may speak however they want to their servants. You are the servant, not my superior, no matter how much older you are than I.”
“Whatever. What do you want me to do?” Holly tried to calm herself down. He was only a kid after all. Albeit an obnoxious brat with a good vocabulary.
Artemis waved her away with his hand. “Just stand outside my door. I don’t need you right now.” And with that final comment he retreated back into his room, closing the door behind him.
Holly reluctantly positioned herself outside the doorway. Wasn’t it against the rules to leave your charge in a room unattended? But he had ordered her to stand outside. And rule number one in the bodyguard handbook was: Always obey the orders of your principal.
She heard a door slam downstairs. Juliet must be going out, she thought, she better be back by dinner. Artemis may request me to cook for him and I can’t cook.
To Save an Assassin – An Assassin Betrayed