When I started thinking about what I wanted to do for NaNo, I knew I wanted to write another Elizabeth Darcy book, and I decided to use the sleeping beauty story as an inspiration. However, I didn't want to do the standard tale of the damsel in distress being rescued by the handsome prince, so I decided to have the princess do the rescuing. Here, in its very rough form, is the scene where Dev is captured.
“Who are you?” Dev ground out, his voice so low he could barely hear it.
“Ah, but we’ll have time for introductions later,” the voice said, each word like a caress. The sound made him want to shudder, but he didn’t have the energy for it. It wasn’t a voice he recognized and, besides that, it was accented, so he knew it wasn’t anyone from his realm or from Jess’s.
“You’re from Moritan.”
“My, aren’t we a clever prince?”
“That would explain why you reek of sheep.”
Another pair of footsteps appeared, and Dev caught his breath as someone struck him across the face. His head snapped back and he bit his tongue forcefully enough to make it bleed. The tenuous hold he had on consciousness began to slip away.
“Enough,” growled the first voice he’d heard. “We need him alive.”
“He’d be just as good to us dead,” a guttural voice responded. Was it the man who’d struck him?
“No, you idiot, he would not. The only way to lure Jessmyn to us is by using him as bait. If he’s dead, she’ll attack, and we’ll never get close enough to get to her.”
“My apologies, greatness.”
Fear bolted through Dev, jolting him so strongly that it woke him from his stupor. All fatigue forgotten, he lashed out at his two attackers, his swings wild. His fist struck something solid, and he heard a grunt and a thud as the guttural-voice man dropped next to him.
“Subdue him,” the first voice ordered, and now Dev realized it was a woman.
His flailing took on a new desperation as two more pairs of feet approached. Who would want to harm Jessmyn? As far as he knew, her realm was on good terms with Moritan. Moreover, it was not at all like King Mallaric to commit an act of such dishonorable subterfuge, and Dev knew Mallaric valued honor above all else. No, if Mallaric felt any ill will toward King Amin and Queen Farah, he would make it plain.
Desperate, Dev tried shouting, but his voice failed once again. The other two assailants descended upon him and, though he fought savagely, using his fists, feet, and teeth, he was simply too weak to beat them off. They pinned him to the floor and he sucked in great gulps of air that seemed only to make him breathe more deeply, as if what flowed in wasn’t sufficient to feed his lungs. The black borders of his vision filled more rapidly and he was lost, his lips unconsciously forming Jessmyn’s name.