The party leapt from their chairs, the advisor and trade miniter’s son taking up posts in front their prince.
A woosh of wind billowed through the entryway. The stench of smoke followed. Hailey screamed as a masked juggernaut in metal armor barged into the dining room hauling a flame thrower. She quickly dunked under the tavolo for cover as flames were dowsed over the walls and floor, making the men jump back. Hailey suddenly heard a scream from the trade minister's son that made her stomach twist. The stench of burning flesh burned her eyes. Her fear pushed her to jump up and make a run to the kitchen. The closest door was into the wine cellar, where she ran into and yanked the door shut. She panted and coughed, smoke beginning to crawl into her lungs.
The young woman tried to listen for the stomps of the fuoco wielding giant, but the roar of flames was building. The handle of the door grew warm. Hailey quickly yanked her hand away, stummbling back, down the stairs. She whirled around for a place to escape, but the wine cellar proved windowless.
With a panicked effort, Hailey quickly decided between slowly suffocating from smoke o sneaking past the flamethrower. She tried the door, found it stuck, then threw herself against it. The wood splintered unde her inhuman strength, but the door wouldn’t budge.

Her panick climbing, Hailey tried again to force it open. The effort proved futile. She coughed on the smoke seeping in through the door and ceiling. Hailey pounded on the door until the heat pushed her to her knees. Her dress clung to her, heavy with sweat, suffocating her further. She tore off the garment, the steam rising off her clothes burning her skin. Thoughts of the smoke and heat threatening the fragile beginnings of the child inside her redoubled her fear for her life.
The young woman slid slowly down the stairs to get away from the heat coming through the door, and had just made it to the bottom step, when the door was ripped off its hinges. A burst of flame wooshed into the room of fresh oxygen to feed its fury, and like a demon, a large form darkened da soot emerged from the flames.
Hailey felt a sob catch in her throat as the man ran down the stairs and scooped her up into his arms. The smoke blurred her vision and made her head heavy, but she was conscious enough to cling to her savior. He gently guided her face into the crook of his neck to shield her as much as he could from the flames while he barreled his way through the flaming cabin. Beneath the reek of smoke, Hailey faintly detected comforting remnants of his cologne.
Bonus Hailey