MidReal Story

Rebel's Redemption: A Tale of Freedom and Courage

Scenario: A former slave wakes up from a nightmare in a rebel camp. Reminding her self she is safe and free
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A former slave wakes up from a nightmare in a rebel camp. Reminding her self she is safe and free
I wake up screaming.
It takes me a moment to realize that I’m in the rebel camp, not back in the empire, and that Jaxon and Lysandra are going to come running if I don’t shut up.
I clamp my hand over my mouth and squeeze my eyes shut, trying to force the images from my mind.
But it’s no use.
They’re burned into my memory, just like the scars on my back.
I can still feel the sting of the whip as it cuts through my skin, can still hear the sound of my mother’s screams as she’s dragged away by the guards.
And I can still see the look in Jaxon’s eyes when he realizes that he can’t save us.
I roll over and bury my face in my pillow, trying to muffle the sobs that are threatening to escape.
It’s been three years since I escaped from the empire, but some nights it feels like I never left.
Some nights, I can still hear the guards coming for me, can still feel their hands on my skin.
I sit up, my heart pounding and my body drenched in sweat.
It’s the same nightmare I’ve been having for as long as I can remember, and it never gets easier.
I close my eyes and take a deep breath, trying to calm myself down, but the images are still there, lurking at the edge of my mind.
My mother’s screams, the guards’ laughter, the feeling of helplessness.
I shiver, despite the warmth of the tent, and wrap my arms around myself, trying to push the memories away.
But they’re not going anywhere.
They never do.
I swing my legs over the side of the cot and sit there for a moment, staring out into the darkness.
The rest of the camp is quiet, but I know that there are people out there, keeping watch while the rest of us sleep.
I can see the faint glow of the fire through the canvas walls of the tent, and I can hear the soft murmur of voices as they talk quietly among themselves.
It’s always hardest at night.
The darkness reminds me too much of home: of the cell where I was kept when I wasn’t working, of the cold stone walls that seemed to close in on me, of the guards who came for me every night.
I shake my head, trying to push the memories away, but they’re still there, lurking at the back of my mind.
And they’re not going anywhere.
I glance over at Jaxon’s cot and see that he’s still asleep.
His chest rises and falls evenly, and his face is smooth and relaxed.
I swallow hard and try to ignore the sudden tightness in my chest.
He’s the only one who really understands.
The only one who knows what it’s like to have your whole life ripped away from you.
The only one who’s been through what I’ve been through.
And he’s mine now.
He saved me from the empire and brought me here, to this camp, where we fight against them every day.
Where we fight so that no one else has to go through what I went through.
I get up from the cot and make my way across the tent to where Jaxon is sleeping.
I sit down on the edge of his bed and reach out to brush his hair away from his forehead.
He stirs beneath my touch, but he doesn’t wake up.
He’s always been a heavy sleeper.
I lean down and press a kiss to his cheek before getting up to pour myself a cup of water from the jug on the table.
I drink it quickly, trying to wash away the taste of fear that still lingers in my mouth, before sitting back down on my own cot and curling up beneath the thin blanket.
It takes a while for my heart rate to return to normal, but eventually, I start to relax.
The memories are still there, but they’re fading, pushed back by the knowledge that I’m safe now, that I’m free.
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As I start to drift off to sleep once more, I realize that Jaxon has turned towards me.
His arm is stretched out across the empty space between our cots, his hand resting on my waist.
I reach up and cover it with my own, lacing our fingers together.
Even in his sleep, his touch is a comfort.
It reminds me that I’m not alone.
That I have him.
That I have the rebels.
That I have a family now.
And that I never have to go back.
The first time I met Jaxon Rilis was three years ago.
He was a slave, just like me.
But he was also a rebel.
And when the guards caught him trying to escape, they brought him back to the estate where I was working and made an example of him.
They beat him within an inch of his life and left him for dead in the courtyard.
But I couldn’t let him die.
So I went out into the courtyard after the guards left and dragged him back to my cell.
It took weeks for him to heal, but he did.
And when he did, he told me about the rebellion and how they were fighting against the empire and how they needed soldiers like me.
He showed me that I could fight back.
He showed me that I could be more than just a slave girl.
He showed me that I could be a warrior.
We escaped together and I’ve been with him ever since.
We’ve been through so much together in those three years: training and fighting and surviving.
We’ve seen things that I never could have imagined back in the empire.
We’ve done things that I never thought possible.
And we’ve lost so much along the way: friends and allies and comrades in arms.
But Jaxon has never lost faith in our cause.
He knows that we can win this war.
He knows that we can bring down the empire.
He knows that we can be free.
And if he believes it, then so do I.
“I love you,” I whisper into the darkness as I stare at Jaxon’s sleeping form.
I wish he would wake up and say it back.
Sometimes, when I’m lying here in the dark, I wonder if he knows what he means to me.
If he knows how much he’s changed my life.
If he knows how grateful I am for everything he’s done for me.
But then he stirs in his sleep and rolls over to face me, and I see the faint smile on his lips, and I know that he does.
He knows exactly how I feel.
And he feels the same way too.
We lie there in silence for a long time, listening to each other breathe.
It’s peaceful, almost.
And I know we should get some sleep before we have to get up and start fighting again.
But I don’t want to move.
Not when I have this moment right here, with Jaxon’s hand on my waist and his eyes on mine and his heart beating against mine.
Not when I have him.
He’s mine now.
And I’ll never let him go.
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I’m overwhelmed by a surge of emotion as Jaxon’s dark eyes meet mine and I see the concern in them.
I don’t know why it makes me feel this way—why his concern makes my heart skip a beat and my stomach do a flip-flop and a flurry of butterflies erupt in my chest—but it does.
And there’s nothing I can do to stop it.
“Are you all right?”
Jaxon asks softly as he leans in to kiss my forehead.
“Just a bad dream.”
“I know,” he says.
He reaches out and brushes away a tear that escapes from the corner of my eye, and I know that he has them too.
He has bad dreams, just like me.
He has memories that haunt him, just like me.
“I’m sorry,” I whisper.
I don’t know what else to say.
I can’t take away his pain.
I can’t make everything better.
But I can be here for him.
Just like he’s always been here for me.
Jaxon reaches out and pulls me into his arms, wrapping me in his warmth and his strength.
For a moment, we’re silent, just holding each other and listening to each other breathe.
And then I let myself relax against him, knowing that he won’t let me fall.
Knowing that he’ll never let me go.
“I love you,” Jaxon says as he kisses the top of my head.
“I love you too,” I say back.
I close my eyes and take a deep breath as I sink into his embrace.
I listen to the sound of his heart beating against mine as I feel his fingers comb through my hair.
It’s comforting, somehow.
The way it always is.
No matter what happens, no matter how bad things get, Jaxon is always there for me.
He’s always there to hold me and protect me and make me feel safe.
The safety of his arms keeps away the darkness that haunts me at night.
The warmth of his embrace reminds me that I’m not alone anymore.
And when we’re like this—when we’re holding each other like this—I know that everything will be okay.
I know that no matter what happens in this war, we’ll survive it together.
And somehow, we’ll find a way to be happy again.
Maybe not today or tomorrow or next month or next year, but someday.
Someday soon.
Because we’re fighters.
Because we’re warriors.
Because we’re rebels.
And because we love each other with all our hearts.
I roll over in Jaxon’s arms so I’m facing him again and press my hand against his chest as I look up at him.
He smiles down at me, and for a moment, it feels like there’s no one else in the world except for us.
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