She flinched when she felt Tamiel’s hand on her shoulder before she was raised from the floor. She expected to land on somewhere soon, but he didn’t let her go, only hold her close on his chest and turned her over so she would face his dark eyes.
She wanted to scold him, but couldn’t get words out before the grin from his face faltered when the knife shined against the small light in the corner. “The least you could do is to keep them away from our house.”
“If you prove your right over me, they will stop coming.” He whispered to her, encouraging her, but that worked totally opposite as the next he felt was raw angry slap that really hurt and made him put her down.
“Why should I stop them? You have given me nothing to show you deserve my attention!” she yelled and through the dagger deep in the hard wooden floor. “You only irritate me, bring that scum in here and think that makes me want you more? Who do you think you are?” She tore the knife out again as it there irritated her more than the reason why she had sent it in the wood in the first place.
“I am the leader of the best hunters in the clan you were brought to be part of!”
“So what?” She shrugged. “That doesn’t justify your actions – even your father has more respect to his partners than you have ever given to me. He never has more than one at a time, but you have three of them and others taking in line…” Her voice faded into whisper. She was losing this battle and losing strength to even breathe. She sat on the corner of the bed. “And I’m so tired of this…”
He growled and turned to the light. Others ran from him. They would get what they wanted and go. But she stayed, put up with his moods and bearing with him, when he recovered from his last wound before urging him to go on the next hunt.
“Do you care enough of me to be my only one?” He swayed, enough to see her reaction.
She glanced at him. Was this a trick question? But he didn’t sound his usual arrogant way. Still, it made her cautious.
“If I do, would I be?”
He stood before her and began without thinking it through. “You have fought with me and proved yourself and you have wisdom I haven’t encountered with anyone at your age so far. True, you are not skilled when it comes in battle. Also you don’t know much of our ways, but I can’t hold it against you as you are learning.” He paused and she lowered her eyes, visibly waiting negative answer. He realized he was losing her again if he didn’t act fast and his little speech still didn’t seem to convince her, he continued. “You don’t run after me, but wait for me to come…” He was almost whispering now. “Yes.”
She didn’t raise her head, but the way her body started to shake, he knew she was touched by his answer and partly not believing it. She opened her lips, but only to take a rapid breath.
Her shaking was making him more nervous than on his first hunt. He waited her to react by now, but she didn’t, swinging her body front and back and hugging herself like crazy. She’s thinking. That’s good, right?
Finally she rose. She lifted her free hand and traced his mesh on his chest, but didn’t look up. That was before she shook her head in disbelief and left without Tamiel doing anything to stop her.
“You don’t believe me?” he asked quietly before she got to the door, voice cracking from the blood rush.
“I thought at least you would be honest to me…” she voiced her answer, though every muscle in her neck was against it, pushing up tears she had no intentions of crying. “I never thought…” her lips closed as they refused to talk.
Thought what? He was confused – he was telling the truth. How could she even think otherwise?
She was gone and showed no intentions of returning. He couldn’t leave it this way and leave her such impression, even as if it was false. It was true – he hadn’t given her any reason to believe she was more to him than mere servant. At the same time, he had given her no reason to believe he was a liar. There had always been only truth between them, even when it hurt. She was the one, who should be called liar, hiding her true feelings like that!
“Now look here…” he stormed in her room, but his voice stuck in his throat – her bed was messed up and bloody. Red blood. There was no trace of rustle or anything other, but there was a trail of blood leading on the balcony.
“Susan?” He went by the trail until he saw two very shaky feet behind the dark curtains.
“Go away!!” she screamed and the feet disappeared under her brown gown.
“Susan?” he reached his hand out to pull the curtain away.
“I said – go away.” Her voice was weaker now and meant nothing of what she said.
He pulled the curtain away and stood there for a moment in silence. Her hands were soaked in blood up to her elbows and so was her face, probably from sweeping the tears with bloody hands.
“What did you do?” he demanded, anger underlining the horror his voice carried.
“I don’t know…” she sounded really funny, like upset little child and cried. “I still had your knife…” she smiled like it was funny, before she raised her elbow to reveal it in her left side. She gulped. “You know…” her voice grew weaker. “ I didn’t think it would hurt this much…”
He growled lower. “Stupid human woman! Why did you do that for?!”
“Take the easy way out, my aunt said…” Strong shiver ran through her. “If even he lies to you,” she gulped, “take the easy way out, she said…”
He froze. He couldn’t even begin to comprehend the logic behind it.
“Easy way out? She told you to take the easy way out? You have stood up to me, to my clan, giving them no reason to treat you with nothing but respect! You have given up yourself to be on my side and now you take an easy way out? Why do you take human woman’s word of advice in a matter, where she has no true knowledge? You are the strongest female I have seen and now you go and do something that stupid? How pathetic! A human!”
Her attention was disappearing with her eyes fluttering shut before her body started shaking violently. He picked her up from the cold stone floor and took her back to her bed, pushing the bloody sheets away first.
“But you lie to me now… I can’t bear if you too lie to me…” He stopped, her still in his hands and stared in her closing eyes. “If you lie to me, who else can I trust…”
Her last words were more like air that left her lips, but to him they were as sharp as a knife. He wanted to tell her that he had never lied to her, but he knew she wouldn’t had heard it or understood it anyway. Her body had stopped shaking and he flinched – she was still bleeding and needed instant care or his first true evening he’d spent with his wife might be the shortest one he ever had.
She woke up early in the morning. At first she thought she had just fallen asleep, but all seemed so fuzzy and a sudden try to move her hand ended with extreme pain in her side. That brought yesterday’s drama back in her mind and she bit in her lower lip not to make any sound as she was sure there were several around her, who waited her to come conscious.
“The pain would be easier to tolerate if you stopped fidgeting.” He heard a low voice from the dark.
She rested the hand back on the bed and turned her attention on the voice, but couldn’t get her eyes focus.
“You are one strange human, but nothing more than just a human.” He accused, or acknowledging the fact. It didn’t matter really as it hurt nevertheless. “I don’t lie to you, stupid human, nor did I lie to you earlier.”
She couldn’t help the tears that rose to her eyes, pressing their way out. She cupped her mouth not to make any sound as she was dissolved in tears. She gulped.
The shadow in the corner growled, before she realized it came from far closer than she had expected and a strong robust hand wiped her tears away while the angry voice sighed. “That takes you nowhere and you need your fluid, so stop crying.”
The bed shook a bit sd he laid down next to her, so she could feel the warmth that radiated from his body. He laid still, front turned to her, while she was still gulping hard, trying to end the tears, but it proved to be much harder than she expected. His palm rose and brushed them away again.
She shoot her hand out to catch his, before it disappeared back in the darkness, but missed it just a second, so she reached it on her left, barring the pain on that side, where she hoped to find him and she encountered calmly breathing chest muscles.
“You tare the stitches out if you continue like this.” He scolded and bushed her hand back to her side. “I’m not going anywhere, you like it or not.” He heard her chuckle, but continued, ignoring it, “I might have to stitch it again and this time I’m keeping you awake.”
He couldn’t make himself as cold as he would have liked. He was too clad she’d woken. Watching her lifeless body earlier had made him go through all the options that would rise when she really died and he didn’t think he would have liked any of them. Perhaps a year ago he would have thought differently, that seemed far now, but now the laughing he heard just seconds ago warmed his heart more than she could imagine or he knew how to express.
He shifted closer to her, enough to be against her skin, but far enough to give her wounded side space and felt her hand grab for his mesh, which wasn’t there and she sighed disappointedly, like not realizing it. He caught her hand and supported it against his chest, letting out a silent grunt to coerce her to lay quiet.
She didn’t need that reminder though as her hand relaxed right when it touched the solid surface. She tried to stay wake, he heard it from how she breathed, but it was getting harder now. Not because of the wound though, that proved to be nothing more than flesh wound, but duo the anesthetic he had injected her earlier to help her relax.
He watched her head fall on side, closed eyes looking turned to him. He pushed her hair away from her face, feeling the cold sweat. There was nothing more he could do now, but he was glad nevertheless.