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From the Darkness of Our Souls (Part 3)
Scenes flashing by coursed through my veins.
“Mama!” A child crying, a wooden house with five rooms on the bottom floor. A woman stood near a large fire with a pot warming. A child’s hand snuck a tart from a table. Scurrying off, the child ran into a man. He moved her behind him while he snatched a tart of the same table. Winking at the girl and holding a finger in front of his lips in silence, he led her to a secluded room where they sat engorging on their stolen treats.
The room was sharp in detail. It was a small place with a dark wood desk covered in sheets of white and a tall case full of books. A half burned candle sat in a holder on the desk while the hearth remained empty of life.
This room, it was so familiar. The figures seemed to speed up.
The next scene was of a room about the same size as the last one with a dark wood dresser, a chest and a standing bed tucked in the corner against an opening in a wall. Fading sunlight peaked in, painting the wooden floor pink. The girl, a bit younger here, waddled about picking up colorful cloth and wooden dolls. A thump sound and the child with long plaited hair climbed into the bed. The door opened and a man and woman came in, obviously the child’s parents.
“Papa! Mama, story!” The man went and kissed the girl on her head and left the room. The woman pulled a thin square from a case similar to the first room.
It was stifling how familiar this place was to me. It was right there but something was blocking the memories. I knew these people, but how? Who were they to me? It was like a wall was being placed between me and the memories.
It felt as if a fire was eating me alive, like I had been thrown to a wild blaze. The pain began to become too strong for me to best and I screamed. This went on for some time.
This fire was eating me alive. It would only leave an empty shell once it was done. I lost count how many times I screamed. This was familiar too, this frightening heat. Something I had felt as a child. Someone, I called out for someone then. Nana? Or Ash maybe? Who? Who had I called out for? The words went past my lips in a cry, but I couldn’t understand them. What had I just said? Something was placed over my mouth. Panic. Panic as fast moving as the swiftest river. Blue eyes, pale skin, angry red lashes from a whip. The lanky form of a man in darkness, half his face cast in shadow. Who?
Shooting straight up, I groped at the hand covering my mouth. It was quickly tightened while another hand gripped my shoulder.
“Zeta, calm. Don’t speak.” Ash.
“I’ll remove my hand if you swear not to speak.” His eyes were dark, so dark. Had his eyes always been that dark? With his hand still over my mouth, he shook my head.
“You hear me girl?” Dazed at his suddenly talking to me, I nodded slowly.
He took his hand from my mouth.
“As-” His hand was covering my mouth again within seconds.
“No. No speaking.” Nodding again, he took his hand from my mouth. He was breathing heavily, his bare chest rising and falling with the beat of my heart. His hair was astray, telling me he had been asleep. It was second nature to reach out and run my fingers through his Mohawk. The hair was short enough that it stood on its own with only the tips hanging down. Drawing my hand back, I realized what I did.
“Oh sor-” His hand smacked against my mouth he moved to quickly to stop my speaking. He shook his head ‘no’. Lowering my head to stare at my lap, I blushed. Only now did I realize where I was laying. My lower half was covered in furs not my own as was Ash. He drew my attention away from my embarrassment.
“Don’t speak. Nod your head. Do you know what you were saying?” I made to speak but caught myself when he raised his hand. Shaking my head from side to side, I watched him study me to see if I was lying. He had done this before, he’d study me when he wanted to make sure I was telling the truth. The no talking thing was new though.
With a sigh, he must have deemed me truthful. He laid back with his hands rubbing over his face. Half of me wanted to lie down next to him, the other half of me told me that people will talk. We were not yet bonded, we should not share a bed until we were.
“You have been with fever these past few days.” I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to speak yet so I kept my mouth closed. He sat up, obviously noticing my discomfort.
“Your fever wouldn’t break. Nana couldn’t stay with you. They were going to make her leave you there alone.” So that was why I was here. Wasn’t I in-
“Do you know where we found you?” I shook my head ‘no’.
“We found you passed out near the white man.” He turned his back to me. The planes of his back held only her tan skin and a large scar from a childhood hunting accident that went from shoulder to hip.
“Why- why were you there?” The muscles in his back quivered.
“I didn’t know where I was.” Realizing I spoke, I was prepared for him to tell me to be quiet. After a few moments of silence he went on.
“That didn’t answer my question.” Should I tell him? Should I tell him that I ran out because Nana didn’t understand that Ash didn’t want to bond with me? I couldn’t lie to Ash. He would know in an instant if I were to lie.
“ I ran from Nana. She-she did not understand my listlessness. She would not understand that I will not hold you to your vows.” He stiffened at my explanation, turning slightly to face me.
“I was angry, I am angry. I didn’t mean to make you feel like I wanted to go back on my vows.” He sighed again but this time it seemed as if I didn’t cause it. My heart was racing, did he really mean that?
“I…never mind. I’ll go and let you sleep-” He stood to leave. I didn’t want him to leave. Halting him by grabbing his wrist, I tugged him back down.
“Tell Me.” Such simple words had a large impact on his facial features. He looked conflicted for a moment, then his face went blank.
“Why did you want me to spare him?” The answer, I wasn’t sure myself, slipped out.
:If you had killed, I would have hated you. I would have hated you and I don’t know why. For some reason, he can’t die, he brings these pictures to my mind. They seem so familiar, yet I don’t know why.” I couldn’t help but chuckle at the idiocy of what I just said.
“It sounds dumb, I know.” He stood again and I feared he might have left, but instead he paced, his face serious and in deep thought.
“Ash…?” He stopped mid-stride and stared at me. I held my arms out for him, he came to me.
“I’m scared.” Gravity seemed to be all too strong then and I fell backwards with him on top. He kissed my forehead, then my cheeks and eyelids, moving his way down to my lips.