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"It's just Corban, Corban Reid." He said as he navigated the path. If they kept heading East, they should still be on the right track. "I'm not a knight or anything, I don't have a title. Where are you from, anyway? England?" What other places had palaces? India, maybe. He suddenly wished he hadn't dropped out of school so early.
"Ah, I see," Isabelle murmured. Where was she from? She snickered; this boy really was ignorant. "I'm the from the Kingdom of the North, silly boy." Duh. She was about to continue, but a rock caught her slipper, and soon she was on her hands and knees, her eyes wide in surprise. "Oh dear," she whimpered, wincing as she looked at all the scratches and scuffs on her palms. And... was that blood..? Oh dear Lord.
Corban rolled his eyes at the look of shock on her face. "It's just a scrape, I've had much worse and survived." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a sealed antiseptic wipe. "Here, clean it with this just in case. Infections are really annoying." He imagined her face if she found herself not only leaking blood, but some green or yellow pus, too. Again, he had to suppress a smirk.
"Where North? Earth's a big place, and, technically, if you go far enough North eventually you'll end up South." He gestured South.
Isabelle took the thingy from him, frowning at it as she turned it this way and that, trying to find a purpose for it. How was she supposed to clean with this..? "Um... Well, it's farther North than the river that divides the kingdoms, but compared to the Northern Sea, my kingdom is more South. So I suppose it's in between." She handed back the thingy. "I don't know what this is." It probably wasn't needed anyway.
Corban blinked at her. Yup, she was nuts. He sighed and took the wipe back, tearing open the package. He dropped the wrapper on the ground and grabbed her hand. "This might sting a bit." He cleaned the dirt off of the scrapes, which were already beggining to scab over. It was astounding how soft her hands were; it was as if she'd never even touched anything in her life.
He was right. It did sting. Isabelle whimpered softly, forcing herself not to jerk her hands away. Why did it have to hurt? Wasn't cleaning supposed to make things better? But she was blushing now, against her will; boys had never touched her so nicely and helpfully before. It was weird.
Corban dropped the wipe on the ground too. He'd never been a very "green" person. "The scabs should be dry in a minute. Try not to get dirt on you hands too much until they are." He said, dropping her hands and walking away. They'd been walking for maybe an hour, and the sun was dropping lower. They only had a little over an hour before dark, and he didn't want to risk climbing without light.
Isabelle did her best to keep up with him, though it was proving to be difficult; all the rocks and things kept trying to trip her, not to mention Corban's legs were already longer than hers. She shivered as the air seemed to get cooler every minute, and she wrapped her arms around herself. "Corban," she called to him, "I'm cold..."
Corban sighed yet again, and shrugged off his heavy leather jacket. He was wearing two layers of shirts anyway. Handing it over, he said, "Put that on, and keep moving. Moving will help you stay warm."
"But..." Wouldn't he be cold without his coat-thing? Isabelle sighed, taking it from him and pulling her arms through the sleeves. It was much too big for her, but she didn't care; it was still warm from his body heat, thank goodness. "Aren't you cold?"
Corban shrugged, "I'm wearing two shirts. Besides, I'm bigger than you, so I don't get cold as easily. And, if you live in Washington, you get used to the cold. Just wait a couple months when it starts snowing." He didn't have any air conditioning at his place, not that he'd be able to afford it if he did.
Isabelle's eyes lit up slightly at the mention of snow. "I remember snow," she said, nodding, before sighing rather sadly. She was never allowed to play in snow like those peasant children. Her parents didn't want her getting sick... "Is playing in snow fun her in Washington? It looked fun where I used to be..."
Corban shrugged a shoulder, "I guess. I haven't done it in years..." He shook his head. Last winter hadn't been good. It was fuzzy, but he still remembered the pain, and his blood as it melted the snow.
In years... But that meant he had still done it at some point in time. "Oh. I've never done it at all," Isabelle admitted a little sheepishly, gasping as she almost tripped again. "What about the last time it snowed here? Why didn't you play in it?"
"I was busy. Working." Corban answered, leaving out the bit where he owed a gang of dr.ug dealers five hundred dollars and the'd beaten him and left im laying, unconscious, in the snow. "Some of us don't have caves full of money."
"Oh, right," Isabelle said, nodding. "Peasants have to work, I forgot. Even working in the snow... Sounds rather cold." A bit too cold for her taste. "Oh, but... That wasn't my cave full of money. I don't normally sleep in caves..."
"Why would you be sleeping in someone else's cave?" Corban asked, stepping over a small fallen pine. "You didn't walk there, not in those things." He gestured to her feet.
"Ah... well..." That was a good question. "I really don't know how I got there," Isabelle admitted quietly, struggling to get over the tree herself. She had a feeling Corban would just end up getting frustrated again if she asked for help, so she at least tried... and fell again. This time she cursed loudly, curling up on the ground this time. This was stupid.
Corban didn't even sigh this time. "Well, what was the last thing you remember?" He asked, waiting for her to get up. Really, even the wimpiest of the girls he'd gone to school with had been tougher than this.
Isabelle took a deep breath to calm her nerves before standing up, brushing the leaves out of her hair. She could tell by the sting that the scabs on her hands were no longer there, but se pretended everything was fine as she began walking again. "Um... It was my sixteenth birthday, I believe... and I pricked my finger. And I must have fainted, because here I am now, just having awoken. Maybe I was poisoned at the party or something..."