Chapter Thirteen: Nightly Love, Nightly Not
“Two boys yes, no older than 25 I’d say, one had purple eyes most likely has some Aqua clan descent the winged boy mentioned his name being Mayfel, I didn’t get the last name though”
“And the other?” Zachariah asked quietly.
Both were sat around a disused oil drum currently spitting out embers and heat along with a warm orange, flickering glow.
“Winged, definitely Aer Clan” she said gazing into the fire.
“Aer Clan? But I thought none had been seen out of the palace walls since the war ended” he said bemused by the sudden information.
“There hasn’t and yet both him and the seer pass through The Hollow and attempt to cross the bridge, from the horses they rode on, it seemed they came from Crestfold itself and were being hunted by capital assassins” The fire reflected off the grey of her reverie glazed eyes, it was troubling her that both came from the capital seemingly unharmed even though the council- mainly Braylen- was hoping to wipe out the Aer clan and take over Himiratia and Evangelis, why send hunters after them when they could have ended their lives before they even left Crestfold
“If what you say is true and the boy is a seer then chances are he might know of the plans, It’s a big stretch but it’s possible. Did they say why they were crossing over to Nirvariten?”
“Just said they were travelling to meet a friend” she said again turning her attention to him.
“We should keep an eye on them that’s if they are still alive. If they know something then we need to find out the details. How many hunters were after them?”
“As far as I could tell there were three of them, I killed one and the others fled but where to I have no idea” she said
“I’m trusting you to find them and earn their trust afterall if he knew your past they’d undoubtedly trust you too”
“You know I don’t share my past with strangers, you of all people should know that”
“I was a stranger at the time” he replied with a smile crawling onto his face at the memories of them chatting into the early hours about small things or gossip they’d heard around camp, sometimes it’d be heart to heart sharing all their emotions of difficult situations and heartbreak.
She was- like everyone at that establishment- close to him and his sister, they looked out for each other and even though he was a leader and had to be tough at times he was respected and in return, he respected everyone else, but she was closer than most at least in his eyes.
Zachariah earned his respect; he didn’t demand it which is why his men were willing to go to battle for or with him for whatever purpose because they were all family and family had each other’s backs no matter what.
Everyone was equal and no one was ever turned away.
“I never quite thought of you as a stranger Zack, you never saw me differently even when I told you my past, you were kind to me then and still are now” she explained, reminiscing the times gone by as her grey eyes skimmed his soft yet stern features.
Slight femininity graced his facial structure passed down by his mother who in her life had been beautiful.
Zack shared a lot of her looks she thought, almost like a painting he had his dad’s stern outlines made for leading, toned down by his mother’s soft undertones.
She’d known them briefly, she’d been ten at the time and was grateful to them since they’d saved her life in the battle where both her parents had been murdered and she herself had been savagely stripped of her heritage.
His Stygian hair now all tousled and messy was stark against his pale orange glowing skin, it was so tempting to brush the single strands that hung in front of his eyes away and run her fingers through the black waves.
“Well I can’t judge people since I for one am not what people would class as normal” he whispered scanning over her face from her eyes down to her lips and back again taking in every small detail as he went like the dimples framing her slightly chapped lips and the dusting of tiredness under the pale grey eyes outlined with thickly curled lashes.
“You’re normal Zack” she whispered back feeling her body move forward like the current drawing her out into the unknown.
Small pauses between the movement created a feeling of anticipation, Zack too was gradually moving closer which with them sitting on the ground wrapped in blankets by the fire made it a lot easier.
Their lips only inches apart, hot breaths cascading over their lips, she felt her heartbeat pick up as did her breathing and with one last look into the icy blue pools her eyes fluttered closed.
Her breath caught in her throat as a pair of lips connected to her own, they were softer but held a considerate and firm connection.
The sensation of calloused skin against her cheek felt hesitant and shy which made her heart swell with adoration for the man, they’d been close since childhood but never had they acted on the feelings until now making her wish she hadn’t waited so long.
She kissed back with a bit more intensity than she’d meant but Zack seemed to take it all in his stride with newfound confidence he didn’t have moments ago, bringing his other hand up to her opposite cheek to cup her face and draw her closer.
Her hands gripped tightly at the light fabric of his shirt through the opening in the blanket, their lips collided like the waves of the ocean each moment the two met brought a new gathering of passion and affection.
Heavy breaths whispered in the silence as their lips parted but not straying too far, icy blue observed pale moon grey, hot breaths fanned across each other lips and the sound of their thudding hearts in their chest filled the quiet air.
Her eyes drifted back to his swollen pink lips before yanking him forward by his shirt and in a spur of passion, connected them again pulling him down on top of her so their bodies lay pressed together atop her blanket as his own tumbled down his shoulders hanging off the rest of him covering both their figures.
His hands roamed her sides as hers slipped up his shirt and up his toned and fever fuelled skin to his chest where her hands sprawled out and lay flat pushing against it.
His graceful fingers slipped under her shirt and began tracing intricate patterns as if following a detailed map only he could read and understand, it sent shivers through her with how well he seemed to know her and how tender he was being with her like he was scared to break her as if she was a rare specimen, the last of its kind.
She loved the feeling of his lips on hers nearly as much as when he trailed delicate feathery kisses across her cheek down to her jaw before dipping his head and leaving sweet remnants of his lips in a smooth pathway down her neck.
Her head was now turned and her eyes hooded in a fever-like state matching her skin that burned with attention and affection, to look at the flames that had grown dimmer but still ablaze casting her in his shadows.
Breathless pleads fell from between her red lips to which she thought he missed but she should have known better, he listened to her, he always listened to what she had to say no matter what it was and this was no different.
He answered her wishes to which his hands slid up her body bundling up the shirt until it was calmly removed and discarded to the side along with his own soon after.
They both took a silent minute to observe one another.
Zack looked down at her taking in everything she presented, he couldn’t deny she was beautiful even with her battle scars and the purple-tinted scar that ran down the centre of her chest-partially interrupted by the bridge of her black lace bra- where the crest of The Fallen had once been present.
He traced over the scar not ignoring the texture of the lace as his fingers went over it, he loved being so close to her even if it was for the first time.
He loved being so close that he could touch the scars and show her how he sees her with her flaws that in no way made her less striking or less loved.
Nothing could sway his mind or obscure his vision of her.
As he observed her she was taking her own time to note the small details hopefully only she would get to see like the subtle curves of his body that some would call unmanly but she’d never see him as any less than what he is, a leader and a true gentleman.
The ripples of muscles leading up his stomach like smooth rolling hills flexed with his movements as did the strong arms that braced his upper body above her, then her eyes fell to his sturdy chest and the two crescent scars lining under each peck from his journey to becoming who he wanted to be.
She graced her fingertips over them receiving a light shudder from the man above her, he was brave to have admitted to not only himself but everyone else who he truly was and who he truly felt like, she’d done the same back when they’d first met, telling people her real heritage was always a risk but she could say for the both of them that it was a release of breath neither anticipated just hearing the words of acceptance and encouragement.
Their eyes fell to each other once again before their lips collided in a fierce hunger as more clothes were discarded and the only other sources of warmth they had was the blanket draped over them, the fire lazily burning beside them and the heat from their own bodies pressed together.
Between the harsh breaths and the crackles of burning wood from the fire, four words were spoken in a hushed whisper slipping softly past Zack’s lips, something he’d been meaning to tell her for a long time.
With no interruptions and no chance for time to slip between his fingers, he plucked up the courage letting them be woven into his fate and future.
“I love you, Aveline”.
* * *
“Mayfel can I talk to you?” they had momentarily arrived at Rena’s house having only just been shown the room they’d be sharing for the night and they hadn’t even put their bags down before Kaydences patience gave in and he couldn’t help but blurt it out.
With a sigh and the thud of Mayfel’s bag hitting the carpet he turned to face Kaydence, not looking happy whatsoever that he’d broken the silence that he was enjoying.
“There’s nothing to talk about” he said, a little too snappy for Kaydences liking.
“Well how about the way you’re acting towards me? Did I upset you? Just tell me what I did wrong and I’ll fix it” he said, sounding desperate.
“You can’t fix anything if there’s nothing to fix, just leave it alone Kaydence.” his eyes had flickered purple and green but the dull olive-green became dominant and took over his irises.
“You’re clearly mad about something, was it because Rena and I talked about you?”
“What do you want from me Kaydence!?” he yelled frustrated which definitely caught him off guard, the innocent boy no longer standing before him, instead stood a man full of rage whether it was directed at him or just bottled up from multiple destinations he didn’t know but it scared him to see this side.
“I want you to tell me why you’re suddenly acting so cold towards me. I understand you’ve been through a lot but I just want to help you”
“I’m sorry if I’m acting “off” to you but if you remember I told you that my mother was Aqua Clan. If you haven’t caught on by now she was from this village and she’s dead so sorry if I’m acting off and secondly yes I have been through a lot but I don’t need you pitying me!” he ranted, Kaydence noticed the slight glazing over Mayfel’s eyes it was just a small slither of the vulnerable part of him, it was a sign that the Mayfel he knew and cared so much for was still there with him.
“I’m sorry about your mother alright but I don’t pity you Mayfel, I just worry because you were so shaken up. I didn’t mean to upset you, things tend to slip my mind lately and right now there’s a lot on my mind” he explained sympathetically keeping his voice and tone hushed.
“Like Rena, you mean?” Mayfel accused coldly.
“You heard me Kaydence, I’m not stupid. I see the way you ogle at her you look like a lost puppy.” he chuckled dryly “Flirting with my best friend who is here to help us, that’s it.”
“I am not ogling her I don’t plan on romancing or anything of the sort I am simply being kind and for your information, she was the one making comments at me not the other way around. We talked about you not how we’re going to spend our lives together”
“I don’t think staring at her is classed as being kind, also how about you don’t talk about me and the information I trusted you with behind my back. What if I hadn’t have told Rena about my father and mother? You would have just given all of that private information away without even asking me. Now if you don’t mind, I’d like to sleep in peace”
“Mayfel please, look I’m sorry, you’re right I shouldn’t have said any of that but I can’t take it back what’s done is done so can we just put this behind us and get back to how it was?” he pleaded
“Put what behind us? The fact you’re flirting with my best friend? Sure do what you want just don’t forget the mission” he said before laying in the bed facing the wall and closing his eyes.
“I really am sorry and I honestly mean It. Have a good sleep” was the last thing he said before walking out the room and closing the door leaving a confused and exhausted Mayfel behind.