Chapter 30: Under the Stars
The sky was red and purple as the sun slowly descended in the horizon. Eragon felt the cold night breeze and he shivered as he changed his position on Saphira’s saddle, trying to find a comfortable position. Behind him Angela chuckled at an unheard comment, clutching Solembum on her lap. She looked at the trees below, as they passed, faster than the eye could follow, from the speed that Saphira was flying in. Near Saphira, Gadaroth was flying, Salador clutching his dragon’s neck spike to keep in the saddle, while Firnen was a little ahead of them, Arya laughing on his back. The three dragons were in some form of racing competition, and for the moment Firnen was winning. Eragon, knowing Saphira’s flying abilities was willing to wager that she would be able to pass the other two dragons, even with the extra weight on her back.
Eragon tried to suppress a laugh as Saphira flew faster and with a burst of speed, Saphira passed in front just before the mark they had set as an end line, a tall rock that could be seen from a distance. Firnen looked stunned as he approached and resumed his normal speed.
“Hatchlings...” Saphira said to him with contempt and Eragon smiled as Gadaroth praised Saphira for winning and Firnen looked at her with awe.
The trip had been far from comfortable with Angela talking about random things and Solembum snoring on her lap. Eragon was playing a game of riddles with Saphira and he had lost, not surprisingly. He was never good at finding the answers to riddles. They would soon have to rest for the night. Eragon searched for a spot and after a few minutes he found a small clearing that looked protected from the cold wind, and was easily defensible in case there was an attack. Saphira saw it too and with a quick move, she descended towards the clearing, her large blue wings flapping and pushing the air with force to make her stop and land safely.
Her hair slowly moving from the air, Arya was sitting near the fire, trying to stay warm, looking at Firnen who was talking with Saphira. Eragon smiled as he felt Saphira laugh, a sense of amusement coming from her in his mind.
Salador was lying on the floor, near his dragon Gadaroth, looking at the flames of the campfire, deep in thought while Gadaroth himself was slowly closing his eyes, falling asleep. Soon, they were both sleeping, tired from the journey.
Angela was on the other side of the campfire, slowly cleaning the plates they had eaten from, mumbling a bunch of phrases Eragon could not understand under her breath. Solembum was stretching and cleaning his black fur until it almost shined.
For a long time, Eragon looked at the night sky full of stars, and at the big moon looking over them, lost in his thoughts, about the war, his duty as a Lead Rider. Once he looked around, everyone was sleeping, and the campfire was slowly dying. Yet, he could not sleep. He decided to take a walk . He had given the order to Alaina and Salador to investigate Teirm and now because of him Alaina was captured by the shade. He still felt guilt for having made that order and not giving Salador and Alaina enough to be able to defend themselves . But what could he have done differently? As Saphira had said the young riders needed to learn for themselves the danger of the world around them and he could not protect them every single time.
“Still I could have given them some eldunarya to be able to defend themselves more efficiently.” he thought.
“But that could be dangerous.” Eragon thought again. He knew too well the dangers of the secret of eldunarya revealed to the wrong person. Galbatorix was a great example, a rider who corrupted by his ambition for more power and his will to rule over everyone had killed riders and dragons to gain more eldunarya, and as a result become the most powerful person in the world. He was responsible for the Fall of the Riders.
Power corrupts, like a festering wound. The more powerful one becomes, the more power he wants, the ambition so great that it makes one do almost everything to achieve it. To fulfill that goal, one has to slowly lose all humanity, until finally he becomes no better than Galbatorix. That was why he was not willing to share the knowledge of eldunarya, even with his own students, who he knew so well.
“I may have to anyway, despite my wishes” Eragon thought. He had crossed the trees, until the glow of the fire was barely visible, attracted by the sound of water as a small stream ended in a lake. A clearing appeared near the lake, as the light of the moon and stars was reflected on the calm water.He took a deep breath, trying to calm himself from the thoughts in his mind. A sense of calm filled him, as he opened his mind to the creatures around him.
“There you are.” Arya said as she appeared from the trees behind him.
“Arya! I thought you were asleep.” Eragon said surprised as he lifted himself from the ground, glad that she was with him.
“I couldn’t sleep.” she answered, not wanting to reveal that she had followed him there.
“I’m glad you are here.” Eragon said trying to calm his racing heart. Every time she was close, he felt as if it was hard to breathe, his heart raced and he felt his blood rush in his body. He saw her green eyes, the beautiful red lips that he wanted to kiss again, her beautiful long black hair, that felt like silk and smelled of pineneedles, Arya’s special scent. He imagined again the kiss they had shared and...no, he would not let himself become a fool in front of her. Her friendship was too precious for him to destroy everything with a careless slip of his tongue or scaring her off.
“What are you doing here?” she asked with a smile.
“I wanted to be alone for a while...” Eragon said. He wanted to explain to her the reason he had walked in this clearing, the way her felt about giving the order for Salador and Alaina to go to Teirm, when they were not ready, that it was his responsibility that Alaina had been captured.
“Eragon...what is done is done. You cannot change what is past. You can only strive to be better in the future.” Arya said as if she had read his thoughts. Had she? He had not felt her touch his mind, but he was so absorbed in his own thoughts he might have missed it.
A small grin from Arya confirmed his suspicions.
“You should not do that.” Eragon said, pretending to be angry.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t see anything I should not have.” Arya said and Eragon blushed. He was all too aware of the thoughts about Arya that had passed in his mind a few minutes ago.
“Thank you for the advice. It is still hard to accept, that is all, sending a woman to her death, or worse.” Eragon said reluctantly and sighed as he turned away from her ashamed.
A few minutes passed, the silence stretching as they both looked at the lake and at the light of the stars reflected on the calm water.
“Eragon, I must tell you something.” Arya began and Eragon turned to face her concerned. His thoughts had drifted again, but they always seemed to return to Arya, the woman he loved, the kiss they had spent together. If only that minute could have lasted forever. He remembered Arya’s reaction after they had kissed, her turning and running away from him. Him standing in the tower, alone with the feel of her lips still on his mouth. Tears streaming on his eyes.
“Arya I wanted to....” Eragon wanted to apologize for his behavior that night but before he could finish Arya silenced him.
“Eragon, I apologize for leaving that night in the tower. I do not know what came over me” Arya stated and Eragon stared at her, unable to believe he had heard right. Ignoring his silence, she continued with a determined expression.
“I...I have thought carefully about that night and about my feelings for you and...I care about you a lot, more than any other person in the world, I understand how you feel, and I wanted to tell you...I wanted to tell you that I love you. I love you Eragon.” Arya stated her green eyes looking at him as a smile appeared on her face, as soon as she had said the words, as if a great burden had been lifted from her shoulders.
For a few seconds he stared at her, unable to speak. Those were the three words that he had wanted more than anything to hear from her, the woman he loved. The woman he cared more than anything in the world for. The woman who he wanted to be with for the rest of his life. His heart raced as a wide grin appeared on his face. He felt like dancing like laughing until he could laugh no more, like jumping and screaming in the air. He was so happy that a smile and a laugh would not suffice to show it.
“Oh Arya, I love you too!” he said as he hugged her fiercely. He looked at her beautiful green eyes, his hands touching her beautiful black hair, his face inching closer and closer until finally his lips touched her beautiful red soft lips, and they kissed each other.
The kiss lasted for a whole minute, he was so absorbed by her beauty. by her perfume, the feel of her lips on his, her tongue and the feel of her so close to him. He finally separated from her to catch his breath. He once again looked at her, the woman of his dreams.
“Arya, you are the most wise and beautiful woman I have met, you are the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with, when I think of you, my heart races and I can hardly breathe. When I look at your eyes, I feel like I am drowning in them, Your perfume sets my blood afire. You mean everything to me and when I see your beautiful smile or hear your laughter, I feel like that is my purpose in this life, to make you happy, to make you laugh, to be with you” Eragon said, an outburst coming from deep in his heart.
Arya smiled at the words, but before she could answer, Eragon silenced her with a finger as he carefully kissed her again, on the lips again and again. Arya laughed and Eragon smiled as he continued to kiss her as Arya put her arms around Eragon’s neck.
Carefully, very carefully, as if Arya was made from glass, and he was afraid she might break, he laid her on the ground as they continued to kiss, on her lips and on her neck, Arya making small sounds of pleasure. They rolled on the floor, laughing as Arya made a yelp and Eragon laughed harder as she kissed him on his neck and slowly started to unbutton his shirt as Eragon did the same with her shirt.
Eragon was so absorbed that he had trouble with the laces, but eventually, he untied them. They were now both without clothes, both staring at one another, intently, Arya at Eragon and Eragon at her. He looked at her beautiful smile, her neck, her shapely breasts, her shoulders covered by her long black hair, at her long legs and her hips. He came closer and Arya hugged him and kissed him on his chest as they lied on the grass again.
He was lost at the pleasure, lost at the sight of the girl of his dreams, his heart making a crazy dance in his chest as he struggled to breathe, messages of pleasure coming to his brain from all sides. He patted Arya, and caressed her hair, her soft as silk skin pressing on his hard body, as her warmth touched him. Suddenly he had an idea, and a grin appeared on his face as he opened his mind and mended it with Arya’s mind. Instantly he was aware of her, more aware than any time before as he felt her pleasure. He combined it with his, ecstasy filling him and his body, as he entered her, his movements slow at the beginning, as if he was afraid of hurting her and then slowly becoming faster and faster.
A scream of pleasure escaped Arya, and Eragon copied her, feeling one with her, in his mind, knowing what to do to increase her pleasure, to give her more, to satisfy her.
“Oh Eragon!” Arya moaned and Eragon replied. “I love you Arya. Arya I love you!” he shouted. He kissed her more passionately loving every part of her, treasuring every second of their closeness, every second of his feelings at that moment. He lost himself in the moment, lost himself in Arya’s caresses, and her kisses, her moans and her screams of pleasure, his heart racing in his chest, his blood feeling afire, drowning in the sight of her eyes, kissing her beautiful red lips. There was nothing else in the world but Arya, the woman of his dreams, the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, the woman he loved and the woman who loved him in return.
For a long time, they enjoyed each other, lost in their love and their pleasure, kissing near the lake under the light of the moon and the watchful gaze of the stars.