The walk back to and into the cottage was a quiet one. Neither of them said a word until Minerva sat down in front of the fireplace for warmth.
“I’m sorry I ruined your first night at the annual fall festival.”
Aamon’s lips pursed together as he draped a blanket over her shoulders. Why the hell is she apologizing? She almost got raped tonight!
“You almost got raped, Minerva. You have nothing to apologize for.”
He closed his eyes as he sat down beside her. “Stop. So what if I left the stupid festival early?! Minerva, you are more important to me than that!”
He couldn’t see but the witch’s cheeks heated up. “Ok, fine,” she replied. “Then, I take back my apology.”
Aamon’s eyes snapped back open. A hint of a smile formed on his face. “Good.”
The witch rolled her eyes but also smiled sadly.
“So, what were you doing at the festival?” The demon questioned her.
“I thought I’d give it a shot and go to the festival. So I went looking for you,....but I got trapped…..by that man.”
“....Why didn’t you use your powers against him?”
“Knowing that I was in danger, all I could do was panic. So, my powers weren’t able to work.” Swiftly changing the subject, she asked him, “How was the festival though?”
Cocking his head, he answered, “It was nice. Ale was ok. But, the most annoying villager wouldn’t stop asking me to dance. She just kept pestering me about it.”
“Sounds like someone I know,” Minerva replied cheekily.
He playfully glared at her before telling her that he got her something.
“Oh, you didn’t have to get—“ Aamon cut her off with an actual glare this time. He pulled the beaded necklace from around his neck and placed it around hers. The witch glanced down at the necklace with wide eyes. The crystal stood out the most compared to the colorful beads. “Wow. Aamon, this is gorgeous….How’d you steal this?”
“I didn’t. I got it for free from a kind woman selling them at the festival.”
“Looks beautiful on you, by the way.” He added.
Again, she felt her face heat up. “Stop doing that.”
He noticed and asked innocently, “Stop what?”
“You know what,” she answered curtly, standing up and trudged over to the bed. As she grabbed a loose cotton shirt from the floor and replaced her torn dress with it, she asked him if she could braid his hair. He nodded, knowing the act always calmed her down. Calmed them both down, actually.
After she threw the torn dress on the floor, she got onto the bed and Aamon chuckled and walked over to the bed and sat down in front of her.
“Lower,” she ordered so she could see his whole head because he was much taller than her even if she was on her knees behind him. The demon obeyed, bending his forward a little to make it easier for her. First, she untied the string from the tail at the base of his head and let his dark strands free fall along his back and to his waist. Then she ran her fingers along his scalp.
Aamon closed his eyes and let out a small sigh as she did so. Minerva continued massaging his scalp until going further, proceeding to get any knots out of his hair. Once she split his hair into three she began to braid his hair.
“Where’d the string go...” she asked, holding Aamon’s finished braid with one hand and searching for the string with the other. Instinctively, Aamon handed it to her.
“Love you, Minerva,” he said charmingly as he leaned back against the headboard and looked down at her.
Minerva wrapped an arm around his middle and pulled him closer to her. She rested her head along his chest and eyed him before replying, “Love you, too.”
Suddenly he heard soft breathing and knew she was sleeping. He would’ve stayed but he felt that he had to relieve himself. So, he carefully unwrapped the witch’s arm from around him and quietly slid off the bed. After tiptoeing out of the cottage, he soundlessly closed the door behind him and headed to a tree. Before he could undo his belt on his pants, he saw a shadow out of the corner of his eye. Pretending like he didn’t notice it, he began to undo his belt. Noticing the shadow move closer towards him, he turned towards it. But, nothing was there. And, all he felt was pain. Then, darkness.