Little Blade and Aamon finally awoke from the rambunctious crowd and music at the festival occuring that night. The demon immediately ran over to where Minerva was watching from the window. His hand landed on her shoulder and she looked up at him. “Don’t you want to go?”
She hastily shook her head. “And have a repeat of last time?”
His eyes narrowed. “There’s no need to worry. I’ll be there with you. Eligius, too. Right?”
The dark-skinned men looked up from the fireplace at Aamon’s pleading eyes and nodded. “I sure will.”
The witch glimpsed from Aamon to Eligius and back again. Letting out a defeated sigh through her nose and replied, “Fine. But don’t expect me to dance.”
Eligius chuckled and watched as Aamon tugged at Minerva’s hands. “Come on! Just one.”
“No! I said no dancing!” The witch cried and attempted to pull her hands back as he dragged her to the swaying crowd. Little Blade eyed them from the window of Eligius’ house since he was ordered to stay behind.
The demon finally got his witch to stand alongside him in the crowd of villagers. Everyone was wearing masks of dark blue and white. Even them. Through their masks, his crimson eyes met her golden ones. She glared at him and began to walk away. Aamon stopped her in her steps by tugging on a curl of her hair. He whispered, “Just one dance.”
His companion softly smiled. “Just one dance.”
Thus, Minerva let Aamon take her hand and guide her through the dance.
After seven dances of joy and laughter together, they finally noticed that Eligius left to go back home for the night. “He must’ve been tired.”
Minerva retracted her hands from Aamon’s and stepped away. “It’s getting late and I’m a little tired from all the dancing.”
Again, Aamon pulled her back. “You’re going to miss the best part.”
Suspiciously glancing at him she replied, “What are you...”
He pointed upwards to the night sky. It was beautiful. The stars shone down on the village. They shimmered with incredible clarity in the clear, dark night sky. Minerva couldn’t believe her eyes. She’s never experienced anything like it before. The witch couldn’t help the bright smile that came over her face.
“I knew you’d like it,” Aamon stated softly. Returning her eyes to him, she thanked him and the pair left the festival. Shortly after leaving, they removed their masks on their walk back to the house. Aamon faintly chuckled and ran a hand through his dark hair. “I am so in love with you, witch.”
The witch’s eyes widened and she came to a halt. Aamon turned around to face her. “What’s wrong?”
“What did you say..?” She shakily asked him.
He raised his eyebrows at her question. “That I really missed you. Are you alright?”
Minerva pulled the hood of her cloak over her head to cover her face. “I’m fine.”
Once more, Aamon stopped her as she went to walk ahead of him. “Sure, that’s really convincing - what’s bothering you?”
“Nothing,” she said bluntly.
“Don’t lie to me, Minerva.”
Minerva took part in looking over his shoulder rather his crimson eyes as she gently pushed at his chest for him to move. He didn’t budge. “Will you please move?”
“Not until you tell me the truth. What did you think I said that made you freeze up?”
She licked her lips and at last, made eye contact with him. “It’s a weird feeling I got from when Eligius was talking about you earlier. It just made me think you said something you obviously didn’t.”
He continued to stare at her. Knowing that he was as stubborn as she was, she told him. “I thought I heard you say that you….were in love with me.”
He smiled one of his arrogant smiles.
“Fucking hell, why are you smiling right now?” She allowed him to remove her hood from her head of curls.
“Because, why wouldn’t I be? I mean, it’s true, Minerva. I just didn’t say it now. But, I have always felt that way about you and forever will. Even when I die, I won’t stop. Ever,” the demon whispered those breathtaking words into her ear.
Her hands came up to cover her mouth as she backed away from him with even wider eyes than before. No, no, no. He can’t be in love with her. He shouldn’t be.
The demon watched as she shook her head at him. And for the first time in years, he witnessed the tears stream down her face. A look of concern crossed over his face. Aamon didn’t understand what he did wrong to make her cry. He hated it. “Minerva?”
Minerva was shaking with a combination of fear and rage. “Don’t ever say that to me again! Or anything remotely close to it!”
Aamon’s hands just about found their way to her face to wipe the tears away. She shoved him and then backed away again. He whispered, “Why?”
Minerva forcefully wiped her tears from her face and breathed heavily through her lips before speaking. “Although, being a witch comes with distinctive physical characteristics it also comes with a curse…. Aamon, you can’t love me. At least not more than the way we started as when we were practically teenagers. No, I love you’s. Not romantically. You can’t say those three magical words to me and I can’t hear them after my twentieth year of being born because if you say them to me then you’ll immediately drop dead. And it’s this way for all witches. I’m not an exception and it can’t be reversed either. No witch can ever be loved, truly loved.”
He growled at her. “And you didn’t tell me? What happened to no more secrets, Minerva?!”
“I didn’t know you felt this way until now, Aamon! How was I supposed to know?!”
The demon walked away from her without looking back.
The next day, Minerva was very tired since she didn’t get any sleep last night. Not after returning to the house. Not after her and Aamon’s fight.
She took a deep breath as she got up from the bed and walked down the stairs. Aamon, Eligius, and little Blade were nowhere to be found. After using paste to clean the inside of her mouth and teeth, she heard voices outside. Opening the door, she found all three of them there. A moment of silence passed between the whole group prior to the blacksmith speaking. “Good day, Minerva. I was just saying goodbye to your um, companions, since you’re all leaving soon. By the way, I got you a departing gift to take with you on your journey.”
Eligius took out a long scabbard and handed it to her. “A sword.”
She unsheathed the sword from the scabbard and stared at it in awe. Minerva eyed Aamon, who wasn’t taking the time out of his day to look at her, and back down to the sword. Her sword. Once she sheathed it, she wrapped her arms around Eligius in a tight embrace and whispered, “Thank you. Especially everything you did for Aamon.”
Eligius smiled and patted her hair. “No. Thank you. Hope you still kept that leftover training that Aamon shared with you when you were both so young.”
So, do I, the witch thought.