Luminaria

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What now? - Part 1.

I woke up on a bed, stared at the ceiling for what felt like forever, feeling like I was in a dream but then realizing I wasn’t, my chest aching when the memories filled my head. We were really attacked by Dark Dogs and Myyts that were working together, the king died, my best friend died and now I was terrified just thinking of the possibility that soon I could be having my last conversation with the people that mattered the most to me. I knew this was dangerous, but my mind never went to that place, I never realized we could die during this journey. Anyone could die. Literally.

Even me. I guess.

The door opened, and I sat up feeling anxious, Vincent came in with a tray full of food. I didn’t think I was in the mood for anything, I felt like I could vomit any second.

“How are you holding up?” He asked me. His eyes didn’t reveal what he was feeling.

“I’m just holding” I said and shrugged because it didn’t matter anymore, besides it was the truth, I was just holding on to the last piece of sanity I had left, trying desperately not to fall

“You should eat something” He put the tray on the bed and handed me a mug filled with hot chocolate. I gave it a sip just for his sake. “You slept through the rest of the day yesterday and the whole night, so you should be hungry” Truth was I spent most of that time crying, but that isn’t something he needed to know.

“I’m not in the mood for food” I said sipping my chocolate once more.

“Do you want to talk about it?” I chuckled.

“Talk about how my best friend is now dead because of a war he had nothing to do with?” I knew sarcasm would not take me anywhere, but I still felt a little angry inside, actually I was feeling very angry.

“He wanted to be here with you… you advised him of the consequences” Vincent ran a hand through my hair as he said this softly.

“Well yeah but I think none of us thought of the actual possibility of it happening… at least I didn’t” I looked down at my mug.

“I know it hurts and I’m not going to tell you it’s going to be ok because it’s not true, you will feel his death every day and night until it gets easy to live with… but it does get easy”

“How’s Lana?” I asked him trying urgently to change the subject.

“She’s with her mom, doesn’t want to see anyone right now and feels awful. Just like you” Vincent took a deep breath.

“Well her father just died I guess she has the right to feel that way” I pointed out.

“He was your father too Maya”

“I know” I shrugged “we’ve had this conversation before” Vincent nodded because he knew this was something, we discussed a lot in the past, he knew the way I felt and why I was not capable of mourning the king’s dead. I did feel sad for Lana though, and for this country, we were about to experience a lot of changes moving forward.

“Are you really going to eat or you’re just waiting until I leave to toss this to the side?” He asked. I smiled because he knew me too well.

“I’m not hungry, but I appreciate it” I said lifting the mug.

He sat there staring at me for a while, biting on his bottom lip.A big part of me was wondering if he was here with me because Lana would not let anybody near her, I still could remember his face when we were talking to Elena and how she smoothly pointed out all our messed-up relationships. I wanted to ask him if he was ok, so I did.

“Are you ok?” I asked “I mean about the whole Elena-Lana thing” he shrugged.

“It’s not something I didn’t know, but I’ll admit having confirmation made me feel weird” He looked down at his hands just like he did back then.

“Well it’s her loss” I tried to smile at him “You’ll be fine. You’ll find someone else out there”

“Someone like you?” He lifted an eyebrow as he made this question, I felt the heat rush to my cheeks. I pushed him off my bed.

“Shut up” I heard him laugh a little.

“Remember what she said Maya, it’s not a one-way street” He told me as he stood up. He walked closer to me and grabbed my cheeks, his hands felt so warm “I like you Maya... a lot” Vincent let out a loud breath as if he really had to work to push those words out of his mouth, and I could almost see a faint blush cover his cheeks, it was weird and more.

My heart stopped beating, the way he was staring down at me, the way he said those words, it was just the wrong time with everything that had been happening during the last 24 hours, but I still was so grateful for these words. So grateful for what they were making me feel.

I wanted to say it back so badly, I really did.

“I really want you to eat something” He said changing the subject, giving me a warm smile that made my heart feel better.

I grabbed a cookie from the tray and pushed it down my throat and looked back at him.

“Happy?”

“No… but I’ll have to deal with it for now”

“Good. I think you should check on Lana, she’s going to need you pretty soon” I said, and Vincent stared at me again before he took his shoes off and crawled beside me on my bed, one of his arms was wrapped around me and suddenly he was pulling me down. My body started to feel very alive.

“I’d rather stay here” He sniffed my hair and then sighed “Remember that night at the cabins when you healed me?” I nodded “I started to feel better almost instantly, and when I saw you fell asleep, for some strange reason I could not let you go” his arm somehow just brought me closer to him. “I felt at peace for once”

“People tell me this all the time” I whispered just to say something, cause deep inside I was so distracted by the way his body felt pressed against mine. It was almost like he was trying to pass on good vibes to me, trying to give me strength and it was funny the way I didn’t know I needed this until I had it. He pressed a kiss against my shoulder, I wondered when did this huge, serious guy became so expressive with me.

“I bet” He said and the way he was completely relaxed caught me off guard, I felt safe in his arms, like nothing bad could really reach me if we were together and having this thought in my head I wanted to cry again. I had cried way too much already, I really needed that to stop. “It’s going to be fine” He whispered and with my entire heart I really wished that was true. He then kissed my neck softly and my heart jumped inside my chest. I felt everything just starting to burn inside of me, I had to fight hard to keep my breathing at a decent pace. Vincent’s grasp around me tightened and his hands made me move so I was facing him. His eyes burning holes through mine, his gaze then lazily dragged over my face, landing on my lips. I stopped breathing.

“Don’t move” He whispered, his voice was raspy as he leaned in slowly, almost in slow motion, getting closer and closer until I could feel his breath over my lips. I did as he said and didn’t move, feeling how he slowly brushed his mouth against mine, like testing the field before going in for the kill. And he did. I felt electricity running through my body when our lips finally touched, blood boiling in my veins and brain going completely blank. We were merely touching but there was so much more going on inside. My hand flew to his chest, grabbing his shirt, trying to pull him closer to me, he then took my arm and put it back where it was, pulling away just a split second “Don’t move” he repeated, like scolding me before kissing me again. I had never felt like this before, not that I had a lot of experience in the subject but still the way Vincent made me feel was very unique. It was a Vincent thing.

His lips were so soft and gentle but also urgent and needy, it almost felt like he was trying to hold back a lot of emotions, maybe trying not to hurt me. He soon stopped, sighing and kissing the corner of my lips one last time before pulling me in for a hug. His eyes were closed and seemed calm but my head being over his chest I could feel his heart racing, he was breathing heavily and his body was so tense that I was afraid he could break any moment.

“It’s ok” I said “I won’t tell anybody” I heard him chuckle.

“Just go back to sleep”

Feeling this safe, wrapped in his arms, I truly went back to sleep.

I woke up later to the sound of voices echoing outside my room, looked like someone was arguing or trying to wake me up. Which they accomplished. I sat up in my bed to find Vincent was no longer there with me, but his side of the bed was still warm, so he was here recently. I took a deep breath thinking I had to face him and the rest of the people eventually, hiding would not bring any good.

I stood up and went to the small bathroom that connected with my room, I quickly brushed my teeth and fixed my hair to look somewhat decent, I needed a shower, but I wasn’t in the mood for that either way.

I walked outside to find Evan and Vincent having a staring contest, they were both really tense as they glared at each other not saying anything. This was weird in so many levels.

“Whatever you guys are doing. Stop. It’s weird” I said and walked past them, I felt one of them following me and I had a strong feeling it was Vincent, but I didn’t turn around to find out. The house was so quiet, even more than before, it seemed like the lives we lost had a huge impact on everyone and how could it not? We lost the head of our country and even when I didn’t care for him like a real father, I know what his passing would do to everyone, it was going to be such a huge mess when they went back.

And Eric...

Maybe to a lot of people his passing wouldn’t be important, but it was to me, he had been with me for such a long time, supporting me, making me laugh, protecting me, he had been like a brother to me and now he was just gone... just like that. I was going to start crying in no time, I took a deep breath to try and calm myself down. I didn’t even know how I was going to face his family at this point, he had just started to get to know his father.

This was a mess.

I heard voices coming from the living room, and instantly I felt like my legs started to shake, I thought I would be ready to face everybody but truth to be told I was not. I was not ready to face Riley or Luke or anybody that reminded me of Eric just yet. I stopped walking and tried to fill my lungs with some air.

“Are you ok?” Vincent’s voice echoed next to me, he once again wrapped an arm around me to help me stay on my feet. “You don’t have to go in if you don’t want to”

“I’m ok” My voice broke, making me look like a liar. Vincent pulled me into a warm embrace and rubbed my back softly, we stood there for a good ten minutes until we heard someone clear their throat behind us. We both turned around to find Lana and The Queen standing there looking at us intently, Lana looked really disturbed, her eyes looked red and puffy, her face was very pale and there were slight bags under her eyes.

She looked destroyed.

She started to cry as soon as her eyes landed on Vincent, who quickly walked over to her to comfort her, he embraced her the same way he was doing it with me just two seconds ago as she cried on his shoulder. As much as I didn’t want to feel jealous, especially in a moment like this when everybody was hurting, I was jealous. Part of me knew he would still be there for her too, because he was her guardian, because it was his duty, because he still had feelings for her. So, I just turned around and walked away, the living room full of people was not an option so I took another route that led me to the backyard. I sat on the grass for a while, hoping to feel better. This journey was way too complicated for me to bare anymore.

“How are you holding up?”

Evan’s voice just came out of nowhere almost giving me a heart attack, as the great warrior, could I die from heart attacks? I had no clue. My hand flew to my chest and I just glared at him for a long time.

“Are you trying to kill me?” He just chuckled at this.

“It’s ok, you’ll learn to feel when I’m coming pretty soon” He gave me a cocky smirk that I just wanted to slap away.

“So, what you are saying is that you’re planning to do this ninja thing often?”

“Kind of” He shrugged “You guys know who I am now, finally I don’t have to be extra careful around you... I can just be myself”

“I see”

“You didn’t answer my question”

“Because I don’t want to answer your question” I waved it off, I was not in the mood to talk about this anymore, I just wanted to be alone.

“You know that you can talk to me, right? Nothing has changed” He said this like it was the easiest thing in the world.

“Everything has changed...I don’t know you” And it was the truth, he pretended to be something he’s not the whole time he was my guardian, I wasn’t even sure I could trust him.

“I may have lied about my identity, but everything we did or felt was real” He whispered, I made the mistake of looking at him in the eye, he stared back at me with his blue eyes sparkling, he looked so sincere, and I really wanted to believe him but... “I do care about you” He said while grabbing my hand, it felt warm and cozy and for once I really wanted to rely on someone else and not overthink everything.

“No lies from now on then...”

“No more lies. I promise” I could live with that. “The Queen is gathering everyone to finally talk about everything, I’m guessing you want to be part of it.”

I was still not ready to meet everyone but my need for answers was bigger, so I nodded. He walked with me to the living room still holding my hand which I really appreciated. Everyone was already there, my brother, Luke, Lui, and Riley were sitting on a far corner. Hayden saw me and walked over to me instantly. Vincent, Lana, and The Queen were sitting next to Elena on the old furniture, their eyes spotted us as soon as we came inside, I felt my heart picking up and a huge lump on my throat. Evan squeezed my hand trying to give me some support and despite everything I was thankful for him.

“I’m glad you are joining us darling” She grabbed my free hand and pulled me to sit next to them on the couch, Evan stood next to me, still not letting me go. “Lana thought it was appropriate to answer all the questions you had about this situation”

With everything that had been happening I sure as hell needed some answers.

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