The noise in the night woke Elizer. Assuming it was the baby, she moved to the cot. Both were sound asleep as the cry came again. Pulling on her dressing gown, she left the room and made her way to the spare room. Connie was standing in the doorway to the room Mark had put the boy in, letting out a low growl as Eliza approached.
‘Hey girl, what’s the matter?’ Elizer tried to step around the dog as a cry echoed through the house again.
‘Come on, girl, I can’t help if you won’t let me in.’ eventually Connie moved to one side and Elizer pushed the door open. Her eyes opened wide as she took in the quivering mess that was Ben. He was curled under the covers as his frame shook. His cheeks had spots of colour showing he might have a temperature.
Something in Elizer propelled her forward. The voice in her head telling her how stupid that was. After all, she now had a stranger in her house.
Carefully, she sat down. Reaching out her hand, she laid it on his shoulder, feeling a zing race up her arm. The heat he radiated warmed her hand.
‘Hey, are you okay?’ her voice was soft as he moved to look at her. Large brown and amber eyes turned to look at her. He slowly sat up and wiped his face with his eyes.
‘So, what have you done with my dog?’ Elizer smiled, and he gave a watery smile back.
‘He is still here, sort of.’ his voice was so quiet she strained to hear. He was stunning, blond hair framing his features. Soft pink lips slightly parted beneath a straight nose framed by sharp cheekbones and, of course, those odd brown and amber eyes.
‘They know I am here said not to run would ki…. kill me if I did.’ he bit his lip as his gaze fell on her. ‘Just want my dad. He would know what to do, he always knows what to do,’ he mumbled, realising how pathetic that was, but he was tired exhausted from it all.
‘Who said that? Who knows, you are here?’
‘The Lancers, your protectors,’ he mumbled as he snuggled down, his eyes heavy. ‘Mate, you are my destined. So tired, sorry,’
Elizer watched as he slipped in to sleep. Well, she hoped he was asleep. Most of what he said was delirium, she decided. Who would hurt such a beautiful boy? She knew who he was. She had met him a couple of years ago, a shy teenager he had been then. She hadn’t paid him a lot of attention, her career just taking off.
He didn’t stir again as she moved around the room, pulling the curtains open so she could open the window and let the stale, warm air out. Connie jumped up onto the bed and lay protectively against him.
The cry pulled her from sleep again. It was one she knew all too well. Climbing out of bed, she made her way to the spare room again. From the doorway, she could see his shaking form. Pulling him up, she led him to her room; the dog trailing behind them. Pulling back the blankets, she manoeuvred him into her bed. Noticing how fragile he felt, not an ounce of spare weight on him. Making her wonder how long he had been out there on the run.
Climbing in next to him, she pulled him close. He hadn’t made a sound, and she wondered if he was even awake. She was so tired between feeding the babies and his nightmares she really wasn’t getting enough sleep. This was the best solution. Closing her eyes, she felt him move, turn toward her and snuggle against her body. At first, she stiffened, then relaxed as she felt his rhythmic breathing showing he was asleep.
She gazed at his face, so relaxed now. When he was awake, he was so guarded. She had never seen someone control their features the way he did. His face was devoid of emotion as he watched her care for the babies. He rarely spoke either just a per functionary answer if she asked him something, no volunteering of information about himself or his life or even what had led him to her. Sometimes, though, she would look into his amazing odd coloured eyes and then she would see all the pain and disappointment and occasionally despair swirl in their depths.
Brushing her lips against his forehead, she closed her eyes, feeling his arm tighten just a fraction around her. As he snuggled against her it was, then she felt the tremble of his body as the tears finally came wracking his fragile body. She held him tight, murmuring to him as she let him cry it all out.
In the night they came together, his soft lips finding hers still with the tang of salty tears, her legs tangled with his. She didn’t resist as his soft moans joined hers even when she felt his mouth on her neck, the sharp scratch of his teeth. She didn’t stop. He isn’t human, the voice in her head reminded her as she fell asleep with him wrapped around her, still joined in the most intimate way.
Elizer awoke and stretched, feeling well rested. Gazing around, she could see sunlight through the curtain. The babies. How had she slept so long? About to climb from the bed, the door pushed open and Ben walked in, a smile on his face while balancing a tray and two squirming bundles. Amazingly, he set the tray down and then set the two babies down.
‘I made breakfast,’ turning he rushed to the door opening it he stepped out briefly reappearing with another tray with a teapot and cups on it. ‘I… thank you for last night and not turning me in and taking care of Josh and well everything really,’ blushing he tugged at his hair a shy smile on his lips as he climbed into bed with her taking a baby and piece of toast.
Questions bubbled through Elizer’s head, but she pushed them back. This was a breakthrough. He was trusting her, showing that he needed her and was comfortable in her company. Now wasn’t the time for questions she would wait to let him tell her in his own time. She could see the shy boy she had met, and she appreciated how hard this was for him. Let’s not frighten him away if I want to find out what happened to him. Sipping her tea, she let her thoughts rumble through her head. Feeling the light touch of his fingers against her hand.
Elizer picked up baby Josh as he fussed, opening her shirt, letting him latch on. She could feel his eyes on her, turning she smiled. ‘You, okay?’ she simply said.
‘Yes,’ he nodded. ‘Thank you for doing that,’ he knew he didn’t need to say anymore. Climbing into bed, he curled up and was soon asleep. Elizer fed the babies while watching him sleep. His mumbled murmurs had her worried.