“Would you like a tour?” Mallon asked me. He has only looked at me this whole time. He almost seemed to be ignoring Avin on purpose. But why? Wait, is there some beef going on between the two of them? That would explain the tense atmosphere. Although I had thought that it was just the remnants of my short time alone with Avin. It was still going strong as I stood there. Great I think I just hopped out of the frying pan and into the fire. But I did want to see the rest of the castle; I wonder how Avin will react if I accept?
“Sure, I’d love to,” I replied smiling. I tried not to force it. Surprisingly it wasn’t as hard as I had as I had thought. Mallon held out his arm to me, and I took it. I could feel all of his muscles in his arm with my hand. Whoa, this guy was built. I tried not to act flustered, but in all honesty, I didn’t expect it to be like this.
Mallon took me around the castle, showing me all of the sights. Avin, just kind of, walked behind us. He was quiet the entire time that Mallon was showing me around the castle. He was so quiet that I had almost forgotten that he was with us for most of it.
“What are a couple of your favorite things to do?” Mallon asked as we left the dining hall. Ooh, tricky question.
“Umm, I enjoy reading mostly, but when I get the chance I do like to help people,” I replied, but now I just felt down. “Although people don’t like me helping out. It’s just because I’m different.”
The echoing footsteps stopped, but I didn’t want to. I felt Mallon pull back on my arm so that I would stop walking. When I stopped, I could feel the heat of Avin at my back. I hadn’t realized that he had been standing so close to me.
“Just because you are different?” Mallon seemed to be thinking this over. “Differences are what makes us stronger as a whole, Kris. They just don’t know how to appreciate your gifts properly, unlike us.”
Mallon brought my hand up to his lips and kissed it. When he opened his eyes after kissing my hand, they seemed like they knew something that I didn’t. Did he know what it was like to be the odd man out? I could feel even more heat coming from Avin, and it was coming in waves now. Wait a second, was Avin mad? Okay, hold the phone. Do two guys, who I barely knew, like me? Or is this all some play to get me to cooperate with them. Oh man, the men in this place, more confusing than the men on Earth.
“Come, there is something that I want to show you,” Mallon commented putting my arm around his again. While we were walking questions started to bubble up in my mind. There was one though that I just have to ask.
“Mallon, what exactly am I supposed to be doing here?” I asked him, keeping my eyes forward. I wasn’t exactly sure how to ask it, and that was the best way that I could come up with. What I wanted to know was what I would be doing in the war and where I would be placed. Also, where the heck was we going to right now? I just wasn’t sure how to sum all of that up in one question. But I think that he got what I meant because he looked a little sheepish.
“Oh dear, of course, I forgot to tell you,” Mallon commented. “Or I guess they forgot to say it to you. You will be working with the other healers in the medical camp that we’ve set up just outside the war zone. You will just help to heal the wounded simple as that.”
I nodded my head slowly as I let the information sink in. Okay, so at least I wouldn’t be working alone. But I was still working on the battlefield, which made me more than a bit nervous. I wasn’t sure I could handle such a pressured situation. I was not sure that I could stomach the kind of wounds that come with war, especially a war that used medieval weapons.
I mean like severed limbs and gashes so deep that you can see the bone. Just thinking about it made me want to gag. I got the chills as well. It completely grossed me out to even think in that general direction.
“If you need any help I’m sure the other healers will gladly lend you a hand,” Mallon commented smiling as he stopped in front of a large door that looked like every other door that we had passed by. “Ah, here we go.”
What made this door so special? Mallon pushed the door open and dragged me through it behind him. When I got through the door, I was amazed to see the biggest library I’ve ever seen in my entire life. There were shelves upon shelves of books. When I looked up, I noticed that there were, even more, floors of bookshelves.
“Whoa,” that was the only thing that I could think of saying. I mean what else could you say about a place this amazing? All I know is that I was practically speechless. I just stared in awe at the whole place.
“Welcome to our library,” Mallon said from behind me. I turned around because I heard something in Mallon’s voice that I couldn’t identify. Especially since my back was to him. When I was facing him and Avin, they were both staring at me with similar expressions on their faces. Well, similar. Of course, Avin was still stony-faced, but something in his eyes had changed. He seemed slightly amused. Mallon, on the other hand, was outright smiling. It was a shy and amused smile.
“You are very different from the other girls,” Mallon commented, his eyes were completely focused on me. Okay, the staring was starting to make me just a bit uncomfortable.
“Um, do you guys have any books on healing techniques or even curses?” I asked looking around the room to distract myself from their stares. Plus if I was to work with their medical team. I needed to know exactly what I was up against here.
“Curses?” Mallon asked. I think that he might’ve been a bit wary. “Why would you want to read about curses?”
I turned back around to look at him. His entire body had gone rigid, and his expression mirrored that of Avin’s normal appearance. Okay, he was more than a bit wary. But Avin for some bizarre reason was even more amused. When he caught me looking his expression hardened again.
“I study curses to learn how they function,” I told Mallon as I looked back at him, slightly annoyed. “It’s how I figure out a proper method to curing the person with the curse.”
Well, at least I think so. I’ve never actually dealt with curses before. But they didn’t need to know that. I wanted to know exactly what I was up against when it came to gruesome things coming into the healer camp. Curses would be the cause of lots of horrible things that I might see in the healer camp. Mallon lightened up a little as he seemed to accept my reasoning.
“Okay, if there will be anything else that you need the librarian should be able to help you in getting all of the books that you wish to read,” Mallon commented smiling. But I could tell that there was something that both Avin and Mallon weren’t telling me. Perhaps some business matter that they needed to attend to?
I looked to Avin. His face was stony as always, but there was something in his eyes. Something was going on, and they didn’t want me to be around for it. Okay, fine by me. I needed some alone time anyway to take in everything that has happened.
“Well you guys go do what you need to, I’ll be okay here,” I said and began to walk towards the closest bookshelf. As I was scanning the titles on the bookshelf, I could hear the door close somewhere behind me. I sighed heavily. Now that I was completely alone I wanted to cry. There was no escape, not really. I thought about it but quickly reconsidered. I didn’t want any of them to walk in and see me like this. I pushed down the feelings and focused on finding the books that I wanted and needed to read.