Merlin returned to his hut, he discovered that Asha had not returned.
“What is she doing?” he wondered and noticed that he begun to think about her again. He forced that worry out of his head and prepared dinner.
And when he sat at the table, eating as he usually did, he found himself eating slower, wondering where Asha had gone to.
There were two reasons for Merlin to think about Asha. She was truly the first person who had offered him any kind of memorable companionship. Even if Asha never returned, he would never forget about the nymph who tired to kill him twice and openly declared her intentions to seduce him. But part of his concern for her sprung out the worry for his own safety. If she was caught by the local townsfolk, than news of that would surely reach Camelot.
“I must be going mad,” I murmured.
Even after dinner, he stood outside his hut and cast a spell on his eyes that allowed for him to see in the darkness like a wolf. He reasoned to himself that he only did that to watch out for any townsfolk who might come to him, blaming him for the death of the young men Asha fed on. And while his eyes scanned the forest, he was searching not for hordes of angry villagers or a squadron of soldiers, but the slim frame that belonged to the body of one nymph.
Eventually even Merlin realized the foolishness of his actions. He went back into his hut to retire for the night.
He lay on his straw mattress, trying his hardest to fall asleep, but he could not. His heart beat faster than it ever had, his mind racing with thoughts and ideas. For the first time in his life, Merlin felt anxious — excited even.
The sound of the door opening made Merlin take a sharp breath. Judging by the light sounds of the footsteps, it was a female who had come in.
Merlin shut his jaw tightly and prepared for her seduction assault, anticipating that she would slip under the covers with him. But after a few moments, he realized that she did no such thing.
Carefully, he opened one eye and saw that Asha was sitting on the wooden chair with the Grimoire book in her hands. Her purple eyes glowed gently as she stroked the leather covers of the book. She used her fingernails to pry the iron lock, but soon gave up when she realized the futility of it.
Without saying a word, Merlin watched the beautiful nymph. The moonlight illuminated her raven black hair. Her bangs covered her eyes, making Merlin wonder what her expression might be. Her skin glowed like porcelain under the moonlight, her eyes transfixed on the Grimoire book. She still only wore the silk robe she had when they first met. Even though it was dark, Merlin could see that it was beginning to shows signs of tear and wear from her journey through the forest.
Asha opened her mouth and whispered something that Merlin could not understand. Maybe she was saying something in the nymph tongue, he thought. She held the heavy book close to her chest and her silky black hair fell over her shoulders and formed a curtain around her.
Merlin was mesmerized by the beauty of the sight. He could hear his heart pound so loud that he was afraid that Asha might hear it.
“Does your heart yearn to embrace this maiden?” Asha suddenly spoke. “Does this sight make your heart beat?”
Merlin could not fool her. She knew that he was awake the entire time.
“Why have you come back?” Merlin asked.
“My brothers and sisters are in this book,” Asha said. “I cannot abandon them.”
Merlin remained silent. He was rather surprised by what he heard. He always thought that demons were savages who killed humans and each other. But Asha had proven to him that, at least the nymphs, were wiser and more cunning than most humans. And seeing how she tightly held the Grimoire book, he couldn’t help but feel that demons were far more loyal to each other than humans.
Merlin wanted to comment about her attachment to the other demons in the book, but he found that he had nothing to say. There was no one to whom he felt this kind of attachment to, not even King Arthur would come to mind. Instead he decided to ask her something else.
“Are you not cold?”
Asha turned to him. Her purple eyes shone in the darkness of the night.
“Have you finally decided to treat me like a woman?”
“That has nothing to do with it,” Merlin returned roughly.
Asha chuckled, stood up and jumped onto the straw mattress. She pressed her body against his and Merlin balled his hands into fists to control himself.
“Don’t worry, I’m not going to use any magic,” Asha purred. “I will seduce you like a real woman.”
“Stop it,” Merlin breathed even though he could feel his heart leaping to his throat.
“Something hard is poking me,” Asha giggled and her hand reached downwards
“Stop it!” Merlin shouted with more vexation than Asha had expected.
With a pout she pulled away and turned her back to him so that her buttocks were nestled against his erection.
“Women do not like a man who doesn’t know when to give in.”
“You are no woman.”
Asha let out a laugh. “And here I thought that you had begun to think of me as a woman.”
For the next couple of nights, this chain of events repeated itself.
In the morning, Asha would pretend to eat breakfast like a normal human woman, and eventually Merlin gave into her charade and began to eat with her. Asha would then, as she referred to it, ‘hunt’ for her real meal and leave the hut. Merlin would then go about with his daily tasks: practicing spells, experimenting with runes, gathering food and water in the forest. Then in the evening, Asha would return, examine the Grimoire book and then join Merlin in bed where to his surprise, she did nothing.
For an entire week, Merlin lived together with Asha liked that, and even though he did not realize it himself, he was happier than before, for he had had his wish fulfilled. The Grimoire book had given him a companion.
But Merlin could not help but wonder why Asha always came back to him. For most of the time, he left the Grimoire book unguarded. If the Grimoire book was the only reason she came back to his hut and she knew that her seduction magic and techniques would not work on him, then she could simply take the Grimoire book away while he was asleep. She could travel across the kingdom and even take a ship to the Germanic kingdoms to find another wizard who could help her open the book. Yet she did not do that. She would come back every night and go to sleep with him.
Merlin wondered why. Why did she not take the book and run away if there was no hope of seducing him...unless she was certain that she could find a way into his heart. But what if she did not have the hope of seducing him, why did she come back?
It was not until a week had passed that he thought of the answer.
She had nowhere else to go.
There was no other place in the world which she could call home. With her brothers and sisters locked away in the Grimoire book, Merlin was the closest person she could call a friend in this human world.
“Heh,” Merlin sounded one night when Asha slipped under the covers to share her warmth with him.
How strange the Grimoire book was. A half-blooded wizard and a pure-blooded nymph living together in the forest. Two creatures who had nowhere to go, no other place to call home. A relationship born out of sheer necessity.
“What is amusing you?” Asha asked. Her face was mere inches away from him and if he moved just a little bit, he could kiss her.
“It’s nothing,” Merlin said. “I just feel that all of this is rather strange, no?”
“I don’t think so,” Asha let out a deep breath and her sweet scent traveled up Merlin’s nose, causing him to grit his teeth. “Nothing was normal to begin with.”
Merlin nodded slightly. He was staring into her eyes. He had now become used to Asha slipping into his bed without asking for permission or really caring if he wanted her in there. She simply did it as if all of this was her home.
Merlin could feel her smooth thighs rubbing against his. Her shapely breasts were brushing against his arm and her hair partially covered her face, giving her an air of mystique.
He was consciously aware that every aspect of Asha’s body — from her eyelashes to her toes — was designed to seduce men, and even with that knowledge he found it difficult to resist her.
And yet he had to admit that it was this struggle which gave his life a breath of fresh air.
Breathing hard, Merlin inhaled her scent and clenched his fist so hard that his fingernails dug into his flesh.
Asha of course noticed his struggle and smiled.
“Would you like to kiss me?”
Hearing these words was akin to being stabbed in the chest.
“I promise that I won’t use any of my magic,” Asha battered her eyelashes playfully.
“Don’t be absurd,” Merlin grumbled and turned away. “I’m not as foolish as you think I am.”
“A nymph is offering you a kiss with the promise of not sucking away your life, and you reject it,” Asha sighed. “You are more foolish than I thought you were. You are a stubborn fool.”
“Go to sleep,” Merlin mumbled.