Chapter 19 - Hold Me
I sat alone in a wooden bench a couple of feet away from a bonfire set up by my co-volunteers. I just finished my dinner and decided to spend my early evening in the courtyard.
Wrapping myself with a small quilt while holding a mug of chocolate milk drink was what I believe to be a good idea to chase away the cold wind of the night. Well, we were in a mountainous area, so it was expected that the temperature would drop more than the usual. I wasn’t bothered by the temperature though. Just seeing the sea of stars and the mystical full moon like this was just pure awesome.
My feet felt tired from standing up and handing out packs of lunch and playing with the native children, but these physical complaints were all worth it. I am happy that I get to do all of my duties properly.
My voice felt a bit hoarse too because apparently Madame Ivana gave me a task to set up a little program for the tribesmen. I was the emcee. She assigned me a group of five members; two men and two women mostly in my age, and we rapidly whipped out three dance and song numbers to entertain the locals.
I was right to accept Madame Ivana’s invitation to join her feeding program. This was what I certainly call ‘the best vacation ever.’ Not only am I able to do my calling, I get to also travel in another part of Luxembourg and get to see a different side of it that was purely nature at its finest. I have been to this tiny country many times in the past, but I have never set foot in another place other than Auntie Marcella’s house, ranch and the nearby shopping districts.
Sipping my mug again, I happen to notice Raver and Clara stand together in the small entrance gate. They were actually holding hands and it seemed that they had just been outside the courtyard. In the back of my head, I am assuming that they were making out in the darkness, hiding behind the towering brick walls around us.
Never had I expected these turn of events. Just this morning, Raver doubted the progress of his courtship with Clara because of Eriol, but now, wow... wow! They are super glued together.
I thought Clara only likes Eriol? But it seems this brat can be persuaded by other men too. I find it a good thing, but mhmm, I believe the circumstances were just so fast and so weird. I guess my words of encouragement hit him that much huh?
Suddenly, I heard a woman scream in delight a couple of feet away from me.
My focus quickly diverted from the new couple to the Caucasian woman. She smiled widely and danced with two more females around the bonfire. They were copying the movements of the dance of the tribesmen, whatever steps they had remembered that is. Two male volunteers provided the same stream of drum beats with their modern bongos thereby making the dancing much livelier.
I had to smile too. I can’t deny it. It was not exactly the same flow of steps I saw in the tribe compound but hey, at least they were having fun and I am entertained with their silly dancing.
Tomorrow will be another new experience. Madame Ivana says we will head to another village just a few kilometers away northwest of here. We will have the same routine distribution of food packs and another mini program for our beneficiaries. Obviously, I am to host the program again.
Looking at these volunteers tapping and hopping in front of me, an idea sparked in my head. I should ask them if they want to perform a dance like this tomorrow, or maybe similar to it complete with the bongo sounds of course.
I smiled widely, thinking that it was the best idea I have concocted so far. I placed my mug down, unwrapped myself from the quilt and neatly folded it in the bench. I should ask them now before my idea expires and I dearly hope they will accept my proposition.
Standing up from my seat, I had my sweet smile ready but as soon as I eyed the two men holding the instrument, my mouth immediately dropped.
As to why you may ask?
Well, it was because standing in their back was the Prince of Lust himself with a crazy sexy smirk plastered on his face.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that his attention was riveted on me.
Nope, it was not directed to the women dancing or the bonfire between us. Just me and me alone.
My peaceful, innocent world immediately went tumbling down. Yes, it did. But it was quickly replaced with another kind of world; a world where my happiness centered on Eriol.
I stared back at him, wide eyed and lips trembling. My heartbeat drummed in tune with the bongo, but the loud thumping sound they had created seemed to dull. The bonfire seemed to mimic the tumult in my heart as the flames widened and blazed wildly in the air. I had to ask myself quickly: Why is he here?!
I noticed him mouth my name and I felt immediately in a trance. It was as if he was invoking me, pulling me to bask in his unexpected presence.
He turned to walk slowly away from the two men. The whole time he did so, he kept his stare cemented on me. I immediately took a step forward, deciding to follow wherever he planned to go; my idea about the program consequently forgotten.
I know it was a bad idea to follow him. I know with all my heart that it would be dangerous to be alone with him, but I honestly wanted to... I don’t know why but I wanted to.
The moonlight was enough to show the pathway outside the courtyard, but I carefully threaded on it as I tailed Eriol.
It seemed that his intention was to cover a great distance away from the villa because I saw him walk out of the pathway and into a rocky hill. I believe this part here, both of us wouldn’t be seen with just a simple glance alone. They needed binoculars to see us clearly.
“Why are you here? Did Auntie sent you?” I immediately asked when I stopped a few feet away from him.
He turned and faced me with delight in his eyes. I had to control myself from blushing then. I guess he wasn’t angry with me anymore huh?
“No, your Auntie didn’t send me. I am always with you Andrea. I never left your side,” he replied.
Whoah?! Surely he isn’t joking?!
“You’re joking,” I commented out loud with disbelief laced in my voice. But he was a demon and he can do anything using his powers. To doubt him now would be ridiculous.
“No, I am not joking. I am just invisible Andrea. You wouldn’t see me unless I will it so.”
Huh! It seems likely. This would be exactly the kind of Eriol I am expecting. He also used this power when we were in the willow tree. I am beginning to think how powerful of a demon he was when he can also make me invisible to the naked eye.
“Of course,” I interjected, crossing my arms in my chest. “It is not surprising anymore for me. But why?”
“Why?” He furrowed his brows.
Dangit. As if he can’t read my thoughts.
“Yes, why?” I threw again. “Why bother tailing me around? I thought you are angry with me?”
Eriol stepped closer and that movement alone left my heart beating frantically.
“Mhmm... you’re right,” he started huskily. “I am angry with you, but that doesn’t mean I will let you out of my sight, Andrea.”
I scoffed and moved back. “You sound like a stalker, Eriol.”
“No, I am no stalker Andrea. I simply want to be with you,” he answered as he continued to near me. Was it just me or did it became hot suddenly?
I stepped backward again but this time, I was conscious enough to glance at my back just to make sure I still have more ground to cover on. I wouldn’t want to plummet down in a cliff and into my death. Yep. I certainly don’t.
“Hold me,” and then I heard him say. Goodness! He really moves quickly!
When I turned back to look at him, he was already standing millimeters away in my front. I was so sure he would embrace me then, but he actually didn’t. He just stood and waited for me to do whatever he had commanded me to.
“What?!” I burst out, throwing him a confused glare. I stopped from stepping back when I realized a large boulder was in the way.
“I said, Andrea, hold me,” he clarified and that was the time when I saw the intentness of his eyes. He wasn’t jesting alright. Not one single bit.
“Why would I?” That was my sharp question complete with a raised brow and crossed arms, but he wasn’t bothered by it because instead of forcing his command on me, he was the one who held me by the waist and right then and there, I saw four layers of wings sprout behind his back. In a startling second, we were then high above the ground.
“Ahhh! Eriol!” I screamed, unable to contain my fear. Gods! I am not terrified with heights but even with this altitude, one would surely be scared. I grab a hold of his black coat which by the way looks hot on him. I had always wondered how these beings get to grow wings without tearing their clothes off.
“There, there. Calm down.” I heard Eriol say after his not-so-subtle chuckle.
Shit. He is enjoying my plight I’m sure.
I, of course, felt distressed by my situation.
He lifted me as if I am as light as a feather. And to top that, his grip on my waist wasn’t like a harness. It was so loose! I felt that anytime soon, I would fall with just a single lift of his finger.
“You’re safe, Andrea. You can hold me tightly if you want to,” he said and I am quite sure it was to tease me.
I disregarded it because of my fear and decided to hold onto him tighter. Dangit. So this is what he meant by ‘hold me.’ He could have just said that he planned to fly me in the sky!
“Bastard, I know you are enjoying this,” I stated with anger, but this strong emotion didn’t remain too long. It was replaced with awe and astonishment when I saw the moon a whole lot closer to us.
“Yes, I am. I won’t deny that,” he simply replied, but I didn’t linger on his words as I am too engrossed with watching the scene.
White fluffy clouds surrounded us and just over the horizon, was the full moon in all its glory. I bravely looked down and saw the beauty of the earth below me.
Wow. Just breathtaking.
“We’re...flying...” My words somehow came out calm. I heard Eriol chuckle a little then.
“It’s so cute of you to state the obvious, Andrea.”
“Jerk,” I said while rolling my eyes.
“Aren’t you scared?” he asked me and I suddenly felt a wee bit dizzy. Probably this was because of the altitude, or probably because of his hands holding me tightly now. Damn... I honestly missed these hands.
“No, I am not scared,” I answered initially. “I am surprised of course, but I don’t think flying and seeing the beauty of nature in this perspective isn’t something to be afraid about.”
“Hmmm, you sure accept the change so fast,” he remarked with a grin on his face.
I stared into his gray-violet eyes and yes, I could say that this was much much better than the glowing red ones; probably even much better than the full moon in front of us.
“I like your wings,” I said abruptly when I stared at the black appendages. Looking at them, it made me feel nostalgic; like I had seen these unique wings before...
“Really...” he replied curtly, roped with a darker tone.
I watched his expression and saw that he didn’t look proud. He didn’t look at all happy. He didn’t even look pleased of what I said. He actually showed a sad expression on his face when he said that and it made me wonder why.
“It is glorious. Black is a beautiful color, Eriol.” I tried to make it sound nicer, hoping that he would accept it as a compliment and make his mood livelier. Luckily, it did.
“Hmmm, you sound exactly the same as the past Andrea.” His voice lightened a bit.
“What? What past?” Confusion clouded my head. What is he talking about now?
“Andrea... I don’t expect you to remember since you are reincarnated, but you... me... we had a life together in the past.”