Chapter 23.5 – Seeking Answers
My senses slowly returning, I felt a light throbbing between my legs as I tried to stretch my body out. Feeling a hand run the length of my bared back, I felt a sense of calm as I wiggled closer to the touch. My eyes popping open in an instant, last night came rushing back to the forefront of my mind, as light blinded me further from a fire crackling a short distance away. Kiba, Tantore, Charlotte… it was out of control, so much happened in such a short space of time. And the pain, just thinking about it I could not help but wince causing my eyes to close again before I could even see out of them clearly.
Hearing and feeling sharp movements against me. I was lifted straight into the lap of someone with strong arms. “Paige are you okay? Are you feeling unwell?” Recognizing his scent and voice I caved in an instant, leaning into the body allowing my weight to sink into his broad chest. The familiar sensation and safety I felt settling my racing heart, a large breath I did not realize I had been holding released from my chest.
Opening my eyes again, I pushed the thoughts of pain from my mind as I craned my neck to see Tantore’s body surrounding me. I had been sat in this position in his arms before, it was almost comforting, something familiar in this upside down place and time. Turning back to face forward, I brought my hands to my face rubbing my eyes to remove any traces of sleep. Looking forward, Kiba was but an arms length in front of me watching intently with his bright green eyes. Between the two of them, I almost felt like a shiny new toy.
Mumbling, I had no idea who to greet first, or what was going to happen next. Were they getting on now, and what was going to happen next. My throat dry, I spoke out with my voice barley audible, “everything hurts.” And it did, my body was aching all over. It almost felt like I had been hit by a train. Once again looking between the two and then around our surroundings, “where am I?”
Kiba’s voice sounding, I felt Tantore’s arms tightening slightly as if he was frightened, frightened I would disappear or be taken away. “We are in one of my many caves Beauty. You are safe here. I swear it.” Slowly growing more awake, I started to move around, started to shift my weight and extend my limbs out. Moaning quietly as my bones cracked and creaked like an old house, it was almost embarrassing as every movement caused another. Crawling forward in an attempt to move out of Tantore’s arms, he only tightened them holding me in place.
Lifting my eyes to meet Tantore’s, my voice came out in an almost whimper. “Help me stand?” I knew this was to only way he would allow me to leave his arms so I could stand. He almost immediately obeyed only taking a single second to process the action. Taken to my feet, the fur blankets surrounding me dropped to the ground. Looking down, a squeal surfaced my lips as I realized I was left completely bare. Trying to drop down to pick up the blanket, I almost lost my balance as Tantore’s hands held my waist steading me.
Kiba moving swifter then myself had some sort of fur garment within his grasp. With a single seamless movement, Kiba pulled it over my head before I could even start bending again. Not that I would have been able too with Tantore’s vice grip holding me in place. Trying to rip my hands and arms through the holes very not graceful like, I felt both their sets of hand straightening the dress from either side. Finally in it, and covered I stepped away from their hands immediately wanting to distance myself. Redness no doubt flooding my cheeks, they have both just seen me completely naked again, at the same time.
Trying to move further away to hide my embarrassed and shameful face, I was falling forward before I even took a full step. My legs collapsing underneath my weight, the floor grew closer before I once again felt giant hands catching each of my wrists. I was learning all to quickly once within their grasp, it was almost impossible to get them to let me go, no that I wanted them too. My strength to resist them was almost non-existent. The instant I woke up, I felt warm, I felt the need for them to be close. I did not know how or why but I needed them, I almost felt like I would die without them.
Looking down at my wrist the mark was a light scaring on my skin, no doubt similar to the one on my shoulder. Just watching it, it was calling me closer, calling me to touch it. Tantore’s hand snaking out, it wrapped around his bite mark like a snake as a jolt ran through me, my body bowing under his touch.
Running through last night again, my mind hit somewhat of a lightbulb. “Where is Charlotte? I remember her screaming… and that man was with her. Where did she go? I want to see her?” If anyone was going to explain this to me, this world, this place. It was her. She knew of the marks, the bites. She knew that Kiba and Tantore could help me, she knew that man was coming. I heard her yell and stand up for me, she said she knew of my world, she mentioned… going back.
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-Making memories in Angela’s kitchen