Calder grew closer and closer to us as he floated down the river. The water gently cradled him along. He looked so relaxed, which was odd because the last time I saw him he was beyond tense. I’m pretty sure the only reason why he looks to be in this state is because he’s dead asleep. Literally.
Wait, what? I glanced at him again, better this time, and realized it was a huge possibility that he didn’t make it through The Waterfall of Souls. Oh crap! This was not good and the longer I stood there watching him doing nothing, I became more and more frantic. What if this is only his spiritual body? What if the soul to this body got lost?
“Kallan, something’s wrong,” I told her in a frantic voice.
Kallan watched as Calder came closer. "Do you know this man?"
She completely ignored my statement! Uhhggg! I wanted to stomp my foot in frustration. But instead I took my sister's hand, and squeezed to get her attention.
And squeezed until I could take no more of this ogling at the man I rescued. Me, not her. "Kallan! Listen to me!"
Her head immediately whipped around, and her eyes grew big at hearing the frantic tone of my voice. "Hmmm?" She mumbled, through the fog of lust that surrounded my sisters.
"You have to fix Calder. Please." I never used 'please'. What the hell? Iíve finally decided that Iíve probably flipped my lid.
"Calder?" Kallan asked, looking towards the man, hovering above the riverbed.
"What's wrong with him?"
I rolled my eyes. "Well, besides the gashes in his skin, he was tortured." I told my sister who, apparently was stuck in that fog of lust.
All of a sudden both Camira and Kallan gasped at what I just huffed out, almost in frustration. You really don't want to see me irate. I've created forest fires and fiery cities before. The only thing that ever really calmed me down was the passion of a man. But then of course I would have to cool down enough to go near him, or his skin would liquefy. Or he would die from the heat all together.
“You saved him?!” They both exclaimed at the same time.
“Well, yeah.” I said almost shyly, shrugging my slender shoulders.
“Kenna, you know you’re not allowed to save a human.” Then Kallan paused. “Dead or alive for that matter!”
Camira nodded her head in agreement.
That’s it! “Well, you know what? I don’t give a damn about those rules anymore! What if I just wanted a change for once? What if my life started to get boring seventy-five years ago? I don’t really give a crap if the gods strike me down because I wanted a change.” I paused taking in a sharp breath before continuing on, “And I really don’t care if my fate has been changed because I saved an innocent soul.” I finished off, planting my fists on my hips.
“Uhh, Kenna, he may not be so innocent anymore. Whatever he did to get down there,” Camira motioned towards the ground, “means he’s not innocent.”
“Well, yeah. I know.” I answered, feeling defeated. Which doesn’t happen very often, just to let you know.
At that moment Calder came into reach, and I lunged into the water after him. “Got you.” I mumbled under my breath.
Taking in a huge breath and puffing out my cheeks I heaved Calder to safety. I really don’t know why I’m doing this, when Kallan could have coaxed the water to bring him towards the shore.
I got his bare body half way out of the frigid nightly water, and decided to comment on all the help they were providing.
They stood there still dazed at the possibility of me trying to save a human soul’s body. “Hello, guys. A little help would be great here.”
Instantly, Camira used the wind to lift him a few inches up and out of the water, while Kallan tried to pull the remaining droplets of water from his pale skin. He was so very pale. That didn’t quite sit well in my stomach. What if I was saving him for nothing? No. I can’t think like that.
I shook my head to get myself back to the present. When I focused on Calder, who was lying very still, on the hard ground, I noticed once again that he was flesh and muscle. Totally bare and vulnerable for my sisters to see. Something I, surprisingly, didn’t want them to see.
“Camira cover him up,” I demanded.
Through another haze of hers Camira used the wind to knock big leaves off to cover him up. Once she was finished, she snapped out of whatever she was in, and looked at me expecting more.
I didn’t need Camira this time. This time I needed Kallan. I looked her way and waited till I had her attention. “Can you heal him?”
Kallan nodded, knowing I asked for more reasons than one. Probably more than I knew. She drifted closer to Calder’s resting body, and called on the water to surround her palms. As I watched her, my body stiffened the closer her hands got to his chest. Kallan took a deep breath, and the water instantly changed to a glowing white hue. While it swirled around her hands, the water looked like it was pulsating, and her eyes changed from a light green to a sky blue. Kallan took another breath, in her nose and out her mouth, and closed those searing eyes. The same exercise she was taught seventy-six years ago - as you can see we age differently - when she realized she had the ability to heal, considering not many Naiads could.
With a moment’s hesitation and a glance in my direction, she placed her glowing hands on his chest. The results were immediate. From where her hands were placed, his skin stitched itself together and became smoother than before. It was kind of like when you had people walk all over the sand at the beach, and then a vehicle comes by with a tarp to smooth away the rough surface. Calder’s cheeks were no longer pale, but had a pink tint to them. His breathing became an easy, smooth rhythm and in turn my tense muscles loosened up.
During all of that he didn’t do so much as flinch. Calder was statue still. A breathing statue.
She looked up with worry written all over her. “I’m sorry, I can only do so much. The rest is up to him.”
I wrung my hands out, like they were a rag getting rid of all the nerves. For once I didn’t know what to do. “What now?” I asked no one in particular.
Seeing as Camira was as nervous as I was, she had no voice to respond. So it was up to Kallan again. “We need to keep him warm for now. We can ask Kaia if she has some furs that we can keep him warm, and then its up to you to watch over him.”
Watch over him. Yes, I could do that. “Okay, I can do that.”
“Good.” Then Kallan looked at me like the older sister she was. “It’s going to be okay.”
“Because, look at him. I can feel this man’s heart beating, and it sounds like it’s beating for you.” Kallan answered, with a resting hand on his healed chest. Wanting to make her self all the more clear, she continued.
“Kenna, look at me.” My eyes must have wandered off. “His. Heart. Is. Beating. For you.” Kallan’s eyes widen in all seriousness.
My eyes enlarged at the realization. Could he hear my voice? Could Calder sense my presence? I looked over at Camira and she in return gave me an encouraging smile.
I walked over to where Calder lie, and kneeled down on the other side of him. Smoothing his brow line, I spoke to him reassuringly, “Calder, if you can hear me...î I paused waiting for a response. None came. “It’s going to be alright. I’m going to get you out of this.” I finished with hope blossoming in my heart.
I stared down at Calder’s smooth features and got lost in him. He had sharp looking cheekbones and a chin perfect for nipping at. His eyelashes were thick and they looked like soot. Calder’s eyebrows arched above his eyes perfectly, and they created shadows across his face. I already knew the color of his eyes... a bright sea blue, which made me want him all the more. If I truly looked I could get lost in those eyes. Sadly, his hair was ripped from his scalp when he was tortured, so it looked like he sported an uneven blonde buzz cut.
“It’s going to be okay.” I reassured us one last time, before we had to move him. Thankfully this time I had my sister’s help.