Excalibur ~ World from Ashes

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Chapter 23

I woke to voices in the room, the lights were turned off and the only thing that illuminated the room of Kilia’s medical ward was her computer. I shifted a bit as I looked over to where I was hearing the voices. They were soft, muttering tones that at first I couldn’t quite figure out who they belonged to. As I strained to listen, catching words here and there, I finally recognized the pair of voices to be that of Kilia and Tristan. Kilia’s slightly deep feminine voice was rather nice to listen to. Not too high, not too low either. Tristan’s deep, vibrating tones were very easy to make out as he spoke in smooth, rolling sentences.

Still, I couldn’t make out what they were saying, only a few words. Even then, it took me quite a while to even piece together the tiny bit that I could and figure out what the subject was. The broken conversation was so hard to follow. I heard a lot of ‘he’ and ‘she’ though, but I didn’t know who it pertained to. Then I heard ‘Excalibur’ and I went still. They were talking about Excalibur? Did the case we brought back have some of the drug in it? Did Kilia find out something about it?

A thousand questions shot through my head as I lay there in the dim darkness, trying not to move too much so as to alert them to my being awake… and eavesdropping. I blushed a bit, feeling the heat across my cheeks as I frowned, biting the inside of my cheek. On the bright side, I didn’t feel like I was going to be sick or pass out, so that was a good thing, right? My body still felt a little weird, but it was bearable now at least.

Tristan moved in the darkness, his thick frame easier to spot over Kilia’s. His movement pulled me from my thoughts and I watched him as he folded his arms, his voice rising just a bit. I could hear them, and it was slightly irritating but a little sweet at the same time.

“She didn’t mean anything by it,” Tristan said, his voice speaking of his irritation.

“That’s not the point. It affected him, and it pissed him off. Come on Tristan. Are you seriously going to be so damned stubborn on this subject? You’re going to drive him away. He’s not the kind of boy to just take something lying down. If you piss him off too much, he’ll leave.”

“I’m not trying to piss him off, he has to understand that Ahmeil just isn’t going to express anything other than stone.”

“Tristan,” Kilia’s voice grew dark and even I flinched in the darkness, “I’m not saying that Ahmeil has to change. Neither is Valkyrie. All he wants is for her to stop making rude remarks at him. Did you know she referred to him as a ‘whipped dog’?”

Silence met her question, “I… didn’t know.”

“Well he told you that didn’t he?”

“We were arguing, Kilia I wasn’t really listening,” Tristan sighed.

I almost sat up and yelled at him again, but Kilia beat me to it so I forced myself to stay as still as possible, “He told you. And you need to pay more attention. Ahmeil is a good woman, and she’s done a lot for you, I know. But he doesn’t know. All he see’s right now is a bitch trying to drive him into a corner because she doesn’t think he belongs here. She’s testing him and he’s failing because he doesn’t realize that all she wants is to see if he can protect you.”

“He doesn’t have to protect me.”

“You might say that, but that’s not what Ahmeil thinks. Tristan,” her voice grew exasperated, “You know damn well how she thinks. Valkyrie thinks you’re protecting her and ignoring him outright. I know he didn’t handle it well, but neither did you. God, why am I even doing this? I’m not a fucking councilor. Figure it out, Tristan! If you don’t it’s not going to be Alik that takes him away, but you driving him away.”

I shivered. Even though I didn’t see it, I was sure she was glaring at him and just the thought put cold chills down my back. Kilia could be seriously scary at times, and it even struck Tristan, which was amazing. I didn’t think anyone could scare him, but she’d gotten it down to the letter. Maybe I should take lessons from her. Tristan didn’t reply but turned and started to leave. I quickly closed my eyes and pretended to be sleeping.

His footsteps stopped next to the bed I was lying in and I almost jerked as his hand suddenly touched my face, running down along the side of my skin. I couldn’t help it, but a soft moan left my lips at the touch. He hadn’t touched me all day and he’d even left me after our fight. The soft stroke of his fingers made my body melt. That amazing ability of his to calm me just by doing that… I wanted more of it.

His fingers left me all too quickly and the door opened and closed to his leaving. I opened my eyes, feeling the familiar burn of tears again. Was I ever going to stop crying? It really sucked, and I didn’t like it. Crying made me feel weak as hell. I was a guy for fuck’s sake! Why the hell did I have to cry so much? Ugh… it was irritating.

“You can quit pretending to be sleeping, I know you’re awake.”

My body shuddered once before I went rigid like stone, “K-Kilia…”

“I know you heard that. You woke up when we started talking, didn’t you?”

“Y-yes… Sorry, I didn’t mean to-”

“Do you understand a little bit now?”

I paused for a moment. I wasn’t sure what it was she was referring to at first, but it finally hit me. I frowned. Tristan still irritated me as he was protecting Ahmeil, but Kilia had done a lot to ease the tension I supposed. I nodded in the dark before I realized that she was probably waiting for me to respond to her directly.

“Yes. A little.”

“Good, now go back to sleep because I’m done playing cupid. You two will make it up tomorrow morning, or else,” she said, her voice heavy with aggravation.

“Y-yes ma’am…”


The following morning, I was ushered out of bed by Kilia and reminded of her threat the night before. I quickly left, not wanting to invoke her wrath any more than I probably already had. So, I found myself wandering the halls of the manor for a while, trying to figure out what I was going to say to Tristan. I still didn’t like the fact that he was protecting her, but there seemed to be a lot more to the story than just that.

I sighed heavily and decided that instead of wandering around trying to put it all together by myself, I needed to man up and go talk to him. Grinding my teeth and turned and started down the hall. It wasn’t long after that I found myself on the second floor of the house, hovering just outside of Tristan’s bedroom. Why do I always end up here?

Rolling my eyes, I lifted my hand and knocked. I waited. There was no answer. Frowning, I knocked again, only to have the same result. No one answered. Well, that was certainly new. Which meant that his study was the next best place to find him at. However, I went there and found the same result. He didn’t answer when I knocked. Confused, I reached up and scratched my head as I sighed, staring at the door.

“Looking for Tristan?” Zak’s voice startled me as he came up behind me.

I jumped and turned to look up at him like a cornered puppy, “Hu!? Uh… N-no… I mean yes! Yes, I am…” Well done, Valkyrie… totally didn’t sound like a dumbass at all, I seethed at myself.

Zak smiled at me, “Your room,” was all he said and patted my shoulder before leaving me in the hall.

“M-my room? The hell…” With a sigh I headed in that direction. For the entire walk, I pondered why in the hell he would be in my room of all places. None of my answers made sense though as I approached the room that had been given to me many months ago. I paused outside the door and lifted up my hand before I stopped. Seriously? Who the hell knocks on their own bedroom door? I sighed and reached down for the handle and walked in.

Tristan was indeed in my room, sprawled out across my bed with one arm up over his eyes, the other draped along his stomach and one leg propped up. Damn it… why does he have to be so fucking hot? I frowned as I gazed at him, the sunlight pouring through the window straight ahead of me and splashing across his body. I watched him breath, enjoying the sight of his large chest rising and falling and the slight, taunt ripple of muscle under the shirt with each breath he took.

Damn it all to hell… it was turning me on.

I cleared my throat, trying to distract myself. Tristan sat up as I did that and he stared at me for a while. I could swear there was a blush on his face too. Tilting my head at him, I arched an eyebrow as I waited for his explanation as to why he was in my room, of all places!

His blush faded rather quickly, “Come here, Valkyrie.”

I folded my arms, “Why?”

Tristan frowned at me, “Please?”

My lips pulled into a frown as I rocked back and forth for a moment. Finally I relented with a sigh. Walking over to him, I sat on the very edge of the bed, my back to him and glowered at the floor. He moved and I found myself between his legs and crushed against his chest as he wrapped his arms around me, nuzzling my neck.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get angry with you. You must understand that Ahmeil is someone I hold in high regard. She’s saved my life before. The reason for her eye patch is my fault too. But, if it weren’t for her, I would have died. I owe her a lot, Valkyrie, so when you went off on her, I was angry. I’m sorry. I should have listened better.”

I struggled to contain myself. Swallowing hard, I shook my head rapidly, “It’s fine. I… was just really pissed off. I am sorry too.”

“I will talk to her. I didn’t know that she’d… said something rude to you to that extent. Ahmeil can be rude, and usually is. It’s just how she is, it’s how she gets through everything. Don’t let her get to you, show her that you’re strong, because I know you are. Hell, you’re probably stronger than all of us here.”

“That’s not true. You’re stronger than me,” I said rapidly as I lifted my head up and blinked rapidly to dry the tears that had gathered there. Somehow, I had managed to keep my voice from shuddering like usual.

Tristan laughed, his breath tickling my neck in short bursts, “No. I don’t think so. Come here,” he said, his voice dropping as he turned me around slowly. My heart skipped a beat and I felt my face immediately flush bright red in color.

He lifted his hands and tilted my head. Warm lips pressed against mine for a long while. His tongue suddenly flicked out and ran across my tender skin, making me shiver. I gave a soft moan as I opened my mouth for him. He pulled me closer, running his hot tongue along mine in slow, sensual drags just like he always did. Those types of kisses made me nothing but putty in his hands. I moaned for him, my fingers reaching up to tangle in the back of his hair as I arched my body against him, trying to feel more of him.

Tristan held me against him, but only kissed me. I didn’t mind. His kisses were something I enjoyed immensely. As the kissing grew a bit deeper, I shifted against him and he moved. In one smooth motion, I found myself beneath him, still locked in the kiss as he slowly started working to undo my clothes, the belt to my jeans, and the buttons to my shirt. I panted heavily as I kissed him harder.

“T-Tristan…” I moaned his name as I pulled away from the kiss to breathe. He grinned at me.

“I love you,” he whispered before he ravished me.

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