Excalibur ~ World from Ashes

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Chapter 4

Something sweet filled my nose; the scent of some sort of tea was filling the room I was in. My head felt like someone had dropped an anvil on it as I opened my eyes to stare groggily up at the ceiling. Taking in a deep breath, I moved a little bit as I lay there, testing my strength. Damn, my body felt so heavy… What happened? I could hardly remember.

As I tried to sit up, I felt bandages wrapped around my waist. They were tight and constricted my movement but it didn’t hurt. Actually, it felt kind of good to have the cloth tightly wound around me. I couldn’t sit up though… Not easily anyway. Pushing my hands underneath my hips, I pulled myself up only to have a pair of hands on my shoulders, pushing me back down.

The touch was familiar and I recalled the car ride where I was continually pushed down on the seat against Tristan’s lap. I was starting to get irritated about being put back down constantly. When I looked up, I was frowning, my eyes narrowed in irritation at the one who was trying to make me lay back down. Tristan smiled at me as he eased me back onto the bed, gently but firmly so that I couldn’t really fight back. God that was so aggravating.

“Why can’t I sit up?”

“Because you’ll open your wounds. Kilia would be very upset about that. You wouldn’t want that, now would you? After all that work she did to patch you up so nicely.”

Again… with the guilt tripping! What the hell? I let out a sigh of frustration as I allowed him to put me back against the sheets and pillows. His grin told me that he knew he’d won. That bastard was teasing me again. There had to be something I could do to get back at him, to wipe that damned look off his face.

“Can’t I sit up a little bit?” my voice was soft, pouting slightly but I had done that on purpose and even dolled it up by looking up at him with ‘puppy’ eyes.

Tristan paused, an eyebrow lifting as he stared down at me. Inwardly I grinned as his face took a somewhat confused and curious look. Finally, he smiled at me and leaned down over the bed, the mattress creaking slightly with his added weight. His hands pulled me forward slightly, one arm slipping around my shoulders to pull me closer.

“Here, hold on for a second,” he said softly and I found myself pressed up against his body.

Ignoring the fact that he was rubbing against me slightly, and that I could feel every muscle under the nice button up shirt he was wearing, I turned my head and bit his neck, hard. Ass, treating me like a child, teasing me! I hope that hurts, bastard! Tristan stopped, his arm around me tightening to nearly crush me against his larger body. Instead of cursing or being thrown backward from him, he let out a sultry, sexy sound and I gasped. Shit… With a slight groan, he finished with the pillows as I immediately released his neck, my face hot with embarrassment. That had not gone as planned. Fuck.

He lowered me back down, but stayed leaning over me. He watched me carefully, his hazel gaze far more intense than I’d ever seen it before. Tristan’s eyes dropped from my face, slowly taking in my body before he looked back up at me. He grinned then, a wicked little smirk on his face as he leaned down further. My heart lurched and my breath seemed to be sucked away in that instant. Shit… shit… shit!

“Was that supposed to mean something?”

“N-no! Fuck off!”

“Oh? Then why did you bite me? Are you trying to seduce me? Maybe Jace was right.”

“W-what? Hell no! Why the hell would I want to seduce you of all people!? Someone’s full of themselves,” I snarled back, my hands reaching up to push against his chest to try to keep some distance.

His grin widened as he gave a soft laugh at my very poor attempt to push him off me. Tristan was heavy, and he was making no attempt to relieve my burden of holding him up. My arms strained and I knew that if I released him, he’d probably come crashing down on top of me, something that I desperately wanted to avoid. His body weight shifted at the last second before my arms dropped at my sides, my chest heaving from the struggle.

Tristan rested his body against one arm, the other coming up to brush my black hair back from my forehead. He held those locks between his fingers, tilting my head backward as he leaned toward my face. My breath caught in my throat and I watched him with wide eyes.

“You’re really adorable. Especially when you’re lashing out. Didn’t I tell you that impulsiveness of yours was dangerous? I doubt you thought through the action of biting me.”

“S-shut up.”

Tristan laughed as his fingers released my hair and he pulled away from me, “Here, doctor’s orders,” he said as he got up and went to where that sweet smell had been coming from. Holding out a tea cup for me, he waited until I took the warm porcelain in my fingers, “Kilia wants you to drink all of that, take your medicine, and then sleep.”

“I’m not a kid.”

He looked highly amused by that and I ground my teeth as I glared at him. So frustrating. I pulled the cup up to my lips and took a sip. Just as it had smelled sweet, it tasted sweet to. I hummed a bit as it went down my throat. The tea soothed me, easing the dry itch at the back of my throat. I hadn’t realized how hoarse and thirsty I’d become. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. After running all downtown, screaming more than I ever had before… I was lucky to even be talking.

I sucked down the tea like it was going out of style, all the while Tristan watched me with that slight smirk on his lips. When I finished, he took the cup from me and handed me a white pill and more tea. I took the medicine, finished the tea and settled against the pillows. As I lay there, waiting for sleep to take over, I glanced over at Tristan who was busy putting away the tea set and the medicine.

“Why do all of this?”

“You ask strange questions. Do I have to have a reason?”

I frowned as I watched his back. When he didn’t say anything more, I sighed and turned away to look at the ceiling, “I suppose not.”

“Good, now go to sleep.”

Rolling my eyes I didn’t even comment this time. It seemed like he was going to treat me like a kid no matter what. As irritating as it was, I supposed that it could have been worse. He could have been some pervert that drugged me up and had his way with me the moment he picked me up from the gang fight.

“What happened, earlier?” I asked, my voice slightly slurred as I was growing groggy.

Tristan came and sat on the edge of the bed next to me, his fingers reaching out to brush through my hair again. What was his fetish with my hair anyway? I tried to frown, but I don’t think it ended up that way. He tilted his head a bit as he regarded my half-asleep expression.

“Kilia pulled out a lot of shrapnel. You passed out partway through the ordeal. There was quite a bit. She stitched you up right after.”


Tristan gave a soft laugh, “You’ll be just fine. Go to sleep. It’s going to be a while before you do normal activities, so take it easy.”

Before I could give him a nasty retort, my eyelids slid shut as a heavy drowsiness took over and swept me away to the dark recesses of sleep.


It had been about four days, maybe a whole week I wasn’t really sure as I’d lost track of time. I was allowed to walk around, no longer confined to the room that Tristan had me in when I was recovering. My wounds were healing, slowly but healing. I had been ordered to go see Kilia every other day so that she could keep the wounds cleaned and dressed properly so that I wouldn’t get any infections and things like that.

I was leaving the medical room under strict orders not to overdo things. With a roll of my eyes I gave her a short reply in turn and headed down the hall, adjusting my shirt. Actually it wasn’t my shirt it was one of Jace’s. He was the only one who was close to my size with a wardrobe that would fit me. In my haste to leave Alik’s place I’d left all of my stuff there at the hotel. Running hand through my hair, I sighed a bit.

“You have a terrible habit of sighing often,” Tristan’s voice came from the stairs and I jumped, taking a few steps backward and bumped into one of the display cases.

He arched an eyebrow at me as I quickly got off the expensive looking case that had a ton of china inside of it. God if I broke anything in there, I’d never be able to pay it back in my lifetime… Once I was sure that nothing had even been chipped with my carelessness, I turned to glower at him. Tristan had a horrible habit of sneaking up on me. I was seriously beginning to think he did it on purpose just to see what kind of reaction I would give him. I seriously wanted to trip him down those stairs.

“What, I can’t release any air or anything?”

He smirked at me, “No. It’s the way you’re doing it. Makes me think your upset or something.”

“Well I’m not exactly the happiest person on the planet,” I shot back with a roll of my eyes and started down the hall. I had been exploring the house little by little and I still hadn’t found everything yet. Mostly it was just a shit ton of rooms that were for the members of Fukkatsu. There was a giant dining hall through the doors on my left and on my right was another hall that led to a different portion of the house. I’d found a library there, a study and a room that was locked.

I was curious about that room, but if I asked, Jace would probably jump down my throat. He still didn’t trust me and gave me dirty looks every chance he got. Zak, though, was much nicer and I’d gotten along with him pretty well. I learned that he was from Persia, hence the really thick accent. When I talked to him, I usually just sort of sat and listened to him. His voice was really nice, and the accent was really pleasant to hear. Ironically enough, he actually had some royal blood in him. I thought that was pretty hot. He wasn’t really my type, but I couldn’t help to think that it was sort of a turn on.

Aside from Jace and I not really getting along, Tristan was also a pain in the ass. Always tripping me up, making me nervous and seriously pissing me off every chance he got. It was like I was some kind of amusing toy for him. The thought aggravated me beyond belief, hence the reason why I stormed off into a random direction to get away from him… again. His steps followed after me though. I wanted to sigh, but seeing as that was what he’d latched onto this time, I refrained from doing so.

“What do you want?” I turned, my voice dripping with venom as I glowered at him.

“You could be a bit nicer you know. I am currently being hospitable to you.”

I felt my face ignite. Fucking guilt tripper… “Whatever,” I mumbled.

“How come you’re not happy? Is something on your mind?”

“Nothing really,” I folded my arms over my chest as we walked down the hall that led to the library and the study.

“Then why did you tell me you weren’t happy?”

“Why the hell does it matter? You’re annoying! Leave me alone.”

Silence met my words and for some strange reason my chest felt painful. A sharp, piercing pain shot through me, and I turned to look at him just briefly. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking as he was looking at one of the Japanese statues on the table next to him. My mouth opened and closed as I tried to form words to apologize. I was pretty sure I’d just pissed him off, or something along those lines.

“Tristan… I-”

He turned suddenly, his hand snatching my arm and I was soon trapped between his large, muscular frame and the wall. Staring up at him, I lost what I was going to say to him as he placed his other hand against the wall right next to my face. He leaned down a bit, his usual smirk on his face again. His musky scent was filling my nostrils again with how close he was.

“I see,” his voice rumbled, “So, I annoy you. Well, that’s fine. You’re fun to tease and play with. That cute face you make every time you’re angry,” he shrugged.

My heart plummeted to the darkest recess of my stomach as I swallowed dryly. Shit… I shouldn’t have said that. Is he… upset? No… I don’t think so. Maybe he’s irritated. Yeah, that seems more like it. As his gaze settled on mine, they were a cold amber color and I felt the blood drain from my face. He was definitely irritated. Shoving off the wall, he released me and turned around to go back the way we had come.

“If you want to stay, you’ll have to work. No one stays for free. Everyone works and does their part. Jace will train you,” he said and went through the double doors at the end of the hall. They closed with a heavy, resounding boom that made me jump slightly against the wall. My heart was erratic as I leaned against the wall, my breathing sharp and heavy in my chest. Slowly, I slid down the wall to sit on the floor with my knees up close to my face and my arms wrapped around my body.

I wasn’t quite sure what it was I was feeling. It was cold, and it felt awful. It made my stomach twist something fierce and I thought for a moment I was going to be sick. So, I sat there, trying to settle myself before I dared to move. No one had ever put that sort of feeling in my body before. Not even Alik who had a habit of attacking me out of the blue. I took a shaking breath.

“Damn it…”

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