Chapter 8

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I flinched as the door opened but I couldn't pull my eyes from the charred body in front of me. Hot tears streaked down my face and hit the ground with an audible pop. I couldn't get my mind off of what had just happened. How close I had come to being raped. I didn't even have the mental capacity to wonder why I wasn't burning like the rest of the room. I just stared at the man that had but a moment ago been on top of me.

My ears were ringing. I was shaking violently. I could see nothing but the blackened, burning body in front of me. The acrid smoke filled my mouth, nose, and entire being. A hand grabbed my arm and yanked me up. I stared blankly at Dirg, not really seeing him. He pulled me somewhere. I didn't really care.

He wiped at my tears and held me. He held me close, but I just collapsed. I killed someone. I killed a man as he tried to rape me. I killed him. The ringing took over my mind as I melted into oblivion.

...

My sense slowly resurfaced, no matter how hard I fought to stay in the uncaring blackness. First came taste. My mouth had the usual waking up disgusting taste. Then came touch. Strong arms were holding me. I did what any other rational person on the verge of insanity would do. I screamed and yanked out of his grip. I opened my eyes, saw the floor and ran. I didn't even know where I was; yet, I ran. Half asleep and mostly dead, the only reasonable thing to do was run.

"Sunshine!" I recognized the voice, but I kept running. I dodged past someone who cussed at me and tried to grab me. I found a door and was trying madly to turn the pull handle when a strong hand grabbed my shoulder and spun me around.

Dirg's green eyes held mine as he put his hands on either side of my face.

He spoke soothingly. "Sunshine, it's okay. You're fine. You're safe. Calm down. Just calm down." I looked down and tried to control my panic. "No, look at me. C'mon Sunshine. Look at me. There you go. You are safe and with me. Don't think about it. Think about me. You're safe."

I nodded and he moved his thumbs gently on my cheeks. A tear escaped and he yanked his hand away before it could touch him.

"What- what's wrong?" I silently cursed myself for stuttering.

He smiled wanly, making eye contact again. "Nothing. Nothing is wrong. You need to relax. Chill."

I looked around, but he squeezed me slightly, so I kept his gaze. He let go of my face but then wrapped his arms around me and held me close. I breathed in his scent of olive oil and metal and let it relax me. He held me until I stopped shaking, gently stroking my hair and humming my song.

I gripped his shirt and let him calm me down. When I was sure I was better, I pushed him away and mumbled thanks. He held my hand and pulled me to the person who I had dodged a few minutes ago. It was the king. I looked at the floor and started shaking again. Dirg would not have calmed me down just to kill me, right?

"I'm sorry," I whimpered.

"For what exactly?" The king said. "What did you do?"

"I- I killed a- a darky."

Dirg let to of my hand and put it on my shoulder. "Tell us what happened, Sunshine."

I thought about it and started shaking harder. "I don't know. I- I think I panicked. I wanted him to die and there was light and Dirg wasn't there and he was burning and I was afraid and I killed him."

I was feeling lightheaded and my chest heaved with every sob-heavy breath. I closed my eyes and tried to calm down. Dirg pet my head.

"Why did you want him to die?" Dirg asked quietly.

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