1 - forest // intro

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The night was warm enough for him to feel the sweet taste of spring on his lips. A soft breeze was drying out the blood on his arms as his eyes took her in. She was only a few steps away from him, but he didn't come any closer.

He felt as if he stood in the middle of the woods alone. As if it was just another day. Maybe she was just an illusion. Another one of his own sick games. The games his wicked mind played on him.

And he would have believed that, only if his knees wouldn't have felt like giving in any second, if he couldn't have felt his heartbeat in his head.

The daisy white dress she was wearing had been decorated with mud and ripped in quite a few places, strands of hair were running away from her bun and the heels were missing from her cold feet.

The silence scratched his neck, but he couldn't break it. Instead of them, the wind and the animals spoke, but not even they could stand the sickening tension in these early hours.

It all felt like a tug of war to him. He wanted to move – but his feet were buried in the soft ground. He wanted to speak – but his throat was dry. He wanted to grab her – but his muscles never existed. He wanted to breathe – but his lungs were cracked.

With a sharp inhale she took a step back and started running. He knew what she was going to do before she did, and within a second he came back to his senses.

The forest was thick, dark. You couldn't take two full steps without walking into a tree, and it was the worst possible place to run, the best to hide.

She knew what was going to happen. She knew that she could never run away from him. Her physical ability and his were nowhere near the same level. Nothing of hers was ever at his level, at least that's what she thought.

The dress got stuck in what felt like every tree she passed, and it was only seconds before she felt his familiar arms around her waist. Pointlessly, she tried jerking out of his hold. It didn't make it any harder for him. His blood was slowly transferring to her dress, as her legs kicked the air.

She panted, but not a single word slipped through her lips.

After she finally calmed down, she waited for him to let her go. Minutes passed, his breath on her hair.

"Hello," she cut the thick layer of air between them.

He gently turned her around, still holding her by the waist. The wet cheeks he expected to see were completely dry, glowing under the stars.

"Well, I hope you're happy," she smiled, irony outlining her lips as she moved a piece of her hair behind her ear.

"This is not what I wanted to happen," his voice somehow found a way out, but it felt uneasy, leaving his mouth.

"Oh, don't start with this," she warningly looked into his eyes. They were emotionless, the complete opposite of what he expected.

"I didn't-"

"You did."

She spoke with such confidence, so sure of every word she left in the air. And he didn't know how to collect them without pricking his fingers on their thorns.

A few more minutes, a million more thoughts passed, and she took another step back.

"I need to go."

His arms dropped from her waist as she crossed her arms. He couldn't admit it to her, but the absence of the ring on her finger filled some of his selfish holes.

"You don't know how to get out of here," he spoke in a raspy voice. But he knew she was never good with orientation.

There was more silence until he spoke again, "I'll help you out."

"You can't help me out of anything," she stared into his eyes with immense intensity.

He sighed, "Just this once."

There was no waiting for her to respond, he knew she was going to follow him. The way around the trees was familiar to him, after all, he had been there countless times.

After a few minutes of walking, random silent creaks and sighs she stopped. She didn't feel good, her vision was getting blurry, her eyelids were getting harder and harder to hold up and her head buzzed.

"A break, please," she slid down onto the floor, leaning her back against a tree.

He turned around, and walked up to her.

"What's going on?"

"Just- just a quick break," she dropped her hands on the ground and laid herself down.

He would've started panicking if it wasn't for that day. Instead, he took a deep breath and lifted her up, pressing her against his chest. As her breath hit his neck he could feel his death, slowly, creeping into his skin.

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