Chapter 12 - The Unknown

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Chapter 12 – The Unknown

As the sun began to set the camp had finally been completely set up. Ashley was standing at the edge of the camp where the torches burned; facing the direction where she knew Scott’s body would be, that is, if he was still there.

Had he gone to Verden to look for her as Toran said he did?

Would he stay there until he found her? What would happen if he didn’t go back in time? He couldn’t travel unless it was a new moon. Would he be stuck there forever, or would she be able to bring him back even though she didn’t bring him there?

“You are thinking of your friend.” The deep voice behind her had her jumping in surprise.

She nodded without turning to look at him. She had her eyes opened and didn’t feel like closing them just yet.

“What has he done to you? You care for him, and yet you run away from him. Is he someone you grew close to among your people?” She knew he was asking her if she loved him, but he wouldn’t use the word, not after what happened the first time. She couldn’t handle someone telling her they loved her because she knew it couldn’t be true, especially with Toran. He had just met her.

“No, Toran, he was just a friend. But even as that, I cannot live in lies. You said so yourself that he had lied, that he had tricked me. It was true, and I couldn’t handle it. I left my home and came here to get away from the lies. I didn’t come looking for you, at first, but I am glad to have found you.”

She felt his hands softly settle onto her sides and stiffened for a moment, but didn’t move away. She had to try.

After a minute of just standing like that she relaxed and he slid his arms around her, bringing her back to his chest.

He smelled of the forest and that was something she really liked about him. The forest smelt of freedom and peace, and that’s what he reminded her of. He was her freedom and peace.

“I am glad you came to me. I do not wish for you to live in the lies of your people. It saddens me to hear what you lived through, but without all of it you never would have come to me. I give you space, but you are mine. I will not allow you to leave unless it is what your heart wants. I wish to keep you by my side until the end of our days. I wish to show you what love feels like.” Her back went stiff, but he set his chin on her shoulder. “In time you will know.”

With a sigh, she relaxed against his chest. He was so warm. “I didn’t really get to know your people all that well today. It was too stressful because they didn’t like the idea they had to change for me. Maybe we could walk around as they prepare to sleep and I can learn more about them.”

He chuckled and tightened his arms around her, but only slightly. “Are you trying to get out of my arms?” She could hear the teasing in his voice, but there was also something else. Did he feel offended?

She slowly turned toward him, closing her eyes before she fully faced him. She could still see, but it unnerved her slightly. It wasn’t natural to see with your eyes closed. “I enjoy being in your arms, but I would like to know more of your people. If I am to stay here I need to know the traditions. I need to know how to live among your people.”

He smiled and lightly tugged on the ends of her hair. “You are devious, but I will step back, this time. We will do what you want.” He started tugging her with him as he walked backwards. “What is it you want to know most?”

“Well, I was wondering about your clothes. Do you guys make everything? Where do you get all the fabric? Who makes them?”

“Flower, that is a lot of questions at once, try ask one at a time.”

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