Chapter 13: Gifts✔️

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Worry

Guilt

Confusion

These aren't my feelings. They are his. They are the man's that I've ruined, destroying his love, his future with a woman that seems to fit him so perfectly, gone the moment his eyes met mine. I'm starting to think maybe I shouldn't have looked.

I open my eyes. I'm back in the room, my cage.

Rhoavan is right beside me, my body strewn across his, trying to find comfort, begging for it.

When he notices I'm awake, he looks to his side, grabbing a plate and helping me to a sitting position. "Here. Eat." It's an unfamiliar dish to me, but I try to take a few bites. My stomach feels so empty and I feel so tired even though I just woke up.

"Are ya okay?" His voice is gentle and I try not to think about those memories, those visions.

"I need my magyk." I whisper this, unsure and scared of his reaction.

"We can't give that to ya, Gilryn." He is guilty over this.

"What if I tell you the reason I was in the woods. Then will you give it back?" A bargaining chip, one I hope will work.

He sighs. "Maybe some of it."

"I need it all. I could die-"

He gives me a funny look. "Die? I doubt that. I've gone months without mine."

"And your a halfling! Your body doesn't rely on it like mine does. You don't have as much as I do." I put the half eaten dish to the side and cover the tips of my ears.

His hands circle my wrists, moving up my hands, making my grasp drop so that his can replace them. He caresses my ears, distracting me and gathering my attention all at once. "Why exactly were ya in the woods that day?"

He's trying to coax me into giving him information, but at this point I want to give it to him. I want to let him know me, to spill my secrets, to know him and connect with him. I want to know him better than she did, than she does and I'm not sure if it's jealousy or my own desires that have me feeling such wrath.

"I was running." My gaze wavers, drops.

"Runnin' from what exactly?"

"I- I they were going to make me. I had no choice! I had to run! I couldn't be blood-bound to that devil of a man!" My hands are covering my face now, trying to hold back my tears.

"To the prince?" He quarries.

I nod my head.

"Bloody buckets of-" he doesn't finish his outburst, instead climbing to his feat, rubbing his face, frustration seeping into me.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you. I-"

"Ya should have told me sooner! Ya could have put us all in danger! The king is not one to anger and who knows what they have planned! They will surely want you back. They must have their whole army of Vartans lined up searchin' for ya!" He's babbling and pacing, pacing and babbling.

"I thought you said they don't know how to find you?" I ask in hope.

"They don't but that doesn't mean they won't stop tryin'. This just gives 'em more reason to find us. This just gives 'em more reason to hunt us down and kill us all off like he has been intendin' for a while now."

"I'm-"

He cuts me off. "I don't have time to be dealin' with this right now, Imp." His hand is held out, palm facing me, signally me to quiet down.

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