Maybe Even Polish (15)

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     She watched intently as he pulled on his pants. What a shame. 

      The fire was dead but the morning light crept between the rocks of the entrance, lighting the surface of the inside, creating shadows here and there. The ceiling was lower than she imagined last night, but a lot happened that it was normal to miss the smaller details until the morning when she was less terrified. 

     "Let's just stay here?" she suggested from her position on the floor, still naked from head to toe. "Someone clearly doesn't want us to make it there." 

     He sighed, came over and placed her dry clothes at her feet. "Maybe. We need to get off this rock. The coast wasn't far off but there was a chance of you getting sick."

     She pulled on her underwear and next was her jeans and thin t-shirt. Her shoes and socks and everything else was left in the plane. "What are we going to do?" 

     Warrick walked toward the entrance, and the sunlight hit his copper strands, creating a sort of angelic glow, so unlike the true him. "They expect us at the Candor Trials. Perhaps they believe us dead? Maybe we should seize this moment?" While he wasn't technically addressing her, she was glad to be let in on his thinking process. 

     "You want to play dead?"

     He grimaced. "No, I will never abandon my duty, though I am not past entertaining the idea for a moment or two." A dry chuckle left his lips. "We will have to have a boat sent to us."

     Aeress walked over to him, shoulder to shoulder. "And how will we manage that?" Her eyes sought the pretty blue water, so gorgeous and opposite to the deadly waves from last night. 

     His silence followed. "I can contact my beta mentally."

     Her prior knowledge was a great help. "Why not last night, instead of us freezing our asses off?" 

    He looked into her eyes and she was almost accustomed to how severe his gaze was. Almost. "Like I said, I was entertaining the idea for a moment or two." 

     Aeress rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. "My body that convincing?" The fuzzy image of his perfect physique molded against her supple curves felt more like fantasy than reality. She didn't know whether to be disappointed at the lack of real action. 



     They were escorted off the boat, surrounded by fierce men and woman addressed as warriors, similar to the woman which had delivered the message at the Alaskan castle. 

     Warrick was as ferocious as ever, a shadow even in broad daylight. Piercing eyes and such a sharp-featured face. So handsome and intimidating. 

     Before they had come, Warrick had warned her of her treatment on this island, where the Guides dwell. Some would be like the maid and address her as Godhead, others would accuse her of duplicity. He warned that she must be strong and to never show weakness. 

     So easy a request to give and yet so hard to obey for her. 

     They quickly got on a train where Aeress was given the opportunity to change into something more suitable for the weather. She wore neutral colors of black and white and grey. It was obvious that the lack of character was implemented purposefully in the outfit. 

     This island was heavy in forestry, but it was gorgeous and unlike anything she had ever seen. It resembled that of somewhere in the country of Ireland, a place of heavy greenery and nature. Her eyes were glued to the window. 

     Aeress and Warrick had an entire lavish train car to themselves, with an occasional servant stopping by to offer their service. 

     She was glued to her seat watching the view. She sensed that Warrick wanted to speak, but she dreaded a part two of him turning into an asshole just as things got good.

     Right then, she pictured herself on vacation like she had always dreamed of but never acted on. She finally got her butt into gear and saved enough to leave the United States. 

     "You know," she said out loud, casually, "I've always wanted to go on vacation. See the world, mostly Europe. I imagined myself stuffing my face as far as my wallet would take me." she laughed at herself. "Maybe meet some hot italian guy and have a little winter fling. Read those books I kept putting off. Learn a new language: one of the romances, or maybe even Polish. Buy a couple dresses and actually wear them." She sighed. "What's ironic is that in a way, I am living that life, just not in the way I had assumed, because why would it? It turns out life is not the fairy godmother and I am not Cinderella."

     He said nothing. She refused to look at him and kept her eyes trained on the racing by views. 

     She scoffed at her own foolish self. "And even now, even as my wish was granted in some strange, twisted way, I still have hope, that maybe one day after all of this, I still can... Live that dream, I guess. It's silly, I know that," she admitted, inhaling deeply, "but call me a sucker, because I still feel the same... I wish wasn't such a sucker." 

     "You aren't." 

     Her eyes remained in place. "Perhaps."

     "The fact that you say these things tells me something."

     She gave in and looked his way. Her heart skipped a beat at his intense eye contact. One day his steel gaze would be the end of her. "And that is?" 

     "You are a force to be reckoned with, as much as her spirit within you." 

     She looked down at her body, picturing the blue skin. At this point, the creature's presence also felt like a dream, a violent, passionate dream. There was an echo of power remaining, but Aeress had no idea what the hell to do with it. "These Candor Trials... They will test her?"

     "Yes." He nodded. 

     Fear spiked in her chest. "What if she goes crazy again and hurts someone? What if I can't control her?" She sure as hell couldn't do it last time. 

     "We will just have to make sure that it doesn't unfold that way."

     Translation: start praying. 

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