We Were Real (44)

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Aeress

     She mumbled a response as she heard her name called. The sensation of the cool rain washing down her face was both consoling and overwhelming. The droplets fell off, leaving behind a cold trail which balanced with the heat of her flushed cheeks. 

     Her eyes shot open as someone yanked her out of the mud. The tingling warm and the contact of his brilliant blues prevented her from responding aggressively. 

     "Warrick," she breathed before connecting their lips in a fervent show of something she was too chicken to say out loud. She tasted him and the blood and the rain, but most all of, him. Her hands held onto his shredded shirt, bringing him closer to her. She needed him on her, around her, with her. 

     He immediately responded, picking her up and hugging her close until there was no amount of space between this. She absorbed him, biting down on his lip, kissing away the sting immediately afterward. “Warrick,” she smiled against his lips and she hugged him, holding him. “I’m glad you’re alright. You are alright, aren’t you?” 

    Warrick nodded, checking to make sure she had no worrisome wounds as well. The way he gazed down at her halting her breath. He looked at her like she was the most precious treasure. “I’m fine, but…” he looked around and shook his head. “Someone’s going to pay for this.” 

    Aeress got up as he did. She liked that he kept his hand in hers. “What do we do now?” 

    “We aren’t going to do anything. I will take care of this-“ 

    “No, Warrick-“ 

    “Aeress, just listen to me.” She quieted down for once. “I know who did this, and the manner in which he attacked… this was not just a warning. I know you want to help our people, and you will by putting as much space in between you and this island as soon as possible.” 

    Her heart hurt because she knew that he was right. “I can’t leave all of this for you to handle. Things are different now. I can help.” 

    He grabbed her and kissed her harshly, stealing her breath. “I know that,” he spoke against her lips, “you are the Queen, you are a goddess, but please, for me, just this once, leave it to me. I’ve been doing this a lot longer than you have. I need to know you are safe.” 

    She still so badly wanted to stay and take care of everyone, but she knew he was right. She pulled away from him and began to pace. “Okay, so I leave, then what? I have to help in some way. I can’t sit back and do nothing. You should know me better-“ 

    “Warrick!?” 

    Aeress turned at the sound of Shaya’s voice. For a moment she didn’t understand why her best friend was running like she was running for her life. 

    That was until Shaya slammed into Warrick, smashing her lips to his. Aeress hunched over as pain sliced through her belly. She bent over and threw up all that was left in her stomach. Her vision went blurry and she felt she would faint. 

    She looked up again to see that they had broken apart. Aeress felt she would fall as she identified the look of adoration on Shaya’s beautiful face, an expression directed at Warrick. While he looked infuriated, wiping his lips in disgust, he at least had the decency to act as if he were surprise. 

    Shaya looked at Warrick in confusion before finally seeing Aeress. “Aeress, what’s wrong?” 

    Aeress jumped back, snarling as fury overtook her. “Don’t touch me!” 

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