Her spirits rise at the thoughtfulness of this small gesture. "Alright then. Thank you." Day whispers into the empty morning air in case her mysterious benefactor is somehow listening.
Mysterious? Not so much. The only person who knew she couldn't find her room from the outside was Fox.
Damn him for this...
Day takes off with a stumbling hop. She hopes no one gets in trouble for the unauthorized expedition, though doesn't particularly care if they do.
Shadows stitch various shades of grey into the underbrush of the trails. This works to Day's advantage. The less people who see her out and about without a chaperone, the better. She lands and, without so much as a wasted heartbeat, runs through the pale morning mist.
The jolting dismissal from the dream path fades with her need to concentrate on the placement of her bare feet on the earthen surface of the path. Morning insects chorus through the forest, reminiscent of birds calling to each other in the early hours of the morning to announce their continued survival. She wonders if there's a catalogue of the insect life on this planet. Maybe the book someone left in her room as a prank?
Day ducks under a group of low hanging leaves. The surroundings mute the steady, pounding beat of another runner's footfalls. The newcomer registers in her thoughts mere moments before manifesting around a sharp corner.
So she isn't the only one up early for a run. It's almost to be expected, with the shape some of these fairies are in.
The outline of her unbidden company comes into view and Day almost trips over an exposed root. It's a sight she's becoming painfully familiar with, the unmistakeable pale freckled skin bright even in the shadows of early morning. Those long legs effortlessly match her stride.
Day divides her attention between the path and surreptitiously examining the bare chested figure. Fox is slim, his athletic body packed with well-maintained muscle. Beads of sweat form on his skin, more from the heat his body generates than actual exertion. It soaks into the rim of a pair of form fitting pants, the moisture having nowhere else to go. Seems to be the type of clothing he prefers.
She may as well enjoy it. Besides, the chiselled curve of his ass is far too sweet a thing to hide under a pair of loose trousers.
Oops! Her mind stepped into the gutter again.
Though his blue eyes concentrate on the road ahead, Day has the distinct impression of being examined with the same curious intensity.
Alright, get your thoughts back on track now. So what? He's got a body you'd love to explore. With your hands. Or tongue. Both together. Argh! Enough!
Day tears her eyes away from their feast and roughly sets them back onto the path ahead. In no way does she mind a running partner. If anything, it helps her keep a strong pace. They share a companionable silence, Fox's powerful stride keeping time with her like they've done this together for years instead of minutes.
Fox suddenly shoots forward and casts an impish smile over his shoulder, challenging her to keep up. Alright then, if he wants a race, then he'll get a race.
"Just try and keep up." And Day takes off.
He chuckles. The mirth dissolves with the dawning realization that he'll need every bit of air in those lungs for this task. Day lets loose of all of the frustrations of the last few days, all the anger at the ignorance this place festers under, all the fears born from the nightmarish paths. It's fantastic!
Fox manages to catch and keep up, but is unable to pass her. The race ends when the trail opens up to the hot springs. Those still, soothing waters beckon to them after such an intense workout. They both slow, allowing their heartbeats and lungs to adjust, before stopping.
YOU ARE READING
The Paths of GreythornFantasy
The dream paths, accessed by a chosen few, reveal the most likely future following any given choice. Unfortunately for the human dreamwalker Daystorm, the decisions made by the fairies of Greythorn make her long for the simpler days of sweat-induced...