Chapter 30

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Chapter 30

There was little he could do, and it was killing him slowly from the inside out. He could only watch and wait for the fever to end as it stretched on and on. It was like watching a battle from the side-lines, and being held back as he did so. Struggling to get forward and to surge to the defence of all who needed it. However, this…this he could not fight.

Wiping his hands down his face, he felt and heard as his callouses rasped against the small hairs which were trying so hard to form a beard. It did not matter when he shaved as all he seemed to do was feel more growth only moments later, only to find out it had been nearly a day. Alfred and Kendrick forcing him away from her side at least once every day, and it was how he knew that it was time to go through the routine of normality for such a small time.

He never would have left her in her condition unless both males had not wrestled him from the room the first day, and had not let him back in, using force, until he had taken some time for himself. It was easier just to go along with their wants than fight them. He was back with her quicker. But he refused to leave more than once unless a dire need arose. He had already spent too long away, and the little he had gleaned from a rather obtusely silent Alfred made him wish he could change the way he had acted. But he had needed that time to work through the plan.

He had kept an eye on her from afar. Made sure nothing was progressing overly fast with her betrothal, otherwise he would have acted sooner. It had only been after he had not seen her, or heard from the man he had hired that she had not been out in two days, that he had begun to worry. That worry only increasing after the fourth day. When he was practically camping in the crevice he ‘looked over her’ from. It had finally gotten to him when a harried looking Alfred had darted from the run down building, leaving her alone and unprotected. He had taken the opportunity presented and had not looked back.

Finding her as he had, he would never forget the image of her curled in the foetal position as he had entered. Not a whisper of movement could be found, and it took minutes for him to finally see the tiny rise and fall of the thin, raggedy blanket that was shrouding her body. It had taken all of a second for him to move after he had established she lived and his heart could beat once more. He had surged forward and with a gentility he had not believed himself capable of, scooped her into his arms and turned to leave. Only to be confronted by a panting and red faced Alfred.

The solitary thing which stopped both men from coming to blows was the woman who lay so still in his arms. So light he barely noticed her weight as he looked down upon her and could see nothing other than the woman who made him pause in life and see what he had missed in the tumultuous river that had become his life. With Alfred hot on his heels, erupting every now and then, letting off rather a lot of steam, and following all the way to the house where Artair made sure Rohesia was comfortably in his own bed. Before finally confronting the male who had been looking for a fight since the moment he had spotted him in that dilapidated room.

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