Mira Ch. 02bysecretme©
Alright guys, you asked for it. So here it is. But, I must remind you all that for every chapter of this one you get it'll be that much longer before you see another chapter of Leader of the Pack. :P So do be patient with me. I'm already being delayed by work and school. As much as I'd like to be a full time writer it's not been in my cards thus far. Maybe someday…
The black was spinning and swaying drunkenly in Mira's head as she woke. She groaned as she felt the nausea and dizziness twist her stomach. When she opened her eyes she found herself in complete darkness. The fire had gone out in the hearth. How long have I been asleep, she wondered.
At first she didn't remember where she was. The bed was warm and the bedding was silky. This wasn't her bed was it? The black was heavy on her chest and her stomach suddenly heaved. When she tried to lean over the edge of the bed to vomit, her muscles didn't want her obey her urgent command. As she began to heave she found the strength to turn over just in time to lose the bile in her stomach down the side of the silky bed sheets and all over the floor.
Mira groaned as she continued to heave and nothing came out. The bile she'd lost smelled foul and tears came to her eyes as pain joined the weakness in her muscles all over her body. She had never felt so sick in her life. Her head screamed its upset at her for having moved at all, searing down her neck and shoulders and back to mingle with the sore tired pain that started in her legs and moved up her chest.
With more effort than it should have taken she managed to work herself onto her back at an angle in the bed. But at least her head wasn't dangling over the vile smell that the bile vomit was emanating from the side of the bed. Confusion and fear spread through the sick and pain. Where am I? Her brain didn't want to think. It hurt too badly. Suddenly she realized what had brought her from the bliss of unconsciousness into nightmare reality. She needed to use the chamber pot. She racked her brain to try and remember where in the black it might be. As she tried desperately to remember, flashes of where she was and what had happened to her began to flash across her vision in blinding clarity. Her hand reached unsteadily downward to find the hair on her mound matted and crusted to her body with his dried spendings. Mira withdrew her hand as if it were on fire.
Butterflies joined the nausea in Mira's stomach and stirred it to the point that she began to heave again. She was grateful for her empty stomach as she felt her jaw extend, her throat contract, and her muscles jerk painfully. There was no way she could roll over again and if there had been anything in her, it would now have been on her. But now her bowels were complaining more violently. It was all she could do to keep from peeing the bed. More tears squeezed out from under her eyelids.
Mira threw the blankets off to the side of the bed. Determination boiled in her as she forced herself to sit up. She whimpered with each movement as she lifted one leg and then the other off the edge of the bed. She sat there a moment, breathing heavily and gathering her strength as she tried to judge the distance to the chamber pot in her mind. She could picture it under the small stand, against the far wall, fifteen or maybe twenty feet from where she was. It's not that far, Mira reassured herself.
A gurgling in her stomach urged her to move. Mira scooted forward until her feet touched the carpeted stone floor. The room was starting to spin again. Mira took a deep breath and tried to stand. For a moment, she actually believed she was going to manage to get to her goal. Without warning her legs gave out as they felt her weight. Mira cried out as she tumbled to the floor. She grabbed for support only to topple the small stand next to her bed. There was a loud crash as the porcelain pitcher that had been on the stand hit the stone floor. Mira heard the sickening thud as her head hit the floor. Pain screamed through her skull. A monstrous image of a pale skinned creature with empty eye sockets and a mouthful of fangs enveloped her. Mira felt liquid warmth puddle and flow over her thighs as she began to black out.
Rillan's sword sung sweetly as it sliced through the air and crashed violently against the armor on the practice dummy. His strikes were a bit off this day. He hadn't slept and kept looking at the large wooden double doors and expecting them to open. Every random sound had him checking to see if she had woken up yet. He wasn't sure if she was just weaker than the others, if he had drained her more than he should have while he was trying to teach her his lesson, or if she was hiding in her chambers afraid of him. He swung the sword angrily at that thought and dented the already battered shield again. The last was the most likely of the options. They didn't usually sleep this long. It was her own fault, he told himself over and over as he swung his weapon haphazardly.
He considered going to check on her. That pissed him off more. Why, the hell, do I care, he thought and brought the sword down on the dummy hard enough to crack the breast plate strapped to what should have been its chest. He swore and threw the sword down. It clattered across the floor and lodged against the hearth of the large fireplace. Rillan pulled his armor off piece by piece and tossed it at the foot of the dummy. He started for the door and then paced back to the dummy indecisively. Rillan took a couple deep breaths and then went over to pick up his sword. He sheathed it properly and hung it with care on the armor rack next to the dummy, picked up his armor and set it where it belonged. The actions were therapeutic in a way. Once he had calmed down he walked toward the door, his soft boots echoing footsteps on the stone down the hallway. When he reached her door he paused and tucked in his white shirt. He was sweaty and considered changing first. But then shook his head and forced himself to just go in and check on her.
The darkness in the hall was unsettling. She never let the candles burn down this low. That was when he realized that she wasn't just hiding from him. Something was actually wrong. His pace quickened as he walked to her bedchamber, almost starting to run as he neared the door. When he opened the door the smell of vomit and urine assailed his senses. He could see the empty bed from the door. With his hand over his nose he rushed into the room. The guilt he had been hiding beneath a blanket of anger bubbled to the surface when he found her lying naked and hurt on the floor next to her bed.
Rillan knelt next to her and reached down to push her hair back from her face. "I'm sorry little one. I took it too far," he said softly. Gently he picked her up and placed her on the bed. Her body was stone cold. He felt his heart sink into a sick fear. Leaning down he placed his ear against her chest and listened for a heartbeat. He had never accidentally killed anyone. The second it took for the weak thud to tap against her chest seemed an eternity. He let the air out of his lungs and listened for a moment, before standing up and looking around the room.
The carpets would have to go and the bedding would need changed. The pitcher and night stand would need replacing. He looked down at Mira. First he would get her cleaned up though. Rillan tucked the blankets around her so that she might warm up a bit. He headed to the small chamber that held the bathing tub. He worked quickly, lighting the coals under the tub. He had replaced the water the day after he had fed from her, so that it would be clean when she woke. As he waited for the water to warm he pulled the rugs up from either side of the bed and dragged them out into the hallway. Then he went back into the room and tried to think of where he could get another rug to cover the cold stone floor as he cleaned up the shards of porcelain from the broken pitcher and stood the night stand up.
There was one room that had rugs in it that weren't being used. He looked over at Mira again and made the decision. Elizabeth was long dead. She wouldn't miss the few items. But the rugs would need to be beaten to drive the dust from them. He would take care of that after he had her cleaned up and back in her bed.
Rillan lit the fireplace and candles about the room, so if she woke while he was there she would be able to see and he may not frighten her as badly. He still didn't know how she would react when she regained consciousness. Though at this point he wasn't quite as inclined to blame her if she was frightened of him. He knew full well how much pain and weakness accompanied a sleep this deep for this long. He had rarely taken the first feeding this far. But it had happened on the few occasions that the girls had taken too long to come around.
Rillan checked the bath water, finding it warm enough he returned to her bedside and lifted her carefully into his arms. He carried her cold body to the warm water and lowered her into the tub, ignoring the water that splashed over the edge and soaked his shirt and pants. He propped her securely in the tub and left her to warm up while he pulled the blankets and sheets from the bed and replaced them with clean ones.
Mira was still unconscious when he returned to her. Rillan sighed and picked up the lilac scented soap he had left for her last week. He rubbed the soap in a soft cloth, then held her with one arm while he gently ran the cloth over her back and arms. He leaned her against her against the tub again and stroked the soapy cloth over her breast, smiling when she took in a deep breath as if she were enjoying what he was doing. His hand seemed to lose the cloth momentarily as he dipped beneath the water to clean her sex. Rillan cradled her with one arm while the fingers of the opposite hand combed through the hair covering her mound and then caressed the folds of her pussy as he remembered how she had tasted. Mira moaned softly and he turned his eyes on her face to see if she was awake, but there was nothing.
Rillan sighed again and pulled is hand from her body. The part of his mind that told him he shouldn't be molesting an unconscious woman was winning out over the part of his mind that told him she belonged to him and he could do as he liked with her. As he washed her hair he found the bump on her head that told him exactly how hard she'd hit her head when she fell. He growled at himself for not having checked on her sooner, then rinsed her hair. Rillan grabbed a towel from the chair near the tub, where he had placed it. He lifted her from the tub and wrapped her in the in the soft material before carrying her back to her bed. He found a soft white shift from the chest at the foot of her bed and dressed her. Laying her back on her pillows, he pulled the blankets over her, and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead.
Lastly he went to her store room with the larder and found some dried meat and vegetables. He took them back to the fire, pulled the small pot from the brackets and filled it with the ingredients. Rillan wasn't a great cook, but he knew that she'd need to eat when she woke up. He placed the pot back on the brackets and swung it into the fire.
With a last look over at the angel lying in the bed, Rillan decided he'd go changed out of his wet clothes, get cleaned up, and then come back to check on her before he got some sleep. The worst was over. The more she slept the better she would feel. But that thought didn't stop him from feeling guilty for what he'd done. He knew very well that it didn't have to go that far. He had been frustrated by Mira and was trying to scare her. Obviously it had backfired. Or maybe it hadn't. When she woke up she may very well be terrified of the monster that hurt her. At least this time he knew that he couldn't blame anyone, but himself for it. To some extent he thought it might be better that way. Fear is what he was used to. This one was getting to him far too much.
Mira rolled onto her side and pulled a pillow to her chest as she cuddled down into the soft silky blankets. Slowly she started to remember the last time she had been awake. The room smelled of stew or soup or something good. Her stomach growled. Mira opened her eyes and stretched, wondering if it had all been a dream. She still felt sore but it was nothing like what she remembered.
As Mira sat up a dull ache throbbed in her skull and she lifted her hand to the side of her head where she found a tender knot the size of a small egg. Proof that it hadn't been a dream. But at least her legs were working and when she sat on the edge of the bed it didn't take near the effort that it had before. Her robe was laid across the foot of the bed and she pulled it on over the shift. Looking around the room she saw that her rugs were gone and her pitcher was different. He must have come in and cleaned everything up while I was unconscious, she thought uncertainly.
Mira made her way over to the fire, found a bowl and spoon, and carefully scooped some of the meaty broth out of the pot. The stones were cold under her feet and sent a chill through her. She wondered if she'd be able to get the rugs replaced. They made a big difference. She sat down in the chair at the small table in her room and ate slowly. It wasn't great stew, but she instantly felt better as it filled her empty stomach.
Rillan watched from the shadows as Mira got up and made herself a bowl of stew. She was obviously unsteady, but relief coursed through him as he realized she would be okay. He slunk into the darkness and quietly opened her storeroom removed a loaf of bread and some cheese, then crept back to her room. She was sitting with her eyes closed as she chewed a small bite of stew. Her head must still hurt, he thought.
Indecision halted his steps. He didn't want to upset her, but he wanted to know how she was going to be with him now. He could wait until she came looking for him again, but his guilty conscience would gnaw at him until he apologized. Then again he would feel even worse if he went in to talk to her and only made her upset in addition to having made her sick. Finally he began to annoy himself again. When did I stop being a man with women, he asked himself in frustration. He strode into the room and cleared his throat so that she'd hear him coming.
Mira jumped at the sudden strange noise that assaulted her hears over the sound of the crackling fire. Rillan flinched when she reacted to his approach with fear. He was already anticipating her screaming when she looked at him. But Mira gave him a solid glare, speaking of any number of emotions, none of which had anything to do with fear.
"A gentleman knocks to announce his presence. I don't appreciate being snuck up on, Lord Tiernay," Mira said in a quiet but authoritative tone that spoke of her pounding headache.
Rillan couldn't help the smile that spread across his face as she glared at and reprimanded him.
"I'm glad you find it amusing," she said angrily and went back to her stew.
Rillan sat the bread and cheese on the table in front of her. "Do you want some tea," he suggested and without waiting for an answer he went over to the fire, poured some water from the new pitcher into the cast iron kettle and placed it in the fire.
Mira broke a piece of the bread off of the loaf and dipped it in the stew broth. She chewed slowly as Rillan went about producing two mugs for the tea and a tea pot. He seemed to know her room almost better than she did.
He cleared his throat again. "Are you feeling better?" Rillan squatted down near the fire and used the poker to move the logs about.
Mira finished chewing. "A little." There was another long silence, while Mira watched him play in the fire. She thought about some of her friends and how the guys always liked to mess with the fire. She wondered if it was male nature to be drawn to the flames. "My head hurts pretty badly," she said in a nervous sounding voice.
Rillan stood up and looked at her. He stared into her eyes intently, as if he was trying to look inside her. The intensity caused Mira to turn her attention back to the mostly empty stew bowl.
"Here," he said and produced a small pouch of herbs from one of his pockets. "This should help."
Mira opened the pouch and looked inside. She recognized a number of the herbs and nodded. She figured that she could add some of it to her tea. "Thank you," she said and then there was more silence. She really didn't know how to act. She kept seeing flashes of what had happened go through her mind. Mira accepted that this was her life now. Whatever he was and whatever he was going to do, she would have to either live with it or ask him to kill her. She wasn't ready for that yet, though she was understanding why the others had chosen death in the end.
"You're thinking very hard," Rillan said.
Mira looked up and saw the concern on his face. "I guess I am."
Rillan nodded, poured the tea, and came over to the table. He plucked the bag of herbs up and put a few pinches into her cup before handing it to her. "May I ask what's making your brow furrow so deeply?"
Mira could almost feel the resignation and concern weighted in the words. "I'm not ready to die yet, if that's what you're asking."
Rillan's eyes bored into her. "Good."
They sat in silence some more. Neither of them knew what was supposed to come next. Rillan was getting frustrated again. It was as if now he knew she was alright and wasn't going to volunteer to be put out on the slab in front of his cave, his mind was reverting to safer feelings. Anger was the one he felt most comfortable in.
When Rillan started tapping his fingers impatiently Mira broke the silence again. "Will it always be like that," she asked softly.
Rillan's tone was harsher than he had intended. "How long have you been sitting there stewing to ask me that?"
"I'm not trying to insult you," she replied defensively. "I just want to know what comes next."
Rillan stood up and paced away from her. "No, it shouldn't always be like that." He knew that she didn't realize it was his fault and he didn't want to admit to it. If she didn't hate him now, he figured she would the minute she realized that he had been playing games and risked her life over trying to make a point to her. He waited for her to ask why it had been so bad that time. But the question never came.
"I'm tired," Mira said finally. She didn't want to sit there with her aching head and watch him fume. She didn't even know what she had said that was so terrible and she didn't feel like figuring it out right then. "Do you mind if I just go to sleep now?"
Rillan glared at her. Was she actually dismissing him? He growled. "Fine. I'll be back to check on you in a few hours."
Mira nodded. She didn't plan on being awake in a few hours. But if agreeing would make him go away for now she'd do whatever she needed to.
His boots could be heard retreating down the hall and then her door slammed shut. Mira didn't bother to pick up the dishes or the food. She wanted to be asleep again. Mira pulled the blankets back, dropped her robe across the foot the bed, and climbed into the cool silky sheets. She sunk down into the soft bedding and was asleep almost instantly.
Rillan checked on Mira several times over the next few days. She was always asleep. He started to wonder if she was sleeping so much because of what had happened or if she was just avoiding him. In order to take up time while he waited for her to wake, he had started to pull the rugs up from the floor in Elizabeth's rooms so that he could put them down in Mira's rooms. He had been reluctant to enter the dust covered hall. There were so many ghosts of memories hidden behind those doors.