Sacred Dawn Ch. 01byLailineral©
"See ya later."
"Sarah... Damn it. List-"
The door cut him off. A sardonic smile crossed her face as she imagined the tirade he was no doubt going on.
She scoffed. What was she. Indeed.
Sarah walked through the door fully expecting a barrage of insults and hatred coming from her house guest. Instead she found Alex sleeping soundly. He didn't even stir when she picked up the chamber pot and left again to empty it.
He had to be pretending to be asleep. She was still peeved and she knew he had to be as well. Most of her outrage had ebbed when she had went outside. The snow had really started to fall, an inch of two had layered the ground and there was no sign of it letting up.
Doubt had started to gnaw at her. Maybe she had been to harsh on him. She had meant for him to to hate her, but maybe she had gone to far. He would be wary of her. She remembered the scared tone in his voice and felt a distinct sense of melancholy. There would be no idle banter and flirtation. No more touches that lasted a second to long, no more illusions of her being happy.
She didn't mind. She kept repeating that over and over to herself. Trying to make herself believe it. After this was all over she could go back to how life had been before. She had been happy then... Right?
She tossed the contents of the chamber pot away and headed back towards her cottage.
It getting late in the day already. The sky was growing dark fast and she could feel the temperature steadily dropping. By the time she had arrived back at her cabin the world was almost engulfed in darkness. She took one last look at the world around her before entering the cabin.
She quickly shed her coat and threw another log on the fire before she glanced over at her bed ridden guest. He was sitting up and was looking at her. He must of just woken up when she walked in, his gaze was still a bit blurry. Short strands of his hair stuck and there was stubble on his jaw. He looked like he just crawled out of bed. He should of looked manic to her, not sexy. She waited for his gaze to turn to horror or try and escape. He rubbed his eyes and stretched. "Did I fall asleep for long?"
"A few hours at least." She stood there waiting for the violent outburst.
"I didn't mean to, but I guess I needed it. Is it still snowing?"
She glanced out the window, the sky was pitch black, the falling snow nearly invisible in the darkness. "It has just begun I'm afraid."
She continued to look out the window. She was waiting for him to make the first inevitable move. Maybe he had convinced himself that it hadn't happened. That it was all just a dream. She had seen it happen before, people had an amazing tendency to lie to themselves. She didn't know how to feel. If he had convinced himself it was a lie the issue would probably just lie on them like a heavy burden, never being resolved, but at least things would be easier. But a part of her wished he did believe, that he knew that it was she who saved him.
She stiffened. "What?"
She was glad she was facing the window. Her face must of been a scene of utter shock. He was apologizing... "For what?"
She composed herself and turned around to face him. He was watching her intently, his expression sincere. She felt a hint of suspicion.
"I was an ass. I shouldn't of yelled at your or said what I did. It was unjust of me, and I apologize. Please forgive me?"
He seemed completely sincere. "What's the catch?"
He genuinely looked surprised. "None. I mean it."
She shrugged. "Okay."
"Honestly. You saved me. And I treated you like shit, like I was scared of you." "You are." She said matter of factly.
"No. I was confused. Confusion leads to being scared. But since that I have thought about and realized I have no reason to be scared. If I had been honest with myself I would of known you were an exceptional person. But now I have had some time to get everything straight."
He had to be messing with her. "You do understand that I took practically all you strength from you? I could of killed you if I wanted. Do you understand that?"
"But first you gave me the strength, right?"
It had been the only way to weaken him without seriously hurting both of them. If she had weakened his own energy she would of been a world more pain, and he may be dead. "Being scared is the right reaction. I am not some gentle peaceful woman. Keep that in mind."
"You may say all that, but you won't hurt me."
"Oh? Why are yo so sure?"
"I trust you."
"Alex Toren, you are a fool!" Her voice was rising. "Don't you understand what I am?"
He sighed. "I'm sorry about that comment as well. That doesn't matter. What's important is who you are. And I want to get to know you."
"You are one stubborn fool. Why would you want to do that?"
"There is..." His voice trailed off searching for words. "I don't know exactly. But there is a connection between us. You have to feel it too."
Hell yeah she did. "You're basing your trust off of a feeling?"
"You do know others see me as a witch? Hell your own order probably views me as a practitioner of the dark arts or something."
"I'm not naive. I'm from the south, down there we have more legends and are more accepting of them then these people up here. My order may not like it, but we tolerate it. Personally I have only heard of Magic before, never seen it first hand. That's why you freaked me out so much."
"Fine. Does it scare you to know, that yes, I saved your life. But if I wanted to..." She reached out and grabbed a wrist of his. "I could take all your life energy right now and kill you?"
He studied her. "I'm willing to bet that while you could, you won't."
"Bad bet to make. You don't know what I have done."
His voice came out really gentle, as he were trying to soothe a child. "I know you're a healer. If you weren't I would be dead by now. If you want to drain my energy again, feel free. I trust you." His face was still studying her intently. "But you don't trust me."
She let go of his wrist and looked down at the floor.
"I'm just interested. My culture really does have a different view on all this. As a kid I was told countless stories about the good of magic, specifically healing magic. I have long suspected that both my grandma and an aunt were healers. Until now I didn't have any proof except the stories."
Her interest rose. She had never met anyone besides her mother with real powers. "Really?"
"Yes. They worked as the local medicine man, sage, or what ever you want to call it. They still live down south, continuing their work. Though I think you are stronger then any of them, they certainly have never don't anything like you did."
She looked him in the eyes and saw admiration, not fear. she was speechless, no one had ever accepted her and her power before. In her own town she had been a freak... then a no one when she moved away. It was better then being a freak, but no one had accepted her for her, with her power.
"So if you feel you need to, do it."
"Drain my energy again."
"Because I don't fear you or your power. I won't hurt you, you saved my life. I am ready to swear on anything you desire to never hurt you. So if you feel nervous or anything around me, and I can tell you often are, you can drain my energy."
She stared at him, words failing her yet again. The simple fact that he was willing to lay there and let her take his strength and be completely at her mercy astounded her. His reason, to make her feel safe, someone he had just basically jet met, it was unbelievable.
Her hand jerked to reach out and touch him. She was going to see if he was being truthful, but she stopped herself. For the firs time in her life she wondered if she could trust someone without reading them first. "You're serious aren't you?"
"Yes, I would of died without you."
"You really are one of the largest fools I have ever met." She laughed. "Yet maybe the wisest."
"So you really did do something?" His voice was quivering in palpable anticipation.
"You're amazing. Have you ever done anything like that before?"
"Not to the degree that you were in, no. Plus my abilities have been gone for a few years." "You could be an amazing heal-"
"No." She silenced him. "Do not go down that path. People with pitchforks would make quick work of me."
He stared at her for a moment before nodding. "You're right."
"I need you to promise something."
"I need you to promise that you won't tell anyone about me. You can tell them any evil thing you want, but you can not tell them that I heal. Just saying I took you in would..." She took a deep breath and decided to be truthful. "Well it would put me at risk. Right now the reason people leave me alone is they think I am a witch with evil powers that will kill them on sight. If people know I am helping strangers and... well, lets just say there are many who would come out here and try and hurt me."
His face darkened. "They wouldn't dare."
"Oh they would. The best way to make sure I am safe is for you to keep quiet about me. I don't care what you tell people about how stayed alive, maybe you were nursed back to health by bears. Doesn't matter. Just please, I implore you, don't mention me."
"Okay, I wont."
"Thanks. It means a lot to me."
"I would like to ask you not to go outside if you can avoid it. Especially if I am weak like I was before. Whoever did this to me could still be there."
She opened her eyes in surprise. "You think they would track you down? I thought you said it was probably just some bandits."
"And whats to stop some bandits from coming here?"
Her reputation... but if they didn't know about it, that was useless. Fuck. "I will try and stay in here as much as possible. We have a large stock of firewood and food in my cellar."
She stared at him. She should of jumped at the opportunity to make him weak. He'd be alive, but still healing. Best of all he would be no threat at all to her. Eventually she could give him energy when the snows melted and lead him to the road. Then she would be on her own, everything would be peaceful again.
She couldn't do it. She couldn't bring herself to make him so lifeless. No matter how many misgivings she had, she couldn't do it.
As she stared at his, she realized something. He was completely serious. He wasn't trying to pull any strings, he was being completely honest, which mean he trust her... Enough to put himself completely at her mercy. Perhaps she should try trusting him in return?
She couldn't bring herself to trust anyone in over three years. It truly was a wonderful feeling. He had promised not to rat her out. He said he wouldn't hurt her. And she believed what he was saying. It felt good. She liked the lack of worry her life suddenly had. She liked everything that she was feeling at the moment. Though it was a bit overwhelming.
She looked back at the floor for a moment regaining her composure yet again. She then glanced back at him with a genuine smile, "Are you hungry?"
He returned the smile, "Very."
"Are you still punishing me?"
She looked at him questioningly.
He just smiled back at her, his eyes glinting in the firelight. "Well earlier you just made me oats, and now all I get is broth?"
She took her chunk of meat and playfully pointed it at him. "Is this what you wanted to eat?" "Maybe..."
"If you eat all your broth then you may have some solid food."
He nodded. "Fair enough."
"And yes, I am punishing you." She said playfully. "I am punishing you for being the wisest fool I have ever met." It had been awhile since she had heard herself laugh and almost didn't know what it was.
"You still think I am a fool for trusting you?"
"Yes, but I can see I wont change you mind. So eat up."
He sat up using his own strength and took the bowl from her. "Thanks."
"Don't mention it."
She ate sitting close to the fire, letting it keep her warm. Neither of them spoke much, Alex seemed to sense her contemplative mood. When he had finished she took his bowl and washed it along with the rest of the bowls they had used that day.
She had two buckets for the sole purpose of washing dishes. One filled with soap, and one of clean water. She would try and do dishes once a day and kept refilling the buckets when needed. "Can you communicate psychically?"
She was startled by how he asked the question. To him the question seemed to be no different then asking whether or not she could speak another language. "No. Why?"
"I was just thinking if we could get any word to my family, but it doesn't seem like we could.
Her usual stony demure melted in a moment. "Will she worry?" Her voice was soft.
"She will probably cry her eyes out. All she has left is my sister and I. My dad died when I was young. She raised us herself. When I told her I was moving... Well that was hard enough for her. This news may break her poor heart."
"My mom raised me alone too." She hadn't meant to say that.
He paused. "Your dad die too?"
"I don't know, I never knew him and my Mom wouldn't talk of him." She put the last dish down and turned around. "I wish there was some way for us to notify someone you were alive." "Nothing we can do about it right? I've probably hit my luck quota for my entire life. You know, being saved by some mystical gorgeous woman."
She blushed at his warm voice and clear sexual interest in his tone. She tried to hide it by turning around and rummaging through her cupboards till she found a blanket.
"What are you doing?"
"I need to sleep on something." He caught her gaze and further blushed. She saw a glint in his eyes that reminded her how they had first slept together. To her relief he kept his mouth shut, though he did smile at her.
"Where are you going to sleep?"
"On the floor by the fire, its comfortable enough."
"Are you tired?"
She shook her head. "Not really, I thought you may want to sleep. So I thought I would read." "Could you read to me? Its so eerily quiet out here, I think I may go nuts if I have to lie here in this silence."
"You're a Warden, but you're not used to the quiet?" She personally love the silence and solitude up here. At least most of the time.
"I have lived in cities most of my life."
She shrugged. "Sure. I don't have many books, what I do have are mainly my mothers. She mainly had gaudy romances. I hope you don't mind."
"Not at all. I like romances most of the time. Though I do often wonder why its usually the virgins that appeal to the rich lord."
She laughed, the second time in one night. "I think that question will never be answered." She looked over the old leather bound books and chose the one with the least explicit title. The last thing she needed to do to Alex was read him something extremely erotic and sexy.
Sarah threw on another log onto the fire before sitting next to him. She opened the book and began to read, but had a bit of difficulty concentrating on the words in front of her. The firelight danced over his muscular chest forcibly reminding her of his nakedness.
Get over it. She told herself. Concentrating on the book. The room was silent other then her voice and the rhythmic crackle of the fire.
The warmth from the fire and the flow of reading soon put her in a very relaxed mood. Everything faded out until she was absorbed in the story. The only time she had ever read out loud was to her mother, and that wasn't often at all. She liked it.
The fire gave a particularly loud groan, causing her to jump, breaking her trance. She had read a surprising amount chapters, her voice was hoarse, and the firelight was starting to grow dim. She glanced over at Alex, expecting to see him asleep.
Instead he was staring at her with apt attention. "Getting tired?"
"My voice is growing hoarse, and I am thirsty."
"We should probably stop for now then."
That statement implied there would be more of this. She liked that thought. She closed the book and grabbed some water for both of them.
"You have an amazing voice."
She choked on her water. His voice had sounded extremely intimate and caring. As if he had gone from kissing her neck to nibbling between her legs with just one statement. "Thanks."
She handed him his water and let him drink from it. When he was done she took and set it down by the door so she would remember to refill it.
She took her blanket and threw it down by the fire.
"Why don't you sleep up here? It would be much more comfortable."
Her mind pulled up memories of that first night. His body wrapped around hers, their body heats keeping each other war. She felt her cheeks turn red. "I don't think we should."
"I promise, no funny business. Not that I even could right now, right?"
She gave a nervous laugh.
"And believe me, if I was my normal self, just listening to you talk would of gotten me hard." Her eyes jumped down towards his lap, no erection. She then stared at him, unsure of what to say.
"I'm... Making an ass of myself aren't I? I know I'm not the smoothest of people, so let me be honest here. I am extremely attracted to you, and I would like nothing more at this moment then for you to sleep next to me. I won't pounce, I promise. I'm not into force, and even if I was, you could just take my energy away from me."
Damn he was direct. It was refreshing change for her, not having to second guess everything being said. "It's not that I think you would jump me, or that I couldn't fight you off even if I didn't want you..." She let her voice trail off trying to think of a reason not to. She was scared that if she was confronted by a horny, loving Alex who desired her touch, she didn't know if she could say no. "I... Need space to think."
Her reason felt hallow in her ears. But he didn't question her. He simply nodded. "Sleep well then."
She walked into the side room where she kept her clothes and changed into a very long, thick, concealing sleeping gown. She kept it around mainly for the cold nights but had recently considered getting rid of it because it was so old. She was glad she hadn't.
Sarah lay down by the fire but every inch of her screamed for her to jump onto the bed and... What was up with her? Yes, they had physical chemistry... But what made her worry was the emotional connection they also seemed to share.
They had been thrown together in a very... intimate situation. She needed to keep her distance, stay level headed and smart about all this, since he certainly wasn't filling that roll. His flirtatious, easy going personality damn attractive though.
She usually had no trouble falling asleep on the floor. But the tossed and turned for hours, each time reminding herself that she had to be the level headed one. But the back of her mind kept reminding her she had a warm, comfortable, hot bed to go sleep in. The fire was starting to die out and she didn't want to put on another log, it was bright enough as it was.
There was also a warm naked body just waiting for her to curl up next to. A body that felt so good against her skin...
Sighing she sat up and looked out the window. The snow was still falling, slowly covering her window. Looking back at the bed she saw Alex sleeping soundly, his face at rest. She could just pick up her blanket and go lay down next to him. He probably wouldn't even wake up.
Taking one last look out the window she gathered her blanket and crawled up onto the bed, slowly laying down next to Alex.
He gave a contented sigh and reached an arm around her, pulling her closer to him. She decided it had to be an instinctive movement, his breathing was still slow and measured.