“The Blood Family and the True Family.
The Emptiness of the Lack of Love and the Desire to be Loved.
The One who reaches out his hand and Supports the Warrior.
And the One that hides a Trap amongst the stones of the Path.”
- The Prophet of Truth
“Everything looks calm. It’s like you said. It seems Farran took over the situation. I imagine Cedrius is locked up somewhere where he can’t mess things up.” Aaran stopped speaking when he noticed that he’d been talking to the trees, and, with a sigh, lazily sat down on one of the wood benches, at that late hour completely deserted. Leaning back his head he stared up at the small square of dark sky he could see from between the tree branches. On nights like that, when heavy clouds dragged themselves across the skies, he couldn’t help thinking of home. The city lights made the clouds purple, sometimes red, which against the darkness of the night always reminded him of the mountains he’d seen every day from his equally small window. “So?” he asked, following a cloud with his gaze. “What happened? Had a fight?”
Alexis blinked, pulled away from his thoughts, and stared at him, confused. He hadn’t even noticed he’d sat down, much less that he’d changed the subject.
Aaran straighten his head just enough to look at him, as if it were just too heavy to move, and crossed his legs showing he had no intention to stand up any time soon.
“I asked if you had a fight with her,” he repeated indifferently, emotion that Alexis seemed unable to share, clenching his teeth hard and frowning as he tried to keep his stormy emotions under control.
“Why would I fight with her? With a Human!” he asked in a mix of anger and indignation and Aaran smiled lightly, leaning his head on one hand.
“I swear, Alex, if not for the risk that I might actually destroy part of the continent I’d almost dare feel amused,” he declared tranquilly, his white hair sliding over his chest, but before the silent anger that burned in his companion’s eyes, he decided it was best to take matters a bit more seriously. “So, what happened?”
Aaran sighed and tuck a lock of silvery hair behind his ear.
“We’ve known each other how long …? Your mind is like an open book to me, the same way mine is an open book to you. Why must you insist in trying to run away, Alex?”
“I’m not running away!” Alexis declared averting his gaze, and the frown in his forehead became even deeper. “It’s just that …” For an instant the words were stuck in his throat and only the pain of his own nails digging the palm of his hands was able to grant him the courage to go on. “I’m too broken!” he declared in one breath.
“I know,” was the only answer he got and suddenly Aaran’s cold indifference annoyed him even more.
“If not for her you’d have already destroyed me.”
“Aaran!” he shouted in despair and Aaran sighed.
“Alex, take a deep breath,” he told him softly but his words were immediately obeyed. “All that is true. But doesn’t it tell you anything? It’s like you said. If not for her. She is the factor that changes everything.”
“She’s Human! A mere Human! Too frail, too weak, and with too much problems of her own to deal with. She doesn’t need another one!”
Aaran smiled again.
“Who are you worrying about? Yourself or her?” he asked and Alexis just sat heavily at his side. “And before that, don’t you think you’re being to presumptuous, deciding things for her like that?”
“I need to make sure she’s safe. And not only from Farran. But from you, and me, and all of us as well,” he stubbornly insisted.
“That’s what your brain tells you. And yet we both know that what you feel is quite different.”
“I can’t listen to what I feel! If I did I would have shredded her to pieces the day we met.”
Aaran took a deep breath. There was no use arguing with Alexis once he’d made up his mind.
“If that’s how it is, why are you so angry? Since you’ve already decided what to do, why aren’t at peace with yourself?”
Alexis was silent for an instant and took a hand to his face, to the place where she’d so innocently touched him. He could almost swear he could still feel her warm, soft skin against his, her small, trembling fingers holding on to his hair, and the sweet scent of her skin …
“Because she freely gives me things I never had … of her own free will. Without exchanges, or contracts, or obligations …” he muttered almost inaudibly.
Aaran leaned his head back once more, and stared up at another heavy, lazy cloud as it slid across the sky.
“That I can’t understand, since I’ve never felt it myself,” he declared. “However, it doesn’t sound all that honorable, running away just because you don’t know how to deal with it. Not that you’re wrong when you say that the right thing to do is free her from everything related to our world. But Alex, are you sure that that’s what she wants? And what do you think she’ll choose once she knows what’s at stake for you?”
“She doesn’t have to know! Nor does she has to choose! Her choice has already been made. Sarah wants her life back!”
“Don’t underestimate the Humans, Alex,” Aaran replied standing up and stretching lazily. “Their Race holds an unfathomable potential. Just see how destructive they can be. The world practically belongs to them and we are just meaninglessly dragged by the currents resulting from their choices and decisions.”