“What happened… where am I?” I asked.
“Dante found you in the woods, he thought you were dying.” He answered. “You know he’s a good guy, right?”
“What are you…?” I started but then I started to remember what had happened before I took off into the woods. “Oh yeah.”
“He only said that stuff because he thought he was just a rebound, He hasn’t left your side other than to go to the bathroom.” He added.
“Dustin, I really don’t want to talk about this right now.” I stated.
“Lyali!” Dante said running into the tent and dropping to his knees by the side of the bed.
“I’m going to go check on Sera Leah.” Dustin said getting up and leaving the tent.
“Lyali, I am so sorry.” Dante said as soon as Dustin was gone.
“Dante, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have acted like that.” I replied.
“Yeah but if I wouldn’t have said anything this wouldn’t have happened to you.” He said.
“Yeah but also if I would have just let go of what Andrew did to me and trusted you this wouldn’t have happened either.” I answered.
“The elder wanted to talk to you.” He said, looking almost heartbroken when I said I didn’t trust him.
“Ok.” I answered trying to sit up, but falling back down almost instantly.
Dante looked at me almost like he was going to cry again, then he just turned and walked out of the tent. I didn’t want him to go, but I was too stubborn to say anything and I hated myself for that. A younger elven girl came into the tent and put a pitcher of this green liquid down on the stand by the bed I was in.
“This will help you sleep.” She said pouring some into a cup and helping me sit up so I could drink it. “If you don’t mind me saying miss, your boyfriend cares about you more than I’ve seen in my entire life.”
“He’s not my boyfriend.” I stated.
“Oh sorry, I just assumed and I am sorry.” She said turning to leave.
“What do you mean though?” I asked.
“When you first arrived it was just you and him. He was so tired he nearly fell off the horse, then he kept saying He couldn’t lose you. But it’s not my business to get into.” She said and then left the tent.
Now I really felt bad. I drank the cup she handed me and almost immediately fell back asleep. I started dreaming about that night. The creature was right on top of me. I felt everything all over again, the pain seemed so real. I woke up screaming again.
“Is everything ok?” Dante asked running over to the bed.
“It seemed so real.” I muttered not even realizing what I had said until I already said it.
“It’s ok, I’m here, nothing’s going to hurt you.” He said as he pulled a chair right next to the bed.
“Every time I close my eyes it happens all over again.” I said as a tear rolled down my cheek.
Dante didn’t say anything after that he just started running his fingers across my arm. He kept looking back and forth from my arm to my leg. The lights outside of the tents were getting put out so I assumed everyone was getting ready to go to bed.
“I better get to the tent with Dustin and Sera Leah.” Dante said, getting up.
“Don’t…” I started. “Lay here with me.”
“Ok.” He said as he climbed in the bed with me.
He held me close, as much as I wanted to kiss him I held back just because of what happened. He started running his fingertips up and down my outer thigh. I fell asleep quickly after that. This time the dream never started. I woke up saying ouch because I guess I bumped my leg.
“Are you ok?” Dante asked.
“Yeah I’m fine.” I answered, smiling at him. “I think I just bumped my leg.”
“Dustin, Sera Leah, and I are supposed to go find an herb later today.” Dante said. “The elder will be here with you the entire time.”
“I need to get out of this bed for a little bit.” I replied trying to sit up but unfortunately my arm gave out and I just fell back down again.
“Let me help you.” Dante said pulling me up to a sitting position.
I tried standing up after that but as soon as I took a step I started to fall. Luckily Dante was standing right in front of me. He caught me and helped me stand back up. When his eyes met mine I couldn’t help it, I kissed him and to my surprise he kissed me back, but I was so glad he did.
“We better get you out there for a little before we go.” He said brushing a strand of hair out of my face right after he pulled away.
“Ok.” I answered seeing hurt and relief in his eyes.
He put his arm around my waist to help me walk and we left the tent. We found Dustin and Sera Leah sitting on a huge boulder. As soon as Dustin saw me he jumped off the boulder and gave me a huge hug.
“So did you two make up or what?” Dustin asked.
I looked at Dante and thought for a second. “I don’t know.”
“We don’t need to bring that up right now do we?” Dante asked.
“Yeah you’re right.” Dustin answered. “It’s almost noon we’ve got to find the elder. I’ll help Lyali back to the tent.”
“I don’t want to go back to the tent.” I said as me and Dustin started walking away from the others.
When we got to the tent Dustin helped me get on the bed and then he just sat there with me for a second. He did what Dante did and just looked from wound to wound. He then sighed and dropped his head.
“Dustin, it’s not your fault.” I blurted out of nowhere, fully knowing what he was thinking.
“Lyali, you were right. I didn’t act like I cared about anything after we found Sera Leah. I’m sorry, and I shouldn’t have even mentioned anything to Dante.” He replied.
“Well no you shouldn’t have it was not your business to get into but, you and Dante both are acting like this was your fault but it’s not, I’m alive I’ll be fine, But why did you tell him?” I asked out of curiosity.
“I was worried that if it went on much longer you were going to get hurt, but now I can see that he’s not intending to hurt you.” Dustin answered.
“What does the elder want from me?” I asked.
“Dante gave her the description of the animal that attacked you; she wanted to see if you would allow her to do a ritual that would allow her to see everything that you saw that day.” He answered.
“Ugh… I don’t want to relive it again.” I said. “I guess I will though.”
“Dustin, we are ready to get going.” Dante said walking into the tent with an older elven right behind him.
“Did one of them tell you about the ritual?” She said as they left.
“Yes, and I will do it but I want to know why?” I asked.
“We think it was a creature that is supposed to be gone.” She said.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“About eighteen years ago we had an imposter king and there was a war against him. These creatures were on his side and they all got killed in that war.” She answered.
“Riordian.” I stated.
“Yes and Arriani and Tamlen led the war against him, you know this story?” She asked.
“Arriani is my mother, Zeveran is my father.” I answered.
“Then how come you don’t know about the varashoth?” She questioned.
“My parents never told me about them.” I answered.
“Well, I need you to drink more of that green liquid.” she said as she lit incense around the room.
The younger girl from earlier came back into the tent. She added some purple liquid into the green one and poured a cup of it. She then handed it to me and left. The elder pulled a chair up by the bed; I drank the liquid and fell right asleep.