The Awakening, part 9

My mouth begins to water when I see the fish cooking on a grill. If the smell is any indication then the Elf can make great food.

Maybe I should ask for his name? Referring to him as “the Elf” all the time is weird, even if I’m doing it only in my head. And probably impolite, too.

I try to ignore the fear and unease he makes me feel and sit on the ground opposite him. Some of the fish is already done and he hands me one of them. When he sees me hesitating he says “It’s not poisoned. If I wanted you dead you wouldn’t be sitting here. Eat.” I take the fish, putting the knife down, and keep an iron grip on my self-control, afraid the inner voice might want to say something again. I’m beginning to think it hates Elfs.

“Thanks.” I try to eat slowly, despite my enormous hunger.  Oh, this fish is even better than I imagined. I gather my courage and ask for his name between bites. As I look at him, our gazes meet. In the light of the day his piercing light blue eyes seem almost… magical. It’s like he can see right into my soul. And with his golden locks he might as well have stepped out of a fairytale. Then I remember that I’m probably crazy and I really don’t want anyone seeing that about me. I quickly avert my eyes.

There is a long pause before he answers. “Caleb.” I can still feel his eyes on me and my nervousness escalates. Why is he staring at me?

“So… Caleb. I apologize for coming here and staying in your house without permission. And, um, also for borrowing your clothes.” I look down on the tunic and pants that are both too big for me.

“I can see that.” His gaze is not wavering.

“I, ah, don’t have any money with me, but I will repay you before I leave. Somehow. Maybe I could help with some work or chores that need to be done?”

That finally got his attention off me. He looks around before asking “Does it look like I’m falling behind with anything?” I follow his gaze. Everything around us is nearly perfect. The house appears to be in great condition, and it even has plumbing. The grass around the house is cut short. The house was tidy from the inside as well, before I made a mess of his bedroom and kitchen. I eat another fish while I think.

“Earlier you said that if I decided to stay, I’d have to earn my keep. How exactly would I be doing it, then?” I suddenly have a very unpleasant idea. Ugh. I hope I’m wrong.

“There are things I might need your assistance with.” He smirks. “But you won’t get off as easily as you were obviously hoping to. I won’t require these kind of services from you. Who knows which diseases you might carry.” He’s clearly baiting me, but I can’t help but fall for it. I stand up, fuming. I almost hit him, but he’s too fast for me and catches my hand half-swing. His grip is so strong it hurts my hand.

“I told you, you’re no match for me. Control your temper when you are in the company of someone superior to you.” He doesn’t look upset about my attempt to hit him, but I can see he means every word he says. It makes me even more angry.

I step closer to him. All the fear and unease I felt are now forgotten in my rage. I hear roaring in my ears, but since I feel it’s not the inner voice I won’t do anything to stop it. As I look into his striking eyes, I see them widen. He lets go of my hand with an awed expression.

“Who do you think you are to imply that I am a whore? What right do you have to talk to me like that?”I push him. Hard. He takes a step backward, his eyes glued to mine.

The wind has risen and it’s blowing in circles around us. He just stands there, silent, doing nothing. But by the look on his face… I’d say he’s having a damn good time. Which in turn makes me even more upset. Is he having fun at my expense?

“I am worth just as much as the next person. I am inferior to NO ONE but my king! I am definetly. Not. Lesser Than. YOU!” I pour all my pent-up rage, disappointment, and sadness into that last word… And Caleb flies back about thirty feet, making a spin in the air and landing on his feet. Now he really is laughing, but not at me.

I look around. What the hell happened here? It’s like something exploded. The grill and fish are scattered on the grass. They are even further away from me than Caleb. And all the windows this side of the house are broken.

My anger is forgotten and I’m starting to shake. I check myself just in case, to make sure I’m not injured. I literally jump back when I notice Caleb approaching.

“Stay away from me!” I take a couple of unsteady steps backward, then turn around and run for the woods.


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