roh morgon

~~excerpt #2 from Watcher

Chapter 54

It’s near dawn, and I’m coming down the trail above my house. As I exit the trees, I stop.

His Jag is parked next to the BMW.

Oh, god.

The wild part of me wants to turn around and run back up the mountain. Instead, my body slowly sinks to the ground. The emotions I buried in the wilderness claw their way to the surface and I’m helpless as they rip my chest apart. The tears start and I know that they will never stop. I will lie here and cry out my lifeblood until I’m a dry husk and the wind carries away my paper-like flesh.

As the rising sun puts me to sleep, I feel him gather me into his arms and pick me up. He starts walking and my body softly rocks as he moves down the hill.

He shifts me into one arm and I hear the familiar sound of my back door opening. The forest noises dim as we move inside, then he gently sets me down. He tugs off the rags that are all that remain of my clothing and brushes my tangled and matted hair back from my face.

“Sunny. Open your eyes.” His warm and gentle voice caresses my very soul.

I can’t, because I am asleep. This must be a dream, and if I open them, he won’t be here.

“Are you injured anywhere?” he asks.

I can’t talk in my dreams. I try to shake my head no.

The sound of the shower startles me. Cradling me like a child, he lifts me up and steps in. The warm water is soothing as he shifts my body, his hand running over my skin and through my hair. I crack open an eye and watch the water-borne dirt and bear blood flow down the drain.

He finishes washing me, and then stands there, holding me in the comforting spray. I drift back off to sleep, or maybe I’m dreaming that I drift off to sleep. A pleasant coarseness strokes away the moisture on my skin, then I fade again to the sound of his quiet footfalls as my body sways in his arms. I hear rustling, like the brush of leaves against one another, and he releases me to float on clouds. My body sinks deeper into their cushiony surface and I sink deeper into sleep, and as I lose the last of my awareness, I hear my dream say, “I love you.”

~~~

The first thing I become conscious of is that whatever I’m lying on is not hard. I cautiously reach out, expecting to feel air, but instead touch softness and fabric.

I open my eyes and lift my head to look around. A bed, my bed. Not a tree branch.

Or maybe it is still a dream, I realize, as I turn and see Nicolas stretched out next to me, leaning on his elbow with his head propped up on his hand.

“Good morning,” he says in a low musical voice, his emerald eyes shining.

As before, words stick in my throat, unable to escape. So this must be a dream after all.

He reaches out and brushes back the hair from my face, then softly strokes my lips.

But that felt pretty real.

He shifts, then leans over and kisses me on the mouth.

Oh, this is definitely real.

And I feel my body respond, and then he is crushing me to him. He holds me tight for a long moment, then slowly releases me and leans back. He reaches out again and starts working the tangles from my hair with his fingers.

“I was unable to comb all of these out earlier, as you were sleeping on this side.”

“You carried me off the mountain,” I croak, my voice finally breaking free.

“I did,” he says quietly as he continues to pick at my hair.

“You are here.”

“I am.”

“How long have you been here?”

“Since the night you left. A month ago.” The pain in his voice is unmistakable.

“A month? I’ve been gone a month?”

It’s all a blur of mountains and forests, lakes and meadows, blood and more blood.

He purses his lips, but does not answer. His face, his green eyes, fade away as the wilderness sings in my soul, calling me, seducing me with its untamed melody.

He touches my cheek, jarring me back to the present.

“You waited here,” I whisper. “All that time. For me.”

“Yes. I could do … nothing else.” Again I hear the pain, accompanied by loneliness, and wonder how he survived.

Because the only way I did was to give myself to the blood and to the wild.

Once more it calls, and I shut my eyes and remember the colors and smells that caressed my senses, and the wind that softly brushed my skin. Life is so simple out there. Hunt and run and swim and sleep. No complicated emotions to manage, no one to argue with, or be disappointed in, or be embraced by, or be loved by.

My eyes grow damp as tears begin to well up beneath their closed lids.

“Sunny.” His voice is calm and soothing. Feather-light fingers again touch my face.

Startled, my eyes fly open. Yes, he is still here. This is not a dream.

But my body needs to move, to stretch, to run. It’s not used to being so still for so long. Slipping out of the bed, I back across the room, watching him. He gets up as well, and part of me starts to panic. I turn to the closet, take out a pair of jeans and a sweater, and slip them on.

“I need to go,” I whisper to the floor on my way out.

“Will you come back?” he asks, his voice strained.

“I don’t know. Maybe.” I take a long, slow breath. “Yes. I just need … a little more time.”

The back door is before me. As I open it, I hear him behind me.

“I’ll be here,” he says.

I step outside and breathe in deeply, inhaling the pine and other scents that make up the forest, and take off up the mountain at a dead run.

~~~~~~~~~

©  2011 Roh Morgon. All rights reserved.

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