After pointing her in the right direction, he leapt back into the trees with an irritated sigh. He didn't want to be here. As much as he disliked her, he would much rather be stuck with her at his shelter than in a tree watching out for her. He contemplated leaving and abandoning his curiosity for her, but something kept him in the tree.

His time would, admittedly be better spent hunting down tomorrow's dinner, or whittling new arrow shafts. But no. Of course his routine was shot to pieces and he was beginning to feel a growing resentment for this Arabella.

Besides his annoyance at the disruption to his lifestyle, he couldn't keep his thoughts safe from her. He had never answered her questions, nor had he intended to. Yet she seemed to know what he had thought. It was this, he supposed, that intrigued him. She was definitely different.

As far as he knew, he was one of the few humans around here that had any kinds of powers. Along with telekinesis, he could heal himself and others, and reverse the healing to do harm. Reversing the healing, however, drained him and he avoided it as much as he could. His healing did not extend to mere physical injury - he could enter a being's brain and had learnt to decipher thought processes, memories, the causes of several cellular illnesses and manipulate the body and mind in any way he desired.

He reached up and cut off a piece of the branch above him with his Bowie knife, and out of boredom, started to carve it. It was all well and good observing with the intention of keeping Arabella safe, but while nothing was happening, and while nothing was all that was going to happen, he had to find some other way to pass the time.

He barely paid attention as he chipped into the chunk of wood, still concentrating on what was going on below, though he was watching the same way he had found Arabella's presence. After an hour or so, he etched a few details onto the little figure he had made and looked at it, turning it in his hands. It was a small tribal style wolf, a little like the one that raced from his left hip to his chest. It was a figure he had carved several time before, and this was certainly not his best carving of it.

With a tired sigh, he tossed it aside - no one would notice it in the state that they were in below, and Arabella was asleep.

She stirred, however and glanced up at the tree. After a moment, she noticed the figure nearby and picked herself up, wandering over to it. She bent and lifted it from the ground, looking at it. It was small, barely covering a quarter of her palm on its side. She turned it over and took in all the details, surprised by the intricate details over its body.

"Thank you," she whispered. Luca heard and frowned, looking down to see what she was doing. He saw the wolf in her hand. He shrugged to himself, wondering what she was thanking him for. It's just a worthless little carving. It's not even good, he thought, knowing she would hear. "Don't be  silly, it's lovely," she said, looking up at him.

"I've done better," he replied quietly.

"Well I love it." She looked shocked for a moment. "Did you just speak?"

"The second time," he nodded.

"But, I heard you the first time! this what you meant when you said...about the thoughts?" She asked, a look of urgency flashing in her eyes as she stared up at Luca. He just nodded again.

She looked down at wolf figure and ran a thumb over the head thoughtfully, "Why can I hear thoughts? And why is it only you? Can I hear the others if I try hard enough?"

"You like asking questions, don't you," he sighed, leaning his head back on the trunk of the tree.

"Sorry," she murmured, a glistening tear running down her cheek. Luca ignored it. He'd spent too long on his own to know how to deal with the questions, let alone her crying. "Why though? I'm so confused."

"I dunno. Just ‘cause I can keep you safe from the bastards in the kingdom, doesn't mean I know the answers to your questions. Guess you'll have to find that one out on your own," he said a little icily. Did she really expect him to know? He was just a street kid, and an exile. He could barely even read, let alone retain information and knowledge that he felt was unimportant.

She clenched her jaw. "Well thanks for the help," she said sarcastically and he rolled his eyes as she slumped on the floor and leaning on the tree. She turned the carving over in her fingers, playing with it as she spoke. "Why would you even want to help me? You don't like me, I can tell."

"Who said I'm helping you? I'm helping myself. You're not s'posed to be here, and like I said before, if you're here because they want you here, then it's nothing good for me. As for keeping you safe... I want to find out why you're here, how you got here. How to get you back to wherever it is you came from."

"Oh." She looked deflated as she hid her face from Luca. His honesty had always been a little on the abrasive side, and four years in a forest alone had done nothing to improve it. "Well, I guess that's it then. Night." She started to wander away to go back to sleep before pausing to say: "You know you should really work on your social skills. It could help you in the future."

Luca said nothing to that, smiling slightly to himself as he closed his eyes. 


The End

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