Chapter Forty-Three: A Dance in the Firelight
Word Count: 2207
The happiness and sheer unbridled joy he felt at hearing those five little words, those five little syllables, was like nothing he had ever experience before in his life. He wanted to sing. He wanted to shout to the heavens his love of Rory Savage and not stop until his voice was lost to the wind. She stood there. A huge rifle strapped across her shoulder and that wicked, sexy grin across her face as she looked up at him with those sapphire pools of eyes. Grinning like a mad man Silas ran over to her. She dropped the rifle and leapt into his arms. In that moment.
That one split second of time.
He forgot everything. The world fell apart around him. Space, time, psychics, biology...these universal constants fell around his ears as he embraced her. Kissing her like he had never kissed her before. Savouring every second those lips touched his, every scent that drifted around her body, every feeling of her body to her skin like combat suit to the ribbed scar tissue of his hastily stitched wound that tracked across her taught belly like a snake crawling beneath her skin. Her hands ran down his face and he felt the softness of her flesh scratch against the roughness of his three day stubble. Whether the stubble bothered her, he didn't really know. He didn't really care as long as she kept kissing him. After several, all too short but incredibly blissful, minutes Rory detached from his lips and the world jumped back into animation around them. Suddenly Silas discovered himself stood in a cave, breathless and panting with the sun rising up behind Rory. Bathing her in a halo of feather soft golden light. Finding her panting too they looked at each other, arms still wrapped around their bodies and her eyes flickering with an emotion he had never seen them filled with before Rory suddenly started laughing. 'What's funny?' Silas asked between great lungfuls of air.
'I don't know....' then she started laughing more and more. Her joyous sound ringing across the cave. And before he knew it Silas was laughing with her. He was just laughing and her laughing, and she was laughing for Gods knew why! The beginnings of a stitch ripping up his side Silas doubled over in mirth, but as he did he stood on one of the dozens of health shards scattered about the cave and began to fall. Screaming he grabbed Rory by the shoulders who immediately buckled beneath his weight and they fell to the floor together, her yelp joining his as they crashed onto one of the blankets lining the floor. After close to twenty minutes of almost none stop laughing sat up and looked down at her, eyeing the scar that covered her stomach like a gruesome smile he couldn't help but feel like he should have done better. What! Be thankful you idiot! She's alive! And looking over at the dozens of black boxes with the parachutes still attached Silas knew exactly who he had to thank for that fact. 'What's wrong.' she said rubbing a hand down his jaw.
Silas smiled. 'Nothing. I'm just so glad you're...' choking up he had to choose another set of words. 'Still with me.' Her smiled melted his heart as he sat up with a small wince.
'All because of you Silas. And the people watching at home.' she said to thin air. Silas laughed. 'I wouldn't be here right now if it wasn't for you fighting off that monster.'
'Oh I don't know you could have had him.' he winked. Rory laughed and then her serious face fell onto her gorgeous features.
'I think we should move. We've stayed here too long and the amount of times we've been on the big screens people will know to come here to find us.' she said looking around.
'Good idea,' said Silas putting his own serious head on for the moment. Their lives were still at stake. 'Usually in this situation I'd recommend splitting up, but this Gods forsaken place is so unpredictable we could end up on the other sides of the arena again.'
'Yeah we stick together now, no matter what.' Rory nodded. Looking at her Silas smiled. She said those words whilst packing a bag, so casually. So easily. She must have meant them. 'What?' she said with a smile, brushing a lock of dangling hair from her face. Silas reached over and kissed her again. He couldn't help it. There was no other way of expressing these emotions, he wasn't as smart as Rory to say it with words, he wasn't strong enough to tear down the mental barriers around his soul that he'd erected through his years living in District Thirteen...and he just didn't know any other way. Except this. When they broke apart Rory smiled but before she could speak Silas stammered,
'I love you Rory Savage...I...I don't know what to do now, I've never been in love before. But I know that...that I will spend the rest of my life trying to figure out how to show it to you. In a million different ways everyday if I have too.' With tears brimming in her eyes Rory ran a hand down his face.
'You can be quite the romantic at times Silas Alberec.' she whispered.
'I try,' he grinned. This time she kissed him.
'Come on. Pack only the essentials and weapons. We can find everything else we need.'
The day’s work went quickly now that he was with Rory. All those hellish hours slogging through every type of sector imaginable seemed like a distant nightmare now that they were together, being beside her made everything seem so much easier, he often walked behind her. Mainly so he could protect her flanks but also to stare at her ass. Which she must have known he was doing because the amount of times she added a little wiggle into her walk couldn't have been anything but a pre-planned act. They'd spent the morning taking the empty pledge boxes and placing them in the centre of Rory's dozens of dug outs and death traps, as well as hanging them from trees in the opposite direction to where they actually went. Silas in all honesty had been sceptical, only idiots would step so blindly into an obvious trap. But idiots must have filled the arena because after only an hour of walking the cannon fired over their heads and a video of a cocky looking man swaggering into one of Rory's traps played. His gargled scream the only evidence of the sharpened, and poisoned, wooden spikes that waited below the false floor of leaves and twigs. 'I told you so.' she whispered as she skipped passed him with a triumphant smile. Silas smiled back, but in his head he was quickly tallying kills. This one meant that fifteen people still remained alive...and one of them was Fox.
It was near sunset when Silas discovered their new lair. Reaching the Cliff sector he discovered a climbway down into a well disguised little cove, the tiny salt water inlet complete with its own miniature beach, cover from the wind and even a large overhang to disguise the light of their fire. All in all he was impressed with himself, especially after finding a hidden med pack buried in the sand. And they were totally protected. The only way down laced with Rory's trip wires which she attached to the trigger of her crossbow that they managed to rediscover, anyone came down there they got a bolt through the chest. So after a full day Silas sat in front of the burning fire, Rory across from him, staring at the double barrelled revolver someone had pledged to him. Whoever it was must have been extremely wealthy, the metal was ceramite, an incredibly rare and hard to mould metal that was only found in the mines of the Lost Continents, far far far to the West. Beyond the sunset from where Titan's people came from. As well as the metal there was the weapons craftsmanship, beautifully acid etched with thorned roses and its handle the purest black ebony. This one weapon probably cost more than all of their other equipment put together.
'Silas,' Rory said staring into the fires dancing orange flames.
'Are you sure he's dead?' she whispered. As if fearful to even say his name.
'I shot him with two bullets in the shoulder, beat his ass half to death and left him to die in the ocean. If the bullets didn't kill him the bloodsharks will.' he said uneasily. He never had heard the cannon fire after he shot him. 'Just give it time gorgeous.' looking at her, with the light from the fake stars and the fake full moon on her back; she looked like a frightened little girl staring into the flames. As if she could decipher her future from those twisting heat patterns. Watching her closely he saw her hand shaking, the limb twitching as if it had a mind of its own. Unable to watch anymore Silas threw his gun towards their sheets and walked around the fire, sitting with his legs pressing against her sides he wrapped his arms around her and drew her close. 'Give me your hands.'
'Silas it's fine,'
'I'm not asking Rory,' he said carefully. Looking sideways at him she let out a small breath before consenting and she placed the flat of her hands against his. Interlacing their fingers so perfectly Silas folded her arms across her chest and hugged her tightly. 'You don't have to worry about anything anymore Rory, we're safe now that we're together, you're safe. You can stop being strong. Just let it go.'
'Silas I can't...'
'It's just me gorgeous. It's fine. I know you Rory, I know you bottle everything up. I'm worried that one day that bottle inside will break and the weight of all these pent up feelings will destroy you, so we'll do it together.' Looking at her while tears brimmed in her eyes he could see her fighting it, until she finally...just let go. She cried for over two hours. Over everything. Aeon, the people she killed, this place, them, Tyberos, the people that had attacked her, seeing Silas on the big screen being half killed before fighting back, everything since the moment she boarded the train in District Three to right at that very moment. Tears of sorrow, tears of joy, tears of woe and pain and suffering and fear. And all the while Silas sat there, rocking her gently back and forth whilst shushing softly into her ear. He knew this was a side of her nobody in the whole of the Thirteen Districts had ever seen before, so he didn't stifle her. He just sat with the love of his life in his arms while she wept. When she stopped they sat in complete silence for a long while, until she whispered,
'Silas...when did you know?'
'Know what baby?'
'That you loved me.' she whispered, rubbing his knee cap with her hand.
'I knew you were special from the moment I saw you, but I knew I loved you when I saw that Vid of you’re dancing with Aeon.' he laughed at the thought. 'I went and trained relentlessly until sun up I was so jealous.' he paused with a smile, 'How about you?'
'That first night up on the roof. When we were laid on the air-coolers and you were telling me about your parents. I knew then.' she smiled.
'I thought you loved at first sight.' he grinned charmingly.
'No such luck,' she giggled. Nudging her playfully Silas stared into the flames over her shoulder, her hand as still as a frozen lake in his hand. 'We never did get that dance did we.' she whispered almost as an afterthought. Silas grinned whilst he stood. Walking around her he bowed low before formerly offering her his hand. 'What are you doing?' she said with a slight laugh.
'No time like the present.' he smiled staring into those sapphire eyes he loved so much. 'I Silas Alberec would formerly like to ask you, Miss Rory Savage, the pleasure of your hand for this dance.' Rory's eyes glittered as she looked at him with a large, pearl toothed smile.
'I'd be honoured Mr Alberec,' she said putting on a clipped posh accent. Pulling her up gentle Silas held her in the ballroom frame and stared deep into her eyes before humming out the beat of a waltz. One...two three. One...two three. One...two three. He counted in his head whilst humming away to her, a tune he was pretty sure didn't exist. Rory laughed joyously as they spun and spun around the fire. Fake starts twinkling over head and the full moon bouncing across the flat oceanic horizon. Laughing with her Silas lost track of how long they danced for. But they soon fell into the sheets of their makeshift bed, the sound of the ocean their music as they made love beneath the stars.