It had to be a dream, even though I kept on blinking and it wasnt going away. It couldnt be real, because that would completely shatter all I'd ever known.
There were six of us in the living room. Adder had pulled me into his lap, into the massive arm chair facing the window. He had a tight grip upon me, arms around my waist. To the others it might have appeared loving, but to me it was suffocating. He was holding me back, terrified that, if given the chance, I might dash off back into the arms of Demrin.
His words still burned in my ears, somehow both so painful and yet so relieving. "What of the night we shared, so long ago?"
I remembered that night all too well. I'd thought of it often, in the absence of my dear friend. But now, with my lover's arms clutching to me like I was all that was keeping him here, it was so hard to remember exactly the way he'd drawn his fingers across my skin.
Ana and Jester were seated in the couch, his hand resting lightly upon her knee. Nervously glancing about the room, in that way of his. He was always so scared. I wondered what it was that filled him with such fear. Beside them sat the new girl, Stephanie.With her dirty blonde hair and wide eyes, there was something about her that set me on edge. Something almost painfully familiar.
And Demrin. He was hovering near the couch, looking dark and brooding and sort of out of place. He seemed...different. Like he'd witnessed a million tragedies and failed in adverting a single one.
"So, you're back." Adder broke through the silence. The words were harsh. I didnt know what it was that Adder thought he was losing. Or why he couldnt be happy, at least for me. Why he couldnt seem to notice that the light that had been missing from my eyes was suddenly shining so much brighter than ever.
Demrin only shrugged. "I suppose so."
For one reason or another, Stephanie spoke up. "Is there a place I could get cleaned up?"
Adder tore his gaze away from the warlock. "Sure; Ana can show you to a room, and give you some clean clothes." The human girl smiled slightly and rose to her feet. Always so eager to help, that one. Or maybe just to seem like she was needed. Perhaps she was. Perhaps we all played a role, and in the end we would all be needed somehow.
Adder nudged me gently; I slipped off his lap and stood nervously by. Adder leaned in to kiss me on the cheek. Then he beckoned to Jester, and they exchanged a look I didnt have time to decipher. They disappeared together into the kitchen. And I was left alone with Demrin.
There was a moment of silence in which we merely stood, staring. Unmoving and uncertain of what to do. When it all became too much, I flung myself into his arms, holding to him like he was my goddamn life support. And maybe he had been, for a long time. The warlock engulfed me, crushed me against his chest and mumbled something I didnt quite understand.
But that was okay, because Demrin was here. He was really, really here, and his arms felt to me the safest place in the world. There was nowhere else I'd have rather been.