I was first aware of the birds singing to me, and the murmur of some soft voice nearby. My mouth was dry, though I could taste a mixture of metallic blood and some sweet, honey flavored nectar. My eye lids were heavy, my limbs were sore, yet I could feel some soothing cool liquid being applied to my forehead, which relieved my throbbing headache.
I jolted my eyes open, my heart quickening. Where was I?
Someone put their hand on my shoulder, and I turned to see the owner of the soft voice. It was one of my father's older brothers, Eros, his wide old eyes gentle as he looked over me. "I am here, little Flower," he cooed, reciting the nickname he had always called me from a babe. Eros was the one who had taken care of me when my parents died; I was so young then, I could barely remember them "Everything is alright, now."
I began to recognize Eros' secluded home which had also become my own. A roof of leaves and braches let dappled light onto my face, the tree-house looking out onto the beautiful forrest and beyond. I blinked a few times, "How-? What-?" I murmured.
"Hush," he insisted. "All of your questions will be answered soon enough." He smiled sadly. "You are a great warrior now, Flower. Not so little anymore."
"No!" I insisted. "...I....they died. The centaurs-they all died." I closed my eyes, remembering how that golden Harpie had torn them all apart, watching their bodies fall all around.
Eros took the cool cloth off my forehead and freshened it by dipping it some more water. "But you didn't," he murmured, looking over me.
I gaze up at him. "Why?" He was silent, searching my eyes. When he didn't answer, I inquired, my voice wavering, "Theldia?"
"I'm sorry," he shook his head, staring down at his hands.
I looked up to the leafy ceiling, my vision blurring with tears. I heard a door softly open, but I didn't bother looking. I just heard a lady's voice, "Chief Ghalan requests your presence. A human man has arrived from his King, and he is gathering the Council and the Centaur leaders."
"I have told my brother Ghalan that I will not go before anyone he has lined up to see me and make a spectacle of myself." snapped Eros coldly.
The voice paused, mumbling, "He understands that. He beckons for his niece."
"What?" I asked hoarsly, turning worriedly at Eros. "What could he-?"
"She is in no state to go before him and his Council, or a human arrived from the King." Eros retored, though his pride seemed stung.
"It is what he wishes, Eros. Do you wish to anger him again?" said the foreign voice, a little stronger.
Eros paused, before saying sharply, "Tell him that she will be down as soon as she is ready, and that he must be patient, even though that is against his nature."
I heard the door slam suddenly and I waited for Eros to say something to me. I had only seen one human before....when I was lost and wandering from a travelling party, which was searching for some particular herb not native to our wood and they had taken me along..... "What could Ghalan want me for?" I murmured.
"I have an idea," He muttered irritably, but didn't seem to want to elaborate on what he meant. I did not prod further, as he was in a wretched mood now and was thinking something to himself. He helped me out of bed, before leaving the room, calling on some servants to assist me dress, as he said I was still too wobbly and dizzy to be left on my own.