Mara let out her breath in a huff. Bracing her hands on the ground, she pushed herself
up easily, ignoring the hand reaching out to her. Mara brushed the dirt off her hands,
looking over at Joshua from the corner of her eye. Crossing her arms, Mara turned towards
Joshua once more. "Fine." She said. "But keep talking. And I really don't like physical
contact, so try not to touch me."
Another smile flashed at the corners of Joshua's mouth as he looked over at the defiant
woman beside him. He nodded in agreement, then began walking east. Mara started
walking as well, falling to his side, a half-step behind, following him. Joshua gestured to
Kaze, and Kaze blew away to pick up Mara's things before hovering behind them. Joshua
looked over at Mara for a second, then looked forward again and spoke.
"If we keep walking at this pace, Mara, it'll take us three days to walk to our destination. I
would like to get there today, but I can only speed you up if you're holding onto my hand."
"Excuse me?" Mara's voice was deep and low, like the voice of a provoked animal.
"I can walk faster than humans, and if you hold onto me, my power will allow you to walk
faster as well. If I give you my hand Mara, will you take it and trust me?" Joshua held his
hand out to her as he replied, never breaking stride.
"No." Mara began, taking Joshua's hand. "I will take the hand, but I do not trust the
person who offers it. You are a stranger, you know, and your word alone is not enough right
The two of them seemed to begin stepping just above the ground. Their figures were rapidly
chasing their shadows over the grass as they walked. Mara didn't feel like they were
walking any faster than before, but the grass beneath her was starting to move behind her
in a blur. Mara looked back up and ahead, trying to see where it was that they were headed.
Joshua started speaking again, and the contact and proximity made his voice strike a chord
in Mara. It sounded more alive, more real than her voice did, and it faintly reminded her
of the voice of the King.