Chapter XXI: The Nightmare Man (10/13)Mature

'Tayna...it's me,' Will whispered, his mouth suddenly dry. He eyed the dagger, watching as the light shook as did her hand.

Tayna blinked several times like she was waking up from a trance, 'I - I,' she spluttered, confounded, 'I'm so sorry, Willow.' To his relief, she lowered the blade and slotted it under her pillow.

'If I'd been any closer...'

'I know, I know, I'm sorry.' She pulled herself up from her hammock, Will fell out of his crouch onto the ground, streamlining his breaths, whilst she twisted herself so that her legs dangled over the hammock's edge. 'You startled me, I was frightened,'

He scoffed, 'and that's a reason to try and stab me? What were you doing, bringing that in the first place?' She pulled it back out from under her pillow, Will saw that she'd covered the Evil Eye with white paint, avoiding the agony of its gaze.

She smiled sadly, looking down at it as if she didn't know why herself. 'I'm not sure, I think it gives me...security. And being here, away from the Sanctuary, I know that nobody here is going to hurt us, but just the same...the last time I was this far away from the Sanctuary, it was in Castia.'

'You're afraid that they'll come after you?' he asked, standing and gently sitting on the hammock beside her, sending it lower to the ground.

She looked at him seriously, 'please don't think I'm crazy, but...I've been having thisdream, more of a nightmare actually, and I see -,'

'Wait,' Will interrupted, 'you've had the dream too?'

'Too? What do you mean?' she asked, her brow furrowing. 'Will...have you had this dream too?'

'I've just had it. It was another memory - one I shouldn't have - I saw my guardian and a man I didn't know. He wanted to take me away, he tried to, but she stopped him. And then...this woman with long, blonde hair appeared,' he chuckled at himself, 'I thought she was my mother,'

'Your mother?' Tayna asked softly, there was no question in her voice, only concern and openness

'It wasn't, she works for the people who killed our families, and she told me -,'

'That they would find us.' Will stared at her for a moment, 'I've seen her too. Let me guess, she tells you that they know where you are, that everything they've done is for us,' he listened helplessly as her voice began to break, 'and that when they find us, we'll join them -,' her voice rose to a hysterical squeak and she began to shake, but she forced herself to continue. 'I didn't think I was afraid of anything, but I'm terrified of them. I don't want them to take this life away from me, I don't want them to take - I don't want them to take you -,'

Will saw her nearing breaking point and wrapped his arms around her just as before, she didn't push him away, she relaxed into him and rested her head on his chest. Her hot puffs of breath sent warm chills through Will's body, he felt a wet patch on his shirt from where she cried, and as he inhaled the fragrance of her hair, it added to the dizziness that had already overcome him. They held each other silently for a few minutes, the darkness and silence encompassing them.

'What did we do to deserve this, Will?' Tayna asked, her voice a sorrowful murmur as she pressed her face against his chest. 'Why are they doing this to us?'

'I don't know...'

The End

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