Ari sighed and shifted her position anxiously, waiting to be discovered. Beside her, Tristan was silent. Every now and then he’d struggle or make a noise hoping to draw someone in. It was easy to understand why. His plan would work and they’d be free, she’d be safe at last. When the enemy came back and found them together, he’d try to kill her. This thought should have scared her, but it didn’t. Tristan had promised to pull her soul into his body the second before her body was killed. Once they were free, he’d convince his keeper to let him take the body. Then, Tristan would heal her body and send her soul back to its home.
“Are you afraid?” Tristan asked her softly.
He sighed heavily. “Love, there are some things, some risks, you should know about.”
“Tell me,” Ari replied, bracing herself to hear the flaws in his seemingly perfect plan.
“I may not be able to send your soul back into your body. It’s a rush, having someone else’s life inside of you. But eventually, that rush burns out and the other life becomes a part of your own. The two souls become one within a very short time. Once you’ve been pulled in, we only have a few hours before you don’t exist.”
Ari was silent, feeling the smallest twinge of fear.
“And there’s more. He may destroy your body to the point that it can’t be restored. If that’s the case, we’ll have to find a substitute for you. Also, he may realize what we’ve done and mutilate you anyway and leave me chained like this, with your body just out of reach so I can’t fix it.”
It was torture, tailor made for him. The perfect way to make Tristan pay for what he had done. Ari wished that the enemy could just understand that it was a mistake. She knew that losing the one you loved was a terrible thing, but she’d forgiven her parents’ killer even though the pain had been unbearable the first two years. That man simply hadn’t known what he was doing. But after she found Tristan, things had gotten better. She’d heard the story of how he found her thousands of times but every time he told it to her, it fascinated her how he knew she would be his.
“Tell me how you found me.”
He smiled. “I was in Italy at the time, training to resist temptation. I heard your voice and saw you in my dreams every night. One morning, I woke up in a strange room. I walked into the hallway, and there you were. You were a mess, love, but you were the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. And when I saw you looking the way you normally do, I was…captivated. I couldn’t speak, couldn’t move, couldn’t think. In that one instant, you became everything to me. Nothing else mattered.”
Tears were flowing down his face. Then they heard footsteps.