Adryan’s face is flustered when I see him approach me; he has a pallid complexion of morbidity and anxiety. “Leila, I’m glad I found you already,” he says, trying to catch his uneven breath. I see the hair from his arm stand against the sweeping, cold wind.
“What is it; did you find something of importance?” I place a hand on his shoulder to calm his restless, shaking body.
Adryan inhales a couple of times before settling down, he looks at me with a solemnity in his eyes and speaks the following with caution, “Drey, I saw him, he is here in Atala.”
“You saw him?” I ask confounded. “How can you, you don’t know his appearance.”
Adryan shakes his head and waits until the sudden gust of wind settles down, in fear they might carry his words to unwanted ears. “I was walking past some houses and I heard a commotion, an innocent woman was being dragged from her house to be executed tomorrow. I tried to stop the guards but I couldn’t… ”
“For obvious reasons,” I interrupt, “you are a dead man, they cannot see you nor hear you.”
“Yes, that’s exactly where I want to go,” Adryan’s voice rises in exhilaration of the major discovery; “I was walking through the plaza and bumped into someone. It was a man with graying hair and grey eyes with traces of yellow in them, there was a hunched man beside him but he is not important now…”
My heart skips several beats as I hear him relate his story; Adryan has had an encounter with Drey, “why didn’t you stop him?”
“I was distracted,” he replies, guilt becomes apparent his expression, “moments later I realized it was Drey whom I had run into. It was that time that I remember what I was and what my limitations were.” Adryan spoke the last words with a mixture of longing and misery; it must’ve been hard for him to feel powerless when the poor mother was being dragged out of the house leaving her children unprotected.
My hand slowly slides down his arm and drops next to my body, dangling with disbelief. Adryan had seen Drey in town, not only had he seen him but he had physical contact with him. I feel light-weight as his words register in my dizzy mind; the air seems to exert weight on me as I try to force my mind into thinking a way to capture Drey.
“Drey must know we have you on our side,” I mumble, my voice sounding both distant and anxious. “That hunched man must’ve been bewildered when he saw Drey hitting you.”
Adryan gives me a face full of shock; apparently he had not contemplated that possibility. “So, keep a low profile?”
I nod, “he must tread very carefully from now on, by now he suspects the witches of Atala are keen as to his whereabouts. I wouldn’t be a surprise if his wanderings in town are less frequent than before.”
Adryan agrees and looks up at the still and gloomy sky above, he shudders when another wall of winds comes crashing on us, taking our warmth away. “I think we can do nothing about it now,” he suggests, “let’s go back to Yanira’s house.”
“It is definitely getting darker,” I say with certain edge in my words. I turn my head around, feeling something wrong in the atmosphere that surrounds us. I grip at the skirt of my dress and begin my path back to safety, back to the place where the comforting vanilla scent had heightened my spirits this morning. Adryan walks silently beside me, with his face turned up to the moon. I glimpse at him and become aware of the sudden white aura that surrounds him and enlightens his pure features. It is the second time I feel grateful for his company during the dread of this night.
“You think we might have a chance of winning this war?” Adryan asks casually, his gaze steadfast in the night sky devoid of celestial bodies.
“This is not a war,” I reply and as if contrasting his actions, I look down at our faint shadows in the ground wavering in front of us. “A war benefits no one, after Drey’s death many lives will be spared and many more avenged.”
Adryan trades a laugh with a smile and shakes his head slightly, “Leila, you are so young and yet so sage. How can you come up with these philosophical thoughts? ”
“Perhaps they are products of a person who has nothing to do other than to stare at the endless sky above her head and feel minute underneath it,” I respond, as dancing sparks prickles my skin with enjoyment. The warmth Adryan’s body irradiates is alluring and tempting, teasing my cold body to get near him.
“Or from a person who has seen many things throughout her life,” Adryan speaks these words softly.
My lips curl up in an unexpected way, the only things I can hear right now are our steps and the thumping of my heart inside my chest. “I see you’ve asked Elena some questions,” I muse, hiding both of my hands behind me and tossing my head toward the sky just in time to catch a sight of the resplendent orb and the dancing lights in the clouds around it.
“I reckon I have,” Adryan confesses, “but I would like to hear it from your mouth and with your own words.”
I smile and draw in a deep breath, “I don’t think it is necessary for you to know about me.” Some part of me refuses to let Adryan into my life, knowing that we aren’t forever… he wasn’t forever. One day we will have to part, good-byes have never been a favored event of mine.