It was nearly nightfall before Firmino found me on the ground, crying, at the edge of the cliff half a mile out of town. Silently, he walked up and sat beside me with his legs carelessly over the edge. "Bello told me what happened. You know you have half the town worried sick in search of you." He waited for a reply but soon relized he wasn't getting one, I didn't even look at him. My crying had reduced to a wimper so he pressed on. "I see you came to the old hideout. I figured I'd find you here, you always come here when you want to be alone." Another silent pause. He sighed and laid back, I could feel his eyes on the back of my neck but I didn't dare look back.
He taunted me by playing with my hair, he knew I found it annoying. "Are you going to bathe before the festival tomorrow? This could be the last time the traders come through beforefore winter, the least you could do was smell nice."
"Must you tease me so, Firmino? We are not children anymore." I growled.
"Yes, for if we are not children, as you say, why do you lay here and cry? I think you should've smacked your father right in the mouth.... I would have if I were in Chiaro's spot." he added the last part quietly.
"Oh would you have? How am I suppose to believe that a man who has never courted me would disagree with Father? That you wouldn't agree that I was not one to be wedded? You don't even know why he finds me a cursed demon."
"Face me." Firmino said quietly.
"Why should I?" I asked, feeling the tears well up again.
"Face me." He said with more force behind it. Angerly, I rolled onto my other sided and fought back the hot tears behind my eyes. I was surprised to find Firmino laying there, not as he usually was: hard, calm and calculating; but he was almost undescribable. Was he hurt by my bitter words? He seemed sad and very... open.
I opened my mouth to apologise for my harsh words but no sound left them before Firmino placed his lips to mine. For an eternity, neither of us breathed.
When he finally pulled back, I stammered, "Fir... Firmino I... I..." I caught a hold of myself, "I don't know what to say."
"You could say '
Ti prego, portami duro e veloce', I'd have no objections and would easily fullfill your wish." He was joking, my death glare made it clear I didn't find it funny. "Just a recommendation." he laughed. "How about you say you love me."
"Why would I tell you that?" I lied. I'd say it because it was true.
"Because I love you, mi amata. I love you."
"I.." I got cut off by movement in the bushes.
"Stay here." Firmino said as he stood up. The bushes moved again.
"It might be a rabbit," I said more to myself than him. 'Please just let it be a rabbit or something.' Firmino pulled his knife out of his boot and slowly neared the bush. The only sound was the racing beat of both our hearts, then a low growl. "Firmino," I said calmly as I felt my powers racing in my veins with my fear. He ignored me and stood waiting.
Slowly, a shadow melted from the bushes. A shadow creature. "I thought they were legions." Firmino whispered. As the shadow soilidified, him and me stayed frozen in fear. A part of the shadow began to reach out, not at its attacker, but at me. 'Damnit' I thought, 'they know about me? How is word spreading?'. My thoughts were snapped as Firmino sliced down on the shadow's tentical. The knife cut the tip clean off, but only to have it reformed.
It was near night time, they were at there strongest at dark, I had to find a way to harmlessly lead it away. The idea of harmlessness shot out of my mind as the shadow turned its attention to Firmino. A thick, solid, black mass swung out and knocked him to the ground. The mass formed itself it to a long sharp point and barreled down for his heart. Without thinking I summonded all the strength I had and launched a fire ball at the creature. The ball exploded in a frenzy of light and heat upon impact. The creature had ran off before the smoke had cleared.
For a few neverending moments, Firmino and I stared at where the creature once was, breathless from fear. "Fia, what did you just do?"
Without answering or thinking I ran towards town, not wanting to face him. '"I love you", he actually told you he loved you. Then you had to go off and be an idiot and shoot a fireball.' I scolded myself.
"Fia!" I heard him yell from behind me. 'It was going to kill him... I wasn't going to let him die.' "Fia!" he yelled again. 'He is going to catch you and have you burned for being a witch you moron!' I yelled in my head. Suddenly, I stopped running. Death, I was going to be killed. That seemed like the best option for me. Die or be misrable and always running. Death was a good thing. "Fi.. Ah!" he yelled again as he ran into me. Adjusting his seeing glass and catching his breath, he looked at me in shock. "Fia, why did you run away."
"You saw my powers, you have to turn me into the villagers as I am guilty of witchcraft, I must be burned at the stake." I said with more fear than I ment to.
"Fiammetta, why would you think that. I love you, I am not putting you into the hands of the blood thirsty. I will protect you from them." he said placing my hands over his heart. "No one will touch you, I will tell no one, I swear."
"Uccidimi, kill me." I said hastily.
"Firmino, I can never bear you children, you would never have a normal life if you are with me. You will be misrable. Uccidimi." I begged.
"Never. Fiammetta, I love you. What you have is not a curse, it is a blessing from the Lord. The power you hold makes you special, not evil. I would drag you to the church and become your betrothed right now if I could. I will gladly live my life with you and have you become the mother of my children. If they inherrit your gift than that will only be one more rason to treasure them."
I stood there silently for a long while. Finally, I dropped my strength and fell into his embrace. "I love you Firmino. I'm sorry I never told you about any of this." I sniffled.
"It's fine, I understand." he whispered as he nudged me away and held me by my shoulders. "Go to the river and bathe, I will watch." We both caught his misstep, "I mean keep watch... not that I wouldn't.. but sinful and what not... and..." I placed my finger to his lip to let him know he was only making it worse for himself.