Chapter TwoMature

I walked through the shadows three days after my escape. The small town was quiet, peaceful. The sun was setting, the dark shadows lengthening across the pavement.

Nearby, a man walked down the street. He noticed me and smiled. I nodded, keeping a straight face. I didn't need the attention.

I watched the smile fade and he moved towards me. "Hi..."

"Hey..." I watched him warily.

"The name's Lance."

I chuckled at the statement. "Silver Shadow."

He looked at me with growing curiosity.

I smiled, flashing my sharp canines. "Most of the people know me as Jessica Layne... I've become quite famous..."

He shrugged. "I'm known for not paying attention."

"That could save your life." I felt the gentle pull of the moon, a silver sliver rising above the horizon. I stretched, my silver tail curling around my leg. I pushed my hood back, freeing my silver hair and revealing my ears.

Lance looked at me with wide eyes, fear sparkling in them. He stepped away from me.

I huddles in my coat, "Don't be scared, I'm harmless... All of my kind are."

Lance took another step back, unsure.

I pulled up my hood. "I'll leave if you want..."

Lance shook his head. "No, no! You just caught me off guard."

I let my hood fall again. "I should have warned you, its the full moon tonight, it relaxes me."

"What are you?"

"I am a Guardian. A protector of humans." He moved closer to be again, curiosity replacing the fear. I looked up to the moon, fully above the horizon now. I sighed and closed my eyes. "My Mother is calling..." I could hear Lance shuffle uncomfortably. "She wants to meet you."

I looked at him, a smile on my face. But he shook his head violently.

"The Mother Goddess is kind, don't fear her..."

"Its fine, little one, I will come to him..." A soft voice echoed around us.

As the soft silvery light started to glow, Lance was pressed up against a house.

Selene appeared, the light spreading to from her beautiful self. "Hello Lance..."

Lance's face turned as white as a sheet as his body slid down the wall. I moved to his side, setting a hand on his arm. "Lance?"

He was out cold. It was a few minutes before his eyes snapped open, shocked and scared.

"You ok?"

He nodded as I pulled him to his feet. "What happened?"

I smiled. "You passed out."

Selene laughed behind me, the sound like soft sweet bells ringing. "My apologies, Lance. Here..."  She held out one glowing hand, a pure white rose glittering in her palm. "This will protect you. It will never die and it will never fade."

Lance took the rose in his shaking hand. "Thank you..."

"I must go, my brother awaits." She shrank back into a silver ball of light and faded away, returning to her home among the stars.

 A wave of dizziness hit me, making me sway. "Great..."

Lance caught me as I fell against him, his strong arm wrapping around my waist. "You ok?

"Dizzy..." I laid my head on his shoulder. "Her influence on my  ans all Guardians is strong. She wears me out just seeing her."

I felt him nod.

"Ugh... Major head ache..."

"Here..." He took off his back pack and pulled out a bottle of aspirin and a bottle of water.

I shook my head. "I don't take pills.... or any medication for that matter." I attempted to sit down against the wall, my legs giving out from underneath me.

Lance caught me before I could fall and set me down gently. "Are you sure? They will make you feel better..."

I smiled and set my head against the wall. "I'm very sure that they will do nothing of the sort for me..." I could hear the sweet soft chimes of the rose as he pulled it out of his pocket. Only Guardians and the Goddess's blessed Daughters could hear it's sweet song.

"It can die..." I murmured.

"Huh?"

"If you do anything against the Goddess, the rose will slowly die, it's magic recalled by the Goddess." I stretched and yawned, curling  up closer to him.

"Maybe you should go home?" He murmured.

"Depends.... What home are you talking about?"

"Um... Yours?"

"Don't have one. Just escaped one of the most high tech psychiatric hospitals in the world."

"Oh... well, I guess... You could stay with me... you know, if you want..."

I looked up at him. "Are you sure?"

"Yeah." He smiled. "Come stay with me, you'll be safe there."

I smiled. This was the first person to be nice to me in my entire life. I had a friend. "Thank you."

"Come on, let's go."

~*~*~*~

His place was small, with very little furniture, no bed or couch. Nothing to show someone really lived here besides a couple of blankets and pillows against the wall and a small kitchen with a few pieces of fruit and some dishes on the counters.

"Here." He handed me a couple blankets and a pillow as he straightened out the others, creating a bed that was incredibly inviting. It was better than the trees I had been sleeping in.

"Where do you want me?"

"Any where works as long as you are comfortable."

I tucked my ears tight to my head, hugging the pillow to my chest. "Can I stay by you? I promise to keep my hands and tail to myself..."

He smiled and patted the spot beside him. "Come on."

I smiled and arranged my blankets and pillow beside his, curling up with my back to him. It was so nice to be warm and safe for once.

With my tail curled up over my waist and a blanket covering my body, I was soon asleep. It was the best rest I had gotten in months.

The End

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