~The Forbidden~ pg 4

“Civyl?” She blinked sleepily at the man who leaned over her now, face but two inches from hers. Fiora could feel the heat of his body, he was so close. For a moment her heart leapt, thinking that perhaps he had remembered who she was and had come to claim his bride at last, but there was a wild fear in his eye as he stared at her. Her senses came alive with the pump of adrenaline her own fear brought. “What?! What’s wrong?!” 

She stared at him with wide-eyes, trying to read the storm on his face as he lifted himself with deliberate slowness. His voice was a gruff rumble deep in his chest. “Nothing... Nothing is wrong.” The sound of his knife being withdrawn from the ground just two inches past her ear drew her gaze. “I just… saw a snake, is all.”

“SNAKE!?” Her heart constricted at the word as she recoiled from the ground where his knife had been. There was nowhere else to go but into his arms to get away from the vile creature. She literally climbed onto him as he sat back with a grunt that her mind barely registered through her fear. “I hate snakes! It was two inches from my head?! Ooohhh uuugh…” She shuddered at the thought as she stared at the spot ready to bolt if there was any sign of movement.

“It’s gone now,” he reassured into her hair with slow and careful words as if afraid he would frighten her again. “It moved before I could catch it.”

Awareness of where she actually was dawned on her with a creeping heat. As familiar as he was to her, Fiora still remembered she was a stranger to him. She peeked at his face with a hesitant sideways glance and she could not read his expression apart from the way the left corner of his mouth twitched. He only did that when he was really upset about something. “Thank you,” she whispered as she pulled away, “for scaring it away, I mean.”

The End

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