Ryas chuckled, at how unraveled Yuliah had and pulled away from her, "Yuliah let go."
"You said forever Ryas," she unhooked her arms from his neck. "Don't you want me?" Yuliah reached for his hand and it on her soft breast.
Ryas left his hand cupped around her breast. He rubbed his thumb across her nipple, and she made a soft sound. He laughed deeply from his gut, and took one last kiss before telling her, "Not here like this." Then he released the Ethereal Spirit concentrating its power into the tips of his fingers and pressed them to the temples of Yuliah's head. Her breaths became labored then he reached inside her mind, causing her body to tense up. She struggled against the flow of the Ethereal Spirit again, but with his mind, he shut her off and allowed the Ethereal Spirit to flow through her body freely until her eyes shut and she went into a deep sleep.
Through her closed lids, she sensed the red of the sun warm on her face and Yuliah opened her eyes to a bright blue sky. "Ryas!" He was in my dream last night! She flipped over onto her side. Where did he go? Yuliah bolted up. My clothes! She had a new outfit on, does this mean. She rubbed her face and swallowed. So it wasn't a dream after all? How could I face him now? They barely knew each other. He must take me for some loose woman.
"Yuliah." His voice cut through her thoughts, and she whipped her head around.
Oh, Good Gods! Her face red. Why did he have to be so handsome too? It only made her blushing worse. Then bits and pieces of last night came flooding back to her.
"Are you alright? Your cheeks there quite flushed this morning," his voice sarcastic almost as though he were making fun of her.
He had a satisfied look on his face and seemed less arrogant this morning. "I'm fine," Yuliah managed to get out finally. "I slept well." She wasn't going to give him the that he wanted.
"Did you now?" he
"Yes. Of course," Yuliah smiled at him. "So well I can't remember much," her plump lips widened and thinned out, but she held her breath hoping that he would not bring up what happened between them last night.
"I'm your well rested. Are you going to ask me how I slept?" Ryas looked at her.
Yuliah closed her eyes and swallowed, "Did you sleep well Ryas?" she asked straight-faced. Why was he behaving like this? She could never figure him out.
"I spent my night with a seductress who..."
Before he could finish Yuliah sprinted forward and covered his mouth with her hand. "Don't say it!" Her eyes were wide like she were about to attack him.
He smirked and removed the hand that covered his mouth, "So you do remember," Ryas laughed and continued to laugh, deep and loud clutching his stomach.
Yuliah smacked his arm, "You did this to me! So don't you even dare laugh at me!" She hit him again and again, but he stood there watching her amused.
Yuliah continued to hit him more. Angry with him and the whole that she did not stop until he grabbed her hands and yanked her towards him, "I like this. This fight in you," and as quick as he had caught her he dropped her hands, then walked away.
Stunned Yuliah watched him leave, pick up their bedroll and head toward his horse. She didn't move until he spoke to her again.
"Come here. We don't have time to waste," Ryas for Yuliah who slowly walked over. "Are you done pretending that it didn't happen now?" His hands grabbed her waist and lifted her into the horse saddle.
Yuliah swung her leg over the saddle rolling her eyes at Ryas, "Yes but I don't want to talk about it anymore." that her back was turned to him now. For her face always gave her away to him.
"You don't want to talk about it right now? Or, Forever," he annunciated the word forever.
Good Gods! He was not going to let this go. "Why are you talking so much this morning?" Yuliah cocked her head around to look at him giving him a dirty look. "You've never spoken more than a few words to me."
"I'm feeling more connected to you now. Since our last night," he leaned in towards her until she began to get lost in his blue eyes.
Those deep blue eyes and his masculine face tugged at the strings of her heart. She fought them back, "It makes me happy to see that you are capable of other besides arrogance," she smirked at him.
"I find myself more cable every day, and I feel in ways I didn't know I could before crossing my fate with yours," he said.
She thought he smiled at her when he said that, but not facing him any longer, she could not tell for sure. "I'm spoiled now. I'll be lucky if a Man will marry me. Especially if he hears about this," Yuliah sighed.
"I'm the one who lifted the veil. That should solve your problem."
"Like what you did to me last night?"
"Not last night three nights ago," Ryas corrected her.
"What! Three nights ago!" How could I have been out for this long? "I know you did something to me. When you gave me that drink, I knew it tasted different. Oh and for your , I do not behave like that!" Yuliah raised her voice.
"Yes. That's not your normal , but it was raw and real. I enjoyed it," Ryas spoke deeply into her ear. "I only tried to save you. I didn't know that would happen."
"What did you do to me?" Yuliah asked, and he enjoyed it? What was that supposed to mean?
"I healed you using my blood," Ryas told her.
"Like a Blood Demon?" Yuliah shivered. "We have stories in the Northern Kingdom about Blood Demons. They were made handsome and beautiful to seduce their prey. Once under their spell, you'd be drained of blood and entrails. They could also turn you into one of them by feeding you their blood."
Ryas laughed at her, "No. There's no Blood Demon. They are the damned Geneoshi who took on the power of the Dark Ethereal Spirit. They don't hunt Man only a specific bloodline. If I were one, why would I give you my blood instead?"
"Maybe you want to turn me into one of you," Yuliah gasped. No. No. No. I'm only scaring myself again. "What are you? Are you a Man?" She asked him.
"I am a Geneoshi we are to Man but not the same."
"Are you from the Ethereal Forest then?" She asked Ryas another
"I come from a different world but not the Ethereal Forest," he replied.
"Will we have to pass through the Ethereal Forest to get to the Southern Kingdom?" Yuliah threw another at him. If he wasn't from the Ethereal Forest, where did he come from? Another world but where? Maybe I could ask him about it. "Ryas," but he had cut her off.
"Yes, we will as long as I'm there, but you'll have to follow my carefully, and we will get through the Forest," he told her.
She tried to ask Ryas more about where he came from, the Ethereal Forest, and Spirit, but his answers became shorter and shorter. Yuliah figured he did not want to talk about it anymore and she stopped asking. They continued traveling in silence, following their normal routine.
Green trees and mountains stretched ahead with no end in sight. How far had they gotten since they left Wey Manor? Yuliah thought. It never seems to end, and I've lost track of time. Did they bury Yujen yet? Funerals usually took up to fourteen days to prepare. It might be too soon. "Ryas how many days have we been traveling together? I lost track."
"A while now," was all he said.
Her Father must be starting the funeral arrangements soon. Yuliah sighed, her eyes turned watery until they spilled out, and she sniffled quietly, watching the yellow and orange sun as it began to set against the crimson sky. Ryas' tightened the arm he already had around her waist and pulled her back into him.
They traveled into the night until she grew tired and slumped sideways against his body. "Let's rest here for the night," Ryas nudged her gently waking Yuliah from her sleep. He built a small fire for them and laid the bedroll out for her. Yuliah crawled into the bedroll and instantly fell asleep.
It was the constant stroking, a soft and gentle brushing across her cheek like that of the back of one's hand, that roused Yuliah from her sleep. Still half asleep and not wanting to get up yet, "Ryas can't I rest a little longer?" Yuliah sighed with her eyes still closed. The hand began to brush her cheek faster and harder. Yuliah grabbed his hand and her eyes popped open. "What!" A deafening scream burst from her throat bouncing off the cave walls into the night. She tried to back away but her movements were slowed, and she was up against the cliff wall as far as she could go.
"Mother…" it spoke to her, the one that had been stroking her cheek. There were sharp tiny teeth inside its mouth when it talked. Teeth that could rip her hand off, and long hair which fell around the ankles. It was small like a child but dead white and had big soulless eyes that stared into hers. "Mother..." They called, and Yuliah turned as white as the creature that stood in front of her when she saw the horror that surrounded her.