Ajmal & Rubie

Chapter One

Ajmal was walking just for the sake of enjoying nature. He truly had nothing to do today with his fridge fully stocked, home clean, and pretty much having anything he needed. He did however wear a satchel with an empty container in it incase he came across some berries. The merchant who collected them for market was charging way too much now for them in Ajmals opinion so he only bought them already gathered if he just couldn’t find any. He had planted a blueberry bush in his garden but it was still growing and yet to produce fruit.

Ajmal heard the weak, frustrated half groan half scream of a woman and he began walking that way to see what was wrong. He hoped whoever it was wouldn’t be afraid and actually let him help. When the woman came into view he ran. She was tied to a tree and badly beaten. Her frustration was due to not being able to free herself. When her eyes caught Ajmal she said “please, they’re coming back. Bandits stole all I had on me. I fought as hard as I could but there was four against only me. They said they were coming back for me” Rubie hated asking for help but was not above it when she needed it and she didn’t want to find out what those bastards were coming back for.

Ajmal reached in his bag to retrieve a knife and he cut her loose. She stumbled when released from the tree but remained on her feet. “please, let me carry you back to my home where I can treat your wounds.”

“I would normally say no I’m fine but I would do just about anything for a shower. I’ll remember where you live and pay you back for all you offer me when I have money again.”

“don’t be foolish, let me carry you to my home” Rubie winced in pain at her twisted ankle as she moved towards him. She hadn’t noticed the injury until now when she was finally calming. Just as he was lifting her into a cradle Ajmal heard the voices of the two men she hadn’t beaten until they were unable to come back. The men had left in the first place to get their comrades in their beds at home. They were coming back to teach the bitch a lesson for fighting back so hard. Ajmals kind caring face contorted into one of anger which scared even Rubie slightly when previously she had seen only a sweet, kind man. She was surprised he’d be so pissed over someone he didn’t even know.

Ajmal set her back down and she moved to help him fight but he held a hand up ‘no, you’re hurt too badly. I have this. You’ll only injure your ankle further.” Rubie grabbed his knife “take it”

“I don’t need it” he said then walked away, leaving Rubie with his blade in her grasp. The bandits standing at almost Ajmals height laughed “just give us the bitch and walk on your way. We have knives that we aren’t afraid to use”

“I see that from her cut up clothing” He seethed and Rubie had only just noticed how exposed she was and the cuts that lay on her skin. She had barely noticed any of her injuries as she fought against the men before. Rubie sat down to get off her ankle, holding tighter to Ajmals knife incase they got around him. Her jaw actually came open slightly as Ajmal in only one punch slammed one of the badnits to the ground. The other man tried to jump on Ajmal but he was as swift as he was strong. He beat what sense the two bandits had out of them but left the men alive. He wiped the blood from his knuckles then turned to Rubie. She snapped her jaw closed and even though his anger and strength had surprised and starlted her a bit she found herself unafraid as his face shifted back to one of kindness.

Ajmal picked Rubie up then began to walk to his home. “thank you for not giving me to them” She said as she looke dup at Ajmal. “any man thats a man atall wouldn’t have. Thank you for actually listening to me. I don’t know if my sister would have. She can be so damn stubborn”

“You have siblings?”

“Yeah, a brother and a sister.”

“I have a younger sister.” Ajmal was flabbergasted that she trusted him atall. Most women found him repulsive or feared him but she had asked for his help and even wanted to be taken to his home after seeing him beat the men after her. Regardless of her reasoning he was glad he found her before those men came back.
“It’s good to have siblings. Do you and your sister get along?”

“Yeah, I love her to death.”

When they got to his home he only lowered her to her feet long enough to get his door open then picked her back up and carried her inside. He kicked the door closed and took her into the bathroom, sitting her on the counter and turning too switch on the water. “A bath will do you good.” He said as he tested the water then plugged the drain.

“Thank you.”

“Do you need help undressing or will you be okay on your own?”

“I might need help, my body aches.” She answered with a blush.

He smiled and helped her out of her shirt and bra before lowering her to her feet and pulling her skirt and panties down. He frowned at the cuts and bruises covering her and couldn’t help but wish he had done more to those men. He straightened up and handed her into the tub then helped her sit down. She hissed in pain and he apologized. “If you need anything please yell for me. I’ll be in the living room.”

“Wait, will you stay and talk to me please?”

“Okay, sure.” He pulled the curtain closed, not wanting to be tempted to stare at her nude form. “What would you like to talk about?”

“May I ask how you got your scars?”
“I was attacked by a group of demons. I survived but I have these scars from it”

“Wow, you took on multiple demons and lived. That’s impressive”

“My girlfriend at the time didn’t think so. She couldn’t get over how ugly I now look”

“You are not ugly Ajmal”

“There’s no need to lie to spare my feelings. I know what I look like”

“I’m not lieing, don’t call yourself ugly. Those are battle wounds and somthing you should be proud of since you earned them defeating demons. How did you become so strong?”

“I’ve worked out every day since i was fourteen”

“Strong, sweet, dedicated, your girlfreind was an idiot” Ajmal smiled “I have some potions that will shut those wounds right up when you get out”

“Thanks, thank you so much for everything”

“Any man who is a man atall would have helped you.”

“Still, you’d be surprised how few men there are. Let me make you a stew when I get out. It’s what I’m best at making”

“Your ankle, tomorrow if you really want to cook”

“I’ve walked on a twisted ankle before”

“But you shouldn’t. Let me take care of you today”

“Then you’ll have to let me make you all of your meals tomorrow”

“Deal”

“I truly dont think you’re ugly atall Ajmal” It almost choked Ajmal up to hear her say that when he had been treated as a monster by nearly all people he came in contact with. Now here was this beautiful woman telling him he wasn’t ugly atall. “Um, my sister is a horrible packer and is always leaving clothes when she visits. Do you mind if I leave a second to fetch you some of her clothes?”

“Go ahead, thank you”

“No problem, honestly” Ajmal brushed his hair and reapplied deodorant while he was out of the bathroom then brought her the clothes he had taken out of his guest room. “Tomorrow after breakfast could I take you into town and buy you new outfits since yours were stolen”

“You’re already helping me so much Ajmal”

“I have the money and I want to. Let me”

“If you insist”
“I do insist.” She laughed softly and finished washing the dirt and blood from her skin then pulled the plug. Ajmal grabbed a towel and pulled the curtain back then helped her to her feet and out of the tub. “I’m going to dry you then get you that healing potion.”

“Okay, thank you.”

Rubie stood still as he gently patted her dry, smiling at the fact he was ignoring her nudity and taking care of her. He handed her the towel and she wrapped it around herself. “I’ll be right back.” He went into the kitchen and grabbed one of the vials of healing potion and brought it back to her. She downed it quickly and was happy when the cuts closed and the aching in her body lessened.

“Thank you so much. I think I can dress on my own.”

“Okay.” He grabbed her tattered clothes and left her alone to dress. He tossed the clothes in the garbage then decided to get started on lunch. He didn’t know what she liked so he just started on a rabbit stew. He heard the bathroom door open and said, “I’m in the kitchen.”

Rubie walked into the kitchen and leaned against the counter to watch him since she was sure he wouldn’t let her help. She loved how he looked, everything about him, scars included was sexy. She had never met a man sweeter than him and actually felt safe in his company even though he was a stranger. “What are you making?”

“Rabbit stew. You should be sitting down with a hurt ankle.”

“I’m okay.”

“Please got sit for me. I don’t want you to make it worse.”
“You worry too much but I’ll sit. I’ve been injured many times before”

“That badly?”

“No, all the same I’ve been injured my fair share of times”

“Why? Where do you live?”

“Nowhere, I love the wild so I live in it. Never had much use for houses”

“well, when I buy you clothes I’ll make you a dresser so when you get tired of running around in the woods and want a nice place to rest for awhile you can come here. Of course I only have the one guest room so that room may have a family member in it somtimes but you’re still welcome to stay” Rubie smiled “Thank you Ajmal. How often does your family visit?”

“Well, Kaelani visits every time his deliveries bring him near this area and now I go see my sister more than she comes to me because of my niece. I don’t like them having to travel with her still so young just for the very reason i just saved you. There’s a lot of terrible people in the world so I prefer I do the traveling. Which now Talitha came into quite a bit of money and can afford to pay someone to escort her where she wants to go so she tends to surprise me more now. I feel much better when someone takes her even though she’s no weakling but you know”

“Yeah, mr worry wart.” she giggled then continued “so Kaelanis a delivery boy?”

“Yep”

“I bet thats fun”

“It was his dream job since the day he got his horse”

“How did your sister come into money? If I’m not being too nosey”

“She plays music in villages, still does even though she has money. Someone really loved her music and gave her more money than she’ll be able to spend in a long time. Especially because she isn’t being foolish with it. When she first got it she bought her daughter and herself some nicer clothes since they were wearing the cheapest materials available before. She was always so stubborn about letting Kaelani and I help. The only time she was willing was when her daughter was sick and she couldn’t afford for anybody to treat her. Kaelani and I footed the bill and got a thank you instead of an annoyed glare. Poor little thing, we were all scared for her”

“What was wrong with her?”

“They didn’t know . suddenly she just lost all color, threw up multiple times a day and was just miserable in general. Their biggest hurdle was not knowing what was wrong with her. They tried so many things but she eventually got better and was able to go home from the hospital.”

“Thats so sad”

“She’s better now and you’d never know. She’ll tell you a fairy helped her. She was having alot of hallucinations and she said the night before she got better a fairy came and made her better, it wasn’t the healers in the hospital in her eyes.”

“Maybe it was so. I’ve met fairies with amazing healing powers, much better than any humans posess.”
“I wish there had been one around when this mess happened. I nearly died, I mean I was close, but I pulled through. Maybe I’d look more normal if a fairy had been around.”

“I wish you wouldn’t say such things about your scars. I really like them.”

Having her in his home made him really happy and he wasn’t looking forward to her leaving. Ajmal finished the stew then ladeled some into a bowl for each of them. He sat down next to her and handed her her bowl, making her smile warmly at him. “I hope it’s okay.”

Rubie took a bite and made a sound of delight. “This is amazing. You’ll have to show me how to make it.”

“I can’t give away my cooking secrets or you might not come back. I want as many reasons as possible for you to visit.” He blushed at his own words and took a bite of food.

“Oh really and why is that?”

He cleared his throat. “Well I like having you here I guess and if you never come back I’ll worry about you, especially after you were attacked. So I’m keeping clean clothes here for you and I’m not giving away my cooking secrets.”

“Some day I’ll get it out of you, just wait and see. I can be very persistent.”
Ajmal smiled exultantly “great, just keep on coming back to wrench how I make this stew out of me” Rubie gave a small giggle that was more gorgeous than any music he had heard before. It deeply bothered him she didn’t live in a house. He wanted her to stay with him or atleast let him travel by her side to keep violent assholes away from her. Ajmal knew he would be worried sick about her the second she decided to leave his home so he would keep her as busy as possible so she wouldn’t think of leaving.

She loved his food so much she had thirds without any shame atall “I don’t often eat somthing this good” she said when he handed her the third bowl of stew. He smiled then said “I’ll make you desert too” She sighed “well damn, you should have told me that sooner. I wouldn’t have tanked so hard on the stew”

“Well Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Loaf takes awhile to make. You may ahve some room when it’s done”

“That sounds like I’ll just make room” Ajmal laughed then got up to store the stew then get to work on desert. When Rubie was done she surprised Ajmal with a hug from behind “thank you so much”

“You’re welcome, as I said I enjoy your company”

“Can i help with desert”

“I’d rather you be sitting. We can talk more as I work. I’m sure theres much more we don’t know about eachother”

“True, would you like to hear the story of how I met a fairy?”

“I’d love to hear about any of your adventures you’d wish to share.” Rubie began telling Ajmal of the time she decided to explore a volcano and it ended up erupting. It turned out to only be a distrbing story that would just make Ajmal worry more when she was away because without the fairy she would have been burnt up by the volcanos lava.
“I think I may lock you in my closet now.”

She giggled. “You can try, but I doubt you’d be able too.”

“I enjoy a challenge.” They both laughed and she gave him another squeeze. He poured the batter in a bread pan and she let him go so he could put it in the oven.

“I owe you big time for all of this.” She said.

“You owe me nothing, but if you truly wish to pay me back then keep smiling for me. You have the most beautiful smile I have ever seen.”

“You’re easy to please.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment. Would you like to sit outside with me while we wait for the bread? I could read to you.”

“I would really like that.” He set a timer for the bread then lifted her in his arms. “You don’t have to carry me.”

“Your ankle is still hurt.” He carried her over to the bookshelf. “Pick one.” She looked at all the books and pulled one off the shelf then he carried her outside and found a nice place in the grass.
“Do you want to stay in my arms or would you like to sit in the grass?” Rubie laid her head on his shoulder “I’m comfortable right here in your arms. His heart sped up and Ajmal was glad she was only a human so probably couldn’t tell. Ajmal began reading and didn’t stop until the bread was done. “aw, the story was getting so good.”

“I’ll read to you as you enjoy my desert”

“I hardly deserve such pampering Ajmal”

“Yes you do.” Ajmal said as he stood. It was so effortless to him and sexy to her how easily he totted her. She loved being up against his firm chest and in his strong arms. Ajmal sat Rubie at the table then pulled the bread out of the oven to cut them each a few slices. He sat a plate infront of her and himself then began to read. After her first bite she said ‘woah woah woah woah, hold frig this is good. I refuse to leave unless you tell me all the steps and ingridients for this.” he smiled “I guess you’re stuck by my side forever then” She crossed her arms”I’m serious”

“I’m serious too” He went back to reading and she went back to eating, actually liking the sound of being with Ajmal forever. They stayed at the table with him reading until dinner that night. He had only two chapters left but they decided breaking to eat was a good idea “You can read a long time without stopping” Rubie said in an impressed tone. “I love reading. I’m alone a lot so it’s mainly what passes my time. I try not to make the public look at me” Rubie sighed ‘what did I say Ajmal”

“That was just the truth. I read a lot so i can travel without people being forced to look at me. You think I look alright but I instill fear and disgust in most people”
“Well most people are stupid.” She turned so she was facing him and took the book out of his hands. “I like your scars a lot. In fact, I think they’re amazing.” She pulled him until he was facing her and allowed her fingers to run over his hands. “Your knuckles are scarred which means you put up one hell of a fight and these here on your arms are defensive wounds. You tried to protect yourself once they managed to wrestle you down which wasn’t easy I’m guessing.” Her fingers moved higher to his shoulders and over his chest. “They really tried for your vital areas, but had a hard time getting to them. You curled up in a ball to protect your chest and stomach.” She moved back up to his face. “These four here came from the initial attack. You were blindsided, the cowards.”

“I was nearly blinded in that eye, but the healers managed to save my sight.” He grabbed her hands. “I was just a teenager when it happened. I don’t even know why they snuck up on me. It’s not like I was like I am no. I was terrified, I didn’t know if they wanted to eat me or something worse, but I struggled every torturous moment. I didn’t want to die.”

“That’s because you are a warrior at heart. Even though you are extremely sweet, you’re a born fighter. I love these scars, they tell a story, so never think for a moment that they make you look disfigured and if anyone gives you any grief over them I’ll beat them into the ground.”

Chapter Two

He laughed and pulled her into a hug. “You’re a real angel Rubie, thank you.” He pulled back. “Now, I’m sure you are starving so let me put this book away and cook you something amazing.”
Rubie wanted to offer her help cooking again but knew he would say no so just followed him into the kitchen.”how do you feel about chicken alfredo?” Ajmal asked “Sounds delicious” She sat watching him again. Her eyes admired his sexy physique. It gave her goosebumps thinking about him holding her tonight. Rubie who had always been bold just asked “could I sleep with you tonight?” Ajmal blushed and swallowed “yeah, that way if you need me to carry you to get a drink or somthing I’ll be right there” She smiled jocosely at his ingenuousness. He was too busy watching the stove to notice her humorous smile.

They talked about the book he had been reading to her as he boiled the noodles and fried the chicken. He liked having someone to discuss the books he read with and would miss doing this when she left. He hoped her bluffs about never leaving weren’t bluffs atall. The chatter about the book so far lasted through the entire meal. “Let me read the final two chapters to you” Rubie suggested. “alright, where do you want to read to me?”

“In your bed. You can lay flat and I can prop myself on you to read. When I’m done we can get into cuddling position and rest until morning” Ajmal felt butterflys brush insides “ok” He picked up Rubie then collected his book before going into his bedroom. “I’m sorry my sister didn’t leave pajamas” He said as he went for his pajama pants. In only the time it took him to grab a pair and straighten back up had Rubie taken off her pants, now only wearing panties and a shirt. “I was just going to sleep like this”
“Uh, okay. As long as you’re comfortable.” He was blushing and it made her smile. “I’m just going to change.” He went into the bathroom and changed into his pants then came back out. He still felt self conscious about his scars even though she had said multiple times she liked them. She was already waiting in bed and he climbed nervously in next to her and laid down. She smiled and got herself in a comfortable position before opening the book and reading to him. He enjoyed having her against him, loved how she smelled and how soft she was. He got lost in her melodious voice and nearly fell asleep before the last chapter was over.

“Hey why didn’t you say you were getting tired?” Rubie said as she closed the book and sat it down.

“Your voice is just so soothing.”

She giggled and rested her chin on his chest. “What else do you like about me?”

“Everything.” He answered immediately. “Everything about you is amazing.” He tucked her hair behind her ear and let his fingers run over her cheek.

“Well, you’re pretty wonderful too.” She ran her fingers over the scars on his chest, making goosebumps cawl over his skin. “We should get to sleep.” She scooted down and rested her head on his chest and he wrapped his arms around her. “Goodnight Ajmal.” She said and kissed his chest.

“Goodnight Rubie.”
They both fell into a deep, restful sleep. When Ajmal woke the next morning he felt tired from sleeping so hard. He looked down at the still sleeping Rubie and smiled as he thought “You are an absolute superlative, outstanding, preeminent woman.” Ajmal admired her until she woke which embarrassed him since she caught him looking. She smiled playfully “you are worse than an eleven year old with his first crush. You don’t need to be ashamed to look at me.”

“Let me make us breakfast then we’ll go shopping for clothes”

“Nope, remember? You promised today I could make all the meals”

“Oh, I ddi didn’t I”

“Yes, I’m making us some peach oatmeal. I saw you have peaches. You have all I need don’t you?”

“Yep, I’m stocked on everything really. That’s actually the only reason i found you. I was walking because I had nothing else to do and I need more books. I’m going to buy more if I can find any while shopping. I also need to tend my garden so I can do that while you cook if you don’t mind”

“You have a garden?”

“Oh, it’s at the side of the house. Would you like to see the vegetables and flowers I grow?”

“Yeah, I’ll look before I cook” They got up and Rubie pulled on Talias pants while Ajmal went into the bathroom to change again. When he came out they walked outside and he showed her his garden “wow” she said and he smiled proudly “Yep, I always have all the veggies I need. I learned magic to keep animals away. It’s not that i mind sharing but if i dont protect the garden it all disappears and I don’t get anything”

“This is amazing and smart. Most men would be too proud to tend a garden”

“I’ve never been most men” Ajmal grabbed his watering can then went inside to get water for his plants. Rubie stayed in to begin breakfast, thinking Ajmal to be more amazing by the moment. Her mind drifted to how wonderful it would be if this were her home. Ajmal obviously wanted to travel aswell so she coudl have a home and still be able to explore their wonderful world. She smiled and cleared her head so she woudln’t burn their breakfast.
Rubie called Ajmal in just as he was finished weeding and watering. He dusted himself off as best as he could and headed inside. “Sorry about the dirt.” He said as he sat down and she sat a bowl in front of him.

“I sleep outside, a little dirt doesn’t scare me.” She replied and he gave her a big smile.

“This looks and smells fantastic, thank you.” She waited for him to take a bite, hoping he’d like it. “This is delicious.” He said once he had chewed and swallowed. “I’m definitely keeping you here.”

She giggled. “Oh really and how do you plan on doing that?” He seemed to think about it for a moment then leaned down and kissed her. It was a brief meeting of their lips, but it surprised her all the same. “What was that for?”

“For making breakfast and being all around amazing. Plus I’ve been wanting to do that since I brought you home. Terrible, especially considering the state you were in, but it’s the truth. You’re the only one that treats me normal who’s not related to me. It makes me really happy.”

“You make me really happy too. You’re just as sweet as can be unless you have a reason not to be. I’ve never met a man like you.” She took another bite of oatmeal, feeling a little nervous now. “So, what does that mean then?”

“It means I really like you and and want you to stay. I know it’s pretty sudden to ask you for something like that, but think about it okay.”
“I was actually thinking about it while I cooked breakfast. I want to be with you and have this as my home but I still want to travel. I want you to travel and not be ashamed of what you look like because you are incredibly handsome. As long as I think you’re handsome and your family loves you that’s all that should matter right?” Rubie said as she took Ajmals hand. He gave a wobbly smile “You’re serious? Shouldn’t you think first.”

“I don’t have to. You are a wonderful man Ajmal and I want to be your girlfriend but it is on the condition you travel and experience the world with me” He got up and lifted Rubie into a hug “I will, can we travel so you can meet my family? My sister is nearest then my parents and then Kaelani”

“Sounds amazing, afterwards you can meet mine. I know they will be overjoyed” Ajmal kissed Rubie again, not able to get over how good it felt. She smiled against his lips and he set her down “I’m sorry, we need to finish the breakfast you made. I like peaches in it, I havent had oatmeal this way”

“This is my moms favorite way.” They finished eating then Ajmal changed and cleaned up a bit in the bathroom so he wouldn’t be covered in dirt when they got to town. When he came out Rubie said “you ready?”

“Yeah, just let me grab my jacket”

“Jacket? It’s hot outside” he looked away and Rubie sighed “no more hiding your body. You just told me Ajmal”

“Old habbits. I’ll leave my jacket.”

“Thank you” she said and offered her hand for him to take it. They walked into town together, Ajmal wanting to be covered as soon as he heard the whispers. Rubie noticed a teenage boy staring at Ajmal and making him particularly uncomfortable so she said “do you have a problem or did your mother never teach you staring is rude? I know he’s handsome but go look at a man who’s actually gay and wants your attention” The young man seemed taken back and just walked off a little confused. Rubie was glad he had that reaction instead of continuing to be an ass. She walked over to Ajmal and hugged him “you’re handsome. Don’t let thoughtless people bother you”

They finished their shopping and Ajmal carried her new wardrobe back to his home. “I’ll make you a dresser as fast as I can. Until then we’ll have to squeeze our clothes together between my closet and desser.”

“I’m used to squeezing all i own into a bag. This is fine. No rush”

“Was anything important in your bag? I can track them down and get your stuff back” Rubie smiled and kissed him “Material things have never meant anything to me. When do i get to meet your family?”

“When you’re ready to leave I am.”

“Then lets pack. I’m excited”

“I only have one suitcase. i should have bought you one.”

“Once again, I used to live out of a small bag. We can share a duffle just fine handsome. Stop worrying” Ajmal hugged her “I’m just so incredibly happy and I want to make you as happy as you are making me”

“Just keep being you. All I want is for you to gain confidence and not be so self conscious about your body. Could you at least try to see yourself as a handsome man for me?”

“I’ll try” They packed quickly then set off for Talithas house. When they arrived Talitha smiled at the fact Ajmal had a woman with him “please, come in. It’s going to rain”

“How do you know that?” Ajmal asked as he walked in. Talitha winked as she said “Wynnes fairy friend said rain” Talitha still didn’t believe the fairy was real but her daughter had been remarkable at predicting rain since his appearance. “anyway, who’s this” she continued. Rubie took Ajmals hand “I’m his girlfriend” Talitha uickly took Rubie into her arms “oh thats so awesome. What’s your name? How did you meet? I must know everything” Talithas excitement made Ajmal laugh but also embaressed him. Rubie told Talitha of her attack and how Ajmal gave the bandits a piece of their own medicine. Then she told her of what happened at home and all the reasons she loved her brother. “Only flaw is how he sees himself” Rubie added at the end “I know, you aren’t a monster Ajmal.”

“I’m going to make sure he figures that out” Rubie spoke again. Wynne had crawled into her Uncles lap while the women were talking. Now that they were done Wynne said “I’m Wynne”

“Hey beautiful, nice to meet you. What’s your fairy friends name?”

“You believe me?”

“Why shouldn’t I?”

“Jantje”

“Why doesn’t he come see your mommy?”

“He doesn’t see me anymore since he helped me but I can talk to him when I want to”

“How do you talk to him?” Wynne got up and went into her room. She grabbed a small box then pulled a purple stone out. She brought it back to them “I hold this and he hears me. Help if I get sick again”

“Interesting” Wynne went to put it away “Im surprised she let you hodl that little stone. Nobody holds it but her”

“she’s adorable. That fairy is real. I could feel the magic in that stone”

“Why would a fairy just help us though?”

“It’s in their nature. Fairies like to help. They are one of the kindest races I’ve ever met. He’d probably come here but I bet he’s afraid of you. Children dont intimidate them but grown ups can”

“Why would he be afraid?’

“Humans tend to abuse fairies and he obviously has quite a bit of power. I had such a stone in my bag before it was stolen. The power i felt coming off that stone was far greater than the one that came off mine. When a fairy gives somthing like that to a human you can feel their essence tied to it because he is tied to that stone. It’s how no matter how far he is away he can hear your daughter if she speaks to him”

“So he wont hurt her or anything?”

“Like i said, fairies are just helpful and his essense doesn’t feel threatening atall. he genuinely just wants to help her again if she ever gets ill. I hate to say it but maybe he feels it will come back’
Talitha looked terrified. “Come back?”

“He’s probably been using magic to keep it at bay, but if it comes back and he can’t get to her then she could die. Ajmal told me it was tough on her.”

“Then, what do I do? I can’t let her die.”

Rubie thought about it. “Have her call him here so we can speak to him. He may know of some way to save her.”

“Okay, as long as you are sure, I’ll tell her.” Talitha went into Wynne’s room and Ajmal pulled Rubie into a hug.

“You are a true treasure. I’m so glad you believed her when we did not. Her getting sick again would be the worst. I hope the boy comes.”

“I’m sure he will if Wynne asks him too. He seems like a sweet young man.”

Talitha came back with Wynne in her arms. “She says he doesn’t want to come while we’re awake.”

“May I speak with him Wynne?” Wynne nodded and handed her the stone. “Jantje, there is no reason for you to be afraid. Please come here, I swear on my life you will not be harmed.”
In her head she heard “alright”

“Thank you” Rubie said then gave the stone back to Wynne “he’s coming”

“Yay! Mommy, lets make him chocolate and cookies! I told him i love cookies and he said he loves cookies too” Wynne said in adorable excitement. Rubie laughed “make him chocolate?”

“Hot chocolate” Talitha said with a smile then got busy making the hot chocolate and cookies for Jantje. It was nearly two hours later when they heard a knock. Wynne squealed and ran to the door, Talitha following. She opened it and blinked since he hadn’t hidden his wings yet. He smiled and they vanished “Come in, please” Jantje walked in seeming a little nervous “I’m sorry I’ve been talking to your daughter if thats why i’m here. i just wanted to be able to know if she got ill again. She needs me mam. your doctors cant help her so i did.”

“No no no that’s ok. You aren’t here because I’m angry. You’re here because I’m so grateful. Ajmal, will you get the cookies and pour him some of the hot chocolate we’ve been keeping warm?” Ajmal stood and went in the kitchen just as it began to rain “wow, you sure called it” Rubie said to Janteje “Yeah” he said seeming a little more relaxed. “anyways, why do you think she’ll get ill again? Is she not really better?”

“Well she’s better to the best of my abilities alone but she’s still sick. I can’t heal her and make it never come back but I doubt you’ll allow me to”

“Why wouldn’t I? Of course I want you to help my baby. I can’t lose Wynne” Wynne walked over to Jantje and held her arms up. Jantje looked at Talitha as if she would shoot him for touching Wynne. “you can pick her up” Jantje instantly had Wynne on his hip. My mother has a beautiful house thats been passed down in her family. We don’t live in it because it’s a holy house. We visit but it wouldn’t be proper to stay in a house so blessed. Anyway, theres a fountain in the house and if I set Wynne in it it will fix her. I don’t know how long she’ll have to sit there but I will know when it’s cleansed her of the germs that have taken a hold of her. I don’t want to be offensive but that house is a sacred place to fairies, even ones outside my family. I can’t bring a bunch of humans into it. Still not trying to be offensive but I just can’t trust that. I will take her and I will bring her back to you when she’s well. Since I want to take just her I didn’t think you’d allow it. I will not budge on taking just her so it’s really up to you if you want me to heal your daughter. It’s serious what’s going on with Wynne and it has potential to kill her but I can just keep using my magic to keep her healthy when it grows stronger and attacks her body again”

Chapter Three

Ajmal had come back and set Jantjes cookies and drink on the table. Talitha just seemed to be thinking. Rubie grabbed Talithas hand “I would trust him Talitha. Faries are good people and he helped your daughter out of the goodness of his heart. She’ll come back if you let her go with him”

“I want to go with jantje” Wynee said still clinging to him. Talitha smiled at her daughter “you talk to her with that stone. Is there a way i can talk to her while you have her”

“Yep, I can make the stone work that way”

“Then do it and you can take her”

“Let me set you down a moment Wynne” he put her down then grabbed the stone. His hands and the stone glowed a light green. He handed it back “it’ll work, i promise it. I don’t want to leave until morning though. I don’t want to fly her through this rain”

“You’re definitly welcome to stay. Thank you”

“Thank you for trusting me. I’d hate to know she lost her life when i could have prevented it. Truly you all coming isn’t just my choice. My mother and father might get cross with me for just bringing her into it.”

“i hope they dont” Talitha said and Jantje gave her another smile “They’ll get over it. I will explain and even if they are still mad they wont hold a grudge forever. My parents are understanding people”
“If they need to blame anyone then have them blame me.” Talitha replied. “I desperately want my daughter well and it already feels like I have placed a huge burden on your shoulders.”

“No ma’am, I want her sickness gone as well so I alone will take the blame for my actions. I guess you could say I need her to live.”

They smiled at that, thinking his dedication adorable. Talitha made more mugs of hot chocolate since it was raining and Rubie helped her cary them into the living room. Jantje sat on the floor, sharing his cookies with Wynne who smiled happily as she ate. Rubie could tell the two of them would be inseperable, especially now that the fairy was welcome in Talitha’s home. “So has Kaelani been around here lately?” Ajmal asked.

“He’s at the post office today filling in for someone. If you run over you might get to see him. I think Nara came with him this time so she she’s probably hanging around there.” Talitha answered.

“Would you like to head over and meet them Rubie?”

“Yes, I would love too.”

“Afterwards we can go see my parents since they live here in town.”

Rubie smiled and grabbed her coats out of their bag. They quickly pulled them on and Ajmal promised to return in a little while to spend more time with Talitha and Wynne. They left the house, laughing as they ran through the rain. Ajmal felt so free when he was with Rubie and didn’t even notice the eyes that watched them from the front porches of some of the homes and businesses. When they made it to the post office they wiped their faces before Ajmal leaned over the counter. He could see Kaelani sorting through the mail as he talked to Nara. “Hey what does a guy have to do to get his brother to realize someone’s come in?” Kaelani and Nara both looked up and smiled.

“Michael, I’m taking a break.” Kaelani said as he got to his feet and made his way out of the back room to hug his brother.
They embraced tightly then Ajmal hugged Nara “Hey, who are you?” Kaelani asked with a smile. “I’m Rubie, I’m your brothers girlfriend” Kaelanis heart leapt with joy. It had worried him frequently Ajmal may never find a woman that would accept him. “Do you hug?”

“I love hugs” Kaelani hugged her “wonderful to meet you” Nara did the same and Ajmal was asked again to explain their meeting. He did so happily aside from the anger that gripped him having to tell how he found her.It upset Nara and Kaelani too ‘I’m glad you taught those jerks a lesson and that you are alright Rubie”

“I was very lucky your brother happened by.” They stayed and chatted until Kaelani absolutely had to get back to work “Nara, I know you’re probably bored. Want to go to my sisters house and I’ll come when I’m done?”

“Then you’ll be lonely, I’m fine”

“I used to do this alone all the time. Please, go get to know Rubie and spend time with my family” Ajmal then decided it pertinent to tell them about their visitor so Kaelani wasn’t taken off guard. Kaelanis heart bat a fearful rhythm “so she has still been sick?”

“Yeah but he can heal her. He’s confident”

“I’m so glad he’s willing” Nara added then Kaelani add “well, atleast he’s a fairy. I’m yet to meet a fairy who was evil. I’d worry if sombody else was taking Wynne. I can’t help but worry a little now”

“It’ll be different when you meet him in person. You can tell Jantje is genuine” Rubie said and kaelani smiled “then I’ll save my concerns for meeting him. I shoudl just be grateful anyway. She’s just our only niece” Nara left with Ajmal and Rubie. It was still raining but it had let up a bit. Nara and Rubie talked nearly non stop on the way back to Talithas, Ajmal just enjoying Rubies voice.When they returned Talitha had already put Wynne to bed. “you must be Jantje” Nara said cheerily. “I am”

“I’m Nara, Kaelanis girlfriend”

“Nice to meet you” he said with a friendly smile. They passed time talking and drinking hot drinks until Kaelani finally arrived. Kaelani introduced himself as Nara had and got to know this man who would be taking his niece off. He grew more comfortable with every passing minute, being able to tell just as Rubie said that he was genuine. The next morning after breakfast the sky was clear so Jantje packed a small bag for Wynne “How long untill you bring her back?” Talitha asked. “I will have her back to you tomorrow. I don’t know what time though”

“Alright, thank you so much” Talitha hugged him as she spoke “As I said, her life means a great deal to me. I would mourn her loss if she died. She’s a sweet girl”

“she is” Talitha gave her daughter a long hug “talk to mommy whenever you need to baby. I’ll carry the stone”

“I’ll be ok, i have Jantji” Talitha smiled at her daughter “that you do” With a bag on his shoulder and Wynne wrapped in a small blanket jantje let Wynnes family say their finaly goodbyes before taking off. Wynne loved being in the air so she laughed and talked excitedly to Jantje the entire way. Flying was somthing he had basically always been able to do so it was adorable to see someone be so excited over it. He was so grateful that her mother was allowing this. The thought of a world without little Wynne tugged at his heart. When they arrived Jantje walked right in and Wynne felt the difference immidietly. This house felt so clean, pure even as if nothing horrible had happened or ever would happen within these walls.

Jantje walked upstairs to set Wynnes stuff down and froze when he saw an angel chanting. She stpped and looked at them “Oh dear, you best hurry with that one”

“I know, I’m glad to see you’re reblessing this house. Should I wait”

“No, it didn’t need another blessing but I bless it yearly none the less to keep the house pure. Hurry and get her to the fountain.” It was odd to Wynne that the angel and Jantje coudl see her sickness when she didn’t feel like she looked any different atall. She was also in awe of how beautiful this woman was that stood before her and Jantje. Jantji carried Wynne to the fountain. Standing before it he said “the water is really cold. If you need a break from it just tell me and I’ll take you out. Try to last as long as you can though ok”

“Ok, you’ll stay?”

“Of course” Jantje slowly sat down and felt Wynne tense ‘i’m sorry” Jantje said a little sadly. Jantje held Wynne and hummed softly as green light surrounded them. It offered some heat but the water remained frigid. Wynne felt light headed and dropped all her weight into Jantje. The angel walked in after about ten minuets and just sat watching, her face looking deeply concerned as she studied Wynne. It was nearly a half hour later when Wynne felt a sensation she didn’t like but it was after that very feeling jantje stood “It’s gone” The angel walked over and kissed Wynnes cheek “and thats to ensure it never comes back”

“Thank you” She said even as she shivered. “Prepare a fire please’ jantje asked th angel and she gave a small nod. They walked into a room with a large fire place where Jantje as he held Wynee close “No more heavy lungs when I wake?” Wynne asked and Jantje answered ‘no more” The angel brought a blanket and wrapped them “I’m going to bless the water again. May you be blessed for helping her jantje. Do you want me to stay when I’m done? You have to be exhausted from pulling that out of her.”

“I am alright, you can go. I can take care of Wynne”

“alright, goodnight sweet Wynne. I’m sure you’ll be falling asleep soon” the angel said then left “i thought the water helped me?”

“It did, dont mind her”

“you dont hurt?”
“No, just worry about you Wynne” he sat by the fire until she was sleeping then he stood to carry her upstairs. It proved difficult to stand with how weak he was and how badly he hurt from the effort and toll it took even with the water to make Wynne well but it was worth it and she needed to sleep in a bed. He took her to the room where he had dropped Wynnes things then laid her in the bed and tucked her in. He laid in the bed to the left of Wynnes bed to get what rest he could with the pain he was in. He had promised her mother he would bring her home tomorrow and he would honor it so he had to rest.
Ajmal woke Rubie the next morning with a soft kiss, making her smile. “Time to get up.” He whispered and she pressed her face into his chest.

“No, I’m too comfortable.”

He chuckled. “Come on baby, lets go have breakfast with my sister. Then we can go visit my parents.” He pushed her back and kissed her again, letting his lips linger against hers. “It’s not fair how good you taste.”

She smiled warmly. “Maybe you should taste more of me.”

“Don’t tempt me or we’ll never get out of here. My sister’s probably already cooking. I’ll do whatever you want when we go home, but for now be good.”

She gave a happy sigh and pulled him in for one more kiss before getting out of bed and heading down the hall from their room to shower. Ajmal laid there for a moment more before getting up and making the bed. When Rubie was done with her shower he grabbed his own clothes and went to take one as well. Rubie put her dirty clothes in their bag the headed downstairs to see if Talitha needed help. She found her sitting at the kitchen table, holding the stone Jantje had left her.

“She’ll be okay Talitha.” Rubie’s voice startled her.

“She’s never been away from me. I trust in your judgement of Jantje, but I still worry.”

“I know sweetie, but I promise he’ll get her back here safe. He seems extremely determined. How about we make breakfast together to help get your mind off of your worry?”

“Okay, sounds good. I’m such a terrible host.”

“Nonsense, you’re a wonderful host.”
Wynne woke up pleasantly surprised to be breathing without heavy lungs. Her whole body felt incredible and she squealed in delight. The noise woke Jantje with a jolt and he looked over at her smiling face. Wynne jumped out of her bed and went over to Jantje to hug him “Thank you. I feel so good”

“You’re welcome.”

“I’m hungry”

“Well then lets see to that after you change your clothes.”

“Help with my pants?” Wynne asked “yes, first change your panties and shirt then I’ll help you put on pants” Jantje faced the other way until Wynne said “help” He turned to her and quickly slipped her pants on before buttoning them. Wynne kissed his cheek “thank you”

“You’re welcome” He said with a smile though he still ached a bit. He put her clothes in the bag along with her blanket he carried her there in so nothing remained in the blessed house for healing. He was half way down the stairs when he saw his mother. jnatjes body tensed but she didn’t look upset. he just cautiously walked down since his mothers face didn’t always display what she was feeling “She was” he started and his mother smiled “Narie told me. She came to me when you sent her away. I was actually coming to say how impressed I am. You never stop amazing me”

“How do you mean?”

“Don’t play a fool my over confident boy. She wasn’t sick with a human ailment, it was a disease that demons carry and tends to kill humans fast if they happen to get it. At only fifteen you managed to cure her of somthing that should have killed her when she first got sick. It could have killed you coming in contact with it. You’ve always had great talent but to remove that from her was astounding. Are you feeling okay from dragging it out?”

“I’m fine mom, you know I’ll be. I’m so glad you aren’t angry”

“To be angry at you for having the giving heart your father and i raised you to have would be folly. Narie is coming back to rebless the entire house. Now that she’s well you know she cant stay here again”

“I know, I’m taking her home after I find her somthing to eat”

“Alright, I love you. Nice to meet you Wynne” Wynne had been silenced by Jantjes mothers beauty and her wings. It made his mother giggle “such a cute little girl.” was the last thing she said before Jantje left the house with her. Wynne didn’t truly comprehend what jantje had done for her since she was only three but she was still grateful to her friend all the same. They ate fruit together then Jantje wrapped her in the blanket again before taking off. When they arrived Jantje walked in without knocking which Talitha didn’t mind atall. She took Wynne from him and asked ‘how do you feel?”

“So much better.”

“she’s truly well?” Talitha asked jantje “yes, she wont get sick again” Talitha set her daughter down and hugged Jantje tightly “thank you so much”

“It’s no big deal. I am tired though, may I have a place to rest for a time?”

“Oh yes, take my bed.”

“My beds pretty, he can have my bed” Wynne said and Talitha answered ‘your bed is too small for him. He’ll be more comfortable in mine”

“Oh ok, night night Jantje”

“Night Wynne”

“Play when you feel better?”

“if your mother doesn’t mind”

‘Of course I don’t” Talitha said quickly. When Talitha came back from situating Jantje in her room Wynne asked “where’s my uncles and aunts?”

“They all left to visit grandma and grandpa”

“Can we show jantje to grandma and grandpa too?”

“Yep, when he’s rested”
Ajmal’s parents really loved Rubie and his mother even teared up a little at him finally having someone who appreciated him. Everyone remembered how sad he had been when his ex left him because of his scars. Rubie talked happily with them, already part of the family. His mother made everyone cookies and then set to asking Rubie about her life and how she and Ajmal had met. She didn’t mond repeating the story again and smiled as Ajmal’s father told him how proud he was. “I hope I’m talking your ear off dear. It’s just so nice to see our son happy.”

“It’s okay, I’m a bit of a chatterbox myself so please talk all you want.” She grabbed Ajmal’s hand. “I truly love your son more than anything and he makes me happy. I’ve never met a man as sweet as him. His tough exterior is the perfect mask.”

“He used to be a real string bean.” His father said and Rubie giggled. “I swear a gust of wind could have knocked him over. Then he grew up and started exercising.”

“Come on dad, I wasn’t that thin and you were too before you hit puberty. Mom told me so. Thin as a twig so don’t go acting like I didn’t get it from you.”

“I guess that’s true.”

Rubie smiled, loving how warm his family was. They were the sweetest people and very accepting. They stayed there through lunch then Ajmal told his parents he wanted too show Rubie the town he had grown up in. They both smiled, hugged them then told them goodbye. Rubie laced her fingers through his as they walked down the road, their boots slapping loudly on the wet ground. “I love your family, thank you for bringing me here.”

“They’re very good at making people feel welcome. Mom and dad are two of the sweetest people I know.”

“And they raised a very sweet son.” She kissed his cheek, making a big smile cover his face. “So, give me the grand tour, take me to all of your favorite places.”

“Very well.”

They walked around, Ajmal taking her to his old school and over to an apple orchard he used to work at. He took her to where he used to hang out with friends and to the cliff he still dove off of. “Oh and you want too lock me up in a closet to keep me safe.”

“A volcano and a cliff are a lot different my love. I never want you hurt ever again. I promise too always keep you safe.”

“I really love you Ajmal, more than anything and it’s so beautiful up here. Just be careful jumping off this thing. I would hate for you to be seriously injured.”

“I promise, don’t worry.” They sat on the edge of the cliff with her between his legs and both of their feet dangling over the edge. She loved she could see the whole lake and enjoyed the gentle breeze. “Want to jump in?” He asked in her ear.

“Sure.” He pushed himself to his feet and removed his boots and jacket then she did the same.

“I’ll come back up for them.” He wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly against him. “Deep breath and hold on tight.”

“Okay.”
Ajmal took off at a run and happily jumped in. The cool water was soon all around them as they descended. Ajmal kicked his strong legs to get them back to the surface where Rubie took a deep and sharp breath. “wow, that was fun”

“see why I did it now?”

“Yeah” They spent a few days in Ajmals home town before checking to see how Wynne was. they were pleased to see she was well and home. Knowing that they went on to meet Rubies parents. Both Rubies parents were happy to see their daughter with Ajmal but her father seemed relieved that she’d have someone watching over her. Rubie noticed and nudged her father a time or two. After some time at Rubies house they returned to Ajmal “I think we should just enjoy eachother for a week and then go somwhere exciting” Rubie suggested and he smiled “sounds perfect beautiful”

“To think being robbed and tied to a tree was the best thing that ever happened to me” Rubie said sincerely and Ajmal laughed “lets just keep that from happening in the future”

~ The End ~

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