Nali stared at the letter in her hand, her eyes wide with shock and disbelief. The name signed at the bottom belonged to her father. “This is impossible.” She whispered as tears burned behind her eyes. “Someone must be playing a sick joke.”
“What is it?” Reece asked and took the letter from her.
“It says it’s from my father, but he’s dead. I watched him die.”
“The date on it is two weeks old. It says he’s in Shigara. That’s a desert city.”
“No, impossible.” Reece wrapped his arms around her and she cried into his shirt. He wondered who would do something like this to her. He read the letter again and again, trying to see any deceit in it.
“Are you sure this is your father’s signature?” He asked and she nodded. “Maybe it’s a trap, more demons or hunters trying to get their hands on you.”
“I have to find out who sent this and why. If they are demons or demon hunters then they will come here when I don’t show up and I don’t want to risk the people in the village getting hurt because of me.”
“If you go then so do I. I may be new at all this demon stuff, but I’m good enough to watch your back.”
“How far is it from here?”
“By horse it will take us a week, by foot two weeks. I’m sure we can get horses and supplies from the village. They’re still trying to make everything up to you so they’ll probably just hand them right over.”
Nali took the letter from him and ran her fingers over the beautifully penned signature. She had seen it so many times when she was little that there was no way she was being fooled. No one wrote their name like her father. Even the rest of the letters on the page looked so delicate. This had to be some sort of trap. She finally sat the page down and let Reece pick her up and cradle her on the bed. “We’ll go to the village tomorrow morning and ask for what we need. Try not to let this letter get to you. We’ll find out what’s going on and take care of it.” He kissed her cheek and wiped the tears off her face.
“You always know what to say. Maybe we can get Sincerity to come along. She’s never really been out of this region.”
“You know Hylden will want to come too. He stays attached to her like some sort of parasite. I don’t know if my sister even likes him like that. She has an amazing poker face.” He shifted her onto the bed and lay down next to her.
“A trip would be a good way to find out.”
Reece went to sleep but Nali laid awake wondering if this could really be true. If it was true why had he allowed her to live alone and sad for so many years. How could he leave her alone this long if he hadn’t died. Eventually she decided to let Reeces safe embrace lull her to sleep. Whatever it was she could handle it with him at her side. If it was her father she’d be upset he didn’t see her for so long but she’d be overwhelmed with joy to have him back in her life. She hoped he atleast had a good explanation if it were true he was living. Her eyes opened begrudgingly the next morning when she felt Reece move. “Lets have a nice breakfast before we leave. I will cook this morning, you just worry about preparing for the journey Nali.”
She placed a loving kiss on Reeces cheek. “Thanks sweetheart, I’m ready though. As long as I have you I am ready for what this journey brings” He smiled then went into the kitchen to cook. Nali looked through her clothes and decided on her most comfortable pants and a loose fitting shirt. She set out somthing for Reece to wear. He never really cared and appreciated when she did that so he wouldn’t have to pick somthing. She walked into the kitchen once she had a few changes of clothes packed in a bag for each of them.
She set it down by the table then hugged Reece from behind. She could feel happiness rush through him “go sit down before grease splatters on your arm and burns you”
“Alright” Nali said before kissing his back and releasing him to sit down in her chair. Reece brought the food over then poured them each some orange juice before eating with Nali. “Once again amazing Reece” He smiled “anything to make this journey easier. Don’t be ashamed to be sad or worried Nali. Don’t be ashamed to be angry if you find out your dad has been alive too”
“I’m sure he’ll have a good explanation”
“I hope so, I’d hate to think he just left you alone all these years for no reason.”
They finished eating and she quickly cleaned the dishes. They made sure all the windows were locked before leaving. They walked hand in hand to the village, her heart racing the whole time. She didn’t know what she would say or do if her father was alive. She had missed him with all her heart, had mourned for him and her mother for so long. Even now she had so many conflicting emotions. She didn’t know if she wanted it to be a lie or not. When they made it to the village they went to see Sincerity first.
“We wanted to invite you to accompany us to Shigara. Nali received a letter, supposedly from her father. It would be best if she had all the support she can get.” Reece’s explained.
“I would love to, being in a new land would be great.” She replied with an excited smile.
“Pack and meet us at the stables. We’re taking horses. You should ask Hylden to join us.” Nali said and Sincerity smiled and nodded.
They headed over to the stables and asked for three horses after explaining what was going on. The owner handed them over immediately and Nali promised that they would keep the horses from getting injured as best as they could. Reece helped her tie their bags to the third horse and they waited patiently for Sincerity and Hylden. When they arrived they tied their things to the third horse also. Reece lifted Nali onto the back of one of the stallions and then climbed on behind her. Hylden did the same with Sincerity who started shaking from being so far off the ground.
“Don’t worry, I won’t let you fall and if we somehow manage to I won’t let you get hurt.” Hylden said warmly.
“Thank you.” Sincerity replied, giving him her best smile.
Reece grabbed the reigns of the pack horse and tied them to his saddle before kicking his horse into motion. He had not been to the desert in years and was sure it was going to be hot. He had made sure to pack extra water in case they got lost. He knew that there were usually markers in the sand to indicate where you should go, but if a storm blew through they could be easily buried.
Sincerity trusted Hylden but was still a little nervous on the horse. He could tell and released the reigns from his right hand so he could wrap an arm around her. This was a very good horse and he’d have no problem guiding her with one hand. “Do you feel any more secure now? You know I wouldn’t let anything happen to you Sincerity”
“Thank you, I’m sorry”
“Don’t be sorry” Hylden said. He was tempted to kiss her head but resisted like always. He couldn’t read what she thought of him anymore then Reece or Nali could. Plus he had told the village when he saw her go to Nalis. He deeply regretted it and wished he could change his actions but at the time he thought Nali wasn’t safe. The horses trotted along the peaceful path. Nali stayed up so long last night she kept nearly falling asleep. Eventually Reece giggled “I don’t care if you sleep Nali.” She smiled “I may not sleep tonight if I sleep now. My mind is so busy with what we’ll find.”
“Do you want it to be your dad Nali?” Sincerity asked “I think I do. I have a lot of conflicting emotions. I just hope if he’s alive he has good reason for making me live alone for so long. I was so miserable and alone before you came into my life Sincerity. To top it off I found Reece because of you. I will owe you forever my dear friend.”
“You don’t owe me anything Nali. It’s been amazing having you as a friend. I’m glad the villagers didn’t kill you and now I can openly be your friend. It’s especially nice seeing you and Reece so happy.” Hyldens heart sank. He hated when any part of all that came into conversation. Nali smiled brightly and said “I hope you’ll find someone who makes you as happy as I am with Reece.” Sincerity just smiled and gave the first hint she ever had to any of them “Maybe I have, who knows” Hyldens heart sped up. She could honestly mean anyone but he could still hope she was referring to him.
Nali stared up at the clear sky, watching a flock of birds fly by. She inhaled the air, taking in the sweet smell of flowers that had been sitting in the sun for a long time. The peace of the world washed over, giving her a brief reprieve from her troubled thoughts. “This is your smell.” Reece said softly, his voice so full of love and adoration that it made her heart sing. “I can get lost in this smell forever.”
“You should stop talking like that. We’re on a horse for one and Sincerity and Hylden are here.” She whispered and tipped her head back to smile up at him.
“I can work around the horse, but I guess we should wait until we make it to the next village.”
He ran his fingers over her cheek and grabbed her chin and kissed her, managing to keep the horse on a straight path. He pulled back and smiled lovingly down at her, holding her gaze for one more minute before turning his attention back to the road. She still couldn’t believe how overwhelming her feelings for him were. He made her world so much better. They came to a stop around lunch time, jumping down from the horses and tying them up. They ate and drank quickly, wanting to make it to the next village before night fall. Night time brought predators and monsters that were extremely dangerous.
They couldn’t go to fast because Sincerity was afraid of falling off. It made Hylden laugh and she turned to glare at him. He snapped his mouth shut, fighting the smile that was tugging at his lips. “Sorry,” he said through his amusement then cleared his throat, “really, I’m so sorry.”
“No you’re not.” Sincerity replied and crossed her arms, looking away from him.
“You should stop being mad at me. I’m sorry for laughing, you’re just so adorable when you get scared. You’ve been like this since you were a little girl.”
“You’re one to talk Hylden. You used to be afraid of dragonflies.” Hylden blushed and everyone started laughing. He had never told anyone but Sincerity that embarrassing little detail.
They barely beat the moon to the village. By the time the horses were housed and they had a place to sleep for the evening the sun was gone. At first the people they would be staying with thought Hylden and Sincerity were a couple too but when Sincerity explained they weren’t, the couple that offered their home gave her a separate room from Hylden. Their children had long since moved out so they had plenty of space to do it. Hylden couldn’t help but feel sad Sincerity had corrected the couple so quickly. It was as if the thought of them together was horrible and she didn’t want someone to think it for a second. Nali and Reece were so wrapped in eachother they didn’t notice how sad Hylden got. They all went to their rooms after having the nice meal their hosts prepared for them.
As soon as Nalis and Reeces door was shut Reece was tugging at Nalis clothes. She laughed and whispered “atleast wait until everybody is sleeping”
“I don’t know how much longer I can resist you. You’re too sexy for either of our own goods” Nali laughed again, loving how he made her feel. He gave her so much strength and made her feel so beautiful. Nali was glad he wanted to be a demon and stay with her forever. She was grateful she wasn’t able to talk him out of it when he first asked to be one. As soon as the house became soundless Nali and Reece stripped off their clothes. They kissed while Reece rubbed Nali until she was wet enough for him to take her. Reece lifted her up until she wrapped her legs around him. He was hard and throbbing as he entered her depths of warmth.
They finished as quickly and quietly as they could then laid down together. Reece let out a content sigh “You are the only woman for me. Meeting you is what explained to me why it never worked with anybody else. I was meant for you.”
“Meeting you was the greatest blessing I could have ever received Reece.” Nali kissed his chest “I love you madly”
“I love you madlier.”
“Don’t start that”
“You just don’t want me to because you know I’ll win”
“We love each other equally, lets leave it at that”
“We shouldn’t lie, lying’s wrong” Nali punched his shoulder making Reece laugh then kiss her head “Fine, just dont beat me up”
Sincerity opened her bedroom window and stuck her head out. It was a beautiful night, the moon turning everything silver. She couldn’t wait until they made it to the desert. She heard the window next to her open and Hylden leaned out. “Oh hello.” She said, making him jump and hit his head on the window. “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay.” He replied and rubbed the back of his head. “I’m going to have a lump.”
“You’re not tired either huh?”
“No, but sometimes I just can’t sleep.”
“So have you ever been to the desert?” She asked excitedly.
“Yeah, once about three or four years ago. There was a problem with wolves attacking traders on the road and I traveled with one of the caravans to protect it.”
“What was it like?”
“Hot, dusty, but really beautiful. It’s a different type of wilderness.”
She smiled, trying to imagine what it might look and feel like. “Well we should both get some rest. I’ll see you in the morning Hylden.”
“Goodnight Sincerity, I…I’m really glad you asked me to come with you.”
“Me too.” She disappeared back inside, closing her window and going to bed. Hylden waited for another moment before going back inside himself.
Reece stretched as he woke. He smiled down at Nali and kissed her awake. She wrapped her arms around his neck, giving a soft giggle. He wanted so badly to get lost in her warmth again, but knew they needed to get up and eat then be on their way. He wanted to get this over with so she wouldn’t be so stressed anymore. He hoped her father was alive so he could slug the man for not coming forth sooner. She didn’t deserve to mourn someone who wasn’t even dead. They got up and pulled their clothes on, stepping out of the room and breathing in the smell of muffins. Their hosts had made them blueberry muffins with cream cheese on the side. They sat down with Sincerity and Hylden, thanking them before eating their fill.
When they were done they thanked their hosts one more time before grabbing their belongings to walk to where their horses were kept. On the way Sincerity asked “how’s your head Hylden?” He smiled “It’s fine, didn’t hurt that badly to begin with.”
“Good, I felt bad”
“I enjoyed talking to you for the brief moment. As a warrior I shouldn’t be so jumpy anyway”
“Being a warrior doesn’t mean you have to be fearless, just that you have to face fears others don’t have to” Hylden smiled again. They soon reached the horses and put their stuff back on their carrier horse Melanie. Once she was loaded down Hylden helped Sincerity get on their horse while Reece helped Nali. Hylden was happy to be able to hold Sincerity again. Sincerity being afraid gave him reason to have his arm around her and keep her pressed into him. The sky was beautiful and clear as they set out on the road. Nali hoped it would stay clear and not rain on them. She could smell the rain coming but wanted to keep going instead of stay. Rain never hurt anybody anyway. Hopefully they could find a cave to take shelter in if it got too heavy.
Reece should have been able to smell it coming but he wasn’t used to having his demon senses yet. He hadn’t embraced everything he could now do. Nali knew it would probably take years for him to fully embrace what he now was. The thought occurred to Nali that her father would be meeting her husband. She found herself hoping he would approve. If he didn’t it wouldn’t matter but it would be wonderful if they all got along well. Maybe her dad would be willing to move near her so he could play with their children when they had some.
Her worried thoughts soon vanished as she let her imagination grow wild about her future children with Reece. He was going to be such a fun dad. She could see him playing with them in the woods around their home. She could also see herself reading to them at night. So many amazing things she couldn’t wait for. She’d love her father to be a part of it all. She comforted herself again with saying in her mind “he has to have a good reason if he’s still alive”
They came to the top of a hill and stopped so Nali and Sincerity could look at the view. Both women gasped at how beautiful it was. Nali had travelled to many places, but she had never been able to stop and enjoy the world around her. They started down the hill, leaving that perfect scene behind. She would remember it for all time. “How far until the next village?” Sincerity asked.
“Two days.” Hylden answered.
“We could ride through the night and all through tomorrow, eat on the go. It would cut a couple of hours off of our travel time.” Reece said as he guided his horse around a bush.
“If you think it would be worth it, I agree.” Nali smiled up at him.
“Hylden and I can easily stay awake. We’re farm boys, we used to stay up and watch sheep so predators couldn’t get to them.”
Nali crossed one leg in front of her and rested her head against Reece’s shoulder. After the second village they would cross over into the desert. The heat would be nothing for her and Reece, but the horse, Sincerity and Hylden would surely suffer. She was really glad they had extra water. They would have to make sure to wear their lightest clothing and wrap their heads with wet cloth to keep cool. She would buy some scarves and show everyone how to do it. She wondered how her father had managed to live after what had been done to him. She had seen their bodies after the other demons had left. Both of her parents had been tortured and drained. In her terror she had not taken the time to see if they were still alive. She couldn’t help but wonder why her father had not immediately come for her. She suddenly felt very sad again and before she knew it she was crying.
“Do you want us to stop?” Reece asked as he hugged her tighter.
“No, I’ll be alright. Just keep going.” She turned in the saddle so she was facing him and buried her face in his shirt. He ran his hand up and down her back, giving her kisses on the cheek and telling her how much he loved her. Right at that moment he truly hated her father and if it was him who had sent that letter, he wished the man had stayed dead. He was breaking his daughters heart with all the uncertainty.
Nali cried until she fell asleep against Reece. He sighed sadly and Sincerity was frowning as she looked over at her friend. “She’ll be fine Sincerity. I don’t think my heart can take a sad look on your face too” Reece said in a very despondent tone. She turned her head to look in front of her. She let go of her weight to lay fully against Hylden “is this ok?” He smiled down at her “Of course it is. You can stay like that the whole way if you want.” She smiled back turning his heart to mush. He ripped his eyes away from hers before he lead the horse off the road. A smile at that moment threatened to appear from Reece but his sadness and angry outweighed it so he kept a stern face as he looked at the path.
Reece hoped Nali would stay asleep until tomorrow. It was a bit early in the day to hope for but he hoped all the same. Nali closed her eyes to just enjoy the animal sounds around her. The mixture of riding on the horse and the beautiful music of nature had her very relaxed. She wasn’t even nervous any longer about being so high. She knew regardless Hylden wouldn’t let her fall off or get hurt so worrying was pointless. This was an amazing journey. She wanted to take another one with them when all of them could be happy. She hated seeing Nali so upset.
Instead of having her hands resting on the horse she grabbed Hyldens arm. Sincerities eyes were still shut and listening to the sounds flowing into her ears. He blushed as he struggled not to lean down and kiss her. She looked so beautiful and her holding his arm was sending tingles through him. A light drizzle started to come down making both girls sit up. A sad pang hit Hyldens heart and Reece asked “want to find shelter or keep going?”
“Keep going, it wont do more than drizzle.”
“How do you know?” Hylden asked, genuienly curious. “I can smell it. Reece should be able to aswell but he hasn’t embraced his new sense of smell.”
“That must be pretty cool”
“It comes in handy.” she then looked at Sincerity. “Remeber all those times we ran to the meadow when I knew it was going to rain so we could twirl around and enjoy the flowers.”
“Of course, sorry I haven tbeen coming very much lately.”
“It’s fine” Nali said with a smile
The terrain became more rocky, the trees growing sparser. Instead of forest there were now large open plains as they entered the high desert. It was surprising how the world worked, how they could be passing the rain forest one minute and be riding past spikey shrubs the next. Both Nali and Sincerity looked behind them. There home was back there and if you kept going until you couldn’t walk anymore you come to the city of Menthe where there was a large port. Neither of them had crossed the ocean, but hoped one day they would. They faced forward, Sincerity marveling at this new world. When they finally became hungry and thirsty Reece pulled the pack horse close so Nali could pull food and water out for everyone. The women fed the men and helped them drink, getting partially soaked in the process. They leaned forward in the saddles, feeding the horses. They decided they would stop and water them after the sun went down.
Nali pulled the letter from her father out and read it again. He had been such an amazing father, had lied to a bunch of demons to save her life. She hoped his sacrifice would be enough for her to forgive him. She wondered how he looked now. Even though her kind never aged she knew the years may not have been kind to him. She knew the feeling. If it had not been for Reece and Sincerity she would have never known love and kindness again. The letter was short, saying only:
I am sorry for writing this, but I have missed you with all my heart. I want to see you so please come to me. If you don’t I will understand. Forgive me.
Even in the letter he sounded tired and broken. She hugged the letter to her chest and imagined he could feel it. She found herself hating him less and less as they got closer and closer to their destination. “I want to hurt him.” Reece said coldly.
“I know you do. Am I going to have to get Hylden to hold you back once we get there?” She replied as she folded the letter and put it away.
“Probably because if he doesn’t I might break your father’s nose for making you cry.”
Night descended on them and they stopped and watered the horses. They stretched their legs, loosening cramped muscles and then climbed back in the saddle. Sincerity gripped Hylden’s hand when she heard rustling nearby. The moon glinted off the eyes of some creature and covered her mouth so she wouldn’t scream. “Don’t worry, it’s just a skunk. He won’t hurt us if we don’t try and hurt him.” Hylden said softly, giving her a reassuring squeeze.
“I’ve never been outside at night like this.” She replied, leaning as close to him as possible.
“I promise to protect you from anything. I will give my life for yours. Try to relax, you’re tense and shaking.”
“I will try, I really hate I’m not as brave as you, Nali and Reece.” Reece smiled “well you are not a warrior or a demon and this is your first time out Sincerity. If you let Hylden take you out sometimes you will get braver.” Sincerity looked up at Hylden “would you want to do that?”
“As often as you want” Hylden was grateful Reece suggested it. Hylden actually thought Sincerity was adorable when she acted like this. To him she was adorable and beautiful when she did anything though. He couldn’t get enough of the feeling he got being so close to her. Especially now that she was leaning against him. Hylden hoped she would just fall asleep like this. About an hour later he got his wish. Her eyes closed and she fell asleep deeply. He made her feel safe and warm as she laid against him. Sincerity could count on him for anything and knew she could sleep without worry.
Hylden couldn’t help but glance down at Sincerity and smile. Reece spoke in a whispered tone “so why do you just follow my sister around instead of asking her out? It’s obvious you have it really bad for her.” Hylden blushed “she’s right here Reece” Hylden whispered back “Precisely Hylden, ask the woman out.”
“I would if she gave me any sign she liked me. I can’t read her atall. I could ask her out and make a fool of myself.”
“Isn’t she worth the risk?” He looked at Sincerity again “she really is”
“be a man and ask her out or I just may talk to her myself.” Hylden gave Reece a death glare. Reece almost let out a laugh but held it since Nali was sleeping too. “I’ll try, I have before but my words fail me and I just say something stupid. You wouldn’t believe the shit that comes out of my mouth when I’ve tried. I just wish she’d give me any indication if she liked me or not.”
“The fact that she keeps your company all the time doesn’t tell you anything? She could’ve told you to go away and stop being a parasite attached to her back” That made Hylden give Reece another mean glare. “I’m serious, if you think about it while she’s sleeping I’m sure you’ll see on your own how she feels. I’m sure you’ve missed somthing along the way”
Reece just rolled his eyes when he didn’t say anything else. Hylden was far to worried about being rejected to see that Sincerity loved his company. He rested his chin on top of Nali’s head as the horses walked down the empty road. He stayed alert for any signs of danger. He was surprised nothing had found them delicious enough to eat yet. Maybe the night time creatures could smell that he and Nali were different and didn’t want to risk death. The drizzling became a little heavier and he pulled two blankets off the pack horse and handed one to Hylden before covering Nali’s head and body. It was to dark to find a cave to sleep in so they would just have to hope it would stop soon.
The rain tapered off then stopped as the sun began to rise. Both Reece and Hylden had soaked hair and blue lips. Nali opened her eyes and pushed the blanket off her head. She looked up at Reece and felt a little sad when she saw how wet and cold he was. She grabbed the blanket and wrapped it around both of them, holding it closed around them. “You should have woke me.” She said with a frown.
“You were sleeping and I’m okay. It’s just a little water.” Sincerity jerked awake at their voices and jerked the blanket down. She looked around, a little confused at first and then remembering they were on the road. She frowned at Hylden and wrapped him up the same way Nali had Reece.
“You men need to stop being stupid.” Sincerity said.
“Like your brother said, it’s just water.” Hylden replied.
“Your lips are blue. What are you going to do if you get sick? Same with you Reece. How irresponsible of both of you.”
“I agree with you a hundred percent.” Nali said, sounding irritated. Reece and Hylden exchanged glances, knowing they were really in trouble.
“Look, I’m sorry okay.” Reece said, tipping Nali’s head back so she had to look at him.
“Me too. Next time we’ll wake you.” Hylden gave Sincerity a squeeze.
Nali sighed. “I guess we can forgive you this time. Right Sincerity?”
“I guess we have no choice. They’re making puppy dog eyes.” The girls laughed and the men smiled, glad that they were happy now. Reece looked at Hylden and nodded his head toward Sincerity. Hylden shook his head and Reece glared.
“Hey sis I have something important to tell you about Hylden.”
“Shut up Reece.”
“Either you do it or I do it.”
“Damn it, why do you have to be so pushy.”
“Because you’re being a chicken. Open your mouth and tell her. You have my blessing.”
Sincerity looked at Hylden with those bright and gorgeous eyes making it even harder for him. He had to say it himself, he couldn’t have Reece doing it. He took a deep breath “I love you Sincerity. I have for years and I want to be more than your friend if you’ll have me.” Atleast he said all that he meant this time. He meant to say like you so it wouldn’t come on so strong but his deep and honest love for her made him tell the truth. Sincerity smiled then gave him a quick kiss on the lips making Hylden blush more than he ever had. “here I thought you’d never say anything. I love you too Hylden. I’ve adored every day I’ve spent with you over the years. You’re a sweet and caring man. You bring happiness to every day you spend with me. I’m glad you finally confessed how you feel. Thanks for making him Reece.”
“No problem, you two aren’t going to live forever like us so he needed to come to his senses.” Hylden was still blushing and almost felt like crying due to the swelling emotions inside of him. Sincerity actually loved him too and her lips touched his. He wasn’t going to count that as their first kiss. Once he had the chance he planned on giving Sincerity a real kiss. He prayed it took her breath away like that quick kiss had taken his and filled his stomach with butterfly wings.
“Thank you Reece” he said still breathless. “you’re welcome. You better make her happy and take care of her like you have been doing all these years.” He smiled then kissed Sincerities head. “I love you” he said softly wanting to hear her return the words again. “I love you too Hylden, always” He may have cried if another man wasn’t at his side to see it.
The sun beat down on them, making Sincerity and Hylden sweat like crazy. They ate some fruit for lunch to help keep them cool and sipped at the water. They couldn’t be live it was already getting hot and wished for the rain to return. They were relieved when the sun finally started to go down and the air cooled around them. Reece pointed out the next village and they made it just as the sun was almost completely gone. They took their horses to the stable and were happy when they found an inn. They got two rooms and went straight up after a quick dinner. Reece yawned, exhausted after staying up all night. He pulled off his boots and flopped down on the bed.
“A mattress feels amazing after sitting up right for so long.” He said, his eyes drifting closed. Nali giggled and he snapped them back open then grabbed her and pulled her on top of him. She smiled and rested her head on his chest. “Sorry, I’m way to tired for anything but holding you.”
“You don’t have to apologize. I understand.” She kissed his chest and then let herself get lost in the sound of his soft breathing and steady heart beat.
Hylden noticed Sincerity looked really nervous. She played with her hair, twirling it around her fingers and looked at the floor. “You can have the bed and I’ll sleep b the floor.” He said and she looked up at him, embarrassed.
“I’m sorry.” She replied in a whisper.
He grabbed her hand and pulled her into him, giving her a tight hug. “I don’t want to do something that makes you uncomfortable.” He tangled his fingers in her hair and pulled her head back, letting his lips move softly over hers. “I love kissing you, I could do it forever.”
“I want you to sleep with me in the bed, I like it when you hold me.”
“Thank you.” He lifted her into bed, pulling off both of their boots and then laying down next to her. He pulled her into his arms and she pillowed her head on his chest.
“How long until we reach sand?” She asked tiredly.
“A day and a half. It’s going to get more dangerous. There are a lot of venomous creatures in the desert, some of them innocent looking. I’m sure we’ll be watering the horses quite and bit so don’t touch anything when you’re on the ground and keep your eyes open.” She sighed softly and he looked down at her. She was already asleep and he didn’t even know if she had heard anything he said. He smiled and shook his head then closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep. He would have to remember to tell her in the morning.
When morning came Hylden woke and looked happily down at Sincerity again. He placed his hand under her chin to tilt her head for a kiss. She smiled against his lips then kissed him back. “what a wonderful way to wake up” she said softly. “I hope you’ll give me many opportunities to wake you like that” he said slightly shy. Sincerity laughed. “what?” he asked confused “seeing you being shy is just funny. You’re such a tough guy”
“With you as my weakness.” She smiled and kissed him again. He relished the lip contact until she pulled back “we need to change our clothes and shower. Do you want to go first?”
“No, you go ahead.”
“I’ll be quick.” Sincerity said then grabbed a change of clothes before heading into the bathroom. Hylden sat up, he would’ve loved to just take a shower with her but he knew Sincerity would have to move slow. He didn’t mind atall. Getting to even sleep with and kiss Sincerity was bliss enough for him. She was an amazing woman and he couldn’t believe she was finally his. He just hoped he didn’t lose himself at any point and make her uncomfortable. He would try hard to make sure he moved slow enough for her. Sincerity only took as long as she needed to wash herself before she dried and pulled her clothes on. When she came out Hylden walked over and kissed her head before entering the bathroom.
Sincerity sat on the bed to wait for him. He also just took enough time to wash himself then got out. He wanted to be by Sincerities side again. Once he was dressed he dried the floor then gathered their dirty clothes to put back in their bag. When everything was gathered he kissed her again. She smiled when he pulled back. “I’m sorry, am I kissing you too much? I’ve just waited so long to feel your lips against mine. I can’t get enough of it.”
“No, I think it’s really sweet. Thank you for being such a gentleman last night and also not trying to pressure me into showering with you this morning.”
“Like I said Sincerity, I don’t want to do anything you aren’t comfortable with. If I do anything atall you don’t want just tell me and I’ll stop instantly. How fast we go is up to you.” Hylden hugged her then they put their shoes on to meet Reece and Nali. They were downstairs at the breakfast bar. The four ate then walked into town to buy the scarves Nali wanted to help them stay cool.
“Just stay still Hylden you big baby.” Nali said as she touched the soaked scarf to his head and he jerked away from the cold.
“Why are we doing this again?” He asked as he crossed his arms and frowned.
“So you two don’t get to hot.”
Nali wrapped the scarf around his head, making it into a turban. She did the same with Sincerity, making sure her hair was completely tucked underneath the thin breathable cloth. They retrieved their horses and started off again. “How come you and Reece aren’t wearing one?” Hylden asked.
“We don’t feel the heat like you do. See, we’re not even sweating.” Nali answered with a smile.
“So not fair.” She and Reece laughed as they rode across the rocky ground. The sun beat down on them, making sweat soak through Hylden and Sincerity’s clothes. The dust being kicked up from the horse’s hooves stuck to them, making them itchy. Hylden had forgotten about how hot it could be. Sincerity partially untied the front of her shirt, catching his instant attention.
“I can feel you staring.” She said and his eyes flew forward.
“It’s okay, it’s just so hot I had to.”
Reece felt his lips twitch and coughed to cover up the laughter that threatened to break loose. Hylden glared at him and he couldn’t hold back anymore. He laughed so hard there were tears in his eyes. “I can’t believe my sister can make you turn that red. It’s priceless.”
“Shut up, it’s just the heat.”
“Right, I believe you.”
Nali smiled at them teasing each other. It was so cute and funny. She had not pegged Hylden for the shy type. He followed Sincerity around boldly, making sure the rest of the world knew he wanted her. His posture and attitude had always intimidated the other young men. Now he reminded her of a shy little boy who just gave a flower to his first crush. They stopped in the afternoon and watered the horses then ate, drank and moved on. They would arrive at the sandy, rolling hills of what seemed like never ending desert tomorrow afternoon and then from there they would make their way to her father. The sound of a hawk fell on her ears and she looked to the sky. It was circling not far from them. It had found an easy meal, probably an animal carcass. If that was the case it meant that a predator still lingered close by.
She looked at Reece to see if he heard it aswell. “I’m paying attention.” he said reading her face. “Paying attention for what?” Hylden asked. “There’s a hawk not far from us which means a predator isn’t far. If somthing comes you just worry about my sister. I’ve gained a lot of strength, agility and speed from Nali. Plus we heal faster so it’s best if you only think of protecting Sincerity while we take care of it. Sincerity knows you’re strong so you have nothing to prove.” Sincerity giggled and Hylden was red again. “definitely the heat” Reece teased again. The two would probably be wrestling at this point if it weren’t so hot and they didn’t have a destination to get to.
The sun beat down on them so mercilessly Sincerity would’ve gotten down to her underwear if she wasn’t riding with Hylden. Sincerity thought it was sweet that Hylden was still holding her even though it would be a little bit cooler if they weren’t against eachother so tightly. She knew he could tell she wasn’t afraid so there was no point in saying anything. He was holding her because he wanted to. Sincerity knew he had wanted her for years but she was surprised just how thrilled he seemed to be with her and how loving he was. She had seen his soft side quite a few times but not like this. Most men would’ve been asses about her nervousness at the hotel but he didn’t care in the slightest.
Soon they heard the cry of desert leopards. They all looked to see five coming. “remember what I said Hylden!” Reece cried before getting off the horse with Nali. Sincerity worried for her brother. Desert leopards were string and fast. She just had to believe Nali and Reece were faster. She held onto the fact they had killed that horrific demon that captured her. If they could beat him and all those other demons in his home she should have confidence they can beat five desert leopards. The horses were calm being used to being near dangers. They trusted the people with them to keep them safe. The horses had seen much worse in their lifetimes.
Nali and Reece fought back to bag, pulling swords out of the air and slashing at the hungry beasts. They mirrored each others movements. A cat sprung at both of them and they grabbed they animals by their throats, throwing them to the side. They only had to kill two, the smell of blood and death sending the other three running. Their swords vanished and they climbed back onto their horse like nothing had happened. Hylden and Sincerity were both surprised by how amazing they were. Neither of them had ever seen two people fight with such agility and grace.
“That was so cool.” Sincerity said with a big smile.
“Thank you.” They replied in unison.
The sun started to fall, making the air grow cool. Nali pulled the blankets out and handed one to Sincerity. “It feels so amazing right now though.” Sincerity said, confused.
“It’s going to get really cold.” Hylden took the blanket and draped it over his shoulders. Sincerity grabbed the edges and pulled it closed around both of them.
“Are your scarves dry?” Reece asked.
“Good, we don’t want either of you to get sick.” They were going to ride through the night again to take as much time off of their journey as possible. Reece could tell that Nali was becoming more anxious even though she seemed so outwardly calm. He could feel it vibrating through her like an earthquake. He kissed the top of her head and then her cheek. She turned her head and he found her mouth with his. He tugged at her bottom lip and she opened up to him, giving a soft moan as their tongues moved around each other. He pulled back before he started touching her and couldn’t stop. She smiled knowingly up at him before leaning her head back on his shoulder and staring up at the star filled sky.
Sincerity was doing the same. She couldn’t stop admiring how gorgeous the stars were. Occasionally Hylden let himself look down into her stunning star filled eyes. The stars made them sparkle even more and he was dieing to kiss her. He hated he couldn’t at this moment. Having Sincerity so close was incredibly distracting. He relied on Reece so he wouldn’t wander off while captivated by her. The night was calm and uneventful so it didn’t take the girls long to fall asleep. “I bet you aren’t mad at me now huh?” Reece said making Hylden smile “No I’m not, thank you”
“It was really for my sister. You better keep her happy”
“I will” They rode the rest of the night in silence so they wouldn’t wake Nali and Sincerity. Neither of them stirred until the sun was climbing high again. They stopped so Reece could water and feed the horses while Nali re-wet Sincerity’s and Hyldens wrappings. They were almost there and still had plenty of water. They would refill before starting back home after seeing Nalis dad if this wasn’t a demented joke or a trap. Nalis heart wouldn’t stop pounding painfully. They had cut so much time off the trip they would arrive tonight or in the morning if they didn’t run into any more trouble. Once everything was done they ate a light meal and drank what they needed before getting back on the horses. Nali was impressed by how well the two animals were doing. She could tell they were hot but they didn’t seem like they were miserable. She guessed they must have come out here many times.
Sincerity hated how fast it was becoming hot again. She didn’t entertain self pity though. Hylden had to deal with the heat of yesterday, stay awake all night and now had to deal with heat again. She atleast had gotten to sleep for some of this journey twice while Reece and Hylden just kept going. She wanted to ask how close they were but figured it would be annoying. They would get there when they got there. Asking the men again wouldn’t make their destination arrive any faster.
Nali jerked awake, startling Reece. She had an odd feeling in her chest, a tugging sensation. They were getting closer. “Are you okay?” Reece asked.
“I feel strange.” She answered, pressing her hand to her chest.
“Like I’m getting close to something important.”
“We should be arriving soon. We’ll get some rest before we look for your father.”
She nodded and leaned back into him. She was unable to fall back asleep. The horses struggled up a hill of sand, their hooves sinking down before finding purchase. They stopped at the top and she could see the lights of the city burning in the distance. Shigara was a bigger desert city with its own guard house and patrol. Nali and Reece knew that Sincerity would find the way people dressed here fascinating. They even used different weapons and did not fear demons the way others in the world did. To the desert people there were good and bad demons. Even their god was an old demon that lived in a cave a few miles from the city. Nali had visited him during her travels and found him to be quite amusing and wishing he was not worshipped. He told her the biggest upside to being looked at like a god was all the free food. If they had time and he was still around, she would take them to meet him.
They started down the hill, the horses almost slipping as the sand moved out from under their hooves. Nali was really nervous now. She gripped tightly to the blanket, her heart hammering quickly in her chest. “Everything’s going to be okay sweety.” Reece held her tightly t him and kissed her cheek. “Whether it be your father or an elaborate trap put together by some demon hunter that heard of you, it’s going to be okay.”
The first thing Reece planned on doing if Nali confirmed the man that sent that was her father was punching him in the face before Hylden could hold him back. No matter how good of a reason he had it still wouldn’t make up for putting Nali through such misery. The calm, strong and brave woman he married was almost a little girl afraid of the dark right now. She had faced down and defeated many demons but when it came to finding her dad after so long she was a rattling kitten. They finally made it to Shiagra while night still covered the desert sky. They jumped down off the horses and lead them to a stable Nali remembered. Nali took the wrappings off Hylden and Sincerity before both men grabbed their things.
Nali handed Sincerity a hair brush since her hair was a bit messy from being covered so long. She quickly brushed out her hair and gave it back to Sincerity. They were going to check into a hotel for the night then find Nalis dad in the morning. A small part of Nali wanted to search now but she knew how tired the men must be. Most of the strain of the journey was on them. They found a nice one then went to their rooms. When Nali and Reece got to theirs Nali couldn’t help but cry again. “I’m so sorry Reece” she spoke through her tears “for what Nali?”
“For crying so much” he rubbed her head and back “don’t sbe sorry, it’s your father who should be sorry. He’s so selfish and thoughtless.”
“Can we shower?”
“I think it will do us both some good.” Reece responded in the warmest tone he could manage through his anger. Hylden had the same idea when he got to the room with Sincerity. “I definitely want a shower before I lay down. This dirt all over me is so itchy. Would you like to shower first?”
“No thank you, you go ahead. The journey was harder for you.”
“Not really, I’ma warrior”
“Just go Hylden” she stood and kissed his cheek “You’re very sweet but I want you to go first.” He nodded then reluctantly went into the bathroom with a change of clothes. Sincerity stood staring at the door. She wished she was brave enough to walk in behind him so they could shower together but her shyness was preventing her. She was nervous to find out what he thought of her naked. No man except that vile, wicked demon had seen her nude form. Sincerity took a few steps towards the bathroom door and froze again. She blushed thinking about Hylden in the water. She changed her mind and sat in the chair by the window. This wasn’t the time to be trying stuff like that anyway. Nali was going through somthing really horrible right now.
When he came out she grabbed what she was going to sleep in then went quickly into the bathroom. He guessed she was in a hurry to get the sand off of her body. Hylden felt a million times better now. Especially since he could see Sinceritys face again. It was hard to work all the sand out of her hair so this shower was much longer than her last. Once every grain of sand was off of her she got out and dried before putting her pajamas on. She hadn’t realized just how uncomfortable she was until all that junk was off of her and down the drain.
“Better?” Hylden asked when she came back out.
“Loads better.” She flopped down on the bed and laid back, staring up at the ceiling. “How in the world did you not go crazy with all that sand on you?”
“I have massive amounts of self control. You should know that.”
“So much that you wouldn’t even tell me how much you loved me. You really wanted to give me a chance at finding happiness didn’t you?”
He sat down next to her and smiled warmly. “I didn’t want you to be with anyone else, but if you had decided to marry someone that wasn’t me I would have supported you all the way. You deserve only the best, not even I am good enough for you.”
“Oh shut up.” She reached up and grabbed a hand full of his hair then pulled him down to kiss him. He smiled against her lips, making her feel happy. He pulled back and moved her up on the bed so he could lay with her. They fell asleep facing each other, her forehead pressed against his chest and his arm draped protectively over her.
Reece dried Nali and carried her to bed. She looked so exhausted even though she had been able to sleep. He rolled her onto her stomach and rubbed his hands over her back, massaging out the knots. Sitting in a saddle for so long was very uncomfortable. “I’m a little saddle sore.” She said softly and he ran his hands over her bottom. “Ow, maybe more than a little.”
“Sorry baby, we’ll take more breaks on the way home.” He kissed her shoulder then pulled her into his arms.
Even though she was sore Nali managed to sleep peacefully in the loving embrace of her husband. Both couples slept in that morning. It had been a long hard journey but eventually Nali jerked awake. “lets get ready Reece” he wanted to ask for more time but in the current situation that would be selfish. Nali needed to get to the bottom of that letter as fast as possible. They both got dressed and checked the breakfast area for Sincerity and Hylden. Nali laughed “I bet they slept in too. I’ll order us somthing if you go wake them.”
“Ok, just get me what you get” she nodded and Reece ran to Sincerity’s and Hyldens room. He banged loudly until they both stirred then realized the time. Hylden yelled “so sorry, we’ll meet you downstairs soon”
“Don’t worry we slept late too. Go and meet us where they serve breakfast when you’re ready.” That being said Reece hurried back to his wife. He didn’t want her alone any longer than she had to be. Sincerity changed her clothes in the bathroom then Hylden did the same before they walked out of the room. Sincerity smiled when Hylden grabbed her hand as they walked to meet Reece and Nali for breakfast. He kept her hand until they sat down with Reece and Nali. They ordered aswell and were surprised how fast it all came out. Once the four were full Nali got nervous again. Now the journey was over and it was time to find who wrote the letter.
Reece could feel it and hugged her “are you ready Nali?”
“as ready as I can be. I guess the best place to start is the return address on the envelope.”
“do you know where that is here?”
“No but I’m sure the man behind the front counter will know.” They got up after they paid and went over to the man. Nali asked him if he knew the adress and he gave her directions. She thanked him then they walked out. Reece pulled Nali against him and hung his arm over her shoulders. He hoped it would help her. Hylden took Sinceritys hand back in his and gave her a smile. She smiled back but they didn’t speak. They left the air open for Nali or Reece to say what they needed to if they needed to speak.
“I’m scared.” Nali said, her voice shaking.
“I’m right here baby. Just take a breath.” Reece replied and kissed her cheek.
She smiled and they walked the rest of the way in silence. When they made it to the address they just stood outside. Nali stared at the front door and swallowed. She had to know if he was on the other side. She raised a shaking hand and knocked. She heard footsteps on the other side of the door and the knob turned. It swung open and she gasped, staring wide eyed at the man in front of her. He looked just as shocked. “Daddy.” She whispered.
“Nali? Is it really…” Reece hit him so hard the other man was knocked back into the house and onto the ground.
“Reece, please stop.” She grabbed his arm and pulled him back.
“Don’t worry, I’m not going to kill him. I just wanted to give him what he deserved.”
She managed to get him back and then ran into the house as her father was picking himself up off the floor. His cheek was red and she knew it would soon be bruising. “Daddy, you’re really here. Wh…why aren’t you dead?” She said angrily. He sat down and rubbed his face.
“Who is that guy?” He asked and she slapped him.
“Don’t change the subject damn it. You’re supposed to be dead. Why now? Why send for me now?”
“I deserve all the hate you have Nali.”
“You’re damn straight you do.”
“I had a good reason you know. It’s no excuse, but it’s a reason. I did it to protect you. I couldn’t protect your mother, but I could always protect you. When I married your mother, I signed away my life and hers. She knew that, but when we had you I wanted to do everything in my power to keep you safe. After they attacked and I didn’t die, I decided to stay away to keep them from finding you.” He buried his face in his hands.
“Do you have any idea what I went through without you to guide me? I was hated by everyone, no one understood me, no one cared for the longest time.” She screamed and he started crying.
“I am so sorry, I was wrong. I should have tracked you down, but I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to keep you safe. I failed once and I didn’t want to fail again. I loved your mother and ai love you. I was stupid, a coward.”
“Oh daddy please don’t cry.” She wrapped her arms around him. He sounded like his heart had been torn out.
Reece felt Walker didn’t deserve Nalis sympathy. A father should never leave his daughters side no matter what. There was nothing in the world that would rip him from his children when he had some with Nali. Sincerity and Hylden stood there not knowing what to say. Sincerity eventually spoke “this really seems like a family issue. Maybe we should go back to the hotel.”
“Before you go, dad this is Sincerity and her boyfriend. She’s my best friend. She was my very first friend after years of being all alone with nobody to love me or care about me. She’s a really amazing woman and I was blessed to cross paths with her.”
“It’s nice to meet you two.” he said wiping at his still tear filled eyes. “Nice to meet you sir. I look forward to a nicer meeting later. I can already see how much Nali wants to forgive you. If she does you better never leave her again unless she wants it. Nali was so miserable and alone when I came into her life. You have no idea what she went through because you abandoned her.” Walker hung his head “I’ve regretted it for a long time but by the time I did it had been so long I feared I’d upset her too much suddenly telling her I was alive. I just got selfish and had to see the little girl I’ve thought about every day.” Walker turned his head to Nali “I’ve never stopped loving you or thinking about you. I’m so very sorry”
Sincerity and Hylden walked out to get back in their hotel room so Nali and Reece could sort things out between them and Walker. “Can I carry you back?” Hylden asked “Please do” He lifted her up and carried her back to their room. Sincerity and Walker just hugged while Reece stood there. He broke from the hug “Can I get you two anything?”
“We’re fine dad, we ate right before coming over. We arrived last night and are staying in a hotel.”
“You two could stay with me.” Nali sighed “I want to forgive you dad. I love you so much but I don’t know if staying with you is a good idea. Let me think about it today while we spend time together”
“I understand Nali. Can I know about this young man now?”
“He’s my husband Reece. He was human but became half demon so he could be with me forever. I love him so much and we’ve had a very happy marriage so far. He’s Sinceritys brother.”
“It’s nice to meet you even though I knwo it’s not nice to meet me. I can only imagine how angry you are at me since you love Nali. Only a man who loved her would’ve struck me that hard. You’re impressive for once being human. I hope you’ll soften to me eventually as I try to make ammends.”
“I don’t take abandonment lightly, but for Nali I will try. Just know if you ever make her cry again, I will kill you and there will be no force in this world that can stop me.” He held his father in laws gaze for some time, letting him know that he meant business.
“I understand.” Walker replied. It took Nali putting her hand in front of his face to make him break eye contact. She could see that her father was not afraid of Reece even a little.
“So what happened after you and mom were attacked?” She asked as she pulled a chair over and sat down next to him.
“The demons had done me a lot of damage. If. Had not been able to get to the potions we had stored away, I would have bled out. I have scars from the deeper wounds they inflicted. It took me a long time to get back to normal, to be able to actually walk. I looked for you at first, but after a year I decided that it was probably best I left you alone. I knew you could take care of yourself because you are strong like your mother. I moved around for a bit, never staying in the same place for to long then I came here. The people here don’t attack things like you, me, and your husband on sight.”
“How long have you been here?”
“Four years. I help out where I’m needed.”
“How exciting. My life sounds terrible compared to yours. I was hung by the villagers that Reece grew up with. He saved me of course and I forgave them. They still feel awful even though I wish they wouldn’t.” She cleared her throat then smiled. “Why don’t we go somewhere outside.”
“We can do whatever you want. I just want you smiling. I figure if you smile then maybe this husband of yours will stop giving me dirty looks.” They both looked at Reece. “If you keep frowning you’re face might get stuck that way.” Nali’s laugh lit up the room and chased away the tension. “Where would you like to go angel?”
“There is an oasis not far from here that I used to visit. The fresh air will do us all some good. This room is to small for all the emotion flowing off of us. It feels suffocating.” She stood and held out her hand to her father. He smiled and took it. She then grabbed Reece’s hand with her other one and pulled them both out of the house.
They walked as they exchanged stories of what they had been through in their lives until they made it to the oasis. “I’m not trying to be pushy Nali but you and Reece would have a much nicer life living here. There’s really not a better place for demons. You would never have to be afraid.”
“I have that where i am too dad. The villagers are nice to me now and love me very much. If I was here Reece would have to be apart from his family.”
“Family who has never abandon me” Reece said in a slightly angry tone. Nali sighed “I love you and want to visit you but we’re going to take this relationship slow. Maybe and it’s a big maybe, maybe in the future we could move here. I’m sure Sincerity would love to have a reason to visit a place like this. For now I’m not sure if we want to pick up and move. I do want to stay here and get to know you for awhile. I’ll see how long Hylden and Sincerity can stay. I don’t want them traveling back alone”
“I understand, thank you for giving me a chance.”
“You’ll always be my dad and I’ll always love you no matter what happens. Thanks for reconnecting with me”
“I wrote as soon as I figured out where you were. At first I considered going to your home but I felt I would be forcing myself on you that way. Writing you gave you the option to not see me atall if you didn’t want to. Do you think Sincerity and Hylden would hangout with us tomorrow? I want to get to know your best friend and her boyfriend. How long have they been together?”
“He’s been crushing on her for years but they just got together on this trip because Reece forced him to tell her how he felt” Walker laughed “Humans can’t afford to waist time.”
“Yeah” Nali said sadly “why are you sad?”
“I just hate when I think of the fact Sincerity is mortal. She’s going to die one day and I wont have my best friend any longer. Somtimes I’m even tempted to see if she wanted to be a demon but with how much hatred there is for them I feel its selfish. Besides she knows from Reece I could make her one so if she wanted that she’d ask me.” Walker tried to make the conversation happier “when are you two having children?”
“Hopefully soon” Nali said with a smile. “You’ll make a good mother.”
“You’ll make a good grandpa and Reece is going to be absolutely amaizng as a father. I already know it”
They sat by the crystal blue pond, Reece listening the Nali talk happily with her father. He didn’t want to say something even worse than he had. He wished he had her capacity for forgiveness. She was sitting there smiling and laughing with a man who had broken her heart. He played with the sand, picking it up and letting it slip through his fingers. “He must have been very brave to walk into a den of demons.” Walker said and it took Reece a moment to realize they had been talking about him.
“Uh, not really brave. I was terrified actually, but they had Sincerity so I did what I had to do.” Reece replied.
“It’s healthy to be afraid sometimes.”
“That’s true. Without fear we would not have self preservation and we would probably all die.”
“This husband of yours has a good head on his shoulders. I’m glad you found him and I’m very proud of you.” Walker hugged her and she kissed his cheek. “I hope someday you can completely forgive my selfishness. I should have thought of your feelings instead of my fears. I’m glad he punched me.”
Reece didn’t know what to say to that. It definitely took some of his anger away. You couldn’t be mad at a man who admitted being hit in the face was a good thing. Even worse, the man wasn’t afraid of him. Now he knew where Nali got it from, her courage, her honesty, her need to protect those around her even if it meant being hurt. She had allowed herself to be hanged to protect him and Serenity while her father had given up his life with her to protect her. They were just alike. He could now see how life must have been from Walker’s point of view. Not seeing his daughter must have been agony.
“If we moved to the desert we could always build a house next to this pond.” He said and both Nali and her father looked at him a little shocked. “What? I’m just saying, you know, if we do. It’s a nice place. Stop looking at me like that.”
Nali grabbed his face and pressed her forehead against his. “Hmm no fever. Have you been eating mushrooms or something?”
“Just a moment ago you were growling at my father and now you’re wanting to move here.”
“I said if so calm down before you burst a blood vessel.” He replied.
“This conversation is not over Reece.”
“I know.” He smiled and kissed her then pulled back and continued to play in the sand, just listening to them talk.
Sincerity was laying against Hyldans chest as they talked. Sincerity giggled at a joke he made about somthing that happened a couple weeks ago. He smiled then kissed her head. Hyldan loved that sound, especially when he caused it. Suddenly Sincerity moved and turned herself around. She looked into his eyes and said “I love you Hyldan” He smiled back. His eyes telling her how completely overjoyed it made him to hear those words come out of her mouth. She leaned in and kissed him. Hyldan lost all control and slipped his tongue in her mouth even though he knew it would be even harder to fight off getting excited by her. She slipped hers in his and soon he had her rolled under him. Sincerity moved her hands under his shirt. She had always wanted to feel his torso.
The was the last straw and he couldn’t keep himself from getting hard. He pulled away “we have to stop”
“why?” She then noticed he was hard and smiled. She knew Hyldan loved her and would think she was beautiful because she was herself but still felt nervous. “Sincerity” Hyldan said reading her face. “Yeah?” she said in a tone that told him even more of the war inside her head of what to do. “I’m not in a hurry. I only wanted to stop because I may go further than you want if I keep kissing you this excited. If you don’t want me like that yet we can wait. I’ll wait as long as you want me to. I’m not upset.”
“I do want you. I’m just scared” He gave her a kiss on the head “I promise to be gentle Sincerity if you really want me. If we start and you get upset I can stop.”
“That’ll be horrible for you though”
“It’ll be fine Sincerity. We can if you want and i wont be upset if you ask me to stop. There seriously isn’t any pressure though. I’d love to explore your body now but I want you to be ready for me to.”
“I want to make love to you Hyldan”
“Now or later?”
“are you sure sweetheart? I’ll be really upset if I find out later you felt rushed for whatever reason”
“I promise I want this.” She started to pull her shirt off but then found herself unable to do her pants and she wanted to cover herself until she saw how Hyldan was looking at her. They were worshipping her already. She could see he thought she was beautiful. “will you help me with my pants. I’m so nervous”He gently put his hand on her shoulder and slowly moved her so she laid on the bed “I have to ask again. Are you really sure Sincerity? Please don’t do this just for me”
“I am, I love the way you’re looking at me and I know it’ll be amazing.” He took off his clothes then undid her pants so he could slide them off of her. He then took off her panties and bra. His mouth was actually gapping open in aw of her “You are so damn beautiful Sincerity. You have no reason to be shy about your body.” Sincerity was blushing “you look really handsome too” she said shyly. He smiled then began to kiss in a straight line up her stomach. He kissed up until he was at her neck and began to lick and kiss the sides. His hand slid inbetween her legs and he rubbed her. Sincerity began to moan his name exciting him even more.
He kissed her lips then said “I love you” before going down and kissing along the inside of her legs. He licked up each one then began to lick her slow and sensuously. Powerful orgasms ripped through Sincerity until he got above her. “You sure baby” he said huskily with how badly he wanted her. “Yes, I love you so much”
“It’ll hurt a little at first since you’re a virgin but i promise it wont be long”
“Ok” With that Hyldan thrust into her quickly and as hard as he could. Sincerities nails dug into him as briefly pained expression crossed her face “You ok?” Sincerity couldn’t believe he was still even asking with how much he obviously wanted her. It was so moving and made her know how much he loved her. He took on a steady rythm as he whispered in her ear how amazing she was and how happy he felt to be with her. Another orgasm moved through her as he finished. He laid at her side then pulled her close so she could hear his heart.
“We should be getting back.” Nali said as she stood and stretched. “I’m starving.” Reece and Walker stood and she hooked her arms with theirs and they walked away from the beautiful oasis. She really loved this place and hoped her father would come here often after they left.
“I could cook for you and your friends if you want.” Walker said with a pleading look.
“I would really love that. You always made good food when I was little.”
They walked back to the inn and Nali ran in and knocked on Hylden and Sincerity’s door. She heard them scrambling and could guess what they were doing. The door was pulled open by a shirtless and blushing Hylden. “Yes?” He said and she burst out laughing. He glared at her and she nearly fell down. “Come on Nali, give me a break.”
“Okay sorry, just give me a minute.” She coughed and took a deep breath, stopping her laughing, but unable to get her amused smile to go away. “My dad is cooking for us tonight. Please come over.”
“We would love to.” Sincerity said as she came out of the bathroom. She leaned against the doorframe while they finished dressing and pulled on their boots. They followed Nali outside and then they all walked to Walker’s house.
“I’ll help your dad cook. You three go and relax.” Reece said. He caught the blush on Hylden’s face and opened his mouth to ask what was wrong, but Nali pressed her fingers to his lips.
“I’ve already embarrassed him enough to last a life time. He won’t say anything to you because she’s your sister and he doesn’t want to make you angry.” She whispered in his ear.
“You mean they…” His eyes widened. “ah no shut up. I don’t want to hear it. I’ll mind my own business.”
Reece turned a right crimson and hurried off into the kitchen. Nali started laughing again, this time falling on the floor and gripping her stomach. She had never seen so many embarrassed people. She finally laughed until she couldn’t breathe and stopped, picking herself up off the floor and setting down at the table with Sincerity and Hylden. “So, are you two okay?” She asked.
“Yeah, I’m a little…well…” Sincerity blushed and covered her face.
“Sore?” Nali finished and Sincerity nodded. “That’s normal. Don’t be so shy. It’s me you’re talking to, not Reece. You can tell me anything.”
“I know, thanks. How are you and Reece doing with getting pregnant? I know you want children.”
“I don’t really know. I haven’t had any symptoms so I don’t really know if I’m pregnant or not. I probably won’t know until I’m huge with the way I pay attention. I’ll just think I’ve gone and got fat.”
“If you’re getting fat you’re pregnant with how active you are.”
“How active do you two plan on being?” Nali asked giggling. “Nali” Sincerity said seriously as Hyldans heart rate soared again. “I’ll stop, I’m so sorry. You’re just so sweet and timid. I can’t believe you let him go all the way with you. I thought you might make him lust longer. If he pressured you your brother will kill him for you.” Sincerity shook her head “No he didn’t. I wanted to” Nali decided to leave her friend alone. Especially since she was sure Reece could hear. Before long the meal was ready and they all sat at the table. “Better than I remember. Probably because my husband helped. Thanks dad for offering.”
“Thank you for coming and bringing your friends. So Sincerity, what made you brave enough to befriend my daughter?”
“I could see right away she was a good person. Being a demon doesn’t automatically make you bad.”
“That’s true, thanks for being there for her when I failed to be. How’d you meet your boyfriend?”
“We’ve grown up together. I’ve always known him. He’s in my first memories.”
“That’s really sweet”
“Yeah” Sincerity said with a smile. They had light chatter and made jokes over dinner until the evening was winding down. After Nali helped Walker clear the table Nali pulled Reece to the side and whispered “I really want to stay here Reece. You seem more comfortable now. Can we stay the night with my dad?”
“I think that’s a great idea. Ask him if the offer is still open. If it is I’ll walk Hyldan and Sincerity back then grab our stuff before I check out. We can stay here until we go back home.” Nali kissed Reece then asked her father. Walker almost began to cry again “really baby?”
“Really, Reece is going to check out of the hotel then bring our stuff over.” Walker hugged Nali and then Reece before he walked out the door with Sincerity and Hyldan. Hyldan felt awkward walking beside Reece. He had pushed them together but Hyldan was sure the fact he made love to Sincerity was probably uncomfortable for Reece. When they got to the hotel Reece hugged Sincerity then shook Hyldans hand before going to his and Nalis room to gather their stuff before checking out. Reece was quick about it then checked out before heading back to Walkers house. He was actually starting to like Walker a lot. He was glad Nali got him to give her father a chance.
“You don’t think your brother’s mad do you?” Hylden asked as they pulled off their boots.
“If he was mad you would have received the same treatment Walker did. You know my brother isn’t one to mince words. He’ll tell you exactly what’s on his mind.” Sincerity answered with a loving smile.
“I guess that’s true. I wonder if this feeling of not knowing what to do will go away.”
“You two have always been friends, like brothers. I think it’s natural for you to feel nervous around him since you had sex with me.”
“Hey, it wasn’t just sex Sincerity. I love you very much.” He tangled his fingers in her hair and pulled her close. His lips moved over hers, his tongue slipping into her mouth to taste her. He pulled back and she blinked up at him. “I love everything about you. The way you feel, the way you taste, the sounds you make. I’ll never stop loving you.”
“You are really amazing.”
“I know, I’m just glad you know now too.”
Reece cuddled with Nali in the guest room of Walker’s house. He was happy for her, happy that everything had worked out. “When do you want to go home?” Nali asked as she propped her head up in her hand.
“I don’t care. We can stay for as long as you wish. You should spend as much time with your father as you can.” He brushed her hair behind her ear. She sighed and he brushed his fingers over her cheek. “Is there something wrong?” He asked.
“I wonder if I’m pregnant.”
“We’ll have a baby Nali, I promise. I want one too, or two or four. Is there a way to find out?”
“We’ll ask my father in the morning. He’s older than me and probably knows some old ritual or something.”
“I hope so. I don’t like when you look sad. I want to give you everything.”
“I love you Reece.”
“I love you too, now get some sleep.”
They both allowed themselves to relax. Nali drifted off first and Reece just lay there enjoying her warmth. He kissed the top of her head and rubbed her arm. He closed his eyes and fell asleep. He dreamed he was surrounded by children, all of them beautiful and smiling. Nali looked so happy as she played on the floor with them. He wanted her to always be that happy. Her smile was so bright and full of love. He was going to do that for her.
An amazing smell woke Nali who woke Reece when she moved. They changed their clothes then exited their room to follow that delicious scent. “Morning you two!” Her father said cheerfully. “Good morning. Need help?” Nali asked “No, you two just sit down. breakfast is almost ready.”
“It smells so good” Reece said making Walker and Nali smile “I hope you enjoy eating it then.” Reece grabbed Nalis hand and held it until breakfast was ready. Her father had made chocolate chip pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs and hashbrowns. Reece loved it all but he especially enjoyed the hashbrowns. Walker watched them enjoy it happily. He was glad they spent the night and enjoyed his food so much. Especially his little girl. He missed her so terribly and here she was, finally back in his life. Walker was glad she found a husband and was licing near a village that wouldn’t hurt her but he clung to hope she’d move here to be around him. He’d love to be able to see her anytime and then spend time with his grandkids when they came along.
When they were all done eating Nali and Reece insisted on doing the dishes since he cooked by himself. Nali washed while Reece dried and put away. Walker thought it was cute seeing them do the dishes together. Walker grabbed a rag “I’ll atleast clean the counters and table”
“I guess” Nali responded and Walker smiled before quickly cleaning off everything. Once all was done they went into the living room. They got comfortable on the couch then Walker asked “what would you two like to do today?” Nali cleared her throat then asked “Well, I was wondering if you had any way to see if I’m pregnant or not. Reece and I want children really badly and are wondering if I’m pregnant yet.” Walker smiled “I do, follow me into my study sweetheart” Reece and Nali stood excitedly and followed Walker through his house.
When they reached the door of his study he pushed it open with Nali and Reece close behind. They were filled with eagerness and excitement. Nali noticed this was a precise replica of the study they had in the home she was a child in. Walker saw in her eyes she noticed the room “It took a long time but I made sure this room was precisely like the study when I had you. I used to bring you in here and tell you stories. Sometimes I sit in here and just recall those memories. I cherish all the memories I have with you so much Nali. Thank you for coming.” Nali hugged her dad “I love you. I’ve cherished my childhood memories too”
“Now, where is that book?” They watched as he moved around his study, searching the shelves and piles of books on the floor. “Ah ha, found it.” He pulled a leather bound book off of his desk. “Probably should have been the first place I looked.” He flipped it open, slowly turning the pages. “Here it is, yes simple enough.”
“What do you have I have to do?” Nali asked, but her dad had drifted off into his own world. He moved around the room, grabbing a vial of some green liquid and a container of powder and a knife.
“Reece go get me a cup of water.” He ordered as he sat everything on his desk.
“Uh okay.” Reece went into the kitchen and filled a cup then brought it back. Walker sat it on his desk then poured some of the green liquid into it. He took a little bit of the powder and sprinkled it in then picked up the knife.
“Come here Nali.” She moved closer and he grabbed her hand, pricking her finger and dripping some of her blood in the cup. He let her go and mixed it all together. “Okay, drink this.”
“Will it hurt the baby if I’m pregnant?” She asked and he shook his head. She took the cup from him and downed the contents. It was incredibly bitter.
“Now we need to go outside.”
“Come on, outside.” They followed him out. The minute her feet touched sand, she felt sick to her stomach. She moved away from the door and threw up. “That’s why.”
“You knew she was going to throw up?” Reece asked as he rubbed her back.
“I knew there was a possibility. That little concoction induces vomiting in pregnant women.” They both froze and then looked at her dad who had a big smile on his face.
“You did just say pregnant right?” Nali asked and wiped her mouth.
“Yes, but I don’t know how far along, but if you’re anything like your mother you’ll probably get quite the belly. Of course you were almost ten pounds.”
“I’m really pregnant. This is so amazing. I have the worst taste in my mouth.”
“I’m sorry baby girl. Lets get you some water and something to fill you back up after all that puking.” Walker said and they followed him back inside.
Once Nali had eaten somthing she needed to tell her best friend. Reece and Nali ran excitedly to the hotel and up to their room. They knocked and much to Reeces relief they had only been cuddling so had clothes on. Nali shoved past Hylden and hugged Sincerity who was standing behind him. “I’m pregnant!” Nali said excitedly. “Congratulations!” Sincerity said as she hugged back. “That’s wonderful” Hyldan added with Reece just standing there glowing with happiness. Hyldan and Reece even hugged. “Why don’t you two come spend the rest of the day with us? We’ve had plenty of alone time with my dad. You two get ready and meet us over there.”
“Ok, we wont be long” Sincerity said smiling ecstatically for her friend. Reece picked Nali up and left. “I’m so happy for them. Nalis always loved kids” Hyldan smiled then asked “would you like to shower with me before we go?”
“sure” They quickly washed then dressed before going to spend the rest of their day with Nali, Reece and Walker. Hyldan entertained thoughts of when he and Sincerity had a baby. That was far off but he couldn’t wait. He wondered how soon she’d be willing to marry him. Walker greeted both Sincerity and Hyldan with a tight hug “welcome back you two.”
“Thanks” The day was filled with laughter and excited talk about the baby. Sincerity had never seen Nali so happy. At the end of the day they decided they would all visit the demon the Shigara people thought of as their god tomorrow and spend the day with him. Nali wanted him to know of her baby and for him to meet Reece along with her best friend Sincerity. Nali could barely sleep from the wonderful news and excitement about tomorrow. Reece still had a huge smile plastered on his face. His heart was pounding in joy seeing Nali so happy. “I’m going to give you lots of children Nali” Reece said softly. “I want to have a lot”
“we’ll keep having them until you tell me you have enough”
“I dont think you want to commit to that” nali said giggling “I know I do” He said kissing her head.
The next morning Nali was out of bed so fast that Reece didn’t even get a chance to kiss her. She was excited about seeing her demon friend. Reece just smile and quickly pulled his clothes on. “We’ll have to take the horses.” She said and he grabbed her arm and pulled her into him before she could leave the room.
“I want a kiss.” He said and she smiled as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down to press her lips against his. He sighed happily and she giggled, grabbing his hand and pulling him outside. They made their way to the stables and saddled up their horse. He let Nali guide the horse since she knew where they were going. She headed out into the open desert. “We didn’t eat breakfast.” He said as they rode over the dunes.
“Don’t worry about it, Aurel will know I’m on my way.” She replied.
“We’re bonded. That means we’ve shared blood. Kind of like me and you, but without the sexual relationship. It acts as some kind of homing beacon.”
“That’s probably how you knew we were getting close to your father.”
“I never thought of that. I was so overwhelmed, I thought it was just my mind playing tricks on me. Anyway, he’ll have food ready.”
“Aurel is a very unique name.” He was trying to get to know this strange man she obviously cared about. Anyone who was important to her was important to him.
“It means golden and you’ll see why it’s so fitting when you see him.” They climbed a steep hill and then went quickly down the other side. His eyes widened at the strange plants growing around the mouth of a cave. They were not from around here.
“What are those?”
“Aurel grows them. I don’t remember the names, but they are from a far off land.” They got off the horse and she tied it off then grabbed Reece’s hand and led him inside. The interior was lit up. Hundreds of crystals were imbedded in the walls and the light from the candles reflected off of them, making it like day inside. Sitting at a table in the center of the room was a man that looked not much older than Reece. He had the most striking blonde hair and amber eyes. “Aurel.” Nali said happily and ran to the man as he stood. She jumped into his arms and he gave her a tight hug.
“I’m pregnant! This man behind me is my husband Reece” Aurel let go of Nali and walked over to shake Reeces hand “Nice to meet you. I’m glad she found a man to make her happy and give her children”
“Nice to meet you too. I can see my wife likes you a great deal” Aurel smiled “well I like her a great deal too. Come eat with me.” Nali and Reece both sat down at his table and ate the food he had prepared for Nali coming. As they ate Aurel asked “please bring me up to speed on your life Nali. I don’t want you to skimp on the details.” Nali swallowed and began to explain “I made a really good friend Named Sincerity and she ended up getting kidnapped by a demon. He tortured the poor girl sadly. I met her brother Reece while I was hunting for her to save her. We fell in love on the way and got married soon after. Nothing too notable between then and now besides my dad sending me a letter. We’ve reconnected and I’m actually considering moving near here to get to know him. I also want my child to know him.”
“I’d be very pleased if you lived here Nali.”
“I think we’re still decided. Regardless I want to escort Sincerity and her boyfriend Hyldan home when they are prepared to leave. Hyldan is strong but I’d feel better if I got them safely home.”
“still as kind as I remember you.” He turned his attention to Reece “How are you enjoying being a demon? Obviously you were human before”
“I’m still getting used to it but I’m glad Nali could make me this way so I could be with her forever.” Aurel smiled “You better keep that attitude, Nali is a treasure” Reece really liked Aurel. He seemed very nice and genuine. They then went back to eating. Once they were done Aurel started telling them about how his life had been since he last saw Nali. He actually had some pretty interesting stories to tell so they both listened intently.Nali regretted that in her haste she forgot to bring Sincerity and Hyldan. She really wanted her best friend to meet Aurel but she could always bring her another day. She even entertained the thought of Sincerity moving here aswell with Hyldan so they wouldn’t have to separate.
Sincerity would be a hard friend to move away from. She felt selfish yet again. Sincerity may have had sex with Hyldan but she wasn’t sure if she’d be ready to move in with him or leave her village. She knew Hyldan would be happy to do whatever would make Sincerity happy so she decided to ask her friend later if she had any plans of moving in with him in the near future. If she said no she wouldn’t ask her friend to come here aswell. If yes there wasn’t harm in asking.
“You know I’m planning a trip back home soon to collect more plants. You and your husband should join me. You might like crossing the ocean.” Aurel said as he took a sip of tea from his cup.
“How long would we be over there?” Nali had always wanted to cross the ocean see what was hidden on the other side.
“A couple of months. I have much I wish to do. I need to visit my family and collect a few hard to get things. I’m sure you’ll want time to think about it. I have pass through your village to get to the port anyway so just take your time.”
“If Nali wants to go then the answer is yes. I don’t really do anything all day but hunt and maybe go into the village every now and then to help out.” Reece said.
“Really?” Nali said excitedly.
“I wouldn’t mind doing some exploring in a new land. We have an extra room you are welcome to stay in so we can all leave together.”
“Oh Reece you’re the best.”
“It’s settled then. I plan on leaving next month, maybe you can bring your father and your friends.” Aurel smiled.
“I bet they’d be just as happy to go as us.” She hugged Aurel. “Thank you for inviting us.”
“An adventure would be nothing without friends.”
They sat and visited for quite some time. He took them outside and showed them all the plants he had grown. He told them the names of each one, making their heads swim with all the hard to pronounce words. He just smiled at them, knowing that they probably wouldn’t remember everything, but enjoying the company. They ate lunch and then dinner together, laughing and talking about baby names. She scribbled down their address for him and sat it where he would see it. Nali hugged Aurel again when it was time to go and he gave her a kiss on the forehead. “Just write to us when you are heading our way.” She said as they climbed onto their horse.
“I will, please stay safe you two.”
They headed back to Shigara, going to Walker’s since it was closer. Nali pushed the door slowly and quietly open and they went to the guest room. Reece tugged her into his arms, his mouth moving hungrily over hers. She smiled and pulled back to look at him. “Someone’s hungry.” She laughed.
“Always, so try to be as quiet as you can.” He pulled their clothes off, his hands sliding over her and making her skin grow hot. He lifted her and pressed her against the wall, sliding slowly into her so she gasped. He took his time with her, really taking her in. She bit his shoulder to keep from crying out as an orgasm rocketed through her. He finished quickly and carried her to bed, moving to lay beside her. She rested her head on his chest and he wrapped his arms tightly around her.
“I love you Nali.”
“And I love you Reece.”
They spent about another week with Walker but then Hyldan had to go back because he had some commitments he had made months before coming. He tried to tell Nali and Reece to stay but they absolutely insisted they needed to escort them home. This would be their last evening Shigara. Hyldan had to leave at sunrise in the morning to make sure he was back on time. Sincerity and Hyldan had dinner at Walkers again so they could all laugh and talk about how much fun the trip had been. Nali explained to her father that their final decision as to if they were moving here or not would come after their journey with Aurel. Walker understood and was happy they would even consider.
When Hyldan and Sincerity got back to their room Hyldan could tell Sincerity was sad. “I’m sorry I need to go home Sincerity. Please don’t frown, you’re making me feel terrible”
“It’s not you Hyldan. I love that you’re a man of your word and aren’t going to blow the other villagers off that you said you’d help. It makes me sad that Nali might leave where she lives. She’s my best friend and I’d hate to see her go. It’s selfish of me but I don’t want her to leave. I’m glad we finally got together. I’ll need you when she leaves me.” Hyldan cradled Sincerity then sat on the bed. He took both their shoes off then said “We could move here too. That is when you decide you want to live with me. It’s been so amazing living with you here. I know it’s a vacation type thing so it isn’t like home but I’ve loved it so much. I’ve dreamed of one day living with you. When you’re ready for us to live together we can move here if Nali decides to. I’ll follow you anywhere.”
“Would you be happy?”
“I’m happy where you are happy” Sincerity smiled and pulled Hyldan into a kiss “You’re so amazing.”
“You are too.” Sincerity couldn’t deny she enjoyed this too. It was wonderful being in Hyldans arms every night. Making love with him felt incredible too. She loved every sensation and contact between them.Sincerity blushed then spoek nervously “I could…”
“Well, I could just go ahead and move into your house when we get home”
“are you serious?” He said in a jubilant tone. “Yes, This was the perfect time to ask me out really. If I hadn’t spent all this time living with you in this hotel room we probably wouldn’t have made all the progress we have since I’m so shy. I hope it’s not annoying to you.”
“It’s cute Sincerity. I don’t mind taking my time with things but if you want to move in with me please do. It would make me so happy.”
“Then I guess it’s settled. We’ll talk further on following Nali and Reece later. They aren’t even deciding what they will do yet”
They left the next morning and Nali cried. Reece comforted her and promised the would return. They rode away, taking their time instead of pushing themselves and the horses to exhaustion. When they arrived at the village they returned the horses as promised and Reece lifted Nali into his arms and carried her home. They were both dusty and quickly undressed and stepped into the hot spring behind their house. Nali relaxed against him, allowing her muscles to be loosened by the hot water.
“I had such a good time with my father. I’m so glad he’s alive.” Nali said softly, sounding sleepy.
“You’re just like him you know? You have the same attitude, the same capacity for forgiveness, the same strength. It’s amazing.” He replied and kissed the top of her head.
“I hope our child is like that. I want him or her to be able to forgive, to be able to face their fears even though they are terrified. I hope all of our children have your dedication to the ones they love.”
“I’m sure they will be.”
Nali felt herself starting to fall asleep and said she was ready to get out. Reece got out first and then lifted her up. He dried them both and took her inside, laying with her on their bed and holding her tight. “I can’t wait for our trip. We’re going to have so much fun and I’ll get to be on a ship.”
“I’m sure Aurel will make sure we see everything.” He massaged her back and she gave a soft moan. He laughed under his breath, loving the sounds she made. They were all so beautiful and wonderful. Her body went limp and her breathing evened out. He kissed the top of her head and allowed himself to drift off.
Hylden took Sincerity to his house, wanting to her close to him. He couldn’t wait to see some of the looks of disappointment on the other young men’s faces when they realized she was now his. He didn’t know why he found the idea so amusing, but he did and it made him smile. “Promise you’ll stay with me forever.” Sincerity said softly as she drifted off.
“I promise, nothing will pull us apart dearest love. I will stay forever by your side. You are my everything Sincerity, the love of my life.” He replied in a whisper.
“Good, that’s really good.” Her voice faded away and she fell asleep. He would spend the rest of his life making her this happy.
Hyldan gave Sincerity a long kiss on the cheek before falling asleep with her. When Sincerity woke in the morning he was wrapped around her making it impossible to move even slightly without waking him. She loved how safe and cared for she felt in his embrace. Sincerity kissed Hyldan and he woke with a smile “Good morning my beautiful princess”
“Good morning handsome. Let me make you breakfast”
“Thank you, afterwards I need to meet with some of the other warriors and get to work. I’ll be back this evening.”
“will you be here when I get back?” Sincerity giggled “sure, I’ll make sure I’m here for dinner”
“Good, thank you” Hyldan planned on going to his mothers house before he met the men. Sincerity and Hyldan ate together then he gave her a long kiss before leaving “You’re my everything Sincerity”
“and you’re mine” Sincerity was sad to part with him. She had grown accustomed to him always being with her. Hyldan knocked on his mothers door “welcome back son” she said happily and hugged him “Hey mom, I want to talk to you about Sincerity.”
“What about her?”
“I finally asked her to be with me and she said yes. She has moved in with me and well..I wondered if you would go ahead and give me the ring thats been passed down in our family so I can ask her to be mine forever when I get the courage and feel she’s ready for me to ask.” His mothers lips jerked into a wide smile and hugged Hyldan “I’m so happy! Of course! I just wish your dad was around to see this.” She took off her ring and handed it to him “I’m so happy thigns finally worked out between you two.”
“Reece had to force me to ask” he admited shamefully. His mother laughed “Your father was afraid to ask me and we had so many wonderful years together. I wish you and Sincerity the same happiness.” He kissed his mothers head “Thanks” he put the ring in his pocket then found the men he needed for the job he promised to do. Sincerity had allowed him to make love to her and now lived with him. He hoped marriage wouldn’t be pushing things too far. He decided to wait until it was absolutely clear she was ready to commit her life to him.
“It’s time to get up.” Reece whispered and Nali pulled the blanket over her head. “Come on baby, it’s nearly noon.”
“What?” She threw the blanket back as she sat up. “Why did you let me sleep in so late? Did you eat? Has anyone come by?”
“Calm down.” He laughed as she jumped out of bed and pulled on clothes. “Everything’s fine. I cooked myself something and no one came by. Besides you’re pregnant so you deserve to rest.”
“Oh no, don’t you start with that. You are going to drive me crazy, I just know it.”
“I thought I already drove you crazy.” He pulled her into his arms and rubbed his nose against hers. Her heart sped up and she blushed. “See, you like when I drive you crazy.”
“You never play fair. I want to go and see Sincerity today. I have to make sure they are able to come with us on our trip. I also have some important things to ask her.”
“Like immortality and moving to Shigara?”
“I didn’t even say we would be moving there.”
“Yes you did, with your eyes. We can build a house in the oasis so you can be close to your father and Aurel. I can see how much it means to you even if you won’t say a definite yes. You want to live there, so lets live there.”
“I need to talk to Sincerity first and see what she wants to do. I don’t want to leave her behind.”
“Okay sweety, lets go then.”
He laced his fingers through hers and they walked at a leisurely pace to the village. They were immediately stopped and asked questions the moment they set foot in the village. They told everyone about their pregnancy. Reece knew that before they left there would be people offering to make them things for the baby. It was a tradition in the village to throw a party for the expecting couple and then after the baby was born there would be a naming ceremony where Reece, as the father would name the child. He would continue talking about baby names with Nali later. He wanted to suggest that if it was a girl, they name her after Nali’s mother and if it was a boy they name him after his grandfather and maybe give him Aurel’s name as the middle name. He really like Aurel and would be honored to have his child bear the man’s name. Aurel had helped Nali when she was still young and it was the best way Reece could think to thank him.
“What are you thinking about love?” Nali asked with a sweet smile.
“I’ll tell you later when it’s just us.” He answered and kissed her cheek.
Nali almost went to Sinceritys home but then remembered her saying on the way back she was moving in with Hyldan. They went to Hyldans door and knocked loudly. Sincerity answered with a smile “Hey Nali and Reece!” she saids cheerfully. Nali hugged her then Reece did the same. They walked into the living room and took a seat. “I want to start with the not so big conversation before we go into the serious stuff. Is that good with you Sincerity?” Sincerity was nervous as to what Nali had to talk about. “Ok” was all she coudl think to say. “On the not so serious note Reece and I are taking a trip with my friend Aurel next month and we were hoping you and Hyldan would go with us. It’s a very long trip but it will be amazing. I promise you’ll be blown away by the sights.”
“That sounds fun, I’d love to go if Hyldan wants to go. I’ll ask him when he gets home”
“He says yes or I’ll slug him” Reece said winking at his sister who laughed as Nali punched him in the arm. He kissed his wife “I was only teasing”
“You better have been.” Nali turned back to Sincerity “Now on the serious stuff.”
“I’m ready” Sincerity said preparing herself for anything. “I want to move so I can be near my father and my friend Aruel. I can’t do that though if you don’t come with me. I can’t leave you behind. I thought of you as my sister long before I married your brother. I love you and you’re my family. Would you consider going?” Sincerity paused obviously thinking and moved by Nalis words. Sincerity stood making Nali stand too. They embraced eachother tightly. Sincerity still remained quite then said “I think that would be wonderful. That was such an interesting place and I could get used to the heat after awhile I’m sure. Again only if Hyldan would agree. I really love him Nali. I’ve only just started my relationship with him and I don’t want to kill it with such distance.”
“I understand Sincerity. When will he be home so we can talk to him too?”
“He said he wouldn’t be back until this evening”
“wow, working that hard when he just got back?” Nali said then Reece spoke “When Hyldan says he’ll do somthing he means it. You can always trust that mans word. He said he’d help some men today and he is because he said he would” Nali spoke again “I have another big thing I want to ask you Sincerity. I know you’ll want to consult with Hyldan on this too but I have to ask and if you dont want to I understand fully.”
“Well, like I said you are a sister to me and I would hate not to have you in my life. As a mortal you’ll die one day Sincerity. If you’d be willing…..I could make you and Hyldan into demons like I made Reece. The heat of the dessert wouldn’t bother you if you moved and we could all be together forever. We could truly be best friends forever. You’d never have to leave your brother or Hyldan. You’d get to see your children and their children grow up. Time would be irrelevant to you. It does hurt when I first transform you but it wont last too long and Reece and I will be there to help you and Hyldan.”
“That’s one I will really have to talk to him about. We were both there when Reece went through the change and I was terrified. If he says yes then I’ll do it. I can do anything if he’s there.” She felt like such a coward. In truth she really wanted to stay with Nali and her brother for as long as possible.
“We understand Sincerity, just take your time to mull it over. It’s a very big commitment.” Reece said and patted her on the back.
“I feel like such a coward.”
“Oh honey you’re not a coward.” Nali hugged her. “We won’t let anything happen to you or Hylden.”
“Reece’s change was just so violent. I shouldn’t have stayed to watch.”
“You just wanted to help and you did.”
Sincerity sighed and sat down at the kitchen table. “I wish I was bra like you, Nali.”
“You are brave. You became my friend when everyone else was scared of me, you were tortured by a demon and didn’t give up no matter what he did. You are so brave Sincerity.” Nali sat down next to her and grabbed her hand.
“Thank you for saying that. I guess I sell myself short sometimes.” She smiled happily at them. “Let’s make something delicious together.”
“Food sounds amazing right now. I’ve been so hungry since we got back from Shigara.” Reece said and started going through Hylden’s pantry. “This man has nothing. I’m glad you’re moving in with him, this place needs a woman on ot or he might starve.”
“We could go to my house and cook muffins then maybe you two can help me move some of my stuff over here.”
“We would be happy to.”
They left Hylden’s house and walked across the town center to get Sincerity’s. Both Nali and Reece just now realized that Hylden’s house was situated so he could see Sincerity’s. He must have watched out his window every day, waiting for her to come out so he could spend time with her. Reece had known from the moment his sister was born that Hylden had wanted to always watch out for her. Anytime Reece had been busy, Hylden had stayed close to make sure no one hurt Sincerity. Reece owed him for his unwavering dedication. Hylden was a true friend.
Sincerity and Nali talked while they baked muffins. Reece loved seeing how happy they were around eachother. His sister and wife were always happy but together they just seemed more so. He really hoped Sincerity decided to become a demon and live forever with them. He didn’t know if he or Nali could handle one day going to her funeral. They both loved her so much. He wouldn’t pressure his sister though. It was too big of a choice to pressure her into. Once they were done the three scarfed them down quickly. “Lets make more.” Sincerity said seeing her brother was still hungry. Nali laughed and helped her make another batch for the oven. Once they had eaten those aswell They went into Sinceritys room and grabbed all her clothing. Reece picked up the dresser by himself while Nali and Sincerity handled the clothes in her closet.
They walked back over to Hyldans where Reece set Sinceritys dresser beside Hyldans. Nali and Sincerity were happy to see Hyldan didn’t use his closet for anything but shoes and dress shirts so there was plenty of room for her dresses. After that they moved all the food she had into his house then finally her shoes. They decided after that to just relax until Hyldan got home. She didn’t really need anything else and they knew Hyldan would run grab her anything if she wanted it later.
They passed the time talking until Hyldan got home. Sincerity got up and hugged him then placed a loving kiss on his cheek filling him with warmth from his happiness. He looked forward to always being greeted like that. He was so happy to finally be coming home to Sincerity. He had wanted to be with her for so long it was hard to contain how happy he was to finally be able to call her his and not stress about other men trying to be with her. He saw every time a man came to her door and each time his heart sank thinking sombody else might get the honor of being with her.
“You ahve food now” Reece said smiling then Nali added “yeah we moved Sincerities clothes and her food since you had nothing.” Hyldan laughed “Thank you” then he looked at Sincerity “is there anything else you need you can think of I should go get?”
“Nope” she said with a smile then he kissed her head. Nali stood “Sincerity and I will cook dinner. You just sit.” Hyldan sat by Reece as the girls disappeared into the kitchen. When they were out of ear shot Reece said “I noticed somthing when we walked from your home to Sincerities”
“what?” Hyldan asked already guessing. “You can see Sincerities house from yours. I bet you always were by her side wherever she went because you watched for her to leave. Hyldan blushed even though he knew what Reece noticed from the second he said anything. Reece laughed “I knew it, thanks for taking such good care of her. You’re a good friend and I know you’ll be a good husband to her. I can see how much you love my sister”
“I’m glad because my heart belongs to Sincerity. I love her very very deeply”
When dinner was ready they all sat down at the table. Sincerity looked a little nervous and Hylden grabbed her hand. “What’s wrong?” He asked.
“Nali and Reece have some things to talk to you about. They already talked to me, but I wanted your input so I didn’t answer.” Hylden turned his attention to Nali and Reece, wondering what they could have asked that would make Sincerity so distressed.
“Well first, we wanted to know if you two would like to come with us and Aurel on our trip next month. We’ll be crossing the ocean and be gone for some time. If you have any prior commitments we don’t want to get in the way of them.” Nali said and took a bite of food.
“I don’t have anything to scheduled so sure, I would like that.”
“Now to the serious stuff. Sincerity and I have always been like sisters. I want to stay close to her. Reece and ai have been entertaining the idea of moving to Shigara to live near my father. We wanted to know if you two would like to move with us.”
“Do you want to go Sincerity?” Hylden asked.
“Yes, I would like to be able to see Nali and Reece whenever I want.”
“That settles that then. Anything else?”
Nali nodded and held his gaze. “Both you and Sincerity are our friends, even though you and I had a rough start I have grown to care for you. As you know Reece and I will never grow old and will only die if someone kills us. Because I am selfish I want to make you like us. You already know how painful the change and if you say no then I will push the matter no further.”
“I don’t think that’s selfish Nali. Sincerity was your first human friend and I understand you wanted to be close to her forever. If she wishes to go through with it then I will gladly do it. Her happiness is all that matters. Is this what you want Sincerity?”
“Yes of course. Even though I know it will hurt! I also know that you will be there to hold me through it all. I want to be a part of this family forever. I don’t want to think of Nali’s and Reece’s sorrow at losing either of us. Mostly, I want eternity with you.”
Hyldan smiled then kissed her softly. “I’m looking forward to having a much longer life with you. You didn’t really have to wait for me Sincerity. I will always want whatever makes you happy. Your happiness and well being is what makes me happy.” Sincerity smiled “I would never want to make any life decision without you. I want to be with you forever so I’m not going to change my life in any way unless I talk to you. I would think you’d talk to me too before making a life choice.” Hyldans smile stretched as big as it could go. “I definitely would Sincerity” he said softly. That told him he could ask Sincerity to marry him. Her own words were that she wanted to be with him forever. Nali and Reece smiled too as they felt the strong wave of love pass between them.
“when would you two like to go through changing? Reece will be able to read it while I share blood with you two.” Hyldan spoke “I’d rather you just do Sincerity tonight so I can really be there for her while she suffers through changing. Once she is alright you can do me”
“That’s a good idea. We will change you after dinner if you are ready Sincerity”
“I am” They finished eating and then went to Nali and Reeces. Hyldan ended up picking Sinceirty up to hold her before he had to go through the pain of watching her cry and tremble in pain. He hoped he could refrain from crying. He knew every second would wrench his heart. They arrived then Reece pulled out the book and a dagger. Hyldan situated Sincerity in his lap while Nali sat down in front of them and took Sincerities hand. Reece handed his wife the dagger “you sure you’re ready Sincerity?”
“Yes, I really want this” Nali positioned their hands the way they needed to be then Reece stabbed the dagger through. Sincerity took a sharp inhale but didn’t move as Reece began reading. Hyldan kissed her cheek and held her close. Sincerity felt heat starting to move up her arm and grip her body. Sincerity now couldn’t help but scream as intense pain moved through her. Hyldan held her tighter. Her screams wrenching his heart and stomach. When she stopped screaming and crying she passed out just like Reece had. Once she was out Hyldan cried. Nali and Reece hugged him “she did better than me. I threw up” Reece said in his own way of trying to comfort him.
Nali grabbed a blue vial and healed her hand and Sincerties. “Take her home Hyldan.” Nali grabbed a basket and filled it with Vials for Sincerity when she woke up since she still wouldn’t feel well. “Give her as many as she wants. She should wake tomorrow”
“I will” he said standing with Sincerity and grabbing the basket. Hyldan ran back home then walked straight to their room. He took Sinceritys shoes off then laid her in bed. He pulled her close then wrapped his body around hers. He began to sob heavily, heavier than he knew he could. Listening to her was even harder than he had anticipated it being. He also wanted to get it all out before she woke up and needed him for comfort. Sincerity woke early in the morning with her whole body feeling like she had been trampled by elephants. “Hyldan” she said in a weak and pitiful voice. He lifted himself quickkly “do you need somthing for the pain”
“I feel bad for hurting Sincerity.” Nali said as she made put together a blueberry pie and slipped it in the oven.
“She won’t blame you and neither will Hylden. They both knew what would happen.” Reece replied and wrapped his arms around her from behind.
“I know, I still feel horrible. I felt the same when I did it to you.”
“Everything is going to be alright. Your pie should make her right as rain.”
When the pie was done Nali let it cool before putting it into a really pretty basket. She placed a piece of cloth on top of it then put some apples and a jar of her homemade jam on top. She hoped they liked everything. She grabbed Reece’s hand and they made their way to the village, going straight to Hylden’s house. Reece tapped lightly on the door and Hylden pulled it open. He smiled at them and moved aside so they could come in.
“I made you two something.” Nali handed him the basket and he sat it on the counter. “Can I see Sincerity?”
“If she’s awake go ahead.” Hylden replied and Nali took off for his room. Sincerity smiled when she walked in and tried to push herself up. Nali helped her into a sitting position and put pillows behind her.
“How are you feeling?”
“Terrible, like death. The potions are helping though.”
“I’m so sorry I hurt you.” Nali said as she hugged her.
“You don’t have to apologize. I’m happy.”
Hylden took the jar of jam and the apples and put them in the pantry. He could smell something delicious underneath and really wanted to see what it was. He pulled back the cloth and smiled. “She didn’t have to make this for us.”
“She feels bad for hurting my sister. I told her not to worry, but she wanted to make you guys something special.”
“Sincerity is going to love this. She hasn’t eaten yet so I’ll cut her a piece.” He grabbed a plate and a knife and cut a nice sized piece off. He found a fork and then he and Reece went into the bedroom. “Look at what Nali made for us.” He sat down on the other side of Sincerity and showed her the pie.
“That looks and smells so good.” Sincerity said. “I don’t think I’ll be able to hold the fork without shaking.” Hylden cut a small piece off and held it up to her mouth. She took a bite and let out a very satisfied sound. “So amazing Nali. You’ll have to tell me the secret to your pies.”
“It’s just lots and lost of love.”
Sincerity smiled and Hyldan continued to feed her. He was talking and acting like he was alright but his eyes still said he was hurting from Sincerities crying. Nali figured he would feel better once Sincerity felt better. “now that you’ve eaten that I thought it would be a good idea if you two came and sat in the hot spring behind our house. It helped Reece a lot after his change.”
“I love sitting in there regardless so sure” Hyldan stood then scooped Sincerity off the bed. “I want to carry you there. You don’t need to walk” Sincerity kissed his cheek “You’re so sweet” They walked to Nali and Reeces house then stripped down before getting in their hot spring behind their home. Hyldan had only let her out of his arms long enough to strip. When he sat down in the water he sat her on his lap and wrapped his hands around her stomach. She sighed contentedly as the hot water relaxed all her aching muscles. She laid back against Hyldan making him smile “so you feel a lot better?”
“Way better, thanks for suggesting this Nali” Nali smiled “anything to help you. An hour or two in here and she should feel perfect. Will you be ready then?”
“As soon as I know she feels good.” he turned his attention to Sincerity “don’t tell me you feel alright until you really do.”
“I wont” Eventually all Sincerities pain left her body “I’m good now Hyldan”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, lets get dressed again” They all dried off then went inside to pull their clothes back on. “You ready Hyldan?”
“alright, you’ll have to sleep here. Reece will be able to move you on our bed. Reece and I will sleep in our guest room so you and Sincerity can share our bed.”
“Ok” They went and sat where they had performed the ceremony for Sincerity. When Nali took Hyldans hand Sincerity hugged him. Reece opened the book and began. They did everything just as they had before until Hyldan felt the same heat traveling up his arm and into his body. He grunted and clenched his teeth before letting out one really loud yell. Nali and Reece were surprised how long he kept consiousness before passing out just as Reece and Sincerity had. Reece having added strength from now being a demon put Hyldan on the bed effortlessly. Sincerity crawled in after Hyldan and laid with her head on his chest. Nali felt like crying. Hurting people she cared about twice in two days was almost unbareable.
Reece picked her up and took her into the guest room so she could cry it out with him to hold her. He sat on the bed and kept telling her all the positive things. That they would all grow old together now and that they’d all be strong and she wouldn’t have to worry over Sincerity getting hurt. He went on and on until she quit crying “I love you Reece”
“I love you too Nali. This is a wonderful thing. They had a few hours of pain to give them an eternity to live” Reece kissed Nali then just stared into her eyes. He could get lost in their beauty. Nali eventually broke the eye contact. “I need to make sure Sincerity knows where the vials are. I know she knows but I need to double check” Reece allowed her to get up and talk to Sincerity. Sincerity assured Nali she knew where they were and they hugged eachother. “Thank you Nali for doing this for us. I know it was hard on you aswell”
“I’m glad you wanted to. I’m so happy you’ll always be in my life now”
“Me too Nali. You are the best friend I’ve ever had or ever will have and now we will see all the changes of the world together, we can explore everything and have countless years of happiness and its all thanks to you. Meeting you was such a huge blessing Nali. I will always love you like you’re my sister.”
“I feel the same Sincerity. You brought the first rays of happiness into my life once it was thrown into nothing but darkness and sorrow. Hyldan is lucky to be with you.”
“I think I’m pretty lucky too” Sincerity said glancing at Hyldan. “goodnight Sincerity”
“Goodnight Nali” Hyldan woke around three am groaning “god, you didn’t make it look this bad.” Sincerity grabbed a vial and gave it to him “Thank you, please kiss me. I don’t think I can move to do it” She smiled then kissed him. He put a hand on her cheek until she parted their lips. A few hours passed of Sincerity lightly rubbing Hyldans body to help him relax between Vials then they decided to relax in the hot springs “are you sure you can make it over there”
“I can now thansk to these vials and you being so wonderful”
“You took care of me too” He smiled then slowly got up and took his clothes off. Sincerity followed him into the water. She sat beside him “Please get in my lap baby. I want to hold you. The closer you are the better I feel” Sincerity positioned herself in his lap then laid her head on his shoulder. “I need to ask you somthing Sincerity and I can’t wait any longer. If you give me the answer I desperatly want to hear I doubt I’ll even be in pain any longer. If not I might aswell fall to pieces while I’m already down”
“what is it?”
“I’ve loved you for years, I know I’ve told you that multiple times but I really deeply have Sincerity. I want to spend my eternity I’ve been blessed with as your husband if you will agree to settle for me. No man could ever be what you deserve but I really hope you’ll agree to be mine.” Tears tumbled down Sinceritys cheeks. “Yes Hyldan! I’m so glad you asked.” She gave him multiple kisses on the lips and inbetween each one she softly said yes again.
~ The End ~