Chapter Seventeen- A New Guardian
Me and Grey are frozen as we stare at each other, our faces only inches apart.
"What was that?" I ask.
"I don't know. It sounded kind of close. Back where we left that guy just further on."
"Is that where Salvation are?" I ask Grey.
"I actually think it is," he says.
"Anyone back the other way?"
"So we're practically penned in?"
"This is going to end soon somehow," I murmur.
"How do you mean?" Grey asks.
"I mean that I'm probably going to die soon!" I snap at him annoyed. Then I burst out crying before I even know why. Grey holds me in close to him.
"That's not going to happen, I promise. We'll find a way out of this."
"How Grey?" I ask desperatly. Grey can't seem to find an answer.
"Come on, we're going to have to hunt, and I'm not just going to leave you here," Grey says instead. I follow him as he guides me through the desert quietly, towards the way we think Faith are. I follow him feeling terrible. Yes, this is going to end soon, I just have to do my best to make sure it's only for me. I try to think what my life would be like without Grey and I just feel hollow when I try to imagine it. I hate to admit it, even to myself, but I am scared stiff. It sounds stupid but I don't want to die, not now. The thought of death scares me so much, the finallity of it makes me shake. If you make a mistake in life you dust yourself off as best you can, but if you die that's it. You're gone. Finished. Even I have no control over my death and I have a thousand people out to kill me. I look around me at the trees that appear to have sprung up out of nowhere all of a sudden.
"Woah," Grey says suddenly and he crouches down and pulls me down with him.
"What?" I ask. Grey points at something just ahead of us. It's some kind of animal which is quite big, brown colured, has long legs and has antlers protuding from from its head.
"What's that?" I whisper to Grey.
"A buck. They're not meant to be out here. They live in the woods."
"So what's one doing in the middle of the desert?"
"No idea," Grey replies as he stares at the buck in wonder. I look at it to. It's quite a handsome animal. It looks so majestic and superior and graceful in the way it slowly places each hoof carefully in front of the other. It lowers its head to eat at the patch of grass before it, its big antlers hitting the ground before its mouth reaches the grass. I laugh lightly and the buck looks up and then runs off away from us. I look at Grey in confusion and find that he's returning the very same look. We silently move over the sand as we try and find something to hunt. No more bucks are around, nothing else out of the ordinary for that matter. We do come across a lone coyote which we take down in seconds, Grey corraling it into the line of my knifes fire. We make a fire right where we are and me and Grey make a deal that I prepare the kill and Grey will attempt to cook it. I've cut the thing up into uneven lumps and shoved it onto sticks which I hand to Grey. Grey then holds these over the fire, which he burns. He actually dropped a stick into the fire.
"I'm going to tell you this now," I say to Grey as I finally manage to swallow a bit of the burnt meat, "I think we are the greatest cooks in the world."
"Yeah. Burnt meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I knew I should have looked around for some fruit or something. It would have improved the flavour."
"Grey I don't think it would be hard to improve the flavour, but still no one would willingly eat it," I say and we both start laughing madly at this. I think both of our emotions are running sky-high at the moment. Our moods are changing so fast. I'm trying to cram in all the moods of a lifetime so I can make sure I lived them all and I think that Greys just coming along with me for the ride. I get up to get us both some water and when I return from the cactus that was only a few steps away I notice Greys in a dreamland. I lean down really close to him and still Grey doesn't notice me. I put my mouth right at his ear.
"What you doing?" I ask suddenly which causes Grey to jump and turn to me. Grey tries to smile at me but his face is still sad.
"What's wrong?" I ask as I sit down next to him. Grey just looks at me and then pulls me onto his lap and holds me tight. I'm not really complaining about this but I do find it slightly depressing when Grey buries his face in my hair and starts crying.
"Ok what's wrong?" I ask Grey again.
Grey doesn't seem to be able to talk for a moment and then he splutters out, "I-I just can't stand the thought of l-losing you!"
Somehow I feel as if Greys sudden concern for losing me is my fault so I feel extremely guilty, "Grey you're not going to lose me! I will always love you!" I say beginning to cry myself.
"I know but...y-you're going to die. And I won't be able to help you, no matter what I do."
"I didn't say I wouldn't die I just said I will always love you. I'm not going to make promises I can't keep," I say deciding to just lay it all on the table.
"Isn't there anything I can do?" Grey asks me. I pull my head away from his so I can look him in the eye. Grey looks at me sadly, his big gorgeous brown eyes sparkling from his tears.
"Be with me?" I suggest. Grey seems to sigh.
"I guess that's all I can do."
"Grey there is nothing else for you or anybody else TO do."
"Yes there is," Grey says and he cradles my face in his hands and looks me right in the eye, "Gilia, I swear that I will protect you. For whatever it is worth, my life is now dedicated to protecting yours. And I will not let anyone take you from me!" Grey says looking and sounding determined. For some reason this all feels very familiar to me, just not with Grey. No, it was with someone else, it was with him...
"My guardian..." I say dreamily.
"What are you saying?" Grey asks me. I realise now that I'm looking into Greys deep brown eyes and yet what I said wasn't about him.
"I-I was just saying that your like my guardian now or something," I stammer.
Grey seems to smile at this, "Yeah, I guess I am. And I will protect you!" Grey says. There it is again, he's saying more words that are making me think of someone else. My head seems to start aching.
"Gilia are you ok?"
"I'm fine. But where is he?" I ask adressing the question at Grey but not meaning for him to answer it.
Grey looks confused, "Where's who?" he asks me.
I think for a moment then laugh weakly, "You know what? I really don't know!"
"Damn it Gilia!" Grey says, not sounding particularly angry, "There's someone else isn't there? Or was anyway."
"I think that there was." "I knew it," Grey says as if he's tired.
I look at him questioningly, "When I'm with you Ifeel as if I'm...trespassing. That someone else has rights to you. It's not your fault at all but...it's just so weird. And I feel so guilty," Grey explains.
"Because the poor guy isn't going to get you back. See I'm selfish, and you're mine now. I feel a bit bad because now whoever you were with has lost such a wonderful person as you."
I feel touched to my core,"Grey if there was someone, they're in the past now. You and me are what's happening now and I'm yours."
" "All yours," I say as I rest my head at Greys neck and catch up on some serious sleep.
I run through the darkness towards something. I don't know what, but the me in my dream does, and I don't need sight to find my way there. I've reached the familiar wood door of the hut at the Tribes gate. As soon as I have opened the door I am in his arms. I can't call up a name or even s face for the person but dream-me seems content with the faceless boy. The hut is illuminated by loads of candles which sit on a dresser in the corner of the hut.
"Finally," the boy says.
"I'm right on time!" I exclaim in mock annoyance.
"Still to long," he whispers in my ear.
I laugh, "So patient," I say.
"And don't you forget it!" he jokes as he pulls me onto the bed.
"We can't keep doing this," I say.
"Why can't we? It's not like we're doing anything!"
"I guess not." I reply as I distractedly look at the soft glow of the candles. He follows my gaze.
"Those things look so pitiful don't they?" he asks me.
I shrug, "Could be better."
"Want to make it better?" he asks holding his hand in mid-air. I press my palm against his and let my energy flow and feel him do the same. Together we create a small sphere of energy that encases our hands. I feel slightly annoyed when I see the energy is black, which still glows bright, with small flickerings of gold in it and let more energy flow to my hand. After a few seconds the sphere is gold with black cutting through it like lightning. I laugh as I see a concentrated look cross his face and the sphere is once again black with small lines of gold. I groan in frustration and send more energy to my hand again but this time the sphere looks like a golden sun on a half-eclipse. I'm distracted by the beauty of what we have created and my concentration slips and the ball of energy completely disappears.
"That was beautiful," I say dreamily.
"That's because we made it together," he says simply.
I'm awoken by more, smaller versions of the explosions I heard yesterday. I open my eyes and see the sun is high in the sky. I'm still lying in Greys arms, who is awake and unmoving so as not to disturb me.
"There's more," I manage to get out before I yawn widely.
"It's Faith this time. It's been going on since a bit before dawn. This isn't good at all," Grey says.
"Why isn't it good?" I ask, unsure of what is even happening. I turn my face to the side so I can see Grey.
His face looks so emotionless as he says, "A war is starting."