The Boys of Lionshire (Part 3)

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: December 10, 2017

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Submitted: December 10, 2017



When I awoke, the rain pounded down around me.  The temperature had dropped considerably and I was chilled to the bone.  I looked over at Sara who was still sound asleep in my hooch.  She looked so peaceful, like she was back at home sleeping warmly in the comfort of her own bed.  I hugged myself trying to contain some of the warmth from my own body with little success.

The nearest tree was only a few yards away and I walked towards it seeking refuge from the storm that had descended upon Lionshire.  I placed my back against the tree and sat down in the soggy earth.  The fire pyramid had burned to embers and sizzled as the fat raindrops worked to smother what remained of it.  Thunder rumbled as lightning streaked across the gloomy sky, illuminating the camp with brilliant flashes of light.

The tree offered little shelter as the rain turned to small beads of frozen ice and pelted me in my exposed face.  Without warning, a bolt of lightning struck the tree I leaned against showering me with a spray of sparks and splitting the thick tree trunk.  I quickly jumped up and ran the few feet back to my hooch where I found Sara sitting up, rubbing the sleep from her tantalizing eyes.

“What are you doing out there in this?” she questioned, “There’s plenty of room in here for both of us.”

I didn’t argue and quickly crawled in to the shelter next to her.  I shivered quietly as she used the edge of a blanket to blot the water from my hair.  Her touch sent shivers down my spine as another bolt of lightning struck nearby, violently shaking the hooch with the thunder that followed it.

“You’ll catch a cold if you don’t get warm”, she said sounding very maternal, “Strip off those wet clothes and climb in the blankets.” 

I looked at her confused and embarrassed.  I had never undressed around a girl and didn’t intend to start now.  She must have seen the look on my face and pulled back the edge of the blanket, inviting me in to its warmth.

I ignored her and continued to tremble in the cold that encircled me.  She studied me for a moment and patted the pallet next to her.

“Come on”, she said.  “Don’t be embarrassed.  I won’t look.”

I don’t know if it was the way she said it or my primeval need for warmth, but I felt a new comfort surrounding us.  I pulled the soaked shirt over my head and placed it flat near the edge of the hooch.  I looked down at my bare, bony body, suddenly aware of the years of malnourishment I had endured.  The other boys allowed me to eat infrequently, leaving me to fend for myself most of the time.  Even then, the hunger that lived in the pit of my stomach constantly reminded me of my need for food.

Sara had her back to me as I pulled my pants off and laid them out next to my shirt.  The storm continued to rage around us as I looked down at my underwear, unsure if I should take them off or leave them on.

“What about my underwear?” I asked her shyly.

“They’ve got to go, too”, she responded.

“Alright, but promise me you won’t look.”

“I promise.”

With her word to keep my privacy intact, I removed the boxer shorts from my body.  I noticed the thin hair that surrounded my groin and was instantly embarrassed by it.  In the past year, I had begun to grow hair in parts of my body that were once bare.  I knew that one day I would be like Bastion with a hairy chest and a beard to compliment it.  I hoped that day was still far off.

With Sara’s back still towards me, I scurried in to the blanket and quickly covered up my naked body.  The warmth instantly grabbed my body and the feeling slowly returned to my fingers and toes.  She had been right; stripping down was a good idea.

“How do you feel now?” she asked.

“Much better”, I replied.

“Good”, she said as she pulled back the blanket and crawled in next to me.

“What are you doing?” I asked as I slinked to the opposite side of the blanket.  “You said you wouldn’t look!”

“I’m not looking at you”, she laughed.  “I’m cold too.  Besides, the heat from my body will warm you up.”

It was true, I could already feel her body heat searing the side of my body.  She felt good against my skin and I decided not to argue with her any further.

“Ian”, she started as she put her arm around me and nestled in closer, “I’m scared.  Do you think everything will be alright?”

I wasn’t sure how to respond so I sat silent for a moment.  In six years, I had never felt secure or thought that everything would ever be alright unless I got out of this godforsaken place.  But in this moment, I knew it wasn’t about how I felt or my level of comfort; it was about how Sara felt and her level of comfort.

“Everything will be alright”, I responded.  “We’ll make it out of here soon”, I lied.

Within moments, Sara had drifted back off in to sleep and was lightly snoring in my ear.  I felt bad about lying to her, but I presumed she already knew the truth.  Everything would not be alright, and we would eventually fade from life in Lionshire.  I was sure of it.  Minutes later, sleep took me from the harsh reality of our situation. 

© Copyright 2019 B.J. Mills. All rights reserved.

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