Fingers brush along her cheek in a steady rhythm- as if to soothe her in order to keep her from waking up. Yet she was wide awake; alert at every small movement the hand made along her face for the last couple of minutes. Their touch left a sensation that felt like cold fresh water running down the girl’s warm skin, sending shivers cascading down her spine- followed by a final wave of calm that flooded her whole body. She was facing the opposite direction from the person whose hand was now trailing their fingers down their jawline, down her neck, tracing the dip in her collarbone, along her shoulder, and finally down her back. The hand retracing the shivers she had felt earlier in slow and steady pace. Up and down was the pattern they held for a while in order to soothe her from the nightmare she was having a while ago.
It wasn’t up until a few nights ago that she started to wake up from her night terrors because she had sensed and felt someone comforting her. At first their touches were quick and hesitant and never lasted more than a minute but now they recently started to become more sure, gentler, and longer. Probably because they now had a sense of when she would stir from her restless sleep- giving them a chance to stop and distance themselves before she woke up completely. Careful not to apply too much pressure in fear that she would discover them on her bed without consent.
The girl’s heartbeat eventually returned to its normal rhythm, the gentle touches helping her calm down along the way. She sensed the owner of the hands that was comforting her was about to get ready to stop and place distance between them. She could have fallen back asleep and risked seeing those grotesque images that flooded her mind once again after she had been calmed down every night but she decided to break the cycle tonight.
Their hand traced her slim back one last time before pulling away. He stared at her backside for a moment before looking down at the hand that still felt the phantom warmth of her skin slowly fading away. He let his mind wander for a bit, wondering why he kept coming to her side in the middle of the night to comfort her when he had no obligation to do so- much less even be this near her. He went to look at her one last time before climbing out of her bed but his breath caught in his throat when a pair of dark blue eyes met his own instead of the slim backside he was expecting to see.
“I’m sorry,” He began to sputter out before quickly being caught off with a gentler voice.
“Thank you.” She said softly to him.
He stared at her in surprise, unsure what to even say, or if he should say anything at all. Her soft features showed no signs of anger or distrust towards him compared to a couple weeks ago when they had first met under unusual circumstances. Granted she had every right for her hostility towards him back then just like she could at that very moment as well. Yet she didn’t; she continued to look at him with no disgust lining her
features but instead all he could see was gentleness.
“Can I ask why?” She asked him.
“I don’t know,” He started to deny but thought better of it and reworded his thoughts. “I don’t like hearing you whimper in your sleep. I don’t know what it is that you see and go through every night but if it’s horrible enough that it makes you cry every night then I don’t mind helping you sleep.”
The guy laying across from her was hesitant and closed off but his words were sincere enough for her to know he wasn’t lying. She stayed quiet while looking at him, studying his features closely. It was night time but her eyes could still see all his features as clear as if it were daytime. The small amount of moonlight created a beautiful halo around his red hair. Her eyes then met his once again, bright iridescent turquoise eyes that glowed through the dark; an unusual color if he were a human.
“I’m sorry I woke you up, please go back to sleep.” He said as he propped an arm on his side to sit up and leave but stopped when he felt the girl’s hand grab his own.
“Wait.” She pleaded in a low voice that barely managed to slip through her lips. He was shocked at seeing her vulnerable side, when she was nothing but stern and distant towards him the whole time they’ve known each other. At least when she was awake, when she was asleep it was a whole other story.
“Don’t go. Please stay.” She felt her cheeks flush from embarrassment at hearing herself plead; Her blush prominent against her pale complexion.
“Are you sure?” he asked. He wanted to be sure he heard her right and wanted confirmation and clear consent from her.
She nodded her head slightly in affirmation.
Even if it was a nonverbal answer, it was enough for him. He lowered himself again next to her. She didn’t let go of his hand, instead her grip was firmer as if he would leave if she didn’t hold onto him. Unless she changed her mind and told him to go away he would stay next to her as long as she needed.
A strand of her silky black hair fell onto her face, he wanted to move it out of her face and behind her ear but before he could do so she let go of his hand. Her hand lifted up but instead of brushing the strand out of her face like he thought she would- she reached out towards his face and hovered over the side of his face.
His breath hitched for a split second while waiting for her to continue. Her hand was merely inches away from his ear but the anticipation of her touch was already sending shivers down along his neck.
“Can I?” She asked.
He could only manage a small nod before her hands touched his left earlobe, her thumb tracing his earrings a couple of times. The sensation made his face tingle and he prayed she wasn’t able to tell that his face had turned a couple of shades redder. His ears were one of the most sensitive parts his kind had, especially the upper part of it.
Her fingers slowly made their way up towards the helix part of his ear, giving him plenty of time to stop her if he wanted, but he didn’t and made no movements to do so. He tried his best to control his breathing as her fingers caressed his ear and even started to bite the inner part of his cheek so he wouldn’t give away how much her touch was affecting him in the moment. Unfortunately, his tail started to wag slightly behind him. He hoped she couldn’t hear the way it thumped and swayed against the sheets.
“You’re a strange one, you know that right? You trust me enough to touch your ears but not enough to tell me what exactly you are.”
“Is it really necessary for you to know?” He raised an eyebrow at her.
“I suppose not. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. I’m not sure why you’re so hesitant to do so- not telling me your name I understand but,” She trails off as she lets out a small yawn, a sign that she was struggling to stay awake. “I’ll eventually figure out what type of demon you are, even if you refuse to tell me.”
Her eyes began to droop until they finally stayed closed, her breathing became soft and shallow, signaling that she had instantly drifted off to sleep. Her hand slowly dropped from the side of his face but he caught her hand and kept it close to him once again. He wanted to feel her warmth against his skin a bit longer before eventually placing it to her side.
This time he did reach out and finally managed to brush the stray strands of hair behind her ear. His hand trailed down her jawline until he could graze his thumb briefly against her soft lower lip.
The amount of trust she had developed over the short period of time they had spent together was astounding yet confusing at the same time. It was enough that she freely let herself fall back asleep with him laying right next to her, leaving herself vulnerable. That alone required trust that he wouldn’t ever imagine to be given to him by anyone- let alone from the girl he thought would only cause nothing but a single tiny drop of disturbance in his insignificant so called life, only to instead turn into a constant ripple.
He checked himself and pulled back his hand away from her sleeping face. His hand was aching to feel her again but he restrained himself and let out a heavy sigh.
“I hope you never do.” Was the last thing he whispered to her before he too drifted off to sleep.