“You came.” Cathine whispered, her face softening into a bright smile. She was lying on the floor, hand covering her side. Not that her dark purple dress or hand could hide what had happened. All because I couldn’t control myself as per usual.
Not even seeing her bright smile could stop the pain from hitting me. The pain that kept stabbing me in the heart, stab after stab. One after the other. For leaving her behind, for hurting her, for that day. Everything that had happened was my fault. My fault. I should have never…
My face must have been showing my thoughts, because she said, “You’re not regretting it, are you?”
When I didn’t answer immediately, she started sitting up. “Please, don’t.” She began coughing, blood leaking from the side of her mouth. “Don’t regret it. Not us, even if this is the end. Please, I begging you, as my last…”
Before I could think about what I was doing, my gloved hand covered her mouth. Looking into her tearing eyes, I said, “Don’t worry about that. You still have a long time ahead of you. We’ll get you fixed up. I’ll…”
She looked at me sadness and peace showing in her face all at once. “You can’t. Not this time, Runa.” She then placed a hand on the side of my face and smile. Not her usual smile, the one she kept for me. For our special moments. “But I’m happy. So happy. Thank you. For everything.”
I felt her weakening, her hand slipping from my face, leaving a bloody trail behind. Her blood. I grabbed her hand and held it to my face. Still looking into her eyes, I said, “It’s not over, not yet.”
I placed my other hand behind her head and pulled her closer. Kissing her forehead, I poured some of my energy into her and whispered, “I will always come back. So, when this is all over, you’ll tell me everything, okay. About how great I am and how much you love me.”
She laughed, before sighing, “You were always a scoundrel. But…”
Dropping her hand, I placed my lips onto hers before she could finish. “But nothing. You’ll make it. You always do.”
Her lips were so soft, a drug I could never get enough on. I wanted more, but now was not the time. I needed to get her to safety. Just as I started to pull away, she grabbed my shirt. I looked at her, shocked.
“One last time…please.”, she whispered, pulling me down onto her.
I threw my hands out, holding myself against the wall, as she kissed me. As soon as my lips touched hers, she began deepening the kiss, and I felt myself slowly starting to lose control. Pulling away with the last bit of my self-control, I looked at her. She was getting weaker. I needed to move or…
“Please…I want it…One last…” Before she could finish, her eyes closed and her body went still. Damn it. I needed to move. Gently lifting Cathine into my arms, I stood up.
“Will you do it now. Will you finally listen.”
I turned and looked at the dark figure lurking at the doorway. Of course, he would show up. “This was your doing wasn’t it.” I looked down at the still body in my arms. Cathine thankfully was still alive, but barely. She was going to need a healer and fast. No, rather she was going… I couldn’t finish that thought.
The hooded figure stepped forward, removing his hood. “It was only to teach you. Your father is sick of your games. Do what he asks and the girl will live. If not… Well, you already know what will happen.”
“Do... Don’t… do…it…”, Cathine whispered, her eyes still close. “I…not…”
I turned away and looked into the man’s eyes. Blue eyes stared back at me, dancing with cruelty. “Father will do it.”
“Yes, of course.” The man smiled, all wolf-like. “Only the best for his little princess.”
“Fine. Then take her.”
The man continued smiling as he took Cathine from my arms. “Complete the mission and be sure to come back home before dinner. Your father will want to celebrate the return of the wayward princess.”
As quickly as he had appeared, he disappeared, only to leave behind a piece of paper. Picking it up, I felt dread and anger flow through me. I was going back, back to a place I vowed never to return to.
Crumpling the paper, I promised to never let this happen again. Father was going to get what was coming for him, even if I had to wait an eternity.
Because in the end, we both had time. Lots of it.