Chapter 24

"I'm sorry Verrine, but we have alot of work to do. The weather is going to take a turn tonight, so we need to prepare." Zali's tone still seemed strained as he wrapped his arm around Vivva. The deer man went stiff, dark eyes glancing at her, then back to the open door. His lips opened, then shut, as if words formed but fell short.

Why had she originally sought him out?
Because he had seen her naked. Why couldn't think of any reassuring words? How did she help?

Before she could formulate a sentence, Zali had pulled Vivva out the door. She was now alone with her dragon, sitting on bed of blankets. The little beast rubbed it's head under her chin, making something akin to a purring sound.

This world was much bigger, and different then she had imagined. Was she sheltered? She had always thought she was well versed in the ways of people, but how wrong she was. She got to her feet slowly, holding the rather large dragon against her as it clung to her with all four legs, and wings. Despite its rather large size, the dragon felt rather light in her arms.

Now what did she do?

She should be productive and help! First, she needed to gather her weapons, secondly, she needed to find something to put ontop of the scales. Likely, she was not ready to wear clothes, and would likely burn them up again. The dragon hummed happily, still clinging to her as she stepped outside. There was a few Land-Born and people roaming around, all seemed to be a bit busy with tasks. She recognized a few faces from the gathering earlier. They wouldn't do that again right..

"Verrine." She paused, looking over to see Athelstan approaching them. Under one of his arms was a bundle of fur, and in his hand a steaming bowl. When their eyes met, his iris bled crimson before he blinked, the moss replacing the red. His full lips pulled into a big smile, and she felt a small tingle of something when his expression shifted to endearment.

Was that directed at her?
She looked around her, but everybody seemed to be busy with their tasks. Odd. They had not met that long ago. Maybe it was because the caravan was not destroyed by the Goblins? "Yes?" She responded, blinking when he held the bowl out to her. Inside, the liquid was yellowish and smelt of poultry. Broth? The thought of eating was appealing, yet revolting. She felt fine, yet also quivered ever so slightly. Her dragon too, quivered a bit. It rested its head against her shoulder, making soft sounds just for her ears.

"This is for you.
Since you have been out for so long, you will need nourishment." He motioned for her to drink, looking all to eager. She took a sip, her stomach turning. She felt like she was about to vomit, yet had no food to release. The bowl of broth mocked her, existing in her hand as something needed, yet refusing to be consumed. Her dragon looked up to her, big lavender colored eyes full of concern. She faked a smile, and took another very small sip. The liquid was like blood going down her throat, thick and vile. She gagged, the broth spilling on her hand. Athelstan watched, his gaze also tainted with worry.

Gods, why was eating so hard?

" She flinched at her harsh stutter, but held the bowl back out to Athelstan. He took the bowl, albeit a bit reluctantly. His hand cupped hers for a moment too long, before the bowl slipped from her grasp. Thank goodness, she could not stomach it no longer.

"You are still in bad condition, it would be best if you rested.
" His tone was still lighthearted, but had a low tone of authority. It was the same tone Elric used on her occasionally. It meant they were not going to let the matter go. Her hand quivered, so she hid them behind her dragons wings. Perhaps she felt fatigued and weak, but she did not yet want to admit it.

Would like to help." She tried to say, but stopped when her Dragon puffed. Athelstan also did not look impressed. He unwound the bundle of furs, looming over her with the quality blanket.

"You will rest.
" He was stern, yet gentle as he wrapped the blanket around her. A rather macular arm wrapped around her shoulder, and pulled her against his side. She blinked, but let herself be led, despite the awkwardness of his close contact. He was just being friendly, right? However, she had to note he was warm, warm enough for her to feel. In fact, his warmth radiated off him just like the little dragon that clung to her.

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