I thought for a moment. Ethan wanted me to tell him something about myself. Life before Ethan. It was hard to image that only a few days ago, I had been pimping myself out to make money. A part of me didn't want Ethan to know that part of me. It was embarrassing. I had acted so immaturely.
"Well," I started as we stopped to pause at some of the different decorations that were strewn about the castle. It was a lot cooler here, and my arms were beginning to get goose bumps. "As you know, I can shape shift." Just to demonstrate that I could, I shifted into a fire nymph I had befriended years back.
My skin was more orange than anything, and the skin radiated heat, warming me up and probably Ethan, too. I was shorter now, barely five feet, my hair turned a fiery, brilliant red as it tumbled down my back in waves. My yellow eyes turned to Ethan to see his reaction.
My shifting always seemed to take him a bit by surprise, but he never appeared scared or repulsed by the morphing phase. It wasn't always pretty watching one face morph into something completely different.
Ethan nodded. "How many different forms can you morph into?"
I thought for a moment as the different people flashed through my head. "Countless. All I have to do is touch a person, and I can morph into them. And that includes animals, so I can do a lot of different people. After my parents kicked me out, I traveled around a lot to try and find the most powerful beings to have in my arsenal. I needed to find a place to call my own, away from my family." I pulled Ethan to another statue.
"Did your family not understand your ability?" Ethan asked gently after a moment of reflection.
I nodded my head, my hair falling over my shoulder. I tucked one side behind me ear. "Not at all. They feared it actually and became weary of me because I could literally be anyone. But what broke the straw on the camel's back was that I was kind of a rebel."
"You?" Ethan said with mock surprise. "No!"
I smiled and punched him lightly on the arm. "I was just tired of people hating me for an ability I couldn't control growing up. I'd just sneeze sometimes, and I'd change into the last person I had touched. I was tired of getting rocks thrown at me and getting beaten up after school. I wasn't getting the best grades in school because I was too busy hooking up with the football team to give a shit about anything else. They'd pay me to shift into the hottest girls in school or the town and sleep with me." I shrugged. "Not my proudest moment. But I used the money for my travel money. My parents couldn't handle the fact I never listened, so they kicked me out. I dropped out of school, I just walked."
It had been years since I had talked about my life growing up, but it was surprisingly therapeutic to talk about it with Ethan. I was beginning to understand just how much he was really good for me. "So, tell me about life with you and Erela. What was life like before you met me?"
I thought for a moment on what to ask, what I didn't know about Brokentear, what I wanted to know, which was everything he'd be willing to tell me. I was stumpe though, not too use to wanting to know about others, not used to the attachment. Finally, I thought of something. "Were you there when Alyssa had Lilith?" I asked, keeping my voice soft when I said their names. Brokentear paused slightly when I asked, so I turned to look forward again and kept my ton neutral.
"I'm only asking out of curiosity. You don't have to answer me if you don't want to." I gave him the out if he needed it and retreated into my own head while he thought it over. I wasn't sure about my own birth, but my Father had been there when my Mother had Angel. He'd been filled with pride and happiness when he'd seen her, or so he'd told me later. I wondered if Brokentear had been proud of his own daughter and then mentally slapped myself. Of course he must have been. My own aside, weren't all fathers happy for their kids?
I could hear myself rambling in my head and shook the thoughts away and focused on counting our steps, waiting patiently for y companion to speak.
Forevers soft plea pierced a hole into my heart and twisted. I felt happy that he valued me so much, yet angry that by cultivating this attachment it would hurt him when I became a veggie. Which reminded me, that I needed to let him know about that.
"Lovely, lovely Forever," I murmured, kissing each knuckle softly, watching when he raised his head to watch me with teary eyes. I smiled bitterly and kissed the backs of his hands. "I'm sorry that my choices will hurt you, dearheart. Had I known my decisions would lead me to you, I might have chosen better. As it stands, I am between a rock and a hardspot." I watched his hurt and confusion and slight happiness war in his eyes an sighed lightly.
"When I say that I'm dying, it's a bit...more than that," I paused to absorb how little sense that made and then pressed on, "you have to underhand, I've been around for a long time. There were a lot of times I was desperate for distraction. There are whole decades that are giant black holes. These holes on memory have put me in a bind. I've made many people mad over time, and someone finally got back at me. I have demons, Forever, little bastards that have been transplanted into me and will, eventually, eat my heart. And because I am immortal due to my nature, I won't die when they do. I'll fall into either a coma, or go vegetable." I told him. I gave him a moment to absorb my not so kind past and then continued.
"I don't know when it'll happen. The attacks are irregular and unavoidable. I don't think it'll happen anytime soon, I don't think it'll happen while I'm here. But I cannot assure you it won't, and I do not want to hide this from you." I told him seriously. I watched Forever absorb what I had told him and smiled when he looked both thoughtful and relieved.
"Because all I'll have with Erela are the memories of you and I. I want to have things to remember and look back on. Does that make sense?" Akane explained to me, seeming rather unlike herself. Much more meek and concerned instead of the confident girl I had met in the garden. So she was as deep in this as I was.
"It does make a lot of sense, actually." I smiled in reassurance, "I would love to get to know you, Akane." I took her hand and looked towards the exit.
"We could go for a walk." I suggested, thinking for a moment of where we could go. The castle was big enough to explore and talk as we did so.
Akane nodded in approval with the walk idea and I grinned before holding the door open for her, "and we could eat together tonight, too." I added.
For a while we just walked, enjoying eachother's presences as we found our way to an area of the castle I had been to only once or twice. It was colder here, but twice as lovely to look at. The walls were made of a reflective stone and looked very crystal-y.
"So, Akane, tell me about your life before meeting me." I asked, genuinely intrigued.
"Tell me more about yourself?" Yuki asked quietly with a smile. It seemed that she had calmed down quite a bit since getting here. I felt her hand in mine and kind of liked the fact that she hadn't let go.
I tried to think of what more I could tell Yuki, as I didn't really do much talking about myself usually. I looked at the trees around us, wondering which ones held spirits like Yuki had informed me.
"Let's see, you already know that I had a wife and daughter. You know that I plant pretty flowers, and that I kidnap people." I grinned, "I'm not sure what else there really is to me." I shrugged.
"Is there anything in particular you want to know, Yuki?"
"I'm dying Forever."
The words felt like a knife to the chest. My heart slammed in my chest and I felt the color drain from my face. I held my breath and stared ar the same wall Setsu was looking at. The silence that followed after the words twisted that knife. Thoughts raced in my mind as I trembled. I placed my shaking hands in my lap and clasped them together.
Dying? This couldn't be happening. This had to be a nightmare. A twisted, twisted nightmare. How could I find the one person I never wanted to let go of, then have him ripped away from me?
Before I even realized it, tears had formed on my eyelashes and I tried to blink them away but they kept coming. My throat felt tight.
"B-but you can't die." The words escaped my lips without my permission. I turned to face him and kept my eyes to my hands and his as they found their way together. He interlaced his fingers in mine and I bit my lip at the feeling.
"I don't want you to die, Setsu." I spoke, my words shaking and choked. I closed my eyes and sat in silence.
I looked at the area that Brokentear had pointed out and smirked. "Not afraid I'll run?" I teased him. His mouth flattened into a line at the same time my entire being rebelled at the notion, a small voice vehemently screaming at me for even thinking it in passing. I didn't say anything to disburse the seed I had planted, but I did take Brokentears hand and squeeze it reassuringly, before turning and dragging him off for our walk.
I let us walk in silence, absorbing the familiar sounds of birds chirping and the wind ruffling the leaves of trees. I could feel whatever tension that remained roll down my spine and out to the ground, and I felt more in my element. Oh I was just as happy in a city or in Brokentears mansion, but there was something about being in a forest or wooded area that soothed the locked off part of me. We were a good ways into our walk when I finally broke the silence.
"Feel better?" I asked quietly, and then smiled when Brokentear nodded, looking just as relaxed as I felt. I almost felt bad for having used him for a pillow for so long, and then squashed it ruthlessly. I smiled instead and turned forward again. "It's nice being out here," I told him, enjoying a breeze that went by and ignoring the fact that I hadn't let his hand go yet. I slowed down to walk beside him instead of infront of him and turned lazy eyes and smile on him.
"Tell me more about yourself?" I asked quietly.
I wanted to kick myself at making Forever worry, while a small part of me marveled at his instincts. I smiled at him and brushed my fingers down his cheek again before leaning down and kissing his lips lightly. I wasn't sure if I should tell him what was wrong, yet I didn't want to lie to him and then have him catch me puking later. With a sigh, I leaned down and planted my head on his shoulder. "I'm sorry to have worried you," I murmured, pressing a light kiss to his shoulder with a sigh. I stood straight a moment later and gave him a small smile.
"Let's sit. I want to tell you about myself," I told him. I realized by his surprise how abrupt I might have sounded, but I could feel my legs wanting to give out and my head felt light, and I didn't want Forever to see that. So we sat on the end of his bed and I looked at the opposite wall, slightly lost in my head.
"You're aware I'm a Fallen Angel, yes?" I checked. Forever seemed only a little taken aback, but nodded his head. I nodded and turned my eyes back to him, feeling my years come back as I told him. "And do you know what being one entails?" I asked. Forever thought for a beat and then shrugged shyly.
"You can fly," he murmured, "And you fell from Heaven. You might be old?" he questioned unsurely. I smirked sardonically and kissed his hands in silent reassurance.
"Yes, I'm old. I look 21, but I am much, much older than that. But my point is, I'm immortal. I will never die, or at least that's what immortality normally entails, yes?" I told him seriously, trying to convey with my eyes how serious and ageless I was. I turned away when he fidgeted, looking uncomfortable and slightly shocked. I gave him another moment to digest what I had said before smirking sardonically and bitterly at the wall.
"I'm dying Forever." I told him, lettig his hands go to clench my pants tightly in response to the reminder.
"So what shall we do now?" Ethan asked after another kiss. His kisses were my favorite. His lips were smooth and full against mine and knew just how to make me go crazy for more.
I smiled up at him and thought for a moment. "You know, as much as I would love to go get physical right now," I paused, a sultry smirk appearing on my lips. I turned and walked over to the table I had set one of the many research books upon and picked it up. "But I realized with my time with Erela that I don't know very much about you. Or you me."
Ethan nodded in understanding and walked over to me, taking the book out of my hands and read the title. "We've only know each other for a couple days, you can't really be surprised that there are things you don't know," he said gently.
"No, I know that. It's just that I do what to know everything about you. So I was thinking we could just go for a walk or get to know each other better over dinner, maybe?" I looked away, "I just don't want you to think that I only want to have sex with you. I want you to know that I love being with you more than the physical benefits," I looked away, scared of his reaction.
I couldn't believe how weak and meek I had become around him. Since when did I care what others thought about me? Where was my over flow of confidence I usually had? Where was my go-to attitude or my hold no prisoners demeanor? I could feel myself softening and changing. I didn't yet know if it was for the better. But somehow, I wasn't too worried.
"Look at me," Ethan instructed as he came to stand directly in front of me. When I finally turned my head and stared into his eyes, he took my hands in his and kissed the tops of them.
I interrupted him before he could continue. I wanted him to really understand me. "I know that Erela is probably going to take over again sometime, and I want to be able to think back to all the fun and amazing things you and I did together. Because all I'll have with Erela are the memories of you and I. I want to have things to remember and look back on. Does that make sense?" I asked. I searched his eyes for doubt, but I didn't see any.