Revisited (Talia, p. 53)

The darkness pulses in her head. A constant buzzing fills the air. A faint smell of candles tickles at her nose. Opening one eye she sees only a blur. She moves, shifting slightly and the darkness sends fire through her mind.  “Uhh” she groans, unable to say more.

“So… you are awake at last?” A muffled voice speaks. In front of her the blur changes from white to a deep red.  “I had feared she struck you too hard. Sending for a healer now would have been… inconvenient.”  His words pound against her skull. With effort she raises a hand up to contain the throbbing. The sticky slickness she feels in her hair can only be blood. Another groan escapes from her lips.  “Now now. It is probably better if you don’t try to move.”  His voice does not sound concerned, just spoken plainly.

Words refuse to form on her lips… images flash through her mind… wolves… a dragon… a woman in black… another in red. She closes her eyes… the darkness pulses again, and in counterpoint so does a pale green light.

“I’ve been away for a while, but you must have known I’d return.”  A large hand clasps her own, pulling it away from the blood. It moves gently but firmly, and she has no strength to resist.  “Such a mess in my absence. It can still be salvaged, however.”  The hand drops her own and moves to cup her shoulder.  “I really would prefer not to have to start all over with another.”

The glow of fire surrounds him, moving down his arm to where he is touching her.  The pulsing in her head fades and in an instant is forgotten. The fire burns with an intensity she never could have imagined. She does not move… does not think… only screams.

~~~~~

She wakes screaming, her sword drawn and facing the door. Moments pass before she regains her senses. One of the servers is now standing in the doorway, eyes wide. Looking down at her blade, she sees blood on her hands. Without hesitation, she grabs her bag, pushes past the server, through the inn and out in to the night.

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