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(Part 18) For the rest of this series, please go here.

Locke paced the room, watching Aerissa anxiously.  He tried to calm her down, but his attempts proved fruitless.  Aerissa was a blur of movement as she raced around the room, grabbing all of her belongings in no particular order and packing them haphazardly into her bags.

Aerissa please… Locke sat down, raising a paw in the air.  He tilted his head, his eyes saddened by what he was witnessing.

“I must go.  Where's the dagger? Locke! Tell me now!” her voice became shrill, a wild and desperate look in her eyes.

Sit down a moment, Rissa, we'll sort this out.  You are safe here.

“I'm not safe anywhere! Especially not here!” she choked back tears, her cheeks already stained from the intermittent flow of her emotions.

Aerissa glanced quickly around the room.  Satisfied, she shouldered her bags, quiver, and bow the best she could and rushed down the stairs two at a time.  Locke jogged after her, whining, but Aerissa paid him no mind.

“Twyla!” Aerissa yelled, a strain heard in her voice.  “Give me my dagger.  I know it's got to be here somewhere.”  She started to rifle through the front desk in the common area.

Hearing the commotion, Twyla emerged from the backroom.  “Rissy! Ye be awake, finally.  It good ta see ya…” her words trailed off as she noticed that Aerissa carried all of her belongings.  “Where ye offta now, deary?”

“I need my dagger.  I must go quickly.  Please, give it to me,” Aerissa's forehead furrowed, her face wrought with pain and worry.

“Now, Rissy, ye can't be traipsin' off in to tha woods so soon.  Ye not be feelin' well ‘nuf yet.  Come, let's eat,” Twyla grabbed for Aerissa's elbow.

Aerissa wrenched her arm away from Twyla, glaring at her.  “Give me my dagger.  Now.” She over enunciated her words, staring into Twyla's eye sockets.

Locke stood next to Twyla, his ears back against his head.  He let out a low yowl, frustrated by his inability to communicate with either of them at the present time.  He watched as Twyla stood before Aerissa.  Aerissa's face flushed and anxious, her entire appearance disheveled.  Twyla's previous merriment in seeing Aerissa awake had been replaced by a look of dejection.

Twyla's shoulders slumped as she lowered her head, shuffling behind the desk.  She unlocked a drawer, withdrawing a cloth bundle.  She set it upon the desk, rolling the cloth out to reveal the dagger.  She carefully rolled it back up and pushed it across the desk towards Aerissa without a word.  Aerissa bit her lip, her eyes welling with tears.  Quickly, she dropped her room key on the desk and picked up the dagger.  And with that, she was out the door.

Locke padded slowly to the door.  When he reached the door, he looked back at Twyla.  She sank into the desk chair and wouldn't look up.  She raised a bony hand, waving him off.  “Best keep yer eye on her, Cat.”

Locke bobbed his head and dashed out the door to follow Aerissa.

* * *

Aerissa's legs ached, but she continued to push herself.  She ran as fast as her legs could carry her and all her belongings.  The world became a blur as she finally let the tears flow freely.  Sobbing, she waved her hands before her, trying to lessen the amount of branches to her face.  Eventually, her body could not withstand any further exertion.  Aerissa slowed her pace until she crumpled upon the ground.  Gasping for air between sobs, she clutched at her chest, wishing away the burn deep within her lungs.

She laid there, struggling to recover her stamina when Locke caught up with her.  He, too, was breathing hard.  Frothy saliva speckled his muzzle.  Locke slowed as he saw Aerissa laying on the ground.  He approached slowly.  Once he was convinced she was merely resting, he flopped down near her feet, his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth.

“You…should…n't have… followed…me,” Aerissa wiped frantically at her face, which was wet with a mixture of tears and sweat.

I have no choice.  I must follow you.  I must ensure your safety. Locke's panting slowed as he regained his breath.  He began to groom his face and paws while he waited for Aerissa's recovery.

After a few minutes more, she sat up slowly.  “Fine, just so long as you don't bring anyone to where I'm going.”

Locke pondered this for a moment, then sneezed violently.

“Yuuuck!” Aerissa wiped at her face, a hint of smile upon her face and gone just as quickly.

Why would I bring anyone to you?

Aerissa hopped to her feet, picking up her bags again.  Shrugging she says, “Because he is looking for me.  I just know it.”

I would not betray you to him. Locke walked alongside Aerissa, struggling to keep pace with her without breaking into a run.

“Let's hope not,” she muttered darkly before sprinting off into the distance.

Locke let out a sigh, then bounded after her.  He stayed behind her by a few yards the rest of the journey.  The trees changed suddenly.  Everything around them was bright and warm.  They had re-entered Eversong Woods.

Where are you going?

“Back.  I just hope no one has taken it over,” she yelled, her voice carried upon the wind and swiftly delivered to his ears.

Locke stopped in his tracks, mulling over her words.  His eyes widened suddenly and he darted off, sprinting past her.  He led the way back to the cave, searching it, making sure it was safe for their return.

It was just as they had left it.

** Please note that some of the events included in RP pieces are based upon actual in-game role play.  Also, some of the events and/or character names may have been altered during the transition from in-game RP to story formation. **

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5 comments

  • Hrumph, i’m a bit annoyed with Aerissa she’s not treating Locke very nicely, it’s almost as though she doesn’t remember all they’d been through together although I know it’s just her panic overwhelming her senses. And Twyla, poor thing is probably at a loss as well. Hmmm, why did she choose to go back to the cave?

    You did it again my friend thank you 😀

  • Excellent job I almost forgot it was Tuesday. I’ve become quite used to reading your stories on this day. I hope Twyla doesn’t take the way Aerissa personally and hopefully Aerissa will come back to apologize someday. 🙂 I’m going to miss Twyla. 🙁

  • I’m sorry she wasn’t so nice in this part. I hated to make it so, but it had to be done. Hopefully some more answers will emerge next week. 🙂

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