The walls are grown together with trees. Their roots snake and hug even insides of those massive supporting structures. They are starting to fall apart, but still stand in their old glory. I can only wonder who is older, trees or those walls. 

We enter what seems not quite a door, maybe more a gate and we are supposed to find ourselves in a building, but inside grows the whole forest. You can’t easily single out walls any more. Trees grow everywhere where you look, even birds are singing. In the middle is a green meadow and a fountain that looks like a standing woman’s body. She is placed in a protector’s poze, though she is not even real. Moonlight covers her shoulders and water washes her body. This place looks very peaceful. The smell reminds me of Eirikrinn and my thoughts wander to him. His moss scent. I inhale deep. 

We are greeted by a group of quietly walking men. All of them stay silent and calm. All of them are dressed the same. They make a symmetric round around me. Then one of them hands over something to Silva. Her happy face leaves this place in twos. As so her men behind her. I was given no time to open my mouth to say anything. I just feel a cold hand on the back of my neck and my world goes black.

Trees, grass, moss… Is it Eden I was looking for? I feel a pain in my back and try to straighten. Ah, my hands! I tug harder. I am pinned! My breath quickens. I almost can’t move. My wrists are in cuffs with the spikes on their inner side. They dig through my skin and my blood drops slowly into the fountain. The water glims and shines with each drop in emerald green color. My instincts pull me to run. And I run. NO! I just hiss in pain as spikes enter deep under the skin and I’m stopped in place. I try to break out of holding handcuffs, but spikes cut me deeper. I manage to break the chains on my legs. Unfortunately, cuffs are attached to the edges of the fountain. It’s small but f*cking heavy. I pull harder and harder and scream in pain. I’m not staying here! 

  • Sunshine.

He whispers gently, but my anger and flee mode ignore this little detail.

  • You?! Damn you!
  • Shush!

My anger boils and bubbles, but as he is not my first trouble on the list, I pull again and let out one more painful scream. He covers my mouth shutting me up, I struggle to breathe. I bite his hand without hesitation on a first suitable chance. He lets me go.

  • You misguided me!
  • Shush! 

To my surprise, he pulls an attachment of cuff. Spikes get in again deeper. My scream fulfills this place and disappears between ancient trees. I glare at him. He looks at my eyes with an apology, but says nothing. His fingers trail the cuffs and he works delicately on them, but we both understand, it’s not helpful.

  • I dreamed of meeting you again.

He admits so mildly. His low and husky voice warms and somehow a bit calms me. 

  • Cover your eyes.

I feel an urge to trample my foot, but do as he says. I don’t know why, but his demanding tone left me no choice.

I hear fountain breaking and feel my hands free. My open eyes see remains of the fountain shattered around us. Our feets are in blood and glowing water, the green lawn changes its colour. Running blood makes its painting work as an art’s master. Eirikrinn opens one handcuff with his dagger, the other one I tear off myself. He smiles. I am still angry, confused. 

  • YOU send me here! 

He chuckles innocently.

  • You are so sexy when angry. And in those handcuffs you were..

I hold my dagger’s tip to his chest. He growls.

  • Your attempt to scare me has another effect. I felt for you when we met each other like this the first time, Sunshine. 

I hold my hand steady. He just saved me. What was the point of sending me here and then rescue?

  • Let it down. You turn me on, Sunshine.

That voice! It contains something strange in itself. It can’t be an accent, I would have learnt it. Maybe the dialect? Or it should be old, ancient. And now in this forest hidden between walls it shows itself somehow even stronger. 

We smash our lips and savour the kiss… Oh, his scent… He deepens the kiss and enters his tongue. It transfers me out of this place to nowhere, just in space. There are only two of us left. Roaming our bodys, showing attention to all parts we can touch. Our hearts beat in the same lust. I whimper when he finds my nipples and pinches them. I cry out. This time from pleasure. I buckle down to him and feel him hard. He growls wrapping me in his voice. There is no place for wind between us. I position my head low, open his trousers and take all his length into my mouth. I can’t control myself and my fangs, they are doing some damage. His lips escape throaty sound and fingers find my head and hair. He guides me a bit up and down. We both moan. He pulls me up breathing heavy. I know what’s to come next. I grab my dagger and throw it toward him. He dodges in a blink. 

  • I show you Eden.

Escapes his lips. My eyes return and fix on him.

  • What did you say?!
  • You want to kill me?!

We both are knocked by surprise and speak up together. 

  • This is Eden.
  • It’s not the only one, Sunshine.

We both still try to steady our breathing. Eyes play battle. To be honest, I expected the person to be Eden, not the place. Anyway now is clear, this place is not what I was looking for.

  • We have to go.
  • I agree.

He turns toward the exit and finds a man at the entrance’s door pinned with my dagger in his chest. His gaze finds me. I go pass him and pull out my dagger. 

  • Your toy is rare. Nice and dangerous. Like it’s owner. 

What a bullsh*t he drags? Why?

  • Are you noble, Sunshine?

He tilts his eyebrow. I clean my dagger giving me time to answer. 

  • Are you? Yours has eagle on handle. Contains silver and gold. Its blade was forged by a true master. By wolves on the edge Polis. You won’t make or buy it here.

I follow even the slightest of his move, but decide not to show weakness and return my dagger to rest in its place on my tight. 

  • You have a good eye and accurate trained hand. It’s not just a talent. It needed hours of work to master.

I feel his mind working hard. It’s not what I want. To be exposed.

  • I value and recognize real craftsmanship when I see one. 
  • I see though yours is different…

I don’t like where our talk turns. It’s just this weird feeling not letting me go.

  • It’s a gift.

I cut his small interrogation with hope that I threw him off the way. If it’s a gift, it has to say more about someone who bought it, not about me. I noticed, each time we are together he tries to cut through my defence walls, but I am not ready to let him in, though my heart hammers. He stares at me. I see, he still believes what he said. I’ll have to work harder and he won’t make it easier for me.

Continue reading chapter 22