"Hey," William soothed, taking Lylyu's hand. "I'm sure it's hard. I have no idea what you are going through, but I can tell you this: we all lose somebody, and we end up mourning them more than we thought we would,"
Lylyu nodded, careful not to hit her tray as she got off the bed. She picked it up and put it on William's desk, afraid that if she ate she would remember her mother, and the way she used to walk and talk, do all the things she didn't now.
"Are you okay?" William asked.
Lylyu nodded, though she wasn't sure she meant it. William wasn't convinced, either.
"What can I do?"
Lylyu thought for a moment, and realized that the only thing she could do was let it go. But she wasn't ready for that. She couldn't let it go, not when every time she closed her eyes she saw her pale face, pleading as she... She couldn't take it. She shook her head, frustrated.
She began to calm down, her mind slowly breaking down each price of the image and stowing it away. She didn't know why she kept it. Maybe it was because it was the last she's ever seen of her mother. She didn't know, and didn't want to think about it.
"Distract me," Lylyu finally answered.
William obliged and laid Lylyu down, resting her head near his lap as he drew circular patterns around her eyes and forehead. The feeling soothed her, and coaxed her into a light sleep.
Lylyu woke up to muffled shuffling. Slowly, she opened her eyes. The noise was William, getting under the covers. Lylyu thought she heard herself wrong. Under the covers? Suddenly it hit her. William must've put the blanket over her when she had fallen asleep.
"William?" Lylyu whispered.
William shifted so that he was looking at her. "Did I wake you?"
Lylyu nodded, but then shook her head. "I'm not sure," she said. "How long have I been asleep?"
"Around two hours," William replied.
Lylyu's eyes widened. "I've been sleeping a lot lately,"
William grinned. "You need to stop hitting your head, or, you know, falling asleep after you've woken up...."
Lylyu nodded, though she didn't quite get what he meant. William saw that, too.
"That didn't sound like I meant it to," he laughed.
Lylyu smiled. "You think we could go garden now?"
The idea had popped into her head from their recent conversation - recent as in two hours ago, Lylyu reminded herself. She hadn't seen the gardens yet. William nodded, but didn't move to get up. Lylyu shifted a bit, but William put his hand on her arm.
"Lylyu?" He asked nervously.
Lylyu looked up at him curiously.
"Do you think," William asked. "That someday we could.... Um.... Would you....?" He shook his head and looked down. "I mean, I don't want to be alone either, and I was kind of wondering if instead of going back to your old life.... If you would live here with me and possible be, um, what's the word? Married?"
Lylyu imagined her eyes were widening to the size of saucer plates. She hadn't thought of going back to her old life, and now that she thought of it, she would much rather spend her years with William. Joy and nervousness swam inside Lylyu, making her head elate.
"Yes," she finally answered.
William sighed with relief and pulled Lylyu closer, curling his arm around her waist, bringing her into a hug. Lylyu hugged him back, breathing in the smell of his clothes, feeling the rush of thrill she got when he whispered, hot breath flowing down her kneck.
"You have made me happy when I started to believe that the world could only be cold,"
Lylyu sighed. "You made me realize that there are more than just words,"
Chapter Six -
While William made arrangements for letters to be set out to her brothers, Lylyu roamed around the land William's father had owned. It was very pretty, perfectly manicured, except for one area, the forest. It loomed above all of the other trees and almost looked like no light shone through. The trees had canopies of massive green leaves and trunks that were wider that a cow's belly.
Lylyu found a new pass time while she watched the way the shadows moved inside the forest. It was very pretty. Lylyu hadn't known how long she had been outside, and mostly she didn't care. The forest gave off a sweet fragrance that reminded her of where she used to live, in SwindleThorn, where trees surrounded the whole village. Lylyu remembered watching the walls of her room as the shadows of the leaves peacefully moved in the wind.
Thinking of home no longer made her stomach hurt now. Lylyu thought about the feeling she had now like a river rolling over stones. One might look pretty, and the river could long to be there, but it had to keep going until it had the bigger picture.
Lylyu smiled as she looked up to the sky, at the breaking light. She had gotten he life somewhat straight. The river came to rest at a vast ocean, always moving, always changing, but always a home. She was happy with her new life, and couldn't wait to see more. The sky was turning to dark shades of pinks and reds, the tips of the opposite skylines almost blue.
Lylyu watched as the colors slowly darkened, turning to blues and purples. A few stars began to pull themselves into existance. Lylyu watched in fascination as the stars became brighter and more abundant.
She heard footsteps, but in the past few days they had become familiar to her. She didn't turn around as he sat next to her, still smiling.
"Your going to get cold," William warned.
Lylyu grinned. "Good thing I have you,"
William scooted closer and Lylyu rested her head on his shoulder. The stars seemed to be brighter when the two touched, like they saw how greatly the two felt for each other.
"They will be looking for your brother, and won't rest until they find them," William reported.
Lylyu smiled again. Her brothers were so close, she could barely breathe. Lylyu hadn't seen her brothers for almost two years, and their reunion would overjoy Lylyu. She was already excited for their arrival.
"Thank you, William,"
William wrapped his arm around Lylyu's shoulders. "I love you,"
The statement didn't surprise Lylyu much, but it made her heart jump. She hadn't expected it. Her throat became dry, her palms felt warm.
She finally found her voice.
"I love you, too,"
William squeezed Lylyu's shoulders, kissing her cheek softly. Lylyu felt herself blush, but if William saw, he didn't say anything about it. Lylyu hugged his side, taking in the comforting warmth of the man she would be spending he rest of her life with.
William sighed as he sat back in his chair. He had so much on his mind, and yet the only thing he could think of was her. She took over all of his thoughts. It was impossible to do his work when he knew that he was waiting for him when he was done. It was driving him insane.
William ran his hand through his hair, trying to remember what he was doing. He looked back down to the reports he was reading. It was in the green ink of the Nobleman, and William couldn't help thinking that it was the same color as Lylyu's eyes.
William almost slapped himself as he continued reading. There were no reports on Lylyu's eldest brother but her other brother had been working on a mill for a family friend and is coming as soon as his boss would let him.
William grinned. Lylyu would be delighted to hear about this. He could only imagine the anxiety boiling inside her right now.
Pushing her out of his thoughts, William reluctantly moved on to the next letter. It was from a member of the Jury named Garith, not the brightest man but very trustworthy and loyal. William sorted it into a pile and moved to the next. The pattern continued until he found one that was covered in crinkled paper, yellowed and signs of being worn by the weather covered it's surface.
There was no description of the sender, only William's name and living place writes neatly on the front cover. Curious, William turned it over.
His heart sank. It was them. They wanted to hear if he'd done it yet. Shame filled his stomach. He wasn't supposed to get attatched, he wasn't supposed to help, he wasn't supposed to fall in love.
William slammed his head on his desk. He had to kill the woman he had betrothed himself to. He had to put out his light, and his only light.
He heard footsteps running, two pairs of them, towards his door.
"William?" He heard her breathe at his doorway.
His heart slammed into his gut. "I'm ok,"
"What happened? Are you hurt?" She questioned.
"I'm fine!" Will snapped.
He couldn't deal with this, not right now. This was just too complicated. How was he going to keep her alive and please them at the same time? And keep her being alive a secret? And not let her know about it and have her still be happy?
Questions and possibilities crashed into his skull, frantically trying to be herd. Frustrated, he put his head in his hands.
"This can't be happening." He muttered.
"What can't be happening?" Lylyu asked.
Author Notes: Part 3 of 3. The second book will take a lot longer to write. Thanks for reading! Send feedback! -KP