Ileana bit her lip and she took one of Rylen’s hand between her own, gripping it as she watched Rianne work on Rylen until Kisara finally arrived. She didn’t let go even as Kisara’s fire engulfed him. She was afraid. She was too afraid.
She felt like if she let go of him now, she’d never be able to touch him again. That he’d slip off somewhere she couldn’t follow.
Rylen, please. Fight.
She silently urged as her grip on his hand tightened. She closed her eyes and began praying. She hadn’t prayed in a long time...ever since Viviana died in her arms as she uselessly held her small body close, crying to the gods for help.
But they hadn’t listened to her pleas then and she stopped trying ever since.
Ileana gasped as memories of that day jumped to the forefront of her mind. Her family and friends. Dead. She was the only one who survived. She survived because she selfishly left them behind. She closed her eyes tighter as tears started to leak out, mingling with the raindrops.
Galandru, please...you’ve already taken much….please no more….
Ileana prayed silently, “please...” she whimpered.
Her eyes snapped open when she heard Rylen cough and gasp. “Rylen!” She cried out happily when he started moving. She still held his hand when he sat up abruptly.
He’s alive! He’s alright!
Rylen wrote:I’m sorry...I didn’t mean to kill...I didn’t mean to…!
Ileana’s heart broke when he started crying. It has been ten years since she’d seen him like this. They were only kids then, trying to survive in the forest all alone. He’d woken up several nights like this, unable to shake the guilt of taking someone’s life.
Had their ghost been following him all this time?
Bowing her head, Ileana crawled closer to him and wrapped an arm around his shoulder, bring his head to the nook of her neck. She started rubbing his back while her thumb drew soothing circles on the back of his hand that she still held.
“It’s alright, Rylen. They aren’t here anymore...” Ileana whispered in his ear soothingly. “It’s alright now...”