Without a Safety Net
A salt water sting flares across the dozens of tiny abrasions that pepper my hands as I wash the blood off. I welcome the sharp bite like a cherished memory. It reminds me that I’m alive.
It reminds me that they’re not.
Crouched down over the surf, I listen to it lap at the shore with a gentle repetition that blurs into the soothing symphony of a soft, constant roar. I let my gaze settle on the a horizon far beyond me. As I rub my wet hands together, the rivulets of water cascade down my forearms, leaving pink trails of diluted blood to coat my skin like some sort of twisted baptism. The salt-infused air is in a far more playful mood than this tired bounty hunter. It dances past me, tugging at the crimson strands of my hair that try to hang down the edges of my face. I’ve been told they frame the sharp angles, and that it’s beautiful in an intimidating kind of way. People seem to find beauty in the strangest places, myself included. Indulgently I let myself take in the quiet calm of the next few moments, reflecting on my surroundings.
I don’t know why people hated it here. The Twilight Highlands were surprisingly beautiful, actually. Maybe not certain parts, of course, but even Silvermoon has its slums. Besides, it served my purposes enough; littered with plenty of cultists that would go unmissed.
The serene calm that settles over me in the wake of their crumpled and broken bodies is hard earned. I had to have cut through at least two dozen of them, one by one, to get to this feeling. At least now I could think clearly, past the tumultuous emotions that had been stirred into a frenzy earlier.
Finally, my eyes tear themselves away from the horizon that rested far beyond my reach. I realize just how far away it is. Everything seemed to feel like that nowadays. I was out of control, grasping for things I could never seem to obtain.
Teslaan was pushing me. Always pushing me. Demanding things from me I wasn’t capable of anymore. How many times had I told him I wasn’t that girl anymore? The one that would sneak out every Midsummer eve after all the celebrants had passed out drunk and strewn themselves around the Whitedawn estate; the one that danced in private abandon around those damn ribbon poles; the one that remembered how to laugh - really laugh.
There wasn’t room for those frivolities in my life anymore.
“There isn’t room for you in this life anymore.”
The words I’d spoken to him earlier came back to me. They were sharp enough to cut me open inside, and I flinch as I wonder how they might have wounded him. I had to give Teslaan credit though, the stubborn prick had still persisted. He wouldn’t leave me.
It probably would be better for us both if he did.
I expected a scowl, the swing of a punch rising toward my face, a string of curses. Those I could handle. What I couldn’t handle was what he’d actually done.
The idiot kissed me.
I was trying to chase him off and what does he do? He kisses me.
The dull throb of my impending headache was gearing up. Iit beat against the walls of my skull mercilessly. It shouldn’t have been a problem. I was freed now, no longer a servant once Darroc had signed my papers. It was almost surreal. To have something I’d never truly had. He’d freed me.
But freeing someone is not the same as letting them go.
Darroc wouldn’t let me go; not ever. If I were being honest with myself, I didn’t want him to. As fucked up and twisted as it was, he was everything to me. There had even been a time years ago when we were happy, really happy. Then it all came crashing down. One night, that’s all it took to shatter both of our lives. He’d gone off to Northrend to throw himself relentlessly at death’s doorstep, while I... I died a little at a time, hardening like a piece of amber left untouched for years.
Teslaan was trying to crack me.
I couldn’t afford to let him succeed. He truly didn’t comprehend the snake pit he was clumsily trouncing through, with eyes straight ahead and chin held up with pride and honor. Ignorant and oblivious to the dangers that slithered and snapped at his heels, he just kept walking deeper.
How much longer til I couldn’t save him? Was it too late already?