Chapter One—Mama-Coddle Meter
A/N: Hello, everyone, and welcome to my story, which I must say, is of a type that I've never ventured into before; in other words, it's in MY realm. Not Middle Earth. Well, let's not say that just yet, but I will say that it's Legolas that does the traveling this time. Yes, I know, it's another one of those Done-to-Death story lines that everyone wants to experiment with, but just calm down and maybe you'll find something interesting in my little tale; if not the charming tapestry of my own made-up, completely original story, then perhaps the life I give to these characters. Now I won't say there won't be any fluff or cliché ness in this story, because, no matter how hard I try, stuff like that tends to slip out every once and a while, even though I do my best to repress it. This story is not meant to be a full-fledged novel or be held up against the light to the masterpieces that Tolkien created. I won't even kid myself on my talent comparing to his in any way, so please don't expect this to be fully canon all the time or conform to every single preference you have as a reader, because I'm different than you, and I write differently than everyone else. This isn't an excuse for bad grammar or anything, I'm simply saying that this story is probably not going to meet your full expectations of the perfect fic since it probably won't even fulfill my own. This is why I don't like flames. They accomplish nothing. They don't help the writer in any way, shape, or form. But if you happen to have any constructive criticism I shall be glad to take it (not flames disguised as constructive criticism.), especially since that's another reason I write stories on fanfiction: to improve. So, without further ado, I present to you my story: Pictor Ignotus, meaning: painter unknown.
Disclaimer-Hey, guess what? I don't own Legolas or any other piece of Tolkien's magnum opus; surprise, surprise.
I was halfway tempted to just let my head smack the steering wheel in front of me as I wearily turned my blue pathfinder right onto the crater-ridden dirt road. The small SUV jumped shakily and dust kicked up in the air behind me. That in itself was enough to remind me I was no longer in the city anymore. It was relieving, yet at the same time it only reminded me of why I was here, and I quickly batted away those worries, knowing full well they would not help me in the least. Instead, I watched the passing scenery with some awe. On either side of me great oaks grew tall, their branches hanging over the road; so close to me they nearly scraped the car's top. Light spilled through their canopy of nature giving an ethereal look to the road before me, and I marveled at the beauty of the country. Vines also seemed to be pretty abundant; ground cover that grasped onto the trees and climbed up, providing even more green beauty. Past the oak trees I could see a long, orange valley that had little occupation except for more random oak trees and some carefree horses that grazed at will.
That made me smile, at least. Maybe I'd ride a few times while I was down here…Lord knows I really needed to after not having sat on a horse in over four years. I suddenly became aware of reality again, and the light sound of my radio playing seemed to be the cause.
"…Wake me up when Septem—"
..Click.. I hated that song.
I was getting close to the house now. Flicking open my cell phone, I hit speed-dial and waited as it rang. Two rings later, a kind, old woman's voice answered, obviously pleased at her caller.
"I'm nearly there now, grandma. I just called to let you know."
"'Course, dear. Clarence is outside near the barn by now, so, if you would, go fetch him real quick 'fore he tries to walk back on that bad knee o' his. Old, stubborn coot won't admit to it botherin' him, but I know better, yes, I do."
"Alright, I will," I couldn't contain the slight amusement in my voice as grandma spoke in her irritated, yet loving voice, "I'll get him. See you in a few minutes. Love you."
Speeding up a little, I watched as the road made a turn and up ahead the trees cleared slightly and a large wooden building came into view. It was an old barn bereft of paint, though at some time it may not have been. A similarly old tractor was driving into the large doors near the front, its huge tires churning slowly before it disappeared into the barn with a rumble that I could hear even in my SUV.
grandpa, I thought with great fondness. I'd missed everything to do with this place so much. Funny how I hadn't even realized my own longing for it in such a lengthy amount of time. My grandparents' place spoke of childhood, freedom, carelessness, bliss, and, yes, it also had a tinge of sorrow to it. However, despite its bittersweet greeting, it was already a welcome change in atmosphere from that of my own unorganized and cluttered life in Atlanta.
Beside the barn was another building less than half its size: the bunkhouse, my temporary abode. It was pleasant enough; filed with memorabilia my grandmother had gathered from garage sales and other places over the years. None of it matched, of course, but that only added to its homely feel, or at least for me it did.
The Pathfinder drove up the rest of the driveway leading to the barn. Parking next to the barn doors, I got out of the car and walked--covering my mouth with my hand because of the infernal dust--into the barn's open doors.
"grandpa!" I called, looking into the gloom of the barn with only a few slants of sunlight shining in through old boards in the barn to aid my eyesight. A crash was heard, and I smiled as I heard my grandfather cursing like a sailor at some helpless, inanimate object.
"That you, Iorwen?"
I winced at the sound of my name spilling out in his heavy southern accent. I loved my grandpa, but he sure knew how to butcher someone's name. But then again, so did everyone else. I'd yet to meet someone who could correctly pronounce my name and give it its actual meaning: "beautiful." It also meant, "lord", and, I must say, I was a little fonder of that meaning than the other. I'd always liked to think of myself as being a leader.
"Yes, it's me," I replied, assuring him.
"This damn Garden Hog always gets in my goddamn way…" He proceeded to go into another cussing rampage.
I was suddenly worried, "You didn't hurt you knee did you, grandpa? Grandma sent me here first to get you 'cause she said you were having difficulty with it…"
"That woman's just done en got a bee in her bonnet, s'all. There ain't nuthin' wrong with my knee. I'm just as fit as I was forty years ago." More inaudible grumbling, and began to remember with more clarity now why I loved him so much. He suddenly emerged from behind the tractor, his mission—whatever it had been—now ended, so that he could see me. I hugged him quickly, relishing his distinct grandpa smell: tobacco (not particularly a wonderful smell, but it was his), burnt oak, the scent of horse, and circus peanuts: his favorite candy in the whole world. He ate them like them like most old people took pills. He constantly had a pack with him, usually when he was planting the fields or feeding the horses. He hugged me back hard, and a smile was on his ruddy façade, "It's good to see you here again, girl. Your grandma's near gone crazy not seein' any o' her grandchildren."
"Well, I'm going to fix that," I said, knowing that I needed her company again just as much as she wanted mine. He put an arm around my shoulder, and we ambled over to my SUV, though he looked reluctantly and distastefully at it. Again, muttering something about "that daggome worryin' woman."
We climbed into the car and continued the drive to the house, which was really just a quarter of a mile away. It came into view soon; a charming two-story farm home that wouldn't have looked out of a place in a story like Little House on the Prairie. Painted white with green trim and shutters, and flowerbeds that encircled most of its perimeter, it all came together for an image that could leave one gaping, wondering if they were really in the 21st century, for here time seemed to stand still. Not many other areas were blessed with this attribute, and the perfect couple living inside it only added to its appeal. There was a chicken coop off to the house's right, which is where I spotted grandma, heading back from the coop with a grin on her face and a basket in her hands. Grandma was the exact image of my hopes for physical appearance in later life. Her white hair was long and pulled up into a bun as she worked. Her smooth, slightly wrinkled skin was warm to the touch, and a glimmer of laughter was always in her vibrant green eyes, only waiting to be released at the slightest joy. Slim of figure from bustling around in work so much, one could still see the old woman's youthful beauty, like as though it was only shrouded behind a gossamer curtain.
I parked the car again under their small carport. Grandma met us and I hugged her warmly. She patted me on the cheek fondly before telling me how glad she was to see me.
"Lord knows I could use some more female company around here, it just being me and this cantankerous male."
I failed to conceal my amusement when I heard grandpa give a low "harrumph."
Upon entering the house, I was overcome with such a wave of memories that for a moment all I could do was stand in the doorway drinking in the beautiful sight of my grandparents' home.
"Well, come on in, sweetheart. I've already got dinner ready and I don't want it gettin' cold."
I nodded dumbly, overcome with the sentiment that had just run over me like a head-on with another car.
grandma's cooking was, of course, just as good as I remembered it. I stuffed myself full of rolls, green beans, home-style sweet corn, and beef. Once finished, I leaned back in my high-backed chair gratefully and took another draught of tea.
"You ready, girl?" grandpa asked, quite unexpectedly, I must tell you.
"For what…?" I asked tentatively, wondering if I'd completely forgotten something important and whether grandpa would be angry with that.
"To go saddle up Fara. I figured you'd be wantin' to ride her soon enough. And what better day to do it than now? There's an awfully beautiful sunset comin' on; I can see its color peekin' through the top o' that window." He pointed to the small kitchen window over the sink, and sure enough, hues of pink and orange were seeping through the glass and painting that part of the room in a delicate radiance. Finding the idea enchanting, I hastily nodded and turned to my grandfather with a look of delight on my face. "I'd love to."
And that was all he needed to hear.
Standing up from the table, he brushed himself off promptly and looked at me steadily. "Well, I'll just go bring her in from the pasture. You go on into the barn and find that blasted saddle. There should also be a halter, and you can configurate a bridle outta that by just snappin' a lead rope onto it. I've completely forgotten where all that stuff is. After all, I ain't gone ridin' in quite a while now." He laughed wryly. And I just looked through the table where I knew his left knee was.
Obliging to his request, we left grandma (after sincerely thanking her for the meal) and drove back to the barn, observing the magnificent sunset behind us with some amount of wonder. When we reached the barn, I parked the car in front of the bunkhouse and grandpa headed out to the field where the horses were still grazing and laying down in the soft, yellow grass. I heard him whistling shrilly for Fara, and I made my way into the barn searching vainly for a light. It wasn't dark yet, but the barn was placed at such an angle that sun light hardly ever filled it.
Over near the unused stalls, I saw an old sawhorse and wandered past it into its depths where grandpa usually dumped all of the tack. I found a halter that seemed to be the head-size of Fara and clipped a very old and dingy-blue lead rope onto it, and then tied it on the other side. I wandered around then, just looking anywhere for a blanket and saddle. I found the blanket on top of an old trunk that held some of grandma's old clothes, and the saddle, (which was in rather bad shape) I found in a stall next to the one from earlier. Right about the time I found it, I heard the dull clip-clop of hooves and turned around to see grandpa leading in my favorite mare. She was a chestnut Arabian, though not fully, with a white star across her forehead and a long, tangled red mane and tail. Her slender frame was that of a racehorse, bred upon the hot deserts, and elegant to a fault. Fara was ridiculously trusting, an odd trait for what was known to be a very high-strung horse breed, and, instead of being led by grandpa, just followed him.
I sauntered up to her leisurely and rubbed her smooth head, carefully moving her wispy forelock back to its place. Grandpa and I soon had her ready, and, with grace and skill that I'd forgot I had, swung myself up into the saddle with no help. It felt good to have a horse beneath me; it was like regaining another body part lost to you for years. And with the feeling of Fara's strong body beneath me, my own body began to recapture that horsemanship skill which I'd overlooked for so long. Taking the makeshift reins in hand, I turned the giant animal out of the barn, with grandpa following close behind. I looked towards him when I suddenly remembered that he needed a ride back home. "grandpa, do you want me to take you back to the house real quickly. It won't be a problem—"
"No. I'll just get back on my own, girl. I'll take it slow; don't worry yourself none. A few feet of walking ain't gonna hurt my knee." He pointed at Fara, "Now go enjoy yourself, Iorwen. And don't forget to get back before it's too long after dark."
I smiled gratefully at him and nodded. "Alright, grandpa. But if grandma gets bent out of shape it's gonna be on your head, okay?"
He chuckled slightly and slapped Fara on the rump, causing the normally calm mare to bolt towards the field. I emitted a rather embarrassing squeak, but quickly reclaimed my grip by leaning down over the horse and just enjoying the unifying sensation of horse and man together as one.
The sun was hanging midway over the Earth, preparing for its final descent into the horizon, its flaming head sending an orange glow over the valley and tracing the trees in a golden haze of light. Pink splashes randomly littered the sky, and, for a moment, my mind was no longer focused on the animal taking me over the plain, but the land I was in.
I suddenly remembered one of grandpa's sayings: "Ain't nuthin' like an east Texas sunset."
And how right he was…
I'd seen much of the world in my lifetime, but no matter where I went, I always found myself comparing those places to my southern home and deciding that they paled in comparison to its untold grace and majesty. Of course, I was liable to be a bit biased...in fact I knew I was, but I couldn't make myself care. Maybe this was why Texans were so ridiculously patriotic?
Overall, it was just a pleasant evening and there was a light breeze that whipped my auburn hair about in a most delightful way. Fara was as eager as I was to enter the deep parts of the ranch. We reached the trees in a matter of seconds and suddenly we were speeding through the copse. I ducked my head even lower to avoid the branches that seemed to be dangerously near my head and turned Fara further right, remembering a particular place I wished to see. Pulling back slightly on the animal's reins, I reduced the horse's crazy speed and she reluctantly complied. I really had no wish to completely brain myself on a passing bough.
The location I was heading for was a small spot I'd found when I was little. Ironically enough, I'd been on Fara then too, and, from its discovery on, it became a place of unequalled splendor to me. I'm not entirely sure why, except for the fact that it was quiet, secluded, and there was a small spring that ran through it. But there's hardly ever a real reason for most of things we like, dislike, do, don't do, and so on.
Usually it took only about seven to ten minutes to reach it if I went around the big oak tree that had the swing on it, and I was prepared to enjoy every single one of those minutes.
There are few things in this world that I think of that compare to the soothing sound of the forest, and I was quickly reminded of this as my horse and I rode through the sublime peace that was the woods. However, my peace was shattered when a very-much-so unbidden and unwanted memory flashed through my mind: hide-and-go-seek, my cousins, Sonya, and then the search. When I was very young, about eight if I recall correctly, we'd been to my grandparents for Thanksgiving and all the children had played hide-and-go-seek on the ranch. Nobody was supposed to go past the bunkhouse, but Sonya, my little sister, hadn't listened and had got herself lost on the giant ranch. The search that had followed had been one of the most agonizing days of my life. We hadn't found her until the next day somewhere around five, after we'd called the police and a search party had been organized. One hundred forty acres was a lot of land to clear, and there was still the possibility she'd gotten off the ranch somehow. That had been the worst prospect. What if she'd been kidnapped somehow? And then there was the overall fact that it was perilous for any child to be alone and unaided on a huge ranch without any food or knowledge of how to get home. When she had been found, the relief had been the most wonderful sentiment, and that feeling was what I tried to remember now: knowing it was over, knowing that she was safe. However…Sonya wasn't safe anymore
..Pain.. No more, you foolish woman, I thought desperately. Forget the past. Forget. Forgetting is the only thing that can help you now.
But my mind was not easily swayed. It mercilessly flashed pictures of the family I had had but taken for granted. They weren't here anymore, well, they might as well not be. All I had now were grandma and grandpa. Mom died when I was little and now my father had suffered two strokes that would more than likely take his life soon. My grandparents would have to watch their child die. It wouldn't be the other way around. And in that thought I was able to suddenly forget my own selfish misery and think on how upset my grandparents had to be. They too were nearing their end. How horrible must it be to see this happen? Could they not end their life in peace knowing they'd raised wonderful children and that they were still living out their lives? My father was only sixty-three years old. He and my mother had been 40 upon my birth and now I nearing my twenty-fourth birthday. This was the thought that made me determined to stop thinking at all costs. Simply focus on what is ahead of you. You still have your own life to live…it simply won't be spent with parents guiding you.
Disgusting myself with my lack of mental will, I sighed and tried vainly to focus on something else, anything else. To my luck, my brain seemed to pick out something of a more desirable nature and I began to reminisce of my first kiss. It had been in the clearing. It was really quite romantic, come to think of it. I'd been about thirteen years old and my mother's old friend, who had currently been dating my own father, had come with us to the ranch and brought her two young sons with her. Jackson was fourteen, and in my opinion, had been the sum of everything I could have ever wanted in a boy. It hadn't even occurred to me that it would be really weird if our parents ever got married, but thankfully, they didn't anyway. At the time, I had been certain I was in love with that boy. The memory made me snort unattractively.
Teenager. I shook my head and realized, with some surprise, that I'd finally reached the clearing. Everything was exactly as I remembered it, except for something that was only marginally different. There was a missing piece. Something had changed about it. It wasn't until much later on that I would realize that the change was of my own making.
Dismounting, I let Fara's lead rope fall to the ground, confident she wouldn't desert me and run back to the fields where the other horses were. She instead just ambled up to the rivulet and began lapping up water. The small stream was even smaller than usual. There'd been a bit of a drought I'd heard grandma mention earlier, and, sure enough, there was hardly even a trickle of water in the stream now. It was still quite peaceful though, and I perched myself upon the log I'd used for a seat as a little girl. It felt so natural to be there. Natural. Now, there was something I'd missed. Who could say that everything they did in their life now was natural? That living in an overpopulated city was natural? Not many, I'd wager. And for me, being back in East Texas, sitting in the center of a childhood memory, well…that was natural. If anything was, then this was.
Sliding my back onto the ground and letting my head rest on the log, I closed my eyes and listened to the forest, reveling in the peace it brought to me. Nothing bad happened here. Nothing.
I must say though…I was quite perturbed with myself when my eyes fluttered open to see the unfriendly darkness creeping into the trees and the crickets emerging to make their music of the night. I felt itchiness on my face and inwardly knew that the log had left its mark all over the side of my face and along my arm. Cursing quietly, I looked about frantically for Fara, hoping to all that was holy that she hadn't run off and left me with no way of getting back save for walking. Fortunately, it looked like she had simply given in to her own slumber and was standing near the brook with her head low.
Scrambling up to a standing position, I headed over towards Fara's position and began to stroke her neck. She let out a soft snort at that; evidently pleased that we were finally leaving and nudged me in my side. I yanked on the girth strap quickly; making sure the saddle hadn't gotten loose. (I mentally felt sorry for Fara for having to stand so long with a big, huge saddle on her) Mounting shakily, I made my stiff legs swing over Fara's wide back and rolled my neck a few times to loosen up the joints.
Now, I'm not particularly fond of the darkness, and my mind was hurriedly reminding me of this as I turned the Arabian back towards the barn. The night around me was quite stifling and I hurried Fara to a trot, eager to get back to bed soon with a warm quilt to sleep with. The horse obliged to my requests happily. Thankfully, grandma had turned on the light in the bunkhouse earlier and left it on, so it wasn't long before I saw its cheery light through the thick oaks in front of me. Fara's pace unconsciously picked up speed, and I sighed in relief as the barn and bunkhouse came back into view. Before long, we were both back in the barn and I was unsaddling Fara as quickly as possible, the thought of a shower, and then bed, fresh in my mind. I decided that it seemed a better idea to just let Fara sleep in the barn that night, and I let her into one of the less-damaged stalls with a few big handfuls of hay to accompany her. Closing the stall door, I picked up the cumbersome saddle and turned to put it on top of the sawhorse. That's when it happened.
At first, everything was just disturbingly quiet. No crickets chirping loudly, no sound of Fara chomping on hay, or even the peaceful sound of the breeze whistling through the barn. It was simply silent. Deadly silent. But then…
I dropped the saddle and nearly screeched with the pain that it sent shooting up through my leg. However, I quickly forgot about it when my mind registered the deadly crash that had reverberated through the barn. It sounded like a trunk full of books had just dropped onto the roof of the tractor. A few more crashes sounded after the initial hit, accompanied by a very male-like groan.
Terrified beyond my wits, I just stood there trembling, ignoring the pain in my foot and trying to be still out of terror. I was pretty certain by now that the barn I was standing in--the barn that had been empty of anyone else earlier except for one lone horse--was now occupied by another being, and I was also halfway certain it was a male.
Determined not to explore further without light, I rushed back to the bunkhouse and fumbled through a closet looking for the flashlight I knew grandma had. Slowly, and might I add, reluctantly, I headed back to the barn, shining the wavering light into the barn in a wide circle. "Is anyone there?" I ventured as loud as I dared, horrified at the meek tone to my voice. "Anyone?"
Flashlight beam shaking none too slightly, I made my way around the tractor towards the sound's origin. I dropped the flashlight, caught it mid-drop, and almost ran out of the barn. "Holy shit."
I gazed wide-eyed at the ground, my eyes staring at what appeared to be…a blonde version of the god Eros lying on the ground in the middle of my grandparents' barn. He was quite tall, with a thin, lithe body and white skin that seemed to glow in the darkness of the barn, despite the artificial luminescence of my flashlight. He had apparently fallen right off the tractor and landed rather awkwardly on his side, one arm twisted underneath his frame.
Suddenly feeling like an asthmatic kid devoid of an inhaler, I tried to assess my situation in a calm manner. Okay, so there was an unconscious man in the middle of the barn with a large knot on his head…so what? My irritating second mind cut in, What the Hell do you mean, so what?! There's a man in this barn, probably a trespasser, who just flopped off the tractor like a damn bouncy ball, and that's all you can think of!
I was so in lack of an answer by now that I was looking back towards grandma and grandpa's house frenetically. Should I tell grandpa? No. grandpa would whip out his shotgun; determined only to make a hole through the head of a man he thought was a trespasser. I couldn't let that happen. This man didn't look evil, and there was just something about his circumstances that made me unwilling to hand him over to my grandfather's merciless grasp. He looked helpless, and God forgive me, but I'm a wimp when it comes to helpless creatures. If I ever saw any being, human or otherwise that was in some type of misery, I wouldn't hesitate to coddle it like a mother would a newborn baby. It was one of my undying habits that I simply could not get rid of. And, sure enough, as I gazed at the vulnerable man lying bruised and wounded on the ground, I felt that sentiment welling up in me again, unbidden and uncaring of what type of man this was.
Groaning, I grabbed Eros' arms (for that is what I shall currently call him) and began to lift him to his feet, and, he, still quite unconscious. My mama-coddle meter rising, I tried to heft up his body enough to where I could at least drag him comfortably out of the barn and into the bunkhouse. He proved to be heavier than his slender frame voiced, and I found myself struggling mightily to keep him from falling back onto the ground. Getting irritated, I wrapped his arms around my neck from the back and held onto them harshly, lugging his body, with his feet dragging limply across the ground, through the door into my abode.
The bunkhouse is pretty small, but grandpa had managed to attach a bathroom and very small kitchen to it with running water and air-conditioning. Pulling Eros' body over to the small couch in the foyer/bedroom, I laid his top half onto it and then lifted his legs on directly after. I was slightly amazed by the softness of the fabric his outfit consisted of. But whatever he was wearing, it seemed too plain to be regular clothes. It looked oddly like pajamas or something of that nature. A very simple, linen-like shirt and some loose, comfortable-looking green pants. He had no shoes and that only seemed to add to my theory. How odd…
Suddenly remembering the welt on his head, I pressed my fingers against his scalp to find where it was and then felt something sticky. There was another cut along the back of his head along his crown. Scowling, I went and found the first-aid kit grandma had unnecessarily equipped the bunkhouse with. I was really quite glad now that grandma was so anal about these types of things. There was some hydrogen peroxide and I quickly used it to clean the wound, surprised to see that it didn't even make Eros flinch. Man, I thought pitifully, He's out cold. That must have been quite the fall. This genius was lucky he hadn't broken something.
Standing there staring at him, I wondered to myself what must have happened. Why in the hell would random guy be in my grandfather's barn? Maybe he worked here? grandpa had hired some guys a few years back. I could recall a few of them living in the overhead loft in the barn, so maybe that was it? He'd just rolled out... But it still didn't explain why the barn was still in such bad shape, or the reason why my grandparents hadn't told me about him, or why he looked much too old to be a hired hand, unless he was just down on his luck completely. Usually the stable boys were just that: boys! This guy could pass for twenty-five.
Sighing, I put some gauze over the small cut then laid an ice pack over top of that and let his head rest against it so it would stay in place. Satisfied with my work, I looked over the rest of him to make sure I hadn't missed any other injuries. He would probably be very sore and bruised for a while, but there was really little I could do about that. Happy with my work, I yawned and locked the bunkhouse door, making sure that if one of my grandparents came over tomorrow they wouldn't walk in to see some man lying on the bunkhouse couch. I glanced over at the door to the bathroom and my body groaned for the hot waters of a calming shower. Peeking over at Eros who was still out, I went into the bathroom and locked that door on my way in as well. I could only hope he wouldn't wake up during my shower time.
The heat of the water was only too wonderful, and it helped to relax those stiff muscles I'd slept on in the woods. As I got out, I wrapped a pink towel around myself and looked at the mirror. Those stupid wood markings on my skin from sleeping on the log were almost completely gone now and for that I was thankful. My skin had cleared up from my latest breakout and, that in itself, was enough to boost my self-esteem. But still, my stormy gray eyes looked back at me dully, lacking that light they had once held. I looked older, more worn by time and experience.
Sighing, I rubbed the towel into my hair, making it as dry as possible and dressed in the baggy pajamas I'd plopped onto the sink. After getting dressed, I opened the bathroom door tentatively, hoping to God that Eros hadn't woken up. What a wonder this boy was. What was his true story? I'd be very interested to know in the morning.
Ugh, no more thinking, just sleep. I stumbled over to the small cot in the room, plopped another thin pillow on top of the first one and curled up in the warmth of one of grandma's quilt.
My mind still wanted to interrogate me about my lack of fear regarding this random man and all the unknown factors related to him, but I didn't feel like answering as I slipped into a very deep, troubled sleep.
A/N: My God! I'm finally through. Eleven pages on word! I'm feeling pretty good about myself here. At any rate, there's the first chapter, now please go review. -Smiles huge cheesy grin-