Everything was red.
Spinning and twisting in front of her eyes, the floor became the ceiling and the walls turned themselves inside out. The pain shot through her back, following her spine up to her the nape of her neck. It tore the lower part of her brain into her chest making it dance with her heart, pounding to a slow-motion rhythm. Her gasp for breath became the only sound in her ears, and the shadows of the inside walls moved in to consume her.
Her lungs collapsed in on themselves. Her stomach churned and exploded, acid ripping apart her insides. Her spinal cord was severed, her brain loosing function, but not pain. The pain was still there, throbbing inside her veins with an overpowering drive of force. It ate apart her cells and drove her mind into madness, consuming and blackening madness.
Shock and fear across a pretty face.
Gold on gold flashed in a memory of terror, with silver on silver binding her voice in her throat. She choked on the metallic taste of her own blood, which came from where she had bitten her cheek from so much pain. The sound of her breathing was shattered as her dagger-belt fell to the floor. Her heartbeat resounded after it. Her legs failed her and her knees connected with the floor like lost friends finally finding each other.
There were murmurs of words as she collapsed to the ground, finding solace in it's wooden embrace. She didn't want to move, didn't want to disturb her new place of rest. There were arms around her, bringing back that pain, words that made sense and made no sense all at the same time. Words building up into screams all around her. Anger and fear and terror, consuming her brain, making her numb. Breath on her face that was not hers. Somehow pleading without words.
"Lei'ella? You have to stay awake…"
Stop. Pause. Rewind.
Everything was red.
She groaned. Not again, not again. The beating of her heart was fast in her head, the pain pounding and killing her. The floor and walls trading places. Spinning over and over, out of control.
She was dying again. All over again for the hundredth time. What was her sin to die so many times? Is this truly the curse Silvah placed upon her: to die over and over for an iternity…?
Wait..not yet. She didn't find the floor yet.
She was still trying to make sense of these words, her stomach hadn't exploded, she was still holding her breath, swallowing the blood…
The darkness suddenly snapped into focus, and she found Varden's eyes, staring down at her. His hands were on her shoulders as he shook her gently awake. His voice was a hushed whisper, barely reaching audibility until she had started to cry. Those green eyes were a sudden comfort. She stiffened suddenly at his touch and sat up slowly, wiping the tears from her eyes.
Varden sat back on his heels and regarded the elf for a long moment. He didn't realize how long he had been staring until her gold eyes met his, flashing in the dying light of the campfire. Even in the darkness, her cheeks seemed to glow with a soft flush, and she averted her eyes to her knees.
Drawing her legs up to her chest, she buried her face in her knees and hugged herself tightly, trying to subdue a shaky sigh. It was so hard to remain strong in the gaze of the thief any more. He had weaseled his way into their quest on a promise of escaping a city, and somehow made it deeper into her hidden emotions.
.Varden stood slowly, brushing off the front of his pants absently, turning his gaze upwards towards the sky. His voice was hushed, so not to wake the dakor and the mage-child, who were sleeping next to each other. The red-headed girl had a vice grip on poor Archeon, who had given up fighting her embrace a long time ago and surrendered to the girl's sleepy mutterings. The last thing that Varden wanted to do was wake the two of them, and ruin any chance he had to be alone with Lei'ella.
He paused a moment longer to watch her again, feeling his heart sink into the pit of his stomach at her demeanor. She was shaking, and hiding her face in her knees, and on this cold night, you could see her breath wafting into the air. It was rushed and harsh, and the set of her shoulders betrayed her emotion so easily.
She was crying.
A part of him dared to shove his heart back into his chest, but it remained in the bottom of his stomach, drowning in his own anxiety. He couldn't understand what scared him so much about physical contact with her. Why couldn't he just sweep her up into his arms, kiss away her tears and promise her that everything was going to be okay. He grimanced and looked away, knowing what happened the last times he held her close.
Both times ended in death.