Disclaimer: This story is based on ideas created by Elizabeth Hayden. No copyright infringement is intended.
The voice was soft and distant, yet strong and loud. Achmed instantly bolted out of his black quilted, large bed and grabbed his cwellen, eyes open and alert as they scanned the room for any sign of an intruder. There was none; just the flickering of the shadows under the light of a small lit candle in the corner, and a thin ray of light seeping into the room under a crack in the door, where a restless Firbolg guard could be heard shuffling his feet. The room was completely empty.
Achmed frowned, his ghastly face covered with blotted, mottled, blue webbed veins unveiled in the dark. No one would see him now, so he didn't need to worry about covering up himself with the lengths of black robe that he usually wore as his normal outfit. The dark was what he liked. For a moment, less then a split second, a flicker of nervousness and worry crossed his beady eyes and he reached out for his source of comfort- the soft pulse of Rhapsody's heart hundreds of miles away.
Achmed, King of the Bolg of Ylorc and a half Dhracian half Bolg crossbreed, had inherited his mottled skin of cross webbed veins with the ability to feel pulses from his Dhracian mother, who had been ravaged by a Bolg of an unknown name and had given birth to him from that union. He didn't even know her name or what she looked like, as she had died in childbirth. Then again, he didn't really care.
The sound gone, Achmed relaxed and put his cwellen away by slinging it over one of the front posts of his large, four poster bed. He lowered himself back onto the black silken sheets and closed his eyes half way, peering into the darkness with grim determination to discover what had awoken him from his relatively peaceful slumber. Whatever it was, he didn't like it. And he knew that it wasn't simple a creation of his imagination. His mind wasn't like that, and it had sounded much too real to not be.
Heavy silence fell upon the room again, covering it with the soft blanket of peace. Once again, Achmed drifted off into sleep, this time a more restless one. He tossed and turned, his forehead growing hot and moist with nervous sweat, his thin black hair sticking to his forehead and growing damp as well. He was plagued by dreams of an unknown origin this time, though they related somewhat to the voice he was heard before. It was a lifelike dream as well, and Achmed knew it wasn't real, but he just couldn't seem to wake up, to open his eyes and end the miserable world inside his shadowed mind.
"Ysk..." she said, her creamy blue-green eyes gazing at him with such warmth and sincerity. "What an interesting name. Care to enlighten me as to what it means?"
"I don't know." Achmed spat back, his mismatched eyes gazing at the young woman in front of him with mild annoyance. "Why should I enlighten you on the meaning if I don't even know what name is yours?"
The rosy lips curled into a small smile, and the eyes twinkled with kind amusement. She extended a creamy, pale hand with nails painted in gold sparkles to Achmed in greeting. "Excuse me for being so rude, then." she told him evenly and without any annoyance or anger. "I am Loreigh… Kith for flower petals. Now, Ysk, came to enlighten me as to your name's origin?"
Achmed was clearly taken aback, his emotions played out on his face clearly. He had no reason to learn to guard his emotions at this point in time. He was a simple healer known as Firbolg spittle. "You're Kith?" he asked her slowly, not translating his name so she could laugh at him.
"Half." she replied, sweeping her long, deep mahogany colored hair to one shoulder, revealing small ears with tiny golden hoops inserted into each. "You're also of mixed blood, Ysk, Bolg spittle." she replied, her lips curving into a smile again. "And of course I know what your name means. I'm here at the academy studying Lore and Language, and I learned Bolgish just last year."
Achmed opened his mouth and closed it several times, at a loss of words. It seemed that she knew much more about him then he'd given her credit for. "Yes, you are correct about my blood." he answered slowly, his mouth suddenly gone dry. "Though mine is of less grandeur than yours." he paused for a moment, glancing down at her hand. "And what am I supposed to do with that?"
Loreigh chuckled softly, revealing perfectly white, straight teeth as she dropped her hand back to her side, not going to wait for him to get some manners within the next half minute. "Dhracians are descendants of the Kith." she told him, gazing at the exposed veins on his face without so much as a flicker in her eyes. Then without warning, she raised her hand again and brushed her index finger across his cheek.
Achmed froze as her finger brushed his face, and a strange tingling feeling, seeped with warmth, flooded across his network of veins. "Even so," he managed to choke out, "Kith are one of the primary races. Dhracians and… Firbolg are only a secondary race." He paused for a moment, taking in a deep, yet soft, breath as her finger was removed. "And how do you know so much about me?"
The same smile crested across her face again, and she opened her mouth to reply, when there was a loud crashing sound, followed by shouts in gruff voices and the tramp of running feet. She spoke, but no words came out, and then she disappeared, replaced by the black velvet curtains of Achmed's four poster bed.
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