"I can remember it like yesterday: my parents were busy, my little sister was more interested in her baby toys than playing together with me, and my friends were all elsewhere: what was an eight-year-old to do? I wandered through the halls of Caer Dathyl, looking for someplace to sit and think, or someone to play a game with. Being so absorbed in my thoughts, I didn't notice that I was about to run headlong into someone: suddenly, without any warning, I slammed into the other child. HARD. The wind was knocked right out of me as I fell backwards. Spots danced before my eyes, and then everything went black.
When I came to, the boy was bending over me, clearly quite concerned. He couldn't have been more than nine or ten.
"Are you alright?" he asked softly, taking my hand and helping me to my feet again: as I looked up into his face, I think I felt the beginnings of what they call "puppy love", forming down inside of me. I looked into his eyes, and I was almost lost in the clear, twin pools of deep gray: they seemedto pull me in, and I was falling again. I sank against him, my tiny arms wrapping about him. I was sobbing, clinging to him for dear life, as if, should I let go,
I'd fall endlessly into a bottomless abyss. I could feel him returning my embrace, shielding me, protecting me from the shreds of darkness that remained within my own soul from my youngest childhood memories, comforting me, breaking the loneliness that I was feeling. I don't know how long I sat there, sobbing into his shoulder, clinging to him and crying my eyes out. After what seemed like an eternity, I felt the trembling of my own little body cease as I relaxed in his arms, laying my weary head against his shoulder. I don't remember anything after that: I guess I must have fallen asleep in his arms, being gently rocked and lulled to sleep by this stranger's soft voice. When I woke next, I was in a strange bed, with the strange child still bending over me anxiously. I tried to sit up, but he carefully caught my arm in his hand, restraining me: even at that age, he was wise in medicine, and knew that what I'd need most at that moment was rest.
"Where are my mama and daddy?" I croaked hoarsely.
"They hadn't left your side since you got here," he replied quietly, sweeping a stray strand of hair from my brow with a small motion of his hand, "until just a few moments ago."
"How did I get here?" I whispered.
"I brought you here: you probably don't remember a moment of it, but you fell asleep in my arms in the hallway. I was concerned, because you kept mumbling anxiously and thrashing in your sleep, so I carried you up here and asked if they could summon your parents. When they arrived, they explained that you've had nightmares since your family was attacked about three years ago. It all made sense then, the thrashing and crying out, but the healers thought that it would still be best that you stay here for a while."
I took another good look at him: his deep, gray eyes were shining softly with the warm light of gentle concern. His longish, raven hair was somewhat dishevelled, and his clothes were slightly rumpled and stained with my tears. A small smile lit up his sweet face, bringing a day's worth of sunlight into the room all at once. We just sat there in silence, him softly stroking my cheek and calming me, me just lying there, grinning foolishly. Slowly,little by little, I felt myself slipping into sleep once again: as my eyes fluttered shut, I asked him his name.
"Adaon" he answered gently, still ceaselessly comforting me, lulling me softly into a peaceful sleep: his name was the last word that slipped from my lips as I fell into a calm, untroubled sleep for the first time in over three years.