Before even trying to recognize the voice a list of names shot through my head- Lief, Doom, Barda, Lief, oh god, Lief!
Dain and I shot apart like lightning had struck between us, I scrambled off of him, hand on my dagger as my eyes tried to focus on who the figure was.
Not Lief...it wasn't Lief, the person was too short, with auburn spiky hair. She stepped into view clutching a bow and quiver of arrows, her eyes a vibrant topaz and skin tinted blue. Air left my lungs in partial relief as Dain asked in shock, "Glathon? What the dayger are you doing here for?" He attempted to get to his feet, and I rested my hand on his shoulder to prevent him form hurting himself even more. The dread gnome whistled, crossing her muscular arms across her chest, "Well in all honesty, i was looking for you, Master Dain. Didn't expect to find you so easily. You two made quite some noise." she smiled wickedly and my face got hot, mouth tightening and i spat back, "And what were you following us for, hmm?"
Glathon narrowed her eyes, "Actually...I was coming here to warn Dain."
My lungs seemed to stop working. Oh no. Oh no.
"Warn me of what?" Dain said slowly, tilting his head to one side and glancing at me. No, no, no, no- Glathon couldn't know what Leif was up to, right? My throat was getting thick, I couldn't speak.
"Of her, Leif. She's leading you into a trap." Glathon hissed, her scary eyes focused deadly on me.
"Says who?" Dain scoffed defiantly, his starry eyes scanning me over and then his jaw clenching at Glathon, "Glathon, this is ridiculous you know we can trust her-"
"He can trust me, Glathon, I-I promise things have changed-" I stammered desperately trying to see if she knew what I was talking about. But standing up I felt my whole body start shaking in the Dread Gnome's presence.
"Oh save it, Jasmine! Dain, listen to me!" Glathon begged earnestly, striding up to him as Dain struggled to get to his feet. His eyes flickered on me for a moment no longer admiring and I felt sick.
I honestly can't believe that less than 5 minutes ago I was kissing the girl of my dreams and now said girl is being accused of betraying me by the girl who was first to really trust me. Gah my head hurts...
I looked at Jasmine, her face panicked and flushed. But why did she look guilty, like Glathon had exposed something about her? If Jasmine said she was innocent, she would be angry and her fiery, defensive self. Why was she so freaked if she had nothing to be scared about? I felt her cringe under my skeptical gaze and the horrifying truth seemed to dawn on me. She was lying.
"Explain then." i said curtly, stiffly, looking away from Jasmine and at Glathon because my stomach was starting to feel like acid having to look at her.
"Leif still thinks you're an ol and that you can't be trusted, so he sent you far away to be...dealt with outside of the public eye." said Glathon as my brain started working fast. I was in shock, the memories not linking up with the truth she claimed. However, I smirked, crossing my arms across my bare chest and i sneered, "I'm an idiot. I can't believe I thought he was thick enough to trust me again." I spun on Jasmine, the disgusted smile still on my lips as i laughed, "And you! Of course you must've known about this, being his girl and everything."
Deflated looking and wringing her hands, Jasmine's emerald eyes focused on the ground, tears trickling down her cheeks. I limped over to her, trying not to show how much pain it took even to stand, "you were leading me to my execution, weren't you?" my voice had gone from slight hysteria to icy calm. i could barely take this anymore. I snatched my shirt from below the willow tree and turned toward Glathon, "So what now? Where should I go?"
"Dain, look I know it started out this way but i believe you now, okay?" Jasmine suddenly cried, her face going red and almost angry, "I believe you, and I trust you, okay? I wasn't going to let Lief kill you anymore."
"Shut it, princess." Glathon growled, shoving Jasmine and tossing me my archery set, "Dain, we're going to Dread Mountain. Yeah, its a journey but there's no way we can go back to Del and definitely not where Leif is waiting at Tora." I nodded feeling numb and shaky at the same time. Jasmine was trying so hard to catch my eye. I wouldn't look at her. I can't believe how much I'm drowning in my own mortal stupidity. I really have become a human now, haven't I? Couldn't stop it, and the minute I seemed to accept it and let myself give in to my new desires, that human desire for some kind of affection turned and stung me in the heart.
As Glathon and I began walking away, Jasmine's thin, tan fingers grabbed my arm, pulling me to face her. "Dain, listen to me!" she said fiercely, her jaw set, "I'm not going to turn you into Leif, I decided that days ago when I realized there was no way you were lying. When I saw you bleed and hurt from that Wenn attack and that it hurt me too much to even stand seeing you like that, ol or not." I found myself growing weak at her touch, her words bouncing around in my head. "You have to trust me, I promise I've changed." she said emphasizing each word. I paled, shrugging out of her grip and stared at her.
How many freaking times have I asked her this? how many times have I proved myself over and over and have her refuse, shoot me down with 'never' and words like 'monster'? How many times has she walked away and acted coldly to me despite anything I do for her, anything I say or promise? How can she expect me to forgive her, now that she wants to be trusted again? Staring at her, i easily imagined if the roles were flipped for a second. Jasmine would say, "It takes more than that Dain." 'More than that'? I'll never redeem myself for her! There's nothing I can do to make it better in her mind. Nothing. But staring at her, with her cheeks red from emotion and hands shaking in fists, I thought of how she kissed me just moments ago, how I could feel how close she felt for me now. My heart beat too loud in my ears while we stood facing each other.
Glathon was about to say something when I broke the silence, "I...I trust you. At least enough so that I know you won't try anything when..."
My eyes flashed to Glathon's and after a moment i think she she understood and edged unnoticeably closer to Jasmine. "When what?" Jasmine snapped, eyes narrowing and lips parted as Glathon raised her bow and whacked the back of Jasmine's head. She fell to the pebbly ground and I felt my stomach heave seeing her get knocked out. Glathon sighed and frowned at me, "Shall we be on our way?" I watched Jasmine's body for a moment then murmured, "Mmhmm. But," I gently lifted Jasmine and nestled her tiny figure in my arms, "We're not going to Dread Mountain. We're going to Tora. I am not missing Lief's face when I ruin his dumb plan." Glathon gaped at me for a moment, but sighing again and walking, grumbled, "You're crazy, but I guess just slipping away from the King is too risky. We need a confrontation, but a good plan so that he doesn't kill us on the spot." I nodded, my fingers cold around Jasmine's warm leg as we walked.
"And Dain?" Glathon added, a smile turning up on her lips, "Congrats on getting the girl. I saw that makeout back there." I knocked her on the shoulder but couldn't help but grinning. But did I really finally win Jasmine over?