She drifted.

Arya was surprised she was still in the trance like state that the elves call sleep. Barely, she could remember getting wounded by a warrior of the savage tribe that populated the area, but nothing else. Only what seemed a second ago she had been fighting alongside Eragon for their lives and then

nothing. Darkness.

She didn't feel any pain- so someone must have healed her- maybe Eragon? She doubted he had the ability, but he might have tried. But that wasn't what caught her attention.

No , she noticed that something was off because of that weird feeling.

She tried to describe what she felt, trying to capture her emotions and keep them locked inside her.

That forgotten ghost of a memory that she so desperately searched for in her dreams on the lonely nights. A certain euphoria that for no reason at all, kept making her smile.

She was not feeling empty anymore, there was warmth and care and safety and she could sense that someone was protecting her. It was strange, she had felt like this before, but it was so long ago that felt like another life.

She tried to pinpoint the moment in her past that this feeling ruled her over. It was difficult and easy in the same time. She suddenly opened her eyes, when she realized what that feeling was and witnessed that she was laying on a man's bare chest.

She was shocked. Had she been captured? By whom? Surely not the savages

Her eyes followed the firm muscles of the chest, slowly traveling through the finely shaped body and neck, until they reached the man's sleeping face.

He was Eragon!

She felt both relief and despair. Relief because compared to her he was just a child, despair because his body was definitely that of a man's.

She felt the tips of her ears burn from the embarrassment, it was stupid to get frustrated over a child's embrace.

"Moments ago you felt sheltered in his arms," whispered a small nasty voice in the back of her mind.

''Stop it,'' Arya snapped. She'd had experience with this sort of niggling voice before.

"I wonder how long you were out "

She reasoned quickly. ''An hour probably, maybe two.'' An hour or two spent in his arms

''Or maybe that wasn't the first night you two spent together ?'' Suggestion dripped from its tone.

''Shut up.'' She tried, and failed, to block the voice out of her head.

''I wonder how he fed you '' The voice purred naughtily.

''SHUT UP!'' She yelped.


Arya's point of view

I can't do it.

I can't encourage his love.

I harbor no feelings for this human except from that of respect and companionship. I am a princess and his advances towards me are a disgraceful waste of his time. Time which would be better spent in training and preparations for slaying the mad king.

It saddens me that I have to hurt him, but it is for his own good as well. I close my eyes for a second.

A mere refusal doesn't seem to work on him. I have to refuse his love in a way that would torture him. I have to break his heart

I open my eyes and swallow the bitter taste of guilt that overflows in my throat. It takes me several minutes to make an angry enough expression.

"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME!?" I shouted, no ounce of my feelings other than rage in my tone.

Eragon jumps, and rolls to his feet immediately with battle-honed reflexes. He grabs at his side, missing his sword.

I cover myself with a blanket and stand up, shooting daggers at him through my eyes.

He looks shocked, terrified even, however a small trembling smile appears in his face.

"Arya! You are alive!" he cries joyfully. His brown eyes shine with childlike excitement.

I grit my teeth and slap him. His shoulders drop, his smile disappears. He looks like a kicked puppy.

"Look " He begins, and I can hear the overwhelming guilt in his voice, "I know that you are angry, but I can explain! You were sick and I had to use my body to warm you. I am sorry for undressing you, but I panicked, Saphira was is missing and I was just trying to keep you alive!"

I feel even worse now. Barzul Eragon, why do you have to make this so difficult? I notice that his body is covered in scratches and small wounds. He was probably too busy caring for me to get them healed. And that is exactly why I have to go on.

"You had no right to do this! I trusted you Eragon! I really believed in you!" I screech.

He really is a child, he looks so vulnerable while he is being yelled at. He looks drained of energy. Ready to cry.

"I... I know, I knew that I betrayed you but even if you would come to hate me I I couldn't let you die." He whispers.

He tried to force a weak smile to his face. His voice became husky and I felt a dagger piercing my heart, but it was too late to stop myself.

" aren't hating me right?" He raises his gaze, looking fearful, "I am so happy you are alive."

It was too painful. I had no need of the ancient language to believe in his feelings. He was just so innocent? Naive?

"No rider, but make another scene like this and that will change." I hiss with all the venom of a snake.

He nods silently, barely holding back his tears.

I grab my clothes, turn my back and walk away.

As I do so, I feel my own cheeks glitter.

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters only this story.

I would like to thank you all for your kind comments. Any kind of feedback is welcome, negative comments included.