“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
– Lao Tzu
It didn’t take long for the darkness to settle in once again. By now, Ava was starting to get lost in night and day. She did not move from the place she had last seen him, there was a chance he would come back, she needed him to come back.
With more control of her powers, she managed to create a small fire, enough to keep her warm. Next, to her, some blankets appeared so she could lie down.
She was starving as well but too exhausted to produce any more magic. Another star appeared on her left arm. So many that she realised it has been more than just a few weeks, it’s been months. Months together and yet she never felt like she knew him, not in the way she feels now.
Completely exhausted she fell asleep, going through old/new memories. Trying to figure out when she lost control of it all.
She didn’t sleep much until she was woken up by a small girl shaking her in a violent way. Opening her eyes, she found the girl standing above her.
“I’m Athea.” The girl said.
Ava got up, defensive, for all she knew this could be the enemy. The fire was still burning strong. She could make everything vanish in a heartbeat, but there was no way she would let this kid see what she’s capable of.
“What do you want from me?” She asks.
“Help. I need help. I’ve been waiting to get inside for so long. But it rarely opens, but I finally managed now.” The girl replies.
Athea looks hopeful and harmless, there are freckles all over her face, her strawberry blonde hair is done in two matching pigtails on each side of her head. She looks so young. Taking her eyes off the girl, Ava looks towards the grass, bending over to touch it. Wet. It rained and she didn’t even notice it. Her heart races and immediately she thinks about it. A mix of anger and worry, please let him be ok.
“Are you a witch, Athea?” The small girl laughs.
“Yes,” she replies cheerful, “aren’t you? Both my parents were killed while trying to find this place, they left me outside hoping I would make it.”
“For how long? Were you outside, I mean.”
Athea began counting her fingers until they were no longer enough.
“I lost count, sorry.” She says, the smile on her face now gone. “30 years or so, I think.”
Ava gasps, “so that makes you?”
“12. I don’t age.” She smiles again.
This small girl was supposed to be a woman now, older than Ava. And yet here she is staring at her, looking like a child who lost her parents, who had to wait for so many years, alone just trying to reach safety. And for all this time no one knew she was there, no one even tried to save her. The rules had to change.
Ava had no intentions of going back to the Vila just yet, so she wrote a note and send the girl on her way.
I am Ava Cornelia Lewis, Queen of the Vila, River of Shadows.
I can not be present at the moment but I send to you this child, Athea, who has been seeking shelter for more than 30 years. I ask you to help and treat her properly until my arrival.
As for my well being, I’m okay, I will be back sooner than you expect.
After the girl was gone, Ava did not go back to sleep. Despite being tired she wouldn’t be able to rest without knowing about him and think about a plan to change River of Shadows current situation.
“Theo!” She went back to shouting. She did not have the ability to hear his thoughts, magic didn’t work that way for her so she tried to sense his magic, his energy as hard as she could. But knowing him he would probably hide it sending her back to zero.
“God damn it, Theo Burchfield, if you don’t appear right this second I swear to God I-“
“No need to say it twice.” He appears before her causing her to jump with surprise.
“You son of a -“
“Easy, love,” he says with a smirk on his face. But then his expression goes dark. “So you remember.”
“Yes, Caleb. I remember everything.”
“I’m really happy to hear that, Ella.” They both laugh and in a matter of seconds, he’s holding her, smelling her hair, taking everything in. Holding her in a way he didn’t before, still afraid to lose her. This time there was something different, something more.
She felt it too, the desperate need to have him. How everything finally made sense. Piece by piece getting back into the puzzle.
“Remember when we were kids and we wanted to be them so badly. Ella and Caleb. Epic love story, no powers, no life or death bullshit situations we have to go through now. When you said your name was Ella and then seeing you react to Caleb, I was hopeful.” He says, kissing her forehead.
“What are your plans, Queen Ava?” He asks.
“Revenge.” She whispers. “Make sure that Aiden never fools me again, change things around here. I can’t believe he got me under that spell for so many years.” She tells him about the girl she sent away, hoping it was the correct choice. There’s anger in her voice and sadness in her eyes.
“You waited all this time.” She says, looking into his eyes, so full of love but fear as well.
“I did. And I tried to help you. To break you out of it and then when I saw you walking free I thought this would be my last chance. I had no clue how it was supposed to happen, what would trigger your memories to return.”
He kissed her forehead once again, moving towards her lips. This time it felt nothing like it did when they kissed the last time. She has the right memories now. The spell is broken.
This time there was no tent, just them lying on the grass. They could feel the small rainy drops leaving chills all over their naked bodies. Their clothes shredded to pieces near them.
Theo had been alive in her memories only she didn’t have them to hold on to. This moment felt like their first time, each touch a long lost memory, it felt old but new as well.
“Ava, I’ve missed you so much.” he whispers into her mouth right before kissing her.
She traces her fingers through his body, where his tattoo is. She doesn’t need to see it because she can remember every single detail of it. The way the crows fly towards his chest and the tree branches, his beautiful skin.
“I need you,” she says. “Sing to me.”
And so he does, not a spell, only a song. They lock hands, moving slowly, Theo tastes every bit of her leaving a mark on her neck and breasts. She parted her legs for him, ready to feel him, make love to him.
Energy danced above them, to the sound of their voices moaning for each other. She was panting when she kissed him once again. He pulled out and responded to her kiss. Tracing his fingers through her body, pausing just where she needed them to be. Ava moaned his name as his fingers slid inside her.
Ava opened her eyes, he was still playing when she said, “your hair, it’s brown again.”
“For you, always.”
They made love, again and again, each time getting more intense as if they were the only two people in the universe. The energy above and between them increased. An explosion of screams and light as both came once again. Both bodies sweating and wet from the rain drops.
The stars were falling.
“What did we,”
“We either created a breach or someone else did,” Theo added.