A young holy paladin from the Agrent Crusade returns to her home in Silvermoon City for a few days after a long and brutal campaign in Northrend. As she struggles to come to terms with what has happened over the last two years new events are taking place that will once again change her life forever.


5. Darkness

Thalion quickly got to his feet and ran in the direction that Meril had gone.  The city was under attack and yet all he cared about was finding her and to make sure she was safe.  He had thought she went towards one of the larger buildings that fell and made his way towards it, but the dust and soot in the air was extremely thick and it caused his eyes water and his lungs to burn.


“Meril!” he yelled coughing and nearly falling back to the ground.  He could barely see his own hands and was terrified that he would not be able to find her in all the chaos.  The air seemed to be clearer closer to the ground so he got down on his hands and knees praying he could see where she went.


After a few seconds he noticed a small group of people in the distant huddled together.  There was an eerie glow coming from them and he tried to focus and see who they were.  There was quick flash of bright, red hair followed by another burst of light and he knew it was Meril.  He stood back up keeping as low to the ground as he could and made his way to her.


“I’m almost finished.” she said as he reached her side.


“We have to move quickly.  I don’t know if there’s an attack or if something else is going on.  What do you need me to do?”


“Here,” she said and placed a scared little boy in his arms.  “Keep him calm while I heal his mother.”


Thalion held the boy so he he could not break free and get lost in all the madness.  “Shhh, everything’s going to be alright,” he said trying to comfort the terrified child.


Meril had the boy’s mother resting on her lap with her hands now over the woman’s leg.  There was a soft golden glow that she slowly moved up and down.


“Mommy!” the little boy cried out and wiggled free from Thalion’s grasp.  He ran to his mother as Meril was helping her up.


“You should be fine for now,” Meril said as she pointed the two away from the center of the city.  “Take shelter and get that wound looked out later, it’s the best I can do for you out in the field.”


“Bless your heart!” the woman cried and she took her son to safety.


Thalion then took Meril’s hand.  “We should leave.  I’m going to take you home.”


Meril didn’t argue and clung to him as they slowly made their way to the northern section of the city.  She was worried about her mother and sister and breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of her home unharmed by destruction they had just been witness to.


“Meril!” cried Nariel as they made their way inside.


“Are you and mother alright?”


“We’re fine, my god what’s going on?”


“I don’t know, but it’s best that everyone stay inside and keep the lights off.  It could be an attack,” answered Thalion.


“We’ll be fine,” smiled Meril and the four of them walked into the living area.


“Let me get something so you two can clean yourselves up,” said Meril’s mother as she walked into a back room.  Nariel followed.


“Well,” said Thalion as he sat down next to Meril.  “This evening turned out eventful.”  She looked at him and they both began to laugh.


After a moment she sighed and laid her head on his shoulder before closing her eyes.  “So,” she said, “was it just me or did we almost…”


“Yeah,” he said with a smile and then put his arm around her.  “I guess we almost did.”


“What happens now?”


“Only what you want to happen.  You know how I feel and I’ve felt this way for a very long time.  But I promise you that I’ll always be your friend and here for you no matter what you decide to do.”


She looked up at him and smiled.  “And what if I decide I want more than a friend?” she placing her hand gently on his face.


There was a loud crash followed by a muffled scream.  Meril knew it was her sister’s and ran towards the noise.  As she entered the room she saw the insane smile of a human male wearing a dark purple robe holding a dagger to Nariel’s throat.


“What do you want?” she said in a calm and commanding voice to the intruder as she slowly walked into the room.


“Your blood for the master!  The aspect of death is now among us and all shall perish!”


Thalion was in the doorway, but before he could act the intruder then shoved Nariel from across the room into him and flew at Meril with such incredible speed that she had no time to parry his attack.  There was a sharp pain from her side that began to burn.  She turned to Thalion and fell to the floor while her attacker just laughed hysterically at him.


He gently pushed Nariel aside staring with such fear and vengeance focused at Meril’s assailant who was still holding the dagger dripping with her blood.  “Another sacrifice for the master!” the mad man cried but then stopped in his tracks as he made eye contact with Thalion’s ice code gaze.  In an instant Thalion was standing behind him with two daggers dug deeply into his back.  He screamed from the poisons now flowing through his veins before falling to floor and dying from the blows delivered by a master rogue.


Nariel cried out for her mother and collapsed to the ground as she watched Thalion carefully cradle her sister in his arms.


“What’s the matter dear?” she said as she entered the room wondering what the commotion was all about.  She nearly passed out when she saw how much blood Thalion was covered in.


“Stay with me, Meril!” he pleaded as he ripped up his coat and put pressure on he wound.  The color in her face began to dull and he felt her slipping away in his arms.


“Is…  Is she safe?”


“Your sister is fine and I took care of him.  But I can’t stop the bleeding!”


She smiled and began to close her eyes.


“Meril, please!” he begged.  “You have to stay awake!”


She opened her eyes and looked directly into his.  A warm and golden light began to grow from her hand and she pressed it against her wound.  In a matter of seconds the bleeding had stopped.  Placing her hand on Thalion’s face she smiled and the fell asleep.


“I think she’s going to be alright,” he said motioning for Nariel and her mother to come over to Meril.  They carefully set her down and Thalion headed for the door.  “I’ll be outside making sure that no more of these wretched things get anywhere near this place…”


For nearly an hour he patrolled the grounds and watched the Silvermoon Guardians dispatch the intruders that had invaded their city.  It was then he noticed the sky to the distant south was glowing with a hauntingly beautiful crimson red.  “What is going on?” he thought to himself.  A dark figure moving away from the house had now caught his attention.  He quickly stepped into the shadows and drew his blades in full pursuit.


“Meril!” he heard Nariel crying as she ran out the house.  Turning back to look at the shadow figure he realized whoever it was had trouble walking.  “Meril,” he sighed and quickly sprinted towards her afraid that she may try to run and worsen her injury.  It only took him a few seconds to catch up and grab her arm.


“What are you thinking?  You shouldn’t be up yet.”


“Thalion please let me go.”


“You know I can’t.”


She tried to pull away but his grip was too strong.  “Please, you have to let me go.  Something horrible is happening and I need to get back!”


“Meril, please!  If our roles were reversed I know you wouldn’t let me go running off like this!”


“I said let me go!”


“I’m sorry, but this is for your own good.”  He pulled her into his arms and picked her up with every intention of taking her back home.  He was terrified that if he let her go it would be the last time he saw her alive.


“Stop coming to my rescue!  I don’t want it and I don’t need it!  Let me go!” she yelled and began to hit his chest.


“Can’t you see this is killing me?” he cried as he set he gently back down and pulled her into a tight embrace.  “I just can’t understand how you can justify running off to fight when you are in no condition to do so.  Injuries like yours would kill most people, it came damn near close to killing you!  Please Meril, I…  I love you too much just to let you walk away!”


She looked up at him and saw the true extent of his pain revealed in his eyes.  In that instant all of her anger disappeared and she found herself heartbroken that she had hurt him so much.  She buried her head into his chest and began to cry harder that she had in a very long time.  She finally understood what it must have been for him all these years, waiting and praying that she would return safely only to watch her leave once more.  She knew in her heart that she loved him just as much and always would.


“You know,” she said looking up Thalion.  “I guess I’m still that scared little girl under the lamppost after all these years…”


He smiled and began to wipe away her tears.  “That’s one of the reasons why I care so much about you.  Ever since that night I’ve always wanted to be by your side.”


She smiled and closed her eyes wishing she could stay there in his arms forever but knowing that wasn’t to be.  She began to push away.


“Always going to be stubborn as hell, aren’t you?” he asked as he let go of her.


“Please don’t be mad with me,” she said lowering her head.


He took hold of her hand.  “Promise me you’ll make it there safe.”


“I will.”  She smiled and began to walk away.


“Wait,” head said pulling her back into him.  “Did you really mean what you said earlier about us?” She put her arms around him and they kissed.


She then laid her head on his chest one last time before slowly pushing away.  She knew his heart had to be breaking as her was already broken.  She wanted more than anything now to be able to stay with him but knew she was needed elsewhere.


“I’m so sorry, but I have to go now.”


“I know.  I’ll let your mother and sister know where you went and I’ll look after them until you come home.  And you better come back soon so I don’t have to come looking for you because this time I will!”


Meril smiled and kissed him on the check.  Then she turned away and continued down the road towards the stables until Thalion could no longer see her in the distance.

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