A Grim Glory - ON HOLD

Grim. The creature that lurks in the dark. The creature that does not hesitate to kill. So they say.

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10. Water

A few hours later, Merana was bored. Nothing to do. She stood up, and began pacing. She could explore? She turned down this idea. Grim might get angry if he couldn't find her. But surely she could have a bath, at least? She thought hard, thinking on every possibility, before finally deciding she would go. She walked out of the house on the hill, and was temporarily blinded by sunlight. She walked down the side of the valley, stumbling occasionally. When she reached the bottom, she could hear the water smoothly running between the rocks. The river tumbled over the rough bed, escaping after the curve of the hills, and out of sight. Merana took of her shoes, and dipped a toe in. Icy cold water lapped her foot, sending shivers up her spine. Plucking up what courage she could, she placed her foot gingerly into the water. It went up to her ankle here. She placed her other foot beside it, and resisted the urge to squeal. She moved on like this, gradually submerging her whole body. She still had clothes on, but had take off her jumper. The cool water calmed her, and, for the first time in the past week, she felt relaxed. She sighed, enjoying the feeling, before diving into the river, and touching the riverbed with her hands. The soft silt running between her fingers, sliding between them like small fish. It was a gloriously warm day, and to be diving in this stream was wonderful. Such a change from the stuffy cave. Merana let her thoughts run wild, thinking back to everything that had happened. In a short few days, her life had turned around completely. She felt guilty, as she had not thought much about her parents. But that feeling was replaced with a growing dread. What was Grim talking about? Surely there is no such thing as bonding... He must have said that to try and trick her into trusting him.

 

Grim searched the cave, beginning to worry. What if she had been killed? But there was no sign of a body, or a struggle. He walked out again, scanning the valley carefully. His cloak rippled around him, the wind tugging at it playfully. The river, down in the bowl of the valley, wound lazily along it's meanders, looking from left to right. He focused on it, searching it's length. Movement. Somewhere near where this part of the valley met the river, there was movement. Grim ran down the hill with perfect balance, almost looking as though he was flying when he leaped. He could see her. He could see Merana, bathing in the water. Anger flared up inside him. She had just ran off, so she could have a bath? So there you are. He growled, walking up behind her, careful not to get his paws wet.

“Yes. Here I am.” She replied, not seeming to care.

May I ask what you are doing?

“No.”

“Well I'm asking anyway.”

She sighed. “I'm bathing.”

Hm.

“You got a problem with that?”

No. I just have a problem with you running off without leaving any sign of where you are going.

“Well I have a problem with you doing that.”

He hesitated. And yet, you don't seem to worry about where I go.

“And you worry about where I am going?” Merana let out a short laugh.

What if I do?

"Then one word. Meh."

Cheerful. He muttered.

“If you want me to tell you where I am going, you should tell me where you are going.”

And what if it is private?

“Then deal with not knowing where I am.

What if you are in trouble?

She waved a hand. “Then leave me to see what greater trouble I could be in.”

He inclined his head in curiosity. You think you are in trouble with me?

“Maybe.”

Well you are not.

“How do I know that?”

Becuase.

“Because what?”

Because my race is meant to protect the one we are bonded to.

“What if I don't want your protection?”

You will get it anyway.

“What if I don't want you?”

You will get me anyway.

“What if I leave right now?”

I will follow.

“You're sounding an awful lot like some sort of love-sick person, proclaiming eternal love to me.”

Grim looked amused. Well I'm not. I'm just respecting the laws of my race.

“So you're bound by laws?”

Maybe.

“Hm.”

Hm indeed.

“This is getting awkward.”

Yes.

“Can you.. uh... stop speaking now?”

Of course.

Merana nodded to herself, and began getting out of the water. “Can I come with you?”

What do you mean?

“Don't play innocent. To wherever you go.”

He considered this. No.

“Why not?”

Because it's dangerous.

“Pfft. Running away was dangerous. That didn't stop me.”

But this is different.

“Will it cause a problem for me if you didn't do it?”

...Probably.

“Then I want to help.”

You might be throwing your life away.

“I'd be throwing my life away already if I didn't do anything.”

Grim looked at her, annoyed. This is worse though, it's like nothing your kind has ever seen.

“I'm up for now discoveries.”

Discoveries that could kill you?

“I've been through worse.”

No, you haven't.

“Well I'm bored.”

Deal with it.

“If me and you are bonded, I want to help you in whatever way I can.”

No you don't

“Just wondering, if you get killed, will it hurt me?”

Probably.

“Well I want to fight.”

And I'm saying you can't.

“Give me three reasons why not.”

It's dangerous.

“One.”

I don't want to see you die.

“One and a half.”

What? But that's a reason.

“It's not good enough. One and a half left to go.”

Because I care for you.

“Two.”

Grim sighed. Because you won't believe your eyes, and will probably think it's a dream and get yourself killed.

“Not a reason.”

Then...

“Yes?”

Pfft. You win. Don't say I didn't warn you, though.

Merana grinned. “Don't worry, I won't.” Grim nodded to her, and turned away, making his way back up the hill.

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