Seeing Red

Gransys. A city of beauty, strict laws and dark secrets. Here anyone with hair of fire (as the people call it) is evil. Here red hair is an abomination. So how can one young girl survive here? Living alone in the cathedral belltower away from the outside world. How can she be accepted? How can she finally belong?

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6. Escape

The sun climbed slowly that morning. Ezra woke to find her fingers twisted with Aldawin's who was still asleep. As her clouded mind began to clear she gently pulled her hand away and got up to ring the morning bells. Cleeves would not turn up for a while so she had time.

Aldawin sharply woke to the thundering tones of the bells. Ezra laughed as he clumsily climbed down the ladder clearly very disorientated. She rubbed her rough hands as he blinked the fog of sleep away from his eyes.
"Thanks for the wake up call." he said groggily stretching.
Ezra grinned, it felt good, natural.
"It's my purpose here. I always ring the bells at sunrise."
Aldawin watched the bells that continued to swing although they had now stopped ringing, although his ears hadn't.
"You get used to it." laughed Ezra, loving this new joyful feeling.
Something in the air suddenly felt cold and tense. Ezra felt it grip her heart. Cold, clenching...fear.
"Do you want out?" she said suddenly.
Aldawin looked at her in surprise, "If I leave I'll be arrested."
"But you don't want to stay in here forever," Ezra lowered her gaze, "do you?"
"If you are with me." Aldawin said this part so quietly Ezra didn't hear him. The next part he spoke louder, "Cleeves has guards at every door. There's no way I can escape."
"Not unless I help you." said Ezra, the happiness had left her voice although her tone didn't reveal it. She now felt a new feeling, pining. She didn't want him to leave.
She walked slowly over to one of the open windows and leant against the balcony, gazing out at the city spread out before her. The sun slowly climbing behind it. She remained silent for a few minutes as she gathered her thoughts. Aldawin watched her curiously, wondering what she was thinking.
When her mind was made up she turned back to him, "Do you have a head for heights?"
Aldawin narrowed his eyes before realising what she was thinking, "You're joking, right?"
Ezra shook her head, smiling, "Just remember, the trick is to not look down."
 

It didn't take them long to descend down the tower. Ezra seemed to show impressive acrobatics and she leapt with the agility of a squirrel between ledges, Aldawin clinging to her tightly. When they reached a small ledge at the bottom of the cathedral they sat for a few minutes to allow time to catch their breath. A tall statue of a saint provided a decent amount of shadow to conceal them from the shoulders who patrolled past.
"I wont forget this, Ezra." said Aldawin smiling.
Ezra smiled in return, "Just don't get caught."
She noticed he was still watching her, his eyes locked on hers.
"Why are you staring at me?" she asked.
Aldawin shook his head, "I just don't see how someone as cruel as Cleeves could bring up someone like you."
"What am I?"
Aldawin was clearly not phased by this question, "Kind hearted, gentle, a good friend, (he hesitated) beautiful."
Ezra grinned dropping her gaze as she felt her face go red, "You're in love with a demon then."
Aldawin gently touched her chin and turned her face to look at him again, "A demon? I only see an angel."
The moment was interrupted by a loud clattering noise coming from down the alleyway. Ezra noticed the shadows shrinking as the sun climbed higher.
"You should go." she said.
"I'll visit you again. After sunset. I promise." then he kissed her.
The gesture took her by surprise, but she soon melted into it. His lips felt soft and warm against hers. Their eyes closed as they moved in closer. The feeling intensifying.
But it was over too soon. Aldawin was the first to pull away. Leaping down from the ledge he looked back at her one last time before scarpering down another alley that was still in shadow. A group of soldiers must have heard as they came thundering past the alley unaware of Ezra perched on the ledge, watching them.
Not wasting any time she began the long climb back up. Cleeves would be coming soon. She couldn't be caught out again. Yet she felt a warmth pulsing from her heart and spreading through her body. Another feeling she had never felt before. One of the best feelings she had ever felt. And she wasn't going to let it go.

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