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OLAS Chapter 19: A new beginning – IV

Rohan released me, his hands lingering on my arms for a heartbeat longer before he stepped back. I let go of his shirt, my fingers reluctant to lose the contact. His touch had grounded me, and now that he wasn’t holding me anymore, I felt a strange sense of loss.

I took a moment to really look at him. He wasn’t dressed in his usual elegant attire. Instead, he wore a dark gray tunic, fitted pants, and sturdy leather boots. His hair was slightly tousled, and his boots dusted with a fine layer of dirt with some dried mud as if he’d just returned from a long travel. He must have come straight from the Everdawn Woods.

“Welcome to the Moon Court,” Rohan said, his voice soft with a hint of pride. With a sweeping gesture, he extended his hand, pointing towards the sprawling garden that lay before us and the distant city lights that twinkled like scattered stars.

“It’s beautiful,” I replied, my voice filled with awe. The beauty of this place was undeniable.

His lips curved into a knowing smile. “You haven’t seen anything yet.”

I felt a rush of excitement. What more could there be to see? The gardens, the city lights, the sky—it was all so breathtaking.

“How are you feeling?” he asked, his gaze searching my face for any signs of discomfort.

“Better,” I said, and it was true. The disorientation was fading. “But different. Everything feels more… vivid. My senses are sharper. Everything is clearer, louder.”

He nodded, understanding in his eyes. “You’ll get used to it. You’ll learn to control it.”

I took a deep breath and decided to test my newfound abilities. I focused on my hand, summoning a small orb of blue light. It hovered above my palm, flickering like a tiny star. It floated away. I willed it to transform, and it did, bursting into a beautiful cascade of stardust that shimmered in the moonlight.

Rohan’s eyes widened in surprise, clearly impressed. “That’s incredible,” he said, his voice filled with genuine admiration. “But don’t overdo it. You haven’t fully regained your strength yet.”

I nodded, still marveling at what I’d done. The power felt exhilarating, but I knew he was right. “You’re right,” I agreed, letting the stardust dissipate into the night air.

His expression softened, a hint of pride in his eyes. “You’ll master it, Aerin. I have no doubt.”

We stood side by side, leaning against the cool marble balustrade. The night air was a gentle caress, and the scent of the garden filled the space between us. I couldn’t hold back my curiosity any longer.

“Did you find the answers you were looking for?” I asked, turning my gaze to him. “The aias told me about your journey.”

Rohan’s expression shifted, growing tense and dark. He took a deep breath before speaking, his voice edged with frustration. “I was gone for far too long, Aerin. A lot happened in my absence while i was prisoner of Absinthya . While I was trapped, my opponents had been circling like wolves, making their moves. If I didn’t give a damn about these problems before, I sure as hell do now. The situation can get really bad.”

I felt a pang of worry at his words. “What kind of opponents are you talking about? Are you in danger?”

His jaw tightened, and he looked out into the distance. “They are unscrupulous and dangerous, but my concern is for my people, my Court. I’ll do everything in my power to protect them, even if it means…” His voice trailed off, a flicker of something dark crossing his eyes.

Even if it means what, Rohan?

His determination and sense of duty were palpable. I could see the weight of his responsibilities pressing down on him, and it made me admire him even more. He had the qualities of a true king, someone who put his people above himself.

I reached out and placed my hand over his, feeling the strength in his grip. “You don’t have to face this alone, Rohan,” I said softly, offering a small, supportive smile.

He turned his head slightly, a faint smile touching his lips. His hand shifted to hold mine, his thumb gently brushing over my knuckles. The touch sent a shiver through me, a reaction I couldn’t control.

“You know,” he said, his tone lightening with a hint of mischief, “if they ever get too annoying, I could just introduce them to Umbra. She has a way of making people… reconsider their choices.”

I let out a small laugh, unable to help myself. “Oh, I’m sure that would go over well,” I replied, giving him a playful push. The tension between us eased a bit, his attempt to make light of the situation working, at least for the moment.

The laughter faded, leaving a soft silence that settled over us. The cool night air brushed against my skin, carrying the faint scent of the sea. We stood there for a moment, gazing out at the vast expanse of the starry night sky, each lost in our own thoughts.

Rohan broke the silence, his voice low and thoughtful. “So, what do you plan to do now ?”

I hesitated, the longing for home tugging at my heart. “I miss my family in Príbora,” I admitted, speaking softly. “But …I feel like I have to go to Rívoen and talk to Eryone. I have questions that only she can answer.”

“Oh, but I know more about your precious mother than you think, my dear niece,” the memory of Absinthya’s words sending a chill down my spine. “Your mother may have fooled others with her sweetness, but she is a master manipulator just like me.”

Rohan’s expression changed, a flicker of hesitation crossing his features. “Eryone,” he repeated, his tone tinged with distrust. “Are you sure that’s wise?”

My free hand clenched into a fist at my side, and I took a deep breath through my nose to suppress the urge to scream. “Rohan, let’s not go down this path.”  I tried to reason with a firmness in my tone, hoping to convince him to stop before things escalated.

His jaw tightened, and he glanced away, his grip on my hand firm but conflicted. “Aerin, I don’t trust her. I’ve never trusted her. Eryone… she’s dangerous, manipulative. ”

Exasperation flared in my chest, torn between my mother and the man I loved. “She’s my mother, Rohan.” I reminded him, hoping he would understand. “I have to see her, to understand…”

“I know, I know.” Rohan sighed, running a hand through his dark hair. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t speak that way about your mother. But you have to understand, Eryone and I… we will always be enemies.”

His words left a heavy sadness in my chest, a suffocating weight that settled in my lungs. “Enemies,” I whispered, the word tasting bitter on my tongue. It wasn’t just a disagreement, a difference in opinion. It was an abyss that stretched between us. I squeezed his hand gently, feeling the warmth and strength there, but the uncertainty of the future loomed large between us. Could our love, if it even existed, truly survive this test?

“Stay at the Moon Court,” Rohan blurted out.

My heart stuttered at his words, eyes widening in shock as I took in the intensity of his gaze.

“Stay with me,” he pleaded hoarsely, a hint of desperation seeping through every word.

Stay with him? It’s everything I’ve ever wanted… But what about my family? My friends? The threat of dragons? Maeglor and his father?

“I… I’d really love to,” I began, my voice wavering with uncertainty, “but there are still things I need to take care of. My family, my friends, the dragons… I want to help however I can.”

“The dragons? They are bloody hellfire incarnate!” he spat out, his eyes filled with fear.

But I was determined to go. “I will be fine,” I insisted, my tone confident and resolute. “I can’t stay locked away, Rohan. I have responsibilities too.”

Rohan’s expression darkened with frustration, his grip on my hand tightening almost imperceptibly. “Aerin, dammit, you just don’t get it. Eshelean is a dangerous place, especially for someone like you. There are enemies lurking in the shadows, more powerful and deadly than Absinthya ever was.”

“I can handle myself,” I argued, pushing my chin up with defiance.

I saw the muscle in his jaw twitch, his eyes blazing once again. “That’s not the point,” he growled through clenched teeth.”I won’t be able to keep you safe if you’re halfway across the world.”

“I won’t be alone. Eryone will be there with me.”

Rohan’s eyes narrowed, a hint of sarcasm creeping into his voice. “Oh, that’s supposed to put my mind at ease, is it?” he said, his frustration palpable. “Aerin, you’re being reckless. You’re acting like a child, running headlong into danger without a second thought.”

His words stung, but I refused to back down. “And you’re acting like an overprotective, thousand-year-old grumpy old man,” I shot back, pulling my hand free from his grip, feeling my own frustration building up.  How dare he treat me like a child?

Rohan’s laughter was low and humorless, a sound that grated on my nerves. “A child of ten has more sense than you,” he said, his words sharp and biting. My cheeks burned with a mix of humiliation and anger, my fists clenching at my sides. “And just for the record,” he added with a wry smile, “I’m four hundred years old, not a thousand.”

Anger flared up inside me, hot and fierce, but I refused to give in to his taunts. “I don’t need your protection, Rohan,” I spat, the words laced with a tremor I hated.

His laughter only fueled my fury. “Oh, really?” he drawled, every word dripping with arrogance. “But you’re so naive, Aerin, so easily manipulated. You’re a danger to yourself.”

Every fiber of my being screamed for release, for an outburst of defiance that would make him regret ever underestimating me. But I held back, taking a shaky breath and forcing myself to speak calmly. “I don’t need your help, Rohan. I’m not a child, and I’m not some damsel in distress needing a knight in shining armor.”

Rohan’s expression turned to stone, a fleeting look of disdain passing over his face before he twisted it into a smirk. “Is that so?” he scoffed, his voice dripping with skepticism. “Then how long do you think you would have lasted in Absynthia’s grasp without my protection? A week? A day?”

A tense silence settled between us, thick and suffocating. My eyes burned with tears, but I refused to let him see my weakness.

“You’re a fucking asshole,” I whispered, the words a ragged gasp escaping my lips.

For a moment, Rohan’s hard gaze softened, a glimpse of remorse fleeting across his face. “Aerin, I…” he started to say, but I cut him off with a sharp shake of my head.

“No, don’t,” I snapped, my voice strained with emotion. “I don’t want to hear it.”

He reached out to touch my cheek, but I jerked away.

“Fine,” he huffed, defeat lacing his words. “Go ahead and run to Rívoen, to your precious mother. Just don’t forget, we’ll be enemies from now on.”

The sting of his words lingered like a dark cloud, suffocating me with their cruel finality. Blinking back tears, I turned away. I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of seeing me crumble.

“Princess…”

“Aerin!”

My heart sank as I heard his voice call my name. But I couldn’t bring myself to care. I wanted nothing more than to shut him out and forget he ever existed. Before I could steal another step, a powerful hand clamped onto my arm. He spun me around, his grip tightening until my back slammed against the balcony wall. My breath hitched as I met his gaze, the blue-gray depths swirling with a storm of emotions that I couldn’t decipher. Desire, yes, that much was clear. But beneath it all, there was something else, something primal and possessive that seemed to emanate from every pore of his being. In that moment, I knew I was completely at his mercy.

“Don’t you dare walk away from me,” his voice was a deep, dangerous growl that vibrated through me. I couldn’t move as his body pressed against mine, trapping me between his strong form and the cold wall. His intense gaze bore into mine, daring me to disobey him.

I couldn’t stop staring into his stormy eyes, my heart pounding furiously in my chest as I braced myself for what was about to happen. And then, without a single word, his lips crashed against mine with a ferocity that stole my breath away. His kiss consumed me, igniting a fire within me that burned with passion and urgency. Every nerve in my body responded to his touch, surrendering completely to him in a moment of pure ecstasy.

Rohan’s hands found their way to the small of my back, pulling me closer until there was no space left between us. His strong thigh slid between mine, lifting the fabric of my long dress and pressing firmly against my center, igniting a primal need within me. My fingers threaded through his dark hair, pulling him closer as our tongues danced together in a heated embrace. The taste of him was intoxicating, and I couldn’t get enough.

He broke the kiss, trailing his lips down my neck, his breath hot against my skin. His teeth grazed the sensitive spot just below my ear, causing me to gasp and arch against him. He moved lower, his mouth leaving a trail of fire down to my collarbone, his hand sliding up my back to hold me steady.

My own hands roamed over his broad shoulders, feeling the strength in them as he held me tight. I let out a low moan as he kissed the hollow of my throat, my hips instinctively moving against his thigh, seeking more of the delicious friction. Rohan’s name slipped from my lips in a breathless whisper, and I felt his answering growl reverberate through his chest.

“Aerin,” he murmured against my skin, his voice rough with desire. He bit down gently on my shoulder, just hard enough to make me gasp, and then soothed the bite with his tongue, sending another wave of heat coursing through me.

He lifted his head, capturing my lips in another searing kiss, his tongue sweeping into my mouth with a possessive intensity that left me dizzy. I clung to him, my nails digging into his shoulders as I kissed him back with equal fervor.

When we finally broke apart, we were both breathing heavily, our foreheads resting together. I opened my eyes to find him gazing at me, his chest rising and falling rapidly.

“I’m sorry,” he murmured, his breath hot against my lips. “I was an idiot, but… I can’t lose you.” His voice broke on the last word, and he cupped my cheek, his thumb brushing away the tears that had slipped free. “Not again.”

“You won’t,” I whispered, my voice trembling.

“I love you, Aerin,” he said, his voice raw and filled with a depth of feeling that took my breath away. It wasn’t a dream. It wasn’t a delusion. He truly loved me. The realization brought a fresh wave of tears, and I smiled through them, feeling a warmth spread through my chest.

Rohan’s fingers gently wiped away the new tears, his touch tender and reverent. He leaned in and kissed me again, this time slower, savoring the moment. His lips moved against mine with a sweet intensity, his tongue gliding over mine in a dance that spoke of promises and unspoken emotions.

We pulled back slightly, our breaths mingling as we looked into each other’s eyes. The world around us seemed to fade away, leaving just the two of us in a bubble of shared warmth and love.

“I love you,” he whispered again, his eyes searching mine for reassurance.

“I love you too, Rohan,” I replied, my voice steady despite the tears. “With every fiber of my being, more than anything in this world.”

He smiled, a genuine, heart-stopping smile that made my heart soar. His lips met mine once more, gentle and tender, as if he never wanted to let go.

As our kiss deepened, I felt a sense of peace settle over me. Whatever challenges lay ahead, we would face them together. And in that moment, I knew that our love was strong enough to overcome any obstacle. In that kiss, I found my strength, my courage, my love. In that kiss, I found my home.

2 Comments on “OLAS Chapter 19: A new beginning – IV”

  1. The steam ahead haha.
    I do love their tiny quarrel – those often lead to heat – as Lorian and Nymre can say as well :3

    Rohan is stubborn man but Aerin too a stubborn woman :>

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