Her legs burned as if they were crafted from fire. Helgrin was silent, not even the sound of a flickering flame could be heard. She could not count on the stars to guide her, nor the moon, for there was none.
She hoisted herself over the window ledge, and crouched down on the wooden floor, which moaned at her sudden presence. She had escaped her room, and found herself scaling the wall into Asa’s house. But she was not there for him.
Asa usually slept in the shop, especially when he had guests; this wasn’t her first time breaking and entering. But it was different for her to be upstairs.
Creeping along the floor, Aslyn began to unravel her uneaten meal. Surely he will talk for this. She thought.
She approached the lump on the floor; his back was facing her. She reached down to tap his shoulder, just brushing his sticky skin with her finger.
Bolting upright, the boy shuffled backward until he hit the cream wall. He was paralyzed in fear, open and vulnerable. “Please, please don’t.” he threw his hands in front of his face, which was lost and confused. He was only a few months older than Aslyn, but resembled a child during a thunderstorm.
She stiffened at his sudden revolt, not quite knowing how to handle it. She cautiously crawled forward waving her hands in front of her face, hoping that in some weird way it would reassure him. “It’s me, I came here earlier today.” She knew better than to throw out her title, but she wasn’t completely sure he didn’t already know.
He opened his eyes to see if she spoke the truth, and as soon as he saw her, his features softened. He removed his hands from his face to get a better look at her, then a sigh of relief left his lips. He craned his head back, as if an invisible weight were lifted off of his shoulders.
“Sorry I scared you,” she said handing him the meal, her hands slightly shaking. Was this a bad idea? “I brought you some food.” She continued, observing his face. His blue eyes never left hers as he reached to take the bundle. Each of them predicting the other’s move.
Once he had snatched the bundle, his eyes fell to the food. It was almost like he had completely forgotten her existents in that moment. She sat across from him, watching him cram food into his mouth. She was a slightly shocked by his lack of etiquette, but she just smiled, realizing he was no threat at all. He was just a hungry boy.
He closed his eyes and tilted his head upward, “This is good,” he said through the mounds of food, hoping to savor the flavors, and not miss a single spice. He shoveled more potatoes in his mouth, some dribbling on his tattered shirt.
Aslyn laughed quietly, making sure Asa wouldn’t wake. “Yeah, I can tell. Might want to try breathing? You’re going to barf.” She said, feeling more comfortable.
She watched as he held the bundle up to his face, hoping more potatoes would appear. “Barf?” he questioned, “I didn’t think someone with such high caliber would risk their reputation with such a word!” He said. A cocky smirk wiped across his face. Aslyn wondered how he knew her status, was it the way she carried herself? He looked at Aslyn for the first time, all stress and worry aside, and his eyes filled with guilt. “You didn’t have to do that,” he said looking down, rubbing the back of his neck.
“I know. I just needed information. Figured feeding you would help open you up.” She laughed, but he didn’t, making her feel stupid. Didn’t he just make a joke about my status? Why isn’t he laughing? Desperately needing to evaporate the awkwardness, she asked, “What’s your name?”
He hesitated, almost as if he was asking if he could trust her. Then he said, “Huron Rawodheil, and you’re Aslyn Wesley.” He spoke all too quickly.
“How did you know that?” she asked, but mentally replayed the sound of his name in her mind. Huron…manly. She smiled.
“Who doesn’t know that? You’re the infamous princess who sneaks out to feed the poor.” He gave a weak, bashful smile, causing Aslyn’s heart to flutter for just seconds. A foreign feeling to her.
He was unlike anyone she had ever met. He was quiet, and not pompous like all the princes she had met in her life. He seemed to have a sense of humor, but it was to early in the conversation to tell. What caught her attention the most was how little she knew about him, and how mysterious he was.
Aslyn suddenly found herself bombarding him with the questions that had been lingering in her mind, “Why were you nearly dead in the woods? Who beat you up? Was it Mortuus’s men? Have you seen him before? Do you know about the prophecy? Why are you here with Asa?”
She bit her lip once she realized she had asked too many, and too personal questions. “Sorry,” She said, feeling rather foolish. “It’s just those questions have been hounding in my brain. I know Asa wont tell me anything, so I thought, why not try you?”
Huron only smiled, letting her heart loosen. “You deserve answers, but I’m afraid I can’t provide them.”
Perhaps it was the look of disappointment that softened Huron’s heart, or the fact that she was beginning to regret coming, but he gave in, “Okay, all I remember is that I was scared. And Mortuus’s men were right on my tail. As for the prophecy, yes. I know about it, but only a small bit. I know Mortuus is out to kill everyone within the Year of The Chosen so he can rule. But that’s all.”
Aslyn nodded her head and thanked him, “I will see you again?” she asked, while heading toward the window.
“Would you like that?” Huron asked, studying her face.
“You’re a very interesting boy, Huron. I hope to uncover more of your secrets.” With that, she slid out of the window, a mischievous smile placed upon her lips.
She made her way back to her room and slept.