Chapter Two

A young man, seventeen years old, looked into the slowly darkening sky. He was weary from his long journey through the wooded lands of the Kylia Plains. He looked as far as he could see into the horizon. A ranch or large home was all lit up. A smile crept into his face.

"Ah, hot food and a warm bed hopefully lies ahead," he said in a soft, low tone. This young man was built somewhat to the standards that of a swordsman. The man had a dark complexion, like the color of mocha. He took hold of the reins to his white mare. He dug his heels in the sides of the horse and she took off in a galloping run towards the structure in the middle of the open plain. The braid, he wore his sky blue hair in, was trailing along behind him. It wouldn't be long before the sun would set.

The man came closer to the ranch and noticed buzzards around the place. They weren't feeding, only waiting for something to die. He slowed his mare to a slow trot. He looked around in the yard for what was causing the buzzards' gathering. The guy slid off his white horse's back and to have a better look. He took about five steps and saw a woman's body, covered in blood, with a single close range gunshot wound to the chest. It had barely missed the heart.

"Geez… What the hell happened here?!" he asked while quickly getting on his knees and to check her pulse. It was faint, deathly faint. It was a miracle that she was still alive and breathing. He gathered her up in his arms and carried her up the dark porch steps. She groaned lightly, but her eyes did not open. He kicked open the front door and looked for a couch. He rushed from room to room until he found the living room. He hurried over to the long sofa and gently laid her on it. The woman groaned once more with pain as he did it.

He ran back into the kitchen that he had passed just a few moments ago. He ran hot water into a pot and took it into the living room with a cloth that he grabbed off the countertop. The bullet, that had put the woman into such a critical state, had gone all the way through her body.

"I'm sorry Miss…" he whispered as he quickly undressed her. He lifted her as he pulled off her top and under-garments. The man took the cloth and dipped it into the steaming hot water. Gently cleaning the wound, he focused his mind with pure determination to save her. He repeated the cleaning process, washing the chest wound. He did his best not to touch any body parts that would make her uncomfortable, even in this sleepy pain.

The kind and tender man laid her gently back down of the sofa and headed out to his saddle bags. He grabbed a dark brown one and carried it back inside. He kneeled in front of the girl and dumped the contents on the floor beside him. He dug around in the pile and grabbed some sort of liquid disinfectant. He poured it into the blood hole in her chest. The stuff would partially seal the wound long enough to wrap the wounds up. He then enwrapped the wounds in huge gauze. She lightly moaned in pain, but was completely quiet after he gave her some sort of drug to ease the pain.

"I'm still confused about of what happened here," he said to himself. He looked around the house for some sheets to wrap the girl's parents in. It wasn't a long search, so he took one into the kitchen and wrapped up the mother, then took her poor lifeless body outside. The young man traveled the rest of the house to find the study and the bloody body of the father. He did the same with the sheets and took the body outside. The young man put his white mare in the field with the mustang. After that, he quickly made his way to the barn to look for a shovel. Eventually, he found one and headed back to where the parents' bodies were.

For hours, he dug two holes and occasionally checked in on the girl. It was well into the cold starry night, when the traveler gently lowered the two adults into their graves. He covered them with the earth he dug up, and then said a small prayer for them.

He went inside and dropped down in to a chair near the sleeping girl, and fell asleep himself.

Trance woke up with a pain eating away at her mind. She would barely move and it would hurt. She sniffed at the air and wondrous scents of eggs, bacon, and toast entered her nostrils. Who was cooking? She thought that this was a dream. Trance looked down at her gauze wrapped chest and she choked on a sob that was trying to escape. But who was cooking if… if her mother was… dead? She let out another sob and took in a small deep breath that sent a little bit of pain to her temples.

"Who," she began in a raspy tone, "who is in my kitchen?" She tried to move, but it hurt too much. Trance could hear a sizzle and a male voice yelping lightly. He came out of the kitchen holding his hand. He was looking at her with wide eyes.

"Uh… I wasn't expecting you to be awake so soon with that wound…" he said with a shaky voice, and then he realized that she was indecent and turned around. Trance looked down at herself and blushed severely.

"You, you saved my life…" Trance said in her quiet raspy voice. The man nodded slowly, still not looking at her. She sighed as he went back into the kitchen. He came back with a glass of water. The guy set it down and attempted to lift her very carefully. She was still indecent, but she needed water to parch that raspy tone. Trance twinged with pain, but tried not to make a sound so he would move her just a bit. Afterwards, he raised the glass to her dry, pale lips to let her have some of the water. She attempted to hold it herself, but it hurt. She was angry that she couldn't help herself.

"Miss…" he started.

"Trancelyn Silverlee," she interrupted the rasp in her voice gone. It sounded graceful, with notes of angst and pain.

"Miss Silverlee," he began again.

"Just Trance," she intervened again, with a small grin. Her life-saver sighed.

"Okay, then, Trance…" he began, but paused to see if she was going to interrupt again. "What happened here? No, no, that's not the right question to ask right now… Err… Trance, I'm Chronos Surconia." Trance nodded to him, which was her way of letting him know that she had been listening. Speech drained her, much less, breathing exhausted her.

Chronos Surconia was a complete stranger that had seen her half-naked. No man had seen her naked and she was shy about her body. She talked a lot, but the whole 'naked' fact left her shy and conscious about her body.

Chronos was a quiet person too, and he soon caught himself doing what many guys did when they saw Trance, staring into her brilliant and enchanting blue-green eyes. He made the sound of an 'O' and held the glass to her lips to let her drink more. Had she been staring back?

"Chronos, how did you stumble across this place?" Trance asked as she looked down at her hands. My hands are shaking… Why? They also were brown and covered in dirt. It took a few moments before Chronos could answer her; it was like he had been in another place for the time.

"I… I was only looking for food and board," he said. "I'm willing to pay." Trance shook her head.

"You saved my life, and, I assume, gave my parents they rites?" she said softly, another sob was trying to escape her again. Chronos nodded slightly. "Then I don't want your money…" she continued. He was truly in-depth thinking about something. Trance sniffed at the air once more.

"SOMETHING'S BURNING!" she panicked. Chronos jumped up quickly and cursed a little under his breath. He had burnt the bread that he was toasting. Trance bit her lip, a guy that could cook better than she did. Everyone cooks better than I! She never liked the way she cooked, because it always ended up tasting awful. Burnt toast was nothing compared to her kitchen mishaps.

Trance began to notice her condition more. She had chill bumps and was shivering, but she also felt hot at the same time. Trance's poor stomach was also grumbling and growling for food, but she wasn't really hungry. Chronos came out with a tray of food for her. Smiling, she did finally realize that she was very hungry. He had to feed her, because moving was painful for Trance, yet that didn't bother him. He was thinking about his past… Something he would never talk about with anyone. Trance couldn't eat much, but she did what she could. It just hurt so much, that she couldn't do much and was exhausted. She thanked him a million times over for the good meal.

Afterwards, Trance began to feel sleepy, so Chronos gently moved her back to her lying position and draped a quilt over her. That would, hopefully, keep her warm. Chronos also gave her another dose of that painkiller.

Trance mumbled something as she fell asleep. She felt as if she were falling away. The pains in her chest had also gone away as she endlessly descended. Trance head the screams of her mother in the background and constant gunshots too. As she fell, Sebane's attempt on her life flashed before her eyes. An extreme sharp pain flooded into her chest and into her mind, freezing it and clouding her thoughts. In her dream, Trance looked down at her chest. It was bleeding massive amounts. Warm blood quickly trickled down her front. She was in agony, an agony that made her shake and tremble all over in her sleep.

Chronos walked over to her and felt her forehead. It was burning up, but Trance was shivering. He grabbed another quilt and laid it on top of her. Chronos tucked it up under her. He then went to get her a wet cloth and placed it on her head, and then he sat in the chair across from her.

"I've yet to figure out what happened here…" he whispered as he entered his own world. He unconsciously unbraided his sky blue hair and brushed it out. Why would someone barge in here and kill entire family, or at least try? He braided it back and looked up at the ceiling; he was looking back on that past of his… That no one knew about.

)( Author's Note: Review please…That's all I'm asking of you. Just review. )(