CH.8

We had been traveling for what seemed like years, but according to Mr. Superior, it had only been a couple of weeks. Yes, I know, that had to be the lamest nickname ever made in the history of anything, but oddly enough, I had trouble when it came to giving Troy a suitable nickname; nothing really fit him.

Seriously, Troy knew everything. No matter what I asked him, he knew the answer. My receiving that answer, however, really depended on whether or not he wanted to humor my never ending curiosity. Ah, well, he was a demon. You'd have to expect that he wouldn't act like a rational human being. I forgave him. The only thing that I couldn't forgive him, however, was that I hadn't learned anything more about him in the three weeks that we'd been traveling together.

It was getting annoying, how much I didn't know about him. He was still a total mystery to me. He really could be a raping, pillaging demon dude who indulges himself with the terrified cries of babies, and I would be none the wiser.

That was a scary thought, even if I didn't believe it.

We were nearly at One, apparently. I couldn't really tell, since we were still in the damned forest. There was no sign of either Lavinia or the hunter man, so the days –and the scenery- just kind of started to blend together.

The day before we were supposed to reach the city (hallelujah), we were traveling long into the night. I must have fallen asleep ten times before we finally stopped, but when Troy finally got tired of my whining to set up camp for the night, I wasn't. Tired, I mean. Actually I was pretty hyper. Like a viper.

I was pretty far gone.

"So, you still haven't told me much about you, Troy!" I chirped, bouncing up and down where I sat on my leaf bed.

He gave no answer.

"Troy!" I said a bit louder, the bouncing starting to slow down. I knew that the reason he didn't answer couldn't have been because he didn't hear me. He was right beside me on his own little leaf bed (although seeing how he was more than half a foot taller than me, maybe it wasn't so 'little'), lying on his side, facing away from me.

"I'm trying to sleep." He grunted, waving a hand at me as if he was shooing me away.

Oh, no he didn't!

"Hey, dude, you were the one who kept refusing to land and let me sleep, so now I'm not sleepy anymore!" I said, shifting closer to him.

"Go away." He said again, repeating the 'shoo, doggy' action from his last attempt to dissuade me.

Except this time, due to all my shifting, he hit me straight in the nose.

"Ouch!" I cried, flinging myself back and clutching my poor nose.

Troy was up in an instant.

"Oh, no! I'm sorry! What were you doing so close to me, anyway?" He said harshly, holding my head in his hands. He tried to pull away my hands so he could see how it was, but I wouldn't budge.

I was too embarrassed, I guess, even though it was his entire fault. Well, mostly his fault. As he had said, I had been pretty close to him. I'm sure my face was so hot you could fry an egg on it.

"Look, if I'm going to help I need to see it, Evie!" He said, irritated with me. He got pretty testy when he was tired, didn't he?

Better than in my case, where I get unbelievably attracted to pretty demons who fly; in more ways than one. Get it? Attracted? Like in our hand-to-nose connection?

Ha-ha.

My sense of humor seemed to be damaged along with my nose.

He finally pried my hands away from my nose and took my face in his hands again, turning it to observe the damage at all angles. I was really hoping that it wasn't bleeding or doing anything else not-so-flattering.

"Hmm." he murmured, still observing my nose. At that moment I was very glad I had a nice, small nose. The one thing I could really thank my mother for. The rest of my looks were purely from my Dad's side of the family.

Although that 'hmm' was kind of bugging me.

"Hmm, what?" I demanded impatiently when he didn't clarify.

Instead of saying anything like any normal person would, he tapped my nose.

"Holy fucking Mary, mother of God's fucking baby Jesus!" I yelled, pain shooting through my nose, my eyes tearing up, "What was that for?! That hurt like hell!"

The ass just smiled and said, "Don't worry, I don't think it's broken, just hurt. Ha-ha, you really have the most amusing curses, Evie!"

"Oh, okay! Thanks?! That's great! Doesn't change the fact that it's throbbing like it's about to break away from my face and make its own lemonade stand!" I cried nonsensically. The whole over-tired hyper-ness combined with the terrible pain in my nose had finally made me crack.

"Its own lemonade stand?" He asked incredulously, smiling like the stupid jerk he was.

I wasn't feeling all that kind towards him at the moment.

"Oh, shut up!" I replied angrily.

I attempted to stand, but since I was still clutching my nose with one of my hands and these stupid dresses were definitely not designed with actual movement in mind, I just kind of wriggled around trying to untangle my legs from the mess of fabric.

"Whoa, calm down honey." He said, grabbing my shoulders.

Sadly, however, this didn't really work out because when he finally decided to do something about my temporary insanity I was halfway standing, still not totally balanced. His grabbing my shoulders made me become the klutz that I was and fall into his lap. He didn't collapse under my weight like I thought he would, him being a super sexy- I meant strong- demon guy.

Before I knew it, his arms were around me and all thought of my nose disappeared.

"Oops," I said, my voice muffled against his shoulder, "God, I'm such a klutz."

He didn't say anything. He seemed to enjoy doing that.

He smelled nice, especially for a guy who'd been asleep for five hundred years. He smelled spicy, like flowers and cinnamon and fresh morning dew...

Fresh morning dew?

Holy crap, I needed to get away from him, fast. I was going insane. Although his arms were nice and strong, holding me with just the right amount of pressure; I didn't really want to leave…

No! It wasn't as if he had never held me before! He's saved me from multitudes of situations that required him to grab me to get me out of danger, the more conscious side of my mind cried.

No. This is different, the other side of my mind whispered (the side I was starting to like a lot more than the other).

That's it; I had to get some air.

"Umm, well, sorry for going all spazzy on you back there…" I said, started to pull away from him, getting more and more confused as the seconds went by.

But before I fully got up, something made me pause. I was kneeling in between his legs, my hands resting on his shoulders (which were certainly built, just like the rest of him) and I looked into his eyes.

What I saw startled me, and I shot upright saying, "Uh… umm, I'm going for a walk… I'll be back soon!"

I turned to leave, but before I left I heard him say (in his usual no nonsense way), "Be careful. It's nearly dawn, but it's still pretty dark. Don't get lost."

It was the first thing he had said in minutes.

Need to get out of here.

I walked away quickly, traveling straight into the woods for ten minutes before finally clunking down onto a fallen tree.

What was all that about? I have to be the most confused girl in the world of O'Harra right about now.

What were those feelings I had back there? Where did they come from? I mean, sure, I'd always thought Troy had to be the hottest guy I'd ever seen, but my feelings had never gone any farther than that!

Than why did I feel that way when he was holding me? And why didn't he push me off of him, for that matter?

Duh! What you saw in his eyes, dummy, my mind cut in again.

It may have been my favorite section of Evie's mind, but I really wished I could turn it off and obsess in peace.

With that thought fresh in my mind, I could almost see it making a face at me. The stupid bugger.

What I saw in his eyes…

He didn't look like his usual self. Instead of seeing humor or no emotion at all, I saw something different. He looked haunted, sad, wistful and a bit… loving.

Which, of course, could not be right; I've known the guy, what, like two weeks? We barely knew each other. I mean, sure we spoke a lot during the journey (well, okay, I had spoken most of the time; but he did listen) but that was it and…

No, it was too late to be thinking about so many complicated things. Besides, I needed to get back or he might get worried (yeah, I wish).

I got up and walked back to the camp. I had grown accustomed to the forest and I could find my way back from anywhere; most of the time. There was this one incedent a couple days ago-

"Oof!" I collided with a hard body.

Sheesh, maybe Troy really did like me.

"Troy, look, you didn't need to come after me, I'm fine."

Then I looked up.

It wasn't Troy.

It was the hunter, and he looked just as menacing as he had two weeks ago.

"Tr-" I started to scream, but was cut off by someone clamping their hands around my mouth and arms.

Wait.

Wasn't the hunter in front of me?

Oh, shit. There were two of them?!

"Good, let's get her to Lavinia, then. Where's the demon?" Hunter One asked Hunter Two.

"The other boys got him. I'm suspecting that Lavinia will want him alive… along with this wench. Tell the men to steer clear of them." Hunter Two said. I'm thinking he was the leader.

He pushed me to Hunter One and walked off.

When Hunter Leader was out of sight, what he said finally dawned on me.

Lavinia -AKA Psychotic vampire who wanted me to be her 'pet'- hired them to catch Troy and I.

With that one thought in my brain, I knew what I had to do.