I was lying on a soft bed. It was warm. There were satin sheets and lots of pillows. I liked this bed, but that didn't change the fact that it wasn't my bed. My throat didn't feel sore making me wonder if meeting Elliot's brother had been a dream. If it was a dream, how could I explain this comfy bed? If it wasn't a dream, how could I explain this comfy bed? There was only one way to answer my questions. I opened my eyes.
It was a slow process. But when my eyes were open, I could see the whole room. Through the curtained window, soft light had begun to filter into the room. It was dawn. The room was fancy. It was a room for someone rich, someone royal, someone not me. In one of the two chairs in the room sat Teom. I could have understood if it was Elliot. I knew Elliot. Elliot is my friend. Teom was a stranger, but his face said that he didn't believe that. Even asleep, Teom's face was lined with worry, fear, and a heart-wrenching sadness. And I knew instinctively that it was all for me.
"He's been sitting with you day and night, waiting for you to wake up," Elliot said from the open door.
"Why?" My voice was no more than a cracked whisper.
Elliot shrugged. "Ecria Mefilios," he said cryptically.
I frowned at him knowing that he wouldn't explain further even if I asked. "How long?" I said instead.
"Water first," Elliot ordered sternly. He grabbed a glass and a pitcher from the stand by the door and filled the glass with water. "Let me do it Faith. You stay still." It was unlike Elliot to be so bossy, but the tone he was using made me afraid to disobey. The water felt wonderful as it moistened my lips and throat and quenched my thirst. "You were recovering for almost five days. Pratt nearly crushed your windpipe. It was all the healers could do to save you. Teom was afraid that they wouldn't be able to."
"Huh?" I was now very confused. What Elliot was saying made no sense. According to my best friend, I had almost died.
"You shouldn't be troubling her with those things yes," Teom's voice was soft and low. "I am glad to see you awake again Ecria Mefilios. I had begun to fear that you would never open your eyes again."
"Confused," I moaned.
"Then I shall try to explain some of it to you. I am Teom. I was born the younger of twin sons. When Elliot was born, our father named heir and guardians. Elliot was named the High Prince while Mikel and I were appointed to be his guardians and protectors. When Elliot turned five, there was an assassination attempt on his life. Our father was killed instead. Pratt was made Elliot's steward. It seemed a good arrangement…at first. We did not understand how power hungry Pratt really was. He slowly began to try and steal power from Elliot. Around the third anniversary of our father's death, Mikel found something. Neither he nor I understood what it was. We approached Pratt with it and he used smooth words to try and deceive us. I was deceived, but not Mikel. My twin held his suspicions and began to watch Pratt very closely. It wasn't until a year later that Mikel was killed. I now know it was because he had found evidence of Pratt's deceit. Elliot witnessed the murder and Pratt spirited him away. I had not seen Elliot since that day, but I was always searching. And now, I have found not only my brother and king, but my Ecria Mefilios as well. I have truly been blessed."
"Okay, now I have a few questions. One: Since when is Elliot a king? Two: What is your kingdom even? Three: What is E-ecria Mefilios?"
"I'll confess that is partially my fault," Elliot told his brother. "I have told Faith little if anything of my past. Even the things that I do let slip, I have refused to explain. I was always afraid that someone would think me crazy and I would destroy any chance of you ever finding me Teom."
"No one's explained anything to me yet." I said annoyed.
"Forgive us Ecria Mefilios," Teom said with an indulgent smile. "I am unaccustomed to those who know not our ways. As to your questions…first: Elliot has been a king since he was five, even during his absence, he was king. Second, you are in our kingdom. It is Drazla in the Fourth Realm. Third, Ecria Mefilios are lifemates, soulmates, the only person that another will desire to be with for all eternity."
"Wait a second, rewind here! Are you saying that I'm the lifemate/soulmate/thing one of you?" I demanded angrily.
"Not saying, and not one," Teom said. "You and I are Ecria Mefilios Faith. There is no mistaking it. I heard your cry of distress that night. I felt the bond created as I looked into your eyes for the first time. You are the only one that there shall ever be for me. You are my only desire."
"Whoa there buddy! Forgive me if I'm a little skeptical. None of this makes sense. For all I know this could be some really messed up dream. Or worse, you could be some crazy kidnapping stalker."
Teom sighed. "Is she always like this?"
"Of course she is," Elliot said it as if it should have been obvious to his brother. "Why wouldn't she be? This is Faith we're talking about after all."
"Then we have much to teach you Ecria Mefilios," Teom said standing up. He leaned over and his lips brushed my forehead leaving a tingling sensation. "Now rest, I will go and get you some stew from the kitchens. You should eat so you can regain your health." Then Elliot and Teom left me alone, even more confused then when I had first woken up.