I held up my head up as I walked down the dirt road in the small town of Godwin, but pulled my hood down more over my hair to keep that part covered. I tried to ignore the random stares and whispers that others gave me as I kept my stride. This I was used to, but I'll be damned if I liked it.
Which of course, I didn't.
I inwardly sighed and just accepted it as I continued to head towards Mrs. Leerins home. She had called for me, saying her infant was showing signs of the dreaded cough. He wasn't eating and suckling his mother's breast as he should and he was showing symptoms of having trouble with his breathing. I couldn't say no to such an innocent life.
Now normally, those in need of medical attention came to me at my home, instead of me having to come out and succumb to all the looks of judgement. I wasn't exactly popular here in this town. Most shunned me and acted as if I was some kind of disease, although most were my patients.
I guess I couldn't really blame them, considering I was very different than anyone I had ever been in contact with. No one was like me and I just accepted that. It was hard for them to accept what they didn't understand. The fear of the unknown.
I turned a corner and saw my destination coming into reach; My caped hood sliding back a bit once again, threatening to reveal the mystery beneath it. I quickly grabbed it and held it in place and finally made it to the door.
This was a small straw and mud home, like everyone's in this town. It was simple and sheltered those inside from the weather. That was the only purpose to them and so no one really did much or need more. Especially here in Godwin. It was a poor town after all.
"Mrs. Leerins?" I called out at the walk-in entrance. It was covered in a thick fabric, brown, as that was the cheapest kind to buy. I waited for her to allow me to enter since I didn't want to just walk in without permission. The fabric moved to the side after I saw someone untie it from the ground from the inside. As it was pulled back, a middle aged woman smiled tiredly at me.
"Belle, thank you for coming! Right this way!" she moved off to the side and allowed me to enter. Mrs. Leerins was a thin woman with longer blonde hair and beautiful grey eyes. I envied her hair. It was all pulled up into a rats nest, showing off the little amount of effort she was putting into her self care. It broke my heart to see her in such a state, but it only showed how worried and exhausted she must have been taking care of her new baby boy.
That was the one thing that always gave me hope in this life. The love a woman had for her children.
"Where is Landen? I don't hear him." I asked, listening for any sounds of coughing or crying.
"He's actually resting peacefully for the first time in a long while. Please, you must see him and help him." she pleaded, sounding so desperate. "He's back here." Mrs. Leerins lead me through the small home and into the only bedroom she had. There on the tiny cot was a sweet baby boy, only about 6 months old, swaddled in cloth. He was resting peacefully, but I held my breath as I walked closer. I could smell the stench of sickness and... death.
The tight grip that engulfed my heart was large. If this boy was going to survive I had to work quickly!
"Can't you help him? Is he going to be okay!?" Mrs. Leerins asked, tears already threatening to emerge from her beautiful pale grey eyes. I turned and smiled softly at her.
"Leave it to me." I said nodding to her. I couldn't let her know just how bad he was. I kept a smile on my face as I nodded towards the door. "Please." I asked. She only sniffed and wiped her eye.
"Of course. I'll make some tea."
I watched and waited as she walked out of the room. As soon as the coast was clear, I walked up to the child and slowly reached my hands out to touch him. I swallowed hard as my stomach went into knots. I could feel the stench of death on my hands as I finally laid my hands on him. The chill of grave almost hurting me. This poor child, so innocent but having to suffer so.
That's when I leaned forward, bringing my face close to the infant's body. I parted my lips and made sure my hands rested on top of his chest, feeling the sickness that was settled there in his lungs. Then, I closed my eyes. A small whisper then coming from my lips.
"You my child are not ready to die. Death..." I hissed softly, still only keeping my voice a soft whisper. "You cannot having this child." I commanded. "Be. Gone."
With a sudden whoosh of energy leaving my body, I instantly felt the sickness and death leave the child and disappear as if it had never been near. I fell to my knees.
The child sucked in a deep breath and started crying.
A smile tugged at my lips. "Shhh..." I cooed at him, hearing his strong healthy lungs make a high pitched noise. I felt so weak and tired, but I couldn't help but reach out and pull the infant into my arms. His light body pressed against me hoping to find food as his head and mouth moved to find his mother's breast. "Beautiful." I spoke in a hushed tone admiring the sight. Muttering up some energy I rose to my feet and walked out to where his mother waited. I met her grey eyes and saw the tears pouring down her cheeks.
"H-He's healed?" she asked almost afraid to find his clear crying a dream.
"He's healed. And hungry." I smiled and giggled. "Try feeding him." I told her, as she jumped up and ran over to me. I slid her son into her protective, loving arms and she smiled with a joy I couldn't ever re-create. The boy cried more as he was waiting to be fed, his mother first feeling the need to shower him with kisses. With only me here, she didn't bother to cover herself as she sat, lowering one side of her tunic and pulling out her breast to feed her child.
He instantly locked on and began to eat.
Mrs. Leerins laughed with joy. "He's healed!" Her eyes bolted up to me, smiling brightly. "Thank you! I can never repay you!"
I just watched in joy at the sight of it all. "Just enjoy your child." I told her, feeling my body wanting to collapse. Healing the small colds and small cuts and scrapes was one thing... but fighting off death was another. I was pretty sure I was going to need more than a day to recover from this healing.
"What can I do for you!?" she asked, seeking to pay me. I raised my hand to stop her. She was poor and didn't have anything, especially after she lost her husband a few months ago. This was the worst time for her. Her husband being killed in the fields by a raid of bandits.
I felt guilty as well, unable to even heal him. His body ripped and mangled. He didn't have a chance.
"I expect to see him at my home in a week for a check up." I smiled. "And for you to have lunch with me. That is all the payment I seek."
Tears threatened her eyes again. I could smell them. "You're an angel, Belle."
"Oh nonsense." I smiled and walked over, kissing the top of her head. "I will see you in a week."
With that I strode out of the home and made my back into the town slowly. My feet felt heavy and I felt a bit light headed. My heart also hurt and I just felt overall beat down. That precious child was so close to dying... I almost didn't make it in time. Regardless though, due to the final outcome, my mood was in good spirits for the most part. That was until I got halfway back home and a certain someone stopped me.
"My beautiful devil, how are you?" a man snickered with a dark tone. I felt myself cringe. Oh, I forgot to mention: On top of the town being afraid of me, I was also named, 'The Beautiful Devil,' or 'The Healing Witch' or a combination of those two mixed with a few other titles.
Once again, I hated it.
Apparently, being a mystery and being able to 'miraculously' healing people, I was some kind of devil or someone who used witchcraft. Like I said, I didn't blame them. Heck, I didn't even know what I was. That was a mystery to me just the same. I just called myself a medicine woman and tried my best to hide my 'talents'. For instance: I always did things behind doors and used props to make it seem like I had medicines that worked miracles.
I didn't really feel like being burned at the stake.
"Hello, Mr. Willink." I replied nicely. One, I didn't have the energy to pick a fight with him right now, and two, I just wanted to go home. If I had to continue to be nice to him to do that, I would gladly do so. I smiled softly at his strong build. Most women actually fawned over him, finding him attractive and sweet. He was tall and athletic, due to him working in the fields all day. His hair was curly and fell a bit onto the sides of his face, sideburns and all. He carried himself well and the twinkle in his blue eyes always got to people.
Not exactly my type to be honest.
"Hey, how many times do I need to remind you? Call me Alex." he winked and took a step towards me. Ugh, I could once again smell the stench of sickness. It was nauseating, believe me. Mr. Willink had a habit of smoking a bit too much if you'd ask me.
"Of course, Mr. Willink." I bowed slightly in respect. "Is there something I can help you with?"
He sighed and ran his hand through his thick hair, his arm muscles tightening at the movement. If there was one thing I had to admit about him, it would be the fact that his muscles were almost perfect. Me, being interested in the human body, I didn't hesitate to look as he moved.
Which only caused him to smirk at my reaction. "See something you like?" he asked.
"Of course. You can find beauty in anything." I smiled in innocence.
He groaned in defeat and annoyance. I wanted to smirk, but I refrained. There was no need to be open with him and relax. He was a womanizer and I knew the kind of things he did with those who showed interest.
I've had to heal a few of those victims.
"You're no fun sometimes, Belle."
"Yes, well, I should be off-" I was cut off by his towering body moving in to stop me. He stopped only a few inches from me causing me to take a step back. My eyes went wide as he smirked down at me.
"Why do you hide such beautiful features, Belle?" His dark eyes roamed over my face and the back to my eyes.
I swallowed hard.
"You have such amazing eyes. Such a vibrant pale blue... as if almost silver..." his voice started to become deeper, and more husky as he reached up and grabbed the hood of my cape. I closed my eyes as he pulled my hood down to reveal my very unnatural vibrant red hair. I only felt a tiny bit relieved that I was closer to home and on the outskirts of town. I avoided showing off my hair as much as possible in public.
As if my eyes weren't bad enough.
"P-Please, Mr. Willink..." I started, his eyes growing darker.
"It's Alex." he corrected.
"I-I need to get h-home-" I tried again but he grabbed my arm and pulled me against him. I felt sick to my stomach again as his hands moved and grabbed onto my hips. Mix that in with the stench of his sickness and knowing what was running through his head right then and you've got a recipe for throwing up.
I tried pushing back, but I was still way beyond being able to fight back. My body still unbelievably weak from healing the child, I could only begin to pray that someone would stop him.
"Belle." he whispered in his husky voice and smirked. I closed my eyes as he moved and grabbed my shoulders and moved his face closer to mine. Oh god, this was it. I was way too weak to stop him. Soon his dirty lips would be over mine and-
I felt a hard shove causing me to take a step back. I almost lost my footing but found myself quickly recovering. My eyes shot open as I heard Mr. Willink curse. I had to stop for a moment and stare as I tried to figure out what had just happened, considering he was no longer holding me, but glaring in another direction beside him.
"Hey! You son of a bitch! Did you not see that I was busy!?" he yelled, furious. I could feel his anger and I wanted to retreat back into my home. But I looked over to see who he yelling at and that's when I saw him.
Tall, muscular build, and very long black hair stood out the most for me right away. I couldn't see his face as some of the hair was blocking the view and he was facing away from me. He was facing the direction of Godwin. I noticed his broad strong arms and his simple black clothing. There was also a sword attached to his back which started at his shoulder and went across to end on his opposite hip. I couldn't help but stare.
"Didn't look busy to me." his deep voice spoke, giving me chills. I couldn't explain it. His voice was different... it wasn't... normal. I felt a strange pull towards him, and it scared me. He was not a normal human... he was...
I almost shook it all off and started to move away from Mr. Willink if I hadn't finally caught the man's eyes. He turned his head and that's when they found mine. I held my breath and froze.
His eyes were red. Crimson red.
Never, ever had I seen such eyes before! I couldn't breathe in shock of seeing such a sight. Remember when I said I had never met anyone or seen anyone that had such a different appearance like I did?
Well now was the first time.
And what did he do when he met my eyes? He smirked.
I held a blush as I finally was able to shake it off. Mr. Willink growled more and marched up to him, forgetting all about me. Oh thank goodness. I felt I could breathe again if it were for that man's eyes not leaving my own.
Finally his gaze was torn from mine, but not on purpose. I gasped softly. Mr. Willink had just punched him in the jaw! I couldn't believe it! My hands flew up and covered my mouth as I watched carefully. The stranger's body didn't move from it's place, his head was just turned slightly. The crimson eyes glared down at Mr. Willink,smirk gone. Mr. Willink's eyes went wide as the stranger grabbed him around the neck in one swift movement and lifted him off the ground with just one hand.
A smirk grew on his lips yet again. No! This couldn't be happening! I had to do something! If this man was different like me, and had some kind of power, Mr. Willink didn't have a chance against him!
"Stop! Please don't!" I cried, running up to them and pleaded. I reached out and touched his arm weakly. Those crimson red eyes looked down at me and narrowed. "Please!" I tried again. His brow raised in surprise. And with that, Mr. Willink suddenly dropped to the ground as the stranger released him. He fell to his side and coughed, holding his throat, trying to regain his breath. Once he did, which took a moment, he stood and ran as fast as he could back towards town. He didn't even look back. I sighed in relief. One thing I couldn't handle was seeing such violence. I turned towards the man, feeling his eyes on me.
"Are you alright?" I asked him, worried as well. He suddenly gave me dumbfounded look, which was totally out of character and then pointed at the direction of Mr. Willink.
"Did you not see what just happened?" he asked, sarcastically.
"Oh, uh, yeah." I looked to the side as I felt a light tint come across my cheeks. But then I looked at him again, remembering what had indeed happened. "But your jaw! Are you in pain?!" I asked, worried. He seemed surprised by my outburst and I felt like an idiot, but I wanted to make sure! You never know!
Sigh. I care too much.
"I'm fine." he told me, shaking his head.
"Please." I asked again, bowing slightly before him in respect. He furrowed his brows. "Allow me to tend to your wounds. My home is not far from here."
"Like I said, I'm fine-"
"Please!" I pleaded again. He might be alright, but he did save me from the grips of Mr. Willink and spared his life because I asked! I had to do something. "You did save me after all..."
"Straighten up and stop bowing." he groaned. "Fine, whatever. Lead the way."
I couldn't believe my ears! I shot up and smiled brightly, finding a bit of strength that I didn't think I had. Okay, so I was a bit excited because I had never been around someone like me before. Someone different. And now he was coming to my home? Plus he was handsome.
Excuse me while I squeal in delight internally.
"Right this way!"
He just crossed his arms and followed me the short distance that was left to my home.
She was plain weird.
And possibly a bit flakey.
The woman took me to her home, ushered me inside and into a chair and then instantly, without warning, grabbed my face and pulled her own closer to it. I admit, it's not the first time a woman has come on to me, but she just... stared.
It creeped me out.
Her hands were gentle and soft, which were very pleasing for sure. Her pale blue eyes, a strong trait for her kind, then examined my jaw a bit more as she slowly turned my head to one side.
"Hmm.. strange." she mumbled to herself, but I heard it. A glimpsed down at her lips as she slightly bit her lower lip in thought. Hmmm, that was actually a bit of a turn on. Then as soon as she came, she pulled away and sighed in relief. "You're not injured." I just blinked and crossed my arms.
"I believe I already told you that." I sighed. "Now, do you have something to eat? I'm starved."
The look of annoyance and fire flared up in her eyes and her body as she crossed her arms and looked straight at me. She couldn't exactly look down on me, considering she was actually quite short and I was pretty tall, so even sitting I was looking down at her. Hmmm, a little spitfire, was she? This could prove to be interesting.
"Excuse me? You come here and I checked over your injuries and I don't even get a 'Thank you?'"
I furrowed my brows. That didn't sound right. "You begged me to come here, even though I said I was fine, and you want me to thank you? For what?"
"For helping you!"
"You're strange." I stated bluntly. The look in her eyes flashed and changed instantly and even though I didn't know this woman, or care mind you, I actually felt bad for speaking my mind. Her pale blue eyes flashed hurt and sadness, and then she quickly put on a front.
"I'll make some food for you, and start some tea." I heard her speak in a nice tone. As she turned and walked towards the small area on the other side of the room, I took a moment to take all of her in.
Even though I did so a couple times already.
Her hair was long and like fire. It was down, but I watched as she braided her hair into a long braid, then put it up so it was out of the way. When down it came to about the back of her knees, which I found beautiful, but she seemed to be hesitant when it came to it. I noticed that when she finished and then took a piece of large cloth and wrapped it around most of her hair, hiding the majority of it.
It was my first time seeing such red hair, and it was lovely on her. That and her body held the right amount of curves for my liking. Hmmm... if only...
"What's your name?" I heard her speak, breaking me out of my thoughts. Her voice was still nice, but distant. Hmm.. she seemed so open and comfortable earlier, and now guarded?
"What kind of name is that?" she asked, furrowing her brows as she peaked over her shoulder to look at me.
"A name." I stated, annoyed. This woman was just too strange for me. I thought I liked what I saw, but then she just... I don't know...
"Yours?" I asked, suddenly actually curious. What kind of name could this woman possibly hold-
Well at least her name was accurate and not off the wall. It actually fit her well and I liked it. "Belle..." I tested and let the name roll of my tongue. It had a good feeling to it. Easy. I saw the red tint come back to her cheeks and I smirked. Ahh, good, her defenses were coming back down a bit. Good, she was more interesting like that. "I haven't actually seen your kind in person before. It's refreshing." Her face paled. "You alright?".
"... My... kind?" I heard her voice shake as she asked. I didn't quite understand her question at first. I sat in silence as she just stared at me and waited. Then, it hit me and I straightened up in the chair she gave me.
She didn't know what she was?
"Wait a minute... You... you know you're not human, right?" I asked. Did she really not know? She must have realized it, considering her hair and eyes and her aura was definitely not normal.
I watched her take a step away from me, her eyes wide in confusion and terror. "W-What... what am I?" she asked softly, almost as if she didn't want to hear it but knew she was different.