Ussay pulled the drapes and left a single candle burning on the table next to the bed. I’d hoped the subdued light would bring a peaceful atmosphere so Kira could sleep, but my efforts were in vain
As the fever raged through her body, her mind replayed every detail of her suffering. Over and over I listened as she begged her captors to stop their sadistic behavior. Her words crushed me like no other. I’d dreamed of holding her in my arms again—how much joy it would bring for both of us. But this was far from what I had imagined. My very soul ached from the pain she had endured. For the first time in my life, I lost control of my emotions. The tears burned my eyes as they overflowed, washing over my face. I made no attempt to hold them back. Long after the wounds healed, she would still remember their faces, their ruthless taunting and most of all, the part of her she would never get back. The love of my life was broken and it would be up to me to heal what had been stolen from her. How would I mend something so fragile?
It was late afternoon and the candle had burned out hours before. I’d held her in the darkness, reluctant to move in fear of sparking another bout of terrifying memories. I could feel her body against mine and it was cool. Her fever had finally ended.
When Ussay returned with her things, she pulled back the drapes and ordered me out of the room. She insisted I bathe. Truth be told, I needed it. I’d spent the past few hours next to Kira’s feverish body and under the warmth of the covers and the bedding was drenched.
“You will need to change her linens,” I said, as I gently slid out from under Kira and made sure she was comfortable.
Kira stirred. “Building . . . a fire,” she mumbled.
I gently stroked her face. “Yes, Kira. I’m building a fire.” Maybe the memories of us together would give her the comfort she needed.
“Please send for me when she wakes,” I instructed Ussay.
“As you wish, sire . . . Octavion,” she corrected with a smirk. “Perhaps you should eat something as well. You look pale.”
I glanced at Kira’s broken and beaten body. “I will eat . . . when she eats.”
That's all you get. Stay tuned for next Tuesday when I'll give you something else to chew on.