A Heroic Quest, Part IV

(You can tell I'm lazy.)

"Please, I need your help. I want you to save my mother, she's all I have left in this world. I... I don't know how I can pay you, I'm not very well off; but I'll give you everything I own. And if that's not enough, I... I'll give myself to you. Willingly...."


She flushed again, cheeks a deep scarlet this time. She's basically offered her body to him, but her mothers life was worth it; it was worth anything he could think to do to her. He was rather surprised at the offer, to the point where he couldn't even get himself to answer. She looked up at him, she thought he was going to refuse her.


"If you want, I can... give you some of the... p-p-p-payment now..."


She was so very embarrassed as she pulled her hands away from his own. He was still a little too dumb struck by her offer to notice at first, but when she stood up and began to remove her dress that's when he snapped out of it and bolted upwards. She was just about to expose her breasts when he stopped her;


"N-n-no, that's not needed. I'll help you regardless of payment."


The half Elf looked at him, eyes filled with confusion as she clutched her dress to her body. She didn't expect him to stop her; she expected him to fully use her, to take advantage. Any other man would, but he didn't... was he that noble? Or maybe he wasn't attracted to women. Or perhaps he didn't find her to be that attractive?


"Sir...? Do you... think me not attractive?"


She asked softly and he was dumb struck again; it was something that was become a disturbingly common occurrence these days. Aeolus wondered if he had upset her by not taking the offer; perhaps her concept of self worth was damaged by his refusal to give into his carnal desire.


"Of course I do, I'd have to be a fool to not find you incredibly attractive."


"Then why do you refuse me...?"


Did she want him to take advantage of her?


"I swore I wouldn't take advantage of you. I'm a man of my word."


She felt a fool to even suspect that he would break his word. He was a apparently a man of honor and decency, and there she was trying to throw herself at him. She felt like crawling away and dying in a hole away from his sight. She looked down and for the first time streaks of tears began to roll down her small cheeks.


"I... I'm so sorry, Aeolus. I didn't think you were a decent man, I suspected that this was what you wanted all along. I've insulted you by not taking you for your word. I'm disgusted with myself, with the way I've acted toward you when all you wished to do was help me."


She wept softly, her emotions getting the better of her. So odd that it was this that brought her to tears, but perhaps she shed so many over her mother and past that she'd grown hard toward it. It was this that caused him to act, to move around the table and take her once more into his arm, to hold her close to him; much tighter than before. She gasped and trembled, but didn't tense up, she simply pressed herself against him, arms laying against his chest, dress held up by the simple fact that he was holding her so tightly.


"There's no need to cry, there's no need to feel this way. All your life the only man that was ever kind to you was your father when everybody else was cruel. And, to be honest... so many Human men are exactly like you thought, far too many for my liking. You had no way of knowing..."


"Why... why are you being so kind to me? I'm a stranger..."


"Like I said, I don't like it when people are mistreated, especially women. Nobody has the right to do this to you or your mother, nobody should feel this horrible, this sad, this helpless. I couldn't sleep at night knowing that this was happening and I just walked away. And, right now... you looked like you needed somebody to hold you close, to show you compassion."


She felt so very odd, it was like a fluttering in her chest. He was so kind and gentle, he showed her such compassion and mercy; why couldn't she have met somebody like him sooner? She looked up at him, her cheeks so red, she didn't want to let him go, she didn't want him to let her ago. She wanted to stay like this forever.


"Aeolus, if I said I wanted to leave here... and travel with you, what would you say?"


"If that's your wish, I'd take you with me. I'm sure that with enough time we could find a nice place for your to start a new life."


She shook her head and moved up onto her toes, her face coming closer to his own.


"No, I mean... what if I wanted to travel with you, remain with you for as long as you traveled... and beyond?"


His cheeks took a bit of color as he realized what she was saying. She swallowed hard and tried to think of what to say. He never expected this to happen.


"I... I don't even know your name..."


"My name is Iregia."


She spoke softly, her face coming ever closer to his own. He really did want to kiss her, and to tell her that she could come with him if she wanted... but he hardly even knew her. But then he wasn't even sure if she even meant it, or if she just wanted some sweet words to make her feel better. He had to give her an answer, and he knew to outside reject her would be the worst thing he could do.


"Iregia, if you wished to travel with me, to be with me, then I wouldn't... outright refuse you."


She smiled so very brightly at that. Her small arms moved up his body until her hands moved around, behind his neck and took a good, firm hold. Then she began to pull herself upwards, her face coming ever closer to his own... and, as she came ever closer, he began to lower his face toward her. They met in the middle, faces not even an inch apart, they could feel the others warm breath on their faces.


Finally, she took the plunge and kissed him on the lips, the mere fact that she did so sent a wave of shock and pleasure coursing through her body. She kissed him with sudden force, trying her best to keep him from pulling away, wanting to make the most of this, her first actual kiss in the whole of her life.

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