“We will leave it right here!” I took two large pins, attached thicker pieces of leather to make clothes, and pinned the row o f letters next to the table. Once you look up from the table, it sits nicely on the cave wall. I smiled. It was the first thing I was proud of since entering this dank world. Soon I could read Creed’s writing and have more of a conversation with him rather than me talking one-sidedly. It only took Creed a few hours to go through every letter, listening make the sound. He listened contentedly, one hand on my leg as he watched me move my lips.
Fluffy nuzzled my leg; now that I had been with him several days, his face was less scary than when I first met him. His little mushroom type of nose was dark, damp, and warm. He laid his head right in my lap, and I petted the unruly hair between his eyes. “What is this animal?” I wondered aloud. There are so many animals here that I do not know what they are. Fluffy looks like a cross between a cat and a dog from where I am from. One animal is independent, and the other is bent on pleasing you, making you the center of its world. “So what is it? What kind of animal is this? Cat?” Creed shook his head, his hand messing with the string tying a small rope around a sharpened arrowhead. “A dog?” Creed shook his head again; the slight slip of a smile took his compelling face. He really was handsome.
I scratched my cheek, looking at Fluffy again. Its tail wagged i na cat-like fashion, swaying too and frow. My brow furrowed, wondering until Creed took a loose piece of leather and scratched a name. My mouth opened wide, him looking at the different letters that I had created on the side of the cave wall. “W-A-L-0-W,” I spoke out loud. Did he just spell a word? Brawn and brains? I hit the mother load!
“Walow?” Creed nodded. My nose rubbed with the Wallow. I pronounced the creature’s name again under my breath. Creed was learning so fast; I was so proud. It was either my excellent teaching skills, or he has had some sort of teaching before some time ago. I spent many years tutoring children online, and he knew as much as a fourth or fifth grader in a short amount of time.
“A Walow!” Creed nodded his head; his fingers went back to wrapping the arrowhead. My nosed rubbed to the walow’s, giving it affection. “Aren’t you a cute little walow!” I cooed it nuzzled back into my cheek while I started laughing. I heard the growling in Creed’s chest across the table. I stopped rubbing Fluffy to hear him moving out of his large chair. Creed then stood up and scooped me up in his arms, gripping me.“ Hey, what’s wrong!?” Purring in his chest tickled my body.
Creed, cradling me like a baby, took me behind the cloth where my ‘old room’ was. “No, no! I won’t play with the wallow anymore!” He would not put me in time out, would he? Or send me back to that room?!
My mind raced until he had me stand, leaning next to the wall near the steaming water. Creed’s vest came off first, his pants following; I covered my eyes and let a squeal escape. The walow came in and was quickly shooed out by Creed. A large growl echoed into the cave while fluffy stood near the makeshift door. He whined, running out with a tail between his legs. The growl ceased, and Creed’s small scowl softened. Looking at me, he pointed to the water and made a washing motion with his hands in his hair.
Oh boy, a bath?
Creed stripped his clothes; I’m pretty sure he had muscles on top of muscles because his backside was not that bad to look a t. Before he caught me, I covered my eyes again, only to peek through my thin fingers. He saw me, the sly dragon saw me, the rumble in his chest was the confirmation as he stepped into the water. Was he expecting me to bathe now? With him?
Creed’s hand was held out, and the other pointed to my clothes to be removed. I was not undressing in front of him. H e may have seen me naked once, but that was unavoidable; he couldn’t see me like this! Being unconscious and naked was different that conscious and naked. Oh, they both sound bad.
“No!” I crossed my arms, leaning on the cave wall. His mouth pursed into a thin line. “You will see me naked!” His shoulders shrugged, his arms reached back behind his head, only showing off his biceps and chest muscles. He was slightly hairy, not grossly so; he had that rough look that I really liked.
Here I thought I would like a nerd. I may or may not have dreamed of running my fingers through his long hair, not to mention his beard while we slept.
For shame, I thought that way about my rescuer in such a way.
I took a visible gulp, my face becoming hotter than the hot spring in the middle of this super-heated cave. His smirk grew more expansive, and my fingers itched the side of my arm wickedly. A nasty habit I picked up living in a cage. My nerves had to go somewhere and I would just itch.
His face went from a smirk to worry, his eyes softening. Creed stepped out of the hot spring. Closing my eyes, looking away, I felt his hand pull the irritable hand away to cause less scratching. Creed’s rough fingertips pulled my chin closer to his face, my eyes fluttering open, staring into his.
I can’t let him see me naked.
“It’s Okay,” he used his dragon’s voice. Visibly it hurt his throat and made me feel guilty for being so bashful, but humans just don’t undress as he does, maybe in dragon la la land but not of Earth. One foot stepped into the water, holding my hand to climb in. He didn’t pull on my clothing to take it off. He led me quietly until my hips was submerged in the water. Deeper we went until the warm water that reached the top of his chest, and I was merely treading water.
The top of his hand met the lower part of my back, holding me upright so I didn’t sink into the dark water. My fingers crept u p his thick, hardened skin, holding onto his shoulders. I wasn’t the best swimmer growing up; in fact, I rarely left the house to do anything, but what I knew was that if I couldn’t feel the bottom, I was surely going to die. The drama queen in me wouldn’t think of anything less.
“Safe,” the rumbled voice had my chest vibrate. My nails curled into his shoulders as his back leaned back, going in deeper into the water. How deep and how far did this hot spring go?
“Where are we going?” I asked, panted. “Are there creatures i n here? Animals? Fish? What if they try to eat me or something? I’ve been told I’ve been tasty,” I laughed at my little dark joke, but Creed did not find it funny. His grip went tighter on me as my tunic floated to the top of the water, skimming the surface. On one side of the cave wall, there were old glass bottles with various substances. He had me smell each one, trying to get my mind off the bottomless pit of a hot tub.
Once we reached the purple bottle, it smelled of lavender; my eyes lit up. “It smells like you.” A huff a chuckle left his chest; he poured some in my now wet hair and massaged it in my scalp. His hands on my head felt nothing of heaven, maybe little cherubs and their tiny hands reaching every corner of my scalp. I honestly didn’t want it to end, but all things did when h e tapped my head so I could fall under the water. I didn’t let g o, not one bit; one hand stayed on his biceps as I reemerge.
Creed’s hand went to one bottle, a brown that smelled of sandalwood, which smelled nothing like him, and scrubbed his
beard; taking the bottle away from him, I put some in my hands and washed his hair like he did mine.
I wonder if he thought I was a pet? Maybe a talented human pet. We didn’t mess on the floor, and we certainly didn’t bite back. We were pretty obedient, like a dog or a cat. I’m just an overgrown walow. His eyes rolled back in his head. Proud of m y work and feeling brave, I went behind his body. My legs were still attached to his torso because I would not get sucked beneath the dark waters. I massaged his head like I used to do with my father. He loved head rubs. When he got headaches; m y raw fingertips combing back his hair would always get rid of his writer’s block.
My soul felt sad for a moment, thinking of my dad. He would have thought of this place as magical and would have done nothing but want to explore. However, I wasn’t my father; I was a scared little girl waiting for the vampires to come back and get me. I was happy in this little cave. The question was, how long would I stay? Would he tire of me?
As I scrubbed, I felt something hard on my good leg. Please don’t be a serpent; I prayed to myself until Creed pulled me around to face him. He was pulling me right around to where the snake was; I squirmed, trying to get away, but to no avail; h e had me sitting right above it. It wasn’t touching me, but my body knew it was there.
It couldn’t be his,… could it?
Oh, good gracious.
Creed’s face was dangerously close to mine; his forehead kissed my own, giving me the butterflies it always does. How can something so plain, something I would have never thought of, feel so intimate? Sparks flew across the dampened skin. Could he feel them, too? Was I the only one living out a fantasy in my head while he thought I was one of his pets he keeps in a dank cave? Hopefully not.
His forehead was still touching mine; it rolled downward, now our noses were touching. The surrounding steam thickened; it wafted all around us while my clothes remained glued to my body. His lips were so pouty, riddled with scars, they wanted t o be kissed. Had he ever kissed? Because I sure haven’t, and what if I did it wrong? What if I read this entire situation wrong, and now he will find me some weird, disgusting pet that tried to lick his lips?
The internet had not prepared me for this! This strange new culture of a world had me second guessing every move I made.
Creed pulled away, my eyes staring back up at him, wondering why he would do such an abhorred thing at the moment. His eyes darted to the front of the cave. Creed’s powerful arms pulled me close, walking closer to the shallow waters, picking me up and setting me down. His body was still naked the day h e was born; I tried not to look, but curiosity got the best of me, and I got a wicked side profile.
That’s all I would think about that.
Handing me one of his oversized tunics, his hand waved for m e to stay here in the back of the cave; Fluffy stood beside me, hair shifting upward. Learning quickly that there was trouble, I hugged the warm furs close to me as I stripped, trying to get the clean ones on.
Once dressed, the oversized tunic landed just above my knee; my head poked out of the thick cloth only to find Creed with his loincloth staring down the opening of the cave. Rushing to the table, he scratched a few letters in our fabric he had used t o explain what Fluffy was. “Stae.” I bit my lip, not sure what t o think about what this word was. Oh wait.
Sure, I’ll stay. He’s protecting me so far; I would not leave
“I’ll stay,” I confirmed, his forehead leaning into mine, then m y cheek. Each time his face touched anywhere on my face, it became closer and closer to my lips. He doesn’t do this with
Fluffy. My heart flipped in my chest.
Creed grabbed his spear. Clicking his mouth a few times, he ran out of the cave again. Believing that this cave wasn’t safe a tall, I sat in the chair with several furs wrapped around my body. My hair was drying by the large fire he had made earlier. Was I really safe anywhere?
Was Master Enoch going to find me? Or worst yet, the Duke? Creed looks more than capable of taking care of the two, but what if there were more? Was I really worth it?