I was perplexed by what I saw and felt how a strange warm sensation crawled up my spine as I watched. The tiny dots of, whatever I was looking at, whirled like dandelion seeds in uneven routes before my eyes. But as I tried to feel the little stream through my fingers, nothing could be read through my sense of touch.
It was as if the specs did not exist to a higher degree than for my eyes to see, with me, being barely enabled to detect them at all. What were they? My hand traced along my chest, with no success in getting hold of them, nor to keep them from appearing. I could only feel my slightly cold chest against my palm. Nothing more or less.
Sure, Williams existence was enough to set my idea of reality to the test. But seeing something like what I witnessed at the moment was contradicting reality in a whole new way. Was it witchcraft? Was it coming from me? Then how? Light or matter?
Or even more confusing, why did William find it so appealing? Or did he even know what he was up to? He seemed so relaxed...
At least, not a single part of my mind felt scared by what I witnessed, even though my hands were slightly pressed against his lips by now, fingers buried in the soft pinkish skin. Warm and smooth.
It did not hurt, or make me uncomfortable in any way. If anything, I felt myself getting all fuzzy and warm as he went. The feeling which I could only describe as if I was being hugged by someone, or possibly sleeping in the sun… a warm and strange sensation to be filled with at the moment, as I was facing the upper lip of my giant… “Djinn” thing. To be fair against myself, it was really hard to personalise him when being up close like this.
I suddenly recalled hearing about the term at some point. Something about lonely spirits of the desert further away from my homeland than what any part of my mind had ever tried to imagine. A land filled of sand and dust. Drought and sand folks.
Djinn. My mind tried over and over again. Nothing. That was it. I could only picture the harsh nature from which I had heard stories about, but never really seen by my own eyes. I was a boy born within the capital walls, who had never traveled or gone out on adventures longer than for a day. But who knew what this story had written before me.
I was as scared as I longed for my own adventure. My own stories to tell.
Speachless, I watched how my bare chest was brought further away from his lips as the little stream seemed to fade. Whatever this was, William had no intention of continuing. Instead, I was held around my waist and again elevated back to his cheek.
Not even looking up to meet his eyes, I reached out, to secure myself and to have some control over my impact with his warm skin. I could tell that he was looking down at me though, with whatever he was thinking about, vaguely translated into actions.
None of us spoke for a long, long time meanwhile I was held up there as he sat. My whole upper body was leaned against him, face to the side with a somewhat blank expression painted across my face. An expression which sort of gave away the blank mind of mine.
But eventually, did the blankness of my thoughts focus on more graspable things than what I had just seen. Since I could not find an answer on my own however much I tried to find it.
Like, how his hair started to dry in the sun to regain the somewhat warm lightly brownish color which I had not thought of for a long long time. It seemed so different from what it had looked like earlier, given to the fact that he had cleaned it for the first time since god knows how long.
Each strand of hair seemed to free themselves one by one as the sun got to them, and I wondered if he had ever tried to use a hair tie before. Or, how he would look in one. I had to admit that I was curious. If we could find the right material, surely it would make things easier for him. As it seemed now, he was almost hiding behind his bangs. Not really adding up to what I wanted for him to feel like.
Maybe, he would be a little bit more open and confident if he had it all in order. Cleaned up and a little bit more “fixed”, he might not be as nervous in the future once meeting with others. At least that would be how I would feel about things, so maybe he would gain confidence if I made him a little bit more comfortable with himself to begin with.
Not to mention his scars which were already fading away. I was held just across the spot where the blindfold had scarred his face, with only little traces left behind. All I felt was somewhat uneven skin with possibly a lighter hue to it. But nothing more conspicuous. It looked rather neat.
My mind trailed itself back to the idea of getting him a hair tie. Then everything else seemed to mend themselves as we sent. Except for the clothes of his… They were not much to brag about. But it would take a lot more willpower, money and effort to solve that piece...
A sudden tilt and increased pressure around me gave away the fact that William was up to something, and by the next instant, I was lowered on top of his chest as he lay down in the sun.
His feet were just at the edge of the little lake, head positioned up in the tall grass surrounding the water at every side.
Drawing a deep breath, it seemed as if he had calmed down for now. Me on the other hand, was far from relaxed, as I was suddenly forced against the bare chest of this gigantic fellow. His palm was heavy at my back, offering me very little opportunities to choose my own way of a lying position. Whether he wanted me to or not.
Well, sure, I was calm by the fact that I could find very little to complain about by being held, warm and with possibly the highest degree of care William could manage at the moment. But I was blushing from head to toe as none of us had more than pants on at the event, which meant that I was held against a bare chest like some sort of plush toy.
It made me even more uncomfortable when I realized that I was the only one troubled by this fact.
For William, this moment was simply him holding his tiny companion warm. Or something along that line. For me, this was a far more intimate act than what my mind could stand at the moment. I could not decide if I were supposed to lay down and just accept the kind gesture, or if my embarrassment was taking the upper hand of my actions.
Reminding myself that I had been lying somewhat like this before, only being inside his shirt with my own clothes on, had no impact on my state of mind. It was not the same as back in the town, nor any other time.
This time, there was context to the situation. The intention, why now and what this sort of closeness really ment gave me a whole new bunch of thoughts as I grew more and more warm across my cheeks. Could this mean that he was really “that” fond of me?
It was as my heart and mind crawed two different things. To excuse myself and escape the situation, or to let whatever he wanted happen from now on. He was basically hugging me. In his own way.
Thankfully, my options were decreasing as both his hands were now folding around me. One was partly over me just until now, holding me positioned at his upper chest, just a little bit lower than his collarbones. But as I started to fumble, his right one had come up over the edge, together forming something like a tight nest around me.
If he was the warm one, or if I was the one producing heat, I had no clue of anymore. But to be clear, my chest was not the tiniest bit cold any more. Every moment with him seemed to make us more and more inseparable, however I wanted to paint the picture.
Eventually, I followed his move and tried to focus on the mixture of birdsong, sound of wind at the leaves and the reinforced sound of thundering heartbeat beneath me.
I was a little surprised of how many different kind of bird songs I could hear. Maybe wildlife wasn't as scared of William as most humans were? Surely, he had scared off some small flocks of birds while walking, but the song playing through the forest around us seemed to tell that the day was just like any other. Nothing strange was laying in the open sun at the bank, sleeping. Nothing more or less than any other creature which they did not have a reason to fear.
Birds were scared of humans, mostly, since they knew what could happen if they did not pay attention. But William. No. They did not seem to care much more than if he was physically disturbing them.
A small reminder of who were the true enemy at the moment.
A sudden jerk in my sleep woke me up. All of the sudden, I was widely awake in the basking sun, still having my hands resting against warm skin. I could not recall that I had fallen asleep just now, but who could ever tell. Like so many other times when no plans were made for the day, one could easily fall asleep.
Jeremy had told us to stay put until he got things set back at the village. So I guessed that a little nap would serve us both some good anyway. Not that I had much of a choice in the matter.
The sound of someone calling my name caught my attention. Maybe that was what really had woke me up just now. And the more I listened and got aware of my surroundings, the more I started to realize who, and what was called out.
I recalled that almost the same event had happened just the night before.
I tried to stand up. wanting to walk over and meet with up Rob, who sounded as if he was standing somewhere at the ground next to us, but I could not get out of where I was kept.
Williams hands were weighing me down against his warm chest with more than I could even imagine to lift. Still sleeping. No matter how much I pushed at them, they did not seem to move even the tiniest bit.
While focusing on just an individual finger though, it seemed to moved slightly, but fell right back at me once I tried to pry myself loose. Giving off a loud “ooof” as I lost my breath.
“Rob? ROB?” I called instead.
A moment of silence followed. But by the next instant, I could hear the familiar voice of my surprisingly energetic friend. Was he all right? Both yes and no, I soon figured.
“Micah? Are you up there?” He hissed once my own voice had gotten though.
“Yeah. I'm a bit stuck here though…”
“Can´t seem to get loose! It´s way to heavy.” I called back, as if Rob knew where I was kept. Still struggling between Williams pointer and thumb.
I could at least turn a little, but my arms were soon sore as my newly awaken state did not offer much energy to my struggles.
“You need to get out of here. Both of you, like, NOW!”
“There are soldiers scanning the whole village, you know. The bloody army is here!”
“...Can you believe it!? Men from the army! In this insignificant piece of trach village. I wonder WHY!” He called. Clearly speaking the last parts as to an obvious answer.
I stopped my struggles.
I had completely forgot the fact that we were on the run. Totally ignored the fact that someone MIGHT have been out there this entire time, looking for us.
Of Course there were people out there looking! How could I have gotten William free without barely any obstacles? Well, since they were not prepared at the moment. WHICH they were now! Most likely scanning the near villages, forest and god knows what in order to get to him. To us. I was also a refuge.
A guy who was sentenced to death, who ran away in the night. Not only freeing himself, but also bringing with him possibly one of the heaviest guarded secrets of the capital.
No wonder they wanted justice!
“Just leave! Get out of here! If they find you guys, if they find you… well I know very well what they are capable of! You hear me!?”
“What do you mean!? How the HELL am I going to just run off like this?” I yelled. Panicking as William didn't even flinch as we were screaming at each other.
He was still sleeping on his back, head facing the sky just like earlier.
I pounded his chest before pushing upwards, trying to get up on my knees.
“Rob! I need your help!”
“I know you are not on the best of terms with him, but if you won´t help me, both of us will get in trouble..!” I tried. And I really meant it.
“Please, Rob. Just kick him or whatever!”
I had no right to ask of him to get even the slightest bit near Will at the moment. For god's sake, he had been frozen by shock just this morning thanks to him and his protectiveness.
“...What do you mean?”
“I can't… I wouldn't…” I heard him try. Struggling against the fact that he had already broken out of his own backdoor in order to warn us, just as the knights were standing at their poartch.
I dammed the fact that he even had the slightest doubt about all of this, but no. He was not the one to blame. Entirely. It was the whole situation. Everything that had passed in such a troublesome way was to blame. It was not really anyone's fault in particular. Just, everyone's and no ones so to speak. A whimsical tale of meeting with a giant… This was Robs placement in that tale. The man who tried to make something heroic, without knowing that the captive was more of a companion than a prisoner.
All of a sudden, I felt how the pressure around eased slightly. Wills hands were putting less weight at my back, which was all I needed in order to pry loose.
I crawled away from them as quickly as possible. Scared that they would hold me down unintentionally if I were not fast enough.
I managed to get myself out of there, given just enough time before the fingers crawled into a loosely held fist.
it was almost as if they noticed that something was missing.
Even Williams breathing seemed troubled as I was no longer kept safely within his grasp.
“What are you doing up there?” Rob called. Eager to resieve my answer, as he probably noticed Williams slightly uneased moan.
“Nothing really. No worries. I can do this.” I insisted while turning.
It was as hard as ever to keep my balance while walking across the upper chest, but even trickier once I got to one of his collarbones. Not that he was as immensely large as once I had done this journey the last time, but it was still rather strange to stand up there. Both for my thoughts and sense of balance.
Stretching my back, it was tricky for me to see his face, but I could work with it I guessed. I got down to my knees, partly stumbling, and patted his neck.
“Will? I need you to wake up now.”
Barely any response.
“Micah? Are you alright?” Rob called.
“Yeah, yeah, I'm just fine. Even more fine if William would get up!” I just needed more time.
I ignored him.
“WHAT ROB!?” I snarled. Surprised at my own tune.
I spotted him almost immediately. Standing at the side of Williams shoulder, fidgeting with his hands like a crazy person. Staring up to the path from which he came.
He just needed to look back up at me. Cause once our eyes met, I knew that our time was as good as up.
Maybe I had not been entirely pleased with Williams size at all times, even though it gave me a sense of security like no one else could offer. But right at that instant, I found myself cursing him for being impossible to hide.