[size=10] Emlen?s eyes widened at the sight of her, he stood there frozen with a ridiculous amount of muddled emotions coursing through his body?the predominant feelings were that of anger and heartbreak. His knees wobbled like they might fall out from beneath himself, and then he did. His head smacked into the ground, causing little to no pain as his eyes rolled back. Thank goodness Katan hadn?t been there or he might not have lived down the fainting.
When his eyes resurfaced moments later, she was still there, sitting at his side and running her fingers through his hair. ?N-n-novia?? Her name came out in a broken way that reminded him of Martyr, navy eyes still staring up with disbelief.
?It?s me, Emlen,? she whispered. ?I?m here, I?m right here.? Novia continued stroking his hair and staring down.
?I don?t understand?? The groggy immortal stated as he attempted to sit up and get away from her hand. The blood in his body still ran cold, and he fell back down. ?Why are you here?? he asked in a raspy voice like someone had taken all the air from his lungs; and they had.
Novia smiled in a rare, gentle way and looked down at him. ?Solaris brought me back in this world,? the handler said softly, and stared down at him. ?He says we can be together as long as you stay here. All you have to do is stay, Emlen.?
The immortal shook his head, ?No, no. This isn?t real... You?re not real, Nova?? Emlen told her and again attempted to stand up, only to be slapped down by the rough palm of her hand.
?How dare you, Emlen?? she asked with that familiar fire in her eyes. ?I remember everything, I still love you. How can you dismissively tell me that I?m not real when I?m right here in front of your face? How??
Emlen looked like he might cry, and then he smiled. ?Novia? Let?s entertain the idea that you?re not just one of his creations like everything else in this world. Do you think he brought you back for free? Do you really believe that? He was behind your death in the first place. Let?s say I wasn?t married already, which I am, by the way... We?d never get to be together, not really,? he shook his head. ?And I promise you, Novia? I?m going to make him pay for this, for everything he put us through?but I love my wife. I?ve moved on, you?ve been dead for a long time, Novia.?
Staring down at him as if she of all people could see his soul, Novia swallowed hard. ?I know that I?m real, Emlen. I can feel it,? she whispered.
?Even if that?s true, Novia? Even if you?re in the flesh, and he did bring you back? It?s all just a sick plot to break me? This isn?t your village, Novia? Look around, and take it in. The only thing real about this village is Clara being dead. In the real world, Sava hasn?t won, my sisters aren?t evil, and Solaris isn?t some good charitable guy that would bring you back without benefiting from something.?
?I want to hit you again, Emlen? I don?t know why, but I want to hit you again,? she whispered.
There was a smile on his end, ?Yeah, it sounds like it?s really you, Novia. And, I really hope it is?because if you are real, I promise with everything in me, I will get you back from Solaris, and you?ll live the life you deserved to have.?
?With you?? was quickly asked of him, her eyebrows raised up high and hopeful.
A wince could not be helped, both eyes closed and one opened shortly after. ?I gave my heart to Minoko. You were gone, and I wasn?t. I love her, more than anything else in this world. I want to get back to her?the real Minoko.. But that doesn?t mean you don?t deserve a life?a lot more of one than you got.? Emlen went back to closing his eyes, waiting for the smack that he was absolutely sure was coming.
Gentle fingers opted to run over his scalp once more, ?I understand, Emlen? I gave away my life for that exact reason?for you to have a life beyond what you would have had. It would be wrong of me to be mad at you for doing exactly as I wanted you to do, Emlen? I?m happy for you. It hurts, but I?m happy for you.?
Another easy smile came, and then the hurt and anger wiped it away. ?I hate you for doing that. I shouldn?t blame you, but I hate you for doing that to me.?
?I know, Emlen and I?
?No, Novia, you don?t know. When I became your weapon I made peace with the fact that someday I might have to die for you. I accepted it as my burden. It was your job to accept that, too?especially after we became intimate. You robbed me of that, and I am trying really hard to forgive it. I appreciate the life you gave me, but you had no right.?
Novia cupped a hand over his mouth before he could get out another sentence. ?I don?t regret it, and you can?t make me regret it, stupid. I realized in that moment, I couldn?t live on without you. I knew that I wasn?t strong enough, and I knew that you were. I?m sorry that it hurt you, and I?m sorry for what it put you through; but I would have died regardless. We both know that. I would have gone after him, and I wouldn?t have stood a chance. It would have been a waste. If one of us could get vengeance, it was you.? Emlen closed his eyes, and a hot breath moved over her hand. She removed it and smiled, ?I have to go back now. If I turn out to be real, I know you?ll save me. For now, I?m not in any danger. Good-bye, Emlen.? The handler said with a smile and stood up, she took a few steps backwards, and turned to run through the forest.
After about thirty seconds of sky-staring, realization hit him. ?Novia? Hey!? he scrambled up to unwilling legs and began to give chase. ?We can protect you! Novia! Don?t go back!? The man shouted aloud as he began running through the blackened night. There was no sign of the girl, but he continued to frantically run. He?d run all night if he had to.