274 The Duty of a Devourer
*Eldovian Era 1713 18th day of the 12th month*
Aegin gave a huff of disappointment as he drew back the curtain from the window of his cabin. The sun had set, the moon was out, and Devina wasn't back. They were in the middle of the Jade Sea, so odds were that her Paladin friends hadn't caught up to her. Sure, she made a couple of Magician Friends on board, but they were researchers. They were not adept in combat.
Of course, this was all assuming that Devina had malicious intentions in being late to go to dinner. Aegin was positive she didn't. She'd been passive over the past month, agreeable even. It had been a stark contrast from when he'd first met her, though he was sure their bond had something to do with it.
Deciding that he should at least endeavour to make sure she was alive, Aegin drew on that bond, following it through the halls and decks of the ship to one of the public lounges. It was largely empty at this time when everyone was eating dinner.
Aegin was a little surprised to find Devina on one of the couches in the corner, curled up on a couch. Opposite her sat the two Magicians she'd gotten acquainted with, though they were both engrossed in their own debate.
"Evening," Aegin greeted as he approached. They both looked up at his arrival, but Aegin's eyes strayed to Devina. He began to pick out that even in this duller light, she appeared slightly more pale than usual, "Has she seemed unwell?"
"She was complaining that she was a little nauseous earlier," one of the Magicians said, "We moved to a lower deck so that the ship wasn't rocking as much seeing as we thought it was sea sickness".
Aegin nodded, then took a step towards her and placed a hand on her shoulder. The light touch was enough to rouse her, and she met his gaze for a moment before she registered where she was.
Devina sat up quickly, "Aegin, sorry I…"
She paused and clutched her head for a moment as if dizzy.
Aegin frowned, "You're not well".
Devina���s hand dropped, "I'm fine, just a bit of sea sickness, it'll pass".
She looked around, "Gosh, is it this late already".
"I came to get you for dinner," Aegin stated, "And I really think you should eat something. Something substantial to improve your strength".
"I said, I'm fine," Devina sighed as she stood, "But I could eat".
She turned to the two Magicians, "Thank you, for watching over me. That was very inconsiderate of me to fall asleep".
"Not at all, Devina. We were much to engrossed in our own work to be bothered anyway," said the one who had yet to speak. Aegin then moved to take Devina's waist as he guided her towards the door.
"How long have you been feeling unwell?" asked Aegin.
"Stop worrying, I'm fine," Devina sighed as the strolled towards the dining hall, "Besides, when were you the kind to worry about me anyway. About anybody?"
Aegin frowned, "Has it occurred to you that because of our relationship, I have to worry about your well-being?"
Devina turned to look at him for a moment, giving him her own frown, "So I'm a burden now?"
Aegin sighed in exasperation as he turned away, "Look, just eat over dinner, we'll talk more when we get back to the room".
Devina looked as if she wanted to say more, but turned away and kept walking.
Aegin groaned internally. Gods almighty, was this what all women were like? Ebony was never this hard to get along with. In fact, what she had to say had usually brought him into line. Devina was just...or was it him? After all, he'd been dealing with Ebony as a human, not as a Vampire. Was it his change that was making this more difficult?
Why was he even thinking about this? He was hungry, and he was concerned about whether his potential food source would last with the current routine they had in place. Judging by her pallor and the nausea she'd been complaining of, probably not. And then there was the dizziness and headache that she had yet to mention but showed minute signs of. And then, though he was loath to admit it, there was the fact that the bond that he shared with her was telling him that she was not in a state to be fed upon.
Urgh, for a split second, Aegin actually agreed with his Hunger that he should end the suffering. But his Life Lines, or rather, the contract that he'd made with her unintentionally, were telling him that wasn't an option. He had to take care of her.
He had been taking slightly more than he should every couple of days to make sure he wouldn't go into any stages of starving. He could afford to let her rest a recover for a couple of days.
Resigning himself to the fact that he'd have to continue to keep up appearances yet wouldn't be able to wash away the horrid taste with some blood, Aegin grumpily sat through dinner. When Devina was done, the two walked back to the room, and Devina sat on the bed automatically, pulling down her collar for him.
"Not tonight," said Aegin.
Devina looked up at him in surprise, "You promised that you wouldn't feed on anyone else if I-"
"You're not well. You need time to recover," said Aegin.
Devina frowned, "I said I'm...do you get sick if you drink the blood of someone who is sick?"
Aegin raised an eyebrow, "No...it just tastes bad".
Devina sighed, "Then I don't understand why you won't just take what you need. I'm perfectly fine".
Aegin sighed in exasperation, "No, Devina, you're not. And don't argue with me on this, because I can tell you're not through our connection. You can take a couple of days to rest and recover. It'll do you know good if I keep taking the blood you need to help you with that".
Devina stood, a little too quickly, "But won't you get...hungry?"
Aegin rolled his eyes, "I'm always hungry, Devina. I thought we'd established that".
Aegin then turned and headed for the door, "Go the bed early, get some rest".
The door closed before Devina could protest anything further. She hesitated before she sunk onto the bed. What should she do? She was supposed to provide him with his meals, yet she couldn't for a couple of days? What if...what if he sought it somewhere else? He'd have to...
But he said he'd be fine, right?
Devina, worried for the other passengers on the ship, only fell asleep late that night from exhaustion.