275 The Desperation of the Devoured
*Eldovian Era 1713, 19th day of the 12th month*
Devina paced back and forth in the lounge. She'd woken late in the morning. Aegin hadn't tried to wake her up. Instead she'd found herself lying next to him on the bed. A part of her really disliked how peaceful he looked while he slept, his short brown hair, which he'd recruited her to fix a week into their journey when she'd stopped complaining about the change in her Life Lines, was ruffled and looked far too soft for such a rough personality. In fact, anything to do with his appearance seemed to be a clash with his personality.
Devina huffed, turning to pace back the way she'd come.
"Devina, you're wearing a hole in the carpet," stated Issa, the water Magician she'd become acquainted with.
"Yes, and a draught that's disturbing our papers," Kel grumped, the earth Magician older and much gruffer than his younger companion.
Issa sighed, barely resisting from rolling his eyes at the older Magician, "We're happy that you're feeling better, but at this rate, you'll be back to square one. What's disturbing you so much?"
Devina waved her hand, "It doesn't matter. It's my problem to deal with anyway".
"Yes, well, the fact that you're pacing like this seems to indicate that you may be in over your head," Issa replied.
Devina paused, somewhat offended as she turned to him. Issa caught the look quickly, "I just meant it's okay to ask for help if you need it".
Devina relaxed slightly, then whirled to take a seat next to Issa, "I just…" she took a deep breath, not quite knowing where to begin, then launched into the best explanation she could give under the circumstances, "What would you do if you'd signed a deal with somebody out of desperation, only to realise that you probably should have read the fine print first, but the reason you made the deal still applies, but you don't think the deal is worth it, but you can't go back on it, but every instinct is screaming at you that something is wrong, but you don't want to make the wrong decision, but you really don't want to be the reason for something bad happening either?"
Issa and Kel paused, looked at each other, then turned back to Devina, "Sorry?"
Devina looked back at the two of them, then hung her head, groaning in annoyance, "I just don't know if I can trust him or not. My instinct, everything I've ever learned and heard says I shouldn't, but…"
"But your heart says you should?" asked Issa.
"Are we talking about that strange young man you're with who likes to roam at night?" asked Kel, "What was his name again? Aeji? Aelis?"
"Aegin," Devina mumbled, "And no, it's not my heart…I…I don't know".
Kel seemed thoughtful for a moment, "Well, he certainly seems like a unique man. I don't think I've met anyone like him. And the Aura he gives off some of the time…it's like he's two different people. Some of the time I feel he will surely try to murder me if I approach, and others he seems like someone whom you could easily befriend and drink with".
"Yes, from what I hear though, some find such duality charming," Issa sighed as if exhausted, "I swear, the cleaning maids the other day wouldn't shut up about it. It's why I come out here now rather than continue this in my room".
Devina raised an eyebrow, "Really?"
Issa frowned, "What do you mean 'really'? Aren't you his lover?"
Devina blushed, "Oh, yes, right. I…"
"You're not his lover, are you?" asked Kel with a frown, "You said you'd made a deal".
"It was hypothetical," Devina stated.
Kel shook his head, "You're too honest, Devina. Your expressions can be read like a book".
Devina dropped her head, disappointed in herself. The High Priestess had always said the same thing.
"What was the deal?" asked Issa.
"Nothing," Devina said a little two quickly. Both Magicians looked at her unconvinced.
"Is he threatening you?" asked Kel with a frown, his gaze instantly protective. Magicians always looked after Magicians.
Devina opened and closed her mouth. She should have just said no right away. But the part of her that was hesitant, the part of her that didn't trust Aegin and his hunger…
"He didn't give me much of a choice," Devina said.
And the story spilled out from between her lips.
Aegin released a breath as he rolled over, stretching out his limbs as he awoke. He blinked his eyes open in the darkness of the cabin, and was instantly aware that Devina was, again, not there.
Was she asleep in one of the lounges again or had she gone to dinner without him?
Not that he was complaining about that. The less time he had to spend in that dining hall the better.
Aegin sat up and moved to the bathroom. Without a meal tonight, as he'd leave it at last one more day until he even thought about feeding from Devina again, it would be prudent to get straight into his routine.
Aegin washed his face and dressed in his just washed second outfit. He'd been trading between the two every couple of days. Gods had Devina hated that. There was no doubt in his mind that she'd led a privileged life to be able to have fresh clean clothes every single day.
His clothes on, Aegin pulled on his boots as he headed for the door. A quick check in with Devina through his Life Lines let him know that she was in the direction of the dining hall. Deciding that it would be better if he just let her sleep, Aegin made his way to the bow of the ship.
On the second upper-most deck sat the bridge. Aegin liked to watch the night go by on the roof of it where nobody would disturb him.
He settled in there. Knowing he'd have to move in a couple of hours to go and earn some more coins moving crates on the lower decks. It was only a few measly bronze, but it was beginning to add up when you didn't use it for anything else on board.
Perhaps an hour passed as he watched the ocean around him. A pod of whales breeching to the South put a smile on his face. It was pretty calm as well. They'd been lucky on their journey so far.
Suddenly, a chill zipped across his Life Lines, and without a second of hesitation, Aegin rolled forward to the port side of the ship. A series of Icicles embedded themselves where he'd been sitting. Aegin's eyes narrowed as he turned to look at the source.
There, Devina looked worried behind them, stood the two Magicians she'd befriended looking equally intrigued and cautious.
Aegin sighed, shaking his head, "Stupid girl".
He rose and stepped towards them.