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His Heart Part 3
“How were you able to do that?” he snapped.
“I was born with slightly more power than an average dryad.” I murmured, turning back to the house and slipping the little birch into my pocket.
“And how much is slightly more?” he asked, wary. I shrugged and continued back to the house. “Karmiti” he growled.
“Can you not call me that?” I asked suddenly.
“What?” he stammered.
“Can you not call me that?” I repeated.
“Why?” he asked baffled, I sighed.
“Because I don’t like it very much.”
“Don’t tell me you preferred Mimi?”
“Gods no!” I spat.
“Then what am I supposed to call you?” he asked.
“K-” I started, but then changed my mind, feeling foolish. “Never mind, just call me Karmiti.”
“No, what do you really want me to call you.” He had stopped and put his hands on my shoulders.
“I don’t really like Karmiti,” I tried to explain, “It’s too old and stoic for me. I have to use it with plants because they don’t really understand nicknames. But…” I trailed off, knowing he would see it as foolish.
“Tell me what your nickname is.” he whispered as he placed a gentle kiss on my forehead.
“Kari” I finally said.
“Kari?” he tested the name, “I like it, it suits you well.” He smiled, and honestly I could help but return it. “You really do have such a lovely smile.” He murmured. “And you really are good at avoiding questions.” He said casting me a meaningful look.
“Honestly I’m not too sure how much more powerful I am than any other dryads.” I sighed. “I mean there aren’t many of us. But I am told on occasion that my aura is very strong.”
“Hmm” he pondered as we walked. We got to the house and turned in opposite directions. “Now where are you going?” he asked, exasperated.
“My room.” I replied.
“Why, might I ask?”
“Because I’d like to get some rose seeds.” He smiled at that, scooped me into his arms and leapt into my window. I ran over to Shilio and after some coaxing received a few seeds. I went back to Alaster who took me to the garden. I reached into my pocket and scattered the seeds about. Then I set the little birch sapling on the ground where it dug its roots into the earth.
“That has got to be the strangest thing I’ve ever seen.” He chuckled, and I just laughed. I closed my eyes, and tapped into each of their tiny powers, feeding all the seeds my own.
“I’m going to have to sing, I’d appreciate it if you left.” I said, keeping my eyes closed.
“Why should I leave?” Alaster questioned. I bit back a sigh,
“Because, it sounds creepy to others.” I complained.
“I’ll stay.” He replied resolutely. I shrugged, but felt uncomfortable, I could positively feel his gaze on my back. I shook it from my head, cleared my mind and sang.
It was an ancient song, one only the children of the forest can sing, at all. It had a beautiful, uplifting melody that rang of life and joy. The foreign language of the dryads slid off my tongue, swirling around the little plants. Until they started to grow. The flower seeds took root into the earth, they sprouted tiny leaves, and then grew into lush flowers. The birch sapling fed from my energy and started to grow until it was an adult size. It grew extra branches on the bottom, just for me.
Finally I ended the song. And staggered from the energy loss. Alaster caught me before I could fall.
“I take it back,” his voice was gruff, and I could feel it rumble in his chest, “You are the strangest thing I’ve ever seen.” He lifted me up, cradling me gently to his chest.
“Have you ever looked in the mirror?” I bit back, but that just made him laugh. “Take me over to the tree.” I pleaded. He carried me over to the birch tree, “Hello, young one.”
Thank you, child of the forest. It sounded regal and deep. Tell me your name.
“It’s Karmiti.” I answered.
“Kari” Alaster corrected. But I ignored him.
“And what are you going to call yourself?” I asked him.
I believe I will call myself, Masho.
“Pleased to meet you Masho.” I smiled at him, and brushed my fingers along his bark. “I’ll meet the rest of you tomorrow.” I said to the flowers. “I’m too tired, right now.” Alaster looked at me with anxious eyes. “Just take me to the trees for a few seconds.” He complied and I let the trees pore their energy into me. But it still left me unbearably tired.
“Come on, you need rest.” Alaster said, taking me to my room. Once inside he laid me on the bed.
“Here” I mumbled and pulled my hair to the side. He put his hand on mine and pulled it to his lips, where he placed a kiss on it.
“No, you need your strength. I can wait until tomorrow.” He said gently. I nodded, just too exhausted. He pulled the covers up, so they reached my shoulders, and left. I fell immediately into an exhausted sleep.
Stupid girl! Your heart! It is warming considerably to that terrible beast! Shilio yelled at me the next day. I pursed my lips, even more confused than I was yesterday.
“But he’s been so kind.” I argued.
His heart is black! And cold! He came in here last night.
“He did?” I said, surprised.
Yes, he brushed your hair away from your face. His eyes ran across your body like a hungry beast.
“But he didn’t do anything. He could have hurt me, or worse.” I said, my voice soft.
And he probably will! I shook my head, lost. I went back to the window, and sat on the seat. But it was at that moment the hags came in, but there was only three. Janice was not with them.
“You stupid little girl!” cried Maureen. She came at me wailing, I jumped from the window to the other side of the bed. “Janice is dieing! All you had to do was kill the stupid guy but you were to coward to do it!” she wailed.
“What’s happening to her?” I asked, shocked.
“She’s fading. Her body is finally deteriorating without her soul. She’ll be dead by midnight.” Ruby said solemnly.
“You have to do it now, you must kill him.” Nerina hissed. I clutched my head in my hands, trembling.
“Kill him or we’ll kill you!” Maureen snapped.
“FINE!” I screamed. “I’ll do it. I’ll do it.” I whimpered.
“You had better.” Ruby threatened and they disappeared. I fell onto the bed, shaking. Could I kill him? No, maybe weaken. Weaken him enough to allow the hags and me to escape. I went to the fireplace and dug out the knife. It felt terrible in my hands. I put the knife in the pocket of my skirt. Then I went back to the windowsill. I sat there until the sun fell below the horizon.
“Hello Kari.” Alaster said as he entered. I had to steel back a flinch at the nickname. It wrenched at my heart. I turned to look at him, and his face fell at the sadness in my eyes. “What’s wrong?” he asked coming closer to me.
“Janice, she’s dieing.” Maybe I could get him to let Janice go. He just raised an eyebrow.
“Is she now?” he asked, nonchalantly.
“Yes. Please, you have to let her go.” I pleaded.
“No, I don’t.” he said calmly.
“Then you’ll just let her die?” I couldn’t understand how he could be so calm.
“Kari-” he started.
“Take me outside.” I snapped.
“Take me or I’ll jump.” I swung my legs over the edge.
“Don’t!” he shouted. “I’ll take you outside.” He quickly picked me up and leaped out the window. He let me down as soon as we touched the ground. I ran for the trees and leaned heavily on the oak. Alaster was next to me in an instant.
“You don’t understand-”
“What happened to your first Cuore?” I asked.
“I let her go.” He said softly. I turned to him, tears threatening to spill over.
“I don’t believe you.” I hissed. He looked taken aback, and so confused. Good, maybe he could be as confused as I was. And then he was holding me. Crushing me to his chest.
“Don’t call me that.” I hissed. His eyes darkened and he grabbed the back of my head, wrenching my head closer to his face.
“I will call you whatever I please.” He snapped. I was so tightly strung, and something just snapped. Because the next thing I knew the knife was plunged into his chest. I’m not sure but I think I may have screamed. I stumbled back.
What had I done?
Blood, it was pooling around the wound, staining his black shirt. Alaster looked at me, his eyes had a look of wounded horror. But that quickly turned to anger.
“You little-” he started towards me, murder in his eyes. But I was in my element, I could have fought him. And with the trees, maybe have won. But how could I hurt him again? I was the most awful kind of creature for doing it once.