This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.
“Well, then, you best give me your word that you’re not going to fret up a storm about all this while you’re healing me,” Amon told her. Then, on a strange whim, he reached across the table and took her hands in his, his voice gentle. “You didn’t even finish the food I brought for you.”
As his hands reached around her own, Scylla felt the blood rush to her face. Not in anger. She wasn’t quite sure what the feeling was, but it wasn’t the typical rage-followed-by-physical-violence.
She froze, heart pounding in her ears, the words melted away as his hands wrapped around her palms in an almost-tender grasp. Amon was acting strange… stranger than she had ever experienced. It was almost as if he cared about her.
Almost as if… he actually liked her?
Scylla swallowed, and cupped her hands around his, healing mindlessly as she was lost in contemplation. It just didn’t make sense.
This was a man who wanted her dead in a lifetime before, and wanted nothing more for her to suffer the worst torture known to all of Allag. He never spoke to her with gentle words, or fussed about her feelings in any way. She had never cared about his wounds, or whether he lived or died.
Maybe the near-death aether experience scrambled his brains.
The white mage realized that some time had passed as she had sunk into her own internal conversation. Amon was left there waiting for an answer.
“Uh… oh…” Scylla bit her lip nervously, cheeks still bright red. “I’m not hungry anymore.”
Her stomach continued to do acrobatics as she looked into his eyes.
What was this?
Scylla almost seemed embarrassed… and… yep. There it was – she was actually blushing!
He’d just wanted to enforce his words in a way she’d listen and believe. He hadn’t meant to make her uncomfortable. This certainly wasn’t the response he’d expected – though he knew he’d taken a bit of a risk in reaching out like that.
“I apologize… mayhaps you don’t fancy snails,” Amon coughed, trying to clear his throat. “I guess I never really asked.”
Her uncertainty was once something he’d revel in – when she was unsure of herself, it meant he’d triumphed. But for some reason, this time, her emotion was infectious. Instead of taking lead of the situation, Amon found himself not so sure how to respond, as well.
So he just sat there and let her heal his hands. Hopefully she’d focus on that and not take notice of the heat that gathered in the tips of his ears, a tell-tale sign of his own flustered state.