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Rebekah King Rebekah King
Recommendations: 21

LAS XI - Feeling


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I've been writing this excerpt from my novel for a long time. Goes with ten others in a series, check them out if you like :)


Lan's eyes slowly opened to the sight of the roof of their shelter. He could hear rain gently beating against the wood. His body felt heavy and tired and his thoughts were slightly scattered. He was confused - hadn't he just been in a dark field fighting The Man's thugs? He looked to his left and forced his eyes to focus. Sorraru sat next to him, watching his face intently.


"Hey," She whispered.


"Sora?" Lan replied wearily.


"It's okay. We're safe now."


Lan furrowed his brows, fighting the confusion. "How did you get me back here?"


"I carried you."


Lan's eyes widened. "You carried me? How did you carry me that distance?"


"I just did. There wasn't much of a choice. I couldn't leave you in the field to be eaten by animals. I suppose all of your training has done something for my strength."


Lan smiled slightly at her, impressed that she managed this alone.


"Are you alright, Lan?"


"I believe so, Sora."


"I was worried when you collapsed like that."


"I am not sure what happened. I suppose I was just exhausted."


"Well I'm glad you're okay."


"I just wish I had been paying more attention, those men never would have taken you."


Lan reached his hand up and brushed his thumb along a mark on Sorraru's cheek from the man who'd slapped her.


"It's alright, Lan."


Lan was very serious, then. "Did they hurt you?"


Sorraru shook her head.


"I was afraid they would."


"So was I."


Lan furrowed his brows once more and willed himself to move.


"Easy," Sorraru warned. "You might still be concussed."


He managed to get into a sitting position. "I think you may be right." He shook his head, feeling the wearing effects of the concussion.


"You okay?"


"Yes, Sora. Don't worry about me."


"If you say so."


Lan looked out at the rain falling softly against the forest floor. It was around dusk, he thought, judging by the light coming through the treetops. He looked back at Sorraru who was now staring at the floor, biting her lip. He reached over and gently lifted her head back up.


"What is it, Sora?"


"Oh, I just..." Sorraru's voice trailed off as she searched for the words.


Lan brushed her hair back from her face. "You can tell me."


"Lan, I... I can't thank you enough for coming after me. You could have so easily waited for them to kill me, but instead you risked your life to save me."


Lan placed a finger over her lips. "Don't. You don't have to thank me, Sora."


"Why do you keep doing this? Saving me from Thorars, from those men, teaching me to fight and survive. Why do you want to keep me alive?"


"I don't want to kill you, Sora. I don't want either of us to die. It is not just about survival in here, it is also about the game. We cannot let him win, Sora."


"Are you sure that's all there is to it?"


Lan was startled by this question. Was she asking him if this was the only reason he was keeping her alive? Lan studied her face; something about her expression was different. He could see a faint trace of blush in her cheeks and she looked nervous.


"What do you mean?" He asked.


"Is that why you're helping me, or is there more to it?"


Lan considered this question himself. He already knew he cared for Sorraru, but was the way he felt more important to him than what was happening around them? Now he wasn't so sure.


"Please say something."


"I'm sorry, I..." Lan looked into Sorraru's eyes, becoming lost in her gaze.


"You've been acting differently ever since those Thorars attacked me. I thought maybe it was because you... wanted to protect me. That maybe you cared about me, in some way."


Lan was lost for words. He did care for her, but her words now, her face, the way she fiddled with her fingers while she spoke, made him realise that she cared for him as well. He hadn't known she returned his feelings, but he understood now.


"If I've misread you, then please tell me now, and I won't mention it again."


Lan saw her expression fall ever so slightly, showing her disappointment at his silence. Sorraru thought perhaps she had been misreading him all that time, that there was no love on his side. She suddenly felt so foolish for thinking he cared about anything but the game. Lan's own expression became agonised as he could see the rejection wash across Sorraru's face. He gently took her hands in his and she lifted her head to look into his eyes.


"I do care for you, Sora," Lan finally replied. "I care for you more than I have ever cared for anyone."


Sorraru's expression lifted again into almost disbelief at his words. She'd seen it for so long now, but for some reason she couldn't believe it was actually true.


"You do?" The disbelief showed in her tone.


"Yes,"


Sorraru smiled, feeling happier than she had in a long time. "I care for you, too."


Lan returned her smile, as pleased as she was. He caressed the side of her face gently.


"I want us both to make it out of this. I want you to return home to your father and the life you had before. I don't want your life to end here."


"What about you? Say we did make it out of here... would you go back with me?"


Lan was especially surprised at this. He hadn't thought of being with Sorraru after all of this. His mind had been so focussed on making it through.


"If you would have me."


"Of course. I want you to have a future too, Lan."


"My future is with you, Sorraru. Whether we make it out of here or not. If we live or die, we do it together."


"Do you really mean that?"


"Of course I do. Have I ever been dishonest with you?"


Sorraru chuckled. "No, you haven't."


Lan continued to stroke her face, her eyes were alight and she seemed relieved that he felt the way she did.


She bit her lip again and looked into his eyes once more. "I... I want to try something."


"What, Sora?"


Sorraru shifted closer towards Lan, he could hear shaky breaths escape her lips. She reached both her hands up and laid them on either side of his head, running her fingers gently through his dark hair. She slowly leaned her face closer to his until their foreheads touched. Lan suddenly found himself nervous, as he knew what was about to happen. He gazed at Sorraru, her face so close to his for a moment before closing his eyes and leaning in to press his lips to hers. They both felt the wave of something unfamiliar and pleasant flow over them as their lips touched. Sorraru wondered how the feeling could be so gentle and yet so intense. It was all over much too fast as Lan broke away from her. She heard him exhale deeply and felt the tickle of his warm breath on her mouth.


"Sora..." He whispered.


She opened her eyes, "Yes?"


After a moment, Lan opened his own eyes and drew back from her a bit so he could gaze into hers. He could see in her face that he had left her wanting.


"How do you do this to me?"


Sorraru chuckled ever so softly, a little confused by his question and still dazed from his lips.


"I, I don't know." She stuttered.


They locked eyes once more and both stared for a long moment, drinking in each other's emotions. Eventually, Lan drew back so he was no more than a breath away from Sorraru's face.


"I cannot lose myself in you, Sora," He finally said. "No matter how much I may want to."


She understood his words - they could not afford to let their guards down. But in that moment, she had felt him do so. The moment their mouths touched, she felt his outer layers start to peel away. She wanted to know the Lan that was underneath. In time she knew she would, but for now their minds had to be on their mission. It would only take one moment of distraction, no matter how pleasant, to bring them undone.


"I know." She whispered back.


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