Black Shudder Chapter EightChapter 8
I was surprised that the hut's front door didn't fall off as Zero pushed it open. The hinges squeaked so loudly that the noise cut through the patter of the rain.
The hut wasn't exactly luxurious--you could tell no one had lived there for a while. There was a broken chair missing three legs thrown in the middle of the room, and there were patches of straw strewn about the entire room. On the far end, there was an unbalanced table that had a tipped vase with wilted flowers upon it. One chair was pushed in under the wooden-table. Above that table was the only window that was in the room that had crippled shutters that seemed to never be able to work again. Across from the window on the opposite wall was a stone hearth, ash-filled, cold and dusty.
After putting my bag next on the floor, Zero immediately moved to a door to the right of the hearth and disappeared through it. I tried to shut the front door behind me, but it wouldn't seem to fit right into the latch, so I left it sl
Black Shudder Chapter SevenChapter Seven
Neither Gen nor Iskim were in the common room when Zero and I walked in, still hand in hand. I had carefully dodged all the stares and whispers on the way to the Inn, keeping my gaze down from their hurtful gazes.
"Where could they be at?" I wondered aloud, looking around the room. There were only a few people in the room, all of them sitting at one table. None of them gave us more than a look of curiosity before returning to their conversation.
Zero, who had stayed silent since we were in the forest, nodded his head up the stairs. "They're on the second floor."
I glanced at him, ready to ask how he knew that, but I stopped myself short, noticing the rims of his eyes had darkened again. Instead of asking him, I let him lead me towards the stairs, allowing him to gently take some of my weight with every step. At the top of the stairs, the door farthest to the left, which was Iskim's room, opened, and both of my 'family' members walked out. They stopped talking when they sa
Black Shudder Chapter SixChapter Six
I didn't realize that I was bleeding, but suddenly Zero's intense stare went to my wrist.
"You're hurt," he simply murmured, reaching for my hand.
I flinched slightly at the feel of his burning skin on mine. "No," I whispered, examining the cut. "It's just a scratch, no worries." Zero, who was bent over to study the fleshwound, gazed up at me through his dark lashes, but said nothing.
My stomach busted into butterflies and I looked away. "Anyways, what kind of favor are you looking for?"
Zero straightened, still holding my hand in his."Let's not worry about that right at this moment. I'm going to take you home now so we can patch up this cut." He started walking down the street, tugging me along by my hand.
Blushing from the contact, I protested. "N-no, it's fine,Zero." He turned his head to smile back at me, dazzling me, making me fluster even more.
"Even small wounds fester, Alys. We'll take care of it."
Why did my stomach twist so unpleasantly when he said my name? Well,
Black Shudder Chapter FiveChapter Five
Six Years Later
"Alys, we need you over here," Gen called, carrying an armload of cloths' through the entrance archway and up the stairs.
"Okay, I'll be right there." I thanked Iskim and pushed off of the wall, brushing my skirt off.
"Alys, keep in mind that you were to meet the other Innkeeper's son tonight." Iskim smiled softly at me.
I groaned and rolled my eyes. "I really don't even want to, though." Iskim continued to smile as he walked up t me, and brushed my cheek with the back of his hand.
"I don't want you to, either." I leaned into his touch smiling now, slightly blushing. Iskim dropped his hand, placing it on his hip. "But you're a woman now, Alys. You need to settle."
Smile gone, I sighed and turned away from him. "You know I won't be happy if I do this."
"You wouldn't be happy with anyone, not even me." He raised his eyebrows at me,smirking.
"That's not true," I stammered, blushing. "Once I find the right guy, I'll be set."
"Why not any of the men