CHAPTER 60 - Of Reunions (Part II)

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Author's Note: Yep, last chapter. 

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"I am fine, father. Stop fussing and that... I am so not drinking that."

I sucked in a huge breath at the silvery voice.

My Sagittarian boy was awake. And throwing tantrums.

"Chug it down like beer, I don't care." Lord Orlon's voice bounced around.

Doran was really awake. After a whole week, he was conscious. Just how badly had he been harmed for even the best Healer in all the Realms, to take a whole week to revive him?

Una nudged me in the side and gestured to walk in with her. But the image of his blackened unmoving hands gripped my head and life drained from my body. I took a step towards the door, but just putting one foot in front of the other felt like paddling through strong currents of water.

I whispered shakily, not looking at her. "I messed up bad, didn't I? I fell into Neo's trap and Doran paid the price."

"Yes, you did." Una spoke, "But Doran chose his fight. Only he would face the strongest Eclipse all by himself and... survive."

I looked at her with blurred eyes and she sighed, "Listen, you know, us royals are trained for this... in anticipation of the battles especially the enemy Realms... Not just in weaponry and Elementation but also in political strategizing, dissecting manipulative conspiracies, having a sharp tongue, finding your foes' weaknesses and striking right where it hurts. But you didn't know any of it. And look how far you came... right in and out of a battlefield. All on your own. Be damn proud of yourself, like I am." She swallowed, "The guilt will consume you whole if you let it. You're stronger than this, Eleni."

I gasped, my mind stuck on only one thing she spoke, "You... you are proud of me?"

With the pads of her thumbs, Una wiped my face off the tears which I knew not I was shedding. Then spoke with narrowed eyes, "Don't make me repeat myself. Now come on in." She walked inside the room, leaving me stunned.

Una's snarky tongue took charge, once inside. "Hey, fireling, don't be a baby or I'll throw you out of my house, bandage and all."

"Ugh, Una. Be nice." Serena's warning tone traveled out of the room.

Ralph spoke next, "Naah, I say, we all hold him down, and push that potion down his throat."

"Get out of my room." Doran groaned. "Only Spring people allowed."

I smiled, with tears of a myriad emotions. They were all here. Doran was here. The need to see him, built up until I knew I'd die of an explosion. I walked in and the room grew silent.

The golden morning light was streaming into the room and lit up his face. The browns in his eyes, appeared lively and twinkling. I did not notice the pale-yellow curtains, the soft whitewashed walls, the grey duvet over his body, not even the bandages... only him. He looked me up and down and simply reclined back on the pillows, eyes shutting with what seemed to be... relief.

Then the smell of Alchemy and Healing magic of all the elements wafting in the room hit me and I took a good look at him. His face did indicate his sickness, eyes puffy, skin pale, stubbled face, but nevertheless he glowed like my own ray of sunshine. There was a coil of bandage from his shoulder to his middle. The weakened wrists were covered in white fabric, and a sliver of black was visible. His hands were ruined... How could I not feel guilty?

Doran noticed where my eyes were and he gestured Ralph, who quickly moved ahead and pulled the bundled-up duvet near his feet, up to Doran's chest. Hiding his body, his injury from me.

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