The Dark Prince
Chapter 22 - Managing
The Dark Prince
Author :MishaK
© Freeuz Novel Updates

Chapter 22 - Managing

When the group reached the center of the cave, they all got down from the horses and Anastasia knew that internally all of them were relieved. She couldn 39;t blame them. Ileus helped her to get down the horse. Anastasia was surprised to see that there was no portal in the cave, at least not in the vicinity. But the tender croon of the energy, the hum, was still there. Nyles was still maintaining her distance, which Anastasia liked.
There was very little snow on the floor and the ground was not too damp. She watched as the party started to remove the saddlebags from the horses and tethered them to the rocky outcrops. Zlu started a small fire as others rolled out the furs and took out the food.
Everyone was moving around, but no one was talking. Even as they all busied themselves into something or the other, Anastasia could feel their eyes on her, and she... her attention was focused on the stream that was flowing inside the darkness. She did everything in her willpower not see towards there or go there. Ileus was hovering around her, tension visible in his strained muscles. He rolled out a fur next to her.
34;Sit here and relax Anastasia, 34; he said in a low voice.
Anastasia sat down. He rushed to where Darla had taken out the food and brought her a plate full of oat bread, frozen slice of turkey and cheese to eat, but her stomach was roiling with so much anticipation that she refused. She was looking at him with anxiety, her foot tapping up and down like a fan in a lady 39;s hand. The water flowing in the stream was like a cymbal, ready to go off anytime. Outside the winds gusted heavily. 34;You should eat Anastasia, 34; he urged.
34;I will... later. 34;
He stared at her for a long moment. Then he kept the plate beside her and walked to where Kaizan was.
34;It 39;s a blizzard, 34; said Carrick. 34;We need to close the cave 39;s mouth. 34;
34;Yes, we should, 34; said Gaurhal and walked to the opening to help him close it.
34;Don 39;t close it completely, 34; Ileus said behind them. Then he went back to Anastasia and seeing her shaking like a leaf, asked, 34;Are you okay? 34;
She shook her head. 34;I am not. 34; She changed the topic. 34;This cave is like an anomaly in Sgiath Bi. 34; How is it possible that while there is a blizzard on the outside, in here it is warm? 34;
34;That 39;s true, 34; Ileus said offering very little explanation, as he gazed in the direction of Anastasia 39;s vision. He held her hands and she gripped them like she was holding on to life. Ileus shifted closer to her and continued to sit beside her until Gaurhal and Carrick partially closed the cave 39;s mouth, until everyone ate their food and then lay down on their furs, until it became very dark outside. A while later he made her eat food.
Anastasia wanted to stay up and avoid the buzzing noise, but every moment that passed grew heavier. She was internally fighting the strong urge to go to explore the portal. Her gaze went to at Nyles who was sitting next to Aidan and glancing towards her every now and then.
Nothing could be so ironic in her life. They had to spend a night in the cave, which had a portalenergy that forced her to merge with it, that lured her, and she wanted to resist. Although the place was warm, Anastasia 39;s body shivered.
Ileus urged her to lie down beside him and he tucked her with the heavy fur. She cradled her head with her palm and lay still. She looked at him as he looked back at her. Moments later she tossed to the other side, feeling anxious.

Ileus got up to go to the men, where Darla was also standing and chatting. She walked right next to him and placed her arm on his shoulder. They both seemed so comfortable in each other 39;s company that Anastasia felt jealous. There was no one who she was comfortable with, except Nyles... But Nyles now seemed like a stranger after the events of the past four days.
She closed her eyes to look away from them and sleep. But the gurgle of the stream was now a cacophony. Darla and the other men came back to the places where they had to sleep. She noticed that Zlu and Gaurhal had placed their furs right at her feet while Carrick and Darla were sleeping towards the inner side of the cave.
Only Aidan was sitting next to the cave 39;s mouth for the guard.
Ileus was talking to Aidan in low undertones about something, which she didn 39;t hear, and she didn 39;t want to hear. Moments later, he came down and sat beside her. He placed a hand on her forehead and said, 34;You have broken into cold sweat. 34;
34;I am managing, 34; she lied. Her teeth were chattering, not because of cold.
Ileus stroked her cheek and said, 34;If you feel like you simply can 39;t ignore it, tell me, okay? 34;
His warm golden eyes were full of promises and she found herself relaxing under his touch. 34;I think I will survive this. 34; She was embarrassed of showing her weakness all the time.
He stroked her cheeks with his calloused hands a little more. 34;You haven 39;t ever faced such hardships Anastasia. I know it is difficult for you. 34;
She shook her head. 34;I am not facing hardships Ileus. 34; Lies. 34;What I am facing is? 34; She stopped herself. 34;Have you faced a catastrophe like mine? 34;
A smile lingered on his face. 34;I crossed Sgiath Bi along with these men a year ago, so yes I have met with a lot of danger. 34; There was something in his statement, which had a deeper meaning... as if this was nothing compared to what he had faced in his life. What was it? She wanted to know. She wanted to know everything about him. She looked at his torso. It was so well built that she imagined muscles rippling beneath it. He was a tough warrior and definitely a master strategist. He had been in Vilinski for a year, for what? He had killed people to be her guard.
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