“Do you need a place to stay?” a soft, but confident voice asks.
That was the question I awoke to.
I had been sleeping in an alley between a library and restaurant, curled up in my dirty, white, hoodie, and using my small messenger bag as a pillow. Headphones sat upon my head, but no sound coursed through them; the only reason I had heard the soft-spoken question.
I sit up to better my view of whoever was talking to me. It was a boy, I’d guess no older than myself – seventeen. His hair choppy and mussed up, and darkly colored. His face defined and rugged, decorated lightly with cuts. His eyes. His eyes a piercing blue, bright and icy in color. All he wore was an old ratty trenchcoat, dingy gray tee shirt, stained jeans, and combat boots in almost pristine condition. Aside from the pristine boots, the thing catching my eye was the belt full of various weapons he wore around his waist. This made me shift my body away from him.
He must have noticed my slight shift and gently shook his head, “Don’t. I only want to help.”
I eyed him, careful and suspicious. I had been far too naive in my youth and learned my lesson. I was more careful now, more observant.
“No,” I answer, “I am fine.”
He wore a look of disbelief. My lies would not work on him I guessed. He was too smart for that – I didn’t know whether I liked it or not just yet.
“I can see that’s not true. Let me help you,” the boy says.
Now that he was slightly bent closer, I begin to suspect boy may not be the right word after all. I stay silent, not moving or giving him any indication of my wishes. I debate whether he is worth trusting, then ask who he is.
He smiles lightly, making his face seem less intimidating and more kind, “Eredan. Demon hunter and soft-hearted idiot.”
I stare. Demon hunter? Is that what those weapons are for? Is he telling the truth? My mind races even more, giving me even more questions and doubts and fears.
“….is your name?” His voice breaks through my thoughts.
I don’t say anything, just watch him. He’s asking my name. What do I do? I open my mouth to speak just as he starts to softly chuckle.
“Or shall I just call you Girl?” he asks in a light-hearted, teasing voice.
I frown slightly, confused by his good nature and teasing. He catches this and smiles softly and genuinely.
“I’m sorry. I really don’t mean to scare you. I just want to help,” he says, sounding very sincere.
I nod after a moment. Something about him didn’t set off any alarms within my mind. He did genuinely sound like he just wanted to help out some stray girl he had come across in an alley. I give a slight, small, smile.
“I am Danni,” I say.
“Danni,” he says back to himself, while offering a hand to me.
I wait a moment. Think. Then allow him to help me to my feet. I grip my messenger bag in the other hand and wince at a dull, but ever present, ache in my back. It doesn’t appear he has noticed my slight pained expression before it’s gone.
“I can get you your wings back.”