“Are we close to-?” I began, only to be interrupted by Eredan.
“Just a few more feet.” he answers.
He had been quiet the entire way, which made me uncomfortable. Then again, I had my headphones on my head, maybe he thought I couldn’t hear him if he decided to talk. I hadn’t tried to make conversation either. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to know who he was, I just wasn’t sure how to talk. Instead, I had been watching the back of his combat boots. The bottom of his trench coat was singed, and his boots were scuffed and torn – not as pristine as I had once thought.
“Danni? Hey, Danni.”
I blink and glance up at Eredan, I hadn’t realized he’d been talking to me. I apologize as he motions to a big, faded white house. It was a two story, Victorian styled house. A balcony jutted out from a doorway on the second story, ivy was entwined in the rail that went around the balcony. The windows had a pentagon shape, pale red curtains were drawn. There was a tad of ivy on a few off the windows. The porch wrapped around the house halfway, there were pots of flowers sitting upon the railing. The pathway to the house was made of stepping stones and pebbles, all squished together.
“No. This is my home,” he interrupts.
I stop. Again feeling the need to run. Eredan must sense this and he hurriedly explains that he needs a few items and his vehicle. I look at him warily. I still sensed nothing malevolent so I trusted him.
I follow him up the stone path. Pink flowers brush my ankles as I walk past them. Eredan walked up the two steps to the porch and opened the door, waiting for me to get up there. I follow and walk through the doorway gingerly.
Eredan comes in behind me and closes the door. The inside of the house was just as beautiful as the outside. It seemed it was decorated to match the Victorian era. Three sofas took up much of the space. Red cushioned fabric, with the wooden armrests and legs exposed, throw pillows in shades of cream, pale red, and ivory were thrown on top. A floor to ceiling wooden bookcase was filled with many colored books, candles, and other little ornaments. A small wooden table sat in the middle of the three sofas, a cream vase that held flowers sat atop it. Underneath was a ornately designed throw rug, a pale red color as was everything else.
“Victorian.” I say to myself, glancing at the bookshelf once more.
“Yes, I am really fond of the Victorian era.” he chuckles, walking over to the bookshelf. I stay where I am, not wanting to track footprints through the wonderful room.
“Danni, you look quite pale.” he remarks, as if just noticing it.
“Why are you helping me?” I ask the question that had been on my mind for a long while.
Eredan stays silent, picking a blue bound book off the shelf and skimming the pages. He flipped a few pages and skimmed them, thinking.
“Do I need a reason for my actions?” he asks, not lifting his eyes from the book.
“I suppose not,” I answer quietly. I twist the straps of my bag again.
He glances up from the book to look at me, “You don’t look well at all. When have you last ate anything?”
“Few days ago.” I answer, realizing how hungry I was.
A flash of concern crosses his face. He glances out the window then back to me, “It’s late and you look awful,”
I glanced down at my torn up and stained jeans and my faded white hoodie. I suppose I look worse than I thought.
“Why don’t you change and I’ll make something for you to eat?” he offers.
I look at him as if he were stupid and wondering what he expected me to do.
“I know. I can lend you something of mine. I still have some things from when I was younger.”
I tilt my head, wondering just how old he was. He didn’t look too much older than me. But, looks can be deceiving.
He set the book back on the shelf and motioned for me to follow him. I hesitate, but cross the room. He leads me down a hallway that connected to the left of the living room, then to a door at the end just to my right. He opened it gesturing for me to enter. I did and was met with a Victorian styled bedroom. The Victorian grace was ruined by the wall of weapons across from where I stood. Several different types of weapons hung from the wall, like something from the dungeon of a torture chamber. I stare at it, panicked.
“Danni? You alright?” he asks, genuinely concerned. I shake my head.
He opens a closet door and begins rummaging through the large closet. After moments of searching he faces me with clothes hanging off his arm.
“Here you are.” he holds his arm out to me. I warily take the clothes and stare at them.
“Are you okay? I can draw the curtain over that wall if those weapons are bothering you.” he says, already walking to the other side of the room and pulling the red curtain over the wall.
I slip off my messenger bag setting it gently on the ground. Eredan crosses the room and passes me.
I turn my back to him and hesitate to do anything. Although I appreciated the thought, I just wanted to go retrieve my wings. He wasn’t really forcing me to do anything, just giving me the help if I wanted it. I thought it better to accept it and took off the dingy hoodie. I hadn’t heard footsteps so I turn around. He still stood there a moment longer, before walking away. After the sound of footsteps faded away I look over the clothes given to me.