While Trillian was on his way through the city, Yulissa found him first, “Trillian!” he heard her call. Looking around for her, he tried to swallow the lump of nervousness building in his throat. His eyes lighted on her coming across the square. She was dressed in riding clothes which accentuated her willowy figure. He couldn’t help but admire the way she looked in them as her cloak swirled with her quick steps. Her boots rode up to her knees, hiding whatever was left of her burgundy leggings which dove into them. Her traveling tunic was grey, she wore a dark leather vest, and matching belts about her waist. Her cloak swagged over to one shoulder, clasping in a large golden brooch, and her hair was braided hanging over one shoulder. Trillian wished he could stop looking, but with women off limits, he’d never had the chance to really admire them before.
Her brow drew together in confusion as she approached, “Aren’t your wings healed?”
Watching her eyes flick back and forth caused his heart to skip a beat, “Um, yes.” He stuttered, “I haven’t tried to hide them away yet.”
“Could you try?” She prodded with a hint of alarm.
He smiled playfully, “Do they bother you?”
Her expression did not relax as she laughed, “No, not at all. It is rather important, though, that you do.”
“Why?” Trillian asked with a laugh, though the way she asked cause an alarm to sound in his head.
Yulissa’s actions gave him the impression she was in a hurry. Visibly she tried to relax and smile, “I haven’t had the opportunity to see you without them.”
Raising his brow, he tried to figure her out. He didn’t care for the way she nervously looked about, or how she seemed to fidget impatiently. After all, in his mind, she could have left the city at any point if it bothered her so much. And why was she so interested in him all of a sudden?
Trillian had to admit after six weeks of this cumbersome wear of his wings, he was ready to hide them away again. Standing his full height – which was difficult enough with the kink in his spine – Trillian dropped his head back, bracing in case of lingering pain, and folded his wings. He didn’t know what it looked like to hide them away, only what it felt like, but considering the woman’s reaction, Trillian could only guess it was certainly an unusual sight.
Yulissa’s eyes had widened, whether it was out of fear of disbelief Trillian did not have time to ask. As soon as his wings disappeared, she took hold of his arm, “Alright. Come with me. We haven’t any time to lose. Quick, this way.”
Bewildered with confusion, Trillian found himself following. “Where are we going?”
“No time to talk.” Yulissa stated, dashing to the northern side of the village.
Darting between row houses and narrow alleys, Trillian tried to make sense of the situation. Considering it had been his home for the last twelve years, it felt strange to be sneaking through the town. A few villagers watched curiously as they fled through the back streets. Trillian did his best to not make eye contact, feeling his cheeks redden with embarrassment.
When Yulissa finally did stop they were in the forest, safely out of sight from Severum.
“Would you mind telling me what this is about?” Trillian panted. Having physically exerted himself for the first time in six weeks he felt as though he might fall to his knees. Not to mention his aching back from sagging to one side for so long.
Taking three exaggerated steps toward a large oak tree, then five more to the right towards a pile of bramble, Yulissa crouched and began digging with her hands, “There isn’t much time to explain, my ship leaves tomorrow morning, and we need time to travel.”
Trillian reeled back, “What do you mean time to travel? I can’t leave Severum, you’re out of your mind. We don’t even know you.”
“The name is Yulissa, I’m a Realm Jumper, your life is in great danger.” Brushing off a small pouch, she opened it checking it’s contents. Seeming satisfied, she closed it up again, sticking it under her belt, then took six exaggerated steps to a grouping of bushes.
“My life? How would you know?”
Bending down into the bushes, she pulled out two large packs, “Listen Trillian, I’ll have plenty of time to tell you later, but right now you need to move.”
Irritation growing, Trillian put his hands to his hips, “If you don’t start talking right now I am going to—”
“Here.” She tossed him one of the packs carelessly, clearly not paying any attention. “And here is a cannister of water. You might want to drink some now before we get going, you sound rather thirsty.” She was referring to his pant.
He looked down at the cannister, then back at her. Yulissa pulled the strap of her bag over her shoulder, tapping her foot as though impatiently waiting for him to drink.
Trillian again found himself complying to the request. After a long drink of water, he did feel a bit refreshed. He capped the cannister off, putting the strap around his neck.
They stood staring at each other, both expecting the other to do something.
“You good?” She threw her hands out, “We need to go.”
“First, I need to know where you’re taking me.”
Yulissa shook her head, “Even if I told you, you’d never believe me.”
Trillian grit his teeth. His curiosity had kicked in, which created a great deal of conflict in his head. His duty to Severum and the likelihood of being murdered by Sideon for running off being the highest of confliction. “I’m not going to go with you unless you give me some kind of reasonable response. My life could very well be in danger if I left the Severum.”
“You mean Sideon?” She laughed, “Your step-father is a coward. Especially since he thinks primitive distractions like women need sent off and away from his boys so they can fight mindlessly for him.”
“This coward you reference took the city over and killed my father.” Trillian defended angrily, “Who do you think you are anyway?”
Yulissa huffed, “Trillian, I guarantee I am your friend. Mark my words, Sideon is a coward. Everyone in all the Realms knows it, except for you blind fools in Langoria. Why nobody has tried to overturn your ridiculous leader is beyond me. Clearly your realm fantasizes your dark ages too strongly to have any form of common sense!”
“You’re unbelievable.” He exclaimed, “Are you listening to a wor—”
“No, you listen to me,” she started with vehemence, “you are wasting valuable time. Either you come with me willingly, or I will tie you up and drag you along behind me, do you understand?”
Taken aback, the ranger was at a loss for a reply. His mouth dropped open, but nothing came out as they met eyes.
“Good.” She whirled around, “now follow me. We haven’t much time.”
The ranger found himself complying yet again, put his pack over his good shoulder, and followed silently behind her into the forest.