Twenty

The bed wasn’t very soft and the sheets were thin and kind of scratchy; it certainly wasn’t her bed. The air felt too cold against her chest and hands, not the rest of her; just her chest and hands.  For some reason she could feel every small air current far more vividly over her chest, it wasn’t comfortable. She figured it was time to wake up, but she hated it; waking up that is. When being asleep and awake are the same thing the only relief she got from the world were those precious few moments between awake and asleep. In those few moments things stopped being real, everything stopped; the world wasn’t being controlled. Lisbeth opened her eyes.

“Morning Gatekeeper.”

“Is it really?”

“No, it is about four in the afternoon.”

Lisbeth glanced over at the man leaning against the window apparently reading from a trashy paperback. He looked to be in his late forties early fifties, and wore a perfectly tailored suit. The most notable feature was of course the tattoo covering his entire face. It was a single thorny vine tied to itself in hundreds of unique knots; the tattoo marked him as an Arlethian high priest. The only religion that had been blessed by their gods with the magic of healing were the Arlethian’s and they guarded it jealously. The more advanced healing was only taught to the high priests like the man in the window.

“You should have told me you were going to make me your emergency contact.”

“Sorry it must have slipped my mind, glad you could make it.”

“Of course I came, can’t have a member of the squad off sick. We have piracy to commit and it’s all hands on deck.

“How am I?”

“It wasn’t good Lisbeth, you need to stop dealing with dangerous people. They were afraid to give you any drugs because of the unknown I.V. They had no idea what to do with you, apart from the holes in you hands there wasn’t much they could fix until they arranged some kind of skin graft. You had all of your organs shutting down due to massive blood loss and they still don’t know how bad the potential brain damage could have been; I can’t heal that.”

“How am I?”

“Fine, I fixed you up good. The new skin is going to be sensitive and dry out easily so you might want to use some kind of lotion for the next couple of days. Also you don’t appear to have any brain damage You can go to your dorm tonight if you want to, or I have a hotel room if you don’t want to go back.”

“No point putting things off, I will go to the dorm tonight and deal.”

“Ok, I will go deal with your discharge paperwork. Someone should be by to tell you when you can leave.”

“Thank you.”

“No problem, also there is a girl in the lobby who has been here the whole time should I send her in?”

“Yes please.”

“Goodbye Gatekeeper”

“Goodbye Crimson.”

Typical, he hadn’t even asked about the circumstances surrounding her injuries. That might have been why they became friends instead of a normal client relationship; that and he was really good at setting up ambushes. Lisbeth hadn’t expected him to look quite that old, he always sounded much younger on voice chat or saw himself younger in dreams. Contingencies within contingencies really, she had needed an Arlethian, and was glad she liked the one she found. Sinclair was going to need an explanation for why she had a high priest as her emergency contact, she was temped to tell him it was their gaming buddy.

A short time later a nurse came in carrying a pair of grey sweatpants and a hoodie both bearing the hospital’s logo. She was closely followed by Nerissa who was now free of her bruises; Crimson probably had taken care of them on his way out. The nurse gave Lisbeth a couple discharge forms and informed her that the hospital would like to keep her overnight for observation. Lisbeth refused, there was nothing that a hospital could do for her that a Arlethian high priest couldn’t do better; if he said she was fine than she was.

Nerissa hadn’t said anything during the exchange with the nurse, or when Lisbeth signed the papers; she just stood silently in the corner. Lisbeth, after confirming that the nurse had shut the door before leaving, pulled herself into a sitting position with her legs over the side of the bed. Lisbeth then pulled the strings keeping the thin hospital gown tied and allowed it to fall to the floor. Nerissa gave a small gasp and Lisbeth didn’t blame her, Lisbeth’s entire chest and abdomen were pink; the pink of raw, exposed, living, sensitive flesh. The room was entirely too cold to be naked especially with her chest in it’s current condition.

“Nerissa, could you help me put on my pants?”

Nerissa walked forward slowly; Lisbeth would normally have accused her of wanting a longer look. This however wasn’t the time, and Nerissa looked far too apprehensive as she nibbled on her lower lip. Why was she so nervous? Think, what is new, what has changed? She hasn’t seen me completely naked yet, but that wouldn’t get this response. Mind shielded, can’t let her in; not yet. I got hurt, but that wasn’t her fault. Doesn’t matter she wanted to protect me, I let her think she could; shit. How do I fix this? It wasn’t her fault, there was nothing anyone could do. Distract her from the issue and let her know I don’t blame her. How?

“Nerissa?” Lisbeth spoke haltingly “I don’t want to be alone tonight, can I stay with you?”

It seemed to work, at least momentarily Nerissa looked hopeful and gave a dazzling smile. Why, such a change? Why was she so apprehensive? Damn, she really does like me doesn’t she; why does that idea make me feel like this. What do I even feel, I don’t recognize this, no frame of reference. Shit, that damn dragon was right, it really wasn’t up to me.

“Of course you can.”

“Nerissa?”

“Yes Lisbeth?”

“Kiss me.”

Nerissa leaned down slowly to kiss Lisbeth, but Lisbeth didn’t want to wait. She pulled Nerissa into a tight embrace ignoring her screaming skin and started kissing Nerissa far more aggressively than she normally would have dared. Lisbeth didn’t know how long the kiss lasted, or when tears started rolling down her cheeks; she did notice when one of her hands ended up under Nerissa’s shirt.

 

*Vote on Top Web Fiction*
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6 comments

  1. And that’s the end of arc one, I sincerely hope you enjoyed it. Arc two will be kicking off Monday with the Birth of an Angel interlude, were I really won’t be revealing much. Seriously if you guys wanted more info about the world you should have voted for the Crimson interlude. Too late now.

    So anyways arc 1 was 24 chapters long with something in the range of 24k words. I didn’t miss an update and I still have a buffer that is slightly longer than the one I started with. So this has been a good arc for me, which is good since it is my first and only arc.

    I really do find it amazing that I have something in the range of 30-40 readers, I think. So I would like to know, were are you all from and how did you find Raising Angels?

    I’m from the USA and I found Raising Angels in the depth of my subconscious.

  2. Found you thru webfictionguide.com, always checking there every few weeks to fine different stories to read. Sounded good so i checked you out, been likin it so far. USA myself.

    Not sure if Lisbeth ever recieved true affection, so she might not know how to deal with it.

  3. Well I’m from germany and I found you through Tieshaunn’s Brennus I think.
    Still have open questions but I guess thats intended. And yea the next chapter doesn’t answer many of them either.

    Typo’s and stuff
    18
    None of had been what caused Shelby
    None of that
    Shane disappear into the bushed and retching
    bushes?
    and to the evaluators.
    since the next line speaks of reaching a floor i think elevators are more likely
    19
    for him to no know anything after his efforts
    not
    I think she decide to let me
    decided
    If she like a person she will let them
    likes
    20
    but she hatted it
    hated
    that had been bless by their gods with
    had been blessed
    wasn’t much they fix until they arranged some kind of skin graft.
    seems to me like that should be they could fix
    Some one should be by
    Someone?
    needed a Arlethian
    an Arlethian?
    entire chest and abdomen was pink
    should that be were pink?

  4. I’m Chilean and I found you through the brennusverse chat, so it can be argued that I found you through Tieshaunn

    1. I supposedly have a large number of cousins in Chile that I have never met. Also I remember giving you the link to here, good times.

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