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Hansel's Lover - Prologue

The Prologue chapter of new series, "Hansel's Lover," by Ceres Erigo
Prologue

When Anna regained consciousness, she felt a stinging pain coming from her head. As she tried to move, she felt something preventing her hand from moving freely. She turned her gaze down to find an IV line hooked up to her body.

Now fully awake, she looked around and found herself inside the pale white walls she had grown exhaustingly used to. It was the same hospital room she been covertly confined in a month ago, and the several months before that.

It was also then that she noticed the strong gaze coming from the other side of the room, where she found a familiar man sitting quietly on the side; his back crouched as he had his hands together in his lap. He sat too still for her comfort.

The tension rose in the room, enough to be cut with a sharp-edged dagger.
The man's bloodshot eyes revealed how furious he was at her. She didn't blame him either - after all, she never told him anything.

"You're here," Anna whispered, but he didn't reply.
She planned to wait longer for him to speak, but her attention turned back to the clear tube stuck on her arm. She felt bothered by it and began to take them off herself, but his hand quickly pulled hers away.

"Don't do this," he breathed, "and don't look at me like that."
His hands turned curled into tight balls, and he looked at her one more time, worry and frustration evident in his expression.
He placed his hand on top of hers.
"I'm begging you, stay still before I go crazy."

For some reason, that calmed her down. The stinging in her head had stopped, and all she could see and feel were associated with the man in front of her.
One look, and she could tell that he was still the same intense man who carried his feelings on his sleeve.

The same one she had fallen for at first sight, and had been waiting for the longest time.

"How have you been?" She said to him, "you've grown thinner."
She reached for his face, softly touching the side of his cheeks with the top of her fingers.
"Have they not been feeding you? Why wouldn-"

Her words cut off as he jumped up from his seat and pushed her in his arms. "Daniel..."
She embraced the broad of his back, yet it was still a tad wider for her to reach it completely.

"I came to your house last night and found you lying on the floor."
He held her tighter.
"I thought of the worst," he said. "I thought you've died."
"I won't die." She answered him. "Not...yet."
His body turned still, and he broke his embrace to face her.

"Why haven't you said anything to me?" Demanded Daniel. "Why did you keep this a secret?

Because....

"It's not that bad," she replied. "It was just a simple headache."
He opened his mouth to say more, but a sudden beeping sound from his pocket claimed his attention.

She watched his face harden after he looked to see who it was that made the call. She too, had realized who it was.

"Go on. It must be important." She smiled as she shooed him away from the room. "He must need you right now."

"I'll be right back," said Daniel, and he walked away before she could catch a word exchanged between himself and his commander, on a topic only discussed in hushed tones.

The last she saw of him was his hand, which carefully closed the door that separated them.
She felt a stabbing feeling in her chest.
This was the first time she had seen Daniel in four months, yet he had left so quickly, so easily.

But she didn't blame him. She knew what she was getting into when this relationship started. The consequences were imminent, but she disregarded them anyway.
And yet, she despised the loneliness that comes after being left alone.

A few minutes remained before the door finally opened, revealing the same man with the same familiar expression after the same phone call.

He's leaving again.

"Anna, I have to go," he said with a pained expression, and dejection filled her in that instant.
"Okay," she said quietly. "Where will you be this time?"
His lips had shut themselves after her question, but his eyes did not strayed away from her.

"I forgot," she paused, "it's confidential. I'm sorry I asked."
She laid herself down and turned her body on the other side of the room.
"You should go."

"I'll come back as soon as this is over," his voice echoed in the room, but she had already blocked his words from her head.
"I'm sorry," he continued. "I love you."

She didn't reply, and a few seconds lingered before she felt him press his lips softly on her cheeks. She closed her eyes, and then she heard the door shut. Tears formed in her face, and she wept quietly, as to not disturb anyone in the empty room.

She felt sorry to him because the next time he comes back to Siho, she will no longer be here. She would have already left.

Anna never planned to betray Daniel. She never wanted to disappear quietly without his knowing, and to be in places where he could never find her. But with her ability discovered by dangerous people, she knew she could no longer stay here.

She needs to leave, fast, before the peace Daniel vowed to protect grumbles into pieces.
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Published: 7/18/2016
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