He stopped walking. I exhaled, glad that I've finally let out what has been bothering me ever since he found me..
I wasn't granted the view of his face, so I settled with glaring at the back of his head (which I know, he's aware) and clenching my fists on both of my sides. I don't understand. Why won't he let me handle this task alone? I'm no longer a child. I can take care of myself!
He slowly turned around, blinking his ice cold eyes that sent a message of superiority though it's been a long time since I've felt its intimidation that others from the underground spoke of. But tonight, it was different. His usual expressionless face was distorted by a softer look in his eyes.
I blinked. I was taken aback by his prompt response. At first I thought he was being sarcastic at a time like this but when the soft light in the dark alley hit his face, that thought quickly dispersed. He brought his left hand to the back of his head and sighed. I was beginning to relax my stance when suddenly he charged at me. On time and within a few centimeters from my face, I blocked his left fist with my right. It sounds way too easy, but his strength in that mere punch sent my feet skidding on the ground to keep my balance.
I glared back at him while he didn't bat an eye to what just transpired. "Really good." he continued.
He held my gaze for a really long time, that it was almost hypnotizing. There it is. It's been a while since I felt like I was plunged into cold water. The feeling that this person was much, much more stronger than I am. He blinked and that feeling was gone, as if it were never there. I snapped out of my reverie and felt something grazing my chin. I was too distracted by this man's goddamn eyes that I didn't even see his right hand come up to strike me on the jaw. I lost a fight before it even began.
Idiot. "Tch." I pushed off of him and looked away. "So what? You're stronger than me. You've always been. You trained me for years and you know I'm strong enough to do such a simple task given by the leader alone." I stared intently at the pavement.
I sensed him close the distance between us and felt his warm touch on my head. I looked back at him once more, and the soft look was on his face again."You're good enough. More than enough. You've proven yourself to me as well as my kind of people" I flinched,"that you could be considered my equal." he finished. There was a moment of silence that enveloped the alley as we contemplated our thoughts.
"If you think so, then why..?" I whispered, frustrated. Ever since the day he found me as a child, parentless, I've made it clear I want to protect things that are dear to me. He knows it. That's the sole reason I agreed to leave the possibility of having a regular life, and followed him to the bottom class of society.His people. And now that I'm more than prepared to do things by myself, he blocks my way! How irksome.
He removed his hand from my head and placed them on one of my still clenched fists. I relaxed my hands at his touch as he turned it palm up to wear the light falls on it. "These hands don't need to be tainted any more than it already is." he muttered so softly, I could have sworn I misheard him. "Why do you have to be so stubborn? You don't have to protect anyone. Let me do it for you."
He was close. I could feel his breath on my cheek as he bumped his forehead to mine. Good thing it was nighttime and he was blocking the light, because I could feel the warmth spread on my cheeks and it's not just from his breathing. Never once in our time we've known each other that we've been at this proximity. It was unnerving yet at the same time I feel a sense of belonging.
"If you ever have something that needs to be protected, it's my responsibility as well. Don't do things alone. Don't leave me behind.." his voice was slightly shaking, much different from his usual impatient and arrogant tone. He smirked and held my gaze for a second time except this was much warmer and desperate.
"You make me feel like I'm not good enough."