“I don’t want to bother you with it!”
“You’ve been spaced out for a week! Tell me what’s going on.”
“Heh…spaced out,” she said and began to cry.
Perhaps that was poor word choice, but it helped unlock the feelings she needed to share with him.
“I don’t feel safe! I mean, when I’m with you I feel safe, but when I leave the house I feel like I’m being watched! I see the same people all the time, and I feel like one man has been following me!”
“Hold up…someone has been following you, and you don’t tell me?? Who is this guy?!”
“I don’t know! He’s old. Everytime I go for a jog or a walk or even to sit outside, he’s there!”
“Well, does he say anything to you? Are you sure he’s not just out for a stroll at the same time every day?”
“No! He walks by, he looks at me, and then he keeps going. At first, I thought it could be coincidence. I used to know all the government people. But, I don’t recognize anyone here! Anyone could be one of them! They’re looking for me! I know they are! I think they’re going to take me away, Devan!”
“Ok, hold on. Hold on. Nobody is taking you anywhere! Ok? Let’s just squash that right now. I won’t let that happen.”
“But you don’t know how they work! You don’t know what they can do! They KIDNAPPED me!!”
She was hysterical. He wished he could just wrap his arms around her and tell her everything would be fine and be done with it, but this was far more serious than that. She really believed the government was after her, and he had no clue how to put her at ease. He was always able to put her at ease, but he was clueless how to do that this time.
“Ok, ok…you’re right. I don’t know how they work. Just…I don’t know what I can do! I want to protect you. I’m going to protect you! I just don’t know how. What can I do?”
She had an idea. It was her first thought the moment she first felt that she was being watched. But, she couldn’t possibly ask him. At first she thought it may be selfish, but now she just couldn’t shake it.
“I…I can’t ask you…”
“Ask me what?”
“I don’t want to ask you!”
“Leliana! Please! I will do anything for you. ANYTHING! I want whatever is going to make you happy again.”
“But I am happy!”
“No, you’re not. You’re terrified!”
She loved how attentive and observant he was. She knew that he would do it, but she wished it wouldn’t have come to it. She did it, but she hated asking someone else to.
“Fine. (sigh) I need to…I don’t think I can stay here anymore. I have to leave, but I hope you’ll come with me.”
He heard her. He understood. It took him a minute. At first, he thought it was a crazy idea but mainly because he had never been away from home. It frightened him a little bit, but just like he learned to adapt to moving away from his childhood home, he knew he would eventually adapt to not being surrounded by his family. He had a responsibility to her now. True, they weren’t married or even engaged, but they were deeply committed to each other. Now that she was part of his life, he understood that he could no longer think about only himself. He felt like the Watcher put her in his care, and he was going to do whatever it took to care for her and protect her.
“Ok. Let’s do it. We’re leaving!”
“Yes! We’ll go find some place really far away…kinda off the grid type place that no one ever heard of. We’ll start a new life. No government, no llamas.”
“Oh, Devan! I love you!”
“I know the perfect way to get away too.”
“Yep. Stand up.”
They got up, and he took her hand and walked her around the table. And then…
“Let’s get married! We can say we’re going on a long honeymoon, but then…we never come back.”
“DEVAN!! WHEN DID YOU GET THIS?!”
“A week ago.”
“OH SWEET WATCHER,” she screamed.
She was so excited, she jumped higher than she ever jumped before. Devan had never seen anyone jump so high, and for a minute he thought she was going to land on him. He stretched out his arms and made sure he caught her.
“Whoa! Do you have grasshoppers in your family tree?!”
“WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!”
She threw her head back and looked toward the sky. She wondered if her parents could see her. She hoped they could see that she was happy, and everything turned out just as she wanted them to. Devan liked holding her like that. It was such a sweet but meaningful thing that happened. She leaped without thinking, but she had no fear of where she would end up, and he caught her. So much trust and love and faith between these two.
Devan was confident that this was the right thing to do for them. He knew he would be missed and everyone would be worried sick, and he would miss them too; But, he was a man now. And, a man has got to do what a man has got to do. He had to lay aside all fear that he had and do what was best for the both of them.
“I love you so much. I swear…when we get to where we’re going, if anyone even looks at you funny…I’ll go find that 800 pound llama and have him sit on them!”
“You’re so funny, Devan!”
He put her down, and they went back to the table and talked out the particulars of how this was going to happen, and then they went home.
It was a beautiful night, so they took their dinner outside. They really felt like they should have joined everyone else–especially because they would be running away soon–but the engagement (and their plan) drew them closer than ever before, and they just wanted to be together alone. But, Alayna found them.
“Hello, children. May I join you?”
“I want to share something with you two. First of all, I want to apologize to you, Leliana. I wasn’t very welcoming when you first arrived. I know I’ve been a bit…resistant to what’s happening been between you two, but it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me.”
“Oh, Mrs. Holmes! You’ve been ever so kind to me! I didn’t care where I slept. I’m just glad that you let me stay! And, I understand. My mom always tried to keep me from boys too. She always said to me, ‘Woo hoo is the gateway to hell!’ I thought she was being dramatic, but I understood. And…just so you know…we haven’t done anything, Mrs. Holmes!”
Devan turned 50 shades of red and would have rather been swallowed by a cow plant three times than have his woo hoo life discussed with his mother.
An elated Alayna said, “Oh! Well, that makes me very happy. I’m glad that you two have been patient and responsible! I know it’s hard, but it will be so much–
“OK,” Devan yelled. “Can we talk about something else now?!”
“Oh! Now you don’t wanna talk about games,” Alayna teased.
“I don’t care to talk about games with you, mama.”
Alayna was loving this. Even though Devan was a man, the funny little boy with whom she was so enamored was still there. On the outside, Devan was embarrassed and wanted to disappear. But, on the inside, he was very excited about this new chapter in his life and looked forward to many many epic games with Leliana.
“Oh, Devan…my sweet boy! I’m sorry I’ve been so…crazy. Will you forgive me?”
“Of course, mama. You know I love you…and your crazy self!”
“You better. Heh, I guess it’s good that you didn’t really listen to me. You two are so good together, and I can see that you care deeply for each other. I think what you two have really is a beautiful thing!”
“And it’s about to get more beautiful…”
“We’re getting married tomorrow!”
“OH MY WATCHER!! OH MY WATCHER!! Are you serious?? Awwww, Devan!! Oh my goodness!!”
“Yep. Are you mad?”
“NO! Of course not! This makes me incredibly happy! And relieved! I don’t have to worry about you anymore! Congratulations, son! And another daughter! This is too much!!”
“Yay! I love weddings,” Cienna said.