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She slowly opened her eyes and waited for them to adjust to the dimly lit room around her and sat up.

“So” The man with the voice that sounded like a hiss was nothing like what she had expected.

With her eyes closed she had envisioned an older man with an almost reptilian look about him. She however could not have been further from the truth.

The man who sat at the tale on the other side of the room couldnt have looked more human or more perfect.

Judging by his sharp and clean features he did not look to be any older than she was and with his well kept appearence he was clearly born into a family of means. The only difference between him and a normal man was the color of his skin. His skin was so pale it had a bluish tinge to it.

“So.” He said again a little more quietly this time.

“Im sorry” She croaked out and then swallowed hard to try and clear her throat.

“Here drink this.” the pale man said standing up and walking over to her.

She sat there looking at the lass he was handing to her.

“Do not worry, it is only water.”

She sniffed at the glass but still did not drink even thought her boldy was begging her for the refreshment.

“I understand your hesitation.” He said warmly. “IF you did not hear that part of our conversation allow me to explain. My friend Be’Lesh here got a little carried away and did not mean for any harm to come to you. He was simply afraid that if he did not do anything to prevent you from leaving that you would leave without helping us.”

She sat there starring at him wondering if she should believe him or not, but she said nothing although she did finally take a sip of the water. It was as deliciously refreshing as she thought it would be.

“I am Zaleos, Lord of the Nightwalkers. Welcome to our city. I wish were were meeting under proper circumstances you see it is not the way of our people to hold others against their will and that is something I was trying to explain to Be’Lesh here that no matter what the reason what he did to you was completely uncalled for and unacceptable. You have my deepest apology and at any time should you wish to be on your way home again we shall not detain you further. Although in our defense I would beg of you to hear of our plight before you make the decision to stay or to go.”

She thought about what Zaleos was saying about Be’Lesh. IT was all true. The old man had made no attempts to harm her in way but rather just detained her so that she would listen to them. There was some honor in that, to be willing to go against what your culture believed just to try and help them. It took courage at the least.

“I am sure that Be’Lesh had the best of intentions acting as he did. It must be something very important for him to take suck a risk as he did.” she said taking another drink of water.

She took a quick look over at Be’Lesh who hung his head in shame and refused to make eye contact with her.

“I wish I could say that he didnt however knowing what I know of the situation and although his actions were wrong I cant say as though I dont understand why he acted the way that he did.”

She nodded. She certainly was one who understood the acts of desperate men and women were most of the time acts that under normal circumstances they would have never even thought of let alone acted upon.

“Believe me when I say I will understand completely if you do not wish to help us based on your treatment up to this moment.” He said his clear blue eyes pleading with her.

“Well you do have my attention no so I might as well hear what it is that you have to say. I wont make any promises about being able to help as your problem might be outside of my control. However, I will do the best in what ever way I can.”

Elorya watched as relief spread across his face. Even Be’Lesh looked up and smiled at her until she looked at him directly and then he lowered his head in shame once more.

“Your words bring hope to my hear, dear friend. I understand that you may not be able to do anything to help at all but the thought that would still help us after everything.” Zaleos voice trailed off as he rose up from his seat and reached a hand out to help her to her feet. “This way, I will show you, then I shall tell you.”

Chapter Five

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