“How long are you going to hold on to me? It is uncomfortable for me since youre almost as tall as me now.” Aurora asked but she made no effort to separate Rita.

“Just a few more minutes,” Rita replied.

The voice sounded familiar to Aurora. It brought back memories with aching familiarity.

“You sure did change in two days. You look years older now.” Aurora observed.

Ritas face on her chest moved. Aurora could feel the lips move against her skin and it sent shivers down her spine.

Ritas lips were too close to her nipples. Even the smallest moment could cause disaster for Aurora.

“-not two days.” Rita was speaking but Aurora felt distracted. The exhaling sensation against her breast was too distracting.

“Wake up. Shes speaking to you.” Ava decided she had enough. Her bite brought Aurora back to reality.

Auroras hand instantly flew toward her neck and cupped the aching area. Her neck felt hot to touch.

“Ava, what the hell? What are you doing?” Aurora questioned. The bite was beginning to ache now.

“Your companion looked distressed. Her aura also feels like it will explode any moment.” Ava pointed out.

Aurora did not get a chance to answer.

Rita moved in an instant and pulled Aurora toward her chest with one hand while managing to capture Ava with her other hand.

The snake did not struggle as Rita held her at sword point.

“What are you? You feel like a familiar but you dont have the magic of a familiar.” Rita questioned.

Aurora had to take her time and nurse her spinning head. Ritas actions had been too fast for her.

“Rita, no. Ava is a beast I made a contract with. Shes harmless.” Aurora assured as she quickly pulled Ava back to safety.

Avas aura conveyed her mixed feeling. The snake seemed to not be able to decide if she was insulted at being protected. Or if she had been flattered at receiving such a treatment.

“But we cant be sure about that. What if she turns on you?” Rita questioned.

“She cant. We have a contract that prevents Ava from hurting me and my associates.” Aurora assured.

But Rita did not look convinced. Her narrow eyes made Aurora tense and she knew she had to change the topic now.

“We can discuss Ava later. For now, Im more interested to know what happened to you? You were in your teens the last time I checked. But you seemed to have aged significantly.” Aurora questioned.

Rita seemed reluctant to talk to her in front of Ava. So Aurora gesture for Ava to leave the pair alone.

Ava looked betrayed at her action. But she did not linger around the pair.

“Hmph. I can see that I am not needed here. Call me when you decide that you appreciate my help.” The snake left.

As she did, she closed the cave entrance behind her.

Aurora wanted to remark on Avas behavior but she suddenly felt drained of her energy. The wound on her neck throbbed as well.

“Shes gone. Are you going to tell me more about what happened to you now?” Aurora questioned.

Rita looked at the entrance. Aurora could feel her magic scanning the area for potential monsters.

‘When did she learn to do that? Aurora wondered. She could check the system to know but it felt like an invasion of privacy to her.

“You told me that only two days had passed since I entered the test chamber, right? But for me, it felt like decades. I didnt even feel like myself half the time there.” Rita sounded defeated.

The cheer in her voice was gone.

The younger female leaned her frame into Aurora. Aurora had no other choice but to support Rita or risk her falling.

But Auroras body did not have much strength either. It caused her to collapse and Rita to fall on top of her.

“It was lonely. I was still me but it felt like I was living another life. A life in which I did not meet you when I did. A life in which I lost everything.” Rita continued as she moved her hands.

Aurora wanted to stop Ritas wandering hands. One was beneath her shirt, mapping her stomach.

“Rita, cut it out. We are in a serious discussion.” Aurora hissed. But her lack of action only spurred Rita further.

The youngers hands were approaching dangerous territory.

Aurora finally took action once Rita cupped her breast and squeezed the right one. The familiar feeling told Aurora who the culprit had been before.

“Rita, dont do something youll regret later.” Aurora pulled away.

Rita stared at her hand with a blank expression before schooling it back in the calm and collected expression Aurora had been used to.

The younger looked exactly like her older counterpart. The same heated eyes, the same frown.

It made Aurora skip a beat.

“I dont think Im going to regret anything. I just wanted to confess but I messed things up.” Rita whispered.

Aurora wanted to pretend she did not hear those words. But Ritas gloomy aura persuaded Aurora to act.

She needed to solve this knot before it developed into something else.

“Rita, be clear in your words. I will listen and I wont run away. Whatever problem you have with me, lets clear it out.” Rita looked conflicted.

But Aurora felt hope rise in Ritas aura.

“I love you.” The words were strong and confident. Aurora felt her breath stop as Ritas voice reached her ear.

And her brain froze. Her body felt like it was heating up.

“Excuse me? What kind of joke is this?” Aurora asked. Her ears rang as her mind recalled Ritas words.

Love? Rita had to be mistaken.

“I dont know when and where, but I fell in love with you. I did not even know it was love until recently. The trail made me hallucinate and then it showed me a future where you marry someone else. And I decided I couldnt bear it.” Rita sounded desperate.

Even her aura felt desperate and clingy. Its intensity swept Aurora away.

“Wait a second. Aurora, youre young and I think youre confusing love with gratitude. Youre not even an adult in your mind. You can still stop.” Aurora promised.

“I dont think I can. I dont want to stop my feelings from developing. I want to take this chance, even if it is only 1%.” Rita confessed.

Aurora tried to hide her face behind her hand but she was not able to pull them back.

Rita held them in a a tight grip.

“Still, it is too soon for me. You were just a child for me a day before. Besides-”


“Im not sure I can see you like that. I dont think I can see you in a romantic sense.” Aurora confessed.

Rita looked confused but then determined.

Aurora wanted to lean back when Rita leaned forward. Their lips were too close to each other and Aurora felt her face heat up.

Her heart was beating like crazy and her head felt lighter than it had a few seconds before. The heat in her neck intensified even more.

‘Shes ours. Shes offering herself to us. Take you like yours. Some part of Aurora hissed at her.

Aurora recognized it as the goddess inside her. That part of her mainly kept quiet but it was quite vocal right now.

Vocal enough to seem like a different person.

Rita did not linger near her face for long. She pulled back and a beautiful smile greeted the youngers face.

Aurora almost reached out to cup Ritas face but stopped herself short.

Rita did not allow her to do this.

“I wont ask for much. Give me one night to change your mind. And if were not compatible after this, I will give up on you. But if theres even a small bit of hope, I want you to not stop me in my pursuit.” Rita asked.

Aurora knew she should not give in to the other this easily.

But her body was too tired and the heat was spreading. She did not want to fight this feeling either.

“One night. And no matter what the outcome, you will never bring this night up again. That is my condition for this contract.” A hint of hurt flashed across Ritas face before she schooled her face.

Aurora knew she had been unnecessarily cruel in her words.

But she wanted Rita to understand that things might not work out.

“I understand.” Rita agreed. Even Auroras indifference did not drag her away. And Aurora decided to give up for the day.

Her head was spinning already and her body felt heavy. She knew she was not suffering from a normal poison.

It had to be the one Ava accidentally injected into her body when Aurora was bit by Ava.

“Ill make sure to carve myself on your body. Youll crave for me once were done.” Rita promised and Aurora put up no resistance.

Even when their tongues battle, Aurora did not push Rita away. Instead, she pulled the younger toward her body.

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