The Girl and the Naga
Alec was out searching the jungle for abandoned human supplies, so I stayed back in the cave and tidied up to make room for any new things that he found.
I was so busy cleaning up, that I almost didn't notice the voices coming closer to the cave. They sounded female, and they were all laughing at something.
The hairs on the back of my neck stood up, and I quickly hid within the piles of boxes and other things, and I grabbed a few pillows for extra coverage.
No sooner had I hidden, I heard the voices resonating in the cave.
"Alec! Where are you?" one voice said.
"Come out and play!" another said.
"Wait," one of them said.
"What is it?" a voice asked.
"I smell something," she said.
I gulped, knowing she was probably smelling me. I held my breath and remained perfectly still. The silence in the room pounded in my ears.
Suddenly, a hand grabbed my foot and pulled me out into view. I yelped as I was held upside by my foot.
"HUMAN!" the one holding me screeched, dropping me to the ground.
I was able to break my fall with my hands and land somewhat uninjured.
I was surrounded by 5 female nagas, and they were all glaring at me disdainfully.
I slowly stood up and observed them. Three of them had bright green tails and brown hair, while the other two had red tails, and one of them had a blonde hair and the other had black.
"What are you doing here?" the black haired one asked scornfully.
"A-Alec has been protecting me," I stammered.
"Why would he protect you?" one of the brown haired ones asked in an amused tone.
"Because he's my friend," I answered.
"More like his pet," the blonde one sneered, causing the others to laugh.
"I'm not his pet," I defended.
"Sure you are. There's no other reason he would keep you," the black haired one refuted.
"Just look at you," one of the brown haired ones said.
"Scrawny," one said.
"Puny," another said.
"Smells bad," the black haired one said.
"And not to mention, ugly," the blonde one sneered.
As they were berating me with insults, they were also backing me up against a wall.
"You know, I think this pet isn't right for Alec," the blonde one said.
"We should take care of it for him," the black one said, smiling evilly at the others.
Their fangs came out and they all hissed at me.
"No, please," I begged.
"What's going on here?" a male voice interrupted.
All the nagas turned to look behind them, and I peered around them to find Alec glaring at them all.
"Alec! How good to see you," the blonde one said in an innocent tone.
"Save it, Marissa," Alec said, holding up his hand to cut her off.
She frowned and glared at him, a low hiss emanating from her.
"What are you doing with this
human?" the black one said, and she spit out the word human like it had bit her tongue.
"She's under my protection," he replied, crossing his arms over his chest.
"You should have killed her. Humans aren't allowed to know about us," one of the brown haired ones said.
"Well, I didn't, and she does know about us. Now I want you all to leave," Alec said, pointing to the exit of the cave.
"Wait, are you choosing a human over us?" Marissa asked.
Alec didn't reply, only glared at her.
"I don't believe this!" she exclaimed. "I can handle being rejected season after season when you don't choose another, but you choosing a human over us! That's the last straw," she said.
She lunged at Alec, fangs bared and hissing like crazy. Alec wasn't prepared for the attack, and he was knocked to the ground. But he recovered quickly and started fighting with her. He would have had a fair chance at winning easily, if the other nagas hadn't joined into the fight.
It was far too horrible to watch the writhing mass of snakes fight. I ran into a corner and squeezed my eyes shut. I clapped my hands over my ears, but I couldn't block out the horrible fighting and hissing sounds.
When I couldn't hear anything anymore, I slowly brought my hands away from my ears and opened my eyes.
Alec was standing alone in the cave, and there was blood all over the floor where he had fought the other 5 nagas. I assume he won, since they were nowhere to be seen.
But he hadn't gotten off with nothing.
He was bleeding in several places, including his tail. There were bite marks all over his arms, and a long gash above his brow, which sent blood down his face.
Suddenly, he collapsed onto the floor.
"Alec!" I exclaimed, getting up and running over to him.
"I'm alright," he said, trying to push himself up, but he just fell back down again.
"No, you're not," I said. "Stay here and don't move."
I ran over to the pile of boxes and looked through them, trying to find cloths. I found a box of medicines, and grabbed some iodine. When I found the cloths I carried them back over to Alec. I poured the iodine onto a cloth and looked for the worst injury. I found it where a small chunk of Alec's tail was missing.
"This is gonna sting," I warned.
I gently placed the cloth onto his cut. He hissed threateningly, but it was only a reaction, and he held still.
I left the cloth on that spot and took another one out, and proceeded to do the same with his other large injuries. I saved the last cloth to disinfect all his smaller cuts and scrapes.
I forgot about the gash over his brow, and I was all out of cloths. I tore off my shirt sleeve and poured the iodine on it. I carefully dabbed it over his brow. He was used to the stinging by now, and barely made a noise, though his face contorted in pain a little.
"I'm so sorry," I apologized.
"It's fine," he said.
"No, this is my fault, as usual," I refuted.
"No it's not, those nagas did this to me, and they probably would have done it anyway. I kinda had it coming," he said.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because its mating season, and I reject them all every year," he explained.
"Why do you reject them?" I asked.
"Because I'm not looking for a single season girl. I want to find a mate for life. Nagas don't usually do that, but every once in a while, one of them comes along. I haven't found her yet, and that's why I keep rejecting them. They probably just got fed up, and were using you as an excuse," he said.
I continued to dab at his face and wash the blood away.
I paused and looked away for a moment.
Alec took my hand, jogging me back to the present.
"Fae? I said your name three times," he said, looking into my eyes with concern.
"Sorry," I said, continuing to cleanse his wounds.
"What's wrong?" he asked, trying to get me to look at him.
I sighed before I answered.
"Do I smell bad?" I asked.
"What?" Alec laughed, but then his face grew serious when he realized I was being serious.
"No, not at all. In fact, you smell like strawberries," he said, smiling at me.
I blushed a little, but he saw my face was still troubled.
"And do you think
I'm pretty?" I asked, turning my head away in shame.
"Where are you getting all this?" he asked.
"Well, those nagas said-" I started.
"Oh," he interrupted. "I get it now."
"Listen," he continued. "Those girls were just jealous and they were trying to put you down. You are beautiful, much more beautiful than they are. And your nice, and kind, and caring, and sweet, and a better friend than any of them. They only care about themselves. If something like this had happened when they were around, they would have abandoned me."
I absorbed everything he said, and the emotion behind his words reassured me that he really meant it.
"Thanks," I said.
"I think I'm the one who should be thanking you," he said.
"Why?" I asked.
"For being such a great friend," he said.
We smiled at each other and I proceeded to wrap up his wounds with some bandages I found.
"You probably shouldn't move too much for the next few days," I said when I had finished.
"Sure thing, doc," he teased.
I helped him get up and supported him as best as I could and helped him to the cavern and into the large pile of pillows.
"Thanks," he said.
"No problem," I replied. "Do you need anything? Are you hungry? I can get you some fruit."
I started to get up and go get some fruit, but Alec grabbed my wrist and held me back.
"Stay here with me," he said.
"Okay," I said, sitting down in the pile of pillows next to him.
"Will you sing for me?" he asked.
"Sure," I said.
I sang him a lullaby from my childhood, and he closed his eyes and listened to the sound of my voice.
When I finished the song, he didn't open his eyes, and I saw him breathe deep and evenly.
I smiled at him and lay down beside him. I gently ran my fingers through his blonde hair, barely touching the bandage that was wrapped around the gash on his forehead.
I closed my eyes and fell asleep next to him.