Whoops! This post is a day late, but better late than never, right? The chaos has only increased this week due to our house extension starting. I have zero blog posts scheduled and that is a rarity for me. I’m writing on the fly, folks.
Today’s name randomly selected from the first ‘H’ page of my naming book is:
Haidee- A feminine first name meaning modest or honoured. (Greek)
“Can you fight?” Damon asks.
Haidee looks to her fingers, picking at a hang nail. “Yes. I’ve been trained.”
He exhales loudly. “That’s not reassuring me at all. Training and actual fighting are totally different ball games. We’re not babysitters, we need to know that you can hold your own.”
Wyatt stands uncomfortably close to her, placing his hands on the back of her chair and subconsciously, or consciously from what she knows of Wyatt, brushes her shoulder blade with his fingers. “Go easy on the girl. Look at her, she’s shaking like a leaf.”
“I can fight.” Haidee tries to make her voice sound confident, but the small squeak betrays her fear.
“And this nervous disposition of yours. Is that a permanent feature?” Damon waves his hand at her like she is a smell to be wafted.
Haidee meets Damon’s eyes for the first time. They are a striking blue, unlike her own deep brown, and pierce her with judgment and accusation. She’s not sure what is expected of her, or what the man is hoping to hear from a girl who has just witnessed her best friend’s murder? “I’m sorry. I haven’t–“
Damon growls in his throat. “Now, she’s apologising. Lord give me strength.”
Haidee jumps to her feet, her chair screeching in the process. Grabbing Damon by the neck, she cartwheels her legs above her, wrapping them around is head and using the hold to flip him onto his back. She falls softly onto his body, squeezing his airway with her thighs and restraining him with her whole body. If he moves an inch his arm will break.
“I’m out! I’m out!” Damon splutters.
Wyatt laughs, barely able to catch his breath. “The girl said she could fight,” he says, breezing from the room.
Haidee releases Damon, rolling from him and gripping her knees to her chest. He sits beside her, gasping for breath and rubbing at his throat. He looks set to talk, but her tears stall him.
“Hey, none of that,” he says, softly. “Crying won’t bring her back.”
Haidee tucks a curl behind her ear. “I’m scared. I know you probably don’t want to hear that, but I am. I can fight, but that doesn’t mean I want to. I’m not strong like you and Wyatt. I work in a coffee shop and go to night school. This isn’t my life.”
Damon shifts closer. His eyes have lost all hint of judgement. “Don’t be fooled. We are all afraid, but that’s not a weakness. The minute you no longer fear this world is the minute you lose yourself to it. But we can be protectors and that has to be enough for us.”
Haidee wipes at her wet cheeks with her sleeve. “You’re not so scary when you’re not shouting at me,” she says, smiling.
Damon laughs; a deep, belly laugh that echoes through the room. Getting to his feet, he helps her to stand. “I can be full on, right? I only do it because I care.” She meets his eyes for a little longer than necessary, and he shifts awkwardly. “So, we know you can fight, but can you shoot?”
Haidee shakes her head, looking to her feet.
“Then, we start now. I’ll teach you everything I know. You’re one of us, Haidee.”
“I was one of you the minute they took her life. I may be scared, but I can be brave.”
Damon crosses the space between them in one stride and wipes the tears from her face with his fingertips. “I can see that in you. I reckon having you around will be good for me.” Haidee tilts her head in curiosity, but Damon’s game face is back on. “Pick your weapon of choice,” he says, gesturing to the armoury.
Written works are the property of K.J.Chapman