A Moment Between Worlds
By Violet Day
Date: December 22, 2017
Ch. 44

Tessa blinked. She blinked again.
It had to be some kind of light show; maybe he had LEDs hidden somewhere on him. But would he really go to all that length just to impress (or confuse, as the case was) some random girl he met in an alley?
She watched as he shaped the strings of light before them with quick movements of his fingers. Soon it became a shimmering image of a huge flower with drooping, bright purple petals.
“Do you have this flower in your world? It is one of my favorites.”
Tessa smiled. This was really happening, and she was allowed to enjoy it.
“No, I don’t think we do. But it’s gorgeous.” She picked up the TV remote. “Hey, I believe you now. One hundred percent. Can I show you something of my world?”
“Yes,” he said, seeming excited. He let the image of the flower drop from the space in front of them. A burning afterimage of the flower lingered in Tessa’s eyes.
“It’s not nearly as beautiful, but I guess it can be.” She turned on the TV. Amien jumped a little when the screen came on, a baseball game in full swing. “It’s like a place where you can watch things that have happened or are happening or never happened but something pretended they happened and recorded it –visually –so you can see it here.”
Amien nodded slowly. “I… see.”
“You look confused.”
His pale cheeks flushed.
He really wasn’t like any guy Tessa had met on earth. Guys usually annoyed her. They just seemed… simple. Uninterested in everything except what would please their senses. Actually, that’s how she felt about most people.
Amien was interesting. He was alien, a mystery, the promise of magic and a world apart. Tessa felt herself falling asleep –it really was late at night and she’d had a pretty exhausting day as days go.
Some amount of time later –it could have been seconds or an hour –she forced herself to open her eyes. “I’m going to go to my bed,” she said, woozily standing up from the couch. Amien was rapt, staring at the television with his lips slightly parted. “You can sleep on this couch, alright?”
He nodded, though Tessa guessed that he didn’t know what a couch was. She hoped he wouldn’t mess with the appliances in her kitchen and set her apartment on fire while she slept.
“Goodnight, Amien,” she said.
“Sleep well,” he said, not moving his gaze from the screen. “At what time do you usually rise?”
“On a Sunday morning? I’m not making any estimates. I’ll get up whenever I get up. If you wake up early and are hungry, you can look around for something to eat. G’night.” She barely made it to her own bed, shutting the door behind her, before collapsing into her sheets and falling into a deep, dreamless sleep.

Tessa didn’t sleep very well.
She kept wanting to go look in the living room and see if Amien was still there, or if he was sleeping –she thought he would look really beautiful sleeping –or if he was doing something she wouldn’t like, like stealing her laptop.
But she also kept convincing herself to just get sleep and see what she felt and thought in the morning. She had long known that she was completely unreliable when she was exhausted and to leave any big decisions for the morning when she was refreshed.
When she finally decided to get out of bed, she didn’t feel refreshed at all. She felt a little sluggish and she had a slight headache. She pulled on some jeans and a tank top before wandering into the living room towards the kitchen, planning on making herself some coffee.
Amien was curled up on the couch, the TV still on. It was playing a show about ocean animals. She should have guessed that he wouldn’t know how to turn it off.
So he was real. The events of the previous day and night had been real.
Taking a deep breath, she walked over to him. The couch pillow he was sleeping on had left a soft shadow of an indentation on his cheek. The first button of his shirt had unbuttoned itself and a sliver of pale, soft skin and sculpted collar bones was visible. He was beautiful. He looked like an angel.
“Hey, Amien,” she said, trying to wake him up but not really wanting to. Watching him sleep, his quiet breath making his chest rise and fall ever so slightly, was an incredibly nice way to start the morning.
Oh yeah. He had said he would take her to his world this morning.
“Amien,” she said, louder. Remembering that inspired her to get him awake and ready. Based on the beautiful light show he had shown her last night, she was sure he could bring her to another world if he had the power after being banished.
Another world. A fantasy world. She felt herself begin to smile, not able to help herself.
He wouldn’t wake up. Eventually she ended up shaking him –gently –by the shoulder. He blinked and looked up at her.
“My lady,” he said. He sat up, looking around. “Ah. The events of the past day come back to me.”
“You don’t need to call me ‘my lady,’” Tessa said, though admittedly she liked it. “You can just call me Tessa.”
“Tessa,” he repeated. “If that is the way you wish to be called, I shall be glad to call you as such.”
“Thanks.” She walked into the kitchen and started to make the coffee. “Do you want coffee?”
“I’m not sure,” Amien said, following her into the kitchen with a look of wonder on his face. “Is this the place where you prepare food?”
“Yeah,” Tessa said.
“And you do not have cooks at your service?”
“No way. I’m my own cook.” Tessa turned on the coffee maker. Amien started at the noise it made.
“What is that?”
“A machine that makes coffee. Oh, it’s a kind of drink that’s bitter and helps you wake up.”
“We have something like that in my kingdom,” Amien said. “I usually do not partake in it, however.”
“Alright,” Tessa said, and put away the mug she had taken out for him. “What do you want for breakfast? Or are we going to have breakfast in your world?”
Amien looked a little uncomfortable. “I did not make this clear last night, but since my power is limited I would not say it is certain where exactly in my world we will end up when I take us there.”
“Oh. Okay.” Tessa raised an eyebrow. This sounded dangerous. Deliciously dangerous. “Do you have dragons in your world?” she asked suddenly, the idea coming to her in a flash. Dragons had always been her favorite fantastical creature.
“Yes,” Amien said. “Large, fearsome creatures but there are very few. The great knights of my kingdom have subdued them considerably since the beginning of the reign of good King Mathus.”
“I hope we see one,” Tessa said.
“I hope we do not,” Amien quickly replied.
Tessa laughed. “Got it. Dragons aren’t on the itinerary. So you’re saying there’s no guarantee we’ll be able to eat once we’re there? Okay, I’ll make you some cereal. Does cereal and milk sound good to you?”
“Whatever you deem as a suitable food to break fast will be sufficient,” he said.

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