Something cool against his brow. Moisture across his lips. He hadn’t realised he was thirsty. Up to the point of feeling the wetness he hadn’t understood thirst. How many more differences between the world of the body and what he had perceived from the void? He opened his mouth to the moisture, savouring the feeling of the cold liquid being dribbled across his tongue. The sensation stopped and he felt warm breath across his face. Another face close to his, another mouth close to his. That meant something, but he wasn’t sure what. He was sure he used to know.
“He says I shouldn’t give you too much at first.” Ah, that was Ekaterina again. “He’s gone out to hunt. He says I’m to look after you but I shouldn’t give you too much of anything.” He felt the muscles in his face contract but he wasn’t sure why. “There’s only the two of us here, I’ve put most of the lights out so you won’t hurt your eyes again if you want to open them.”
There she was. Soft features in pale candlelight, eyes wide in amazement as he looked at her and continued to smile. Yes, smile was the word. It felt good to look at her. It felt good to be able to look at anyone. He tried to sit up but couldn’t quite seem to co-ordinate the order of limbs and joints. She understood what he was trying to do and came to his assistance with pillows, holding him close, making sure he felt safe on the bed.
The action disturbed the covers. He looked down at skin that was a different shade to the woman’s. He didn’t have the right words in his head and he couldn’t pick any from hers. He didn’t know why but he thought of fields of wheat ripened in the sun. This was skin, flesh. A body that could feel. She drew the covers back around him. The touch of her hand brushing against his skin was a thrill in itself. He couldn’t feel her mind. He hoped new pleasures would make up for the loss of the one sense that he’d had before.
“This is my room. He carried you here. You had many wounds. We cleaned you and made sure you would be comfortable. Don’t worry if you can’t speak. Don’t try to force things. He said it may take some time for everything to come back to you.” The bed creaked as she eased herself next to him and put her arms around his shoulders. “Don’t you worry. Ekaterina will keep her angel safe.”
He slept again.