He took a step towards her, and butterflies flapped their tiny wings inside her stomach. He was so hot, that all Aileen could think of was how badly she wanted to sneak her hand through the bars and touch those perfect muscles. He looked up at her, and her heart jumped up in her throat. She swallowed heavily.
“You’re human,” she whispered.
His blue eyes bore into hers, but he didn’t say anything. His gaze traveled down her curvaceous body, then stopped at her feet, where the tear-shaped bottle lay. With his right hand, he pointed towards the bottle, his fingers trembling.
Aileen got the message, and picked the bottle up only to hand it to him. The clear liquid swirled inside it.
“The last tear should heal any physical pain or wound,” she said.
She watched him weigh the bottle in his hand.
“Medea,” he whispered again.
Apparently, that was the only word he knew. Aileen chuckled sadly.
“I’m not even sure if you understand English. I’ve been talking, and talking… but maybe you just saw this,” she pointed to the object in his hand, “and that was enough to make you change your mind, not my story.”
He seemed to ignore her.
Not knowing what else to do, and hating the silence inside the cave, Aileen kept talking. If nothing else, the sound of her own voice helped soothe her.
“A dragon shifter… It makes sense. Why haven’t I thought about it? The fake stories talked about a dragon guarding the Golden Fleece, while the real story talked about a man Medea fell in love with. I should have known better. I’m a Mythology professor, after all. I should have known every single version carries just a bit of truth in it.”
“I understand you.”
Aileen gasped. She couldn’t believe the man had just said those words in English, a language he had probably heard today for the first time.
He squeezed the bottle and fixed his gaze on her. There was something gentle in his eyes, this time.
“I’ve listened to you. I still am. The more you talk, the more words I learn. What did you call this language of yours? English?”
“Yes. Oh my God, yes! I can’t believe you can understand and speak English! This is incredible!”
“I’m a fast learner,” he smirked. “What’s your name, if I may ask?”
“Oh, I haven’t told you?” She beamed and ran a hand through her hair, suddenly worried about how she looked. Well, she looked anything but presentable. “Aileen. Aileen Callas.”
She nodded vigorously. His accent made her name sound so much sweeter. She realized just how grateful she was her parents had given her such a beautiful, unique name.
“What’s yours?” she asked.
His brows furrowed. He thought about her question for a few moments, then shook his head.
“I don’t remember. It’s been so long since I saw a human, spoken to a human… It’s been so long since I had to tell anyone my name. I forgot it.”