Gathering a few things into the satchel on the bed, she sighed. Odd as it was, she liked this little house. It was cozy and had plenty of hidden nooks and slides for her to keep things out of sight. The air was cool, blowing in from the sea and it smelled of memories. Taking a final look, she strode out the door. And walked smack dab into the chest of the man she had hidden from for so long.

He looked down suddenly, his eyes growing wide, ears turning upward. His face was caught halfway between a smile and disbelief. “Elindara?” he whispered.

“No. You’ve got the wrong person,” she spat out. She even went so far as to speak in the common tongue. “Don’t know who you are talking about.” She tried to duck away from him, but he caught her arm.

“I doubt that very much, Sel’de. I’d know my daughter’s face anywhere. Stop, please, just for a moment.” He looked at her, pleading with his eyes.

“Shit.” She dropped her bag and yanked her arm back. Crossing both arms in front of her, she looked up at him defiantly. “All right, maybe I was once. But she’s gone. You and Nadyia never accepted that. So what exactly do you want to say, Radnaal?” Eliân stared at him, giving no hint of joy.

“You still won’t call us your parents. We tried, Sel’de. Honest we did. We just wanted our daughter back. I am sorry if we hurt you.”

“Hurt me?” she replied, incredulous. “HURT me? You still don’t get it, do you? You can’t hurt me. Nothing hurts, almost nothing bring joy. I feel, nothing most of the time. I haven’t felt anything in decades. Although, this? I admit this does bring some mild levels of irritation.” Eliân gazed at him flatly.

Radnaal kicked at the dirt by his boots. “So what am I to call you now?”

“Eliân. Or nothing. You won’t be seeing me again. This was a chance accident and I won’t be back.” She gathered up her bags. She dug in her pocket and pulled out a small dagger. “Here. Might as well return this to you. It served it purpose, but I have better now.”

Radnaal held out a hand, taking the hunting dagger from her. “I am glad it kept you safe. Even if I wish things could have been otherwise.”

Eliân nodded slightly and walked away. Turning back briefly, she looked on the man who had given her life. She dug down within herself and found an empty hole. Sighing, she continued down the path. Radnaal watched until his daughter’s green hair blended into the foliage and she vanished from sight. “Be safe, my daughter.”