Lone: The Wanderer



[Rewritten] Book 1 Milindo & The Holy City: Chapter 24: Retreating Paranoia and Sharing Problems


Sophie giggled softly and licked her lips. "Nothing." She crawled forwards like a lioness creeping towards its prey. She got on top of Lone and firmly wrapped her legs around his waist before licking his cheek playfully. "Don't you love what you see? What you feel?"

Lone felt several urges, one of which was to push the girl off of himself again, but she now had him trapped with her legs. It didn't help that the very next second, she coiled her arms around his neck and purposefully leaned back so if he wanted to look down at her and meet her eyes, he'd be able to see every part of her sweat-covered body.

It took an incredible amount of willpower for Lone to not do something he might later regret. "No, I do. You're... insanely attractive, but I don't get it. Why're you coming on to me so strongly?"

"Hehe... We haven't come anywhere... yet..." Sophie's hot breath brushed against his chest and her words made his heart pound furiously. "We can hear it... Thump... Thump... Thump... What's wrong with a little fun?" Sophie dragged her tongue across Lone's lips and ran her fingers through his hair. "We want to have a little bit of fun..."

Lone wasn't very perceptive when it came to social cues, and he very well may have stopped questioning her and finally followed his instincts if she hadn't said that one word. "'We'?"

Sophie's expression crumpled a little bit. "I. I meant 'I'. Come on... stop asking silly questions and just sleep with me... I want you inside me, you want to be inside me... Win-win?"

Something was definitely going on. Lone was sure of it now. "I don't know how I feel about you, Soph. I-I think I'm in love with you, but I'm not sure. I want to talk about my feelings with you before we do anything we might regret. We're going to be stuck together for as long as we're on this planet I think, and I don't want to ruin our relationship. Can you give me some space to think about things if this is how you really feel about me? I can't focus right now when you're all that's filling my mind."

Sophie's cheeks flushed red for the first time all night. "Y-You are being honest?"

Lone leaned his forehead against hers. "I am." He gazed into her grey and lifeless eyes before he smiled warmly. "I don't know why you're acting like this, but we have time to work this out, to work us out."

"W-We are lost for words..." Sophie's grasp with her arms and legs loosened a little bit.

"There you go again with the 'we'." Lone saw another crack appear in Sophie's expression at the mention of that. "We can talk about that too. I'd be stupid to not expect some baggage with a girl who's had your life. If you want to talk about it, I'm all ears, you know? I have some stuff I wouldn't mind sharing as well, though I doubt it can compare to what you might tell me..."

Something about the sincerity in his tone sent the girl's heart aflutter. She found herself lost for words. 'He wants to understand us? But he... Why... We don't... We can't deal with these thoughts!' The paranoid side of Sophie who was so desperately trying to trick Lone into revealing his 'true nature' had ended up getting beyond flustered. So much so, that she accidentally lost control of her body and returned it to the still sleeping peaceful and shy Sophie.

An endless dream. Countless experiences with Lone. Most of which, involved playing with his tails. Sophie was a simple girl. She wasn't sure what was going on, but her mind felt as clear as it had ever felt, however, suddenly this neverending fantasy collapsed almost as if it had never been there to begin with.

Sophie blinked her eyes several times as she adjusted to her body. It took her a few seconds to realise that she'd been asleep. 'Weird. Why aren't I lying down? What am I hugging? Why are my legs wrapped around it? My forehead feels warm...'

The second she processed the information her Mana Sensing was feeding to her, it was almost like a puff of smoke came shooting out of her head. She was sat on top of the cross-legged Lone and she was naked! She was hugging him! Her forehead was against his! Both of their bodies were covered in sweat and she could taste something sweet and unfamiliar in her mouth...

A few seconds of silence passed before memories flashed across her mind. Memories of the last twenty minutes. Half of that time was spent lying in bed naked in her oldest body, the other half...

"Eeek!" Sophie squealed as she let go of Lone and practically jumped away. She grabbed the sheets that had been tossed aside and covered herself with them. After seeing her memories, she was suddenly very conscious of her body. "I'll kill her..." she mumbled.

Perplexion filled Lone's complexion. "Kill who?"

Tears threatened to bubble out of Sophie's eyes. For the first time in a very, very, very, very long time, Sophie was angry and incredibly upset. She felt betrayed by her other self. This wasn't what she wanted at all! She could admit that she held feelings for the man before her, but her other self had stolen so many firsts from him and ruined any chance of a slow build up in their budding love!

Lone panicked when he saw Sophie's face that was filled with betrayal and hate. He assumed those feelings were for him. "I-I'm not rejecting you! I just want to talk about everything first!" He fumbled about with his words. He didn't want to ruin everything. For the first time in his life, he'd found someone who seemed to genuinely care about him and everything he did, so the last thing he wanted was to fuck that all up.

Even his sister, Hazel, as much as he loved her, never understood him. Never tried to understand him. She returned his love, but after he left the family and chose to live by himself, she never even bothered to talk to him or get to know the real him beyond an obligatory phone call every week to make sure he hadn't hung himself. Of course, it got better when he started teaching at her high school, but even then, when he was harassed and bullied, she never tried to stop it.

Sophie was different. She cared. She'd saved his damned life twice already! She listened to everything he said, tried to empathise with him. She acted comfortable around him and wasn't afraid of some skinship. She treated him like a human being. Well, he wasn't a human anymore, but semantics aside, even if she had several screws loose and was obviously upscaling her child act, she was still a genuine person who treated him with respect. He didn't want to lose that.

Lone reached out with his hand and placed it on Sophie's head in an effort to show that he wasn't trying to deny her of the physical contact she apparently wanted. "See? I want to sleep with you, really, I do. I desperately want to. I just can't until we both confirm our feelings and talk about things, okay?"

Sophie shook her head and the dam holding back her tears burst open. "It's not... sniff... it's not that! I... sniff... I need some time alone!" Sophie yelled before she picked herself up and ran out of the bedroom and made for the living room while still clutching the sheets tightly.

Lone sat there stunned for a few moments before he undid his crossed-legs and flopped onto his back. He covered his face with one hand. "What the fuck am I supposed to do?"

Sophie, now back in her ten-year-old body, was curled up in a ball on the sofa in the living room with the bedsheets covering her body. Her face was badly stained with wet streaks, a telltale sign of her sobbing.

"What am I supposed to do?" Sophie's mind hurt as she stressed herself for an answer. "I-I'm not like that... Should I tell him about her? About the other me?"

She squeezed her knees and firmly shut her eyes. "I don't know what to do!" she screamed into her chest.

She felt a throbbing pain in her head and it was getting hard to think. Soon, the feeling spread across her entire body and she started crying once again. Minutes, maybe hours passed.

The heart-breaking sound of her weeping was interrupted by a long sigh and a short sentence. "Fuck. I should have pulled myself together sooner."

An arm wrapped around her and pulled her into an embrace. She could feel several soft sensations coil around her slowly so as to not scare her. A warm hand brought itself to her face and wiped away her tears.

"I'm sorry," the man cuddling her said with a pained expression on his face.

"Lone?" Now it was Sophie's turn to be confused.

He shook his head and smiled wryly. "This is all my fault. I had no idea what you were going through, and I thoughtlessly got too close to you without realising what I was doing."

Sophie's heart skipped a beat and she felt it sink a few fathoms. "Lo-"

A finger pressed against her lips. "Let me finish," he said in a gentle tone. "I love you, Soph. Or at least, I'm pretty sure that's what this feeling is... I think. I've never felt like this before, but I look at you... and I get these urges. Urges to protect and hold you, urges to do more... adult things with your older self."

Sophie was tongue-tied, which was good for Lone since he still had more to say. "I still have no idea what's going on with you. I had some time to think about it, unfortunately, since I left you here... I don't know if you have schizophrenia, if you're bipolar, if you have a split personality, or maybe something else entirely different, but we can work it out together, okay?"

Lone smiled brightly and kissed the top of Sophie's head before he stared into her eyes. "Everyone's a little fucked in the head. Even me. I never got diagnosed, but I'm pretty sure I have depression and I used to be suicidal. Maybe I still am. I dunno, what with how I keep throwing myself at the goblins like I do... Maybe I want them to kill me and just end this... Let's work these issues out together, okay? Fill each other's voids?"

Sophie felt a warmth spread throughout her entire body until a deep sadness took its place. She let go of the bedsheets and returned Lone's embrace with her own. "Mmm. I'd like that."

A note from Lone

I really hope this came across how I wanted it to. I wanted this to be warm, sweet, tearjerking, relatable and sympathizable. I really hope I didn't cock it up this time by making it cringy as fuck like in the original version.

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  • The Scottish Slothy Sloth

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