Emerald Eyes *FIRST DRAFT*

A tale has long been told of the girl with emerald eyes. But this is more than just a story. Its a destiny...

Book 2 in the Chalson Chronicles. All rights reserved. Cover designed by Alicia Keyes.

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8. Best Friends Ex

The next few weeks were nothing but training. Since Xanthe was the only other girl at the training arena, I always ended up training with her at least once everyday, much to my horror. We still didn't get along. Cassia had won his next fight, so he was teaching me swordplay. Training sessions with him became the highlights of my day. Rasco had come to see my progress a couple of time and every time he seemed pleased with me. It's hard to tell with Rasco. His face is like a mask and you never really know what he's thinking or feeling. I spent most my evenings with Azelia, Alessio and Zeriso in the main camp, playing cards or just chatting. It was a good few weeks. Even with my arguments with Xanthe.

I sat by a pond, hugging my knees to my chest. She'd gone too far today. Wiping the tears from my eyes, I thought about my parents. She'd said that I'd not cared when they'd been murdered. She'd said that it had been my fault. She'd said that they'd deserved what they'd got. Ozias and Cassia had had to pull me off her. The tears started attack my eyes again, but I didn't care anymore. Only the fish in the stone surrounded pond and the birds in the trees could see me. A figure came and sat beside me in silence. I didn't have to look to know it was Cassia. He slipped his arm around me and I leaned on his shoulder, sobbing openly now. We stayed like this for a good while until my tears were all spent. I lifted my head and took a shaky breath.

"You ok?" he asked me, visibly concerned.

"I would be better if you hadn't of held me back," I tried to laugh, but it came out more like a strangled gasp. Cassia laughed good-naturally and gave me a look.

"If I hadn't of held you back, Xanthe would be in two-pieces right now, greeny," he laughed and lay back on the rocks, "You don't believe her, do you?" The boy looked at me with a look of utter sympathy and curiosity that I could feel myself melting.

"Kind of," I looked him directly in the eye, "I mean, I probably could of prevented it or done more. I didn't even bury them. Does that make sense to you?"

"Yeah. They were your parents, you're going to think you could of done more," Cassia sat up and moved a strand of hair out of my face, "But, no matter what anyone says, it was not your fault." Our faces were just a few inches from each other now, our eyes locked together. We were so close I could feel his breath in my face. I can't believe that I never noticed how completely gorgeous his eyes were.

"Come on, I'll walk you back," he held out his hand. I took it and he pulled me up, guiding me out of the forest. As the training center came in to view, I could see Azelia and the others making their way up the path like normal. I turned to face Cassia.

"Thanks. For helping me and walking me back," I reached up and kissed him on the cheek. He blushed a deep red and I smiled, "See you tomorrow."

Turning away, I walked to the others and hugged them all.

"Are you ok? We heard you and Xanthe had some issues," Azelia hugged me harder than Zeirso or Alessio had and looked at me in the same way my mum had whenever I'd hurt myself.

"I'm fine now. Me and Xanthe always have issues," I linked my arm through Azelias and, as we all began to walk back to the main camp, I glanced over at Cassia. He smiled and waved slightly. I beamed back and turned my attention to my friends.

"It's extremely hard not to have issues with Xanthe. She can be a right bitch," Alessio pulled a sour face and we all laughed. Xanthe dissing had become our little hobby now. I was the only one with any real contact with her, even though Alessio arrived here with her. He couldn't get away from her fast enough. As much as I love it, I didn't really want to think about Xanthe right now. My mind was full of thoughts about Cassia. I know I shouldn't like my best friends old boyfriend, but I do. We neared the old womans tent (we normally keep them company over dinner and help clean-up afterwards), when Azelia pulled on my arm to stop me.

"You two go in. Me and Evelyn need to take care of something," the other two seemed a bit surprised, but did what she said. The girl turned to me and smiled slightly.

"You like Cassia, don't you?" We started walked around the camp, not wanting someone to hear the whole conversation.

I pulled a face. "Is it that obvious?"

"Only to anyone who saw you kiss his cheek and walk away smiling."

"You saw that?"

"Yeah."

"Are you ok with it? He is you ex after all," I stopped and faced her. If she wasn't, I would make sure nothing would happen between us.

"As long as he doesn't cheat on you, you two have my full blessing," she raised her hand to heart, acted all sincere and somber. I laughed and we started walking back again.

"I'm glad you're fine with it. If you weren't..." I trailed off as we reached our dinner tent again. She smiled and hugged me tightly.

"Just be careful with him," she grabbed my hand and pulled me in to the tent. Thank Saulaf for that.

*********

One hour and several helpings of vegetable stew later, I was heading back through the camp to the training center. It was pitch black and completely silent Too silent. Stopping, I turned in a small circle, just to see if I could see anything. A pair of eyes. They peeked out from a bush a few feet from me.I could recognize them anywhere. Guivers scorpion men. Before I could react, a hand clamped itself over my mouth and rope touched my wrists. My foot connected with the attackers groin, sending him to the floor. My fists slammed in to too many noses, faces or general body parts to count and I was soon covered in my enemies blood. A sharp, stabbing pain suddenly raged through me and I fell to my knees, clutching my side. Something connected with my head and I fell in to the blackness.

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