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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15. Lying, Cheating Bastard

We whirled around, only to be greeted by a swarm of Black Wings. They yanked out knives as long as my forearm and others carried crossbows. I exchanged a glance with Rasco. He pulled out a knife from under his cloak and I broke the bonds holding my bow to my leg, arrows appearing from the arm of my dress. I could hear Opeh cackling behind me. Our enemies mounted on us, their fists and weapons shredding my skin. My bow fired arrows everywhere, ignoring the screams of Opehs court and burying themselves deep in flesh. Someone punched me in the head, sending me to the floor. Rasco yanked me up and I fired at my assailant. He soon fell to floor to. Still firing and cutting, we headed for the doors. I got one last look at Cassia before we barreled out of the room. He was the same person as always, yet he was a completely different. It was like meeting him for the first time all over again. Only last time he didn't have his hands burried in the hair of a blonde girl sitting on his lap. The doors slammed behind us and we hurtled down corridors, Rasco lashing out at anyone who got in our way. We were soon down on the beach, the water creeping ever closer. I glanced over my shoulder and nearly screamed. A army of Black Wings was barreling down the sand behind us, weapons raised and shouting. Our escape boat was easy enough to find, and we were soon rowing as fast as possible out towards the Torguta. The Black Wing archers aimed their arrows at us, forcing us to hit the deck when a shower of them came over. A rogue one managed to wedge itself in the crook between my arm and torso and my body went limp with relief. The ships crew pulled us on board and we lay breathing heavily on the deck.

"What happened?" Dashiell pulled me to my feet and looked me in the eye curiously. I shook off his hand and stomped off to my cabin. Collapsing on the bed, my body soon racked with sobs. Tears ran down my face, my body shaking and I buried my face in a pillow.Why? Why did he have to be one of them? Why did he lie to me? The lying bastard sold the rebel secrets to Opeh, and now we had no chance of winning. Not any. Azelia and Zeirso were off no one knows where, we'd lost Cassia and they had the world jumper. Rolling on to my back, I wiped my eyes. No point crying over a waste of space. Punching him around the face would have a point though. Punching him, kicking him and hitting him. That would have a very good point. But, no matter what I thought or imagined doing, I still love him. It's crazy. I'm crazy. Life's crazy. I just lay there, staring up at the wooden roof through my tears, trying in vain to persuade myself to hate him. I couldn't. Every time I thought his name my stomach turned to jelly, not matter how hard I tried to stop it. The others came knocking every so often, but they were meet with something thrown at the door and me shouting at them to go away. I felt numb inside. It was like life itself had disappeared. Cassia was my life really. He'd saved me from death and taught me about the world, yet he'd now shattered it all. I felt like a piece of glass. Then it came to me. He would want you to be like this. He would want you to feel like a piece of shit, crying. I pushed myself up off the bed and I wiped my eyes. I picked my my dagger, strapping it to the belt around my dress and was about to leave when I felt the hairs on the back of my neck prickle.

Turning around slowly, I came face to face with him. His face was about two inches from mine. I could feel his hot breath on my cheek and it was only now that I recongised him. He was the Nightmare Man. And this time he didn't mouth the word. He leaned close to my ear and said in a low, haunting voice,

"Waiting."

I back away from him, not meeting his gaze. By the time I looked up again, he was gone. Was he just in my imagination? Just something my brain had congured up to make me feel better?

Pushing him from my mind, I took a deep breath and walked out on to deck. Everyone turned to look at me worriedly, like I was about to break in to a million pieces. Smile Evelyn, smile. I plastered a small smile on to my face and stood next to Rasco.

"Are we heading straight back? We need to get the others prepared."

He was watching me with the same expression as the others.

"That doesn't matter. Are you ok?"

"Yeah, not a scratch. You?"

"Not what I meant, and you know it, Evelyn. Are you ok?"

"Fine. Just regretting every minute with that lying, cheating bastard."

"Been there."

"With who?"

"Opeh. We used to be married."

I stared at him wide-eyed, my own problems forgetten for the moment. Rasco smiled slightly at my look and leaned against the ship railing.

"She wasn't always like she is now. She was...well, different. We'd only been married one year before I left her. I'd been watching her change for longer, and I reckoned that I could stop her, keep her what she used to be. I tried, but I failed. We divorced and I began the rebels after she started the Black Wings. I guess Cassia's in charge."

"It would suit him. I bet lying and being a bastard was in the job description."

He laughed slightly.

"Probably was. Listen, Evelyn," he turned to face me, looking serious, "If you're not ok, there's no shame in telling me. No one can hold it together all the time."

"I'm fine."

"You sure?"

"I'm fine," I repeated. He opened his mouth to say something, but he was cut off by Dashiell.

"Are we heading back to the camp, sir?"

Before either us could reply, a small bird landed on Rascos hand. It had a small piece of parchment fastened to its leg and the man pulled it off. After a quick glance at it, he turned back to Dashiell.

"No. Take us up to Floek, as fast as posible."

He nodded and headed back up the ship wheel. I threw Rasco a confused look.

"Opeh's started a war. We need reinforcements."

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