War Heart

"Now wait a second," Alex grumbles still half asleep. Dylan stops speaking so Alex can continue.
"I missed the first part. So there are all these girls and they are trying to do what exactly?" He questions. I sigh, it pays to pay attention.
"There are only 4 girls, Nala the red headed bandit, Kara the fighter, black hair comes from Kilren where there are orange dyes, Ali the sword expert who was Dylan's best friend and Bella the leader with the unique ability to order people things and they have to do it. The four of them are trying to defeat Riley and his mutants because he somehow built a mind control system," I sum up for him. He takes in the information and slowly nods.
"So the red head, the fighter, the sword expert and the leader are going up against a vampire with a wicked talent to cause trouble," Alex shortens my summary. I frown at him.

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15. Chapter 10 (Ali)

I toss and turn, I can't fall asleep. Nightmares raid my brain parading the streets through my mind. Mutants terrorize me taunting me by saying I can't stop them. I blame the bad dreams on the weather but I have a hunch that Riley has something to do with it. Either way it leaves me extremely tired the next morning.
"So what, we just cross the plain now? I mean, Riley's still there but the number of mutants he's got decreased," Kara asks Bella.
"After we cross the plains we'll need to cross the mountain at a low point," Bella explains," the main crossway is owned by Riley. Once we cross we'll be in mutant territory." 
"But we can just go around them can't we?" Nala demands and Bella calmly shakes her head no.
"No, wherever Riley goes the Mutants will go and now that he knows we're here  he won't let us go," Bella describes quickly and Nala frowns. I ponder that statement searching for holes but, coming up with nothing I shrug. I pick up a piece of ash from last nights fire and study it carefully.
"Plains burn don't they?" I inquire and a sly smile creeps across Bella's face. She pulls a dagger from her belt and points it at me. For a second I panic.
"You know, I'll keep you around a while longer I think," she ponders aloud and I breath a sigh of relief. Dylan snorts in amusement and I give him a warning look.
"As if you wouldn't before," he dares to contradict Bella and she whips around so fast I'm surprised she still has her balance. She has her dagger pointed at Dylan's neck in an instant and her expression darkens. A look of sudden panic enters Dylan's eyes but it goes away quickly.
"I'm deadly serious," she retorts with such hate that I'm surprised Dylan made it alive through her words.
"Well, you certainly have the deadly part down," he says confidently and I smack myself for it. Bella clenches her fist around the dagger and I am almost positive that she'll kill him. After a few seconds she puts her arm down and curses under her breath.
"Why can't I kill you?" She shouts at Dylan raising her dagger to his neck again. I steal a glance at Nala but she shakes her head at me. I nod, she's right. It's best just to let Bella go. 
"Say something," she yells at him but he stays silent.
"Say something," she repeats in a whisper as she lowers her hand. She turns her back on Dylan and brushes past me on her way toward her horse.
"You're not going to kill me?" Dylan finally speaks up, his voice shaky and unsure. Bella sighs and lowers her head in submission. Something I never thought I'd see. 
"No. I'm not sure why though seeings how you are annoying and irritating...right. Irritatingly right," she says more to herself than anyone else. I smile as I realize what's going on. Dylan is flirting with the most dangerous woman of all time. Even after I told him not to. She's certainly taking it well.
"Are you sure your not going to kill me? You have the chance and you may not get another one," Dylan says, pushing his limits with that smug look of his.
"This is a mans world 'Dylan'. I don't have time for small squabbles," she sighs and swings herself onto her horse. I watch her canter away leaving us in the dust. That's when I see her reach into the limbs of the trees and break off a dead branch. As her horse passes our fire she leans down and catches the branch on fire. I shake my head. She's pulling a suicide mission here. Dylan draws his sword and swings at the air angrily. When Bella is out of sight he stops abruptly. He lifts his head toward me and I notice the smile that's spread across his lips. A smile of pure joy and excitement.
"She didn't kill me," he breathes and with that he sheathes his sword and whistles for a horse. A wild paint comes galloping from the woods and he runs alongside it until finally he grabs its mane and hauls himself on.
"I'll be back then," he calls as he rides off. The look on Nala's face is hilariously strange. It's a cross between confusion and amazement. 
"What on earth just happened here?" Kara questions as I run after my own horse. If Bella's going to take the mutants down then I'm going with her. The others soon understand my idea and grab their own horses. I gallop my cream mare Annie in attempt to catch up. I grabbed a stick and caught it on fire earlier just as Bella did. The speed is thrilling, the wind in my hair, my heart pounding in the same rhythm as Annie's hooves. Soon I'm closing in on Bella and Dylan who are cantering out onto the plain. Kara and Nala aren't too far behind me. The rush from galloping ends as soon as I catch a glimpse of the mutants surrounding us. Dylan and Bella slowed down a while ago but I didn't. Taking a deep breath and a leap of faith I let out a cry and plunge forward with my fire urging Annie faster. 
"Y'all are too slow!" I shout at Bella and Dylan as I speed past them. I catch a smile on Bella's lips and as I turn away I hear her yell out as well. Her horse gallops past mine and Annie speeds up to try and keep pace. The sound of pounding hooves echoes in my head, signaling that the others followed. I swing my sword left and right stabbing mutants as I fly past. As we reach the end of the plain I drop my burning stick into the tall dry grass. The grass bursts into flames adding to the excitement. I spot Riley eyeing Bella with anger in his eyes. I glance at Bella to find her right arm hanging limply and when I turn back to Riley I see a flash of satisfaction cross his face. I cringe at him, my hate only growing. I find myself lifting my sword to throw but a hand stops me. I look over to see Nala shaking her head at me.
"Don't do it, we're going to make it," she shouts over the wind and a thought of pure dread fills my mind as Annie jumps the fire. We're going to make it. Unchallenged, not followed, not attacked...freely. Riley is letting us go. We gallop until we reach a town and only then do we stop for the night. As I dismount I watch as Dylan lets the wild paint go. I find myself smiling and look over at Bella to notice I'm not the only one. When she sees me watching, her  smile disappears almost immediately. 
"We'll set up camp here," she comments quietly and a thought briefly runs through my mind. Bella's been acting weird ever since the incident with Dylan and I have to wonder if maybe she's falling for him.
"Why can't we go into the town. I'm sure they have an inn," Nala complains guardedly. She has a point. There's no use in camping right outside a town when we're missing out on all the things inside. Bella's expression goes dark and I shy away from her.
"We will 'not' go into that town," she orders and everyone falls silent. No one meets her icy unforgiving deep blue eyes. I risk a glance at Dylan who's eyes are wide and thoughtful. Bella storms away into the trees angrily and I take a deep breath.
"Well, aren't you going to go after her?" Kara prods toward Dylan. He swallows uncertainly and for the first time I see the fear in his eyes. 
"How do you know she'll listen to me?" Dylan retorts and Kara steps forward to challenge him but Nala gets there first.
"We're not idiots, and she's not either. None of us can get around her talent if she chooses to use it but you can. To an extent," she argues. I understand her point but I also understand what she's doing. She's throwing Dylan under the bus so she can save herself from Bella's wrath. And sadly I agree with her. Dylan's the only one who even stands a chance against Bella. Dylan's eyes meet mine but I lift my head and look away. I have not forgiven him yet.

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