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.


20. Chapter 15 (Dylan)

"Shouldn't she have caught up by now?" I ask Kara who leads the way to the mountain pass. We'll have to get to the base of the mountain and the travel parallel to it until we reach a town. We'll have to pass through the town and then cross the pass. After we cross the pass there won't be any more towns, no more people. No people until we leave the territories.
"That's the 5th time you've asked me!" Kara growls, frustrated with me. Dynamite swivels her ears around. The whites of her eyes show and she sidesteps nervously. Usually I only pick up on human emotions but her fear overwhelms me.
"You're horse is scared," I tell Kara but she only rolls her eyes. I lean back on Annie and she flicks her ears toward the forest Bella went into.
"She must of heard something," Nala reassures me but I raise an eyebrow at her. A neigh rings out loud and clear through the trees. Dynamite neighs back strongly. Annie walks over between Dynamite and Red Willow as I jump off her. I walk to Dynamite and signal for Kara to get off. She scowls but dismounts. I lead the dominant mare in the direction we came but she refuses to go. I tug on the reins urging Dynamite to come farther. She leans back. I hesitate but let go. Dynamite stumbles backwards and flattens her ears at me.
"Dylan what are you doing?" Kara asks irritatedly. I ignore her and pull Dynamite forward again. This time she listens although she whinnies in protest. Suddenly Dynamite's head shoots up and her ears flicker forward. Annie lowers her head and Red Willow gives her a reassuring neigh. Dynamite's eyes search the horizon not blinking for a second. I watch Dynamite's behavior closely along with her emotions. I guess at the rest.
"They ran into trouble. Something...attacked them," I inform the others and they don't take it well.
"We should help her," Ali shouts and Nala nods. I shake my head.
"Too dangerous," I reply. She frowns at me and sticks her tongue out. I throw her a smug smile and she looks away.
"Look, I don't know who you are but I know who Bella is and-" Nala starts but I interrupt her.
"Really. You know her so well you would risk all your lives to save her," I retort. Dynamite takes a step forward but looses hope and lowers her ears. I pause a second hoping it's not true.
"She risked hers for-"
"Shhh," I yell at Nala. She rolls her eyes. Emotions pierce my heart with a poisoning feeling and I sigh with relief. Bella runs toward me with Storm Runner jogging after her. Bella runs to us and drops to the ground in pain. She remains conscious and realization comes slowly.
"What is going on?" Ali questions, confused. The truth fills my mouth like poison, and it tastes like rotten meat.
"She was bit. It bit her," I realize dropping to my knees. I search for a bite mark on her neck and arms. Finding nothing I run my fingers through my hair. Bella groans in pain and I pull away some of her pain.
"What bit her?" Nala interrogates.
"I'm confused," Ali comments and I begin to lift the end of Bella's shirt to search for bite marks on her stomach. She flinches beneath my touch and her hand catches mine before I get very far.
"It. I don't know what it is but it bit her," I answer Nala but I feel my face get red. I brush Bella's hair out of the way and tug her sleeve down. She glares at me and her gaze is filled with hate and pain. I send my worry to her in a wave that goes straight to her heart and her gaze hardens. My fingers trace her collarbone and run along her shoulder stopping on two dots that dripping with blood.
"There," I whisper softly to her and Nala gasps. I can feel the poison in her veins and I know it's too late.
"So...now what," Kara prods and I frown in response. Ali shoots me a worried look and Bella coughs up blood. She's on her knees now and she tries to say something but can't seem to get it out.
"Now, we wait. The poison has already entered her blood so now we wait to see if her body rejects it or accepts it," I explain to them but by their blank expressions I can tell they don't understand.
"I still don't get it," Ali adds and I sigh deciding to start at a different angle.
"The poison from...whatever "it" was, looks and acts the same as human blood so the body can easily take it as its own. If she rejects it she'll live but if she accepts it..."
"She'll die," Ali answers with realization and I nod.
"But she's tough, she'll reject it right," Nala says and worry cascades off her in dull waves. Bella coughs some more and groans again.
"I'm right here you know. Don't talk about me like I'm dead," she moans trying to sound as though she's fine.
"What if it comes back?" Kara questions as she grabs Dynamite's mane.
"It doesn't usually come out of the woods but this one seemed to like Bella's blood so much it might," I inform them. Bella mumbles something but I don't catch it.
"Wait, it's a vampire?" Ali asks confused again. Bella says whatever she said again but I still don't understand her.
"No, but it is similar. The differences are, it can't make more of itself and it doesn't have a face. Only teeth and red eyes," I explain to her.
"How do you know all this stuff?" Nala interrogates drawing her sword and pointing it at me. I bite back my response as Bella begins to speak again. 
"I stabbed it. Hurt it. Injured it. Ran a knife through its side. It'll come back for me," she announces through a mouthful of pain as she attempts to stand. I reach out to help her but she glares at me with such a ferocity that I lower my hand. A new figure reaches the border of my mental perimeter and I force a wave of anger out. Usually if I send out a wave of anger the person will think twice and stay away. Bella narrows her gaze at me but I avoid her eyes. They felt the anger too and it didn't even ward off whomever's coming. My eyes widen.
"Take her and leave. It's coming," I order but it doesn't go over well.
"No, we fight together, no more solo missions," Ali retorts with her head held high. She looks like the noble I used to know.
"You'll get yourselves killed," I protest. The cloaked figure speedily runs toward us. Bella draws her sword but I can tell she's not going to be of much use. Nala and Kara stand almost protectively near Bella and I know she'll be fine.
"Your loss," I sigh as I brace myself. Ali draws her sword last and the horses back away.
"Everything has a weakness. Find it and use it to your advantage," Ali starts as she slowly examines the figure coming toward us.
"Stay clear of its hands. Those could have a death grip. Also don't show fear, it'll pick up on it and attack you first," she continues and I bounce back and forth on the balls of my feet..
"Any weaknesses," Nala prods.
"Wait, Dylan you said it had no face right?"Ali says and I can almost see her running through weaknesses in her head.
"Yeah, legend has it, it was stolen," I respond not making the connection.
"We don't have time for legends! We need a weakness now!" Nala panics as it slows in front of us. Ali flinches as she notices shining fangs floating in the darkness of the hood. Her emotions spike and I know she's got the answer. 
"I got it! Aim for where its face should be!" She shouts just as the beast jumps at me. It unsheathes its long pointed nails and gets ready to dig them in. Ali runs at the thing and quickly stabs it in the face. It turns to her and it's red eyes gleam in fury.
"I was wrong," she whispers in shock.

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