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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9. Chapter 5 (Bella)

"Remind me again why I let you come?" I hiss to the man behind me. I lean farther out from the tree branch I'm on, peering out into the circle but still not turning her back to the man. I don't fully trust him.
"Because I'm charmingly handsome," he says sarcastically. I whirl around on him and slap him in the face. His eyes show with hurt and he winces as he taps his newly red cheek.
"Because I know your name so you feel the safest thing for you to do is take me with you until you can get rid of me," he responds with the same attitude as before. I sigh and glare at him but he's right. If I leave him alone I may never have the chance to kill him again. I flash my sword through the sunlight creating a beam of light that swoops across the ground.
"You know, you could just ask me if the coast is clear," the man suggests. I clench my teeth, there is no way I will ever ask him for something. For a second my deep blue eyes meet his teal ones and I can see he has a gift, a talent. Like me. Whatever talent it is I'm sure I can't compete with it.
"Ok, fine. Tell me if the coast is clear and then leave," I order. He smiles but nonetheless answers.
"The bandits have been gone for a while, your horses are tied up by the campfire, your black haired friend just collapsed from having the blood rush to her head and the pale haired one's next," he informs me. I'm still a little suspicious of this man but I figure I have no choice but to trust him. I only nod and jump from the tree into the circle just as Kara's feet slip. I watch as she falls from the ropes, landing in a heap on the ground. I rush to her side and check to make sure she's  still breathing. Kara's eyes flutter open sleepily and she coughs to signal she's okay. I nod once and move over to Ali who is still hanging by her feet.
"Were you the one in the tree?" Ali asks me as I untie her. Nala suddenly leaps from her spot on the ground and runs off closer to the campfire.
"Is she always like this?" I grumble irritatedly under my breath as I gather our swords that the bandits conveniently left lying about. Storm Runner bursts into the circle of trees breathing heavily and pawing the ground.
"We don't have any more time," Kara realizes as she fumbles to get up. Kara's horse races to her side with the other two following. I hand Ali her sword and watch as she mounts her cream mare. Kara's next and soon the two of them are trotting out of the circle.
"Nala," I hiss, convincing myself to leave if I can't find her. Nala lays on the ground next to the campfire with a hot knife against her side. I know what she's  doing. She's trying to close her side wound by making it scab over. I take away the knife and pull Nala to her feet.
"We don't have time for this Nala," I lecture as I drag her to her horse. Her red stallion stands still as Nala climbs aboard. I jog alongside my horse to the edge of the trees then, mid stride, I jump on. As we ride out of the circle of trees I hear swords clashing together. The blond haired man from before stands sword point away from another man wearing the distinct clothes of a bandit. They stand, with the point of their swords at the other's neck. A stalemate of sorts.
"Give up Dylan," the bandit sneers, his golden yellow eyes never leaving the man who I just ordered to leave.
"You're just jealous I won last time Peter," he retorts with a half-smile on his lips. He looks so confident, so handsome standing in the light. His muscles tense from battle but the laughing sparkle in his eyes still there. I bite my lip and continue to watch the two, fascinated, even though I know the other bandits will be here soon. They circle with their sword tips digging into the other's neck. Blood runs from both their necks making a red carpet on their clothes though neither of them seem fazed.
"Truce?" The man, Peter suggests although he makes no move to pull his sword away. Out of the corner of my eye I see Nala edge away to join the others but not before glancing at the bandit with golden eyes one last time.
"Gettin' weak Peter?" The man teases with the same smile on his face. 
"Never! I'm just saying, the others will be here soon and they won't be as lenient," Peter reasons. The man considers this for a second but still continues to circle. My heart pounds in my chest as I wait to see what will happen. A mischievous grin slowly creeps onto Dylan's lips and his teal eyes show with new hope. 
"Ok," he replies. I grasp Storm Runner's reins as Dylan turns his back to Peter. I know that it's terribly dangerous to turn your back on an enemy. Peter turns his back on Dylan and they begin to walk away. Dylan's eyebrows raise and he half nods in my direction. I smile knowingly, how could I have been so dumb? Of course the fight isn't over. I draw a dagger and toss it, handle first to him. He catches it and grip the handle with a wicked smile on his face. I watch as he spins around throwing the dagger with perfect accuracy. It hits Peter in the calf and he cries out in pain. Immediately Dylan crumples to the ground in pain unexpectedly even though he hadn't been hit. Peter pulls the knife out of his leg and throws it in my direction. Dylan slowly stands as Peter leaves.
"I thought I told you to leave," I question as I jump off Storm Runner to pick up my knife. I pick it up from the ground and slide it back into its spot in one fluid motion. 
"You never said anything about coming back," he answers mischievously with a smile on his face. For a second I almost consider asking him to stay. Asking him to come with me. I can tell for some reason, that he feels the same way but then reality kick in and I stiffen. I frown at him and he looks away.
"I should be leaving," I tell him as I mount Storm Runner. He walks closer to me but stops as I turn my horse away to follow the others. 
"So, can we get something to eat now?" Nala asks impatiently. I sigh and nod. A squirrel shoots out from under a bush and immediately my dagger comes out. I hear the slight rush of it leaving my fingers and the small thud of it hitting the ground. Perfect shot. I lean down over my horse as I pass the squirrel and I pick it up without falling. Storm Runner breaks into a canter and the others follow closely. A shout rings out and I urge my horse faster. The bandits have no horses so they won't be able to catch up. After clearing a far distance away from the bandits I slow to a stop. Nala and Kara immediately dismount and go in search of firewood. Ali gathers the horses and leads them to a patch of tall grass in the setting sun. I scan the woods silently in search of more squirrels. I catch two more before I finally start back to our camp. Nala and Kara already started a fire so I get to work skinning the squirrels. In no time the four of us sit around the fire chewing on squirrel legs. Slowly, I watch as Nala pulls out one of my daggers from her stash and begins carving onto her bow's curves. My hand immediately goes to my waist only to find that the dagger there is missing.
"When did you take that?" I demand, not ordering it necessarily but still with the same firmness. Nala only smiles which turns into a grimace as she clutches her side.
"You need to be more careful with your knives," she responds with a grin. A twig snaps in the distance and my guard goes up. 
"I'll check it out," I sigh as I stand and head deeper into the trees. Soon I can barely see the others and I still haven't found what made the sound.
"What's a girl like you doing in a forest like this? Your from the sea," a voice calls out from behind me. I grip my sword tightly as the man comes into view. It's the same man that saved me. Ugh. I just can't seem to get rid of him. He steps closer and I let go of my sword handle.
"Sorry, we got off to a rough start. Lets start over. My name's Dylan," the man says, the beginnings of a smile on his lips. I catch myself smiling for a second but I quickly shake it away.
"If we're starting over then I don't talk to strangers," I reply, crossing my arms. His eyes light up with amusement and a mischievous smile finds his lips. I try desperately to hide my smile from him but it proves worthless.
"But I'm not a stranger. You know that I'm Dylan," he reasons and I know I'm defeated.
"Well, since you're 'such' a gentleman, sneaking up on me and all I guess it would be a privilege to introduce myself," I tell him in a dramatically sarcastic way. He steps closer than an arm's length and I look up into his vibrant teal eyes that are staring back down at me.
"Bella," I announce simply. He reaches out and his fingers brush against my cheek. I smile slightly but his expression remains calm.
"You better be careful, I bite," I whisper as his fingers slide down my lips gently. 
"I bite harder," he murmurs as he kisses my wrist lightly. I pull away because no one has ever kissed me before. Reacting on instinct my hand raises automatically and meets his cheek. Hard. He backs up a step and touches his tender cheek which is rapidly turning red.
"Serves you right," I mutter as I drop my hands to my sides and leave him. Walking back into the shadows I don't look back. Not once.

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