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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12. Chapter 7 (Ali)

"My map!" Someone shrieks so loud it echoes on and on like broken record stuck on the same annoying note. I stir in my sleep and finally decide that there is no way I'll be able to sleep now that Nala found out what I've done to her map. As I sit up I notice a pile of apples next to me. Dylan. No doubt. Well, then again it is hard to think with Nala screaming.
"Shut up already! What's it say?" Kara growls, immediately shutting Nala up. Although I already know I can't read it I make it a point to look over the words as if the language magically changed overnight. 
"I know what that is," Bella announces seeming, in surprise herself. We turn to her waiting for her to continue.
"Riley created a language a few years ago just for people loyal to him so he could pass notes back and forth. I can't read it but I know people who can," she continues. I can tell she's lying, she can read it. But why won't she?
"I can," Kara speaks up, "I can read it." I frown but quickly hide it as Kara begins to read.
"Dearest Bella, I suppose you thought you could hide forever but I will find you and your newfound friends. Have you forgotten I own the only pass in the mountain? You must be wondering how I would know that the red head thief  would steal this map. Well, I didn't. But Bella, please don't give up...I love it when you put up a fight. With love, Riley," Kara reads. I turn to Bella thinking she'll look like she wants to hide but instead she remains as expressionless as ever. 
"Lets go, we need to move. Now," she orders. I start packing up things although I didn't  make that choice. Bella chose my actions for me. I pass out the apples and we eat them quickly. Soon we're all mounted and off into the dawn light. As I look between the trees I can almost catch a glimpse of Dylan. I shake my head, Dylan needs to stay behind where he belongs. He rides alongside me as he always does, he has a knack for riding wild horses that come to him. I can picture him on the deep brown horse he'd ridden last time we raced across the stretch of land between the ocean and my father's land. He teased me, saying that my small gray mare couldn't out race his wild stallion. I  pushed the little mare as fast as her legs could go. I remember it clearly, as if it happened yesterday. He turned to me and smiled mischievously as he stood on the stallion. My eyes had widened in surprise as he "surfed" the horse. In my second of lost concentration Dylan sped the stallion up, passing me and beating me by a mile. Afterward we sat on the beach eating apples as the sun set in front of us. I told him I was leaving and he asked why.
"Because I have too," I told him. He frowned and brushed the hair from my face.
"You don't have to do anything," he muttered under his breath. I brushed his hand out of the way and pushed him away.
"You don't understand," I half pleaded with him. 
"Then let me come with you," he reasoned but I ordered him to stay telling him that I would be expected. I shake away the memory and concentrate on my cream mare, Annie. Bella holds her hand up and silence filled the air on her command.
"There's a river up ahead, we might as well stop and bathe. Refresh ourselves," she announces although I hear no river. But, true to her words a few paces later there it it, the river. The four of us split up and I hurriedly wash in the deep water. I know Dylan is in the area I and need to find out why. Voices echo from down stream. I cautiously creep through the trees, trying to get as close to the sound without being seen.
"You turned into a brunette on me," a voice I recognize teases. I peek out from the tree I'm hiding behind to find I'm right. Bella stands, hair wet, sliding her daggers back into place. 
"You idiot, once my hair dries it'll be blond again," Bella tells him as she reaches down to pick up one of her daggers near his feet.
"You better be careful, I might throw you in," Dylan warns but even I can hear the challenge in his words. I smile as Bella steps closer to him, not believing his words. In a flash his arms wrap around her and she goes flying into the water. Bella resurfaces quickly with a smile on her lips and Dylan laughs. He holds his hand out for her to get out and she accepts it. Just as Dylan begins to pull her out she pulls him in with her. I laugh but quickly cover my mouth. They make such a great pair.
"This is cold!" Dylan exclaims and I sigh as I turn away to find my mare. The cream mare had decided to play in the water and is now soaked from head to hoof. I roll my eyes as Annie splashes her hoof against the water and then squeals in delight as the water touches her nose. I walk into the water to catch her and just as I reach her Annie decides to roll, spraying me. Frowning I try to shake some out the water off but realizing how silly I look I begin to smile. Annie stands and wraps her neck around my back giving me a wet hug. I giggle as her warm breath tickles my neck. I turn and hug my horse gently, careful to avoid the wet parts of the mare's neck. I catch the mare by her reins and lead her over to where Nala and Kara are standing. Bella comes up beside me and I realize we're both soaked.
"What happened to you two?" Nala interrogates. I look from Bella to Nala and back again before opening my mouth.
"None of your business," Bella answers for me as she storms passed all of us angrily. Nala raises an eyebrow at me and I shrug my shoulders in return. Who knows what happened to Bella. Dylan must have done something. I shake my head and lead Annie over to where the other horses stand. I walk back over to the river and fill my water container. Kara walks over to me and crouches beside me to fill her own water container.
"What's up with Bella?" Kara questions quietly. I sigh in frustration but nonetheless less answer.
"Bad day?" I guess referring to the way she snapped at Nala. Kara frowns and suddenly I realize that was not what she was talking about.
"No, I mean one minute she's all loopy and the next she's back to her normal self. I think she's hiding something from us," Kara whispers as Bella comes closer to the river. Before I get a chance to reply Bella stands up so quickly it startles Kara.
"Do you hear that?" She breathes, determination written all over her face. In seconds she's climbing a tree to get a better look. Kara and I share a look and silently decide to follow her up. Nala's red hair can be seen through the branches and she pokes her head down to us. I have no clue as to when she climbed into the tree.
"You have got to see this."

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