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.


14. Chapter 9 (Dylan)

I swallow hard and continue walking toward Bella. I can feel her anger and it hits me like an arrow. I stop a few paces from her and lower my head. I'm glad she chose to come over but that doesn't mean she isn't coming over to kill me.
"What do want?" Bella spits, and I can tell she is still angry about the comment I made the last time I was around. I frown but nonetheless answer. After swallowing my pride of course.
"I want to apologize for my comment earlier. It was wrong and it wasn't my place to bring up Riley," I tell her and she flinches at his name. I can't understand why she is so sensitive when I bring up Riley's name. Of course, on the outside she remains expressionless but I know better. 
"Will you forgive me?" I ask quite shyly. I know the answer as soon as her emotions attack my heart. She crosses her arms and turns away from me.
"No," she refuses proudly and I can't help but smile because her emotions tell me differently. 
"Why do you have to be so difficult?" I sigh dramatically knowing she'll fall for the bait. She whirls around but the anger leaves her face. Instead frustration and shock flies from her.
"You better shut that mouth of yours before I shut it for you," she threatens but I don't feel threatened. I smile at her pride. She looks so beautiful when she knows she's wrong. The way she struggles to be right when she knows I have the right answer. I lean against a tree and cross my arms. 
"Okay," I state simply. She opens her mouth and holds her hand up threateningly but then closes it as she realizes what I just said. Shock filters through her as she understands that I'm not afraid of her talent. I take a step toward her and lower her hand for her.
"I'm sorry for bringing up Riley. It was not my place to ask about you're past," I apologize again and this time she lowers her head. Her emotions close up. I no longer feel any emotions from her. Only silence.
"Aren't you curious at all about my past?" She questions sharply in a tone that makes me cringe. Her feelings reveal nothing and I feel terribly lost. I use people's emotions to figure out what to say and how to behave so with Bella being practically emotionless right now it makes me feel powerless.
"I try not to be," I tell her, smirking. She smiles slightly at my comment and I assume that I'm forgiven for my earlier mistake. I let my senses out to scan the forest quickly. I can feel Bella's friends bickering over something and I can sense the restless mutants across the river but someone's moving toward us.
"You need to go," I order but Bella only frowns at me. The man coming towards us keeps a steady pace and Bella only has a few more seconds to leave. Using my gift I send waves of urgency to her, begging her to leave. Terribly confused she turns and hides behind a tree. I lean against another tree, farther away from Bella and try to make himself look as bored as possible. The man slowly walks through the trees purposefully but yet his feelings reveal his anger and frustration.
"You're fairly far away from town," I acknowledge but the man's gaze only darkens. I swallow hard as I feel the coldness billowing off the man even though it's warm out. Pushing away my unease I try again.
"Warm night out huh," I say trying to sound friendly but failing epically. The man's demeanor changes immediately and he holds his hand out in greeting. A smile lights up his face and my gaze flickers to the tree Bella's standing behind. The man follows my gaze but still manages to keep his smile. 
"Indeed, it is a warm night out," the man offers and I grudgingly shake his unnaturally cold hand. A shudder runs through my body and I blink it away quickly.
"Have you by any chance seen a beautiful young woman out here? She has yellow hair and a feisty temper. I would be very grateful if you could point me in the direction in which she is hiding," the man announces and his eyes narrow suspiciously. 
"Such a fair maid as that I'd think she'd stay in town. But here you say that's not true?" I try to buy time with silly questions. I hope Bella will hear and hide. But no, I still sense her right where she started. In the second I blinked the man's hand flies up and catches hold of my neck. He shoves me against a tree so hard that the breath flies out of me. Breathless, I fumble for an emotion to pull from the man but he reveals nothing except a small seed of anger. Struggling for a grip on the man's anger I finally catch hold, pulling it into my chest and acting upon it making the emotion my own. With the same strength as the man I shove him aside with enough force to knock him over. Stumbling forward, I look to where the man fell and finally a clear strong emotion brakes through. Fear. Dented by his anger and curiosity the man is clearly afraid of me. We stand, staring each other down until finally the man backs down. I then realize the message I unintentionally sent to the man. I sent the message that I'll protect Bella if he tries to get close to her.
"I guess the woman I am in search of has not been here," he dips his head politely and leaves, quicker than he came. As soon as he's out of sight Bella shoots out of her hiding spot. Shock cascades from her with enough power to send a wave of pain through my chest. Placing one hand on a tree to steady myself I ease her shock down to a less painful level.
"Do you even know who that was?" She bursts, her shock soaring through the roof again. I gasp at the pain in my chest and bring her shock level down once again.
"I had a good guess," I mutter but Bella doesn't seem to hear me. 
"That was Riley. He's a Cold One," she explains, her feelings mellowing the more she talks. I figured that much out, and I know about Riley from talk in the villages. Rumors about him destroying towns with with his half human half animal creatures had spread far across the country until he was feared by even the most fearless soldier. He seems to enjoy being feared, soaking in it and letting it take over his confidence. That's what made it so easy to beat him. Next time it won't be so easy. 
"You should go. If you stay Riley will hunt you down. It's not safe," she warns me and a smile grows on my face. It turns into a smirk as confusion lights her face.
"Don't you get it? I'm coming with you," I announce and panic as her emotions drop. Scrambling to grasp onto some emotion I smile cockily. 
"No. No you can't come. It's too dangerous, Riley will hunt you down," she reasons but I remain firm with my answer. Finally Bella gives in.
"Fine but you'd better not cause any trouble," she growls at me and I smile. I let my confidence get the better of me and walk in the direction I think their camp is while thinking about how mad Ali will be.
"Hey, hotshot! Wrong way," Bella calls and, red faced, I turn around and walk quickly the other way. My humiliation only grows when I see the look on Ali's face. Pure anger shows in her eyes and the glares she's throwing at me feel like daggers through my heart. Bella comes up behind me and gestures toward me.
"This is Dylan," she mumbles hardly even bothering to give me an introduction before sitting back down at the fire. I can feel the pain from her shoulder and it feels like being stung by a thousand bees in the same spot. I hold the pain in stealing it from her shoulder and claiming it as my own. I feel Bella relax slightly and she throws me a cautious glance. Darkness falls quickly so the five of us huddle around the campfire while temperatures drop.
"You'd think it'd be hot out," Kara mutters while shivering. Ali nods as she scoots closer to the fire.
"You all should get some sleep, I'll take first watch," Bella announces. I figure if I argue I'll lose anyway so I settle down and try to fall asleep.


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