chapter 11

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Was that his voice? Or was that thunder from above. Goosebumps covered her skin as she replayed the words again in her head. The sound of his voice was expectedly deep, but there was an inhuman quality to it that reacted almost chemically to the human part of her screaming for her to run.

She paused as the meaning of his words finally clicked in her head just as thunder rumbled through the sky. "Wait...what?" She frowned, desperately needing clarification. "What are you saying?"

Half hidden by shadows and half illuminated by the fire light, the tall yautja kept his crimson gaze steady on her. "You killed them," he said simply, gesturing one clawed hand toward her.

Izara shook her head. Small almost mist like rain drops began to coat her skin, but she couldn't think about that. His words...what he was saying...it was wrong. He had been the one to save her. She could still see him there holding one of the men's severed appendages surrounded by blood.

"No," she began firmly, despite her spinning thoughts. "You were right there. You-"

His bright eyes suddenly flashed in frustration and he looked down, causing some of his long spines to fall over his shoulder framing his face. He just stood there as the seconds dragged like minutes. His predaceous eyes hidden from her at this angle. It was as if he was contemplating something as he stared at the ground.

Izara knew the moment the long curving blade snapped free from his gauntlet that he had come to his decision. Her stomach twisted in dread as she hastily stepped back down the slight slope in the terrain where the sandy beach met the dirt.

Thunder rumbled louder now calling forth more rain. The gauzy like spray answered the call immediately until everything below was being pelted with the cool fat droplets. Immediately, the fire was doused sending them into darkness. Soaked now, Izara wiped quickly at her eyes as she tried to keep an eye on the hunter.

"I did not witness your fight." Even through the falling rain, she could clearly hear his heavy voice rivaling the shuddering thunder above. "I heard their screams through the door," he explained.

That made no sense. Why was he saying this? What purpose was there to lie about saving her? Glancing to his drawn weapon, Izara pressed her lips together to hold back a cry. The serrated edge of the twin curving blades made her insides turn to liquid. She should have never saved him. Regret and self recrimination seeped into her blood like a toxin as she remembered how foolish she had been around him. She had went out of her way to ensure his safety and for what--to be killed like this. It made no sense.

Izara shook her head again, fueled by the tiny spark of anger at how this was all turning out. "No," she began again. "You saved me and...I don't understand why..."

The yautja spoke again cutting off her muddled words. "They call you defect. Why?"

Izara blinked the rain from her eyes and rolled her lips inward, sealing them shut.

The rolling clicks of dissatisfaction permeated the air around them. With the rain she could barely make out his form in the dark, but she could see his ruby eyes move closer.

"No, please just stop," she held out her hands. For some reason all she could envision was his blade coming at her out of the darkness and slicing through her middle leaving her lifeless and mutilated like Shane. The tears she had been holding back until now escaped her, welling in her eyes and running down her rain soaked face. "I thought...I thought we were getting along," she cried even as she stepped back along the uneven sand.

His eyes winked out for just a second before coming back brighter than before. A shuddering growl shook the air and Izara knew it was not thunder.

Desperate she tried to step back faster, but something caught underneath her boot and she tripped backward landing hard onto the wet sand.

The red eyes came at her faster until they were only a yard away. There was no moonlight, no lights from the pod, and no firelight. There was nothing to illuminate the angry youngblood standing before her, but there was no need. Izara could see the bright red eyes staring down at her waiting and watching. She could see the anger in them and...was that confusion?

"Please don't," she begged, scooting back along the sand, hearing the ocean waves not too far behind her. "Please don't hurt me."

The red eyes narrowed just as white hot veins crackled across the sky illuminating his figure for a fraction of a second.

Izara screamed. The blade of his gauntlet was directly above her, only inches away--prepared to strike.

She didn't wait any longer. Scrambling to her knees and hands in the wet sand, she crawled frantically until her feet found purchase. She ran. She ran blindly through the sand. Keeping the beach to her right and the jungle to her left, she pushed all her senses into running away. She didn't listen for heavy steps behind her and she didn't dare look back.

She just ran.

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