chapter 18

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Izara opened her eyes to the bright morning light coming in through the windows above and groaned. She really needed to change the shutter setting to open midday instead of allowing light to come in butt ass early in the morning.

Sitting up with a yawn, she could feel the tangled cape her wavy hair made down her back. Memo to self, use the printer to print out a comb.

Movement to her right caught her attention and Izara looked to see Bor silently clipping his pauldron armor onto his shoulder.

"Wait, are you leaving already?" Her voice was still a little croaky from sleep.

Fully dressed now, Bor grabbed his weapons from the little hooks that lined the wall near his bed. Last night she had pushed herself to stay awake so that she could ask him all the details of his hunt. Surprisingly the yautja complied, even if she did detect the surly undertone to his words. He told her that he suspected that the mysterious creature was both a pack and solitary hunter judging by the numerous tracks. The revelation only made her shudder. Something that could cloak itself to its surroundings and hunt in a pack against one youngblood without its mask. It seemed beyond dangerous, yet here he was grabbing his last weapon, his bow which was currently compressed, and getting ready to leave.

Alarmed to see him head for the door, Izara jumped up and slipped on the white shirt and shorts she printed with the textile printer yesterday. "Wait," she called out.

Already outside, Bor paused and turned his head only slightly until one red eye looked at her over his shoulder.

Catching up with him, she blinked and tried to formulate the best argument. "I know that you have seemingly every weapon known to mankind on you, but what if-"

Bor stiffened suddenly and her words fumbled.

Izara frowned and stepped back from the sinister glow in his eyes that nearly drowned out his pupils.

She cleared her throat and looked away. "I was just saying that maybe going to fight a pack of unknown monsters on this planet full of other unknown monsters may not be-"

Bor took a menacing step towards her. The mandibles that normally covered his mouth tightly were flexing with each breath showing her peeks of his fangs beneath.

"You doubt my abilities?" he sneered.

Izara swallowed the lump of cold fear in her throat only for it to turn into cold fire in the pit of her stomach as she tilted her head back to stare at the towering hostile yautja in front of her. What did she say wrong? Couldn't he see that she was worried that something would happen to him? "I mean no, but-"

He let out a short snapping roar that felt like a slap to the face. The sound shut her up immediately. Anger rolled off him like electricity, charging the air around them.

Izara took a step back. She was visibly trembling with the need to run and cry at the same time. Keeping her mouth firmly shut, she bit her tongue to keep the tears stinging in her eyes at bay.

Bor gave her one last evil stare in warning before turning on his heel with an arc of his spines.

She just stood there like a statue even after he disappeared through the rock wall's opening.

###

It took him only minutes to cross the small island and over the precarious atoll hidden under the ocean, but each step felt heavier than the last.

With a rumbling snarl, Bor tried to push the image of her--of Izara--out of his head.

Deep into the night, she chatted happily in the dark only a few feet away. She wanted to know everything, every detail of his hunt and his quarry. Even as the need for sleep slowed her words and her body shifted in the coverings her curiosity burned brighter than the blue moonlight that spilled into their pod.

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