Anah wasn't scared of Jack, but she'd known enough bad tempered people to know when to stay away. He sat with his back against a tree and his head in his hands. Anah sat across from him, not touching him. Whether he was crying or not was impossible to say.
The anger and hurt she'd seen in her best friend hurt her heart. "Don't let Rendel break you," She said softly after what felt like ages of silence.
Jack didn't respond, but he placed his hands on his knees. His eyes were dry at least, but filled with a darkness that Anah hated to see in him. She leaned forward on her knees, placing her hands over his in an attempt to soften the look. He just looked past her.
"If you don't want to talk to me, you don't have to. I can talk. I can talk for hours actually, especially to you. Isn't that weird? I never used to talk much. My family didn't like to listen, and I don't like my friends at school. It's kind of strange, isn't it? Having someone to talk to?"
"I had someone to talk to," Jack spoke quietly. "Rendel killed him."
Anah curled her fingers around his hands. "I really care about you, and I hate seeing you hurt. But we can't get rid of Rendel yet. We need him."
Jack pulled her hands toward him, leaning forward until his forehead was against hers. She could feel his breath on her skin, listening to his gentle inhaling and exhaling. "Are we sure we do? How can we trust him?"
She was almost afraid to breathe with his face so close to hers. It made her heart pound to the point where she could hear it. Anah wasn't sure how she and Jack kept getting themselves into awkwardly romantic situations, but she wasn't about to complain. It would've been so easy to close her eyes and tilt her head, but before she could even come close to working up the nerve, Jack pulled his face away.
"Well?" His eyes searched her face.
The pale irises of his eyes caught her attention for a moment before she registered the words he was saying. "What?"
Jack let out a sigh of frustration, throwing his head back and completely ruining the moment. A disappointed Anah tried to take her hands back, but he held tight, moving their hands to his knees again. "Why do you think we can trust Rendel?"
"I don't think we can," she said, tearing her attention away from his bizarre eyes. "But I don't think we have a choice. I believe that he's being genuine...But there's some damage there that can't be undone, and we don't know when he'll relapse. Still, he's the best chance we have at getting Lina back, so please don't kill him yet."
He was angry past the point of reason, and the incredulous look on his face proved that. "You do trust him!"
"I just said that I don't!" Her face warmed in her anger. She felt bad for him, but her pity had a limit.
"He's a liar, a traitor, and a murderer. You can't believe him just because you have some childish crush on him!"
Anah yanked her hands back, jumping to her feet. There were so many things wrong with what he had just said, and it brought tears of anger to her eyes. She had just been trying to help the stupid boy; he didn't need to attack her like that. Anah wanted to scream and curse at him, but words escaped her so she left without speaking. Jack was just as stony silent as she walked away.
"How is he?" Felidy asked as Anah rejoined them.
"He's acting like a bloody five-year-old, so I don't really care how he's doing! You talk to him!"
For a long while, nobody spoke. Roze was still out cold. Someone, Felidy probably, had placed a thin blanket over her to guard her from the cold. She groaned once, her arm twitching. Felidy bent over her to make sure she was okay. That was Roze, always trying to be the center of attention, even unconscious.
YOU ARE READING
Dream and NightmareFantasy
After a storm years ago took the lives of two families near Anah’s family beach house, her fear of the ocean has only grown stronger. When her new neighbor, Jack, introduces her to a world she never knew existed filled with the magic and adventure A...