Chapter Ten

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Unexpected Enemies

The day had been long and full of silence. Normally Evangeline would not have minded the peace but with no shade or protection from the sun, they had to stop several times to rest and drink. Trying to use the little water they had sparingly was more of a challenge than she had expected. The sun was finally starting to set and the air was less sticky.

She helped set up camp and willed her limbs to cooperate. Her lungs felt full and heavy from the humid air and even a little effort left her feeling out of breath. A longing for the cool air of the mountains overwhelmed her.

A young man from the crew approached her. "I know your feelings about the forest miss, but we think it might be best to stick to the tree line."

She knew he was right, "This sun isn't helping us move any faster. Let's take a break, get some rest and we will travel through the forest first thing tomorrow."

He smiled and ran off to tell the rest of the crew.

"That was awfully understanding for someone who was so convinced we should stick to the coast." A voice said bitterly.

"Ryhan, what is it you want from me huh? I am trying my best here. I'm dealing with everything the same as you." She said irritated.

Ryhan huffed and walked away.

Evangeline liked it better when she ignored her. Ryhan had a sharp tongue and did not hold back often. The few times she had spoken to her since the previous night's events, Ryhan had not hesitated to unleash all sorts of cross words her way. Under normal circumstances, her patience was unwavering, but at that moment, she was ready to throttle her. She glanced over at Ryhan and felt chills as Ryhan greeted her with and icy cold glare.

"THAT'S IT!" She shouted and stalked off toward the woods.

She grabbed the first few branches she could that looked suitable and went back to camp. Picking up the one that felt good in her hand she stepped in front of Ryhan.

For a moment, Ryhan looked alarmed, "What? Are you going to whip me?"

She wasn't sure how to respond, the thought actual felt good in her mind, she pondered it a moment longer than she should have and then did the only thing she could muster...laugh. It was a deep, gut wrenching laugh, which left tears in her eyes and an ache in her belly. The rest of the crew, who up until that point had look on with apprehension, joined in with her laughter.

Ryhan crossed her arms and shifted her weight around. It was clear that she was uncomfortable and unsure of what to make of the scene before her. Evangeline felt bad and composed herself,

"Of course not! You clearly have a lot of anger built up. I thought it best that you learned to handle a sword." She said a little more excited than she had wanted to.

Ryhan raised an eyebrow and looked at her skeptically, "You do know that is a stick right?"

"Yes I know it's a stick," She replied impatiently while adding, "Do you see any weapons around here?"

"I thought you were supposed to train me to use my powers?" Ryhan stated, more impetuously than Evangeline cared for.

"Actually, my responsibility is to get us all to the stronghold. I was willing to help you, but YOU decided not to use your powers. Which isn't making anything easier."

She could tell she was hitting a nerve so she continued.

"In fact it's just making things WORSE!"

"I DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS." Ryhan shouted.

"Like it matters, you don't listen to anything I tell you, you sulk all day feeling sorry for yourself, instead of trying to make things better." She knew the next part would be the final blow but did not care at that moment. "No wonder Gavin left."

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