Chapter Eleven ~ Moving: Out, On, and Forward

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"What are you doing?"

"Leaving," I stated.

Aiden looked as if I'd thrown him twenty yards across the room. Then he proceeded to grab my arm. "You can't."

"Watch me," I snatched my arm out of his grasp and zipped up the small bag that held my measly belongings.

"Cashile--"

"I have to leave. Don't hold your breath on my homecoming," I cut him off.

I had made up my mind. I wouldn't rest until the rising Phoenix had been... taken care of. And these two were holding me back.

"But Aisa--"

"Is your brother," I said. "Not mine. He's just another stupid little genin."

He grabbed at my wrist once more. "At least explain," he begged. I stared at him incredulously. He was acting as though this should affect him on a personal level. I was just someone letting him use my apartment. Nothing more. Nothing less. So why was he acting as though this was the end of an era?

I shrugged my shoulders in a nonchalant manner. "I have some business to take care of. It takes precedence over anything else," I informed, implying exactly where he stood in my list of importance.

His expression hardened slightly, a guarded look replacing the desperation from moments earlier. "Does this have to do with what happened the other day? When you told me and Aisa to take off?"

I never did say Aiden was stupid.

Okay maybe I did once or twice...

"Doesn't matter," I brushed off casually and reclaimed my wrist once more.

With a sigh of defeat Aiden massaged his temples. "At least tell me if you're coming back."

I hesitated in my thoughts. "Maybe. Depends," Not that he would want me to come back if he knew why I was leaving.

But that was none of his business. And I was done being weak. It was time for me to prepare to make moves, not just wait to defend against an attack.

And I didn't see the logical point of coming back, unless it was to reclaim my apartment once and for all.

He let out an exasperated breath. "It's never a straight answer with you, is it?"

"Sushi in the fridge. Eat it for dinner. There's some stew also, frozen. Heat it on the stove for 10 minutes, add milk if necessary," I informed, holding a neutral expression. "I can't take it with me, so you might as well have it."

"Cashile--" Aiden pleaded.

"I'll see you around, Aiden."

***

Outside the apartment complex I rested against a bench and took a deep breath of fresh air. I suddenly became tempted to claw furiously at my chest. There seemed to be a rock embedded there.

Slowly my breathing became heavier and heavier. Something was blocking my airways.

An allergic reaction?

Impossible.

The only health issues I've ever really had were inflicted upon me during training. And I haven't taken any hard hits in a while. I couldn't be c-- no way. I immediately dismissed the thoughts from my mind and shut down the waver of emotions I had allowed myself to feel. I could physically feel my eyes deaden and my thoughts cleared.

"Cashile?"

My leg shot out immediately, aiming a precise kick towards the jaw of the intruder of my thoughts before I could stop myself. Thankfully Sakura had attained some skill while I had been away. She deflected my kick fairly easily.

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