Something Missed

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In the end, it turned out to be easier for Sanna to take me back to the others and get Śarat to help with the bear. So we ran back to where the rest of the group was.

"Finally!" Śarat said as I slid down from Sanna's back. "Where is the food?"

It is back where I left it, Sanna replied. Bit too big for me to carry back.

Śarat's eyes widened with excitement. "And what did you get?"

I giggled at the two of them, "Sanna got a bear."

Śarat cheered and jumped onto Sanna's back, "Well let's go then!"

Sanna laughed and was gone in a flash.

"Kendra, what happened to your arm?" Suruli stood and grabbed my left arm, gaping at the torn, bloody sleeve.

"I got scratched, it's fine now." I pulled my arm from her grip but it was caught again by Nisvārtha, who was giving me a disapproving look.

I scowled back at him, holding his violet gaze while he pulled up my sleeve.

Everyone gathered around us to look at my arm, and Havala hissed when she saw it.

"What the hell happened?" Nisvārtha demanded, his voice cold.

"I got scratched," I growled.

"That is no scratch," Suruli said sternly. "A cut like that would have been deep and resulted in major blood loss." She looked at me, "I am surprised you are still standing."

I yanked my arm from Nisvārtha's grip and moved away from them all. "I told you that I'm fine. Sanna healed me, and the bear is dead anyway—"

"You got mauled by a bear?" Nisvārtha roared.

I said nothing and avoided his eyes.

He growled, "I knew I shouldn't have let you go, I knew it was too dangerous."

"It's not a big deal, Nisvārtha!" I snapped. "Everything turned out fine!"

"Did it?" He raised a knowing eyebrow, "What happened when you bled, Kendra?"

I froze and looked down at my bare feet, my thumb rubbing at my arm. The guilt of my gift returned, and I felt embarrassed and ashamed.

Sanna zipped out from the trees, Lunch is on its way! he cheered. Coming from above the trees we could see Śarat flying with the bear carcass tethered to her strong body. In a blur of speed Sanna shifted, tugged on his pants and grinned at everyone. "What did I miss?"

Instead of a reply, Nisvārtha turned and punched him in the face.

"Ow!" Sanna let out a string of unfamiliar swears as he held his nose. "What is wrong with you, Shade?"

"You said she would not be in danger, but you brought her back after allowing for a beast twice her size to attack her!" Nisvārtha bellowed.

Am I missing something? Śarat asked, she was cutting herself loose from the bear-tether with her claws.

"Not really," Havala grumbled and threw her arm over my shoulders. "Come on, girls. Let's go."

"I am not finished with you yet, Kendra." Nisvārtha growled.

"Oh yes, you are," Havala barked before I could speak. "I think we have all had enough of your grumbling and sulking for one day. Do you think no one has noticed how touchy you have been since Grey Rock?" Śarat shifted back and put on her clothes before joining Suruli at Havala's side. "Kendra, Suruli, Śarat, and I are going to the stream to bathe and when we get back the food better be ready and this vat of testosterone better be cleared up, because I do not have the patience to deal with it."

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