✯ | chapter seven

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A FEW NIGHTS later, give or take, Leila was sitting in the camp when suddenly a loud, childlike cry caught her attention. Following the whimpers, she found a girl sleeping against a tree, jerking around as her face contorted in terror. Reaching out tenderly, Leila gently placed a hand on her shoulder gently, jumping back slightly when the small girl with her hair in braids shot upright with a loud gasp.

"Hey, wake up. It's okay. It's okay," Leila soothed. "It was just a dream. You're Charlotte, right? I'm Leila," the small girl hugged her knees as Leila readjusted her position to sit beside her. "It's okay to be scared. Do you want to talk about it?"

"It's... my parents," Charlotte said sadly, after a long pause in which she sniffed loudly, tears brimming in her eyes. "They were floated and I... I see it in my dreams and I just–"

"Yeah, I understand," Leila nodded. "My mom was floated, too," Charlotte looked up at her and Leila smiled slightly, encouraging her to believe that she was okay. "So how'd you end up here?"

"Well... they were taking my parents' things to the redistribution centre and... I kind of lost it. They said I assaulted a guard," Charlotte replied.

"I can't say I blame you," Leila shrugged. "When my mom was floated two years ago I punched a guard in the face and that's how I ended up here."

"Really?" Charlotte asked, wiping her nose with her hand.

"Yeah," Leila nodded. "I flipped when they took the necklace she always wore, punched this guard in the face and got myself arrested. I got to keep the necklace, though," Leila pulled a simple golden chain with a horseshoe dangling from it out from beneath her shirt and showed it to Charlotte. "This has been in my family for generations."

"It's beautiful," Charlotte smiled.

"The one good thing that ever came from my family," Leila muttered beneath her breath, before she looked up at the sky, raising a hand with her index finger outstretched, the rest of her fingers burying their nails in her closed fist. "You see that bright star up there? That's the Ark orbiting above us. And I think whatever happened up there, you know, the pain... maybe we can move past that now. Maybe being on the ground is our second chance."

"Do you really believe that?" Leila asked.

"I'm trying to," Leila replied.

Charlotte wiped her tears as Leila wrapped an arm around her, allowing her to fall asleep once more, and this time, she slept soundlessly. Little did Leila know, Bellamy Blake was watching her encounter with the child, wondering how someone so sarcastic could become so selfless within a few seconds.


The next morning, after a sleepless night, Leila was up in the second storey of the drop-ship, leaning against one of the seats with her head resting on her arm as Clarke tended to Jasper, whose moans had kept half the camp awake that night.

"The Grounders cauterised the wound," Clarke announced, examining the wound on Jasper's chest. "Saved his life."

"Saved his life so they could string him up for live bait," Finn replied. "Garden of Eden this ain't."

"This is infected," Clarke pointed out. "He could be septic."

"Any progress on using the wristbands to contact the Ark?" Clarke asked Monty, who was watching Jasper almost blindly. Clarke stared at the boy. "Monty?"

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