✯ | chapter one

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"I can't," the boy replied weakly.

"He can't keep up," Finn snapped.

"I said get on your feet," the Grounder demanded, dismounting his horse and making his way over to Finn and the boy.

"Get up!" Finn pressured, trying to pull the boy to his feet.

The Grounder reached out and grabbed the rope restraining the boy, yanking hard on it and sending him to the floor once more. As the boy struggled, the Grounder pulled a blade from his belt before pulling the boy upright.

"No!" Finn shouted. "NO!"

The blade sliced across the boy's throat and he fell to the floor as blood literally spurted from his neck like a fountain. Bellamy and Leila looked away in disgust.

The Grounder, however, looked unfazed as he stared at Finn. "That's one. I lost three hundred."

Blade glistening with fresh blood, the Grounder advanced on Finn, who pushed himself to his feet only to trip and tumble on a tree root.

"Bell," Leila breathed. Bellamy simply took her hand as Finn was backed up to a tree.

Just when Leila thought the Grounder was going to kill her friend, he removed a pouch of water from his belt and held it out to Finn. "Drink. You're lucky. I need to keep one of you alive to talk to the Commander."

Finn began to gulp down the water thankfully as the Grounder pulled him to his feet, mounting his horse before he continued his trek, taking Finn with him.

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At Leila's insistence, they followed the Grounder and Finn through the trees. Leila prided herself in her ability to make anyone do things with the right words spoken to them. All it took to get Bellamy to agree was the threat of no sex and he was game.

Running through the trees, Leila did her best to avoid discovery, especially seeing as she was hardly agile on her feet as of the present moment. At best, she must have sounded like a herd of wild elephants charging through the woods.

Stopping just short of the Grounder and Finn, Leila crouched beside Bellamy once again as Monroe and the blonde boy kept watch, leaning against the trees.

Bellamy turned to Monroe and the boy, who were trying their best to act braver than they were. "I know you're scared. But we are warriors. We can do this."

"How?" the boy asked.

"Simple," Leila replied. "We attack as a team."

"Yeah," Bellamy nodded. "When he goes for me, Monroe and Leila go for Finn. Once he's free, it's five on one."

"What do I do?" the boy asked.

Leila sent him a blunt look. "Try not to die."

"Ready?" Bellamy asked. "One... Two... Three!"

Bellamy sprinted away from them as Leila, Monroe and the boy got to their feet. Leila turned to the two other delinquents. "Wait!" when the two of them stopped, Leila's arms fell to her sides. "He's an idiot."

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