Okay sooo, sorry for the long wait, but actually, this was much sooner than I expected, since I'm still in the middle of exams =( 

It's a good thing for you I was so obsessed with this chapter, there were so many places I was going to cut it off, but then just kept going, and I promise it was worth the wait =) I love this chapter, you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll love me, then hate me, but that's all I'm going to say.

P.S!!!! Listen to this song, the lyrics are at the end and believe me, this song was like WRITTEN for this chapter. I swear, it was like destiny. I was listening to the radio a few days ago, flipping through, when this song caught my attention, I'd never even heard it before and then I found the lyrics and it was an OMG moment. It's like when the stars all line up perfectly in the sky... =) 

ok enough ranting go read!

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I turned to him with a smirk and he looked momentarily taken aback. I watched him tensely, and was rewarded with a breathtaking smile before he burst out laughing. It rang clear and loud, completely uninhibited, and I knew it came straight from the heart. I was surprised that no birds had taken flight at the sudden noise. He laughed for a long time, and I grinned, feeling happier just from hearing it.  

"You are something else Cece" He said when he had managed to control himself. 

"Well, I guess I'll take that as a compliment" 


Chapter 24 - Bend or Break?

I woke up the next morning feeling tired from not getting much sleep the night before. I guess we had stayed up longer than I thought. But then again, when I finally had fallen asleep it had been deep and peaceful.

I looked up and noticed with alarm that the sun was quite high in the sky. We'd already lost several hours of riding!

I turned to wake up John but didn't see him beside me anymore, nor was any of his stuff here. That was odd. If he'd been up early why hadn't he woken me up?

I rolled up my blankets and rubbed out any signs of where I'd slept. I was surprised to see that John had already done the same to his spot.

Walking out of the trees, I saw the horses still tethered where we'd left them last night, all packed and ready to leave.

I walked to the edge of the trees, keeping to the shadows so I could scan the road, with the plain stretching ahead of me as far as the eye could see. I felt heartened by the sight, knowing those grassy roads were the only thing separating me from home.

The familiar sound of a sword cutting through air caught my attention and I turned around, listening to where it had come from. I followed the noise back into the tress to a small clearing, my gaze landing on John while he was in the midst of a complex pattern dance, one I'd taught him.

I followed his movements in awe, surprised at the new grace in his steps. As I followed the downward swipe of his sword I realized, to my embarrassment, that he wasn't wearing a shirt. I felt my face go red and quickly turned away, but not before the image was imprinted in my mind.

I was extremely grateful that he was still too caught up in his training to notice my presence. My eyes drifted back there, despite my silent scolding, to admire the way his muscles flexed with each movement.

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