Lacey had expected to start hunting right away, but it had been three days. She needed a reason to leave camp, to bring Devan food and supplies. She left him with a water skin, but it was hardly enough for three days. It was her duty to help him and she was afraid she had failed, but she was more afraid of what would happen if someone saw her sneaking off and discovered that she was hiding him.
Lacey wondered if the water from the spring had healed the gash in his leg like her hands. It could be the spring’s magic took longer on more serious injuries. Or maybe the injury had to be bathed in the actual spring, not just dabbed at with a magic-water soaked cloth. Even if he was healed, he was still lost and alone. She needed to go back.
“Blayd!” she said, stomping toward him with determination. “Am I hunting tonight?”
Blayd quirked a brow at her.
Lacey put her hands on her hips and did her best impression of Ms. Tona’s “don’t-give-me-any-nonsense” glare.
Blayd laughed—or what she had learned to interpret as his laugh, it sounded like how a dog panted when roughhousing. He laughed so much that he fell against Berellan next to him.
Berellan smirked, “I think she could take down prey with just that look alone, Blayd. Give the girl a chance already. The rest of us are tired of hearing her pester you every single night.” The old bear made sure Blayd had recovered enough to stand on his own, and then ambled off to make his preparations elsewhere.
“Well?” Lacey resisted the urge to tap her foot. Her Ms. Tona impersonations hadn’t gotten her anywhere.
Blayd sighed and nodded.
“Finally!” Lacey felt some of her tension ease. A new tension replaced it. Would Devan still be there? Still be alive? Would he even accept her help?
The wolf-boy held up a single clawed finger.
He pulled out a length of rope and with surprising swiftness tied it into a simple snare trap. Then he undid it and held the rope out to her.
“Are you kidding?”
Lacey had learned trapping from Riley. All any hunter needed to survive was a good knife and the resources the forest provided. She took the rope and tied it like Riley had shown her. She was not as fast as Blayd, but it seemed to be good enough for him. He nodded again, and tucked the rope away.
“So that’s all we do at night? Run trap lines?” It wasn’t the most exciting form of hunting. Lacey had expected the night-hunters to hunt like animals.
The wolf-boy cast a questioning glance in the direction of Geoden and his cats, who lounged around the campfire. It was still light out, still their time as lords of the fire according to the unspoken rules of the Wished Camp.
The others acted like Blayd was incomprehensible to them most of the time. His simple gestures and body language were easier for Lacey to read than some of the humans in Pine Ridge. He wore all of his thoughts and feelings in plain sight. She knew what he was saying with that glance.
“Of course I wouldn’t rather hunt with them!” She was hurt he had even asked. But he was right. She had no business even thinking about hunting big game with a spear or a bow. She didn’t need any reminders of what had happened to her friends from the village so soon.
Blayd’s face showed surprise.
“You better not be surprised that I don’t want to hunt with them.” A smile cracked her lips. She knew it was her understanding him so easily that had surprised him.
He waved his hands in an emphatic no. His face took on a forlorn puppy look and he gazed up at her with his deepest apologies.
Lacey covered her laugh with her hand. She wondered if the others just put on an act of misunderstanding because he was so sensitive to making sure nobody misunderstood his intentions.
He blew out his cheeks and then motioned for her to fetch her gear and meet by the campfire when the first moon rose.
Authors Note: Sorry its such a short bit, but I have more coming tomorrow. I got a little behind but I have a write out planned tomorrow with friends and I will get caught up :D
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Lacey is a bat girl. Seven years ago, her mother wished at the well in the heart of the Wish Wood, transforming a young bat-ling into a human girl--mostly human. But Lacey is growing up, Mama has a real daughter now, the kids in town tug on her poin...