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"I feel bare. I didn't realize I wore my secrets as armor until they were gone and now everyone sees me as I really am."
~ Veronica Roth, Insurgent

"It's time to go," Axel called shaking her slightly

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"It's time to go," Axel called shaking her slightly. Sloane grumped, little unintelligible sounds coming from her mouth as she turned over. He watched her shift down into the blankets a minute before hiding the smile threatening to emerge and shaking her again.

"What?" she asked, her voice muffled where her mouth pressed against her arm.

"I said, it's time to go." Sloane raised her head, eyes blinking a moment before she lay back down.

"Now? It's not even light." A pang of guilt struck him. Until a few days ago she hadn't even ridden a horse and the only camping she'd done was with him and Emerens in a tent. They'd left his uncle's home early yesterday, today marking the start of complete darkness.

"I know and sadly I don't think we'll be seeing light again. We'll be entering the void darkness sometime today." At his words, Sloane shot up looking around their camp. Arne and a couple of his soldiers were preparing the horses, while Emerens helped Selby pack up.

"You let me sleep? Why didn't you wake me?" Sloane asked, moving in a frenzy of flustered moves. She grabbed at her blankets, shaking them until he reached out and stopped her, his large hands covering hers. Her eyes shot up, searching his as he replied.

"Go freshen up, and I'll take care of this." The smile started small soon turning into a beaming grin, the only brightness he'd seen in this dismal place. She nodded grabbing her bag before trudging off towards the small spring they'd made camp near the night before. "Stay close," he called, but she was already on the other side of the small bushes separating it from the activity.

"Here. Let me help." A minute later Selby grabbed the opposite end of the blanket, helping him fold it. Neither said much as they folded it in half and she stepped forward to press the opposite corners into his hands.

"Have you told her?" Selby asked when she stood only inches from him.

"Told her?" Axel scowled at the girl he'd known all his life.

"You know very well what I'm talking about, Your Highness. Don't pretend with me," Selby stated, crossing her arms as she waited for a reply.

"You're worse than a shrink," he mumbled under his breath.

"Shrink?"

"Umm... you know, a psychiatrist? A doctor who meddles with people's thoughts?" Selby looked offended before a slow smile crept over her face.

"First, I do not meddle with one's thoughts. Second, if your thoughts, or rather emotions, weren't blaring across the space separating the two of you, I wouldn't have to say anything." Axel didn't respond, turning to place the blanket on the pile. "Can these shrinks read emotions as well?" Selby asked, following him as he walked away. "If they can't how do they help people?"

Bloodlines: Deceived ~Book 2~Where stories live. Discover now