Lucivar lay on his back in the young grass, his hands behind his head, his wings spread out to dry after the quick dip in the spring-fed pool. Jaenelle and Karla were still splashing about in the cold water, washing the sweat and dirt out of their long hair. He closed his eyes and groaned contentedly as the sun slowly warmed and loosened tight muscles.
Yesterday, they'd awakened just before dawn to find Jaenelle busily rummaging through the food pack. He'd put together a hasty meal while Karla had broken down the camp before the physical tension produced by the drugs forced Jaenelle to move.
It hadn't been the unrelenting drive of the previous days, and, as the day'd worn on, physical tension gave way to emotional storms. Anger would flood her suddenly, then turn to tears. He'd given her space as she raged and swore. Karla had held her while she cried. When the storm passed, she'd been fine for a little while, perhaps as long as twenty minutes. They'd walked at an easy pace, stopping to pick wild berries or rest near a stream. Karla'd kept them entertained with stories of her crazy school and the friends who were like no Blood males or females they'd ever met. Then the cycle would start over, each time with a little less intensity.
It had still been grueling, mind. The first outburst of emotion had hit around noon, the second, a little before three. In between them, there was still the constant movement, the difficult trek made even moreso by the unforgiving pace Jaenelle had set. The intervals had shortened as Jaenelle's body tired, but even their last stretch before making camp for the night had been an hour-long hike, most of it uphill.
Which made today's late start, with the chance to sleep in past sunrise and even bathe a bit, something akin to paradisaical. Smoke was off doing a bit of hunting; the wolf had scented a herd of elk and had gone off to explore. When he came back, Lucivar was thinking of sending him back to the Keep to tell Saetan that they were all right, that Karla was with them, and that they'd be coming home from Askavi in a few more days.
Not that he was going to say anything, but he was proud of Karla. The pace was wearing on her, but she refused to complain and did her best to keep up. She wouldn't know it, but Jaenelle was slowing down a bit for her, making sure Karla didn't get outdistanced. Lucivar was grateful for anything that made Jaenelle take it a little easier. ( Though the next time the little witch cheated him out of the last mug of coffee, he was going to dunk her into the nearest lake. )[NFI, NFB, OOC is delicious. Warning for violence. Text adapted from Chapter Thirteen of Anne Bishop's Heir to the Shadows. All of her narrative is awesome and I never said anything to the contrary. Really. Part 5 of plot (Parts one, two, three, and four). Up early because
I have a problem I AM REALLY BUSY TOMORROW, OKAY?]