Chapter 13: Jungle biome- border settlement
“Terra! What’s wrong?” Dexter’s voice pierced her though her haze.
She felt someone shaking her.
“How hard did she get hit earlier?” Daniel demanded anxiously.
“I don’t know. By the time I was done with my fight I looked over in time to see her drive her knee into her brother face and knock him out.” Dexters anxious voice responded.
A moment of silence followed. “Did you say her brother?” Daniel sounded shocked.
“Yeah he was the one who was escaped his bonds and ran.”
“You’re just now mentioning this?” Daniels voice was irate now.
“She didn’t seem like she wanted to talk about it yet. I didn’t have to tell you anything.” Dexter was getting mad she could tell by the way his voice deepened.
Their conversation dissolved into an argument and she struggled to open her eyes. She was light headed and felt a headache building. She opened her eyes and realized her head was in someones lap. “Guys?” She said softly hoping they heard her over the yelling they were doing. “Guys!” She yelled once it became apparent that they didn’t hear her the first time. She felt hands grab her face and Dexter’s face appeared above he’s, leaving her to deduce that she was laying in Daniels lap.
“What happened?” He asked her with worry written across his face.
“It was too much like last time.” Terra whispered hoping he’d understand what she meant.
His face softened and he pulled her off of Daniels lap and into an embrace. “Oh Terra. It’s going to be okay. We know where he is now and we know he’s alive. That’s more than before.” She held onto him tightly borrowing his strength in that moment. She pulled back from his embrace when she felt Daniels hand on her shoulder. She turned towards her and he pulled her into an embrace as well. “Smile because you found him. And you didn’t even have to go far.” He said jokingly. Terra smiled into his shoulder. She felt more like herself with every moment that passed and she realized in that moment that these two men were both essential parts of her world. They kept her grounded even when she felt like the ground was disappearing from underneath her feet. She pulled from the embrace and looked from Daniel to Dexter. “Thank you.” She stood up slowly feeling the strength return to her limbs. “Let’s get the woman back to the settlement.We should probably set out early to head back to the city.” Dexter and Daniel nodded at her and lifted the woman over their shoulders turning to head for the village.
“We have her locked away in our jail. She’s still unconscious but hopefully she will be awake before its time for us to head out in the morning.” Daniel told her as they stood in the living room of her guest room. the door to her room. When they reached the settlement with the woman, the militia took over on Daniels orders and rushed her away to treat her wounds before she was imprisoned. Terra could have followed but she decided to just go to her room and wait for an update. Dexter decided to go with the woman and followed Daniel as he strode away. Shed been in her room for ten minutes when there was a knock on the door and she let Daniel into the apartment.
She sighed, pacing back and forth anxiously. Everything had gone so wrong.“This whole day has been wild. I planned to leave tomorrow but to head back to the city. I thought I’d have more time outside of it. Ironically though he only reason I wanted that was so I could have more time to search for Tyler.” She stopped pacing and came to a stop in front of Daniel as a realization hit her. “But I guess I already found him...or rather he found me.” Daniel laughed at the shocked expression on her face. “Hey. Breathe. I have a suspicion that you haven’t let yourself just sit down and mentally work through everything. Come on.” He gently stirred her towards the couch and motioned for her to sit. “Okay. How are you feeling right now ?” He asked gently. Terra stared at her hands clasped in her lap. “I don’t know. I’m happy you know he’s alive. Sad that he’s gone missing again. Confused about how he came be in the Desert biome and a bit overwhelmed with everything.” She said, trying to think in the moment.
“Hmmm. Okay. Are you feeling faint right now?” He asked softly as he tugged one of her hands away from the other and held on to it.
“No i’m just really tired right now. And confused.”
“I realized that I need both you and Dexter in my life. You both have a part of my heart and I can’t imagine being without either of you.” She said this quickly before she lost her nerve.
“Hmm, well i’m glad you feel like you can’t be without me. It makes me happy to know that you think about me in the same way that I do you.” He kissed the back of her hand softly. “I saw tonight what you meant when you told me about your bond with Dexter. I can tell you two have together for a long time and i can respect that. But I need you to know that I meant every word of what i said earlier today. I feel like we are on a path to creating a bond stronger than the one that you two share.” He reached for her face and stroked her injured cheek gently with his hand. “ Even if you didn’t choose me I wouldnt be able to stay away from you. I’d be in your life however I can be. Right now you’re torn between the two of us and that’s why it feels so impossible to choose between us. You won’t always feel this way.” He pulled her face towards his and softly kissed her. It was different from the kiss they shared at the club because this time she was aware of who she was kissing. It was a much gentler kiss and she could feel the love he poured into it and he cradled her face in his hands. She gave herself up to the kiss in awe at how perfect it was. She reached up and twisted her hands into his hair and kissed him passionately the same way she did at the club. He chuckled into her mouth and pulled back. “I want to to take the time to enjoy this kiss. It’s no need to rush. I don’t want you to think that that I want anything else from you but your heart right now.” He whispered before he pressed his lips to hers again,kissing her slowly savoring the moment. Terra felt her heart beating wildly in her chest. His kiss undid her defenses and she felt like her heart was in danger of being lost for the first time since she’d found herself in the middle of the bizarre love triangle. After a long moment he pulled away from her. “ I want to kiss you like that everyday.” He whimpered as he rested his forehead against hers. Terra felt so off balance all she could respond with was the truth. “I would like that.” She said breathlessly. He smiled at her and kissed her softly once more. “Sadly I’ve got to go. I have to make sure everyone is doing okay and take care of some other business before we leave in the morning.” He kissed her forehead as he got up and headed towards the door. “Rest up and i’ll see you in the morning okay beautiful?” Terra smiled at his new nickname for her finding that she liked it more than she expected to. “Okay she replied softly, suddenly shy.
He opened the door to see Dexter on the other side of it with his hand raised reaching for the knob. Terra saw Dexters eyes take in her facial expression and the radinet look on Daniels face. He nodded at Daniel and stepped back to let him pass through the doorway then entered himself and closed the door behind him.
“ Are you feeling okay?” He asked after a moment of silence as he walked towards the couch.
“Yeah Im okay. Daniel and I talked about everything. It was just the shock of seeing Tyler again and then having him disappear that caused me to faint. Are you okay? Everything happened so fast I didn’t get a chance to ask earlier.”
He smiled at her. “Of course im okay. Have you met me ?” Terra rolled her eyes and stood up. “Whatever you say superman.” She laughed as she turned to head for her room. “I’ll see you in the morning okay?”
“Wait.” He grabbed her hand and pulled her back towards him. “I wanted to apologize for my behavior these past few days. I can’t get mad that you never thought that we could have a lasting relationship if you’ve never seen me maintain one. It’s not being very fair to you. If you decide that you want to let whatever is between us grow into something bigger than random kisses here and there then i’m all for it. I would be solely with you and only you. I can and will do that for you.” He maintained eye contact as he told her this. Terra could feel her facial expression frozen in shock.
“I can see that you and Daniel have become closer over this past week and I don’t want you to take me out of the running just because you think I can’t be faithful to you,because I can and I gladly will be.” He kissed her hand and smiled at her. “Don’t look so shocked, you’d think i just proposed marriage or something.” He laughed at her expression. “I’ll see you in the morning. I’ll give you space tonight. I know you probably have a lot to think about.” Then he turned and went into his room and closed the door. Terra stood there for a few seconds after he left then slid to the floor and just sat there and stared at the wall as she tried to process everything that had just happened within the last few hours.
Caden looked around the city as they entered through the gates. Their gates seemed to be merely for decoration since they were not actually tall or thick enough to protect in the case of a siege. The walls were also made out of packed snow which caused caden and one of his teammates to exchange glances of disbelief. Alicia walked ahead of them oblivious to their perusal of her city. It looked like all of the buildings were made of packed snow.It was eerily similar to their own city but built with snow instead of wood. The people were all covered in furs just like alicia and her bodyguards. As they cut through the crowd many turned to stare at them. They stood out in their black attire with light woven coats. Compared to the citizens of the city who were covered head to toe in furs it was a vast difference in attire. Since he was looking around at the people and cities he didn’t notice alicia come to a stop in front of him until the last moment. He barely managed to avoid running into her. He heard snickers erupt from behind him. “Follow me.” She said before she entered the building. As they passed through the door it opened up into a big room with a large table inside. Alicia sat down and caden followed her example as the rest of his group formed a semi circle behind him. There was a moment of silence in which they eyed each other before alicia broke the silence.
“ What do you want from us exactly?”
“We would like your support in the upcoming standoff with the desert biome.”
Alicia narrowed her eyes at him for a moment before responding. “ What do you want my people to do?”
“Providing backup in case of an attack. Possibly sending some of your troops to reside inside of our city in case of an attack.”
“What would we get in return?” Alicia wore a calculating expression.
“More medicines for your people and a greenhouse within our biome to conduct some of your experiments that require a warmer climate.”
“Fine. But if the desert biome attacks us we expect the full support of your biome. And we expect a group of your people to remain within our city at all times. Just in case of course.”
Caden hesitated for a moment as he thought that over. It wasn’t apart of the direction he’d received but his mission was to make the deal. “Fine. But it won’t be those who’ve come with me today.”
“Fine,but you will stay here within my city until this is all over.” She arched her eyebrows in a silent challenge as she stared him down.
“Fine.” Caden bit out as he tried to figure out how this was supposed to work out.
“My people will move out tomorrow morning to head for your biome. You will stay here but the rest of your team may leave as long as more come to replace them.”
Alicia stood up. “I will see you in the morning. Show them to their rooms.” She commanded to one of her bodyguards as she turned and left the room.
Jordan stopped where he was as he stared at the beast in front of him. “Another one? How many damn monsters do yall have here?” He threw a glance over at the blizzard hunter who rode next to him on a wolf. In the true spirit of the biome they’d been given snow wolves to ride on while they journeyed back through the biome. It was a nice change from before when they’d walked through both the desert and the blizzard biome on foot because they didn’t want to bring horses from their own biome into others. It had been an annoying trip. Because they were trying to avoid contact with the desert biome they’d traveled on the very edge of the desert biome where it connected with the aquatic biome. All of the biomes were connected. The aquatic biome was in the middle of them all and it shared a border with every other biome. The rest of them were side by side. Jungle,desert,blizzard,and cave. They were currently headed to the edge of the aquatic and blizzard biome but it seemed that every monster within one hundred miles knew they were there and was coming after them. The blizzard hunters they had with them claimed it wasnt usually this bad but it was getting ridiculous at this point. This bear was the seventh animal to attack them just today. The only positive side was that they were almost out of the blizzard biome so hopefully this one would be the last attack from the crazy animals of this land. The blizzard hunters stepped forward to face the bear. It was over ten feet tall,packed with muscle all over its body. Its fur was white and pure as the snow surrounding it and it would have been beautiful in any other setting beside it attempting to attack him. The blizzard hunters surrounded it and attacked as one. It bellowed as it rose up on its hind legs in an attempt to come down and crush one of the hunters surrounding it. This proved to be a fatal mistake as the hunter took advantage of its belly being exposed and plunged their sword in its stomach. Red blood spilled out as the bear lost its momentum and fell forward slumping to the ground in a puddle of its own blood. The blizzard hunters stepped back as a unit and calnly climbed back on to their wolves without saying a word. Jordan looked around at his fellow hunters before they continued riding towards the border. It was was interesting to see the different ways biomes trained their hunters. One thing he knew was that working together was going to be interesting.