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Chapter 7: Jungle biome -settlement outside of the wall

Terra sat up in bed trying to figure out what had abruptly woken her from her sleep. She had her own room in the building they were staying in. Dexter and Daniel both had rooms on either side of hers. When they’d arrived at the settlement the people tried to put daniel in the nicest building. She supposed he was important in this militia. He’d told her he was the leader but she didn’t think he meant leader of the entire group. Terra stretched and hopped out of bed , pulling on her pants and grabbing her sword as she went to open her door, “Who is it?” She asked cautiously. Even in a safe settlement danger always lurked.

“ It’s Daniel.” Terra rolled her eyes and took three deep breaths before she opened the door. There he stood smiling at her as if she’d invited him over at such an early hour.

“Yes?” She inquired politely ready to get this interaction over with.

“I wanted to know if you wanted to take a walk with me this morning.”

She pretended to think about it. “I would... however I haven’t eaten yet so Im afraid I cannot.”

“I can cook for you.” He offered instantly with no hesitation.

“ No need. I was just going to grab a muffin.” Terra automatically responded the politeness ingrained in her by her mother taking over.

“ I have one in my room you can have.” He cheerfully announced.

Terra sighed and admitted defeat mentally. “Okay sure. Let me get my jacket.”

She turned and went back into her room and pulled on her jacket and shoes quickly. Once she had them on she ran into the bathroom to brush her teeth and brush her hair into a neat ponytail. She emerged a moment later and strapped her sword across her back in its regular carrier. Daniel still stood in the same spot. She exited her room and locked the door behind her. She then turned to follow him. As promised he retrieved a muffin from his room and tossed to her. She ate it as she trailed behind him as he walked , weaving a path between the buildings of the settlement. Terra thought the way they set up everything was amazing. All of their buildings were made from wood, simplistic and elegant at the same time. All of their buildings were all one story yet they were immense, some even stretched as far as a mile. They were divided into separate rooms so one building could hold at least 10 rooms. It was all very beautiful but she knew they made it that way with functionality in mind not appearance. She loved how people outside of the walls lived. She was so focused taking in her surroundings that she didn’t hear Daniel when he called her name.

“Terra?” He repeated, concern lacing his voice.

“Hm?” She asked finally tearing her gaze from her surroundings to look at him.

He took a deep breathe. “I said i’m sorry for what I did all those years ago.”

Terra stopped walking immediately and turned away from him to hide her murderous expression. They’d reached the edge of the forest where the clearing ended.

“Is that what you brought me out here to say because sorry isn’t going to cut it.” He was clearly delusional if he thought that’s all it took for her to forgive him.

“I know that,which is why i’m going to find your brother for you.” He said easily as if it were a simple task.

Terra spun around to face him and glared at him venomously.

“That isn’t funny. Do you really still think my relationship with my family is a laughing matter?”

He backed away from the look on her face. “I’m not joking. I thought about what Dexter said and he’s right. You will never forgive me or be with me until Tyler is found safe so I have to make that happen. I was just a kid when the attack happened and I made a bad decision. I see that now. I can understand why you hate me but I still love you. You are the sun and the stars in my world. Everlasting and beautiful. I would do anything if it makes you happy. My love for you is no laughing matter.” He asserted passionately staring intently into her eyes.

Terra felt as if she’d been knocked over by a Spiinder’s leg.

“Uh , What?” She shrieked in disbelief. “You pop up after four years and tell me you love me like nothing between us has changed? Like we are still that teenage couple from four years ago? I am not that same girl. If you expect me to take you seriously then i’m going to need a lot more from you than pretty words this time.”

Daniel grinned at her outburst. “Whatever you want you shall have it. Once I find your brother you will choose me over Dexter.” He announced so confidently that Terra felt a laugh building in her chest.

“This isn’t a competition between you two. This is me doing what I need to do in order to find my brother and even if me and Dexter are together it’s really none of your business anymore.”

“You are my business.” He growled losing his grin as he clenched his fists.

“No. I’m truly not.” Terra replied as she turned to walk back towards the settlement alone.

Terra watched Daniel ride about ten feet in front of her and Dexter. When they sat out this morning Daniel had decided to ride far in front of them instead of the straight line they’d rode in the day before. Dexter rode next to her and they’d spent the morning talking. Things between them were comfortable as always. She’d been worried that things would be different between them since their kiss the night before. She felt like he was trying to prove a point to her that things could be different and still the same. As Dexter and her fell into a conversation lull she watched Daniel ride ahead of her. He claimed that morning that he was going to find her brother for her. She knew it was just because he thought they would get back together if he did but she still hoped he found Tyler. If she were honest he wasn’t such a bad guy besides his compulsive need to try to micromanage her whenever he thought she was in danger. Terra smiled to herself . The micromanaging was a big issue that he would need to fix before he could have a relationship with anyone. She secretly wondered how things between them would go if he found tyler. Truly his actions that day were the biggest obstacle to their relationship. She continued to stare at him as she debated mentally. He was still gorgeous. His blond hair shone brightly in the sunlight and his blue eyes were intense as ever. He’d added a lot of muscle since she last knew him. His shoulders and arms where layered in it. She would bet money that his legs were as well. She thought back to their kiss they shared at the club. She wondered if the Passion they shared was because of the atmosphere or if they would have that passion in any environment. Terra shock her head to jolt herself out of that train of thought. She didn’t have time for the love triangle foolishness. Even though she felt that she was already in one.

She noticed Daniel stop his horse suddenly and dismount. Dexter and her automatically dismounted as well and stood still to watch their surroundings. Dismounting was known as the universal sign of ‘I heard something’. It was obvious he sensed something he couldn’t see yet . Terra watched Daniel slowly swung his bow around so he could use it just in case. She unseathed her sword and saw Dexter do it the same beside her.

Daniel waited, listening carefully. He heard movement behind him,he turned quickly and aimed his bow towards the sound. The jungle had gone deadly silent signifying there was a predator nearby.

Daniel continued scanning,waiting. He swung around his bow just as a bright purple cat with tall, slim, long-legs burst from the trees surrounding him. It had a coat of light purple and a long white-tipped tail with long black glistening claws protruding from its paws. Its face was round with bright green eyes,small ears and a distinctive heavy brow. It had extremely sharp teeth long, curved saber-shaped canine teeth. The large maxillary canine teeth extended from the mouth even when it was closed. Making it an alluring but dangerous appeal to the eye. The wildcat circled him for a moment and he tensed with his bow pulled back waiting for the attack. Finally after eyeing him for a moment the cat swiftly lunged.The cat wasn’t faster than Daniel enough however and he aimed and shot off three arrows before the beast was close enough to strike. Daniel watched sadly as the beast fell to the ground. He hated killing even when attacked especially when the beast was so beautiful. He drew his knife and ran over to the cat stabbing the beast through the heart.

He smiled looked up at Terra standing a few feet behind him and smiled. She had a shocked look on her face and he noticed her tightly holding her sword.She had her brown hair pulled back into a ponytail so he could clearly see her bright grey eyes. He found himself staring at her caught in her spell. She was so enchanting and she didn’t even know it. He watched as she started towards him and opened her mouth and said something that he didn’t hear until a moment later. “Watch out !” He heard a moment later. The sound of something approaching from behind him pierced through his distracted haze. He spun around raising his bow poised to fire but another wild cat was already on top of him. He felt it’s claws tear into his leg and he cried out in pain. He dropped his bow and grabbed for his knife because bows aren’t any good in a close combat situation. He struck upwards towards its throat until he hit a vital organ and the cat stilled on top of him. He felt its full weight crash on top of him and he struggled to get it off of him but it was too heavy. He felt it’s weight move off of him suddenly and he took a deep breathe and looked up to see Dexter above him offering a hand. He took it and tried to stand up,however his injured leg wouldn’t hold his weight. He winced and tried to stand on it again determined not to appear weak in front of Terra. “ Wait! I’ve got this.”He heard her exclaim as he sat back down. Terra came forward with her medical kit in her hand. He watched as she cleaned his wound and wrapped a bandage around it. He liked the way she cared for him as if he were important to her. “This should hold it until we get to the settlement.” She said with concern blazing in her eyes as she grabbed his hand and squeezed it. Daniel just smiled at her. She was so beautiful.

“The desert biome has broken the peace treaty that has existed for years between all of the biomes. They attacked us without being provoked in anyway and continue to do so. It is only so long until they come for you as well. Join with us and help us subdue the troublemakers so the rest of us can continue to live in peace.” Mia finished speaking and stared at Alexander,the leader of the cave biome as she waited for an answer. He lounged lazily in a stone chair that was carved in a style of a medieval throne. They were in a cavernous stone room that was obviously designed with intimidation in mind. It spoke of elegance beyond anything that the other biomes owned. To those who cared about such things it was a room to drool over and wonder where the cave biome acquired such riches. To Mia it was nothing but simple decor. They’d arrived an hour ago after a week of travel in the middle of the night.To her surprise they were shown to the throne room and told that the king would be with them momentarily. She appreciated the prompt response, it spoke of a people who were serious about getting things done. As she assessed the leader ahead of her she became aware of the nature of his gaze. His violet eyes shone out of his pale face as he assessed her as well. It slowly traced every curve of her body.lingering on her softer areas before coming to rest on her face.

“And you want our help?” He finally asked , dredges of sleep apparent in his voice.

“Yes.” Mia answered simply as she silently started to doubt his intelligence.

He yawned loudly again and his violet gaze met her own in a heated battle of wills. He smirked and cocked an eyebrow as he continued to stare at her. Mia could feel her team getting impatient behind her. They were all tired and just wanted to get some rest. Mia crossed her arms as she stood there waiting,showing impatience she normally wouldn’t have.

“I’ll think about it. Stay a few days and I’ll get back to you eventually.” He yawned again and looked towards the cave hunters lined against the wall.

“Show them to their rooms. Give her the room next to mine.” He yawned once again and stood up. Mia’s gaze unwilling went to his lithe body. His frame was built of pure muscle every movement screamed out that he was a warrior. She found that hard to believe since his persona screamed the opposite. He turned and left the room as quickly as he’d come. Mia looked over her shoulder at her team knowing they’d feel the same frustration she did. They were supposed to be done with their mission sooner than later and he intentionally was taking up their time. Mia sighed heavily as they turned to follow the cave hunters out of the room.

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