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Chapter 9: Jungle biome- Border settlement

Terra walked back to her and Dexters room and thought about her relationship with Daniel. He still acted like the same guy she’d fallen for years ago when they’d first met. Complete with the random dopey looks he tended to shoot at her. Like when he got attacked by that wildcat earlier. He should have been watching his surroundings but instead he was watching her. He was completely ridiculous but familiar at the same time. As she’d sat there and talked to him she’d realized that he was a part of the warmth she used to feel before she lost her family. Being near him felt like she had a small part of that warmth back even if she wasn’t sure how to feel about him most of the time. Her room was only a mile or so away from Daniels and she was there quickly. She opened the door and entered wondering if Dexter was still asleep. She hoped he was awake so they could talk.

As she entered she didn’t see him in the main living area so she went straight to her room and jumped into the shower. Traveling through the jungle was exhilarating but dirty and after watching that sand storm earlier she was certain that she wouldn’t be clean for a long time once she set foot in the desert biome. She wanted to stay in the shower until the hot water ran out but that would be being a bad guest so she just did a quick soap and rinse. She’d placed her hygienic products in the bathroom earlier that day. Mentally thanking herself for her thoroughness she brushed her teeth and pulled her hair back into a ponytail. She dried off and hung the towel on a rack in the bathroom and watched into her room to retrieve a shirt to sleep in. The closet was right next to the bathroom door so she came out of the bathroom door and took two steps and she was there. She was standing there trying to figure out if she should put on a clean shirt to sleep in or save it for when they got to the Desert city when she heard a throat clear behind her. She slowly turned to see Dexter sitting on the edge of her bed. She felt her face heat as she realized he’d been sitting there staring at her while she was naked for the past few minutes. She quickly turned and grabbed a random shirt and draped it over her body before turning back to face him. “So you never heard of knocking?” She asked casually trying to forget the look he’d been giving her when she’d been naked.

He raised his hands in the air. “In my defense I did knock. I heard the shower and figured you’d come out wrapped in your towel like you always do whenever i’m around.”

Terra sat on the bed next to him. “I thought you were asleep. I didn’t expect to find you trying to sneak a peek.” She felt her face heating up again.

“I got way more than a peek and its totally worth probably not having any hot water for my shower later.” he laughed.

Terra covered her face with her hands. She was beyond embarrassed with this whole situation. “Hey,” He grabbed her hands and pulled them away from her face. “ You are beautiful. Never doubt it. I came in here to ask if we could sleep together.”

Terra tried to cover her face again , his words brought back to last few moments all over again in her mind.

“Not like that although if you’re offering i’m not going to say no.” He smiled “Seriously though i’ve gotten used to having you next to me while we sleep and I don’t know how long it will take for us to get to the next city. It all really depends on the weather.” He paused and ran a hand over his short hair. “Watching Daniel get attacked today just reminded me of how crazy this world really is and that either of us could easily die at any moment. I want to spend as much time with you before something happens and I lose you whether it’s to a beast’s attack or another man. I know I don’t have a right to say those words to you but it’s honestly how I feel.” He pulled her into a hug. She was frozen for moment by his words then she hugged him back tightly. She didn’t know exactly what he meant by that last bit but he had been her one constant since her whole world was upheaved. If she lost him she truly didn’t know what she would do either.

“I’m scared.” She whispered into his shoulder. “I’m scared that things won’t go well in the desert biome. And not even just the people the very environment itself is terrifying. I watched a sandstorm earlier that completely rearranged the entire layout of the land in under ten minutes, What if we get caught in one of those?” As she talked she realized she was close to tears.

“Hey,” Dexter pulled back and grabbed her by the chin looking her in the eye. “We will be okay. Why do you think I had us pack all of that extra stuff in our bags? We will be fine even if we get lost in the desert for weeks. But i promise you we won’t. Do you trust me?”

Terra nodded her head silently.

“Well then know that you are safe as long as I am next to you.”

“Okay.” Terra nodded again and wiped away a tear that escaped.

Dexter bent down and kissed her forehead,lingering there for an extra moment.

“Come on lets get some sleep. We have some training to do tomorrow.” He got up and cut the light off.

Terra crawled under the covers and felt him join her a moment later. She felt him toss and turn for a moment before he turned and pulled her into the circle of his arms. She stiffened for moment because this was more intimate than any of the other times they’d slept in the same bed. “Relax.” He muttered to her huskily. She did and sleep followed a moment later.

Terra threw down her sword and charged at Dexter with her fists. They’d been sword fighting all morning and he was a filthy cheater and she was tired of it. His eyes widen as she lunged at him. He dropped his sword jsut as she made contact and hit him in the face. “You are a freaking cheater!” She shrieked and raised her hand to strike him again. He too fast for her and had her in a headlock before she was able to land the hit. She turned her head to the side so she could still breathe then pulled her elbow back and hit him in the gut with all her strength. He moaned loudly and loosened his hold slightly but not even for her her to get out of the headlock. “Sorry about this!” She called a moment before she threw her elbow back and hit him directly in his groin. He collapsed immediately holding himself and moaning. She couldn’t help but burst out laughing. “Bet you wont try that again.” She winked and danced around in a circle. He’d been cheating all morning using cheap tricks to get the upper hand in the fight and finally she got to use a cheap trick of her own. She turned to go retrieve her sword from where she dropped it. She heard a battle cry come from behind her and tried to roll out of the way but wasn’t quick enough.

He grabbed her by her anke and dragged her back towards him avoiding her other foot which she was using to try to kick him in the face. Hw laughed and straddled her pinning her arms above her head. “What was all that crap you were talking a minute ago?” He laughed as he continued to breathe heavy from exerting himself. Terra couldn’t catch her breath either and she knew that he had her completely pinned. She couldn’t move him unless she had extra hundred pounds of muscle. So instead of uselessly wiggling she smiled at him shyly and bit her lip. His gaze immediately darkened as they took in her lip bite. He leaned towards her slowly asking for permission with his eyes. She nodded eagerly smiling at him brightly. He pressed his lips to hers softly and she immediately forgot her intentions for inviting the kiss. His lips were just as soft and warm as she remembered and the spark she’d felt the last time she’d kissed him was still there. It was all encompassing and she felt him respond to the heat between them with a deeper, more passionate kiss. She forgot how to breathe for a moment. Her whole world ceased to exist and all that existed was them and the heat they created. He let go of her hands and cupped her face in his hands instead. She wound her arms around his neck and kissed him just as deeply as he kissed her. Like it was the last kiss she would ever get.

She felt his hands go to the bottom of her shirt and lift it up slightly tracing an electric path on her skin with his fingertips. She gasped into his mouth and arched her back to encourage him to touch her more. His hand skimmed up her stomach until he cupped her breast. The touch shocked her out of her lusty haze and she quickly dropped her hands from around his neck. And scooted backwards until she wasn’t underneath him anymore. For a moment he stayed in the same position then his eyes followed her moments the lust clear on his face.

“I can’t do this. Not with you.” She managed to say after a moment of a silence. She watched as his face expression changed slowly to a blank one she knew he used when he didn’t want to reveal his emotions.

“Why not me?” He asked in a deceptively calm voice,

“I can’t lose you. If we go down that path then that’s exactly what will happen. You have other women and you’ll eventually leave me for one of them. I don’t see myself getting married so that means that this would eventually end and we will probably hate each other at the end of it. It’s not worth it.” Terra could hear the panic she felt leaking into her voice.

“I never heard you say what if we work out.Almost as if it never crossed your mind.”

Dexter looked down at the ground for a moment then back up at her.

“Can you do this with Daniel?”

What? What does this conversation have to do with Daniel?”

“Answer the question.” His voice was still calm.

“No! I’m not doing this with either one of you. He is the reason i lost my brother and you have been my one constant since I lost my family. I’m not choosing between you so don’t ask me to.”

“One day you won’t have a choice.” He replied as he got to his feet and offered her hand.

She took it and stood up as well.

“I think that’s enough for today. Just remember your opponent won’t be fighting by whatever rules you’ve made up for yourself. They will fight dirty because out there it’s a fight for survival and any fight you get into will most likely be to the death. Remember that.” He turned and headed for the door of the empty building the settlement used as a practice safe. Terra just watched him go mentally slapping herself for what had just happened.

Deon stood at the edge of the border between the jungle and Aquatic biome. It was amazing how the biomes seamlessly went from one to the next. They standing in dense jungle but a few steps forward would and land them in deep water. “Are we going to stand around here all day or go and do our actual mission?” A feminine voice beside him muttered. He turned and looked at kyria in annoyance.

“We shouldn’t just jump into this because you feel impatient to get it over with.”

“What do you mean we shouldn’t jump into it? Isn’t that literally what the president told us to do? He wants us back before his brat gets back to town.”

Deon sighed again and turned back to the aquatic biome.

“She’s not a brat! She has a good heart and all she wants to do is figure out what happened to her brother. Shs trained hard for years just so she can be strong enough to travel across all of the biomes. It’s not her fault that the president keeps sending her on crappy missions just to keep her out of the city.” Another voice rang rang out. Deon turned to see who it was and he saw Michael standing there with his fists clenched in anger.

“Wow,you sure sound sure for someone whos never spoken to her.” Kyria rolled her eyes.

“Actually we were in the same class all four years of the academy. So I know her better than you think you do.”

“Yeah whatever. She’s literally just a spoiled brat.”

“Shut the hell up! What do you know of her life besides the fact that she’s the niece of the president? Were you there when she found her family after they were murdered? Were you there as she fought her way through the jungle,past the creatures that lived there when she didn’t even know how to fight them yet? You sit there with your arms crossed and your perfect little family sitting back at home waiting for you and you judge her? You don’t know anything so shut up!” Michael exclaimed loudly as he glared at her. The rest of the team looked on in shock. Michael wasn’t known for his outbursts at all. Kyria mouth dropped open as she stared at him in shock as well.

“I didn’t know...” She managed to say after a moment.

“Yeah exactly. No one seems to know and I bet you’re not the only one who just thinks she’s spoiled and has led a pampered life. Make sure you actually know what youre talking about next time.” Michael turned and looked towards the aquatic biome with crossed arms. Kyria shifted from one foot to the other embarrassed at being dressed down in front of everyone.

“We will go once everyone has eaten an rested for an hour. The aquatic biome has some of the best fighters. In order to be at full strength we need to take a break before we move on.” Deon turned from the border and headed back into the trees of the jungle. “Lets go and set up camp.”

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