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Chapter 16

Time was slipping by, we started making preparations to leave and start our mission which I was still in the dark about. My clothes were all fitted and done, I had packed them neatly in the cedar chest we were bringing, I didn't let any of the guys see them because I wanted them to be surprised.

Tristan had taken me to get my own weapons too; I got a small sword, a set of thin but sharp knives that fit in various sheaths that could be hidden all over, and a set of pistols. He had the grips scaled down so they fit my fingers perfectly, they felt like an extension of my body. I was so excited when I could strap them on underneath my dress and feel the power in those cold blades.

Kayden even gave me a gift, a pair of brass knuckles! They're beautiful, they're not just pieces of brass, they are carved with beautiful spirals and other graceful designs. I was so surprised when he slipped them into my hands that I couldn't say a word- I was just so surprised he had thought of giving me anything. My classes go shorter and shorter because Kayden was busy getting his own things ready; Tristan was busy too but somehow we managed to spend a lot of time together. It was always nice, I felt so safe and happy when he was close to me- I felt sheltered from everything bad in the world. But sometimes he would play mind games with me, you know making me think one thing then change it around; like one day was were sitting close together on the porch after lunch just relaxing and he looked at me and said,

"I was dreaming about another girl today,"

"Oh really?"


"Tell me about her," I really didn't care but I was curious.

"I can't get my mind off of her! She's so beautiful and practically floats when she walks, everything about her makes a man want to protect her, her innocent face, her small hands, her delicate body, she embodies everything perfect in the world."

"She sounds great…" I mumbled, feeling annoyed and rather jealous.

"Stop! Listen!"

"Ahh…fine." Why was he doing this?

"Yet she has an air of confidence that you see in those who are strong and clever enough to survive anything without help- she so smart and strong that she doesn't need a man which makes her all the more attractive." I glared at him, was he saying I wasn't smart enough? That I needed help to survive? I was tempted to hit him, but I didn't of course.

"She's so different from most, she values freedom more than anything, she gave up everything- the so-called perfect life she had- not for money or fame, not for love, but for freedom." I looked up suddenly, was he talking about me? He smiled at me.

"You trusted me and ran away with me for a chance of freedom and that's why I can't get you out of my mind, that's why I love you more than anyone ever loved someone before." I just stared, all the anger I had been feeling just disappeared.

"What?" I whispered. He smiled and leaned close, his face only an inch from mine.

"I said, I love you." He said then kissed me, I was so happy to finally hear those words I could hardly breathe, my heart felt like it was too full and ready to burst. I couldn't believe it.

It was funny, now that Tristan had finally said that he loved me the phase seems to slip out in every conversation- like we were trying to make sure we knew it. Like we wanted to make sure the other never forgot. But no matter how many times he said it, I got a little thrill of happiness each time he said it. I knew I had to be in love- what else could make me feel this way? Nothing I could think of.

Kayden noticed the difference somehow- I didn't think we were acting much differently but he did. He would roll his eyes pretty much every time he would see me.

"Really you two!" Was his favorite phrase whenever he saw us holding hands or kissing, he acted almost like it offended- I have no clue why. I would always just tell him to shut up which would make him laugh. Tristan just ignored Kayden's comments about us.

We were getting really really close to leaving, most of our stuff was packed away. We were just waiting for the letter to come with the exact orders- I was nervous, I had never ever done anything like this before. Well doing my act at the Rooster was kind of similar because I was stepping out into the unknown but I wasn't risking my life then. Now I'm risking my life, Tristan's, and Kayden's and it scares me- what if I mess up? What if I fail? It's much bigger than me now- it hard for me to take on this much responsibility. Is this how Tristan always feels? He doesn't seem stressed, maybe there's a trick to it- I don't know. I'm about to take another huge step in my life and after it's over I won't be the same, I will never be able to go back because I will be different. It exhilarating yet scary- I really don't know what to expect but I'm not going to let myself worry. I don't need to- I'll have Tristan with me.

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