Chapter 8 - Boys Are Idiots
“How have you been Ana?” She had been walking out of the How to get some fresh air when Peter caught up to her and attempted to start a conversation with her.
“Just fine.” She told him shortly looking in the opposite direction. Her effort to show him she wasn’t interested in talking fell short.
“You haven't changed.” Peter remarked. She could hear the disappointment in his voice.
”Why would I have?” She stopped and looked at him for a moment., contemplating what was on his mind. She couldn’t read him though.
“I just assumed that when I came back again you would have already broken your curse.” He told her. She groaned and continued walking. He had brought that topic up so often the last time she had seen him it had nearly driven her mad.
“Leave that be Peter. I told you years ago that it was none of your concern, that hasn't changed either.” She was annoyed. He never knew when to drop things. They were just exiting the How when he grabbed her upper arm. Stopping her in her tromping.
“It could be.” His voice was low and it sent shivers down her spine. They weren’t shivers of pleasure. They were shivers of discomfort. She didn’t like where this conversation was going.
“What?” He seemed to snap out of his reverie when she spoke and he stepped away from her, letting her arm go.
“Nothing. I'll...uh...talk to you later.” He said softly, red tingeing his cheeks as he walked away. She just stood there looking after his retreating form. She sat under the archway just before the How and closed her eyes. Listening to the world around her. Feeling the earth and air move around her. By this time the sun had already gone past its peak, descending into evening.
“I hope Peter wasn't bugging you.” Lucy joined her on the ground, facing her.
“No more than usual I suppose.” She said with a sigh. Peter had always been like that around her. But she didn’t want to think about that. “How have you been?”
“I missed being here. School is awful though. I can’t tell any of my friends about this place and I so desperately want to but they would call me crazy.” She replied looking off into the distance a look of loneliness taking over her features.
“I'm always with you, no matter where we are.” She reaches over and takes Lucy’s hand in hers, giving it a reassuring squeeze.
“In here.” Using her unoccupied hand she points at Lucy’s heart. “Just think of me and I'll be there.” She smiled.
“I'll remember that. How long have you known Caspian, again?” Lucy giggled after she asked the question. This made Dris raise an eyebrow at the younger girl. She had learned in the past to be wary of Lucy’s mischievous demeanor.
“Since he was a baby. Which is odd to think about.”
“You two seem very close.” Lucy smiled watching her friend carefully.
“Indeed, I consider him a best friend.” Drisana sighed looking down at her hands. Lucy looked as if she were about to say something when the subject of their conversation came jogging up to them. “What's going on?”
“Peter has called a meeting.” Caspian told them. Lucy jumped up from her spot and ran into the How. Caspian held out his hand for her to take and she accepted it with a thankful smile. Being the klutz she had always been she stepped onto the back hem of her dress and lurched forward into Caspian’s arms. Her cheeks flamed a cherry red and she quickly righted herself, apologizing for her misstep. Caspian just chuckled at her.
“Be careful how you step. I won’t always be around to catch you when you fall.” Her heart skipped a beat in her chest. For a moment everything stood at a standstill before she stammered something about the meeting and they both walked into the How side by side as if nothing had happened. Her heart still raced as she walked.
The majority of the Narnians had congregated at the center of the How. They were the last one’s to arrive. As they entered, she caught Peter glaring at Caspian and her eyebrows scrunched together in confusion. She shook her head and let it go for the time being.
“It's only a matter of time.” Peter began. “Miraz's men and war machines are on their way. That means those same men aren't guarding the castle.” As he spoke he turned and addressed the entirety of the crowd.
“What do you propose we do, you majesty?” Reepicheep asks.
“To start planning for...” “We need to get ready for it.” Caspian and Peter both start to answer the question but they both stop and look at each other. Peter glares at Caspian and anyone could have felt the ice within the stare. She reciprocated the same look back at Peter, irritated with the way he was treating Caspian.
“Our only hope is to strike them before they strike us.” Peter says. Her eyes widen at his implication.
“Well, that's crazy no one has ever taken that castle.” Caspian informs the King.
“There's always a first time.” Peter says in a voice that a parent would use to their child whom they thought was oblivious.
“We'll have the element of surprise.” Trumpkin agrees.
“But we have the advantage here.” Caspian defends, trying to get Peter to see that what he was thinking was a suicide mission for anyone who fought.
“If we dig in we could probably hold them off indefinitely.” Susan says, looking at Caspian with a reassuring smile. Dris eyed the pair of teenagers and her heart skipped a beat for some unknown reason. She had no idea what she was feeling but she didn’t like it. ‘Jealous dear sister. You are jealous of her.’ Kasmira’s voice echoed in her head and she sat on the floor, putting her head between her hands to ward off the headache she knew was about to settle in between her eyes. ‘You have the most inconvenient times of pestering me Kas.’ She replies, annoyed. ‘You are too fun to mess with and you’re the only one that will talk to me.’ Kas reminds her and she resists the urge to groan really loudly at her sister’s antics. ‘Just leave me alone, Kas. Honestly, you are only bothering me at the moment. We can talk later.’ She replies yet again, only trying to get the other girl out of her head. ‘You actually want to talk to me later?’ Kas actually sounds genuinely surprised by that comment. ‘Sure. Please just leave for now though.’ She pleads rubbing her temples. ‘Don’t forget we have a date later sis! Ta ta!’ The presence leaves her mind and she sighs in relief. She looks up, tuning back into the conversation going on around her.
“If I can get your troops in, can you handle the guards?” Peter asks looking at Glenstorm.
“Or die trying my liege.” The centaur replies with a slight bow of the head in respect. She could tell he didn’t really want to risk the lives of his men but respected the young king enough to go against his morals.
“That's what I am worried about.” Lucy pipes up from her spot on the cracked stone table.
“Sorry?” Peter asks in a condescending tone.
“You're all acting like there's only two options. Dying here or dying there.” Lucy clarifies.
“I'm not sure you've really been listening Lu.” Peter states trying to avoid her comment.
“No! You're not listening. Or have you forgotten who really defeated the White Witch?” Lucy says to him. For a moment Peter can’t find the words to reply but the next words out of his mouth she Drisana’s blood boiling.
“I think we have waited for Aslan long enough.”
“Peter!” Drisana was stomped up to the young King and hauled him by the upper arm out of the How. “You're a real ass!” She half yells at him. She could no longer take it she had to say something to the entitled jerk.
“What are you talking about?” Peter asks looking at her in confusion. He obviously didn’t know what she was about to berate him for.
“Ever since you got here you have been nothing but divisive and rude to Caspian.” She enlightens him.
“Why are you taking his side of things now? I didn't hear you speak up in there for him.” He asks getting defensive.
“In there wasn't my place. Out here is different. I have watched both of you grow up. You two are very similar but your way of reaching the same goal is very different.” She ridicules.
“You didn't answer my question.” Peter retorts back, clearly irritated.
“He's being more reasonable than you are at the moment. yes attacking the castle might work but it will only aggravate them if it doesn't. There is only one way in and out of that castle.” She says haughtily.
“You used to stand by me no matter what. What changed?” He asks.
“Nothing has changed. Your first trip here, was your first experience. You won a lot of battles and it made you arrogant. All those victories and now you think you will win this one on your own. You're going to need help and that help is the one you have been rude to since you arrived.” She finds herself a little calmer as she explains this too him but watches as his anger begins to fester.
“He's just a boy!” He shouts at her in bewilderment.
“So are you!” She yells back.
“I wasn't always!”
“Well you are now and nothing can change that! Start thinking about everything and not just winning the battle.” She tells him, her voice still raised. A moment goes by before he speaks up.
“We used to be so close! Will we ever have that again?”
“Peter, whatever feelings you had or have for me; I do not return them. I told you that a long time ago.” She sighs, pinching the bridge of her nose. She hated this topic and he was the only one who ever brought it up.
“I would have thought my absence would have sparked them.” He states, a slight sense of hope in his voice. He takes a step towards her and she doesn’t make a move to get away from him, not wanting to upset him any further.
“You won't be the one to break my curse Peter.”
“I can try.” He says. Before she can register what is happening his lips are pressed up against her and his hand is on her neck holding her in place. The minute her brain decided to join her again in the real world she pushed him away from her. Or at least tried. He held onto her and deepened the kiss. She resorted to biting his lip which had him snapping his head back in pain. His fingers were feeling his lip and when he pulled them away they were coated in blood. ‘Good.’ She thought as she composed herself.
“I told you; I don't love you Peter. Not like that. Touch me again and you will regret it.” She says her voice threatening. She pivoted on her heel and stormed back into the How, leaving the young King behind.