Chapter Thirty: Fever Pitch
The next day Akira and her Warrior said their goodbyes to the Trolls. They were a nice family, and she hoped to see them again someday. Akira waved to them, then turned and walked with her Warriors toward the mountains. Maybe her next Warrior is a Mountain Dweller. She shivered at the thought.
‘Yeah, no, forget that.’
“Be gone now,” Brizell told her grandchildren. “Make sure you send a hawk every day,” she said, then kissed each of them on their cheek. “Protect her and don’t get in the way of her Warriors.”
“Yes, Grandmama,” Stella said with a wave.
She headed in the direction Akira and her Warriors had headed. In the past few days, she has grown fond of them and was excited to join them in their journey.
“Remember, a hawk every day!” Brizell called out to her grandchildren.
Fin turned and gave his grandmother a thumbs up.
Brizell rolled her eyes, a smile spreading across her face as she watched them head into the forest. They will be an excellent addition to Akira and her Warriors.
“Did you hear that?” Akira whispered as she stopped in her tracks.
“Hear what?” Darius asked, spinning in a circle.
Akira listened, then shrugged her shoulders. “I guess it was an animal.”
Wolfric smiled down at his Havent. “How are you holding up there?”
Akira nodded and smiled up at him. “I am all healed up.”
Wolfric grinned. “Good to hear. I guess that means you won’t be needing a piggyback ride.”
She gave him a shove, then jumped onto his back. “I will never turn down a piggyback ride. Giddy up!” she yelled, kicking his sides.
With a snort and a laugh, he took off through the trees.
“See, she heard you,” Fin hissed into his sister’s ear. “Stop trying to capture that damn rabbit.”
Stella pouted. “But I’m hungry.”
“We will eat when they stop to eat. I told you to eat breakfast when the rest of us did.”
Stella grumbled and pushed past her brother, then chased after Akira and her wolf.
Fin shook his head, then rolled into a ball and followed the Vampire and Pegasus.
“We can stop here for lunch,” Wolfric said, setting Akira on her feet.
Akira looked around the patch of wildflowers and smiled. “It’s beautiful here.”
Wolfric smiled. “I was lucky to find such a sweet spot.”
“You are a romantic at heart, aren’t you?” she said, pushing herself against his chest.
Wolfric growled and took her mouth in a hot kiss.
“Hey, you two, save that for tonight,” Malique said with a laugh.
Wolfric lifted his head from the kiss and smiled down at Akira. “I love you,” he said, caressing her cheek with his hand.
Akira closed her eyes and leaned into his touch. “I love you more than words can say,” she whispered.
“Let’s see what the elder Troll sent with us for lunch,” Darius said as he lifted the sack the Troll had given them.
“I hope it’s rabbit. That woman can cook a rabbit,” Wolfric said as he looked up from Akira.
“Nice,” Darius said as he pulled out a whole rabbit.
They started to drool as they split the rabbit into pieces.
Akira snatched two legs and walked over to a rock to sit down.
Her Warriors looked at each other, then at her, and chuckled. They had discovered that their little Havent was a dark meat eater. That is okay—it left more meat for them.
They tore into the rabbit and patted their stomachs when they were through.
Stella frowned as she watched Akira and her Warriors devour the rabbit her grandmother had packed for them. She looked at her twin and watched him pull out a bowl. She sniffed the air when he lifted the lid and frowned.
“Stew,” Stella growled.
“It’s your favorite,” Fin said with a grin as he looked up at her. “Rabbit stew.”
Stella walked over to her brother and took another sniff. He was right. She grinned as she rummaged in the bag for a spoon. She found two spoons and handed one to her brother.
“Don’t forget, they’re much bigger than us. They need more food,” Fin said, then dug into the stew.
Stella nodded. She did not care—all she wanted was her grandmother’s stew. Who knows when she will eat it again.
“I am so tired,” Akira said as she stopped and leaned against a tree. “How much further to the mountain?”
“Not much,” Wolfric said, then lifted her into his arms. “Go to sleep, little one. You’re not recovered enough for all this walking.”
Akira sighed. She will not argue with him on that.
Stella watched the Warriors settle in for the night. It was not dark yet, but Akira looked wiped out. She has been asleep in her wolf’s arms for hours. She heard a noise in a bush close to her and backed away.
‘What was going on now?’
A Troll rolled out of the bush and landed on top of her.
She squealed a startled yelp. She hoped the Warriors had not heard her.
Stella stared up at the Troll on top of her. He was a handsome Troll, and she felt a strange sensation in her stomach. She had never felt that before.
He stared into her eyes, his smile widening.
“Hi,” she forced out, still staring up at him.
His eyes were a brighter green than his skin, and his ears had at least three rings at the top of each one.
“Get off my sister!” Fin hissed as he pulled out his sword.
The Troll on top of Stella looked up at Fin and his sword, then down at Stella. He grinned, then rolled off her and into another bush.
Stella sat up and watched the Troll roll away.
“Are you okay, Stella?” Fin asked, rushing to his sister.
“Yeah,” She breathed.
Her eyes locked on the bush the Troll had disappeared through.
“Did he hurt you?”
Stella shook her head. “No.”
“Where did he come from?”
She shrugged. “He came out of the bush and toppled me over. I don’t think he meant to.”
Fin snorted, “come on. Let us go hunt while the Warriors set up their camp.”
Stella nodded and followed her brother, the strange Troll still in her thoughts.
Akira slowly opened her eyes and looked at her Warrior with a smile. “Hi.”
“Hello, sleepyhead. You ready for supper?”
Akira nodded and sat up. Her Warriors have already made camp, and something delicious was cooking on the open flames.
“Come on,” Wolfric said, helping her to her feet. “There’s a stream nearby. We will get you cleaned up, and by the time we get back, food should be ready.”
Akira nodded again and let her Warrior lead her to the stream. The water was cold, but it felt good on her hot skin. She was not sure why she was still so tired, and she did not feel very well either. But she was not going to tell her Warriors about it. She did not want them to worry over nothing.
Akira closed her eyes and searched her body, then opened them with a sigh. She did not find anything wrong. It must be hot flashes. She usually got them just before her monthly. She was due to have it in a week or two. Sometimes she got it early.
“Ready?” Wolfric asked, holding a towel out to her.
She nodded and took the towel.
“You don’t look very well. Are you sure you’re okay?” Wolfric asked, holding his hand to her forehead.
Akira smiled up at her Wolf Warrior. “I had half my blood sucked out of me by an Arachne, twice, then healed a very sick child. Three days may have helped me regain my energy, but that is just my magic. My body, on the other hand…,” she stopped talking when his lips captured hers.
“I’m sorry we pushed you today,” he said, leaning his forehead against hers.
She smiled. “I didn’t do as much walking as you did.”
He chuckled, then kissed her again. He lifted her into his arms, making her squeal. He grinned, then turned and walked back to camp.
Wolfric felt a little guilty for fucking her so soon after her recovery. But he would not trade that time for anything. From here on out, they will let her body heal. No matter how much it hurt to not touch her.
“Maybe we should have stayed with the Trolls a few more days,” Malique said, looking at their Psychi in Wolfric’s arms.
When it was time to get up this morning, none of them had the heart to wake her. Especially after Wolfric told them what she had said last night at the stream. They all felt guilty for having sex with her so soon. They had not waited long enough for her body to recover from her ordeal.
She was right, her magic is separate from her body, and she had not used her magic up. She had been attacked by a giant ass spider—twice.
“She will be okay,” Wolfric said with a smile. He leaned down and kissed her forehead. His face wrinkled as he looked up at his fellow Warriors. “She’s burning up.”
“Let’s stop and take a break,” Darius said as he stopped and leaned against a tree.
Wolfric walked over to Darius and handed him their Havent.
“Hold her,” he said.
“With pleasure,” Darius said with a grin as he took their little Psychi from the wolf.
“I’m going to go look for an herb that will bring her temperature down. It may be from being out here,” Wolfric said, then disappeared into the forest.
Malique walked over to Darius and placed his hand against Akira’s forehead. He frowned and looked up at his fellow Warrior.
“She will be okay,” Darius said, holding Akira close to his chest. “She has to be.”
Stella watched the Warriors and frowned. ’Akira is sick.’ She turned to her brother. “Fin.”
Fin walked over to his sister. “What’s up?”
“Akira is sick.”
He frowned and peeked through the bushes. “What’s wrong?”
“I don’t know. Stay here and watch them. Wolfric went to look for an herb to bring down her fever. I’m finding a way to help him.”
“How can you help him without him knowing you’re there?”
She shrugged. “I will find a way,” she said, then disappeared.
Fin frowned as he looked back at the Havent and her Warriors. He hoped she did not have what his brother had.
Wolfric growled and slammed his shoulder into a tree. They should have stayed at the Troll’s home until they were sure she was okay. He slammed into the tree again and snorted when it fell over. He cannot find a single herb he knows of that can help with her fever. The only thing they can do is hope it goes down on its own.
A rustling in the bushes had Wolfric spinning around. A ball rolled from the bush and hit his foot. He raised his eyebrow, then picked up the ball and blinked at it. It was an herb he had heard of, but no one had ever found it.
Or so they thought.
Wolfric looked around but could not see or hear anything. He smiled and ran back to his Havent. Those pesky Trolls were keeping to their word. He made it back to the others and took Akira from Darius.
“Hey,” Darius complained.
Wolfric growled, then told them to follow him. They walked to the stream, and Wolfric stripped Akira, then himself. Once they were both naked, he walked into the water and submerged her. Akira shivered in Wolfric’s arms but did not open her eyes.
He looked up at his fellow Warriors and told them what to do with the ball of herbs. There were enough herbs there to last a few days. Once they had the herbs prepared, Malique and Darius stripped out of their clothes and joined Wolfric in the water with their Psychi.
Malique took Akira from his friend while Wolfric took the pasty herb and rubbed it over her forehead and neck. Malique made sure the water did not go above her breasts and watched Wolfric work. Once the paste was smeared over her face, Wolfric took the liquid herb from Darius and forced it down Akira’s throat. She choked on it, but Wolfric made sure she drank it all.
“Will it work?” Darius asked, his eyes glued to their Psychi.
Wolfric sighed. “I hope so,” he said, then took Akira from Malique. “I don’t want to know what it feels like to lose your Havent.”
“Me either,” Malique said as he trickled water over Akira’s skin that was not submerged.
“We won’t let that happen,” Darius said, trickling water over Akira’s knees and shins.
“Where did you get the herbs?” Malique asked, looking at Wolfric.
Wolfric smiled at his fellow Warriors. “Let’s just say that the Trolls are true to their word.”