"Again!" Said Shay.
"You know, I'm getting real sick and tired of that voice of your's!" I told him.
"Quien, yo?" He replied.
"Stop spitting that spanish at me, you know I can't understand it. Comprender? " I said slighly.
He smiled and lunged at me again. His punch was coming towards me. I could hear his fist break through the air and I quickly dodged my head to the side and threw my arm up under his and turned my back to him, throwing him over my shoulder. I felt his body thump to the ground and I backed off quickly. We had been sparring for the better part of an hour, in the training room. I took the blindfold off once I heard him laughing.
"Not bad Oaken. You are getting much better at this." He told me. I walked up to him and let out my hand to help him up, but he ended up kicking my legs from under me, making me fall ontop of him. He quickly rolled me over on my back and pinned my hands down.
"But not as good as me." He said with a grin. I smiled and moved my hips up to get my leg up from under him and kicked him off of me, sending him back to the ground. He grunted.
"Oops, sorry. Did that hurt?" I said as I got up and started taking off my hand wraps.
I left him laying on the floor trying to catch his breath. We had been at this for weeks, and although he was a major flirt he was a good sparring partner. Since the others arrived, it's been non stop prep on our part. Sarah could be found in the strategy room all day and all night long with Dougall, and Wolfgang. I wasn't quite sure what her plans were yet, however when the time came they would be filling us in. We also had Kipsky who was spending quality time with his new found daughter and Anja, as well as Grayson and Bogie.
Grayson was a little pissed when he saw me upon his arrival. I did exactly what he told me not too, but in the end we both ended up in the same place. He sparred with me once in a while but it was mostly Shay who volunteered, or would show up and insist. Bowdie, was almost fully healed. The bruising was almost non existent, however her body was still a little tender. Raeve was constantly in and out with June gathering whatever provisions Sarah required. She ended up bringing this guy named Jonah. He was originally part of the team that June worked with to gain access to the Captial building last year. My guess with all the computers and technology June and Raeve kept sweeping in, he had a major part in that.
Gunner, was typical Gunner. He wasn't much use when we needed him. Only when it came to Bowdie. I think after a few weeks, she finally got the hint that he liked her. I mean he was around during her whole recovery, and you could always spot him catching a glance at her any chance he got. I don't think she minded in all honesty. Deep down she was a hopeless romantic. Of course Raeve always had something to say about it.
I started making my way to my room, to cool off with a shower. I past the infirmary where Debbie, and Rowen were always trying to come up with ways to work around the lack of medical equipment. I turned down the one hall and saw Ana running from one side of the hall to the other laughing and screaming with Kipsky not to far behind her. She always brought laughter here, and took to everyone quite easily. She peered out of the room and saw me down the hall.
"Oaken!" She yelled, while running to me.
"Grr, I'm going to get you!" Kipsky yelled playfully behind her.
"Oh, no! Who are we running from?" I asked as I started running with her.
"The cookie monsterrrrrrrr." She yelled.
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhh." I screamed with her. I picked her up and ran into my room and we hid beside the bed. I turned to her.
"Shhh, we have to be very very quiet." I whispered to her. She nodded and covered her mouth to stop herself from giggling.
We positioned ourselves so we could see the door from under the bed. As soon as Kipsky started stomping his way in, the room filled with laughter.
"A-ha! Found you!" He said and pulled her up from the floor. She smacked him on the chest and gave him a stern look.
"Daddy, you weren't supposed to find me. Now you have to give me a cookie!" She said.
"Is that so? I thought as the cookie monster I get to eat all the yummy cookies." He asked.
"Nope" She said crossing her arms and shaking her head no.
"Oh, well my apologies." He gave me an exaggerated expression which caught me off gaurd and had me chuckle.
He took his leave with Ana in his arms, and I could hear them continue to banter in the hall. I shook my head and made my way into the bathroom turning on the shower. I got undressed and headed on in, letting the warm water remove the tension from my body.
I made sure to train everyday, and just by touch I could feel my body firming up in places that I hadn't noticed before. I could feel the muscles in my arms and legs, and I felt stronger than ever. It wasn't only physical training, but June had me trying to work on my other senses. She didn't want me to only depend on my eye sight alone. She had me focus on touch, hearing and smell. She was preparing me for this side of the world. A side that was far more ruthless then the one we travelled from.
We actually hadn't left the castle, aside from a jog here and there for daily excerise and to get some fresh air. Much like we were doing at Lingham, but this time we were waiting for word from Sarah.
Spring was in the air. It seemed to come in alot faster here. The snow had all melted and we were getting more rainy days then sunny ones, but I didn't mind. I liked the rain, and once in awhile I would find myself on the roof top lying in it.
"Oaken!" Yelled Bowdie.
"Jesus Bowdie, you startled me. Your just like your brother you doorknob!" I yelled from the shower.
"Sorry. I just wanted to see how training was this morning." She asked.
"It was fine." I reluctantly answered. I knew where this was going.
"Mhmm, and how was Sssshay" She tried saying in a seductive tone.
I turned off the shower, and stepped out. She was sitting on the counter to the vanity with her brow raised. Nudity wasn't an issue between us. We were practically sisters. I grabbed the towel and wrapped it around myself in silence. I looked at her and just stared.
"Oh come on, give me the details." She said while kicking her legs. I rolled my eyes.
"Just because you have a crush, doesn't mean I'm in the same boat. What happened to you? Are you in highschool or something?" I said with a grin.
She tilted her head and pondered. "I don't know, never been." She answered.
I started to get dressed and slipped on my pants and a sports bra before I headed back into the bedroom. I rolled my eyes as Gunner was now in my room.
"Frig, is everyone just going to come right in? " He looked at me confused with a raised brow. " Can I help you Gunner? "
"Holy hell, Oak your ripped." I just looked at him unimpressed.
"Is there something I can help you with? " I asked him. He cleared his throat.
" Ya, sorry. Have you seen Bowdie, Raeve is looking for her. " He asked. Just then she came out of the bathroom. Everytime she was around him the biggest blush would fill his cheeks.
"Guess that's my cue." She said and took her leave. I watched as Gunner placed his hands in his pockets and took his leave aswell.
I went to the dresser and pulled out a T-shirt and made my way to the terrace outside. It still got a little chilly here and there, but I loved the cold feeling on my skin. The air was so clear up here and the silence was what I relished in. I would close my eyes and let my ears do the listening.
I could hear the whistle of the breeze sway the trees down below. I could also hear the birds chirping in the branches, and the squirrels scatter across the forest floor.
I let the cool air help in drying my hair. One thing is for sure, my hair was no longer affected by the humidity that came with our springs and summers, and my complexion even cleared up a bit. What was replacing my blemishes were freckles, as there was alot more sun here, and the air was no longer thick with the smell of sulfur. My lungs almost felt new, and every breath I took felt as if I was adding another year to my life.
I looked to the trail down below us. It was something I was seeing for the first time, as it was covered in snow when we first arrived. While we were waiting on word from Sarah, I was always trying to find something to keep myself busy. I returned back to my room and grabbed a light jacket with the intention of checking out the trail. I knew there was nothing around us for miles, so I wasn't worried about getting into trouble. I did however bring my shades just in case.
I took to the trail, and must have walked for over an hour before coming across a clearing. It was a section of forest where trees were leveled, and while looking over it that's when I noticed scorch marks in the ground.
" Hmm, from June perhaps? " I cleared the crossing and continued down the trail for another hour or so, and I ended up hearing traffic in the distance. Of course I was curious and followed the noise till it took me to a highway. It wasn't heavy traffic, just a transport here and there and open ended road as far as I could see. Even with my zoomed in vision I couldn't see the end of it. I wasn't to sure where the road would lead me to, but for now I went far enough. I headed back, and decided to continue training. I closed my eyes and tried to walk the rest of the way home blind. For the most part I did pretty well, aside from a stumble or two. Unfortunatley one of those stumbles took a branch to the face, and that's when I decided training was over.
I was now back at the castle and I walked the perimeter of the mountain that it sat on. I was about half way when I came across an old shaft door at the base of the mountain. I could barely see it as it was covered in brush, but once I moved it aside, I could tell it was made with the same exterior as the castle. I pushed it until it practically broke in pieces and found myself in a long dark hallway. It was a stairwell, that looked to make its way up the mountain. Could it lead up somewhere to the castle? I thought. Only one way to find out I guess.
I started ascending the stone stair case. It was steep as all hell, and my legs were beginning to burn about 10 minutes in. It was about 30 minutes till I reached the end, and came to a metal gate that had a chained lock on it. I wasn't sure how long it was locked for because as soon as I touched the lock it disintigrated in my hands. Years of rust build up I suppose. It was cold and damp, and at one point I did step in a puddle of water on one of the steps, so this mountain had flowing water within it. I pressed on, and finally made it to another door. However I couldn't budge it for the life of me. I banged on it, threw my body against it and kicked it. It still wouldn't budge.
Ugh just my luck, I would have to climb back down. I took a seat on the steps to catch my breath before deciding to climb back down. Just as I got up the door opened from the other side.
" Oaken? " Grayson said surprised.
I looked at him relieved.
" Oh hey........look what I found " I said with a smile. And I made my way in. I popped out the other side and found myself in the walk in pantry located in the kitchen. I had to walk through a stone corridor, then saw one of the pantry shelves pushed to the side.
Thank god for his super hearing. I truly did not want to have to trek back down. I plopped myself in one of the kitchen chairs and moaned as my legs were on fire.
" How the hell did you find that place? " He asked me.
" I found it while I was walking the perimeter. " I told him while rubbing my quads.
I watched as he grabbed a clean rag and wet it under the tap, then handed it to me. I looked at him confused.
" Your cheek.......you have a little blood on it." He said while pointing to it.
" Ah ok.... I got in a fight......with a twig. " I said with a grin.
I got up slowly, like an old woman and made my way back to the strategy room. They seemed busy so I left them to it.
I sighed in fustration. "What to do next I suppose."