FLAME OF LOVE

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Chapter 11

"Dear Bestie, no one could ever replace you."
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Erica's POV

"Erica, are you still alive?" – he asked me with a shocked face.

Ziva came forward and was stunned to see me and Zac.

Zac and Ziva were quite close and I could see her glossy eyes staring at Zac.

"Am I dreaming or is this for real?" Aron exclaimed looking at me with his deep chocolate brown eyes.

His eyes held a strong emotion and I was losing my patience. All his friends Alice, Cherry, Phil, and Simon gathered around us, and all of them were equally speechless on seeing me and my friends.

"I am Dr. Erica Cooper and you are not dreaming. But I am sorry I fail to recognize you. Who are you?" I answered him with a straight face devoid of any emotions although my inner self underwent an emotional tornado.

My reply had stunned Aron. Well, what else does he expect? I left the place immediately and saw that Clara, August, Lee, and Max too were taken aback by their presence.

"Erica, please wait. Zac!" – I heard Ziva call me and my brother.

"How are you Zachy?" – Aron asked Zac and hugged him.

"I....I...am fine. Where were you when we needed you the most?" – Zac asked Aron and grumbled.

Zac, however, hugged Ziva and said – 'Hope you are good, Zi."

Ziva sobbed and said – "I missed you so much, Zac."

All this while Max, Lee, and August were all partly relieved to find them and partly angry. However, Suddenly Zac's emotions took a back seat when Lee told Aron – "We are not friends anymore, you betrayed and backstabbed us."

Aron brushed his hands through his hair and lashed out – "Oh really? Isn't it the other way round? You guys never informed that you were leaving the kingdom."

Lee too lost his cool – "Don't blame us. We did inform you but you never came, we struggled and managed things on our own."

Clara calmed Lee. Max, August too were furious and glared at them. Clara said – "Let's leave, guys."

******

I don't know how far I have come but it looked like I was deep in the woods. Unfortunately, neither do I have a map nor did I look or listen to what Max was saying before. And now I am lost. I cursed Aron mentally for this gaffe and was already exhausted.

I sat under a tree and reminisced all the happy epochs with Aron and Ziva, our family hangouts, but when we needed them most, they just vanished in thin air. Aron didn't even try to find us once. We were attacked by the rogues and though I don't remember much exactly, all I knew was I had called Aron for help and he denied helping me. Only if we would have got his timely help, I would have been able to save my mother and many other people who had lost lives. Tears threatened to leave my eyes and I pinched my eyebrows to gather myself. I was dismayed at my emotions which painted over me – anger, sadness, pain, and relief washed over me to find him after so many years.

******

Aron's POV

Ziva pulled me into our Ford Explorer and I was surprised as it was a well-planned trip by my little sis, as she had got stock of food and necessary clothing for all of us. She didn't reveal her plan or place nor did she let any of us drive. We were all seated exchanging glances.

Cherry beamed out of the blue and announced – "I know where we are going."

We all looked at her curiously.

"Cherry, so you too were part of her plan?" I asked her accusingly.

"No, you guys are dumb, and don't forget I am the best hacker here."

Simon glared at her but before he could retort, she continued – "Don't give me that look. You couldn't figure out where she is taking us!"

"Ok, then spill the beans, why boast?" – Simon challenged Cherry.

All this while Ziva gave a curt look through the mirror, kept her lips tight and focused on her driving.

"We are going to the Moraine woods, right Ziva?" – Cherry shrieked.

Ziva pulled the vehicle alongside the road and turned towards Cherry astonished. "How did you find out?"

Cherry grinned and said – "As I said I am the best hacker; I hacked the routes and I found out this particular route that is not prominent and not marked in the GPS."

Ziva shook her head, ran her hand through her hair, and said – "I give it to you, Cherry."

She resumed her driving and all of us were excited now that the plan was successfully decoded.

We reached the venue and Ziva had booked a cabin for all of us. Alice, Cherry, and Ziva were in the master bedroom while we guys took the other room.

It had been a long time since we had been to an outing. I felt grateful to Ziva for this impromptu plan. We refreshed and went outside for the dinner.

After dinner, I told Ziva – "Thanks little sis, this is a rejuvenating and much-needed break."

Ziva hugged me and said "I know, you deserve it. I am glad you like this place. Now, come let's go for a quick walk around the resort. Tomorrow we are going to do some adventure."

Alice said to Ziva – "You do know you are our little Rockstar. Thank you for this trip."

All the others agreed with Alice and hugged Ziva lovingly. We all went for a stroll and then retired to our rooms.

Phil and Simon fell asleep soon but sleep was far for me. Woods reminds me of my parents, my BFF Erica and Zac, her brother, and my little buddy. Though Phil and Simon are my best buddies, Zac has been my pal and my bro. Ziva and I have had several adventure memories with Erica and Zac. The Cooper's were our extended family. I miss Erica badly; she was my first she-friend and my lucky charm. I wished if I could have her back in my life somehow. My heart welled up with many emotional charades and to divert myself I started humming, walked to the patio. Music soothes me whenever I am upset. However, tonight I felt an aura, a positive, calming, and rejuvenating aura. I didn't know whose aura it was but it energized me. Along with that, emanated an amazing scent – rose and jasmine. It was as if I felt her. I made it a point to contact Clara once we return and headed back to the bedroom.

The morning scenes as were as usual a pell-mell because I am the first one to get up no matter what time I sleep and the one to wake up all these lazybones. I completed my morning ritual and called up Alice as I know the other two girls might be fast asleep and asked them to get ready asap. I felt energized and after a long time my soul felt at peace, I don't know why but I strongly feel the aura and scent had to do with this feeling, and I may need to find whose it was.

We all were ready and decided to have our breakfast at the eatery. As soon as I entered the eatery, I smelled the same amazing scent of roses and jasmine and the same positive, bright aura brushed on me. For a few mins, I stumbled but I focused on the origin and was stupefied – indeed my eyes saw her!

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Hey readers,

Hope you have been enjoying the story so far.

Keep reading and leave your comments.

Cya :)

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