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-6-

The forest was silent. No crickets were chirping, no birds dared to sing their songs as I ran through the trees. The only sounds that I could hear was the wind moving through the treetops above me. The sound of my blood rushing through my ears and my paws trampling the damp earth beneath me.

My body moved through the forest with ease as my tiger hunted what hid beneath the undergrowth. I let her free. My own thoughts were shoved away into the deepest depths of my mind as we moved together in search of the only place we found tranquillity.

The forest was shaded under the thick treetops, in front of me the trees began to thin before they disappeared. The sun was shining with an orange glow as it moved closer to the horizon. The rays of light reflected off the trickling stream that moved through the clearing. The warm rays hit my fur, allowing my body to completely relax against its embrace.

I moved to the fallen tree in the middle of the clearing. As I neared it, I pulled back my tiger and shifted. I pulled a plastic bag from the large hole in the tree. I carefully brushed off the dirt and bugs before breaking the seal and pulling out the blanket. I wrapped it around my shoulders, covering my skin from the cool breeze.

Time seemed to pass as my mind disappeared into my thoughts.

The last time I sat in this very spot tears were rolling down my cheeks as my heart broke and anger rolled deep in my stomach. Before that, I was here with Kaine. I was always here with Kaine. This was our spot, the only place where we could be together without teasing comments from the adults that surrounded us. A place where we could just talk or just be.

This place held so many secrets. The whispers of the trees never took those words anywhere else, they always stayed. To this very day, there's so many untold stories that I had never even spoken to Jess about. This place was my place…was our place, and yet it didn’t feel like it was.

I looked out over the horizon. The sun setting lower, its rays hitting the glistening water from the stream in front of me. I sighed as I watched the water slowly trickle. The sound of the water hitting the algae-coated rocks reminded me of the slow trickle from a garden fountain.

I closed my eyes with a sigh and listened to the sounds around me as my mind drifted off. My life had gone from simple to chaotic in a matter of days and I wasn’t sure how to handle that. Everything was out of control, my mind, my body, my emotions, even my cat. Everything that I had control over was slipping away and I didn’t want to admit that the only way to gain the control back was by letting Kaine explain himself. He’s the one that caused all of this chaos so maybe getting closure from him would help me get my life back to normal…as normal as my life could get.

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