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 CHAPTER THIRTEEN: PRECIOUS CARGO

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Join date : 2011-08-05

PostSubject: CHAPTER THIRTEEN: PRECIOUS CARGO   Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:26 am

The ride to Splintertree took the group about three days. Zaeden headed to the militaries office, bearing with him a missive that spoke of their return to their camp and orders for the regiment that was still posted in the Barrens, to move out of Splintertree. He paid the lad who was to ride the missive there, to more quickly. He planned on Dreyden and the remaining regiment to meet him at the crossroads. Zaeden didn't bother telling anyone else because he wanted to suprise Aubrea. Afterall, he knew that she missed her sister, though she did not say so. Thought her heart missed her sister, she did her duties without complaint. The Caravan moved slowly, yet they made strides. They were ever mindful of their cargo. Aubrea was still recovering from the wounds she had, as well as feeling slightly dizzy. Ari'Celia with her children had to be careful in the areas they were traveling through.

That night, they reached a small Oasis called the Forgotten Oasis. Zaeden, Ninoz, and Rekghar set up the tents as Ari'Celia and Aubrea set up the different baskets of eating utensils and other food supplies they had packed. Thought Aubrea was still weak she began to assist with preparing there nightly meal. Zaeden finished typing off the knots to the tent he planned in sleeping in first. He stood up, dusting his hands off as he looked over to where Aubrea was, a wistful look in his eyes. Ari'Celia, spying the look on his face, moved away from Aubrea and closer to Zaeden.She murmured softly where only he could hear, "Ye shouldn't wait, t'fully claim the wee lass as yer own...it is as much as done, anyhow."

Zaeden's eyes widen in suprise, he stuttered, clearly thrown off guard. "I...I just cannot blurt out."

His head turned to gaze at the crystal clear oasis, shaking his head to clear his thoughts, he finally said quietly, "She is happy with him. The baby she is carrying...it is his."

She looked into his eyes, hers were glowing a dark, mysterious blue, almost purple as she briefly muttered, "Do not go with first impressions... not with her. She will need you, more than ye know. Ye must be in her life, at all costs."

His mouth fell open in shock. He did not know how to reply. Rather than speak, he picked up the bucket he brought to gather water in and kneeled down next to the edge. He tipped the bucket to the side and in a long, deep stroke pulled it from the right to the left, the bucket filling instantly with water. He glanced back at the Shaman. "You've given me much food for thought," he said finally, hefting the bucket in his hands as he stood to make his way to the camp.

He glanced back at the Shaman, "I promise to see what happens," he said finally, his eyes showing a tenderness as he muttered.

"All I want is to care for her. She deserves so much more..." his words trailed off the closer they got to camp. Ari'Celia started after Zaeden, her eyes bemused.

Rekghar came from the shadows mere moments later, unshifting out of his unique dark black fur and body of his travel form. Ari'Celia smiled as she watched him approach, though her eyes still held a tint of sadness. She was reminded of the Sergeant; she missed him so much still. "Those two...their paths cross many times...they will end up together though," Ari'Celia said quietly, her voice very assuring.

Rekghar grinned, his fang teeth showing as he uttered softly in return, "They will see, that yer right love. You always are."

Rekghar's voice was confident. Having been proved wrong many times by his wife. So many times in fact, he'd lost count. She looked into his eyes, smacking his arm, she murmured. "Indeed..."

Before dinnner could be prepared, Ninoz and Zaeden had to hunt down a few game birds. Plucking them to be cooked, Aubrea and Ari'Celia stirred some spices together to flavor the bird. Stringing it up on a sharp stick, they hung them over the fire, letting them roast. As the traveling companions sat around the fire, talking of various topics. Rekghar, Ari'Celia, and Ninoz could not help but notice the secret glances between Zaeden and Aubrea. Finally, the three decided to give the two a bit of privacy. All knowing their time alone was quickly coming to a close. Zaeden and Aubrea talked by the fire, there voices, though low, could still be heard. She was laughing softly when he told her some of the escapades of his brother and himself. She couldn't help but smile softly when she looked at him. His eyes were so warm and inviting. Moreso than the flames that crackled next to them. Aubrea braced herself to stand up when she suddenly sat back down again. Zaeden, concern in his eyes, gripped her elbow, pulling her up and against his chest. He held her close, whispering, "Are you alright?"

My love....he almost said it again. He really needed to control that urge, before they got back to the Outpost. She shook her head softly as she whispered conspirationally, "I am not sure... I have been feeling dizzy and a bit sick to my stomach...maybe the drink did not agree with my stomach..."

Her eyes shut briefly as she relaxed against his chest. His fingers ran through her hair, his eyes shutting to block out the visual that popped in his head. The vision was of Talivan, touching her...claiming her... he shuddered briefly. "Have you seen anyone about it? Seen perhaps what it could be?" he asked briefly, his eyes opening only to have conern fill their depths.

Shaking her head, she replied, "I had planned on it, when I returned back to the camp... I feel so silly, making such a fuss...it is most likely nothing."

Her head was still against his chest, subconsciously relaxing against the warmth of his body. He leaned down, kissing the top of her head without thought, her eyes widened as she pulled back. A blush suffusing her cheeks as she murmured, "It is best if I go to sleep for now."

Her eyes showed a sadness she was not aware of, yet to him, it was a clear as day. Was she afraid to tell him what she already knew what wrong with her? Was she afraid that it would change how he felt about her? Zaeden nodded his head in agreement, "I will be close by if you have need of me," he said quietly as he stood up, leaving her sitting by the fire.

He picked up his sword and shield and hefted them onto his back as he whistled for his horse. He climbed upon its back, making his way around the camp as he did so. She gave him a nod, knowing the nightly rounds had to be completed by somebody. She was at least thankful it wasn't her turn. She stood up, her balance more stable this time as she headed toward her tent. She quietly slipped the flap open, knowing he would be unaware of her eyes following his form from the darkness. There gazed followed him hungrily; she was not aware of the look in their depths as she sat quietly, watching him and thinking about how she had become sick, recently. She rubbed her stomach absently, she never felt such an illness before in her life. Zaeden...why could she not have met him, before Talivan? She sighed, then shook her head. I love Talivan...I could not abandon him, no matter what the temptation is, she decided to herself. Heading to her bedroll, she pulled the covers back, laid down, and closed her eyes. Soon, she was asleep.

The next morning found everyone waking up. Ninoz and Zaeden were up already, as well as Rekghar. All three were fishing for their breakfast as well as lunch before they mounted to head to the Crossroads for there weekly supplies. Ari'Celia stirred, bringing the children outside, she head a sound coming from Aubrea's tent; a very unusual one. Shaking her head, she ushers the children to beside the fire as she headed to the girl's tent. Knocking on the closed flap, she asked quietly, "Lass, are ye alright?"

She could hear sounds of someone, very ill. Pulling the flap open, her Shamanistic instincts kicked in. She went to the girl's side, as she felt her head. Aubrea laid on her side, holding her stomach; she was very miserable. "Oi, yer stomach is botherin' ya, ehh?" She said, as she reached down for the herbal tea she put beside her knee.

Aubrea groaned miserably, as she nods. "Aye, I don't know what I ate, but I wish I had not," she sighed, laying her head back as she sipped delicately on the cup's rim.

She closed her eyes, opening them back up, she whispered quietly, "What is wrong with me?"

Ari'Celia looked into the girl's eyes, saying quietly, "Let's find out," she said, her eyes hooded.

Aubrea opened her mouth as if to speak, when they both heard the cries of alarm. "Human's spotted by the Oasis! Take arms! Where is the General's?"

Confusioned reigned as they gathered the forces in closely. Aubrea, knowing they needed direction, guidance even, threw on her tabard, calling out, "Calvary to me! We mount and prepare a defense!"

Ari'Celia, alarmed, called out, "Take care lass, fer ye and yers!"

Aubrea nodded, not thinking abything of the woman's cryptic speech; she ran to Paragon's side, slipping on her back as she settled herself onto the saddle. Watching the men mount up, she led them to form a circle around the camp, effectively blocking them from the camps vulnerable spots. She silently cursed the fact that Zaeden and Ninoz had left a few hours ago to ride to the Crossroads for some supplies, but knowing she could hold her own, if need be. Shifting on her mounts back uncomfortable, she eyes the approaching riders. She drew her breath in as she saw a small regiment, flying the Stormwind colors. "Bloody hell...what are they doing in Kalimdor?" she murmured, pinching her nose as she called out resignedly, "Make sure t'keep Ari'Celia and her children in the center. Keep you eyes sharp! And set up the smoke signals...we must warn the General's about the danger."

Her eyes closed as a brief prayer was said to the heavens. "Please...please let him know the signs..." Zaeden, Rekghar, and Ninoz arrived at the Crossroads. Seeing Dreyden and Arabellia, as well as the regiment waiting, he walked up to his brother, a grin on his handsome lips. "I see the lad got the missive to you quickly."

"Aye...what is this? What is happening?"

"Our regiment is temporarily being assigned to Splintertree, to hold our foothold against the Human's. We are awaiting new assignments."

Dreyden's eyes widened at his words. Looking at Zaeden, he opened his mouth as to speak, when he spotted a strange darkness agains tthe sky. "What the hell," he muttered.

Zaeden turned around, looking at the climbing smoke, nonplussed, he turned around, asking, "What is that?"

Dreyden's eyes narrowed dangerously as he watched the clouds for a moment. Turning, he shouted to the regiment to mount up and follow, quickly! Zaeden felt an overwhelming sense of panic as he mounted up, riding neck and neck with Dreyden as they headed to the Oasis. "It's Aubrea...she is in danger. I taught her that signal a long time ago for if she was ever in need!" Dreyden called out as he bent low on his mount, riding swiftly.

Talivan, riding up alongside Dreyden and Zaeden, cried out, "Did you leave them alone? You bloody fool!"

The regiment moved swiftly towards their destination, the group tight, moving in a v-shaped formation. Zaeden felt guilty as he followed along, his only thought was of making sure Aubrea was safe. Aubrea slowly began to tighten their circle as the Human's closed in. The banner of Stormwind blew brightly against the lush area. Aubrea motioned for the Archers to set up. She was going to try and pluck them off one by one. Aubrea cried out for the Calvaryment to raise their shields; there sole thought was to protect the children, if nothing else. Ari'Celia growled fiercely, her body quickly shifting into the form of Lo'gosh, on the ready to defend her young. As Aubrea watched the main cluster of Alliance, she spotted far into the distance, a large cloud of dust being stirred up by the dank dry heat of the Barrens. She spied even more banners of Stormwind. Looking back to the crowd, she called out fiercely, "Tighten that formation! Don't let them pick us off like cattle!"

Zaeden, Dreyden, Rekghar, Ninoz, Aribellia, and Talivan spotted Aubrea first. She was mounted on the back of her horse, defending those in the camp to the best of her ability. They watched briefly in admiration, quickly they moved into a tighter v-shaped formation as they prepared their assault. "We have to be careful...my sister is in there," Bella said loudly.

Rekghar and Ninoz nodded as well. "Aye, and my sister." "My Mate"

Ninoz and Rekghar said at the same time. Zaeden nodded, as he called out to the troops. "Focus on their leader! If he goes down, they will scatter like dogs!"

Giving a wild war cry, he began to charge into the crowd. The regiment, including Arabellia followed close behind. Crying out savagely, they began to attack. Talivan and Dreyden focused hard and fast upon the leader. Arabellia began to chant lowly, her eyes opened wide, a dark redness seeping from her body, flaring up to damage her. Dreyden called out, fearful for his love, when he saw she was channeling a spell he was familiar with, called Hellfire. He chanted fast himself as a invisible, protective shield enveloped her. The bubble would not last long, but it would by her enough time to cast her dangerous spell. The screams of dying human's rending the very air as she sid so. Talivan was close by, swinging his sword wildly; his eyes casted about, looking for Aubrea, but he could not see her. Zaeden, rushing towards the leader, cried out. There, pinned against a tree, was Aubrea. Her eyes blazed as they met the leader of the Alliance forces gaze. He could see her muttering, mad as a bee who's nest had been stirred up.

The leader made a noise as his hand connected with her face. Her head hit the tree, cracking against it hard, she cried out as she slumped down, sliding against the tree. Zaeden, seeing this, cried out, his eyes blazing fury as he rushed the commander. The man barely had time to turn, when his eyes met Zaeden. For a brief moment, looking down, he saw the sword sticking from his stomach. He made a gurgling sound as Zaeden plunged it deeper in. At that very moment there eyes met and Zaeden watched with vengence, the mans very life being drained from his body. His troops in seeing their commander fall, fell back to make retreat. There screams could be heard as the regiment made chase. Zaeden pulled the sword back, the commander fell lifelessly to the ground. Zaeden moved to Aubrea's side, leaning down, he scooped her up tenderly in his arms. Murmuring soft words into her ears, his eyes were mirroring the guilt he felt for leaving her. She laid limply against his chest. She wasn't moving and her eyes were still closed. Ari'Celia, seeing the girl laying so against Zaeden's chest, called out to him. "Zaeden! Bring her here, quickly...before its too late!"

She tossed a blanket on the ground, pointing. Zaeden, his eyes glistening from the tears berimming in their depths, nodded. PLacing her on the blanket, he tenderly caressed her face. Talivan, Dreyden, Ninoz, and Rekghar ran up, giving Zaeden there reports. Zaeden nodded absently, watching Ari'Celia as she tenderly ministered to Aubrea's wounds. Talivan looked over at Zaeden, his eyes narrowing in contemplation. He shook his head as he heard Arablliea calling Aubrea's name. "She is wounded..." Talivan said, kneeling beside Aubrea.

Arabellia cried out, falling ot her knees next to her sisters prone body. "Aubrea...you cannot leave, not yet!" she cried out, her eyes glowing with unshed tears.

The others around had similar wetness in their eyes, though none admitted it publicly. They did not want anything bad to happen to the woman who saved their lives. Ari'Celia began to chant lowly, her fingers wavering over the young woman's body, as her voice seemingly reached out to the heaven's of Azeroth. A soft, green slow suffused Aubrea's body. The glow became stronger with time, making it almost unbearable to look at yet, they could not bear to look away, fearful of her state. "She is so still...so quiet..." Arabellia said softly, her arms around Dreyden as he kneeled beside her.

"She is a good healer...one can tell by how tenderly she administers to Aubrea," Dreyden assured her.

Zaeden and Talivan both watched in stunned fascination, bother seeing how hard she hit that tree. They were wooried for her health. How could one, so delicately built, survive such a blow? Talivan looked to Zaeden as Zaeden starred back. The animosity in their gaze was heated; one blaming the other, and one blaming himself for her harm. Ari'Celia began to chant louder, her voice literally crying out to the spirits for help, to heal Aubrea's wounds. The green light became more soothing as she semmed to start shaking. The exhertions in the girl's healing was becoming more and more apparent on Ari'Celia. The Shamaness finally collapsed, her body shaking profusely. Arabellia stood up, her lips opening to cry out, but before she could speak a word, Rekghar took ahod of her arm. "She will live...it is deemed so."

Arabellia began to cry openly, her body shaking as Dreyden gathered her close to his own body. He absently ran his fingers through her hair, looking to Zaeden as he could almost "hear" his thoughts... something he had bot been able to do since their childhood. Shaking his head, he listened closely, his eyes widened as he heard Zaeden's thoughts. "Gods, praised be that she lives... she will not die because of my foolishness...gods, how much I love her. I know I should not, It goes against my very code, but that time we shared before all of this. Before Talivan, before I took my sacred vow...I love her so much... how I wish her baby was my own... how I wish..."

Dreyden's eyes closed briefly as he listened to his brother. A long, drawn out sigh escaped his lips as he gripped Arabellia closer, soothing her the best he could. Then his eyes widened, looking down at Arabellia, then Aubrea, he spoke, though it was in his mind, "He wishes the baby was his? The time they shared before all of this....before Talivan...what on earth is he refferring to?" He looked to Talivan, his eyes attempting to gauge if he even knew anything.Tailivan held onto Aubrea's hand, his eyes, though showing conern, alos showed a lack of interest in her. He shook his head, saddened. How could a man look to anyone of Arabellia's and Aubrea's ilk, with nothing less than adoration? Holding Arabellia close, he felt a tenderness overwhelm his mind. His lips pressed against Arabellia's templt, as he leaned down to whisper something in her ear, she looked up at him, her eyes holding equal amounts of tenderness, as she placed her hand over his heart.

Zaeden looked up briefly, his eyes met Dreyden's, a silent conversation ensuing between the two. They had not been able to speak, much less interact with each other for years, due to the animosity between the two; now, both were communicating, a truce between the two men; one of the dark, one serving the light. Talivan kneeled down, gathering her small, delicate frame against his chest as he headed to her tent. He leaned down briefly as he heard her mumble something, too low for the others to hear. A hardened look entered his eyes, as he pulled back the flap of the tent; shutting it, one could hear movement as he settled her into the bed. As he stepped out of the tent finally, his eyes met Zaeden; a look of hatred passed his face briefly, so briefly Zaeden had wondered if he imagined it. Shaking his head, he looked back to Dreyden, nodding briefly, he whistled for his mount, mounted up, and rode off into the deepening twilight.
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CHAPTER THIRTEEN: PRECIOUS CARGO
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