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A Lovely Stroll Through the Woods
An R.L. Mathewson Chronicle
“It’s not that bad,” Dani managed to get out with a straight face, which became difficult to maintain when Caine slowly turned his head to lock her with a glare that she shouldn’t find amusing, but did.
“We’re no longer speaking,” Caine said slowly, enunciating every rage-fueled syllable as she pretended to find the foliage marking their trail interesting.
“Fair enough,” she said with a nod, because she really couldn’t blame him.
Terrified that the smile that she was struggling to hold back would break free at any moment, she cleared her throat and tried to get her mind off the glowering man walking beside her. It probably would have been easier to pull off if he hadn’t been covered from head to toe in mud, clay and other things that she really wished that her sensitive nose hadn’t picked up.
“You better not be smiling,” he growled, and since she knew that she was on the verge of laughing, she decided that it was for the best to keep to keep her lips pressed tightly together out of fear that she set him off and find herself being dragged back to that cave and thrown into the hole that she may have accidentally caused him to fall into in the first place.
Not that she was taken all the blame for this one, because she wasn’t. She hadn’t been the one to call in the tip that had sent them across the country. Granted, she had been the one to volunteer them to check it out, but since that would only make her look bad she decided that it was for the best not to start this argument.
When their camp came in sight, she decided that it would be best for everyone, mostly her, if she made herself useful while Caine jumped into the cold river and scrubbed himself clean. As soon as they reached their camp she made herself busy, pretending that she didn’t notice Caine standing behind her, glaring at her as his hands twitched with the need to strangle her. Humming to herself as she worked, she sent him what she prayed would be taken as a friendly smile only to end up ducking her head when a snort of amusement broke free.
He was really going to kill her, or at the very least, try.
Deciding that it was time to make a peace offering, she grabbed two bags of blood from the cooler they’d kept hidden in the tent and handed them to him, careful not to make eye contact. He didn’t say anything as he took the blood from her and for that she would forever be thankful, because she really wasn’t sure how much longer she could keep this up.
It probably wouldn’t have been so bad if he was standing there, slowly draining his bag of blood as he watched her every move. In fact, it was actually starting to unnerve her a bit. Maybe she should grab another bag of blood for him? Or maybe offer to scrub his back since it was sort of her-
“Run,” he whispered so softly that she barely missed it and that was saying a lot since she could hear a pin drop a mile away if she was list-
“Run,” he growled as his eyes shifted to a fiery red and she decided that, yes, yes she could go for a run in the woods.
And perhaps a swim as well to throw him off? she amended a few seconds later when he released another growl, this one sending her running through the woods, towards the river. She jumped in, uncaring that she was still fully dressed or that it was indeed cold, and started swimming somewhat frantically towards the other side.
The sounds of water splashing violently had her changing her mind mid-paddle and deciding that perhaps a lovely trip down the river would be a wonderful way to spend the night? Giving up on fighting the current, she changed course and began swimming with it, ignoring the violent curse somewhere behind her and wondered if she should risk a skull fracture and dive under the water with the hopes that she was able to lose him long enough so that she could crawl out of the river a mile or so down and continue this frantic mid-night stroll through the woods.
His next growl decided that it was definitely worth a try. Sucking in a lungful of air, she ducked beneath the water and hoped for the best.
To be continued….
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