I nursed my sore head as Jack punched the third tree to feel his anger.
"Why did you stop me?!?!" He cried, looking murderously around.
"You didn't give us a choice. You can't just attack an old man like that without giving us a reason." Lyra snapped, rubbing her head too. We both had large red marks from our collision.
"It's none of your business what I do!"
"It's our business what you do on my quest." Destran put in, striding over, sheathing his sword. He had been checking on Brena, who was feeling a little green after the arm chopping incident.
"Well maybe I don't care what you think, ever thought of that?"
"Yes, constantly, it haunts me that my opinion is irrelevant to you." Destran retorted sarcastically. Jack looked as though he might lunge for Destran, and Destran looked as though he were ready for him to do so. There was rather too much testosterone in the air.
"Stop it! Both of you!" I cried as both men looked as though they would start a childish 'it was him' war."Jack, explain why you went after this man, and Destran let him do it without trying to hack him to pieces; you know it won't do anything anyway."
"Don't want to." Jack pouted, felling another tree.
"Then leave us to the mercy of this man next time he comes, because we're more likely to believe his story, since you won't tell us." I was lying, but Jack seemed to see the sense.
"I'll tell you some of the story. But not all. Tonight. After you've fed me; I'm starving. Banana! Cook me a feast!" He cried, some of his old piggish humour returning. I rolled my eyes, as did Brena, but she got out her cooking instruments anyway.
We sat back, waiting as the logs in the fire caught alright, and lit the darkening marsh with a comforting warm light. I watched Jack, seeing shadows flit across his face as he thought, and I realised that despite his childish behaviour, he was deeply scarred. His thoughts were clearly, not pleasant ones at all. I pitied him.
"Are you alright?" Destran asked, sitting next to me.
"Yes," I replied, although my head still ached. "Yoou're not hurt are you?"
"No. No I wasn't injured." I looked away from Jack to see Destran's face as he peered down at me, softened by the fire light. I smiled and was rewarded by his smile in return.
"I'm sorry that the quest isn't going as well as you'd hoped." I muttered.
"Well, if it were easy..." He trailed off, and his eyes became thoughtful.
I leaned back on the log and tapped his shoulder to bring him back.
"Daydreamer." I teased gently.
"It's night." He replied, and I had the impression that he would have stuck his tongue out if he'd been the Destran I once new. I grinned, and cupped his cheek for a second before rising to go and help Brena.
We were all seated, eating our meals, when Jack belched. We looked up and he grinned.
"Got your attention? Are we sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin." He said, in a stupid voice. Then his eyes grew dark, heavy, and sorrowful, and he began to tell us his version of events.