Everyone hunkered down for the night as darkness fell, covering the sky with an ominous blanket. I was so tired, my body aching with bruises and scrapes, yet sleep could not find me. The thick, heavy smell of smoke filled the air-the house was still on fire.

   When everyone had settled down, I crept to the nearest tree, pulling myself up onto a branch with ease. I climbed higher and higher until I reached a limb high up that could still hold me. In the dappled moonlight, I gazed over our camp, watching the nine other sleeping forms.

   The full out battle had flown by so rapidly, in was a blur in my memory. I still stank with the grime of sweat; my knuckles hurting from punching so much so hard, especially when I had missed one as she dodged my strike and I hit the hard dome wall. With a faint smile, I recalled how Ben had reference my position as a 'fighter'.

   I noticed Marc shift in his sleep. How I had blushed earlier when he spoke in French to me after he and Jake's bickering had ended. I had no idea what he said, but the way he said it, the mystery of the unkown words, and maybe that he was good-looking made heat rise to my face. I was glad no one noticed. Still I wondered at why Marc and Jake disliked one another so....perhaps it had something to do with the past feud between Jake and Jade. Typically I had avoided those who obessed over boys and romantic relationships, as I had no time for them myself, so I knew virtually nothing and had hardly any experiences with such matters.

  Shaking my head, I thought, 'Why am I thinking such silly things...there are much more serious issues to think about! At least Jake and Jade made up-we can't afford anyone hating each other right now. I just hope Marc and Jake can work things out...'  I turned my eyes to the two, Jade snuggled close against Jake, his protective arm around her. 'Maybe Marc likes Jade....'  I thought, my heart sinking-why was that? Why does it matter to me? Why do I care?

   I brushed a strand of hair behind my ear, and took the note from my pocket to gaze at it again. I shuddered at it's threatening words, swallowing. The vision of those terrible eyes burned in my head, and I could hear the laugh from Socrates evil lips as I neared death, helpless in his grip.

   Crinkling the note in my fist, I shoved it back in my pocket. I wouldn't give up to Socrates as he asked. Never.  I put my long arms around my torso, hugging myself. More than anything, I wanted to go home. To my normal life. My lip trembled, but I bit it, holding back a tear.

    I would never give up to Socrates. Never ever. Even in his dreams.

    I wished this all was a dream. That I could wake up in my own bed at home, and forget this nightmare.  

The End

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