I lay in the bed eyes closed and tried to remember what happened. My head throbbed painfully. I felt something brushing the hair out of my eyes, then sank back into a deep sleep.
Some time later I eased out of the state of dreamlessness in which I had become immersed. Opening my eyes and sitting up I looked around. It was dark, the moon was reaching the peak of its nightly arc and now shone like a glowing pearl through the dark gnarled branches of the trees overhead. The only other source of light shimmered from the dying embers of a fire that had been dug into the forest floor. Lying all around me were three figures, human in appearance, and another much larger shadow. At once I knew they were freindly but when I tried to remember why my head ached from the effort. After a while I swung my legs off the makeshift bed and stood up. The ground swam infront of my eyes and I nearly fell forward. A soft warm hand grasped my arm and held me upright. I looked round. Standing there supporting me was an elven girl, no more than sixteen years old. She had dark pixie cut hair and eyes that gleamed as green as the trees that surrounded us must have been.
"Glad to see you are awake at last." she said to me as she steered me back to my bed, "We were beginning to get worried."
"How long have I been asleep?" I asked, my voice coming out gravelly and hoarse.
"At least four hours." she replied. I sat back down, shaking my head in an attempt to clear it.
"Here." I looked up to she the girl offering me a canteen of water. I murmured a few words of thanks and gulped it down eagerly. Once I was finished I looked at the girl more closely. Now that I looked at her properly I could see that she was a head shorter than me with a slender, elegant figure. Her skin was pale and her lips were painted a pure white. Dark circles clung to her eyes.
"Laetisha." I said to her "You needn't have stayed awake all this time for me." She smiled.
"I didn't think you should be left to wake alone Darl. My name is Aven"
"Felinth Aven." Finally I knew why I knew these were freinds when I first woke. I remembered the other. The princess. I strained to think. Meredyth! That was her name. Then I remebered Carla.
"Carla! My hawk! What happened to her? Where is she?" I asked, a dull panic settling in my stomach.
"She's fine." said Aven soothingly "She's resting and you should be doing the same." She gave me another drink of water from the canteen then told me to sleep. Obediently I lay back and after a few moments was fast asleep once more.