I was by the lake with future Near when I heard Shadrach calling for me. Near's face turned serious, and he kissed me, a long and soft kiss, his arms tight around me before letting me go and nudging me back toward camp. Now, almost every time I went down to the lake or river near where we were staying, he would be there. I reveled in his company, and we laughed and played together as he helped me strengthen my new-found powers for heating and freezing water. Pretty soon I could freeze a path over the thin river that was strong enough to hold both of out weights, (well, until Near started jumping around and it cracked...).
"Lyra? Lyra!" Shadrach's voice came from the camp, once more. I realized I had been lost in my memories, and Near was watching me with a strange smile on his face. He seemed to have that effect on me. When I was near him, I could remember things far clearer...
"Go." He whispered. "This is an important time in all of your presents." I kissed him one last time before heading toward camp at a jog. When I looked back, he waved at me, then disappeared.
When I entered the clearing, Shadrach let out a sigh of relief.
"Where were you?" He asked angrily, fixing me with a hard stare.
"Just... by the river.." I said, slowly, noticing Trin looking at me. I fixed him with a pleading stare. Present Near must not find out about his future..
"Why didn't you come when I called the first time? This announcement is urgent, you could have been killed!" Shadrach grabbed my arm, staring into my eyes.
"Wh-what? Killed? What are you talking about?" He sighed and pushed me away.
"Sit down." He commanded arrogantly.
"Who are you to think you can boss me around? You aren't my dad!" I hissed, rubbing my arm. I was sure I would find burns in the shape of his fingers around it when I looked.
"I JUST SAVED YOUR LIFE, SO SIT DOWN AND BE GRATEFUL DARN IT!" He roared. Cal jumped up and grabbed his arm, whispering in his ear, trying, evidently, to calm him down.
"She's only young.." Cal said softly. "She didn't see what you saw..." Clearly Cal thought I had hearing problems.
"What did he see?" They both shot me irritated looks.
"Shadrach just killed a man who was here to take all of our heads to someone calling himself the 'Dark Lord'" Cal explained.
"Oh..." I murmured. The rest of the group let out gasps and similar cries, and Felixa began to cry.
"I don't want to die.." She sniffed.
"You aren't going to die. We need to leave, now. The forest of Undine is near." Shadrach said, and everyone got to their feet. I headed back to the river, feeling uneasy. If we were at this Forest of Undine place, staying with a mentor who would teach us about our powers, it would be even harder for me to see Near.. I sighed, and a single tear slid down my cheek. I hated having secrets..