A New RefugeMature

The new camp wasn't so much a camp as a small cave hidden behind a group of large shrubs. Falcon didn't even see it at first, but when Dane pushes aside a clump of foliage it revealed the low entrance. In fact, it was so small that Falcon has to flatten himself onto his belly and crawl through the gap, snarling curses as his sword catches beneath him. However, once through the narrow entrance, the cave opens up into a much larger space. The others have already started a fire in the middle and are sorting gear and supplies into piles.

"I see you've been busy," says Falcon, nodding approvingly. Dane snorts,

"Wasn't much else to do with you idiots off chasing her." He jerks his head at Eternal. "There's plenty of other exits through the passages at the back, most of them lead to the outside."

"What about the rest?" asks another voice from the cluster of soldiers.

Dane smirks, lip curled in a malicious half-smile. "Underground lake. It's deep, dark and I don't think it's uninhabited. I'd avoid it if I were you, you don't know what might be down there."

Falcon rolls his eyes and turns back to the soldiers. "Send out a couple of scouts.  I want this entire area checked for soldiers. By my estimate we're close to Frost territory, probably on disputed land. If you see anything, report back to me. Get some food first, then head out."

The soldiers nod and disperse, Falcon turns to talk to Dane but his second has already vanished. Mary streaks over and flings her arms around Eternal's waist, chattering excitedly. Muttering insults, Falcon slinks off to a corner at the back of the cave, unslings his sword belt and collapses against the wall. That was close, he thinks, too close. He'd never seen the Blazes out in such force, nor had he thought to see Shadow alongside them. Shadow. Even the name made the bile rise in his throat. Whatever that bastard wanted with Eternal, he wasn't going to let him get it.

Shadow had taken enough from him already.

The End

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