Running through the forest, the small band of outlaws realized the gap between them and their pursuers had closed. Bryelle knew it was all her fault, that if she hadn’t stolen the goods, they wouldn’t have been fleeing for their lives.
The quintet were forced to run along the top of a cliff face, a waterfall rushing to a deep lagoon below. The pursuers thought they had them cornered. Up ahead there was a ledge that Bryelle knew very well. If she separated herself from the the group, maybe the pursuers would leave her friends alone. She dodged free from her troupe at the last second and jumped from the ledge, keeping her body erect, pointing her toes, pulling her arms tight.
She hit the water with a resounding smack, though barely making a splash.
“Bryelle! No!” screamed Jaydin. She hit the water and did not come up for air. The pursuers closed in. Jaydin became enraged, taking out three of them at once. The others fought bravely, dropping the leader so that the rest were forced to retreat. Then the rebel band hurried down to the lagoon, searched the waters, but found no girl.
Jaydin wept loudly. Bryelle had formed a tighter bond with him than the others. But she never had let go of her past and given in to him. The others wondered how long until she finally realized the quiet desire that passed between them. But now she was gone.
The troupe mourned her loss, their tears softer, their wails quieter than those of their friend. They each remembered a time where Bryelle had saved them, often knowing a secret tunnel or having a stash of food and weapons right when they needed it.
As they cried over their loss, a form slowly emerged from a space behind the waterfall, crawling across the face of the cliff.
“Bryelle!” They ran to her. Jaydin powering ahead of them all.
“I think I’ve broken my foot.”
Jaydin cradled her in his arms, gently plucking her from the rocks. Then through his tears, he kissed her.
“Don’t you EVER do that to me again!” he accused, half laughing at his sudden joy and her surprised look. He sat her down on the sand beside the lagoon to look at her foot. Artie, the doctor, splinted and wrapped it, Jaydin’s arms never leaving Bryelle’s shoulders. She didn’t even whimper. She was too busy puzzling out his face.
“How did you survive?”
“Oh, if you go to the east side of waterfall you can get behind it without being towed under. I climbed into the cave, but the pain from my foot made me black out. I’m so glad you didn’t leave!”
“I would never leave you!” declared Jaydin. “I love you.”