Novia and Ash stewed the rabbits over the fire Amina had created while Aidian glared daringly at the Lunar Essence in their midst. Once the meal was cooked, they ate in stony silence. As much as the others did not share Aidian's distrust of Amina, they did not want to take sides. Had she the inclination, Amina could kill them all instantly. They did not want that. She could save them, that they did know.
To give his nerves a few minutes respite, Aidian left the clearing to clean the pot in one of the small puddles nearby.
"Damn it, the fire's gone out. Amina, can you?" Ash frowned at the smoking but dull pile of his namesake under his hands.
"We do not need it." She smiled gently from her perch unfolding lengths of cloth from her horse.
"Of course we do. We shall freeze in our blankets otherwise, and what about keeping animals away?" He frowned, she knew they needed heat to survive so what was her plan?
"We do not need it." She repeated, slightly more frustrated this time.
"Open your eyes and see! You hypocrite! I mean you no harm. You do not understand." Offended and angry, Amina left her bed half made and sprinted into the trees that quickly concealed her form.
"You idiot." Novia sighed.
"What, what did I say?" Ash's brown eyes squinted in pained confusion; of all things he had not meant to hurt Amina.
"Amina is a lunar essence." She prompted.
"So she produces light, and heat."
He pressed his eyes shut. He had been stupid. "But that does not excuse her reaction."
"Ash you fool! She has been abandoned by her kin bar none. We are all she has and she knows none of us fully trust her, and for no one to understand her is now her biggest grievance."
"What have I done?" Ash rose from the fireside and followed the trail Amina had gone.
Her glow was faint, but visible. She had run a long way. Drawing in breath, Ash sped after the blue light and did not stop until he was a few feet from her.
"Amina." He tried to carry on but he did not know what to say.
"Peace, young one. I know. You meant no harm. I was the one who was harsh." She kept her back to him, her long black hair waving by her waist.
"I had no idea, I have no idea, what it must be like for you. I cannot even imagine."
"And I pray to the stars you never have to!" She spun around. To Ash's surprise, he could see she was crying, "They abandoned me with the fullest intent. They knew i lived in exile, they knew I would be immediately targeted; killed, they would hope. I am left with no one who knows what I am capable of. I cannot run with my own kin, a race against you or your family would be pointless; I can out stride you by three leagues. There has only been one so alone as me, and it is him that we must seek."