Encounter

At first it was nothing. Just the vibration of the ground, just the sound of the crickets that surrounded her and Hyde. Every once and again, Shade would chirp in his sleep. But the vibrations increased with each passing minute, and slowly she opened her eyes, and looked towards Hyde. He was still lying on his side, but his ears were twitching picking up something. The horses heard it as well. Then Rowan finally picked up on it. The sound of hooves in the distance heading their way.

Wiping sleep from her eyes, Rowan looked out over the plains and she could just make out the figure of someone on horse back heading their way. Closer and closer they came until she suddenly realized that it was Royal Regiment soldier heading there way. She quickly turned and woke up Hyde who, in a very gutteral tone said, he all ready him coming a few miles back.

"Why do think he's come to find us?"

"They probably saw the fire at Englante want to know what happened. You go back to sleep, I'll deal with this,"" Hyde said, as rose to his feet.

Clearly he didn't like to be woken from his sleep, even if it was work buisness that he need to take care of. Rowan wasn't about to just go back to sleep, she would have to tell her side of the story as well. Instead, she swung Hyde's jacket around her shoulders and let it hang their before she added more flames to the dwindling fire.

"Hey, slow down!" Hyde said, as the Royal Regiment solider continued to race towards them.

But the rider continued to run, and it wasn't until he was a few feet away from Hyde did he stop. Hyde crossed his arms before looking at his fellow soldier.

"Take it easy. I'm guessing Chief Dugard sent you right?" Hyde said.

The soldier didn't say a word has leaped down from his saddle and sent the horse to graze. Rowan watched, a sickening feeling washing over her. The Solider chuckled before raising his fist and swinging at Hyde. Hyde stumbled backwards before sliding to a steop.

"What the hell is your problem!" Hyde said rubbing his cheek, spitting blood from his mouth.

"You, your my problem!" the soldier said, his voice slurred and crazed.

Rowan leaped to her feet, standing beside Hyde as she looked at the Soldier. The voice sounded so familar. She thought hard, before the Solider looked at her and then removed his helmet tossing it to the side.

"Cole...Cole what are you doing here?" she asked.

"I've come to take you back and clear your name. But first I have to take care of Hyde!" he said.

"Cole...Cole what are you talking about? Take me back where?" she asked.

"Rowan, stand back. He's not right," Hyde said, extending a hand in front of her.

"Don't you touch her! Keep your murderous hands off her! She's all ready been through enough!" Cole hollered.

"What are you talking about Cole? I'm no murderer!"

"Liar! You burned down Englante! And you took Rowan away from me! Li,ke everything else! She just came back, and then...then you took her away.  But can't have her!" Cole hollered, drawing his sword and racing towards Hyde.

Hyde pushed Rowan back, before leaping over Cole, and racing over to Shadow, were his sword rested. He pulled it from it's sheath before pointing it towards Cole. Cole raised his sword above hishead, before bringing it down upon Hyde, who blocked it and pushed Cole back

Cole came back with a horizontal swing. Hyde blocked that as well, and with the hilt of his sword jammed it intto the space were Cole's arm showed his skin. Cole doubled over in pain, before dropping to his knees.

"Now, tell me what th hell is going on?"

"I have come to bring my precious Rowan back! I can't lose her, not after she has just returned to me! You all ways were the one to one up me. But not this time. I'm the stronger man. I will kill you and avenege those who died at Englante. I'll clear Rowan's name and she'll stay with me in Lardon. And you, you'll rot, right here, in your own murderous blood!" Cole said pushing himself upwards.

"Cole, stop this right now! Hyde didn't do that! The people of Englante..."

"Be quiet!" Cole said swinging at Rowan, knocking her onto the ground, "Why do you choose to protect him and not me? Why do you all ways vouch for the other guy? Can't you see that I need you, and I only want what's best for you?" Cole asked, "Now, stay in a woman's place. I may have to kill you as well, if you continue to spare his murderes life!"

Rowan rose to her feet, before lightning cracked from the palm of her hands and hit Cole.  He froze, his whole body convulsing as the lightning coursed through his veins. He dropped to the ground, smoke coming up from his paralyzed body. He coughed before slowly getting back to his knees, and turneing towards Rowan.

"He's contanminated you! Your not the Rowan I knew. The Rowan I knew would never attack me! The Rowan I knew was never a sorceress!"

"Cole, calm down. I don't want to do that again!" Rowan said taking a step back.

"Be quiet. Give me my Rowan back! Give her back to me now!" Cole shouted, before rushing towards Rowan.

He was faster than Rowan expected, and before she had time to focus on a spell she was once again knocked to the ground, closer to the flames. Cole stood above her, before he yanked her up by her hair, and dangled her above the ground.

"If I kill you, perhaps my Rowan will come back!" Cole said raising the tip of his blade to Rowan's neck.

"Cole drop her!" Hyde hollered, running towards Cole. Just as he was about to take a swing at his sword, he dropped it and then pushed Rowan in fronto of him, all most as if she were a shield. Hyde closed his eyes, as he felt his sword meet Rowan's flesh. She cried out, and Hyde snatched his sword, back before opening his eyes.

A large wound was running up the length of Rowan's left arm, and tears were streaming down her face as she cired out in pain. Cole chuckled, before his eyes suddenly turned sorrowful and he dropped Rowan to the ground, and kicked her away. "I told you not to get involved!"

"Is this how you would take care of her if she went back with you to Lardon? Would you keep her locked up in the house like some slave?"

"She's disobidient, and cruel. But I can make her become the old Rowan once again. I promise you that. Once your taken care off, I'll take her back to Lardon with me,"

"She'll bleed out before then!" Hyde hollered, his eyes racing over to Rowan who was out cold.

"Shut up! She's a sorceress. Once her blood is gone, she'll be human. She'll be my Rowan again!"

"She'll be dead! And you would have killed her. Now move out of the way, I'd rather not have to kill you,"

"How about this, who ever is alive, gets to keep Rowan? How does that sound,"

"Your going to lose. I will never allow Rowan to go back with someone like you. And to think you use to be one of her closest friend. She even stood by your side just now. She didn't want to use magic but..."

"She was using it to protect you. So once your out of the picture, she'll be all mine!" Cole said, his face contortin into anger, before he raced towards Hyde, swinging his sword like a mad- man.

Hyde blocked his blow, and pushed back. He didn't want. He didn't want to cause Rowan any more harm than she was all ready in. But with each growing minute, Cole was growing more confused and crazy, and he knew that was a dangerous combination. Knocking Cole back, he swung his sword, denting his armor.

"You can't win, not with all this armor I have on me!"

Cole laughed hysterically, knocking Hyde's sword right from his hands. Cole then followed up with a hard blow o the face with the hilt of his sword. Hyde collasped backward his head spinning. he couldn't concentrate on anything. Cole continued to laugh, until all of a sudden, purple flames engulfed him, eating away at his skin and armor. His eyes went wide, before he turned around and saw that Rowan was on her hands and knees, controlling the flames.

"You wench! Look what you've done! Now your going to die for sure!"

 Cole raced towards Rowan, fire burning his body and sword ready to impale her. Hyde reached for his sword, and with all the concentration he could mutter, leapt into the air and landed before Rowan. He stabbed his sword straight through the melting brestplate, before kicking Cole to the ground. Red blood oozed out of the wound he had just inflicted and as he pulled his sword out.

"Why...why do you all ways have to one up me? She was so close...so close to being mine,"

"You'd be causing her more harm than good. I told you to stop, but now you just had to keep coming. Now look at her? After what you've done did you expect her to come with you?"

"I loved her...and she should have loved me as well. But it seems you got to her first. I hope you burn in hell for all eternity!"

Hyde paid him no attention as he drew his last breath and then ccontiued to burn. His metal melted away, along with whis ace, and soon he was just a pile of ashes. Hyde tossed his sword to the side before he made his way over to Rowan and sat beside her, steadying her.  A large lump had begun to fom on her head and her face had a few cuts on them as well, probably from being pushed to the ground so much.

"Ow...everything hurts..." she muttered after a while, "Damn it, did you have to save me again?" she asked with a chuckle.

"No, this time you saved me. I just delivered the last blow," Hyde said.

"So, so he's gone?"

"Yeah, he's gone. Now let me take care of your wounds," Hye said.

"I can do it..." she said, opening her eyes.

"Rowan you can barely sit up, at least let me hold you up," he said.

"All right," Rowan said, as she leaned against Hyde and then began to heal her arm. She bit her lip, to keep herself from cursing. Repairng muscle and bone was painful, and even her skin was something that would cause her some pain. She closed her eyes, whimpering as her muscles reconnected, and her bone healed slowly. Hyde went stiff as he watched, before he wrapped his arms around her, steadying here, reminding her that he was there.

Finally letting out a gasp, she cursed underneath her breath before sighing. She looked down at her arm. Tha gash had shrunken in size, but she could do no more. She took in a few more deep breaths before Hyde, began to speak.

"Hang on, I think I have bandages,"

"Jeez, you just came prepared didn't you?" Rowan asked, as she and Hyde got to their feet and made their way over to Shadow who was now fast asleep. Hyde made sure to keep Rowan's back to the pile of ashes and melted that stood by the fire. He opened his pack, setting Rowan against Shadow's large flank. He pulled out a roll of bandages, before asking Rowan to remove her cloak. She took it off, and set in her lap, messing with the large tear that now left the cloak damaged.

"Where am I suppose to get a knew one?" she asked.

"Don't worry about it. I can get it fixed for you at the tailors," Hyde said as he began to bandage her up.

"You don't have to Hyde,"

"I want to. I know it's special to you,"

"How do you know?" Rowan asked, looking at him.

"You just got upset because it was destroyed. I'm prettuy sure this means something," he said.

"Ok, your right," Rowan said, watching as he finished and tied the bandage. Hewiped sweat rom his brow, before placing a hand on Rowan's face.

"Let me take care of these. You all ready used enough energy healing that wound," he said.

"No, no, I..."

"Ssh" he said pressing a finger to her lips, before closing the small cuts on her face, "Their all better," Hyde said with a grin, nefore he lso leaned against Shadow.

"We can move if you want, I mean..." Hyde suggested.

"It's fine. But why would he do that Hyde? Why would he hurt me like that?"

"I guess, he can't stand change. I really don't know what sent him over the edge. I never thought Cole was so unstable. Hang on give me a minute," Hyde said getting to his feet.

With his feet, he kicked the armor and Cole's Ashes into the fire, before returning to Rowan's side. He closed his eyes, hanging his head, "I'm sorry you had to see that," he muttered.

"Hyde, it's not the first time. Thanks though," Rowan said.

"But he was your friend-"

"A long time ago he was my friend, but even then we weren't real close. Now I understand why. I just...it's just..." she said shaking all of a sudden, as if she were holding back something.

Hyde pulled her close, being careful of her arm. She nestled into him, laying her head on his shoulder. She didn't look up at him, but instead she watched the fire burn once again. Hyde's gaze too rested on the fire in front of them, before he leaned his on Rowan's.

"Does it bother you?" he asked,

"Does what bother me?" Rowan asked, looking up.

"That...that I'm holding you this way? Does it bother you, cause I can stop and-"

"Hyde, don't let go. If you do, I think I may fall apart," Rowan said looking away.

"Rowan..." he whispered, laying his head against hers.

Suddenly her shoulders heaved up and down, just gently and just for a second. He knew now, why she wasn't looking at him. She was crying. She didn't dare open her mouth and Hyde just sat beside her, holding her like she had said to. After a while, she stopped, and Hyde proceeded to wipe her tears away. She didn't fight him, but instead said thank you.

"You should rest, I'll keep watch?"

"I can't sleep Hyde. I don't want to have nightmares," Rowan said quietly.

"How do you know you'll have nightmares tonight?" he asked.

"I have them every night. It's kind of a curse really.  Sasha says that is the only bad thing about being a sorceress, your drams become nightmares, and visions of the future. I can't remember the last time I had an actual normal dream...or I haven't dreamed at all,"

"That's horrible, considering I love my dreams,"

"What do you dream about Hyde?" she asked.

"The plains, the mountains. I dream of running with my fellow man, without anyone stopping us. It's the same every night," he said with a grin.

"Sounds nice,"

"It is," Hyde said growing quiet.

I'll pray that you'll have good dreams Rowan.

The End

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