Chapter 2 – First meeting
Wheels were turning up at the end of the road, along with a bunch of footsteps. Enyra woke up very fast, the alarming sound of people made her ready to steal, hide and catch any information. From the thick branch she was sitting on, it was very hard to notice she was there, as you had to look up directly into the sun. So she had a perfect hiding spot. Her red hair was really noticeable though, thus she always wore it in a pony tail and hid it underneath a black bandana.
She crawled further to the end of the branch, laying down with her whole body to make herself less visible, and closer to the road that she was now hanging above of. Her hands were dirty and covered with small bruises from climbing the tree all of the time.
There, at the horizon of the road, she could see people turning up. Her golden eyes were excellent at far sighting, so it wasn’t hard to see the people’s faces and remember them. Three, no four – no five people were walking on the road, with a big cart behind them that was being pulled by a horse. Enyra’s heart sped up, she could smell food in the cart.
They were merchants! Such a lucky day for her, she hasn’t eaten anything since the day before yesterday – and those were blueberries. She was really starving for something good.
Before pushing herself up to get ready to jump down (she was actually pretty high, 30 feet high), she noticed a sixth person walking with the group. He was walking behind the cart – his hands were chained to it. She noticed immediately; he was a prisoner.
The merchants had caught a teenager, and they were ready to trade him in to the hunters for a good price at the nearest town. Enyra felt the need to free him, but she couldn’t resist the food that was in the cart. Torn between her morality and her needs, she didn’t know what to do.
And that was when he looked up at her. He knew she was up there – how he knew she didn’t know – but he was staring right into her eyes.
He was close enough for her to see his eye colour, they were bright grey, spookingly so. Short platinum blonde hair covered his eyes, peering through them alluringly.
It seemed like he wasn’t expecting her to save him at all, he was just staring at her as if he knew her, yet hated her. He wasn’t doing anything but stare at her, which almost looked like a deadly glare.
Something drew her to him, but she wasn’t about to leave her food though. Sliding her hand into her pocket of the coat she was wearing, she felt her fingers touch the cool steel of the knife she had. She gripped it firmly and pulled it out, putting it between her teeth to keep her hands free.
The cart was close enough for her to start jumping down. Being small, and very light she could easily and almost gracefully jump down from branch to branch without making any noise at all. She was purely skilled at hiding herself. Jumping on the last branch, she was now directly above the cart; she plunged.
The cart didn’t have a real roof, it was just a blanket covering the goods, so Enyra fell down with her butt in all the merchant goods. Stupid enough to forget about this, Enyra quickly stood up, gathered as much foods as she could, and surprisingly jumped out of the cart the way she fell in. She had never jumped this high and it almost stunned her as she was resting on the end of the cart, looking stupid with food in her hands and a knife in her mouth.
Before her, was the blonde teenager who was still staring at her the same was as he did before.
It seemed the merchants didn’t notice yet, so there was still a chance to free the guy. Stuffing all the food in one hand, she removed the knife from her teeth and took it in her right hand.
Somehow she couldn’t stop staring at him. Neither of them said one word at all, yet they knew perfectly well what was going on.
“I’m going to free you,” she whispered in a low voice, stepping off of the cart and onto the ground to get closer to him. How long had it been the last time she used her voice? It was very thick and looked like she had something stuck in her throat.
The blonde said nothing back, he kept staring at her. Chains covered his hand and as expected, there was a lock, a lock that she knew how to open fairly easy. With her knife, she started to pick the lock in hopes it would unlock and help the boy.
It happened then, one of the merchants had seen it, their cart had been plundered. In a loud voice he alarmed his other merchants. A split second was all Enyra needed to know what to do; get the hell out of there. She had blown her good hiding spot and couldn’t stay here anymore so the only choice she had was to escape.
Her eyes met the guy’s grey eyes – they looked so familiar, as if she could trust him.
Then, the lock was open – he was free.
Not only did it make Enyra gasp in surprise that she did it under stress, even the guy looked startled that she managed to do it. But it was all in vain when she saw his eyes divert from her own and look at something behind her. The next thing she knew, a painful blow was struck to her head and everything went black. Enyra had been caught.
“You snore like a demon, I swear, if it weren’t for the pathetic crash you made awhile ago, I would have mistaken you for the demon child.” The voice was sarcastic, dry and it looked like he hadn’t used it in a long time either.
Golden eyes opened and scanned her environment. There was a painful ache on the back of her head; where the merchants had hit her unconscious. A small whimper left her pinkish small lips and she raised her head from the wooden floor. Food was stacked all around her, and she knew they had moved her to inside the cart, along with the other teenager. The cart was still moving. A rope was tied firmly around her hands and around her ankles so she couldn’t escape. Enyra groaned in frustration – how could she have been so stupid.
Then she noticed she was sitting next to the blonde, who was staring at her once again.
“What?” She blurted out, getting nervous by his constant staring. Noticing they stole her black bandana and ruined her pony tail, Enyra shook her head to clear her face from her red hair.
Finally, the boy’s head turned away from her as he stared at a stack of crates with food in them. His skin was pale too, but she knew the reason. Pretty much every 17 year old teenager had pale skin from hiding all of the time. As she studied his face she noticed a couple of bruises and dried blood on his face, his nose was crooked to the left, as if someone punched him really hard.
His head turned slightly towards her. “They broke my nose back in Indergale, I was trying to steal some food,” he explained in a tone that seemed as if he lost his dignity.
Enyra felt sorry for him, especially his nose.
“How long have you been traveling?” She asked out of curiosity, wanting to know how far they were from Indergale, a small city.
A snort come from his mouth. “They punched me unconscious and I woke up a day ago, I have no idea how long we have been traveling.”
Not really satisfied with that answer, Enyra leaned back against the cart, pulling up her legs to her chest and resting her chin on her knees. This didn’t look so good for her.
“They’re taking us to Gion, trade us in for some money. Bastards,” he said with his voice filled with hatred of the people who collect teenagers.
Enyra’s ears picked up at the sound of Gion. It was a city, known for a dump place to put all newly captured teenagers. She even heard rumors you could buy a teenager to be your slave .. All of the sudden, her stomach growled loudly; it needed food. Lots of it. The blonde gave a small chuckle.
“Hungry?” He asked, half amused at her. “You think?” She snapped back at him, huffing while turning her head away from him.
“Well,” he started, moving further away from her and closer to the crates. “We are in a merchant cart stuffed with food,” and with that, he kicked both his feet (they were tied together) against the crate and it created a large gaping hole.
Tomatoes started to fall out of the crate, one by one they dropped on the wooden floor. Enyra’s eyes widened as she lunged forward with her hands to eagerly grab a tomato. They weren’t really her favourite food, pretty much her less favourite food, but when she’s hungry – she’ll eat everything.
Grabbing a tomato in her hand, she popped it up to her face and hungrily took a bite out of it.
The boy followed suit, he took a tomato in his hands and took a bite out of it. After Enyra’s fourth tomato, she let her eyes wander over the boy’s body.
“What’s your name?” She asked, taking another bite out of her new tomato.
He copied her and took a bite out of his tomato, the juice was all over his mouth, it looked like he had brutally murdered someone with his mouth. “Matt,” he answered curtly, staring with his grey eyes at the tomato he was holding.
“Matt, you have tomato juice all over your face,” she grinned at him, chewing on a piece of tomato herself. It was so long ago that she talked to someone on the run as herself. It was nice to have some company after years of surviving on your own.
The blonde’s head turned towards her, his short bangs of hair moved with him in rhythm. “Pray tell, what is your name?” He asked bluntly, whipping off his mouth with his torn sleeve. Until now she didn’t notice how dirty and ripped his clothes were.
Her golden eyes danced while she looked into his grey ones. “My name is Enyra.”
“Enyra, you have tomato juice in your hair,” said Matt smugly as he scanned traces of tomato juice in her hair. The girl pulled her lips into a small smile, enjoying the first conversation she had with someone in ages. How she missed talking to someone, those nights could get so lonely, especially being friendless.
But, she had to be serious now, they had been captured and needed to escape. “When were you planning on escaping?” She asked in a serious tone.
He shrugged. “I was just waiting for you to save me,” he answered nonchalantly. Enyra’s eyebrows lowered as she glared at him, disliking him now. “I was going to steal their food until I saw you,” replied Enyra.
“I was going to escape once they took my chains off,” said Matt, as if he never heard Enyra speak. His grey eyes turned to look at the opening of the cart, the merchants were walking with the horse towards Gion. A sigh escaped his lips.
Enyra agreed and sighed with him. “It’s impossible to escape once they untie us, there are too many guards there, they would catch us all in a minute,” she said as a matter of fact.
Turning his head sharply towards her, he glared. “You think I don’t know that!? We’re pretty much damned once we’re inside Gion – which is why we need to escape now.” His voice was low, almost a whisper, to not let the merchants know.
Did she hear that correctly? Escape now? That’s almost impossible, there were 5 merchants walking along side of them, it was just impossible. But somehow, she had no other chance than to escape now. Once they reached Gion, it was … helpless. She wondered briefly if he had any sort of plan to get out, but her thoughts were cut off short once she noticed he got up, standing inside the cart.
“You jumped out of here, how did you do that,” he asked her in a whisper. Enyra tried to get up too, but she forgot her feet were tied together so she stumbled on top of some crates.
“Keep it quiet in there!” Yelled one of the merchants from outside.
Matt sighed. “It was just luck, wasn’t it?” He asked, belittling her clumsiness. Enyra stuck out her tongue at him and tried to squirm out of the crates. In fact, she had no idea how she could have jumped out of the cart so high. Maybe all the tree climbing made her more specialized in .. well .. jumping? She had no idea.
“Look,” he said, grabbing her arm and pulling her out of the crates. “There are 2 guys in front of the cart, another one is on the right side and the other on the left. The last one must be behind us, he’s alone,” he whispered so fast that Enyra had to lean closer to his face to understand what he was saying.
His silver orbs looked into her golden ones, and she understood what he was trying to say. They were both going to jump out of the cart, and ambush the guy who was alone and try to be as quiet as possible. Was he really that crazy? The corner of his lips were pulled up into a smirk. Yeah he was thinking of doing it.
Enyra nodded and turned her body towards the back of the cart. A couple of crates were in the way, but she could easily jump over them. The problem was, they didn’t know where the guy was, the cart’s blanket was covering their sight of him. But they had to escape now and she trusted Matt to know what he was doing. She herself was fairly good at escaping too.
“Get ready, on three,” he whispered in her ear as he stood next to her. Both their hands and feet were tied together, this wouldn’t work at all. Her heart started beating faster, almost afraid this wasn’t going to work.
“Three!” He whispered and jumped out of the cart. The blanket got torn off and Enyra jumped after him, her adrenaline pumping up.
Matt flew in the air and landed on the guy who was now being thrown on the ground with Matt on top of him. The blonde quickly put the blanket around the guy’s head to keep him from screaming for help. Enyra had fallen onto the ground but quickly stood up, she hopped over to Matt struggling with the guy, he was trying to strangle him.
She bent down to the man’s head and quickly squeezed his neck with her thumb and index finger. The man stopped struggling immediately. Matt looked up at her questioningly, but she was already emptying the pockets of the now unconscious man.
“Hah! My knife!” She squealed, holding her knife in her hands. Matt took her hand and pulled her away from the road, into the forest. It was difficult hopping all of the time, so Enyra stopped letting herself being pulled. “Can you wait one second! Come here!” Quickly, she took his hands and started cutting the rope with her knife. The rope was cut and Matt broke free at last, he took the knife in turn and cut off her ropes on her hands. They both sat down to get the rope off of their feet, and once they did, they ran far away – far into the forest.