By Dani Prindle
“The mission is cancelled,” Dean firmly said.
“I agree. The risk is higher with twelve children,” Jaice said wiping away tears.
“No. We can’t give up,” Mageia said.
They all stared at her with eyes screaming how crazy and foolish she sounded.
“Are yuh some god we don’t know about?” Dean taunted. “Because I’d love to hear yer ideal plan on stealing twelve children from a building built to keep people in.”
“We have a few hours left,” she said. “And Trek already had done his part.”
“The plans has changed.”
“No. Faebrin did sketch out the new Taefo yet?”
“I did. Plus I scaled the forest side a few times,” he said glancing at Dean guiltily.
“Good. Let’s look over it and readjust the rescue plan.”
“You’ve gone mad,” Dean said eyes blinking at her as if trying to see if she was herself.
She glared at the boy hating his constant need to belittle her authority and mentality in front of the others.
“Dean. We need to talk. In private. Now!” She said and stormed to her hut without looking back.
She paced the grass wishing to punch something or someone. When Dean stepped into the clearing she lashed at the boy.
“What happened to you, Dean?”
“What’re you talking about?”
“You used to be on fire for these rescues and defying the impossible, but now… now… you just make me look stupid in front of everyone.”
Dean flexed his jaw and gave a long sigh. “I’ve grown wiser, I assume.”
“And I haven’t?” she said.
“It’s not like that.”
“What? Did you lose your heart along the way?”
“That’s not fair, Geia,” he said. “I do not want to risk the family we have now.”
“So, you’re just going to allow those twelve children to die?”
“What if they’re so sick that they aren’t transportable? What then? We don’t have twelve backs to carry them out.” He said and when she had no decent response, he continued. “I doubt the gods would be pleased to leave them behind while we take the others.”
“We will have to chance it,” she said. “I believe in my heart that everything will be fine if we plan well. Dean, we must encourage the others to be brave and yes be smart about it, but also willing to risk their own life to save another. To at least try and save another’s. I know we cannot save every Strange in the **** kingdom, but there is this feeling deep in my soul, telling me we shouldn’t turn our backs on these children.”
Dean’s harden expression softened and an unusual look grew in his eyes. He closed the distance between them and placed a gentle hand on her cheek. She froze waiting to see what he was doing.
“I love this about you,” he said thumb brushing her skin as if she was a fragile piece of glass.
“Yer passion. Yer big heart. Yer stubbornness and those beautiful eyes.”
Mageia beamed, heat rising in her cheeks. She swayed on her heels. “You’re too kind,” averting her eyes to her feet.
“Yuh know I love you, right?”
“I do,” she said. “And I love you too.”
“Yuh know, I’d do anything for you?”
“Same here,” she said.
“And yuh know, whenever you start mentioning yer heart and yer soul rather than yer gut, I just know somehow that it’s the right thing to do.”
His gaze dropped to her lips and she gave an innocent smile.
“Alright,” he said almost faint on his lips. He sharply inhaled and stepped away to rub the back of his neck. His cheeks were red as cherries, but he kept his strong stance.
“We’re going to do this rescue,” he said. “And when we’ve succeeded, we’re leaving this forsaken kingdom once and for all.”
Mageia grinned and nodded. “That sounds good to me.”
“May the gods bless us and be on our side for once,” he beamed, and they returned to the Pit to readjust the plan.
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