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Songwhisper Chapter 7: We have our secrets, you have yours by Myst Ryder
Zake suggested they set up camp, which was supported. Mikaela managed enough energy to swallow a quick meal and curl up in her blankets, where she would sleep until it was her turn to watch.
* * *
It was midnight when Zake roused Nira for her turn to stand guard. She had fallen asleep in her armor as she was apt to do nowadays. Zake shook his head at her sleeping form, overcome by a brief wave of passion. It was she that had befriended Mikaela from the start and had made her feel welcome. Though he knew she normally preferred to travel alone, she had been invaluable navigating over the rough terrain and finding villages to rest and re-supply.
He, of course, knew perfectly well about her rocky, troubled past. And that was why his tenderness concerning her was strengthened, because they had both lost something important. The girl, Mikaela, may have had to leave her family behind, and he admitted that it must've been difficult for her, but at least her family was still alive. She didn't know anything about true loss.
Zake brushed a stray lock of golden hair from the sleeping girl's face, and then shook her awake. Nira was at first annoyed, but as she stretched, careful not to wake Mikaela, she smiled at Zake. He smiled back, briefly, and then took her place on the blanket, shifting his body away from Mikaela. Nira pulled his headband down over his eyes and left the tent to brave the chilly night air.
When she had left, Zake pulled up his headband and returned it to its normal position on his forehead, covering a mark of a star.
* * *
A few hours before dawn, Nira reentered the tent to wake Mikaela. It took time to arouse her, but Nira knew the girl was not accustomed to sleeping on the hard ground with nothing but a few blankets between her and the dirt. But eventually she awoke, and Nira sank onto the ground for the last hours of rest she could get before they needed to travel again. Mikaela yawned and left the tent to greet the morning.
It was beautiful, with a lazy mist covering the wide expanse of plains that they had been traveling on for days. There wasn't a tree in sight, though there were plenty of scraggly bushes and plant growth crawling across the earth. And for the first time since she had left home, Mikaela again felt the stirrings of the music deep within her, desiring to coax life into the dead looking vegetation that surrounded her.
I'd better not, Mikaela hesitated. It would wake Nira and Zake.
But it wouldn't hurt. It was just one simple song. She cleared her throat and opened her mouth, and a soaring melody poured out of her lips and into the still, silent air.
In the tent, Zake and Nira started awake.
"What the hell does she think she's doing?" Zake swore, getting up to stop her.
"Doesn't she know anything?" Nira wondered angrily. "She's basically announcing to the world where we are."
* * *
Far away into the mountains, the beasts pricked their ears as faint notes danced along the air to reach them. Their long search was over. The hunt had begun.