"I believe it´s called England, Kitty," I say. I feel the burden float off my shoulders as I finally know where we are- two miles off London, in England. How could the water slide have possibly gotten us all the way to England? I don´t bother thinking about it. Powerful magic, to say the least, beyond my comprehension.
I drag my legs back to the fire, where all our hunks of turkey lie on the logs, still in their skewers.
I rip the meat off it´s stick, chewing the smoky, tender meat, and washing it down with some water from my bottle, cuddling up to Wolfie from the brisk British wind.
"Stop that," Felix says monotonically from across the flames.
I frown at him. His face was plain, emotionless, pale, eyes bulging out of their sockets.
"Why?" I ask slowly. I look at Wolfie. His intense blue eyes are boring into Felix with...knowing? Why knowing?
"He knows why," Felix says lowly, looking at Wolfie with wide grey eyes.
Grey, swirling pools of intrigue.
"Felix, I really don´t know what you´re on about," I say harshly, feeling my face burning up with anger. "Leave us alone."
"Lone wolves, eh?" he says, his voice maintaining a low register. "Lone wolves are trouble, Scarlett, they can be anywhere at any time and can kill you in an instant for no reason. Or perhaps there is a reason, right, Wolfie?"
Wolfie snarls. "Man, I actually don´t know what you´re on about. Now why don´t you leave us be, okay?"
"Scarlett, I really have to talk to you soon."
My words of object stick in my throat like glue, like peanut butter when you try to swallow it all at once.
Something was going on that I didn´t know about. It was like that moment at elementary when all your friends have a secret that you haven´t heard.
At least Felix says he´ll tell me soon.
"Excuse me, I´m tired." I say in a small voice. I swallow the last of my wild turkey meat, throw the stick into the Crystal Springs and make for the tent.
I drop into an inevitable, exhaustion-induced slumber.
The morning was quiet. I felt warm inside my sleeping bag, but not just because I was curled up.
I ignore it and begin to stretch, groaning a little and moving my limbs everywhere.
My arm flops out over the side of the mattress raised on legs on which my sleeping bag lives, and my hand catches something.
I sit up poker straight to see the tent slowly flowing with water, the level about to envelope my sleeping bag.
"Agghh!!! Felix, wake up, Felix," I scream.
He bolts up straight away, staring straight at me, shrieking something along the lines of: "Now does what I said make sense? Why did you have to kiss him?!" He then looks at me, then to the entrance, then to the rising water with a strange look of relief.
"What?" I ask in a panicky voice.
He opens his mouth as if to say something.
"Never mind, no time," I say, my heart hammering under my camouflage jacket.
I scramble to my feet on my mattress, yelping as the water begins to slowly climb over the mattress.
"We´re going to drown, Felix," I shriek. I begin to hear the others stir outside.
Only then do I notice the tent is slightly tilted and possibly even a little bit bobbing.
"Calm down," he says in a soothing tone. "Just grab your backpack, pack your stuff and let´s get out to see what´s happening."
"Okay," I gasp, rolling up my bag with quaking fingers and disassembling my raised mattress.
I wade through the rising water, packing everything up, fumbling the raised mattress.
I clamber out the exit at full speed without thinking.
"Wait," Felix cries. I look around, but before I can grab his arm, my foot doesn´t reach the ground.
And falls and falls and falls.
I scream as I hit the water.
It smacks me back and forth, beating me against the rocks, bruising me and opening several gashes in my skin.
I didn´t know which way was up.
I thrash about, confused and in a panic, colours beginning to dance in my eyes.
Before I could admire my hallucinations anymore, a pair of cold hands drag me from the warm water.
This was all too familiar...
"Are you okay? Scarlett, say something," Felix´s husky tone greets me.
I try to move my lips, but I can´t.
I feel paralyzed.
I want to move, to talk, to reassure Felix.
But I simply couldn´t.
I lie sprawled on the wet rock, still unsure of what happened and how I could have fell.
I feel everyone else around me, bustling and sifting through their backpacks for medicine and touching my unresponsive face.
My ears search for Wolfie´s padded wolven feet, his low voice.
But I hear everyone but him.
I feel pressure on my chest, and I seem to be waking up a little.
I can move my fingers.
I can move my toes.
Finally, I splutter a tonne of water and my body tenses immediately, capable of moving.
I sit poker straight up, and begin to sob, burying myself in the person who revived me.
"Alright there Ranger?" Felix says. "You scared me there."
I look up and find myself curled up against a relieved Felix. I had soaked his jacket and shirt, but he didn´t seem to mind. He just kept staring at me with those intimidating blue eyes.
"Where´s Wolfie?" I cough, looking around.
His familiar grey, furry bulk catches my eye as I see him sitting in wolf form, chattering away to Kitty as a cat, seemingly oblivious to my revival.
I was utterly disgusted at his betrayal.
"Hey!" I say roughly, shoving his shoulder blade. "News-flash- I´m alive. You probably wouldn´t care."
He sits now in human form, a somewhat tiresome expression on his face.
"Sorry, Scars. I´m glad you´re okay." "I doubt you even know what nearly killed me!" I yell. "And Scars? Really? That´s not the most flattering nickname I´ve ever received."
He slowly stands up, towering over me in his stocky build.
"Hey, calm down. You´re okay now."
"I just like to know you´re there for me when I´m on my deathbed!" I growl, turning on my heel and power-walking away.
His massive hand grabs my forearm tightly and pulls me back.
"Don´t you dare say that to me!" he shouts.
"Wolfie, you´re hurting," I gasp.
He sighs and lets go, then pulls me into an embrace.
"I´m sorry, Scarlett, I really am. I promise I will always be there for you, you´re my everything." he tilts my chin towards his face, when out of the blue, Felix and Kitty simultaneously shout something quickly and snappily, too quick to decipher.
"What?" I ask, pulling away.
"Um, I was just saying, what do you think caused our tents to fall into the waterfall?" Felix mumbles.
"Well, that´s pretty obvious," Asher says. "I think we all heard the heavy gales last night. We were probably swept into the Crystal Creek Falls."
"Seems suited." Finn stares at me. "Hey, Scarlett, I need to have a talk with you."
"Okay," I reply. He pulls me to the side, behind a tree stripped of it´s leafs.
"I´m going to give it to you straight," he says as I wring out my hair. "Do not trust Wolfie. He is a nice guy, but mainly with the lads. He´s a real player when it comes to the ladies...he sifts through ten girls a month from time to time. He´s using you, Scarlett."
I look at him with a blank face. "That can´t be right."
"Well, it is," Finn sighs. "It´s a fair warning. He´ll blabber on about all this sensitive ´you´re my everything´ crap, but really, he couldn´t care less about you. You´re just another pretty face, just another gullible victim, just another good little girl. I´m sorry to be so harsh, but..."
I cover my face with my hands, trying to figure all this out.
"I´ll end the relationship tomorrow," I sigh, my voice breaking.
"It´s for the best," Finn says softly. "Now. Let´s go eat stuff. Eating stuff is good."
"Agreed." I stifle a smile.
"There´s that grin!" Finn turns on his heel and walks towards the others who were still talking and standing on the wet rocks.
Wolfie was chatting away to Kitty.
I sit on the log, tears blurring my vision, and turn Natasha´s knife thrice in my hand.
If only I knew what she said...if only...
Crea Totum Hovelius. What´s that even supposed to mean?!
"That´s Tash´s dagger, isn´t it?" asks Charmy. "I saw her give it to you in the remembrance ceremony." she pauses. "You know, the one where you flipped out."
"Yep," I sigh.
"Um, I couldn´t help notice that Natasha screamed something before she went under."
I look up.
"I believe that she was speaking in the tongue of Jukeas Latin."
A flashback played in my mind- back before I was injured, before we left on the journey. I remember a brief encounter with a strange girl by the name of Brooke Friar, who had dropped her notebooks and I had picked them up. There was Natasha´s final words and ´Jukeas Latin´ written next to them.
"Could you translate it?!" I ask excitedly, rubbing my thumb over the patterns and the emerald stone.
"I´m sure I have a Jukeas to English dictionary in here somewhere," Charmy murmurs, rooting through her bag. "Aha. Here it is."
She flicks through a old hardback book, the yellowed papers furry from thumbing.
"Crea...Crea, Crea, Crea, where are you. No, not Croa...back a bit...okay, Crea, here we are. ´Crea= (1) Push: To move through force or to apply pressure to. (2) Press: to apply pressure to an area."
"So push is the first one," I say excitedly, wringing out my hair.
"Here´s Totum! Totum = (1) the= especially used before a noun-"
"I don´t need to hear the definition for ´the´," I laugh. "´Push the´. What´s Hovelius?"
"Hovelius= (1) Gem: a rare fo-"
"Push the gem!" I shriek, jumping to my feet. "She was telling me to push the gem!"
I slam my thumb down on the emerald on the dagger, and to my surprise, it pops right out, and after it jumps a small fold of parchment paper.