An Unknown Secret

Chapter 3

A Circle Once More

Daja looked across the large expanse of sand, and she felt a pang of relief at the thought that after this, she would be home. Home, which was Winding Circle, with her family; Sandry, Briar, Tris, Rosethorn, Lark and Niko. Discipline Cottage. She impatiently swung her foot and her horse neighed nervously, afraid its owner would ask it to ride hard on the hot sand. Daja grinned at her horse; it was a beauty that she had acquired on her travels. A deep mahogany color with amber eyes and a streak of white along its flank, she had earned the name Sakura. Daja and Sakura had bonded instantly, and they had become companions rapidly. Sakura would now let no one but Daja ride her, and that was the way a horse and rider should be.

It would be another hour or so before the sun retreated far enough past the horizon for it to be safe to ride across the arid desert. So, for now, Daja would sit on her horse and pace back and forth until Firethorn scoffed at her and told her to calm down and take a breather. She would laugh and wave him off. Daja giggled to herself as she thought of this, for seeing Firethorn try to tell people off was always quite interesting. Firethorn looked up from his blanket, as if he knew he was being thought about. "Daja! Stop your pacing, we still have another hour!" he called to her, only serving to make her giggle more. Firethorn shook his head and lay back down to finish up his nap. Daja scratched her head thinking that a nap might not be such a bad idea.


Sandry yawned and stretched under her covers. There was a chill in the air this morning, and Sandry smiled. She loved fall and the weather that came with it. It was the best time of year to make thread, and that meant the best time of year for weaving and sewing, which made Sandry and Lark both very happy. That, in turn, caused for a happier household, as Rosethorn was content as well, for it was harvesting time. So the fall was generally a good season, and to make this one even better, Daja would be home soon! Sandry checked Daja's metallic thread, and jumped out of bed when she realized how close it was. It was close enough so that… DAJA! Sandry shouted in thought-speech. She could hear Daja chuckle on the other end. Hey stranger. Daja responded. OMGOMGOMG you're so close! When will you be home? Sandry asked. …. Could you be any louder, noble-girl? chimed in Briar, even his mind-voice sounded groggy. Sandry giggled, and responded to him in an annoyingly cheery manner, Briar! Daja's close and she's gonna be home soon! The two in Discipline could feel Daja shake her head in amusement. Yea, we're close. We should be back sometime tonight, after the sunsets, because we're coming near the desert and we're gonna have to wait until night to cross it. Sandry squealed, and Briar chuckled, We've missed you, Trader. Daja grinned and said, I know.

Tris woke up to Sandry's voice in her mind, shouting, OMGOMGOMG you're so close! When will you be home? She scowled, and shut off her connection to them. That girl was always so cheery in the morning, it made her want to puke. Actually, anything related to Sandry nowadays made Tris want to puke. But that was besides the point. Tris's scowl became deeper and she heard noise downstairs. These people did not appreciate sleeping in! She pushed herself out of bed, and climbed up to the roof. The chill in the air calmed her, and she called the winds to her. She breathed deeply as her fiery red hair and her nightgown flew around her, calming her spirit. The fall. What a peaceful time.


Sandry's brow creased when Tris never came downstairs for breakfast. That girl was always hungry in the morning, and never failed to be grouchy if she didn't get her tea. It was unlike her to miss such an important part of the day, at least according to her. Briar touched the back of Sandry's hand softly. "What's wrong princess?" he asked her, his voice worried. She frowned and replied, "Nothing" in a tone which did not convince him. He knew Sandry too well to fall for it. He gave her a look, and her frown increased, and she said, "It's nothing." He shook his head, and returned to his porridge. Girls. A man would never understand them.

After they finished eating Sandry went upstairs, looking for Tris. She didn't see anyone in the room, but the window was open. This was a sure sign that Tris was up on the roof, and most likely in an unpleasant mood if she had missed breakfast. Sandry climbed up to the roof and saw the redhead sitting near the edge, with winds whipping around her. Sandry gathered up her skirts and made her way over to Tris.

Tris had noticed when Sandry came onto the roof, of course. Her winds had let her in on this. No doubt the girl had come looking out of worry. Sometimes Sandry was too nice for her own good, Tris thought. She sighed as Sandry drew closer, and turned around. Sandry offered her a smile, which Tris returned. There was no way she could really stay mad at her, after all. This girl was the first friend she had had at Winding Circle. Tris wouldn't let a boy, especially not this boy, get between them.


Briar sat downstairs, waiting for Sandry to come back down. He had a good idea of why she went upstairs, and he didn't want to be in the middle of it if Tris was in a bad mood. The Great Goddess knew that he had been at the receiving end of her anger many times before, and he wasn't in the mood to deal with it. He settled down in his chair, remembering the last time he had been alone with Tris, and the fight that had ensued …


A/N: I am so sorry that I haven't updated this story for a while. I have no excuse to offer. Your reviews got me back on track, and everytime that I got one I wrote a little bit more. So, even though it's not much, I hope you enjoy it! Read and Review, because your reviews mean more than you could ever know.