I was dragging my feet to combat. Today was fighting with staffs. My favourite. Not. It wasn't that they weren't useful or dangerous. They most definitely were, at least the way Trell the Shadow Walker used them. I hated them because they seemed to hate me. Every time I used one it was like they were trying to hurt me instead. Some would call it a lack of coordination on my part. But i keep telling them that the staffs were possessed and out to get me. Either way I always ended up with scratches and bruises from my own weapon. My training with Niyx barely covered staff fighting. Oh Niyx. His death almost snapped me in half. I still mourn him daily but I manage to keep my emotions in check while around my peers. I was holding off telling my best friends about him. I wouldn't be able to stand their false sympathy. They never knew him and didn't understand the bond we share. Had, I should say. Had. It was all still too new. I couldn't handle it.

Voices behind me caused me to turn. The combat boys were all entering the arena behind me. They raised their eyebrows at the sight of me.

"Are you okay?" Declan asked. I quickly realised my eyes were wet with tears.

"Yep. Just got some dirt in my eyes." It would be believable If it weren't the middle of winter and all dirt wasn't covered in metres of ice and snow.

Fortunately, they all left it at that. Well except for Sebastian.

"Queenie, we know you don't like staffs but you don't need to cry over them." He put on a fake sympathy face and despite my mood I smiled.

"I'm not upset about that, dimwit."

My mood was slowly improving but I still felt the urge to cry until I run out of tears. We started to walk into the entrance and I felt a light tap on my shoulder and turned to see Kaiden there looking understanding. Of course he knew what was bugging me. He always does. As much as we act like we are a couple, we're still not. I have way too many complications in my life right now. Luckily he understands and that's one of the many things I love about him. He always understands.

All the other combat kids notice my head turn and realise they should leave us alone. Smirking they all walk off. They were some of the many to see how close we've become since mysteriously disappearing for a week after the battle of Greavale and of course the death of my protector and friend, Niyx. When all the boys had left, Kaiden spoke " You all good?"

Those three words made me break "No" I started crying again and he pulled me into his arms whispering soothing words. As I was drying my eyes still wrapped in his arms Karter walked passed and showed a rare act of kindness by asking if I was okay. I assured him I was fine now, causing all concern to be washed away in a heartbeat.

"Well, if your all fine. Get your lazy butts in there."

We hurriedly ran the rest of the way and started stretching with the rest of our classmates.

I was partnered with Brendan. Eugh. He was born for staff fighting, while I was born to save Medora using swords. Not staffs. I guess if things got messy I could always call Soraya. I recently found out that Brendan was terrified of dogs. And Soraya was a very large wolf. Would that be unfair? Cruel, yes. But unfair? Probably.

May as well get this over with. I trudged over to the clearing where my opponent was standing grinning. Of course he was. Brendan enjoyed this sport I classify as torture. I would know what torture felt like, considering I'd certainly had my fair share of it.

"3…" Karters gruff voice broke my internal complaining. "2… 1… Begin!"

I visualised what was going to happen. Step. Dodge. Swing. Miss. Dodge. Trip. Face plant. Yeah, maybe not the last two.

"You gonna attack, Jennings. Or are you just going to keep daydreaming about Kaiden." Brendan always taunted his opponents to gain the upper hand. I wasn't going to give him it. " I wasn't thinking about Kaiden." I said. My eyes never straying from his feet and staff. "I was actually thinking about how to beat you before realising I hardly need a plan to defeat someone of your skill level." I wasn't lying. I was never going to beat him, with or without a plan. But who was I to correct his misinterpretation of my words.

"We'll see." I barely had time to comprehend his words before he came at me, fast. Well, fast for a human but I wasn't just any human. I blocked just in time and went in the offensive. I swung at his torso but he ducked and grabbed my arm, moving my grip on my weapon. I was unable to move my arm without taking away the protection of the staff. I was also unable to attack him without moving my arm. I was stuck. He knocked the weapon away and easily had me on the ground waiting to be able to yield.

"You okay?" He asked once he had pulled me off the ground.

"Everything's still intact so that's a victory in my opinion." I answered, brushing dirt off my pants

"Wow, kitten, two weeks without my training and your already already being beaten by mortals." A familiar voice said behind me. I turned and was stunned into silence.

There will be more coming soon.