Disclaimer: I own nothing, as you all know. This is my first Eragon fic, so please forgive me if it's a little illiterate.

His eyes scanned the Burning Plains. Ten days before, Eragon promised his cousin Roran that he would help in the search for Katrina and help avenge Garrow's death. The red, setting sun looked beautiful in his eyes, yet he could feel Saphira's uneasiness about it. What's wrong? He asked through the mind link the two shared.

We haven't seen the last of the Empire, Saphira answered in a low growl. No, Murtagh and Thorn will return when Galbatorix finds out they failed in taking us back, or the King will come himself and rage havoc on the Surdans', Varden, Elves, and Dwarves.

I sadly agree. Eragon returned his attention on the sun. His muscles tensed as he felt someone come closer. He relaxed when he realized that Arya walked closer. He turned to face the elf and placed his first two fingers on his lips and waited for Arya to come closer. The elf followed suit.

"Atra esterní ono thelduin," said Arya first.

Eragon's eyes widened in shock at Arya speaking first, it had been her who told him that the lower rank speaks first and Arya definitely passed him in the ranks. He recovered by saying, "Mor'ranr lífa unin hjarta onr."

Arya smiled slightly. "Un du evarínya ono varda, Eragon-vor."

"Arya svit-kona," muttered Eragon breathlessly. "Tell me, what brings you here? I remember you telling me that you had work to do with Nasuada." He eyed her with curiosity.

"I came to tell you how sorry I am that you found out about your family, and again, that I don't care about that," answered Arya. "I don't know about anyone else, but I know you're a good person and will never join Galbatorix. Which brings me to the reason I came out of the camp. No matter how Galbatorix threatens you with those you care about, you mustn't join him. If Murtagh is really on Galbatorix's side, you're our only hope of throwing the king from power."

"Arya, what are you saying?" asked Eragon.

Be careful, Eragon! You mustn't anger her, warned Saphira.

"I am saying that I know you have feelings for me that are greater than friendship, but you have to put that aside, at least until everything is back to the way it was before Galbatorix took the throne." Arya looked deep into Eragon's golden eyes. "I don't want to see you throw your life away for me or anyone else," she added softly. Tears suddenly ripped down her face.

"Arya—" Eragon stopped himself before he said anything stupid. He walked up to her and took the older elf in an embrace. "What's wrong?" he asked softly. No answer came. Saphira, help me! I don't know what to do with a crying elf! Saphira growled deep in her throat, which Eragon guessed that she was laughing at him for his helplessness. She curled up around them and placed a comforting wing over the couple.

Soon, Arya had calmed down, but she remained there with the young man that had saved her life so many times without realizing it. She pulled him to the ground and gripped his shirt. "Eragon-vor, when Galbatorix is dead, we can spend our entire life together, but until then, we can't seem to be too close around the camp. We have to train ourselves to block our memories of each other out so that Galbatorix doesn't find out about our weaknesses."

"Arya—" Eragon stopped when the elf placed a single finger on his lips. She shook her head and moved closer to him. After a quick peck on the lips she moved back into her original position. Eragon's eyes widened. He felt his face grow hot. A smile crossed his lips and he rested his back against Saphira's side with the woman he had fallen in love with in his arms. Nothing could ruin his moment with her—nothing . . .or so he thought.

Thorn landed in the courtyard of the castle. Murtagh jumped down from his dragon and walked strait to Galbatorix's lair. He stopped outside the door to the king's bedroom. Thorn looked down at him with golden, cat-like eyes.

Are you sure about this, Murtagh? The dragon asked. Your report could wait until later.

No, we can't mess up again! If we do, both of us will die. Murtagh sighed and knocked on the oak door.

"Who is it?" a loud merciless voice asked.

"Murtagh and Thorn, Galbatorix-ebrithil." His answer remained clipped and cool.

"Come in," ordered Galbatorix. Murtagh sighed and clenched his teeth before opening the door. He walked strait to Galbatorix and knelt down. Thorn followed him in, but did nothing short of bare his teeth at Shruikan. "Why did you disobey me, Murtagh?"

"We had no choice but to retreat, my lord," said Murtagh quickly. "I did not completely fail you though. I told Eragon about the fact that he's my younger brother and I took Zar'roc from him." Murtagh unsheathed the bright red sword and held it out for Galbatorix to see.

"I see," replied Galbatorix. He smiled evilly and put his hands together like a greedy child would on Christmas. "Never mind your failure now, there is work to be done. Tomorrow you fly to Du Weldenvarden and wage war on the elves. I want young Eragon's soul shattered before I have him in my grasps."

"Edrithil, I have some information for you, if that is what you want!" cried Murtagh. He dared his eyes to look up at his king.

"What would it be then?" asked Galbatorix, very interested.

"Eragon has fallen in love with Arya, my lord, he'll do anything for her," answered Murtagh obediently.

"Very good, Murtagh," laughed Galbatorix. "You may leave now." Murtagh gave one last, low bow before marching out of the room with Thorn right behind him. He sheathed Zar'roc just before completely exiting.

Thorn, are you up for a ride?

I suppose, answered Thorn in a monotone.

Disclaimer: Review your ideas and comments to me and I'll see what I can do about any complaints you might have. Flames are welcome.

Summary of next chapter: Arya becomes jealous when Eragon mutters the name of another woman. Eragon once again confesses his love for Arya and another battle is on the horrizon.