New Chapter!!! I've been suffering from writer's block so I hope you can forgive me for the spaced out posting dates. Enjoy =)

Caravan Tale

*

Lora awoke with a start. It was late. The sun was shining brightly through the downstairs window. She looked around the room to see Tobias working in the kitchen. Tobias heard the creaking of the cot and turned around to see a surprised Lora, "Good, you're up; it's almost noon."

"Noon!?" Lora hopped off the cot, "Where is Trista? What about training?"

Tobias turned back to the kitchen, "We decided to take some time off this morning. Everyone is tired and it's not good to have a stressed leader either."

Lora plopped back down on the cot, "Thank you. I learned my lesson last night. I'm sorry for overworking everyone."

Tobias handed Lora a fork and plate of eggs as he sat down beside her, "No, we needed it. I should apologize. I've been frustrated recently. I shouldn't have taken it out on you."

Lora began to eat her eggs, "So what has been frustrating you?"

Tobias chuckled and looked at Lora who had a mouth full of eggs; it definitely wasn't the right moment, "Let's just say timing."

Lora swallowed the last bit of egg, "Timing?"

Tobias just shrugged and stood up, "Trista should arrive soon so you girls can practice. The rest of us will be down at the beach training."

Lora groaned, "Ugh the celebration is tomorrow, I almost forgot."

Tobias smiled, "I'm sure it will be fine, but I will see you later."

Lora nodded and rushed upstairs to change clothes as Tobias headed down to the beach.

"Lora!"

Lora could hear Trista yelling to her from downstairs, "Come on up!"

Trista ran up the stairs and burst into Lora's room full of energy, "So what were you doing sleeping in Tobias's bed last night!?"

Lora immediately dropped what she had been doing, "I didn't even realize- I woke up on his cot!"

Trista laughed, "You really were tired. I see he even made you breakfast in bed!"

Lora grabbed Trista, "Wait. If I slept there did he?"

Trista smirked, "Well when I came in this morning he had just woken up on the floor."

Lora let out a sigh of relief and sat down on her bed.

"What if he did share his bed with you Lora? Would it really be that bad?" Trista joined her on the bed.

Lora blushed, "No. I know he cares for me, but how much? I'm afraid to get hurt again, but how do I even know he cares for me like that?"

Trista laughed, "Oh trust me dear snagging him won't be the problem."

"Then what is the problem?"

"Letting go of the past. Forget Jun, you have Tobias now; not to mention the caravan is the strongest it has been in years!"

Lora smiled, "Fine, I'll try my best. Now let's get to work on the dance."

Trista immediately groaned, "I was hoping to distract you longer."

Lora smirked, "You're not getting off that easy."

The remainder of the day all the caravanners were working extra hard since it was their last chance before they would be facing the dangerous world of miasma and monsters. Tobias, Kima, and Puck had been training while Jasper was organizing patrols and meeting potential fighters. Then there was Lora and Trista attempting to perfect their dance for the village. It wasn't until the next evening's celebration that the caravanners were all together again.

The entire village was out in the square where the crystal shined under the starry sky. There was no bonfire tonight since the crystal seemed to light up the entire square as if it was building up off of everyone's happiness. Tobias, Kima, and Jasper meandered through the crowd until they found Puck with his younger sister following him at his heels. Killy peeked out from behind him and looked up at Kima shyly. Kima smiled and bent over, "If you're looking for Nem and my brothers and sisters they're on the other side of the crystal." Killy smiled and ran off in that direction.

"Thanks! She's been following me around like a moogle all night!"

Tobias chuckled, "She's a cute sister. Have you seen Trista or Lora yet?"

Puck shook his head, "No they have to wait until after their performance to join us."

"I guess they do have to make a grand entrance."

Kima smiled and looked at Tobias, "Did I hear a tone of disappointment Tobias?"

Tobias just shrugged, "Come on Trista will kill us all if we're not in the front to watch them."

Jasper, Kima, and Puck all laughed. "Yes she will! And I do not want to be on the other end of that racket of hers!" Puck said jokingly.

Lora thought her heart was going to rip itself out of her chest, it was beating so fast. She was fine dancing for strangers, but when it came to her village, her family and friends, it was a different story. Lora jumped slightly when Trista touched her arm, "Calm down Lora. We both know the dance move for move. Besides you look amazing! No one is going to notice messy footwork with an outfit like that!"

Lora sighed and looked at Trista who completely matched her from head to toe. They both had on traditional dancing costumes with a fabric that changed color as you moved under the light made by Trista's mother. Puck's parents had been generous enough to donate the fabric. Lora let out a sigh, "I know. I just don't want to disappoint."

A few minutes later Tunis and his wife stepped before the joyous crowd, "Welcome friends and loved ones! This evening we welcome a new family to our village, the Nens!" Everyone cheered as Kima's parents came forward and thanked everyone. Once the cheering had died down Tunis spoke up again, "We will also be sending off our caravan in a few days so please wish them safety and luck on their future journeys!" Everyone cheered again and Lora began to feel a warm sensation in her chest. Everyone was supporting them wholeheartedly. It helped steady her stage fright. Tunis then spoke up once again, "And now we offer a special performance from two of our caravanners to begin the celebrations!" The villagers cheered again as the music began. Lora and Trista looked at each other and both took a deep breath.

Tobias, Puck, Kima, and Jasper were cheering very loudly near the front. Everyone was watching eagerly as a giant cloud of purple smoked exploded in front of the crystal. As it blew away, Trista and Lora could be seen. It took Tobias a moment to realize who was who. They looked almost identical. They were both wearing long haired wigs of a blue color. The crowd gasped as the two girls began to dance. Their movements were identical and it seemed almost serpent like. Tobias had seen Lora perform, but not like this before. Lora and Trista seemed to weave in and around each other. When the beat quickened, so did their movements. Lora and Trista began to do flips and acrobatics in time with each other. The villagers were cheering at the stunning performance. At the end, the purple smoke exploded again and the girls seemed to have vanished.

Kima turned towards Tobias with wide eyes, "That was incredible! I didn't know they could move like that!"

Tobias nodded and smiled he was speechless. No wonder Trista had complained so much about the dancing; it must have taken ages to get in sync with each other. The crowd continued to cheer until Trista and Lora appeared again to thank the crowd. Once they had left the crystal Tunis stepped back out again, "Now let us all dance and eat until our hearts are filled with merriment!" Everyone cheered and the music began again.

Trista hugged Lora very tightly, "We pulled it off Lora!"

Lora smiled and let out a relieved breath, "It was fantastic wasn't it!"

"Yes it was."

Lora and Trista turned around to see Tobias.

Lora peeked around him, "Where are Kima and the others?"

Tobias shrugged he had thought they were right behind him. Trista smiled, "Well I'll go look for them! I saw them right up front when we were dancing!" She ran off quick before Lora could realize she was alone with Tobias again. Trista hoped this would make up for all of her rude interruptions.

Tobias walked up to Lora, "You look stunning."

Lora beamed, "Thanks." She pulled off the wig, "But I do have to say this was so itchy! You have no idea-"

"Lora!" Tobias finally interrupted Lora's chattering. Lora looked up surprised at Tobias and was about to ask him what he wanted when he moved and she felt his lips upon hers. Lora was shocked but slowly fell into his kiss as his arms wrapped around her waist. It was warm and soft. In a matter of seconds the warmth was gone and Tobias's grip on Lora loosened. Their kiss had ended. Lora opened her eyes and looked at Tobias. They were still close enough to feel each other breathing.

"I've been trying to tell you for a long time now." Tobias said in an almost whisper.

Lora looked down slightly embarrassed, "I know. I just didn't know what to do." She looked back up at Tobias.

"Well do you know what you want now?"

Lora felt her heart skip a beat. Was she really going to do this again? "Yes, but I'm scared."

Tobias smiled, "I know. How do you think I feel knowing your father?"

Lora began to laugh and she took Tobias's hand, "Come on, Kima and Trista will be thrilled."

Tobias laughed too, "Well before we get back just yet, I want to give you this." Tobias took off his necklace which contained a crystal pendant and put it around Lora's neck, "Think of it as you're hanging on to it for me. That way you know I won't leave you."

Lora looked down at the pendant, "But Tobias, I-"

Tobias smiled, "Yes you can. Now come on the others are waiting."

Lora nodded and smiled as they both walked back to the celebrations hand in hand.