Slowly, Jack took a step forward.

Ellen was across from him, playing defense.

He took another step, and she backed up.

Another step.

Another.

Then, she was gone, falling backwards with a scream.

Her sword caught the sunlight with flash, then sheared downwards.

Jack quickly ran to the edge and looked down, what he saw made his stomach churn.

---

Ellen took another step.

Then another.

She should stop playing defense soon.

There was a small cliff behind her, somewhere.

Then, her back foot fell into nothingness.

She fell backwards, her foot catching a tree root, wrenching her ankle.

She cried out in pain, her ankle was definitely sprained, of not broken.

Then, she looked up and saw her sword.

It caught the light, then sheared down towards her.

Ellen closed her eyes, praying that it wouldn't hit her.

Then, her right shoulder exploded in pain.

Her vision turned red, and she almost passed out, but then it started to ebb away.

She looked down and saw the crimson splash that was slowly painting her red armor and even deeper red.

Jack's face peered over the ravine, his face a mix of horror and concern.

"Ellen" he whispered.

Then he jumped down, landing with a slight thump.

"T-Take the sword out" Ellen gasped.

Jack shook his head.

"You'll bleed to death"

Carefully, he slid his arms under her and picked her up, armor, sword and all.

Then, he climbed back up the bank at a low spot.

He carried her to the middle, ignoring the screams of the crowd.

"I need a medic"

Instantly, the field was silent.

The judges marched up to him.

"You can't do that" one said.

"You have to kill her"

Jack ignored him and turned to Hastings.

"I need a medic" he repeated.

Hastings nodded, then exited the field quickly.

"We cannot allow this" the head judge continued, puffing up like a balloon.

"I don't care. I'm not going to kill her" Jack said, walking past them and following Hastings.

He looked down, checking to make sure that Ellen was still breathing. She was pale.

He picked up the pace a little bit, then entered the medic tent.

"Here" He said to the chief doctor, handing Ellen to him.

The doctor gave him an odd look, but didn't argue.

Jack exited the tent, knowing he would be asked to leave anyways.

He sat outside, relishing the sunlight that was streaming down from the sky.

Soon, he was asleep.

---

Jack was awoke a while later by someone shaking his shoulder.

Quicly, he grabbed his dagger, just in case.

He opened his eyes and saw the kindly old doctor standing over him with Hastings not far away.

"Pardon me, Warrior. Your friend is awake"

Jack stood up, groaning as he did. He was sore as hell.

He went in the tent and saw Ellen sitting up on one of the cots, her shoulder heavily bandaged.

"Hey" he said, sitting next to her.

"Hey" she replied, rolling her shoulders and groaning softly.

"Careful, you'll rip you stitches out"

"Yeah yeah yeah"

He smiled at Ellen's usual defiance.

"You had me kinda worried there"

She smiled.

"Typical"

Ellen looked at Jack.

He was wearing a skin tight long-sleeve shirt that showed off his well-muscled chest. He also wore plain white pants.

If Jack noticed her staring, he didn't say anything.

Ellen tried to squirm, but Jack caught he shoulders.

"Don't. Do. That"

She looked at him, then relaxed, figuring it was better not to argue.

The doctor poked his head in.

"If you promise not to do anything crazy, you may leave"

Ellen climbed off the cot, Noticing that her ankle was healed as well. Then she gasped when she realized that she was only wearing a revealing nightgown.

Jack blushed, then turned his head away, throwing her a blanket to cover up with.

"Sorry" she squeaked.

Who was she kidding.

Jack probably enjoyed the view.

It wasn't like she didn't have any curves.

When she was finished dressing in a tank top and pants, she gently tapped Jack's shoulder.

"All done"

He led her outside, and she was surprised by the emptiness where the thousands of tents used to be.

"They're all gone"

Jack nodded.

"Hastings told me they didn't stick around long, he did some talking and they packed up and left"

Ellen looked around, hoping her belongings were somewhere.

"They dropped off your stuff a little while ago, it's back in the cottage" Jack said, as if in answer to her thoughts.

Ellen nodded, then shivered against the slight wind that was blowing over the turf. It was sunny, but the temperature was still cold.

"Here" jack said, obviously having noticed.

He took off his white shirt, leaving his chest bare.

Ellen quickly put it on, but couldn't help staring at his muscular chest.

"You like what you see?" he said jokingly, putting his arm around her shoulders.

"Whatever" Ellen said, pushing him off. Jack laughed, then tried to tackle her.

"Hey! The doctor said no crazy stuff!" Ellen yelled, sidestepping him.

Jack tried again.

"This isn't crazy, this is fun"

She rolled her eyes and dodged him again.

Then, he took a different atatck, running to the side, then swiftly changing directions, knocking her down.

Before she could hit the ground and injure herself further, Jack pulled himself under her so that he hit the ground first, Ellen landing on his chest.

"What the hell, Jack?"

They stared at each other for a few seconds, then started laughing.

"You idiot!" Ellen yelled, trying to hit him.

Jack just laughed, blocking her blows.

Then, he stood up, puling her up with him.

"Wanna race?" He asked.

"Sure" Ellen replied.

They ran over the grass, kicking off their shoes as they went.

Jack won, and they collapsed in the shade, panting.

After a few moents, Jack leaned over, propping himself on his side with his elbow under his head.

A little ways away, the stone castle stood, looking as regal as ever.

Then, Jack spied it.

The lake.

About 50 yards away, the sunlight reflecting on the clear water.

"Hey Ellen, you wanna swim to cool off?"

She nodded enthusiastically.

They stood up, and Jack took her hand, pausing when Ellen stopped.

"Is this okay?" He asked.

She thought for second as if deciding, then nodded and followed him, their hands intertwined.

When they reached the lake, Jack led her onto the small boat dock that protruded into the blue water.

Then, he stripped off his pants, leaving him in only a pair of boxers, and jumped in.

"Come on Ellen! the water's great!"

Ellen blushed, then took off her pants, exposing her long legs. Then, after a moment's decision, she stripped off her purple tank top, leaving her in only her underclothes, and jumped in.

Jack's eyes widened as she took off her clothes, her brown hair gleaming in the reflection of the lake.

She was beautiful.

Absolutely amazing.

She was muscular, probably as much a he, but graceful and evenly proportioned.

They swam for what seemed like hours before getting out and laying on the beach, letting the sun dry them.

A little ways away, Hastings was searching for the two warriors.

He had looked all over when he finally spied them laying in the sun together by the beach.

Not only together, but mostly naked.

And dripping wet.

He took a step to break them up, but then saw the smile on Jack's face.

he sighed wistfully.

It had been so long since he had seen Jack smile.

The past year, he had been retreating further and further into himself, and even good jokes and his two best friends couldn't help that.

Hastings retreated back into the trees.

He would let them be.


So, what do you think????