Hey guys! Sorry I didn't update, college is way more time consuming than I thought! But I felt bad about not updating, so I promised myself I'd write another chapter now and get another one done during Thanksgiving break. Thank you everyone who rated /faved/put my story on watch. You guys make me happy 3

N.B. When I have a name at the beginning of a paragraph, that means the story is being told from that character's point of view. Once the paragraph is finished, it goes back to 3rd person.


~~~~ Desert Flower - Conflicted ~~~~

As they passed through the stone arches of the city gate, Toboe timidly spoke up to the group, "Hey guys I think we should decide when we're going to meet u-"

"LOOK AT ALL THE MEAT!" exclaimed none other than Hige as he ran off from the group and immediately began to ogle the food. Tsume rolled his eyes, but Toboe just shrugged and walked after the anxious wolf. Kiba glanced at Tsume but he just scoffed and walked off in the opposite direction. Much of the day passed without the wolves noticing as their attention was fully devoted to the cornucopia of food. They grabbed roasts, snagged cans of water, and pillaged the many stands for their delicious produce, using their wolven skills to quickly pile up a small stash of goods. When Toboe and Hige stumbled upon Kiba sitting in a remote alley, they dumped their things in a pile at his feet.

"Ahh, what a great day! I knew my nose would never fail me." Hige said while grabbing some jerky and sitting against a wall.

"Yeah, and that's all you're good for" came a voice from above. Looking up, the group saw Tsume jump down from a second story window ledge and lean against the wall facing Hige. He pulled out a small bag of meat and began to eat it.

"Well at least I'm not an ass!" came the reply. Tsume shrugged and kept eating his food unperturbed. Hige grumbled something to himself, but kept eating anyway. As the sun finally set and the moon began to rise, Kiba broke the silence.

"We should leave; we can make good time while the moon is up." He gazed at the moon with a fixed stare, intent burning in his eyes.

Tsume spoke first, "You have got to be kidding me! We just got here, and we're not leaving again until tomorrow."

Toboe chimed in, "Come on Kiba, we're all so tired, let's take a break for a night."

"Cheza doesn't have time for us to wait! We need to get her back now." growled Kiba. Tsume stepped off his wall and walked over to Kiba.

"Last time I checked, you weren't the official leader here, and I say we stay." The two glared at each other and Kiba emitted a low growl. Hige quickly stepped in between the two.

"Woah woah guys, relax! No reason to get into a fight over it."

Tsume snapped back, "At the pace we're going, you'd think he was trying to kill us. Is Cheza really that important?" At those words, Kiba leapt from the ground and stood face to face with Tsume, baring his teeth and growling again. Tsume replied in kind, and the two stood tensely for a few moments, nose to nose. No one dared to get in between the two staring daggers at each other. The moment broke when Tsume turned around and leapt off into the alley. He shouted over his shoulder as he leapt from roof to roof, "Just see if I come back in the morning." And with that, the wolf disappeared into the shadows.

Tsume:

That bastard, who does he think he is? He thinks that he's some knight chosen by the Gods to save the world. That stupid woman has gone completely to his head. Someone needs to knock some sense into it. It's not like she belongs to him anyway. I've had enough of him; I might as well just stay here. They can go on their own little journey without me.

Back with the others, Hige complained to the group, "What is that guy's problem?" Toboe looked over to Hige.

"Leave him alone, he's just confused." answered the young wolf. As if unaffected by the whole affair, the two turned to see Kiba once again looking up to the moon. Neither was sure if the wolf in question had eaten any of the food they'd gathered, but they dared not interrupt his intimate conversation with the celestial body.

In another alleyway about a mile from the group, Tsume curled up against a box, eyes already drooping from exhaustion. As he drifted off to sleep, the last thing he saw was Kiba's smoldering glare. He involuntarily shivered and shook the thought from his head. As his mind cleared, he drifted off to the ever so faint smell of flowers.

As the sun rose over the roofs in the sleepy little town, the wolves were the first to wake. Rubbing their eyes and stretching, they noticed that Tsume was nowhere to be found.

Toboe asked Hige, "What do we do about Tsume, we can't just leave him can we?" Hige shrugged and looked over to Kiba.

Kiba shook off the dirt from his sleep and replied, "Don't worry about him, for now let's just gather some more supplies and head out before anyone wakes up." Toboe's concern wasn't calmed, but he headed off into the streets to gather more food. Sitting above them all on the eaves of the houses, Tsume watched as Hige and Toboe scurried around in the early morning light. As he was about to turn away, Kiba stepped out from the alley and turned directly towards Tsume, looking straight at him. Tsume saw those smoldering and intense eyes that had haunted his sleep the night before. They seemed to communicate a thousand words at once to him, all in less than a minute. The white wolf broke the gaze and joined the others in gathering supplies. Tsume sat stunned, unable to move from his position.

As the group headed for the gates of the city once more Toboe turned to Kiba and asked, "What about Tsume? Are we going to leave him?"

"He'll be here." came the cryptic reply. No more than a few seconds later, Tsume jumped down from the city wall right behind the group.

"Tsume!" Toboe exclaimed, running up to the wolf and throwing out his arms. Tsume used his superior reach and stopped the young wolf by holding a hand against his chest to hold him at bay. The boy flailed for a bit, pouted, than gave up. Hige laughed as Tsume broke out in his classic smirk. With that, Kiba turned towards the empty horizon and lead the group from their desert oasis into the already unforgiving heat of the early morning sun.