CHAPTER 5

The Hunt Begins

Notes: Okay, so first, I'd like to apologize for how long it took me to update this... Second, I'm going to apologize for my spelling/grammar fails... I am horrible with both (though I fix anything that spell check comes up about)... I have a very cold attitude towards grammar, beyond capitalization, punctuation, and just trying to make things readable mostly because I can never get it right. xD I'm sorry if things aren't exactly perfect. May I ask what TVRopes is? And as for the magic and what not, I'm trying to "humanize" the characters / setting and stuff as much as possible... And the magic would probably just defeat the entire purpose of the story, which I might get around to explaining if I ever finished it. Anyway. Thanks for any and all reviews! :D I do promise to insert a Natz POV sometime in this chapter or the next!


MATT

He was incredibly furious.

He was the team leader, the one who made all the decisions, the smart one, the one who protected them all... And he had just lost all of that be failing to protect his team member... No, his friend.

He had let his friend walk off, alone, unprotected, into the middle of the woods without a second thought, and now he was lying, seriously wounded, and Matt had his blood all over his hands. He had finished dressing and taking care of Lance's wounds, but his scarlet-stained hands were shaking violently as he stood near the entrance of the cave, gripping the rough, cold stone in his hands.

Damnit! He thought furiously as he stomped out of the cave, glaring in to the trees. He completely ignored Natz who called his name, obviously concerned, and instead stared through the trees.

But as he stared, he began to think more clearly, and then he began to wonder.

What the hell was that thing doing out here to begin with? It was not the Beholder's habitat... Not by a long shot.

So why was it here?

Unaware of the irony of his actions, he walked forward, finally looking to Natz, but this time all he said was: "stay here and watch over Lance. I have to go check out something. I'll be back soon," and he walked into the trees.

Soon meant 'as long as it takes for me to find out what happens'.

He was going to find out why the Beholder was here, and he was going to destroy that reason and send any of them that were still around squealing for home. His hand was resting against his sword.

He was alone; angry, but he was completely alone...


NATALIE

She stared after Matt, knowing better than to follow him during one of his rare 'moods'. He looked dangerous angry, and all it would take for a mistake to be made was for her to go running off after him and leaving her injured team mate behind... Despite her worry for Matt, she knew she couldn't follow him.

So instead, she turned and walked in to the cave and looked at the unconscious body on the floor and gulped.

Had she caused this?

No, not on purpose. She hadn't sent him running out in to the forest, and she hadn't known any of this was going to happen... But she couldn't help but feel responsible for having put him in such a mood, even though with his temperamental grumbling, it was a challenge to keep him happy.

Now there was dried blood crusted to his clothes and his skin had a pale, sweaty hue. His body seemed to be trembling and shaking as though from some vicious, endless dream, and his obvious was discomfort was almost too much for her to bare. She had no idea what to do. She was certain Matt had done everything to dress his wounds, but there was always that psychological effect, whatever it may be, that could not be healed by tape and bandages.

Together we could have stopped this... She thought.

She sat down beside him on the floor, waiting in silence for Matt to return.

After today, let's never split apart again.