Chapter 14: Rubra Aurora Surgit.

"Alrighty men, it's now time to see if what I've been teaching you has actually sunk into those heads of yours'. We've already talked about the parts of the bow and arrow, as well as how to assemble each one. Now, you are going to learn how to fire one." Benjamina Rouge shouted to the group of men gathered around her and her make-shift target range. There were about 8 'students' total in this gathering, just her afternoon group for the day. So far she had been training three groups, one in the morning, one in the noon time and one in the evening, all of which had about 8 to 12 men in each. The number of attendants all depended on who was working on the village or out with Robin in robbing the rich. But all of them were very obedient and eager to learn what she was teaching them. Not all of them caught on as fast as others, but with Wulf helping as Ben's official assistant, it made it a lot simpler to handle every one of them and help them along. Once again, Wulf became her hero.

"Um, question?" One of the men asked, raising his hand awkwardly to get Ben's attention. Looking at him, Ben saw that it was Bull who raised his hand. It was rather surprising to see him in some of her training sessions, as Much and him were normally anywhere John or Robin was, and were nearly inseparable from each other. Ben was happy that he attempted to learn though, even if he was one of the worst students she's probably ever had. It's not that he was dumb, he just became easily distracted, not listen, and ask the same questions over and over again. He'd get it in time, just quite a bit of time with a few repeats..

"Yes Bull, what is it?" He lowered his hand when she acknowledged him, looking around to see that all eyes were on him.

"Well, why are we going to set them on fire? I mean, I seen flamin' arrows before, but not flamin' bows.." Some of the men tried to hide their laughter at Bull's question, even Ben was having a hard time in doing keeping herself from letting out a giggle. But she shook her head with a grin and answered him.

"No, Bull, we are going to fire the arrows, as in shoot them." He looked down in consideration, then nodded his head when he finally understood what had been said.

"Oh! Right, right." With another shake of her head, Ben continued on with her lesson.

"Okay, gents. You all have your bows and arrow quivers at your feet, filled with arrows?" All of the students nodded as they checked themselves. "Good, now each one of you should have about 10 arrows in each quiver, may you please check to see if you have that number?" Now normally she wouldn't go through so much preparation but it was severely needed when it came to these men. If she didn't, there would be complications in the middle that would just take time out of teaching. Not to mention precious time that could be spent helping each one better themselves just a little more. After each confirmed they had everything they needed, the true teaching began. "Good. Now, stances everyone, just like we rehearsed. Well done, notch the arrow, then draw back and aim. Do not fire til you are told!" Ben waited til each one of them had done as she instructed, looking at every one critically to make sure none of them were making any mistakes. "Jacob, lift your elbow. It's slouching too far down. You want to make sure your arm is parallel with the bottom part of your ear, and your hand drawing the arrow back is touching your cheek. If it is not this way, your arrow will be shot incorrectly and miss the target, most likely hurting yourselves or others." After a few more moments of personally helping some of them hold it correctly, everyone was ready for the next step.

"So far so good." Wulf whispered to her, both looking at the men as they all faced the hand made stuffed targets. At first glance, they would all look like professional archers had anyone known better.

"Let's just hope the shooting goes well. I had taught them about the dominant eye thing like I taught you, but I'm not entirely sure a lot of them understood what I was talking about. Fingers crossed, huh?" Trying to give her some confidence, Wulf crossed both his fingers on both right and left hands, sending Ben a sweet smile. She gladly returned it, ruffling his hair softly, then turned back to focus on the others.

"Once you have the target locked in your sight, open fire." Within seconds, a group of arrows were released, all flying towards their individual stuffed dummies. 3 out of the 8 were able to hit one, though none of the arrows hit the target circles drawn onto said dummies. One made it to the leg area near the ankle, another made it to the shoulder, while the last made it to the 'nether' region of the dummy and had all of the men clutching themselves in agony. Ben let out a soft sigh as she watched them all, not sure whether to laugh or groan. Wulf looked away from the others and glanced to Ben, giving her an awkwardly forced grin in hopes that it would make her feel better. He could understand why this was hard on her, being asked to teach so many people at once who all had different needs and paces to learn at. She was doing well so far, don't get him wrong, she was doing brilliantly! But you can only take so much, and with her doing this every day, three times a day, it was exhausting. She kept going, though, not wanting to be useless or let the others down.

"Well, at least some of them shot it at all. Gotta count for somethin', right?" The woman gazed down at the boy next to her, who never seemed to stop smiling. Wulf was a gift to Earth, Ben was sure. Always optimistic, always comforting, always ready to be there when needed. Why couldn't she have been found by the men 5 years ago?

"True, so far they are doing pretty well. Any practice without injury is a successful one." Her positive reaction made Wulf even happier, knowing that she wasn't going to give up just yet. "Alright boys, we've a long lesson ahead of us! Notch the next arrow, and let's go again." Every man groaned, but did as they were told, bending and retrieving their next arrow to be shot. It went on like this for awhile, until finally all of the arrows were spent and the men were tired and aching. Drawing back a bow string and keeping it there for a few minutes, while Ben made sure everything was efficient, wasn't exactly easy for some of them. Not to mention that a few times, they misfired and nearly hit themselves in the process, but no severe injuries were taken thankfully. A few cuts and bruises, but it was considered a learning experience.

"Good job, all of you! You've made progress, and should be proud of yourselves. Now, may you please retrieve your arrows and return them to their quivers. Make sure you have all 10 arrows, then set your bows next to the quiver for the next group." Relieved that practice was over, the men got to work collecting the arrows, some of them patting each other on the back or complimenting another at how well they shot. They were a good lot, they were. No one thinking they were better than another, always having fun and looking to the bright side even in dark times. One would be proud to consider them friends. But at the moment, Ben was too tired to really think much about it. The area they were training it was extremely exposed to the sun, and she could already feel her skin burning. It was such a burden to have fair skin.. No matter how much sun she would get, Ben would burn, peel, then return right back to her pale skin.

"Alright," Ben sighed to herself, running her hand through her crimson hair, "Onto the next-"

"Benjamina!" Robin of Locksley along with Azeem, John and quite a few of the men behind him, all geared up with a few swords and maybe nine bow and arrow sets.

"Looks like you boys are ready for some trouble." Ben joked, smirking at the group who all cheered at her statement. Boys, every single one of them and not a one of them could agree more.

"We hope so," Robin grinned back, "I was hoping to ask if it is alright to take most of the men from your next group along with me. They're not as tired out as the rest and it would give them some hands on training in the field." Ben nearly tackled him in a sobbing hug after he said it. But trying to act as aloof as she could, she shrugged her shoulders and nodded her head loosely.

"Yeah, of course Robin. Besides, gives me a break from the troublesome buggers!" Again the men burst into laughter, knowing her comment was of good intentions, or hoping it was.

"I thank you, we shouldn't be gone for long though."

"Be back in time for a well deserved meal!" John shouted, and the men cheered as they all followed their leader out of the camp and into the forest to do some thievery. Ben and Wulf watched til the last man was shrouded by trees, both of them sighing.

"I wish I could go with them.." Wulf said, not hiding the disappointment in his voice. Looking away from the trees and down to her young friend, Ben seen his downcast expression, one that nearly broke her own heart. "Father says I'm too young to go out on the hunts now, sayin' they're too dangerous. He used to let me go all the time, now he won't.." A soft hand slid onto his shoulder, making the boy look up at Ben and her apologetic expression.

"I know it's hard, love, but you have to understand that he's only looking after your safety. With the reward raising on Robin's head the more we steal from Nottingham, it becomes increasingly dangerous since more come to take the bounty. Not to mention people are hiring more soldiers to protect them since everyone knows Sherwood is filled with thieves now. Those are trained men, who've killed countless people and won't stop with a child such as you. As I am quite sure you remember.." A hint of fear sparkled in his eyes, thinking back to the day he was chased by dogs and men. The only thing that kept him alive was Robin, and it was by luck that he was there at the right time. If it wasn't for him, Wulf was sure that he would not be standing there with Ben since no one really knew where he was when he was out hunting that day. The hand on his shoulder squeezed firmly. "He knows you are a very skilled lad, and he has complete faith in you, but if he lost you.. I don't think he would ever forgive himself. Have faith in your father too, eh?" The smile he always wore returned to his face as he looked into Ben's eyes. She was right, his father was only protecting him, and in time he would be able to go out with the other men as well.

"Yeah, okay."

"Good boy! Now go see what's for supper, I'm going to go freshen up real quick, I'm all sweaty." She hugged him tightly, then gently pushed him towards the fire pit, where most of the food was cooked.

"That's a good idea, you're smellin' pretty manly!" Wulf teased, and dashed off just as Ben took a single step towards him, laughing all the way. Cheeky little bugger, she chuckled. Watching for just a few more moments as the boy ran off, Ben turned and headed towards her Burrow, where a bucket of water sat inside the entree way, just waiting for her. 'A girly hygiene thing', the boys had called it, saying every girl had their own cleaning station. At first, it was rather insulting, seeing that all they thought she was, was a predictable stereotypical girl. That was, until she realized Ben had used it quite a bit. Then again, since she had been asked by Robin a week ago to train the men, she had been sweating a lot more recently Between running back and forth with those she had been teaching, and running everywhere to prepare for each lesson, it had her working so much more than what she had been before Robin. But Ben really couldn't complain, teaching all of them, though quite the sizable amount of work, was so much fun. Getting closer to everyone, learning more about each one, and allowing them to learn more as well was a new experience entirely. And it was worth each bead of sweat that dripped from her brow. Though, she had to admit, it was kind of gross being as sweaty as a man. I guess Wulf was right, laughing at herself under her breath, Ben finished the distance between her and the Burrow, pulling away the red cloth to enter.

Since Robin had come, and the looting and raids on those who entered Sherwood had increased drastically, Ben's Burrow had become slightly more adorned. The wooden area Ben and Will created those months ago had now been added onto to make it look much more presentable. Inside, there was more cloth hanging against the inner walls, not only as decoration, but to keep the cold winds at night out. The fabrics were mostly those stolen from noble daughters who, for some reason, brought their bedrooms with them on their journey's. Mauve, sea green and marigold yellow. One would think they were hideous colours, but the richness of them reminded Ben of her old room. An old wooden chest lay in there as well, which was filled with Ben's clothing, a few books Azeem had collected for her, a few pieces of jewelry John thought would look lovely on her and blank paper and ink, which she had put to use teaching Wulf how to write in their free times. Her bucket of water sat next to the chest to conserve room, and a cloth next to it, used solely to help clean herself. It wasn't much, of course, but it definitely livened up the place. What was even better, was that her sleeping area inside the Burrow itself, was added to as well. Now, instead of laying on just hay like she had for awhile now, there were furs laid across to soften the course bedding. She also now had a few pillows and blankets too, making the nights much more easy to sleep through, not waking up freezing cold in the dead of midnight. It was amazing what people brought with them whilst traveling.

Done thinking about how much her Burrow had changed, Ben knelt in front of her water bucket, taking a handful of the cold water and splashing it on her face. Taking a few seconds to catch her breath after nearly drowning from gasping while cold water was pretty much up her nose, Ben took the rag and rubbed her face and hands of any dirt and grime. Though her face was now frozen, it was refreshing to be clean. Well, cleaner than she was before. Searching the water's reflection for any smudges she may have missed, Ben noticed that her hair had gotten a lot longer over the past few months. From the short hair with longish bangs she had when first arriving in camp, now was almost shoulder length crimson hair with bangs down to her chin. It was so strange that she hadn't cut it yet. When she lived alone, she had made sure to cut her hair every month, to keep the boy facade up. I guess now that everyone knows I'm a girl, I just don't care anymore. I can just The thought itself was enough to make her smile. No more bindings, no more faking a deep voice, no more lies. It was a freedom she hadn't had in too long, and it was great to finally be released from those bonds. And all because-

"Hey Ben, you in there?!" Will's voice hollered from outside her Burrow, nearly making her knock over her bucket from the shock. Steadying herself and trying to calm her heart down, she glared at him through the red cloth, though Ben really couldn't see him through it. She pretty much glared daggers in the general direction his voice had come from. Good enough for her.

"Yeah, yeah I am." Without another word, the cloth brushed aside, and in pops Will's head with a huge smile on his face. A smile that was annoying Ben, who was still tussled by her near heart attack. "What are you all smiling about?" Will didn't seem to hear the snap in her voice, still off in his own little happy world.

"Come on! I want to show you something!" His head left the blanket, but Ben was pretty sure he was waiting outside for her to follow.

"Will, I swear, if this is another one of your 'who does this rock look like' or 'what is this tree shaped like' I'm going to beat you with the rock or hang you in the tree... Or possibly both." Once again the attitude in her voice went completely unnoticed, as Will laughed heartily at her little comment. Leave it to Will to think Ben was cute when she was angry. But none the less, Ben crawled outside too see a far too excited Will Scarlet. One with a huge smile on his face and a mischievous glint in his eyes. Oh boy this was gonna be good. "Okay.. What does it look like now?" Will chuckled even harder.

"It's nothing like that, Ben, I swear. I just need you to follow me, okay?" Ben would be lying if she said she wasn't skeptical. But the look on his face, the pure honesty and hopefulness on it. How could one say no to that? That was like saying no to a puppy who wanted the scraps and gave you 'the pout'.

"Ugh, alright!"

"Yes!" Will cheered, nearly jumping with excitement. Without another word, he grabbed Ben's hand and rushed off through the camp and into the woods. The pace he was going at was nearly making Ben fall, who was unable to match him without having her arm pulled out of its socket or stumbling over her own feet from the sheer speed.

"Um, Will? Where are we going?" Tugging at her arm, hoping that it will show him how much she wanted to slow down. It worked, because Will halted so that he could turn to look at her straight in the eye.

"It's a surprise." That was all he said before he turned towards the direction they were going before, and continued walking, this time slower. Ben only hesitated for a moment, wondering why Will was being so secretive about it, but she trailed after him. She trusted Will, and that was enough. Well, enough for her, just not her curiosity.

"Can I have a hint?" Ben played, coming up close behind him. From the side view of his face, she could see that her question caused him to grin. Oh, maybe she was going to be able to find out what this surprise was!

"Nope." Her face fell from disappointment.

"Aww! Come on, Will! I want to at least know something!" This time it was her turn to try 'the pout' with him. And where it would work without any problems any other day, Will's resolve stood strong in this moment. He just looked at her out of the corner of his eye, still grinning like a fool, bathing in his little victory. "Please, oh please, oh please!" Trying harder, this time even running up ahead of him so that he could get a better view of her pleading. That was probably how he was able to resist it the first time, he wasn't looking directly at her. Well now he can't escape from it! But his expression remained the same, even allowing his smile to turn into a smirk. He was totally enjoying this! Before she could do anything else, he said:

"You'll never expect it." It had caught her off guard and made her thoroughly confused. What could he mean by that? What could it possibly be? And for about an hour and a half, Ben debated with herself upon this, thinking of every possible thing it could be. And with her imagination, there was a wide variety of things it could be. From a new pet, a secret hidden pirate treasure, an unexplored ruin, the bones of a dragon, a pony, and an abandoned chest filled with new shoes. A girl could dream. But it was really driving her crazy that she didn't know what it was! Ben was never a girl to like surprises. Not because she hated them, she was just a very curious person and wanted to know now not later. That was probably the only reason she hated her birthday, too.

It was the lack of sound that drew her from her thoughts, not hearing the leaves and twigs crush beneath the weight of her feet. Looking around her, Ben noticed that Sherwood Forest was now a few feet behind her, and she stood in the clearing of England. Instantly her heart began to race and Ben could feel a cold sweat already starting to form on her skin.

"Ben?" Will had noticed that his friend wasn't following, and when he turned to see what was the matter, he noticed the look of pure panic on her face. When she didn't answer, he began to worry even more. "Ben, what is the matter?" It took her a few minutes to remember that she had a voice to speak with.

"I..I haven't left Sherwood in nearly six years..." The voice that came from her was weak and fearful, making Will instantly feel like an idiot. Of course she would be scared leaving, Sherwood had been the only thing protecting her from Nottingham and the death penalty. It was her safe place, and he just tore her out of it without even considering how should would feel about it. Running a hand through his hear, Will sighed, wanting to punch himself for his own ignorance. She looked behind her again, at Sherwood. "I... It's been so long, since I've seen clear land. There are no trees out here." It was like she was in an entirely different world from the one she was so used to. Only in dreams did she remember the rolling hills, the flat meadows, the pale skies without leaves. It felt even longer than six years, in fact.

"Ben..I'm here for you. I won't let anything happen to you while we're out here. I'll protect you." He was trying to soothe her fears, make sure she would be alright. It touched her to know that, with all of her problems and past history, Will has still remained by her side. Hell, everyone has stuck by her. She didn't have to be afraid anymore, because they were all there.. That's what he was telling her. And she smiled as she looked to her closest friend, the one she couldn't live without.

I will be strong, she thought the mantra to herself, walking up to Will with her smile still gracing her face. "I've got a surprise, don't I?" Will gave her a wide grin back, happy to see that she had overcome this fear of hers, and that he was there to help her along the way. So on he led her, knowing that their destination was barely 2 more miles away. Hoping that he would be able to support her then, as well.

Will wasn't sure if she honestly didn't recognize the ruined mansion in front of them, or he was a moron and got the wrong one, but they stood in front of the gates not yet entering. Ben was looking all over the outer walls, witnessing how some of it had decayed and crumbled away, leaving small to large holes here and there. Crawling ivy had nearly covered a good portion of the outside, augmenting the worn facade It looked as if it had been abandoned for far longer than it has been.

"Is this my surprise?" There was no anger in her voice, or sadness, like Will had feared. Instead, it was the same curiosity as before, when she asked what the surprise would be.

"Yes and no. I wanted to bring you here so that we could get your fencing sword. I've been bugging Duncan for the passed two weeks now to find it, then trying to remember exactly where to go to get here." His answer completely took her off guard, making her double-take her friend.

"My sword?"

"When you were talking about it a few weeks ago, you seemed so happy. I mean, you can get happy any other day too, but not as happy as that. I knew it was because it was a memory of Erik, but the sword was something he gave to you. A-and I wanted you to have it again, to be happy like you were.." At first, he sounded so confident of himself, but the more he spoke, the more 'mooshy' he thought he sounded. No man talked like this! Or at least he though so.. Oh, she must think he was a idiot..

The soft lips of Ben kissing his cheek nearly sent Will into a heart attack. Looking at her in surprise, she just smiled with tears brimming her eyes. At first he was scared that what he said made her sad, but she didn't give him time to apologize, as she walked towards the opened gates, through the courtyard, and into the ajar door of the main hallway. Recovering from the peck, Will rushed in after her. But after seeing what's inside, part of him wished he never even thought about bringing her back to the place. The main hallway was spacious and long, there could have been around twenty or so people inside of it and still have room to move around without any issue. There was tons of room for decorations like tapestries and paintings, though the ones that were once occupying the walls seemed to have rotted away or have been looted by thieves. The floor was the worst part, as it was covered in the bones and dried blood of people who once lived at the Western property. Ten maybe fifteen bodies sprawled across the ground, seven of them wearing armour and holding weapons. Will could only guess they were the guards of this place, while the rest were servants. Taking his eyes away from the gruesome scene, he looked up to Ben, who continued to weave through the rubble as if nothing were wrong. At least she was seeing this through, he thought and followed her through another grand door.

What they entered next, must have been the great hall or courtroom. It wasn't too huge, as they weren't so rich, but it was large enough for a Lord and Lady of Erik and Adelaide's status. A huge table, though broken in multiple places, stretched down the middle of the room, with 8 chairs and two at each end. Candle racks riddled the sides of the walls, with melted candles still stuck to their holders, dripping down all the way to the floor. The windows, cracked or broken, brought in light so that the two could see grass and weeds peeking through the rough wood of the floor. Unlike the hallway, this room seemed to have no blood or decayed bodies at all around it, just ruined from time and the elements. But nothing in the room had Ben's attention, except what was in the back.

Far away from the door, passed the table, on elevated stone steps, there sat two throne-like chairs. And in both of those chairs, sat two corpses. Will stopped in horror, instantly remembering the story Ben told when she admitted to being a female. The two in the thrones must be Erik and Adelaide Western. Ben had not stopped her slow walk until she was kneeling at the feet of the dead. She did not speak, only looking up at both of them, and Will watched from afar. After a few moments of silence, a sniffle came from the girl.

"It's Mina.. I came back. I know I left you, but I was afraid. I didn't know what to do! I-" She stopped when her words were beginning to become blurred with tears. Taking a deep breath to cool her nerves and sooth her shaking shoulders, she continued. "I've found the most amazing people. I think you would like them all. They've had everything taken from them, and yet they are still fighting. We're fighting." The room grew silent again, Ben staring at the hands of her Lord and Lady, still entwined even after all these years. Then her eyes looked up to the rapier, which still protruded out of Erik's chest. Her sad eyes grew serious, wiping away the tears, Ben stood and went to stand in front of his body. Gingerly, she took the hilt, once big in her hands now fitting perfectly. There was little resistance when she pulled, the tip being stuck in the chair barely half an inch. Looking at the blade unsheathed, it was like it never aged since the day she received it. Still glowing brightly, even in this dim lighting, welcoming her touch as if it missed her. Returning her gaze, her eyes flared with the fire of anger. "I'll avenge you..Father, mother. And when I do, I'll return to give you the burial you deserve. I swear it." Ben turned from them, though it was harder than she thought, stepping down and walking towards Will. She held the sword up in hers hands, allowing Will to see it for himself.

"It's gorgeous!" He said, marveling at the absolute beauty of it.

"Erik had it custom made in Italy. He used to say that Italian smithies were some of the most gifted rapier craftsmen. It's a true swept-hilt form, with deep chiseling on the knuckle guard Gold filigree is etched in, with tiny rubies placed intricately through out the design. Sharpened steel, far stronger than any iron sword."

"Wow, you know a lot about these.." What was the word she used? "Rapiers." Ben chuckled as she slowly ran her fingers over the knuckle guard, reminiscing in the feel of it.

"No, it was what Erik told me when he gave it to me for my birthday. I was so enthralled, I remembered what he said word for word so that I knew about my rapier. So that I could be 'one with the sword'. I don't know, it was a silly child thing." As she spoke, she had a beautiful smile on her lips, one of pure bliss which made Will get goose pimples just looking at her. At least she was smiling, and that made him happy. Maybe one day, he could make her smile like that. The thought itself made Will blush, causing him to look down at the sword in hopes to hide it.

"It's not childish at all." He spoke softly, examining the rapier. When his eyes met the blade itself, he noticed there was some writing carved into the blade. It was a strange language, one he couldn't understand, but it was written in a lovely sweeping font down the middle. "What does that say?" Will asked, pointing at the lettering.

"Rubra aurora surgit." She replied fluently, making whatever language she spoke sound gorgeous in her sweet voice. "It means 'A Red Dawn Rises' in Latin. Many a time, Lord Erik would wake me up early in the morning to watch the sun rise, and he would say that whenever the sky was red at dawn, that it would be a fortuitous day. And when he gave this to me, he said that my dawn would come soon too, and that I would rise above, just like the sun." They both stared at the rapier for a few more moments, when Ben handed it over to Will. He was confused at first, but he reached out and took it, holding it as if it were a piece of glass and would break if he moved just an inch. She turned around and started looking all over the floor, for what, Will didn't know, but he waited. Until an 'ah-ha!', nearly making Will jump, and Ben returning with what looked to be a black sword sheath. Taking the sword back, she slowly cover the sword, then tied the carrier onto her belt. She felt whole again, almost as if taking this rapier, she was taking Erik and Adelaide with her. Breathing deeply, she nodded to her friend.

As they exited the manor, Ben took a deep breath and stared at the sky. It was sunny, bright, and it gave her a hope that she hadn't had in years. A weightlessness she thought that she would never have, ever again. And for some reason, she began to laugh. A laugh so pure and happy, one she had not laughed since she was much younger. Spreading her arms out wide, she twirled around in circles, tipping her head back and letting the sun hit her face in it's warm and loving glow. Around and around, til finally she dropped into the smooth grass, still laughing. The sound of grass crunching came up beside her, and Will crouched down, smiling himself.

"You okay, crazy?" Before he could move, Ben grabbed ahold of his hand, and jerked him down next to her in the grass, both of them laughing.

"Thank you, Will." Though her voice sounded serious, she had the biggest smile on her face.

"For what?"

"For helping me brave the outside world again. For bringing me here. For helping me get my sword back. For giving me the strength to take it." Will didn't think he had that big of an effect on here, to be honest. He thought she was the only one that did that to him, but he seems to have been wrong. To know that he was the one she was relying on, made him feel as if he was floating on air. That this smile was caused by him, this happiness was because of him, made him feel as if he could do anything. Looking at her now...Made him feel so... He didn't know what it was, or what it could be. But he liked it.

"Anytime." Was all he could think to say. Trying not to make it awkward, Will stood up and reached his hand out to her. "Shall we head home, Mina?" The name he called her made her heart skip a beat. Erik had been the only one that had ever called her that, not even Adelaide tried to say her name like that. But the way Will said it, how it sounded so right in his voice, made Ben's smile grow even wider. Taking his hand, she was hoisted up next to him. And before he could slip his hand out of hers, she entwined her fingers into his. The action seemed to have caught Will off guard, as he stared at her and their hands in disbelief. Ben just giggled and squeezed lightly.

"Let's go home." When Will finally realized they were holding hands, he couldn't help but smile. And the entire way home, their hands never left each other. Not until they entered camp, and went to eat some well deserved food. But even then, they stole secret glances at one another the rest of the day. Hoping that their eyes would meet, yet praying they didn't get caught staring. One would think they were in love...

Memo: So i realized after re-reading some of my previous chapters that I had been changing the spelling for Erik's name a few times. I'm such a ditze, haha. But thank you all so much for still sticking with me. You're all amazing ! xoxoxo
Side note: JIC, 'Mina' is pronounced 'Mee-na'. Sorry, ive had this happen before, so just to make sure you all get it lol

*WickedForGood13: Thank you so much for your review! I'm hoping to see them convince themselves of their feelings soon, but when? Idk. Or do I? Lol But once again thank you very much and I hope you enjoy the rest and keep reading :)

*Dalonega Noquisi: I did rather love writing the strawberry scene, but its so hard writing an original one since its a very popular skit thing to do, lol. But I'm happy you liked it, and hope you like this one too :)