Chapter 3

"Hey chicken what are you doing on my turf?" snarled Carter.

"Carter, why don't you just shut up for once?" I threw back.

"Why don't you put your money where your mouth is?" said Carter.

"I just might dumbo."

"Well then you wouldn't mind doing a challenge then would you, Chicken?" shouted Carter as I turned on my heels to walk away.

"You know what, I think I'll go and beat your sorry butt!" I shouted, even though Carter was standing right in front of me. "You and me in the arena at seven o clock sharp, tonight."

"Oh it's on!" said Carter as he turned around and walked away.

As I walked back to our house Oliver asked,

"Why did you do that? You know that Carter plays dirty."

"I know, it's just that I am so sick of Carter pushing us all around, and you know I can beat him." I added cockily.

"Yeah, if he plays fairly, which he won't!" said Oliver when we walked in the door.

"Who won't?" asked a perplexed Cassie.

"Oh just Rose challenging Carter."

"WHAT? Are you crazy? You know what he does, he doesn't play fair!" yelled Cassie.

"I know that's what I told her." said Oliver.

"I think I can take care of myself thank you very much, so would you two stop yelling at me?!" I asked as I bit in to a big red apple. If looks could kill!

"I just want to know what you were thinking when you said yes!" said Cassie.

"I wanted to prove Carter wrong for once, and, at the time, I thought I could win!" As I stomped my boots up the stairs I felt a single tear run down my face, finally realizing what I had just done. I slammed my door and did a face plant into the middle of my bed, and about ten minutes later I heard a knock on my door.

"Go away!" I sobbed.

"It's my room too you know." said a sorry Cassie, as she opened the door.

"Why do you two doubt me?" I asked. As I sat up, I noticed a shadow outside the door. Cassie and I were not alone.

"Oliver quite spying, if you want to hear the conversation then come in, if not go away!" I said annoyed. Once again the door opened and Oliver walked in blushing.

"Rose, we are so sorry for yelling at you, I guess we were just shocked to hear that you, of all people are going to fight Carter Martin." said Cassie.

"Yeah what um she said, sorry." whispered Oliver. For the first time I saw Oliver shed a tear, I mean it's was not the first time that he has cried, Cassie was just always there, looks like my turns up.

"Cassie, let me talk to Oliver alone ok?" I said.

"Oh, yeah, sure." Cassie slunk out of the room and closed the door. I was going to have to apologize after I was done.

"Oliver, come over here and sit down." I said.

"Rose, I am really sorry, I mean it's not like anyone expected this to happen."

"I know, I know, listen I have something to tell you, and I want to tell you before I go and kill myself out there." I whispered.

"What?" Before I lost my courage I leaned forward, kissed Oliver and said,

"I like you, and not like a friend like you it more of a like, like you and I kinda, sort of always have." I said blushing.

"Funny, I like you too, I always have." answered Oliver. As we leaned in to kiss each other we heard a shuffle outside the door, and a giggle. Cassie had been listening the whole time.

"Ok Cassie, you can come back in now." I said.

"EEEEEEKKKKKKK! I knew you two liked each other, but now you both know, and oh my gosh I can't believe this is happening!" screamed Cassie. Me and Oliver just laughed and smiled. Then we had to get serious and plan for the night ahead.

Cassie, Oliver, and I walk hand in hand to the arena. When we arrive we all go into to my dressing room and find my armor already laid out. Cassie and I go behind the dressing screen while Oliver sits on the couch. There are many different steps to putting on your armor, first you must put on your under armor, so you won't rub yourself raw during battle, then you need to put on your boots. After you put on your boots you need to put on your shin guards, and after that you need to pull on your metal pants. Next you have to put on your stomach protector, which hooks on to your back plate. You then put on your chest pads, after you put those on you put on your metal top. Then goes your arm protection and finally your helmet. Something felt wrong about my armor that night, now I wish I had said something.

"Hey Oliver," I said as I walked out from behind the screen, "how do I look?"

"Like a warrior." said Oliver, as he kissed me on the cheek.

"Ok guys, sister is still in the room!" said Cassie

"Sorry Cassie, do you want me to kiss you too?" asked Oliver, as he leaned over and gave Cassie a kiss on the forehead. I just laughed and grabbed my friend's hands and walked toward the arena.

As we neared the arena I got a glimpse of Carter's new armor, gray with blue stripes, the brand new model. With any model there are some kinks, but not this one, this one was built as one. There are no breaks in the armor. All I could think about was how I could target his weak spots, but I had only one problem in my way, HE HAS NO WEAK SPOTS! I mean you try to target the chinks in the armor, but as a whole piece of armor, there are no chinks!

"How you liken my new armor Chicken?" asked Carter.

"Not my colors, but it certainly suits you, not." I coughed.

"I'm sure you just didn't recognize this certain model, this is the gray with blue strips, brand new, flawless, you might say." sneered Carter.

"I am going to keep my focus on winning, so goodbye, until I beat your butt, of course." I yelled behind me as I walked away.

You say goodbye to the people you love before you go into a battle, every time, no matter what type, it could be an armature, or going into fight the dragon, you always say goodbye.

I sit with Cassie and Oliver in the boarding room, right outside the arena. I hold their hands waiting for the time to be up, for me to enter the arena.

Well, soon our fears came true, when the announcer called battle 1409 I had to get up and leave the safety of the boarding room, and walk to the arena. Before I left I got a giant hug from Cassie, and a hug and kiss from Oliver. This leg of the journey I would have to make by myself.

As I step into the arena, I see that this time it takes the shape of the woods just outside of town. Those are the most dangerous in the world, Carter could be anywhere. I walk through a patch of thick bushes, with purple flowers exploding all over the leafs. I pull out my sword and start running deeper, and deeper into the forest.

After about 30 minutes I spot Carter beside a babbling brook getting a drink. I take out my sword, but as I take it out Cater turns around and slashes at me, narrowly missing me. Right, left, right as I am trying to remember my battle strategies Carter catches me in an up-ward turn-around swing and he pulls off the back of my armor.

"What the heck Carter?!" I screamed in embarrassment; knowing this whole fight was being filmed for later use.

"What, a little set back is all it takes to beat you?" he snarled.

When I lunge forward, going for the death blow I, stupidly, try the turn and slice technique, but when I do Carter slashes at my defenseless back, and doesn't miss. As I lay on the ground in pain Carter stands over me with his sword in hand pointed at my throat.

"Say goodbye to your life chicken."

"No, she won't!" said Oliver and standing right beside him was Cassie.

"What?! How did you two get in here?" asked a perplexed Carter.

"Let's just say we saw the whole thing from the screening room and everyone knows you cheated so, you can surrender now or, well I think you want to go with the first one." said Cassie as she pulled out her sword.

"I don't surrender that easy." And just like that Cassie and Carter were at each other's necks.

"Rose were going to get you out of here ok?" whispered Oliver.

"Ok you just have to hurry I'm losing a lot of blood really fast." I said weakly.

"Let's go." said Oliver as he started to pick me up I felt the blood drain from my face.

"Look into my eyes, I don't want to lose you, not ever." I kept falling into darkness and being awakened by the sound of Oliver's voice and the thud of his footsteps against the ground.

The next thing I knew I was lying in a hospital bed with a bunch of tubes and doctors digging into my back, with Oliver holding my hand begging me not to let go.