Chapter 29:


The Scorned

With a smile, I lead Selene through the maze of tents until we ended up in front of the cook's tent.

I noticed a huge line waiting to go in and another line of people exiting, carrying plates full of what I could only describe as slop. Selene looked at me and said flatly, "I have no problem with you, but if you try to make me eat that, I will fight you." I just laughed at her words and replied, "You need to have more faith in me. Just wait and see."

Staring at the line, I didn't feel like waiting, so I grabbed Selene's hand and led the two of us towards the back of the tent. Luckily no one gave us trouble, and we were able to sneak in.

I led Selene to the familiar cooking station and soon saw the cook busy over a boiling water pot. As I cleared my throat to get his attention, he looked up with an annoyed expression. When he saw it was me, he let out a long sigh. But when he saw Selene, he began to laugh. Once he had calmed down, he said, "Well, now I know why you were so persistent. If I had someone as pretty as her, I would make sure to keep her happy, too." Turning around, he grabbed a big plate and handed it to Selene, and said, "Enjoy. I am sure he won't admit it, but he is really trying to impress you." Selene shot me a look, but I quickly avoided her gaze, embarrassed by the cook's words.

I looked at the plate and was happy to see no signs of the slop. Fluffy eggs covered most of it, and a few strips of crispy bacon lined the side. Selene just stared at the plate, trying to figure out what was on it. With a laugh, I said, "Come on, let's try to find somewhere for you to eat."

Selene and I walked through the overcrowded camp, unable to find anywhere to sit. Eventually, she said, "Let's just go back to the tree. I don't mind sitting on the ground." I nodded my head, and the two of us walked back to our tree and sat down. Selene went back to staring intently at her plate and slowly poked her eggs with her finger. I couldn't help but laugh at what I was watching and stated, "When I was growing up, my family was extremely poor. This meal isn't much, but my mother would always make it when my sister or I had a bad day. Seeing it on your plate almost gives me a feeling of home."

Selene's face instantly softened at my words, and she asked, "Would you like it then if it reminds you of home?" Waving her off, I replied, "Thank you, but no. I want you to have it. It was so hard for me to visit Rebecca, and you helped me through that. And don't forget, I lost control of my body and attacked you. I have to admit I was scared you would leave me. I guess this is just another way for me to say thank you."

Selene was silent for a moment, then simply nodded her head and scooped some of the eggs into her mouth. She chewed a few times, but to me, it felt like an eternity. I couldn't figure out if she would approve or keep her promise and decide to fight me. Eventually, she said quietly, "I guess this is okay," and began to inhale the rest of the eggs.

I let out a long sigh, happy that she approved. Turning her attention to the bacon strips, she picked a piece up and shot me a suspicious glance. With a laugh, I said, "Come on. After all that, you are still going to question me? Just try it." With her brow furrowed in consternation, she took a small bite. Her eyes lit up at the taste, and she quickly devoured the remaining strips.

With big eyes, Selene stared at her empty plate, then up at me. She obviously wanted more, but her pride kept her from asking for something as lowly as human food. With a smile, I said, "I'm glad you enjoyed it. I have to admit I was pretty worried. Unfortunately, that is all I have." Selene pouted at my words and kept staring at me like I was hiding more from her.

I couldn't help but laugh that this murderous demon next to me was pouting because her bacon was gone. With a big smile, I asked, "How about this? While I may not have more now, I am sure we will visit many different places while looking for your friend. Would it make you happy if I promise that we will stop and try what each place has to offer?" Still staring at me, Selene nodded her head and said, "I guess that can work," then quietly added, "Thank you."

I really wanted to tease her, but I knew it was hard for her to say thanks, so the two of us sat in content silence. Leaning against the tree, I eventually asked, "You told me that the old man was happy we joined his war. Did he say when we leave or why we are going to war?"

With a long sigh, Selene stated, "We are going to leave tomorrow. As far as why it is simply because someone told them to. Apparently, we follow a very spoiled prince. He is not here now, but we will see him tomorrow. He had his feelings hurt by another ruler, so we are going to attempt to conquer that castle."

Raising an eyebrow at Selene, she said, "Well, it wasn't said exactly like that, but it's true." Laughing, I replied, "I will take your word for it. If you want to sleep now, you're welcome to. You said it yourself, tomorrow is going to be a hot day. Besides, you need to discover the joy of sleeping with a full stomach."

Selene gave me a questioning look but eventually closed her eyes and rested her head on my shoulder.