To those of you who remain, my dedicated listeners, I ask you not to turn your backs on me for what I do next might anger you. So allow me to explain a little first. Anaxandra and Kaspar are unaware that Tybalt is forcing Bruno to help him search the island for their hide out, Devlin has contracted a serious bacterial infection which will after five day kill him after driving him mad with hallucinations. Bruno is a submissive twit (pardon my language) who brings no additional chaos to Ana and Kaspar’s lives and my favourites need a little more... excitement. Anaxandra will simply feel guilty over Nenavysta’s actions that led to Devlin contracting the infection that is slowly killing him, muting her potential for more chaos, and Tybalt’s blind madness and hate are beginning to bore me.
So to you who have not abandoned this story, forgive me for my interferences.
The morning was quiet on the island. With the numbers in their favour for the first time since arriving, Ana and Kaspar are less cautious and begin their day with water collection. The task was still dangerous considering Tybalt and Bruno had guns but it was not as big a risk anymore because they were also armed. Devlin is still asleep in the morning so the two decided not to disturb him and figured that as long as he stayed in the shelter and kept quiet he would not give anything away to Tybalt and Bruno. They did not talk much as they walked the tricky path to the reservoir, in the excitement of their escape last night Ana had almost forgotten about Ragnar. Now she was silent in mourning Devlin’s dead friend.
The sky was dark and Kaspar was worried that it might begin to rain while they were on their little quest for some clean water. He would have expressed his worry to Ana sooner but he could see she was deep in thought and would not want to be disturbed. Kaspar was still trying to sort out his mixed emotions about his romantic situation. For days Ana’s physical presence has been somewhat of a distraction to him and he is unsure of what precisely their relationship is. He knows they are friends but e can barely look at her anymore without his hormones soaring through the roof, embarrassing him and making him feel guilty. The rational part of his brain argued that it was neither the time nor the place for romance not to mention he had made a commitment to Gayora, whom was without a doubt optimistically waiting for him to return. But the irrational part of his brain told him that he should express himself, after all how can Ana not feel the same way that he is?
“I’ve been thinking...” Ana murmured.
“Yeah?” Kaspar said snapping out of his trance.
“I want to go and collect Ragnar’s body and have a proper funeral for him. Cremation, like what they did with Benedict so that his ashes might be brought home again.”
“I’m sorry about what happened to him.”
“He was a good man,” Ana agreed.
“I feel like I should have done something more for him. He helped me escape the day that... well... you know we had to run. He untied me so I could escape.”
“I think he was gay,” Ana said casually. Kaspar sputtered.
“What makes you say that?”
“He never once starred at my breasts, but he was always really nice, especially when Devlin is around. I think he had a homosexual crush on him.”
“All that because he wasn’t a pervert and he nice?” Kaspar asked trying not to flush. He certainly hoped that his emotional turmoil had not caused him to come across as a pervert or a jerk. “Do you think I’m gay?”
“No of course not, you are nice but if you ever were gay they pounded it out of you in how-to-be-a-theocratic-leader school,” Ana laughed. Kaspar shook his head. She chose not to embarrass him by bringing up his reaction to her kisses and skipped ahead a little before her head hung again, following a grim train of thought. Kaspar watched her hips sway as she walked and how her hair hung at her shoulders. Had he ever ogled at a woman before? Yes. Had he ever felt that uncomfortable twisting sensation in his chest before? No, and the poor man could not identify his emotions for what they truly were.
There was a flash of lightning, but in comparison to the hurricane that landed them their neither of them paid it any attention.
They were at the mouth of the reservoir when Ana noticed that the clouds on the west side of the island looked odd.
“Kasper,” Ana called to him.
“Yes,” he shouted from inside the cave.
“Can you look at this,” she called trying not to sound as alarmed as she felt. Kaspar emerged from the cave putting the cap on a water canteen when he saw what had caught Ana’s attention. Smoke was billowing into the sky at such a rate that he was shocked he could not see the flames, but he could see birds flying and hear animals screaming.
“Fuck,” he gasped.
“Careful your majesty, someone important might hear you,” Ana meant to joke but her voice shook revealing how frightened she actually was.
“It looks right around where Tybalt’s camp is; do you think that they let a fire get out of control?” Ana asked.
“We heard lightning; if the lightning hit the ground it could start a brush fire.”
“Oh no,” Ana gasped, in the blink of an eye she was sprinting down the hill and through the trees towards their hide out. “Devlin,” she shrieked at the top of her lungs.
Kaspar ran after her, shouting her name desperate for her to slow down. The trees had been deceiving from the caves. Much of the underbrush was burning and working at the trees. Smoke and other harsh gases filled the air making it hard for Kaspar to breathe.
“Ana! Come back!” he called looking franticly from left to right as the flames spread suffocating the life in the forest.
“Devlin!” Ana’s screams were desperate and Kaspar saw her standing in a small clearing looking around, disoriented by the smoke and flames, for her brother, and for the way back to the shelter. A cracking made her turn her head, Kaspar looking, almost expecting to see Tybalt standing with a gun but the crack was a burning tree’s trunk finally giving out. Kaspar ran towards Ana hoping to get her out of the way in time but she’d also seen the threat and dove out of the tree’s way, they collided and Ana rolled out from under the burning tree at the last moment.
“Are you stupid!”
“I didn’t think you were going to move!” he shouted back at her. She threw her hands up in the air and turned but was met by a wall of fire.
“We have to get out of here,” Kaspar said grabbing her arm. Ana spun around and her fist connected with Kaspar’s nose with a painful crack. He fell backwards and she jumped on top of him before he could say anything Ana’s slender hands wrapped in a vice grip around his throat.
His windpipe closed he stared blinking back tears and Ana’s twisted expression of sadistic joy.
“The Creator wants you dead, love. So sorry,” she purred. Nenavysta looked up as if only noticing for the first time that the forest was on fire around her and her smile morphed into a snarl. “Chaos is a bitch.”
Nenavysta straddled Kaspar’s chest pinning his shoulders with her knees, she kept one hand wrapped tightly around his throat and reached for his eyes. Adrenaline shot through Kaspar’s bloodstream he twisted underneath her and managed to get a hand free, he grabbed the hand she was using to choke him and closed his eyes as a vain defence against her nails as she began clawing at his face. A branch fell and struck her shoulder throwing her off balance and Kaspar grabbed her shoulders, they rolled, she bit him and tried desperately to grab something she could manipulate but Kaspar caught her wrists in his hands and tried to restrain her as best he could without injuring them.
“We have to get out of here now or we will all burn to death,” he shouted at Nenavysta who was spitting profanities as fast as she could come up with them.
“So we burn! I don’t care,” a wicked smile played on her face and she relaxed a bit underneath him. “But you do.” Nenavysta gave Kaspar a slow once over smiling.
“My, my, would you look at what we’ve got ourselves into,” she laughed. Kaspar blushed but kept his expression hard, a skill he had mastered for Jovan’s council members. “Come on love, we can make a deal can’t we? I don’t want to die you don’t want to die and let’s face it, we’re beautiful. Let go of me and later you can do whatever you want I will not judge, Ana won’t know, our dirty little secret.” Fire licked the knap of his neck and Kaspar scrambled to his feet pulling Nenavysta along with him without letting go of her wrists. She opened her mouth to speak some more but he slung her over his shoulder’s in a fireman’s carry. He wished for a fleeting moment he had stayed in the military longer but started sprinting away from the heart of the fire. Nenavysta screamed in protest fighting him, but he did his best to ignore her.
“You just wait Kaspar, one of these days I’ll kill you. The Creator’s will be done,” she screamed thrashing to the best of her abilities before going still. He did not know what was wrong but he kept going, praying Ana was going to wake up at any moment.
When he found a clear path to the sandy beach he sprinted for it using the last of his energy. He collapsed and shrugged Ana’s limp body off his shoulders. He checked to see if she was breathing and pressed his fingers to her neck for a pulse.
He breathed a sigh of relief before tying her hands together with a piece of fabric he tore from his pants. If Nenavysta Hradi woke up, he did not want her to attack.