Chapter 1.14: Seeing Red

lunapic_135786064846965_1Back home, Lilith drooped by her fire. Tired as she was, she couldn’t sleep. The day’s events were a strange convolution of anger, happiness, betrayal, loss, and friendship. Thinking of Maru made her cry, even now. Feeling a little guilty, she realized she hadn’t thought of Maru last evening after Shane returned.

…And then there was Shane. He’d never hung out with her and Maru as kids, and they hadn’t socialized much as adults, other than to exchange pleasantries. Always, she’d found him attractive, even back then, but never had she been able to really consider him a friend. Until now.

And that felt like…something.

 

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When Lilith finally fell asleep, a gibbous moon was sinking into the ocean. Daylight gathered in the sky, and the village was stirring.

 

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Despite the late night, Shane awakened by mid-morning. He was delighted to find one of the seedlings he’d planted before leaving for Champs les Sims had withstood the fall frosts and flowered. If it held on just a few more days, it would produce a small harvest before the weather turned even colder.

Rummaging through the packages stowed in his shelter, he came up with a few of the seeds from France. Deciding to chance planting some of them now, he placed them in the ground and huddled some soil around each one. Maybe he could find a way of bringing them in under the shelter to prolong their growth.

 

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Sitting back, he had an urge to see if Lilith was awake yet. And do what? he asked himself. For all he knew, Maru was with her–and probably wouldn’t be overly glad to see Shane.

He shook his head. He’d always thought Lilith was a nice girl, but his cousin had a jealous streak. And since he didn’t really know Lilith, he’d kept his distance. He also respected Lilith’s apparent choice to be with Maru. The quick, easy friendship he and Lilith had formed in France might cause problems for her here at home, given Maru’s possessiveness of her.

But where was Maru?

 

 

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Shane was pleased when Daniel and Daniela stopped by to welcome him back and ask about his trip. They had never been off the island, and had many questions about Champs les Sims. Shane showed them some of the goods he’d brought back, and, to Daniela’s delight, gave them a bottle of nectar.

 

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Daniel filled him in on some of the happenings in the village while Shane was away.

“And you missed some serious drama yesterday before you arrived.” Daniel proceeded to tell him how Maru had asked Lilith to move to his camp, and Lilith’s refusal.

Shane felt sick when Daniel related what happened next. No wonder Lilith was alone last night! Maru had gone to Kaila, and to hear Daniel tell it, it wasn’t the first time. She must’ve been stunned and hurt beyond imagining. He felt his anger rising.

 

Sick Puppies – You’re Going Down

 

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“So you mean to tell me, after Maru went off on me about staying away from Lilith, he turned around and shacked up with KAILA?”

“Pretty much,” Daniel nodded.

“And where is this cousin of mine now?”

Daniel cocked his head in the direction of Kaila’s camp.

Seething, Shane stalked off.

 

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Sure enough, his noble cousin was locked in an intimate embrace beside Kaila’s tent as Shane strode angrily down the slope to her camp.

“Cousin!” he snarled. Disentangling himself from Kaila, Maru stood warily.

“Shane, you’re back.”

 

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Shane got in Maru’s face and shoved him, his hands balled into fists. “How could you do this to her!” he shouted.

 

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Kaila tried to intervene when he shoved again and Maru almost fell.

“Kaila, this is between my cousin and I. I strongly suggest you stand back.” Uncertain, she moved back to the side of her tent, eyes wide.

 

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“How. Could. You. You. Rotten. Son. Of. A. Bitch.” He spit the words from gritted teeth.

“Now it’s my turn to tell you, and you listen very carefully. I respected your relationship with Lilith for YEARS. You ordered me away from her when you didn’t even have a reason to. And now you’ve been doing….this?” Shane’s hand flicked toward Kaila. Her eyes sparked dangerously but Shane didn’t care. “You hurt her. Don’t make the mistake of doing that again, Maru. Stay away from her.”

“She didn’t want me,” Maru whispered brokenly. “She didn’t want me.”

“Well no wonder,” Shane retorted. With one last glare over his shoulder, he stomped back up the slope.