Irene was right, she would not see him for several weeks. In fact, she hadn't seen him for two months. Even though she survived that night without much trouble from the poison, she threw up often for the first couple of weeks, and her body was not adequate with all her internal, immune work.
Today was Sunday, the Holy Day, the start of the week. Irene was feeling much better, in fact she tripled her workouts and started to perform much more proficiently than before, and her body was feeling stronger. She hadn't been to town at all, but Sophie did everyday to see Carter, in which Dylan, who saw her often as well, asked everyday how Irene was.
Sophie would reply with a single "Fine."
"Irene?" Sophie asked as she was bathing Danny, the youngest of the batch, who was often the most dirty.
"Hmm?" Irene lifted her head out from helping Alice bathe Penny, the little girl with the two red hair braids.
"We haven't talked in months really," she looked concerned.
"Oh," Irene was a little shocked. She guessed it was the fact that she seemed so busy, there wasn't a reason to talk to any except BlueBird who trained with her, "Did you want to talk?"
"Well, yes, in fact I did, and still do," Sophie pulled Danny out of the tub and dried him off with a soft warm towel while Jake was going to help him get dressed.
"Okay," Irene nudged Alice that she was to bathe Penny alone, and Irene stood up and pulled Sophie to the side, "What about?"
"The fact that you planned to get poison, then leave Dylan hanging, not seeing you for months!"
"Oh. Was that a question? Or was it a deformed statement with the pitch of a question?"
"Oh don't you talk all dainty assy to me."
Irene bit her bottom lip.
"I just want to know your reasons for doing what you plan to do, that's all," Sophie lowered her tone to a more sympathetic voice.
"Even if Dylan trusts me more, I couldn't just tell him that his father is a bad man. I had to sort of prove that Maroni was bad..."
"And you thought poison was the way to go?"
"I had absolutely no idea what the hell he would do to me. I just had to prepare for the best," she sighed and shrugged.
"Well, maybe you should've told Dylan that you are trained to withstand poison," Sophie suggested. Irene gave her a simple look, in which Sophie looked deep into her blue eyes, trying to find the meaning of this look, "Wait, you don't trust him?"
"Well.............. I can't trust him to not... I have no words to express this distrust.... hell," she sighed loudly, while groaning, thinking deep.
"You don't trust him with the master plan," Sophie leaned against a filthy black wall that wasn't as stable as it used to be. Irene kicked at the dirt and smiled.
"Who taught you how to be smart?"
"Well, my parents had some input into my intelligence, but I could say you expanded it," Sophie shrugged.
"Good, because if you said anyone else, that would've been bad," Irene smiled.
"Yup, along with this intelligence, I know what to say in order for the other person to be happy. Not exactly the truth."
Irene stared at her, "That was cold."
"It's funny, when you're around Dylan a lot, you seem to cuss less, and prepare your manners. When you are distant, you can be.... a little masculine."
Irene had her mouth out big, "I told you, you ain't supposed to use that word to describe me. I can and will be feminine when I want to."
"Are ya'll just going to chit chat, or are we going to help the kids out?" Birdy walked over, always with that long bow in her hand. Her straight red hair and smile were irresistible. Irene laughed a lot.
"Oh," Irene said, still laughing, "I think our conversation is done."
"Not really, I just wanted you to be a better friend to me, like you were a few months ago," Sophie said quietly.
"Oh," Irene looked at her and frowned, noticing her flaw, "Why didn't you say that in the first place?"
"I uh, I don't know."
"Here," Irene gave her a huge hug, "From now on, I will, once again, start thinking of others than myself.
Dylan smothered the clean and fresh Minnesota air around him. He was on patrol today, since there really wasn't much since Ms. Dawes wasn't around. Yeah, he was really depressed when he wasn't around her, but he was capable of hiding his emotions from everyone around him. His father was often on business trips, so Dylan never had time to talk to him about their earlier discussion.
There was a fork in the road, and Dylan saw on his map the area around, and noticed that he was supposed to turn left. He turned left every Sunday when he did Patrol, so he decided to turn right, just trying to investigate what was out of the Tomoha region. It didn't take him long to get to a top of a hill and view the beautiful part of country. The forest was lush and green, with a dazzling sunshine bursting through the clouds.
His horse galloped until it was near the edge, when Dylan got off to enjoy the scenery. He rubbed his newly shaven face, even though he shaved it to leave the stubs of facial hair left. He smiled, because he loved it when Irene's soft hand touched his cheek.
He shook his thought away and heard a nice hawk screech as it soared. He turned to his left to see it fly towards the west. The hawk soared away, while Dylan's eyes trailed its destination. Then, right below, in a more barren part of the terrain, was a town. Well, to his eyes it was not a town anymore. It was nothing. Funny thing was, it was not on the map.
Dylan decided to explore.
He got on his chestnut colored horse, and decided to ride out towards adventure.
And he did find adventure, and almost an arrow to the face.
"Marshall?" Birdy asked.
Dylan, who had fallen off his horse from his reactions towards the arrow, was shocked to see her there, "Uh... nice aim?"
"Well, not really, I did intentionally mean to hit you," she shrugged and held her hand out. He grabbed it and she pulled him up off the dirt.
"What are you doing here?" she asked, with a big smile on her face.
"I could ask you the same thing," he said, out of breath. Then waited for it to return to his lungs, "I was out patrolling."
"Sounds dainty fun," she grinned.
BlueBird actually started giggling, and once she started, she couldn't stop. Dylan was actually laughing because she was giggling for no reason, and she tried to stop, but only laughed more.
"Everything okay Birdy?" a familiar and lovely voice asked as she jumped over a big bush with a pistol, "Oh, it's you."
That was Irene, her usual sarcasm and lovely face. Her hair was actually down for once, and it was curly at the tips. Dylan's mouth was close to drooling before he refocused.
"I always have to let you two talk when he's around," Birdy broke the silence and decided to walk away, not interested in the conversation at all. Irene slowly walked over towards him, looking at the arrow shot in the tree behind him.
"Did she do that?" Irene asked.
"Huh?" he turned around, "Oh yeah."
"Her aim has been off," Irene adjusted her jaw more to the right.
"Pfft, she would've put that piece of wood right between my skull if I hadn't had quickly toppled of my horse."
"Oh you klutz," she smiled. He then leaned close and kissed her gently, not his usual rough and strong kiss. She kissed him back as soon as he was done, and her hands traveled up his once tucked in plaid shirt. He decided to do the same to her, but she flinched in pain and jumped backwards.
"Aw hell," she said and cussed repeatedly, words that Dylan could not dare repeat.
"What's wrong?" he asked and held her hand.
"It's nothing," she said, gently moving his hand that was reaching towards her wound.
"That ain't nothin'," he sort of grinned, and she let him investigate. He lifted her button up shirt and saw a bandage around her right waist.
"What happened?" he asked and looked into her eyes.
"Birdy happened to miss," she grinned and thought back to the flashback of Birdy practicing how to aim at a target close to Irene. Fortunately, Birdy hit the target, but unfortunately also skimmed Irene's waist in the process. Sophie cleaned it up quick, but the pain didn't subside.
"Darn little red-skin, tried to murder my girl," he joked.
"I heard that!" Birdy yelled in the distance. Dylan shrunk back in embarrassment.
"Look who's turning red skin now," Irene giggled at seeing him blush. He laughed softly and leaned in close to her, their foreheads touching, and their lips close, where if he whispered so quietly, Irene would think he'd be shouting.
"I missed you," he whispered quietly into her ear.
"I missed you too," she smiled.
"Mhm. Sure you did," he said sarcastically.
"No, I'm perfectly serious. I missed you," she said and stroked his cheek, like he thought about earlier.
He giggled like a little girl, "That tickles."
"Does it?" she asked and tickled his face more. He laughed then gently tickled her left waist.
"Haha stop," she laughed with him. He did stop, but then pulled her in for a fast smooch.
"What was that?" Dylan asked, hearing a noise.
"Don't know, don't care," she smiled and kissed him more. Dylan stopped again, hearing the noise of rustling around.
"It's probably just Birdy, trying to pull a whole scare prank on us," Irene shrugged.
Dylan's eyes went wide, "Irene!"
Irene woke up in a very bumpy wagon. There was cloth over her entire head, so she had no visual at all. She had no idea if anyone was around her, but she didn't catch a faint scent of Dylan's strong perfume.
Her hands were tied with rope, that burned her skin. She quickly jumped up and down, realizing her feet were not tied, and tried to shake the rope off her fingers: instead she got a more annoying presence.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you," the deep voice made her jump.
"Do what? I was just jumping," Irene sneered, but it didn't pay off because she was immediately smacked in the face with the butt-end of a gun.
"Oh look," she noticed, "You made my nose bleed. Congratulations."
"Oh ye, who has a nose of steel," Sophie giggled.
"Ah Sophie!" Irene smiled beneath her cloth, "what a pleasure it is to hear your voice. Who else is in this stinky wagon?"
"Birdy, and the... well. Jones." When she said Jones, she meant Dylan. If anyone of them knew Dylan or knew he was Marshall, he could get in serious trouble depending on the suspects.
"Jones? Jonesy are you alright?!" Irene yelled jokingly, there wasn't a reply. Eventually her joking heart, started to pound with worrisome.
"He's unconscious," the man with the deep voice said.
"What did you do to him?" Irene demanded an answer.