Irene was blinded by the sun as they pulled the brown cloth with red stains off her face. Her eyes took a few seconds to adjust when she realized they had been jumped by Indians. How lovely. To
her left, she saw Dylan struggling, he was elbowing and wiggling his arms around to get his hands loose, but the Native American had a sturdy grasp on Dylan.
“What do we have here?” One of the Indians asked as he pulled Dylan’s cloth off. Everyone seemed to be aghast that they had captured the Marshall. Irene waited patiently to see if this was a positive or negative thing.
It was negative, because the man immediately socked Dylan in the face, causing his nose to bleed. Irene’s blood on her nose dried, but stuck like glue. Irene flinched when Dylan was struck, but had to keep her composure as well.
Dylan immediately looked up at the man who struck him, and spat on his shoes. The man took a step back in shock and stared him deeply in his eyes.
“Take him away,” he commanded the fellow Indians, in which the whole tribe seemed to be watching, and the men started to pull Dylan away.
“Irene,” Dylan begged for help as he was being dragged away, and Irene could not watch them take him away and do as they please to him. She jumped over the tight rope around her hands and like a jump-rope, swung them up so now her hands were infront of her. The man who held her lost his grip of her and went after her. She stopped to instantly backflip, connecting the open rope to the mans neck and slammed him to the ground. Dylan headbutted the man holding him and ran to Irene.
Irene grabbed a small knife from her boot as she went to attack Dylan’s attacker. A hand grabbed her shoulder, and she stopped to turn to see who this steady grip was.
As she saw his face, she lowered her knife, and so did the Indians.
“Irene, you’re all grown up,” he smiled.
“And you’ve gotten old....er,” she said, still staring at him in shock.
“Everyone, this is who we’ve been waiting for. Miss Irene Dawes, the one who will save us from Mr. Maroni’s murder!” he yelled, and the crowd murmured, some clapped, some just didn’t know what to do, like Irene.
“BlueBird?!” the man yelled.
“Hey Dad,” she said and smiled. Irene made a face of horror and confusion.
“The least thing I can do for you here is offer you protection,” the man looked back at her, his hand still on her arm.
Irene knocked his hand away harshly and said, “You left my father to die, why would I want to be protected by you?!”
“Irene,” her uncle said, “he told me to leave, so one day I could protect you from Mr. Maroni. Unfortunately, I have been a bad friend to your dad, and decided to deny his wish of protecting you, although I see you can perfectly take care of yourself-”
“I take that as a compliment,” Irene sneered.
“Please Irene,” he gently touched her arm, his dark skinned face was serious, and his eyes bold, “stay here and we can talk. I will talk to the chief about having your friends stay.”
“What about him?” Irene asked, looking at Dylan, who looked twice as confused as Irene was.
“He’s with you?!”
“Well obviously I wouldn’t be trying to hurt someone who hurt him if I didn't know him or wasn’t with him,” she rolled her eyes.
“Unfortunately, I can’t do anything. He has crimes against him, he will have to be punished.”
“What?” Dylan asked as the men tugged at his rope.
“What are the charges then!?” Irene yelled at Tree.
“Well, his charges is all that his father has done...” Tree whispered silently.
“That isn’t fair! Dylan is the sweetest person I’ve ever met! He is nothing like his father! He wouldn’t murder anyone! I swear, Dylan should not be accounted for his father’s mistakes. Dylan is not like him, please,” Irene begged and begged till she was on the verge of tears.
“You.... you’re in love with him ain’t you?” Tree whispered again, to avoid anyone else hearing.
Irene hesitated a lot also at the same time of holding back tears, “It’s complicated.”
Tree sighed, “I see... well, the chief will have to decide, but for now he must be taken as a prisoner.”
“Irene!” Dylan yelled as they dragged him off. Irene just could only watch for now, and Dylan did understand, and trusted her that she would get him out.
“I swear,” Irene grabbed Tree’s shirt and pulled him close to her, “if any harm is done to him. I don’t frickin’ care if you were my dad’s best friend, I will hurt you and everyone here. I don’t care about who you were, just as long as you don’t hurt him.”
“Irene,” Birdy said and pulled her off her father, “this is not a physical fight, this is something we all need to discuss...”
“She’s right Irene,” Sophie spoke for the first time, “Even if you decide to hurt him, it would only get you and Dylan killed.”
Irene groaned, “Hopefully your chief speaks English.”
“He does not,” Tree said affirmly.
“Ugh! Could this day get any worse?”
They did talk, or more of the chief listened to what Tree had translated from Irene’s speech.
“You. Good person,” Chief said and pointed to Irene.
Irene buried her face in her hands, “Is that all he got out of our conversation!?”
“He. Bad person,” Chief replied seconds later.
“He is not a bad person!”
The Chief spoke back in his foreign tongue, in which Tree translated for her, “He has not stopped his father from doing things.”
“Chief, Dylan has no clue what his father is doing! The whole town has no clue as to what he does! Maroni is very good about keeping secrets and not having anyone blurt out his wrongs.”
“I understand,” Chief said, “I will decide to get some rest later tonight, and decide in the morning.”
Irene just sat there with her mouth open. Chief obviously knew most English and decided not to speak it! Also the fact that waiting for a possible verdict about Dylan didn’t help.
Irene stepped out of the teepee, but then poked her head back in to say, “You know, if you keep him here, Maroni will track you down, and then you will be in a huge mess.”
“That’s the thing, we didn’t leave our footprints, we actually left yours,” Tree frowned, “So... now they think you probably kidnapped him.”
“Great... is everything just going to get worse tonight?” she held her anger in some more and sighed.
“I’m sure it’ll get a little better,” he winked, and Irene left to go sit with Sophie and Birdy around the warm fire. It was a cold night, and she wasn’t wearing appropriate clothing for the cold. She huddled next to Sophie shivering, and Sophie handed Irene her blanket, but Irene shook her head.
“You’re cold, take it,” Sophie said.
“I’m not cold, I’m pissed.... and hungry.”
“Ah, that explains it,” Birdy smiled.
“You didn’t tell me he was your father....” Irene whispered.
“How was I supposed to know you two knew each other?!” she raised her voice.
“I thought you would be smart enough to even tell me background information about your family!”
“Irene!” Sophie elbowed her, “not so harsh.... she’s just a kid.”
Birdy threw her cornbread into the fire and got up, “Good night Sophie.”
“Night,” Sophie sighed and as she left, she asked Irene, “Why do you have to be so harsh sometimes?”
Irene didn’t reply, she grabbed a stick and started to poke at the fire. An Indian came by and offered them cornbread too. Irene asked for four, and grabbed them. Sophie obviously knew Irene could not possibly eat all four.
Irene got up and took a small bite in one of the squishy breads, it was rather tasty. She walked down a few several teepees and saw an Indian in front of one: guarding it.
“I’d like to speak with him please,” she commanded. The Indian opened the teepee, but followed her.
“Alone,” she said harshly, the man nodded and walked away. She found Dylan sitting down on the hard rock tied to a pole that reached the top of the teepee. His shirt was off, and his slightly hairy chest was dirty from all the tussle.
“Hey...” she said quietly, expecting him to probably be a little mad at her.
He lifted his head up and smiled, “Howdy.”
She sighed and sat down right next to him, leaning up against pole like him.
“Don’t worry about me,” he gently nudged her with his elbow.
“Well ain’t that easier said than done,” she whispered.
“They can’t do anything to me,” he kept on smiling.
“They can do a lot to you actually,” she groaned and leaned her head on his shoulder.
He put his head down on hers and gently rubbed back and forth, “No they can’t. They can’t do anything to me if you’re alive.”
Irene chuckled lightly.
“I made you laugh a little bit,” he smiled more and kissed her forehead.
“Only a little,” she smiled.
“And I got a smile,” he smirked.
“And that’s all you’ll get from me,” she smiled, then turned around and hugged him. She then let go and slowly slipped down his chest till her head was in the middle of it.
“You know, if someone were to walk in on us right now, we would probably be in trouble,” he said.
“What? Why?” she asked.
“Because your body position is very awkward on mine... and looks very wrong.”
“Oh,” she said and motioned herself to move.
“Don’t move though, it’s comforting...”
“Okay,” she shrugged, “I won’t then.” She smiled and went back to the position.
There was a long pause, of Dylan just staring at her, and she just closed her eyes and felt his big, deep breaths.
“I wish I could sleep here... on your chest. It is much more comfortable than a blanket on dirt.”
“Well I’m glad that you don’t find my chest as hard as dirt.”
“I didn’t say that but... it is mostly solid rock,” she smiled and tapped his abs, “But there are some squishy muscles too,” she grinned as she touched his chest.
“Hey... I try to work out...”
“I know you do,” she said, sliding her fingers up and down his chest, “and it really pays off.”
“Mhm,” he smiled. She lifted her head up and kissed him, hard. Harder than she ever had done before. She could feel the big smile on Dylan’s face as their lips met, so she just continued to do it more.
“I wish I could touch you right now,” Dylan whispered and tried to make his hands escape the rope.
“But you are touching me right now,” she whispered back and gently nibbled his ear, “You’re kissing me...”
“Mhm,” he said and kissed her when she got close. Her right arm went over his shoulder and her left under his arm, touching his back. They both sat there and kissed for several minutes, touched for several minutes, until they were interrupted.
“Ahem...” Tree said as he stood there in the doorway of the teepee.
“Busted,” Irene muttered under her breath and slid something to Dylan’s arm, “Use it when you need it.”
He nodded and smiled, “Good night.”
“I love you,” she said and kissed him quickly on the cheek before running out of the teepee. Speed-walking, Tree had to run to catch up to her.
“So you do love him...”
“Oh shut up,” her lovey-dovey mood left her head and heart, and she headed back to good ol’ mean Irene.
“Your father would be disappointed in you for dating him,” he said jokingly.
“My father would be disappointed in you abandoning me,” she sneered and headed to her teepee, leaving Tree there without a reply.
Irene sighed, and decided to get some sleep. Sophie and Birdy were all cuddled up next to each other tightly, and there was a space left for Irene to cuddle with them. Sure, cuddling would help you get warmth, but also if one was to get attacked, they would all wake up.
Irene shook her head, grabbed her blanket and headed to the right of the center pole, and slept by herself. Nothing could get worse really right?
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