The riding was hard for both of us. They had to stop or rather she made Nate stop and re-fixed his bandage. They went on like that in silence for hours. Kali guessed they had gone close to getting a fourth of the way there. As the sun finally started to fade across the land they slowed and looked for some sort of cover. Finding it by some convenient bushes she helped Nate off his horse and helped lay him down.
His face was drawn of any color and his breathing was shallow and harsh. Every now and then he would start shaking so bad that she had to talk to him to get him to calm down. He was worrying her and she tried not to show it. If he kept going at this rate he wouldn’t make it to Rohan, or even close to it. Smiling weakly she edged toward Nate slowly so as not to startle him.
“Come now, close your eyes time to sleep. Dreams will flow your mind into peace. Watch the stars overhead and look for any shadows.” Kali sang an old song that my mom sang to her when she was scared.
“Where did you learn that?” Nate’s voice was so quiet she could barely hear him.
“My mom sang it to me.” She replied.
“Please, don’t stop singing, it eases the pain.” He said and she heard his hand move closer to her.
Kali moved her hand closer and felt his. Gripping it she squeezed it slightly, seconds later felt a second squeeze. Smiling to herself and wriggling up to Nate’s torso she began to sing again. Childhood songs, legends of wars and love every song she knew she sang softly. Finally sleep came to them. Nate went first but she still was singing, then she ended up dozing off.
The Morning was cold with a bad wind that thankfully blew with them. They ate some bread and had some water. Kali replenished the water skin and packed everything up. Nate’s leg was no worse, but it wasn’t any better. He was coming down with a fever and she had no way to treat it because she didn’t want to chuck him into a freezing river to bring it down.
As they traveled she kept thinking about last night. Had she really gotten that close to Nate? Why did he let her if he was a ranger? Most people who have never met a ranger before thought them to be people who wanted to be alone. Yet here was one who had let her near him and not protested. I don’t want him hurt I can’t feel responsible if he dies on me. Another voice in the back of her head spoke up and said, he isn’t going to die, how could you think that! While another one came fourth, you are falling for him, and you’re scared to lose him since you have never been in love before! Stop! I wanted to scream out loud.
“Are you okay miss?” Nate interrupted her thoughts.
Kali realized that she had never told Nate her name.
“Nate, my name is Kali. I’m fine just a little sidetracked today. No big deal.’’ I said.
Nate’s face was a little shocked by hearing the wolf talk.
“All right, Kali, I think we should ride through the night. You and I both know that if we don’t hurry up I’m not going to make it. If we keep going tonight and all tomorrow we should almost be there. Then you can freeze my leg. It is starting to swell and it has been hot for a while. Hopefully with it frozen I won’t feel anything, maybe it will numb.”
“Nate, if you want to ride through the night that is fine with me and I’ll gladly try and ease the pain, but we are going to have a problem tomorrow we are being followed by something. Can you tell what it is?”
“You feel it too then? Well I’m not sure but I think it is a group of three men all on horse back. They’ve been following us for about five hours. Two have swords and the other has a bow.”
Lowering her voice she continued talking, “Look I’ll leave you in werein form and follow close by. They hopefully won’t attack you since you are wounded, but if they do I’ll leap in and if that happens I want you to gallop out of here all the way to Rohan. Don’t worry about me though I’ll be fine. I don’t want you to be hurt anymore than you are. You hear me?”
“That is fine, but what if you don’t show up?” He asked cocking his head a little towards her.
“I will show up that’s final.”
They traveled the whole night
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.