Wow. Okay. I haven't updated in so long that I'm ashamed of myself...did you guys miss me? This is the first time I've done an AN at the beginning of the chapter...this one's kind of long, but enjoy anyways!

Disclaimer: I don't own Starbucks or Temple Run, both of which are mentioned in this chapter. Enjoy3


Chapter 10

Forks and Muffins

"Yeah!" Lilian crowed as she beat me at Temple Run for the fourth time in six minutes. Her high score rocketed way past mine, and I groaned into my hands, not really caring but being dramatic anyways.

We both looked up as we heard the sound of the door being opened, and Caleb stepped in.

"Hey, guys." he greeted, plowing into my bed and falling eagle spread upon the sheets.

"Hey!" I protested, but as expected, he ignored me. I glanced forlornly towards the beanbags, where I would have to sleep again tonight. Unless I murdered Caleb in his sleep, of course. Just kidding.

" Did you guys hear about the field trip?" he asked, sitting up and crossing his legs. Lil temporarily paused her game and looked up, slightly interested.

" What field trip?" I asked curiously. He hopped of the bed and went over to the beanbags, bending over to flip open a flap in a black beanbag. He straightened up, clutching a piece of paper.

" Here you go." He tossed the paper in our direction, and Lil reached up to snatch it out of the air.

"A field trip to Miami will be on November first. All grades nine through twelve will be attending. Please dress for moderate weather and bring your weapons. Combat class will assign your groups. No lunch will be needed." Lilian frowned. "Weapons? With like a thousand students going? Won't that be kind if suspicious?"

"More importantly," I said, pointing an accusing finger at Caleb, "you have secret compartments in your beanbags?!" Lil nudged my arm, laughing.

"Oh!" I gasped, just comprehending what the paper said. I snatched it out of Lilian's hands and read it again, frowning.

"Miami? But we're in Virginia…" I murmured, flipping the paper over. There were no additional instructions, save the words, 'Report to the dining hall at six A.M. on November first.'

Caleb coughed gently. "Well, weapons will obviously be concealed. As for the Miami –Virginia thing…you'll see." He trailed off, staring at a wall. I rolled my eyes. Of course, Caleb wouldn't give any real information.

Quickly jumping on to my bed and reclaiming it before Caleb could, I reached over to the closet to pull out my combat uniform, only to see it was no longer there. "What the heck?" I muttered, searching through the various uniforms, but not finding the combat one anywhere.

Caleb rolled his eyes. "You washed it, remember?" He reminded me, causing me to curse under my breath.

"But I need it for tomorrow!" I whined. "I'm not going on a field trip in a skirt!" Immediately after I said this, I discovered my black combat shorts in the corner. "Of course." I muttered.

However, no matter where I looked, I couldn't find the top. I turned around, mouth open and ready to accuse Caleb of stealing it and making up the part about me washing it. Something soft hit me in the face, and I caught it, startled. Looking down at Caleb's black and silver striped combat shirt, I stared, dumbfounded.

"Just take it. It's long-sleeved, anyways." I gawked at Caleb as he smirked. I stuck my tongue out at him but took it anyways, folding it neatly and setting it beside me on the nightstand.

"Good night!" Lilian shouted, diving onto her bed laughing, so that Caleb was once again forced to sleep on the beanbags. He laughed, though, not really seeming to care. Yeah, because he has secret compartments in them! He probably keeps a knife in there…

Closing my eyes, I found myself drifting comfortably asleep under the warm blankets. Caleb turned off the lights before snuggling into his beanbags, exhausted. It was only nine-thirty, but we did have a field trip tomorrow…


"Five more minutes…" I drawled, as Caleb shook me awake.

"No can do, Lace!" Lilian chirped cheerfully from the other side of the room. She was way too happy in the morning. I turned around on my bed so that I was facing her. I sleepily opened one eye, and declared,

"Lil, I love you and all, but if you're gonna be like this in the morning, I'm gonna have to shove your face into a wall." I tried to sound threatening, although it didn't seem very convincing because I was still halfway in dreamland.

Caleb prodded me again, this time with his staff. "Get up, Lacy, or we're going to be late. If we miss this field trip, we won't have another one for at least a month." I sat up slowly, rubbing my eyes and complaining.

After changing into Caleb's combat uniform and my shorts, I slid on some black Converses that had been tucked away in the corner of the closet. Strangely, they fit. I frowned, feeling as though our school kind of stalked us. Creepy. Well, whatever, at least we had enough clothes.

"What should I bring?" I asked Caleb. He shrugged.

"Your staff and your dagger, I suppose. I don't think we need anything else, since we won't be visiting landmarks or anything. It's just a field trip for us to get out and into the city." He put on his own shoes before continuing. "We bring the weapons just in case, since we're not the only people who know about elements and such out there." I opened my mouth to ask him about it, but just then, a voice crackled and spoke into our room.

"All grades nine through twelve, please report to the dining hall immediately. Thank you." I looked up, frowning. (Wait, we had a loudspeaker in our room? How come we never knew?)

"Gotta go!" Lil cried, snatching up her staff from the bed and happily skipping out the door, accidentally slamming it behind her.

"Oi!" I shouted, irritated. Caleb raised his eyebrows.

"Oi?" He asked questioningly. "Is that even a word?" I glared at him.

"No, it's a noise of frustration! Oi!" I explained, but I noticed that he was trying to restrain himself from laughing. "You jerk." I accused, grabbing my dagger, strapping it to my belt, and storming out of the cottage myself. I could still hear his laughter even after I kicked the door shut.

Making my way towards the mess hall, I caught up with Lilian halfway there.

"Hey!" She said, excitedly, upon catching sight of me. I sighed.

"How do you do that?" I marveled. "I'm so not a morning person."

"Yeah, you look kind of dead in the morning." Lil agreed. I pouted and glared at her, which she responded to with a childish expression.

When we got to the dining room, crowds of people were already there. There were banners hung around the room, indicating separation by combat class. Caleb's name was engraved on one, and under that read 'Seventh Period'. Lilian and I headed towards the green silken banner, finding that most of the students in our class were already there. I wondered vaguely how Caleb was going to take care of all forty something of us.

Caleb strode into the dining hall, awkwardly gazing at the sign with his own name on it. In a second, though, he regained his cool and clapped his hands.

"Alright, class. I've got each of your groups, and each of you will be chaperoned by one of the staff." He pulled out some sheets of paper, and read off the names.

"Celine, Diana, Robert, William, Raymond, and Luci, you are all in group number one." A staff member made his way over to the said people, who had converged in a group. Caleb continued the listing of names, and I found myself slipping into a light doze.

"Lacy!" A shout of my name jolted me out of my little nap. Caleb was standing in front me, arms crossed.

"Come on, Lacy. You're in my group." He took hold of my arm and dragged me over to where Lilian and Celeste were sitting, along with some other guy I didn't know.

"Ugh…" I complained, reluctantly allowing myself to me forcefully propelled towards the table. Caleb accidentally (or not) shoved me, and I tripped over my own feet, landing right in the boy's arms.

Oh, well, that's not awkward.

I backed up quickly, which, of course, made me lose my footing again and land on the floor. I stared awkwardly at the guy in my group, as he stuttered and held out a hand for me.

I took it, hoisting myself off the floor. "Sorry," I apologized. "I'm a little clumsy." Plus, Caleb has terrible manners. I added mentally. He gave a shy, cute smile.

"It's okay. I'm Duke, by the way. What's your name?" He introduced himself, holding out a hand to shake. I grasped it, smiling.

"The one and only Lacy Flare, of course. You'd best not walk right behind me, because I've been known to walk into walls." I said, giving a sheepish look at the last part.

"It's true." Lilian added, mischief sparkling in her electric blue eyes. "I've made that mistake. It hurt." We all laughed, and I smiled again at Duke. He was cute, in a way that made you just want to hug him. His brown hair fell in his eyes a little, which were a shadowy gray that contrasted his shy demeanor.

"Okaaay, that's enough. We have to go." Caleb cut in, once again taking possession of my upper arm. He pretty much dragged me out to the buses, and let me tell you, it wasn't pleasant at all.

"Jerk." I muttered, shooting him a glare. He just gave me a swift dark glance before practically throwing me onto the bus. I gave him a death stare before unceremoniously climbing into a seat. Lilian claimed the spot right next to mine, and Celeste and Duke sat together.

Caleb sat in the seat in front of us, seeming rather moody.

"What's with him?" I muttered, before taking out my IPod. Yeah, we weren't supposed to bring a lot of things, but I had snuck it into my pocket anyways. I plugged in my earphones, only to find that my IPod was out of battery.

"Shoot!" I exclaimed. "Why didn't I charge it?"

Lilian laughed, and pulled out her own device. Stealing my ear buds, she plugged them in and offered one to me. I gratefully accepted it, prodding it into my ear.

Soon after, I slipped into the dark and haunted land of my dreams.

It's here.

It's there.

It's all around us, everywhere.

We can't escape.

And you will be our only prey.

Come.

We will devour you.

We will be waiting.

The voices sounded in my head, bringing forth images of a dark cavern, tilting and whirling in confusion. The image dissipated into mist, taking with it the haunting voices, sorrowful sounds wrapped in ribbons of malice.

I jolted awake with a gasp (is it just me, or does this seem to happen to me a lot?) I glanced fearfully towards Lilian, who was sleeping lightly, ear bud still in place.

What had those voices meant? I didn't know, but whatever it was, it couldn't be good.

Caleb's amber eyes were suddenly staring straight into mine.

"What did you see?" he hissed. I looked at him, startled.

"What?" I asked, confused. His eyes narrowed.

"What did you see in your dream? I know you had one, so don't lie. I think that dagger might actually be transmitting things to you." He explained, tone urgent.

I knit my eyebrows together, and explained about the voices. His eyes darkened with worry.

"That's not good." He muttered before standing up and making his way to the front of the bus. He bent down and said something in the driver's ear, before coming back and sitting down.

"We're going to stay together, okay? No running off, no separating." He instructed our group. Celeste, Duke, and Lilian nodded while I locked eyes with Caleb.

I had a feeling this wouldn't be an average field trip.


"It's so pretty!" Lilian squeaked for about the millionth time. The palm trees waved in the slight wind, fronds rippling as if greeting all their visitors.

"Miami's so beautiful." Celeste hummed happily. Duke smiled in agreement.

"Hey, Caleb, you're totally ruining the mood!" Lilian called to him, since he was currently like ten yards ahead of us. He seemed to emit a dark, anxious aura that pretty much spelled out, "Don't bother me."

I grunted and waved my hand. "Leave him alone. If he wants to be alone, let him." Lilian considered this for a moment before breaking into her signature Cheshire grin, nodding.

"Where do we go?" Duke murmured, looking a little confused. He was holding a map of Miami. I glanced over his shoulder, and pointed to a place that looked appealing.

"Let's go to the Art Basel beach! It's not far from here. I think we could walk there in twenty minutes." I suggested.

"Twenty minutes for you." Lilian teased. "Five for us." I stuck out my tongue at her jab, but smiled anyway.

"All right. Let's go." Caleb was suddenly at my side, map in hand. How did he do that? He was smiling pleasantly, but something about him just suggested that he was plotting our demise for being too cheerful.

I gave a little gulp. Caleb's amber eyes betrayed his crankiness, and I flinched when his grin grew wider. Creepy.

Everyone took a step back as he began kind of sort of stretching the map, pulling at it with both hands. Pleasant smile still etched on his features, he whipped out his matte black knife. I had no doubt that the midnight black blade was deadly sharp.

We all inched back slowly, cautiously eyeing his knife. He slashed downwards in a swift motion, marking the Art Basel Beach with an X.

"Well, lets go!" He called out cheerfully, as he began to stride towards the general direction of the beach in front of us. We all exchanged glances, although it wasn't necessary. None of us would be walking close to Caleb.

I mean, getting close to him right now was practically like giving him an axe and telling him to chop off your head!

So we hung back.

Within twenty minutes, as I had predicted, a white wash of sand stretched into our view, bordering pristine blue waters. I bent down and scooped up a handful of velvety white sand, the grains slipping through my fingers. I shielded my eyes against the sun, which was shining through the moderately gray sky. Lil was right: Miami was really pretty.

"Attack!" Lilian shouted, launching something at me. Water suddenly exploded on my right side, soaking half of my shirt. I turned just in time to see her holding a sphere of water, the droplets occasionally rising and dripping. Levitating it, she threw the solid yet not solid ball at me. It hit me square in the face.

Sputtering, I playfully ignited a flame and scooped up a handful of sand. Setting it ablaze, I launched the fireball at her. I knew it wouldn't make contact, though. Lil skillfully weaved out of the way, and my rocket splashed in the water with a hiss.

"How did you do that?" Duke murmured in wonder. He fingered grains of sand, holding it up to the sun. "How did you get the sand to stay in a solid shape?" I grinned, igniting another handful of sand.

"Sand is used to make glass." I explained. "So when I heat it, the things that make glass all melt and mold together, and that's how it stays solid." I ducked another watery sphere before launching my own projectile, aiming for Lil.

Duke winced. "Ouch." He said. "I wouldn't want to be hit by one of those."

"Nope!" I agreed, right before I threw a fireball at the back of Caleb's unsuspecting head.

Sparks flew as ice engulfed the fireball. In a matter of seconds, the ice was melted and the fire was put out. Sparkling shards of sand gently rained down to the sandy beach as Caleb turned around, screaming bloody murder.

"Whoops!" I laughed, ducking behind a tree. Three thuds and a quick peek confirmed that three ice knives had impaled the trunk; at the spot my head was moments ago.

Fleeing to the next tree, I took refuge behind the thick brown trunk once again.

"Hey!" I called out to Duke and Celeste, who were nearby building a sand castle. At the sound of my voice, they raised their heads. I waved my arms frantically and they made their way towards me as I dodged more flying attacks and swerved behind yet another tree.

"Duke, what's your element?" I asked once all three of us were behind the tree trunk. He leaned against the tree, and instantly the palm began to grow taller. I gawked in astonishment, until I realized that it wasn't the tree growing, but rather, the earth lifting itself up.

The chunk of dirt the tree was embedded in had risen a good five feet off the ground, taken the palm tree with it. "Earth." He smiled. As he released his hold on the tree, the entire chunk of dirt crashed onto the beach. He smiled innocently. "Oops."

I laughed and gave him a 'thumbs up' gesture. Glancing around, I realized that no one was on our stretch of the beach but us. No one would see anything, not flaming balls of fire or giant palm trees levitating.

"Okay, we got this. Let's attack Lilian and Caleb! Like a snowball fight, but…a beach fight." I finished lamely, searching for the right words.

Duke raised an eyebrow. "Three against two? Isn't that a little unfair?" I waved my hand dismissively.

"Caleb and Lil have the same element, so they can work together." I responded. "Besides, Caleb's some kind of experienced warrior. On top of that, he's already mad, so we're all even here." I frowned at the last part, thinking over my own words. How would this little battle of sorts even out?

Celeste spoke up, eyes shining. I could practically hear the gears whirring in her head. "I have an idea, but it'll require-" Mid-sentence, I heard a faint whistle in the air.

"Duck!" I cried, pulling them down into the sand. Ice knives (almost ten this time!) had dug into the bark, not three inches from our head. I stood up and pointed accusingly.

"Hey! I shouted, indignantly. "Not cool!" I looked over to Caleb to see that he had completely disregarded me and that more were aimed our way.

A blast of wind shot us in the air, far above the knives as they whizzed harmlessly under us. Celeste held her palms up, spreading them and creating a strong gust of wind to support us. I swallowed a gulp at the sudden feeling of weightlessness. I felt as though I was on water, albeit dry water.

"Duke!" Celeste shouted frantically at him. He understood what she needed immediately, creating a ledge from the earth and levitating it under us.

"I can't keep it up forever," he warned. "When we get on, you'll have to propel us to the ground." Celeste nodded and cut off her winds, allowing us to settle on the clod of earth.

With a bump, I landed on my back. I sat up, not even bothering with a complaint, because an idea had suddenly struck me. Far below us, Lil summoned a massive wave, which Caleb immediately froze. Sliding up the ice trail, he and Lil made fast progress towards us.

Lil's eyes were shining with excitement. She viewed this as a game and a fun sport, just like Celeste, Duke, and I did. Caleb, however, still had revenge burning in his eyes, looking pissed off. Oh well, all the better. At least this means he can 'get a little serious'. A flare of irritation flashed through me, and I stood up. Duke looked strained from the effort of holding us up, so I put my hand over his and closed it.

"It's okay, let me handle this." He looked like a deer caught in headlights as we plummeted. Celeste, to her credit, did not scream. She did, however, make a little squeaking noise. Feeling momentarily guilty, I concentrated.

As we were about to make contact with the sandy beach, flames shot from my hands. I let the fire disperse, covering a wide range. It spewed like a gust of cold air from the air conditioning vent, letting us hover before shooting us straight into the sky. The fire acted as a thrust, heaving us skywards. The rush of wind was exhilarating, and I almost forgot that we couldn't go too high or we wouldn't be able to get Caleb and Lil.

Celeste made a twirling motion with her finger, and our little plot of earth righted itself and began to head towards Caleb and Lilian.

"You just provide the fuel. I'll help you control the direction. Duke, can you make a really big wall right there?" Celeste instructed, continuing with slightly bizarre hand motions. Duke nodded, thrusting his hands out and causing the ground to rumble.

I poured more determination into my flames, accelerating the speed of our makeshift vehicle. Caleb and Lilian glanced up at us, changing the course of the ice as Caleb slid them up the trail.

We met midair, and I kept one hand under us as I lifted my hand to the left. Celeste also aimed a finger to the left, and we shot sideways to avoid the numerous ice knives and water balls that were being directed at us.

I extinguished the flames as we arrived over Duke's wall. Duke dissolved the dirt clod, and we fell five feet to the top of the wall. Midair, I switched to wolf mode and landed on my feet, tail waving for balance. I stood up, feeling a little wobbly. Slipping into cat mode for better agility, I once again saw the world drain of color.

Duke noticed me frowning, rubbing my eyes. "What's wrong?" He asked. I shook my head.

"Nothing, it's just that…well, whenever I go into cat mode, my vision gets a tiny bit blurry and it's all black and white. It wasn't like this in the beginning, and I don't know why it changed." I explained, frustrated. Duke considered this for a moment.

"Well, cats are colorblind." He said, scratching his head. "Maybe at first, because you're mostly human, you could still see like one. Now that you're more acquainted with your cat side, you probably start seeing like one too. Most cats rely on their noses and ears, though." He guessed. I smacked my forehead.

"Of course." I muttered. That made sense. A sudden cold wetness numbed my forehead, and my head jerked up in surprise. Something huge and white was headed towards me, and my eyes widened. Instinctively, I shot my flames forward in order to propel me backwards. Colliding with the ground, the projectile met with my burning palms.

Looking down at the melted pile of slush, I glared up at Caleb and Lilian. I was now behind the wall, instead of on top of it, so I was much lower than the rest of them.

"A snowball? Really? Couldn't you have been a little more creative?" I shouted to Lil and Caleb, hands on my hips. Caleb was sticking his tongue out and Lil was grinning.

"Nope!" She called back, cheerfully. Celeste laughed and used a wind to summon me back up.

"You okay?" Duke asked. I nodded, wiping the water off of my face. Caleb was smirking, and Lil was making even more snowballs with his assistance.

"This is where the plan comes into place." Celeste whispered. I leaned forward to hear her better, as Duke made another defensive wall so they couldn't get to us immediately.

"The only sure way to stop them from attacking us is to trap them and get them to admit defeat. I propose we make a cage." Celeste explained. I frowned.

"But if we make a cage, Caleb will just freeze the bars and then break through. Besides, we don't have anything to make a cage with." I pointed out. Celeste shook her head.

"You're wrong. I actually wasn't thinking about letting Duke make a cage out of earth. I wanted you to make it, with the glass in the sand. Duke should be able to summon the sand, so you can use it. Make the cage thick enough so that they can't break through, but leave a hole big enough for air to get in. Does that make sense?" She asked, laying out the details. I scratched my head, a bit confused.

"But I can't control the shape of the glass." I protested. "I don't know how to make the cage. And even if I did, Lilian and Caleb aren't just going to stand there and let me capture them."

"You're right." Celeste agreed. "Which is why I'm going to distract them. Duke will tunnel under them, and I'll give him some air so he can breathe. I'll be on the surface, distracting them. You fly above them, and when the time is right, Duke will make the sand rise all around them and you should fire on the sand." She said, looking to us for confirmation.

"Won't they get too hot?" I asked, concerned. Celeste shook her head.

"One of the teachers told me that water elementals are very resistant to fire. They won't burn or feel too hot if you make it quick." She explained. Duke and I nodded, just as Lil rode a massive wave over the wall.

"How come I wasn't invited to the party?" Lilian teased as the water crashed down on us. With a swift flick of her wrist, Celeste rose on her winds. Duke jumped off the wall and plowed straight into the sand, sinking into it as if it were water and disappearing from view. Just in time, I ignited my flames and shot skywards.

Caleb followed not far behind Lil, sliding down the frozen wave as if it were a hill. With a practiced motion, he flipped off and landed perfectly on his feet. I hovered above them, hoping I wouldn't be noticed. I kept my flames just strong enough to let me stay motionlessly in the air.

Meanwhile, Celeste was countering all their attacks with a swift sphere of wind that drove all their projectiles in the wrong direction. Slowly advancing, she shot small bursts of concentrated air at them, occasion being able to lift small rocks and hurtle them. Pieces of shells flew around in her airy sphere, whipping around and around.

Caleb and Lilian obviously didn't suspect anything, as they fought with Celeste. They were either sliding on a trail of ice or floating in a water bubble. I frowned, realizing that the sand wouldn't contain them if the waters were surrounding them.

Just then, Celeste shot a particularly strong gust of wind that caused Lil's bubble to rupture, leaving her without a shield. Caleb looked over at her, momentarily distracted and ice forgotten. Lil looked up and saw me, flames at the ready. Her eyes widened as she immediately realized our plan.

Just as her mouth opened to warn Caleb, the sand around them exploded and wrapped them in a dome. Instantly, I aimed my flames forward and let myself drop close to them, before firing a huge blast that propelled me backwards and created a beautiful sand glass dome.

Of course I knew that you couldn't just heat sand and expect it to turn into glass. But I also instinctively knew that my fire carried special properties, and had that ability. Caleb and Lil were now trapped in a dome, with a small hole for them to get air. The hole wasn't big enough for them to fit through, nor big enough for it to affect the overall thickness of the dome.

I landed lightly in front of the dome, glancing through the translucent glass. It wasn't completely clear, but I could see their shadowy outlines trapped within the trap.

"Knock knock," I teased lightly. "Who's trapped?" I heard muffled protests and complaints, and laughed.

Celeste and Duke came running up. "Did it work?" Celeste asked eagerly. I smiled evilly.

"Oh yes." I agreed. "And now, they have to surrender."

I could hear Lilian's laughter inside the cage. "Okay." She called out. "That was a really good strategy. We surrender." She agreed complacently.

"No we don't!" Caleb protested, but I could see Lil hit him on the arm. "Fine." He concluded. I slapped Celeste and Duke high-fives, before realizing another problem.

"Um…how do we get them out?"

Silence.

Oops.

"Well, we could always try this." Duke suggested, summoning a rock and throwing it at the dome. A crack appeared, and as he pelted it with hard earth, the dome gave way and revealed a glaring Caleb and an amused Lilian.

"What do we do now?" She asked cheerfully, skipping over to us.

"I think we should let Caleb buy us Starbucks." I volunteered, raising my hand. Caleb made a strangling noise, sounding like he wanted to strangle me. Laughing, I walked back onto the street, along with the others.

We wandered into town, where there were many little shops and cafés. Spotting a Starbucks, I quickly rushed over and ordered a chocolate muffin and a drink. I pulled out my money, but Caleb already had a credit card out (he has a credit card?!) and was giving it to the cashier.

"Huh?" I asked, confused. "I was kidding, Caleb." He rolled his eyes.

"I know, but we lost anyways. And I'm sorry for dragging onto the stupid bus. Now take your muffin." He said, turning around and waving at the muffin and drink.

Blinking, I took my food and followed after him. "Wait!" I called, and he turned around, looking bored. "Thanks." I told him, smiling. He shrugged.

"Whatever." He replied, dismissively waving. I smiled though, knowing he really was sorry.

"That looks delicious." Lil observed, peeking into the bag that held my muffin. I looked at it, and it really did look good, with chocolate chips embedded in a huge chocolate muffin. Looking into the bag again, I realized there was also a fork in there.

A fork.

Who eats muffins with forks?!

I voiced my bewilderment, and Caleb shot me an amused glance. Duke shyly peeked into my bag, confirming what I had said. Celeste smiled, and Lil shrugged.

"I might, occasionally. Forks are okay when eating muffins."

Five seconds of silence passed as everyone stared at her.

"I take that back." She huffed, looking slightly offended. I laughed and patted her on the bag, reassuring her that we all loved her anyways.

Leisurely strolling along, I devoured my muffin and drink. Caleb sipped lightly on his iced tea, as Lilian was chewing a vanilla scone. The food was delicious, and Celeste and Duke each had a chai latte in hand. They carried on an easy conversation, making sure to include us. I glanced towards the sky; smiling as I felt the slight wind and shining sun create the perfect weather. It was a beautiful day, and I felt peaceful and calm. A part of me wished I could stay here forever, with my friends, and no danger around us. I kind of wished I had never gotten the silver dagger, because all it seemed to do was bring me haunting and dark dreams that all of a sudden seemed to be coming true. I didn't want them to be true.

Of course, the universe tends to completely disregard my wishes.

I looked at my watch, and realized that it was almost time to go. As if reading my mind, Caleb said what I was just thinking.

"Hey, we have to head to the bus now. We're leaving in twenty minutes." He told us, starting to head in a different direction. Following without complaint, we soon spotted the place the bus had parked, right next to an information center. Some convenience stores and a bath surrounded it.

"Hold on." I said. "I have to go to the bathroom. Lil, will you wait for me? You guys can get on the bus if you want." I asked Lil, and then motioned for the rest of them to go back on the bus if they wished.

Celeste and Duke nodded, and boarded the bus. Caleb narrowed his eyes at me.

"I have to go to the bathroom, too. Besides, I can't leave you too alone." He said, looking suspicious of us. I rolled my eyes and made a motion, suggesting that he do whatever he wanted.

Heading towards the bathroom, I suddenly felt slightly dizzy. Bracing myself against the side of a structure, I closed my eyes. Opening then again, I staggered in the general direction of the bathroom and somehow ending up behind it, heading towards a small patch of trees instead.

Caleb and Lilian didn't seem to be experiencing any such problems. Looking normal, they followed behind me.

"Lace, what are you doing?" Lilian asked curiously, jogging to catch up with me. Caleb walked up to us, looking slightly aggravated.

"Lacy, we should get out of here. There's something I don't like about this." Caleb urged, worried. I didn't answer as I stared at the small patch of earth I stood on, surround on all sides by trees. I felt hypnotized, in control of my actions but feeling an irresistible urge to find out what was going on.

I took another step forward, and my dizziness expanded rapidly inside my head, causing me to clutch it in pain. Lil screamed, and I suddenly realized that the ground beneath our feet had given way.

Free falling, we plummeted into darkness.

Landing hard, my headache suddenly subsided. I felt as though I had been jolted into reality, and I slowly looked around to gather my bearings. Lighting a small flame, I used the light to observe our surroundings.

About five feet away, Lil lay motionless in a heap, black hair scattered everywhere.

A hand landed on my shoulder, causing me to jump in fear. However, the light revealed it to be Caleb. He appeared unhurt.

"Are you okay?" he asked, concerning showing in his voice. I nodded and pointed to Lil.

"But she's not. We have to get her some medical treatment." I said, gently shaking Lilian. "Lil, wake up. Do you feel okay?"

She made no movement, save a slight shudder. I frowned, starting to feel frightened. The air was hostile and sinister, and I got the very distinct impression that we were not supposed to be here.

Caleb obviously felt the same way, fidgeting nervously. "Lace, we should really move. Can you propel us to the top? I nodded, standing up and attempting to lift Lil. Extinguishing my fire, I relied on the light shining through the hole to illuminate the dark place.

The light, which, suddenly shut off as a slab of earth locked into place.

My eyes widened as I registered what was happening. The place was pitch black, and I clutched on to Lil's shoulders, heart beating fast and close to panicking.

I heard Caleb stand up, his footsteps seemingly shaky. He pounded on the side of the wall, shouting. His futile attempt only served to prove what I had begun to realize.

We were lost, in a dark cavern.

And we were trapped.


Hey, it's Chelle here. Wow, I feel like I just ruined the mood. Anyways, I don't know how I managed to make this chapter so long. Mostly rambling, I guess. I apologize for the boringness! Do people even still read this story? o.o I put so many ( ) in this chapter...I feel like I've done a poor job. Thanks for reading, though. If you are reading this. And if you are, leave a review? Pretty please?

I promise to update faster. Heh, love you guys.

Sayonara, Chelle3

P.S. What'd you guys think of Duke? I'm debating whether or not to keep him as a recurring character...