A little shorter than most but I think it really takes everything that has happened so far and ties in the action packed side about to reveal itself. Hope everyone enjoys!


Chapter Five

Shana walked into her house; the weight of her assignment had turned the proud woman into a weak shell of herself. She sighed; setting her keys on the counter she noticed a slip of paper across the bar. Picking it up she felt her pulse quicken. She grabbed the picture that was left alongside the note and clutched it close to her chest. A single tear slid down her cheek; the only sign that she was affected at all. "It is done." She whispered to herself, "Our part has been played."

She then walked numbly to her room. The note lay where she had found it. On the small piece of paper a simple note was written.

Dear M & D,

I'm leaving… it's for the best. I know you blame me and I blame myself, but things have changed and I can't live like this anymore.

I love you both…even if you don't necessarily love me.

~Ashlyn


Channing sat in the open field just pass the railway staring at the sky while the sunset burned bright, casting shades of orange, pink, purple across the clouds. He did not notice the person approaching until they were a few feet away. The crunching sound made him jump, immediately ready to fight, before calming as he recognized his company. "So you came." He said softly, not sure if he should be surprised or not.

"You were right…" she replied, pausing to give him a look. It took a minute before he realized what she was wanting. "Oh right, Channing. My name's Channing." She smiled at him just a little before continuing. "Well then, you were right Channing," she said softly before adding in a more grim tone, "I don't belong here."

Channing saw her forlorn expression and felt a strange desire to comfort her that he quickly pushed aside. It's not your job to caudle her stupid; it's your job to keep her alive. After putting a firm cap on the feeling he looked at her and smiled warmly as he could. "Alrighty then," he said with forced cheer, "let's get a move on then. I say it's about time we drop this town." She nodded at him before picking up her bags; ready to follow wherever he may lead. He followed suit and they headed west out of town and toward the safest place he could think of for now: home.

OOOOO

I woke with a start; not recognizing where I was. The calming sound of the bus's engine and a glance at the sleeping form in the seat next to me sent memories flooding back. We got on a bus headed somewhere west though I had no clue where we could possibly be going (Channing's idea of a 'good surprise').

Once I realized everything was okay I leaned back in my seat and glanced (okay gazed extremely creepily) at Channing. His dark locks were disheveled and his beautiful green eyes could not be seen yet he looked so relaxed I felt transfixed. Peaceful… After a while his eyes fluttered open and his steely green gaze locked with mine. I pulled my eyes away; staring out the window while I prayed my blush was not as bad as I thought it was. Luckily, Channing decided not to comment on my obvious ogling, a fact I was extremely grateful for.

"So…" I began awkwardly after a moment, "Are you really not going to tell me where we're going? We've been traveling for hours and I still have no clue where I'm headed… with a guy I don't know…" When I looked up at him I felt slight triumph at the submitting look he wore. He looked me dead in the eye before speaking. "Good point… maybe you should be a little less trusting in the future." He joked, "But this time you made a good choice but I'll let you feel a little bit better I suppose. Ask anything you want; that way you'll at least be going somewhere unknown with a guy you sorta know" He winked.

The urge to smack my forehead was growing pretty strong but instead I tried to focus on it not being a complete loss. "Okay…" I started, not going to let an opportunity pass me by, "I guess I'll start simple. How old are you?" He didn't even pause before answering. A seemingly common trend with him already.

"Nineteen. Next question?"

Nineteen hmm… only two year difference… Pushing aside that thought I continued. "Where are you from?"

"Originally… Nevada. I haven't lived there since I was about…well two I suppose. We moved to Alaska and I've lived there ever since."

"Alaska, huh, sounds cool I guess. Okay… family?"

This time he did hesitate and I could not help but wonder why. "Well… I have my dad... and two brothers… but I haven't seen them since I was little. It's just me and my mom now." I wanted to push but his haunted look made me bite my tongue. Instead I changed the subject and continued my questioning; after all, it was a long bus ride and I had nothing better to do.

Before I knew it, both of us were laughing and even sharing stories. Perhaps leaving really was the best thing…for all of us… I thought to myself. Pushing aside the morality of my choice and thoughts of how I left things, I focused on Channing's vivid tales. I did not even realize how comfortable I was already becoming around him, but even if I had I would not have cared. He was an incredibly handsome and so far exceptionally caring guy; in his own way. What more could a girl ask for in a companion?


The sun was just rising when a heavy knock echoed through the Yate house. Shana opened the door cautiously, not at all surprised to see three large men at her door. Silently she let them in and followed them to the living room where her husband already waited. "It's been a long time Shana," The largest man said.

Looking up at the giant, Shana forced a smile. "Perhaps too long Tallen." He nodded in response, looking at her intently. His large blue eyes looked down at her without emotion; the only thing turning his handsome features into something else. With his long brown hair and large build, he looked like an ancient warrior. He played with one fiery curl before acknowledging her spouse, "Hello Ryan."

Her husband nodded curtly in response before getting straight to business. "What brings you here Tallen? Your kind hasn't been here for nearly forty years." Tallen laughed, "Always skipping the pleasantries, just as I remember. You are right of course in assuming I'm here for more than just a reunion. Though we all know you are just as aware as I as to why I have come."

Both stood in silence, dreading what they knew would come next. "I know you have the girl," his tone turned icy; "I can smell her all over the area. You two hid her very well all these years but the time has come for the prophesy to be fulfilled and she must fulfill her duty to her kind." They continued to stand in silence until finally his patience began to fail. "Where is my Niece?" he roared.

"She's gone." Shana replied quietly, "Her guardian has already claimed her." Ryan pulled her protectively behind him as the larger man's face began to turn color; the silver tattoos glowed menacingly. Turning to the other two tattooed men he gave one simple order: "Bring her to me." They both nodded before racing out of the house in search of their prize.

Meanwhile, Tallen turned back to the two people he had known most his life. The people who betrayed his people when they agreed to the wishes of his foolish sister-in-law and took the child; disappearing into the night, not to be found for seventeen years. Cracking his knuckles he prepared to take out some of his fury. Let the fun begin he thought with an evil grin. If he had to wait to get the girl he would at least make sure the culprits never forgot why messing with the Waya was a foolish mistake.

Just before he closed in on the couple, a faint scent reached his nose. It pulled at his chest and brought black hate and rage to the surface making him smile. I'll take care of these two, he thought, and by the time I'm done it looks like company will have arrived. Maybe my day isn't so bad afterall.


A/n: Well there's chapter five. Any thoughts? I hope everyone enjoyed both the Ashlyn and Channing section as well as the little bit unglier side with Tallen. He'll probably be a big character from here on out so I hope everyone likes that part. As always advice and/or comments as well as random reviews (like if you like the story. you know the drill. haha!) are welcome. The more the better! ;)

Next chapter, Ashlyn and Channing arrive in his home town; they continue to grow closer; and danger from both sides is hot on their heels.

Oh! and random facts (may do these occationally) just for the heck of it, Shana and Ryan are of course Ashlyn's "parents" though she does not yet know that they aren't really related. and the 'fun' fact: Channing means 'wise and young wolf' an ironic thing since he's from the Nv da (fire) tribe but I chose it because he the traits that go with that meaning could mean the difference between Ashlyns life and death. So yep, now you know! :)