Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Seven #2.14

Seven, Cassius, Nicholas and Tara barely spoke to each other as they made their way away from Indianola. They went almost twenty miles before someone made any attempt at a conversation.

"Can we stop and eat?" Tara asked. "We've been walking all day and have barely stopped."

Cassius stopped. "We can go ahead and stop for the night. It's been a long day."

The sun was starting to set as the four began to set up camp in the expansive area of the rolling hills. Seven got a small fire going while Cassius and Tara began getting out stuff for dinner.

"Any chance you know how soon we'll be getting to the castle?" Nicholas asked.

"I think sometime tomorrow, it should be just another twenty miles or so," Cassius said. "I'm glad we're stopping because we need to talk about what's going on between us. Ever since we left Indianola you three have hardly spoken to each other. What's going on?"

"Seven and I kind of had a fight," Tara said.

"What about?" Cassius asked.

"I got a little upset when I found out Tara and Nicholas may be returning to Indianola for good. I thought we'd all go back to Cassoday together when we were finished with Shmand. I apparently am wrong," Seven said in a slight sarcastic tone.

"We were happy in Indianola," Nicholas said. "We'd go back to Cassoday but we want to stay in Indianola."

"What's with this 'we'?" asked Cassius. "I think it's great that you two want to go out on your own. No matter what you really think, if you are their friend, you will support them, Seven."

Seven sighed angrily. "Are you two dating each other now or what?"

"That's kind of personal, Seven," Tara began. "But no, Nicholas and I are not dating. And if we were, you should support us on that, too."

Seven was quiet for a good minute before he spoke again. "This just isn't turning out the way I thought it would.

"Castle Hill"
The castle they were looking for was an abandoned watchtower built by the Natives a hundred years ago on top of a hill. The watchtower was built of sandstone and clay and was used as a trail marker for travelers. The area was called Castle Hill and the bottom of the hill was used as a resting place for weary travelers while the watchtower, which resembled a castle, was left alone.

Cassius, Seven, Nicholas and Tara arrived at Castle Hill in the late afternoon and set up camp next to a family with two older kids.

Seven noticed the daughter and smiled when he saw her eyes meet his. He walked over to her and cleared his throat to get her attention. "Hi. My name is Seven Kazachov and I'm with that group there," Seven pointed to his friends.

"I'm Lily. Lily Aldridge," Lily brushed some of her blond hair behind her ear and turned to her family. "This is my family, my parents Jedidiah and Helen and my little brother David. Did you say your name was Seven?"

"It is. Long story," Seven motioned to his friends. "These are my friends Cassius Traveler, Tara Goebbels and Nicholas Christ. We're from Cassoday and we're heading to... We're gonna go help out some family."

"The four of you are just friends?" Lily asked.

"Yeah. Just friends," Seven said softly. "So where are you from?"

"Jerseyville," Lily answered. "We're going to Albuquerque to start a ranch," she laughed. "It's a dream of my father's to get out of the city and become a farmer."

"That's actually interesting. I would love to just walk around the countryside and take in my surroundings. I love old buildings and houses and cemeteries," Seven said.

"Cemeteries? I hate cemeteries. They creep me out," Lily shuddered.

Seven looked up at the watchtower and raised an eyebrow. "Do you think you can sneak away after everyone goes to sleep?" he asked in a low voice.

"What for?" Lily blushed.

"I want you to go exploring with me," he said.

"Where?" Lily was still confused but intrigued. Seven looked up at the watchtower. Lily followed his eyes and shook her head. "No. We can't."

"Why not? It'll be fun. I promise."

Seven stayed awake and crawled out from under his blanket and began walking over to the Aldridge's camp. Tara watched as Seven walked away and met up with Lily. The two went off toward the base of the hill. Seven and Lily began walking up the hill with Seven eagerly helping Lily up. Tara sighed deeply and closed her eyes.

It took about fifteen minutes for Seven and Lily to reach the summit of Castle Hill. The watchtower was a lot bigger up close and Seven was marveled by it's construction.

"This is amazing," he breathed.

"What do you think it was?" Lily asked, running her hand along the sandstone.

"I don't know. Maybe a house..."

"It's not big enough to be a house. Maybe it's some kind of fortress," Lily peered inside the watchtower and stepped inside. "It has stairs going up to the top."

Seven followed her and took her hand. "And you didn't want to come exploring with me." Seven led Lily over to the rocks that jutted out from the wall. The rocks wound their way up the wall, coming to an end near the top. A couple of rocks were broken away from the wall but didn't hinder their way up. When they reached the top, both of them gasped excitedly at the view.

"You can see forever..." she whispered.

"Maybe this was some kind of fortress," Seven chuckled. "You can definitely see someone coming from up here."

Seven and Lily stood at the top for several minutes. Seven wrapped his arms around Lily and pulled her close to him. She smiled then turned and kissed Seven.

They remained for another half hour until heading back down the steps and leaving the watchtower. Seven grabbed Lily and kissed her again, they hugged and put their fingers into each others hair.

Lily pushed away. "We should probably get back down to camp," she said.

"Soon," Seven said and kissed Lily again. He easily lowered her to the ground and pulled up her dress.

"What are you doing?" Lily asked as Seven removed his shirt.

"Do you want me to stop?"

Lily placed her hands on Seven's chest. "No," she smiled.

The journey continues.