Saturday, January 28, 2012
-I am going to take my reusable Starbucks cup with me every day. I feel bad about the fact that I own two different reusable cups for iced drinks and last year I hardly ever took them with me so now I am making sure I do not leave the house without it (at least when going to work.)
-Try to order healthier food when eating out. While we probably shouldn't be eating out as much as we do, I am trying to make an effort to order healthier stuff when we do. Last night we ate at Longhorn and I ordered from the under 500 menu. It was fabulous! I had salmon with fresh veggies and a house salad with raspberry vinaigrette. While the raspberry vinaigrette was good it was a little strong as I got to the bottom of the bowl and couldn't finish my salad. I might try some different vinaigrettes for when I make a salad at home.
-Try to eat healthier when at home. The funny thing is that I don't really eat that much anyway but I think the stuff I am eating probably isn't very healthy. I have been trying to get healthier snacks and lunches for eating at home and at work.
-Well, this really isn't a change. It's more like getting it finally accomplished. I am going to get my blood tested again this coming week so the doctor can finally start me on treatment for the Grave's Disease she believes I have. I think having the right medication will help me to start feeling better so I can start losing some weight. While I am happy that I have only gained 10 lbs since I finished my cancer treatments in 2004, I still need to lose at least 50. (Of course, most of that is my tatas anyway. ;)
-Try to do a little bit of house cleaning every week. I am trying to keep the dishes washed (even when there is only a few dishes) as well as keeping the counters as clean as possible and trying to put stuff where it goes. I sometimes slack off on this during school semesters so I'm really going to try harder on this.
Those are the small changes that I can think of right now. After I get the whole health thing figured out (and buy some new tennis shoes) I am going to start working out again. The last time I did some major exercise, my lower back was killing me and I think it is because I need new shoes. We'll see how these changes go and maybe I can start making some others.
Monday, January 16, 2012
I think I will enjoy my last day playing Lego Harry Potter 5-7 and vegging out. We'll see if I even get that far or if I will start reading a book. But I will definitely enjoy it.
Friday, January 13, 2012
“Aleena?” someone called, “Aleena Yellow Hawk!”
“Cool it Catcher. She won’t wake up. She was out before I put her in bed,” someone explained roughly.
“Don’t talk so loud. Lance is still asleep too,” Sky said.
“She doesn’t need to see all these people in here when she wakes up,” Skywatcher insisted.
“I’ll go tell the others she’s all right,” Sundance replied, “They’ll be so happy to hear it.”
“That’s a good idea. Leather and Sky can go with you,” Moonstar said.
“Yes. Come young ones,” Sundance smiled.
“Do we have to?” Leather asked.
“Yes. Now run along and go play a game with Shane,” Moonstar said.
“Be good Leather,” Deerhunter said.
“I will Father,” Leather said over his shoulder as he followed Sky and Sundance out the door.
“Moonstar, will you hand me that bowl of water?” Skywatcher asked.
“Here you go.”
“What’s going on?” I mumbled, looking around.
“You just had a knock on the head but you’ll be fine. Just lay still,” Skywatcher answered.
“Sitting in the corner. He just nodded off,” she replied.
“There. Next to you. He’s finally asleep. He wouldn’t let me touch him until he knew you would be all right. Then he wanted to stay awake until you woke up. He couldn’t do it though,” Skywatcher answered.
“I’m going to leave you to get more rest. You need it.” Moonstar walked over to Deerhunter and tapped him on the shoulder.
“What?” he murmured sleepily.
“You might as well go back to our rooms. She’ll be fine,” his mate explained.
“Are you sure she wants me to leave?” he asked.
“You can go. I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it,” I said, “Thank you for staying with me this long.”
“You’re welcome,” he smiled, standing up, “If you need me, just call.”
“Where’s Jesse?” I asked again. They acted like they had not heard me and walked out the door. I glanced over and watched Lance sleep. He was so cute when he slept. He mumbled and twitched a bit.
I felt a sharp pain in my right side that sent me tumbling to the floor. As I put my hand to my side, I felt something warm run over my fingers.
By Jed’s quickness! I’m bleeding again, I exclaimed. I took a new bandage from the pile sitting next to the bed and wrapped it around my waist. Then I slipped my tunic over my head. It was new and the inside felt as if it were caressing my body.
What could have done that? Glancing at the spot where I had been laying, I saw a dagger sticking out from under the bed frame. I was looking for a something to smash down on the dagger when Lance started to wake up. Walking over to where the dagger was sticking out, I smashed down a wooden platter that I had found. A muffled sound of pain came from underneath the bed.
“What’s going on? Aleena?” Lance called out.
“I’m right here.”
“Most likely with Catcher.”
“That’s what I would like to know,” I answered while searching under the bed frame, “Ah, here it is.”
“What’s under there?” Lance inquired.
“Just a minute and we’ll find out,” I answered while tugging on what I had in my hand.
“Hey! Let go!” cried a male voice from under the bed frame. When I pulled him out to his chest, I knew who it was.
“Scott Michaels! Get out from under there!” I commanded.
“Aleena?” Scott asked when he climbed out, “What are you doing here?”
“I live here now. What’s your excuse?” I demanded.
“I’m trying to catch elves from this tribe for Mike Stevens,” Scott answered, “Was that you I stabbed?”
“Yes, you didn’t do much damage though. I was already injured,” I explained, “How did you get into this line of work?” I sat back on the bed.
“You know how Joe was always nice to me? All he wanted was for me not to hate him so I would do things for Mike,” Scott replied, “Do you want to hear something funny? They pay me to do this kind of stuff. If I knew you were mates with Lance, I never would have done this.”
“Do you know if they have Jesse?”
“They jumped his group and took him hostage. At the moment, they are probably torturing him,” he sighed, “That’s what they seem to do best.”
I sat silently for a few minutes, digesting what he had told me. I knew Jesse was going to get ambushed. If I would have only been there to help, he may not have been taken. I glanced at Scott. “Would you like to join our cause? We’re going to finish this once and for all.”
“If they catch me, they’ll torture me too,” Scott exclaimed.
“They can’t catch you if they don’t know where you are. We’re moving our camp tonight,” Lance said.
“All right. I’ll join you. I’m really sorry about your side,” Scott sighed again.
“Aleena, what are you doing out of bed?” Icewalker inquired as he entered our room.
“We have a new warrior. His name is Scott Michaels. Give him a place to sleep,” Lance commanded.
“Yes Lance. Come on. I have a room that isn’t being used right now,” Icewalker said, “Aleena, get back into bed. Unless you feel better.”
“I am feeling a big better,” I smiled. I watched them leave the room then went up the stairs to where Lance had a treetop patio under the stars. Jesse had told me about it before he left. I had been standing up there for a while when Lance came up behind me, putting his arms around my waist.
“What are you looking at?” he asked.
“The sky. Do we really come from out there?” I questioned.
“That’s what the stories say. Your father used to tell me that he could travel to our home planet by leaving his body but I never believed him. Anyway, that kind of thing is too hard to comprehend right now,” he explained. He stretched, yawning so loud that Deerhunter yelled at him to go to sleep. “I think I’ll take his advice. Are you coming?”
“No, I think I’ll go for a walk through the camp,” I answered, “I haven’t really seen much of it yet.
“All right. See you in a little while. Wake me up when everyone is ready to leave,” Lance said as he turned his back toward the stairs.
“Goodnight Lance. Remember that I love you,” I called after him.
“I always remember that when I sleep,” he called back. I waited until he was asleep before I went for my walk.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
“I can’t believe you almost killer her Deerhunter!” Lance screamed. Things seemed to have been put on hold while Lance took care of business. All of my friends had been untied and Jesse was now seated next to me with a rag and some hot water.
“Hey watch it! That’s hot!” I growled as he put the rag on my right leg.
“Sorry. It’s the only thing I can use to get the dried blood off your arms and legs,” he explained.
“You think I care?” I questioned. I was trying not to listen to Lance yell at his tribesman.
Catcher walked into the room. “How are you doing?” he asked, his eyes wide with concern.
“Not very good I’m afraid,” Jesse explained, “She shouldn’t move for a couple days.”
“I’ll ask Skywatcher if she’ll take care of Aleena while your group goes back to get your things,” Catcher said, “Lance will be in to see you when he’s finished with Deerhunter.”
“Yes. I suppose we do have some things to settle,” Jesse sighed thoughtfully.
“Catcher?” a tiny voice asked from the doorway.
“Lance wants to see Jesse and Aleena. Can we go check your traps?” the young, light-haired girl asked.
“Okay. I’ll be there in a second,” Catcher replied. He stepped up next to the pile of furs that I was lying on and gave me a pat on the arm. “While your friends are gone, I will keep you company.” And with that, he left the room.
“Why do you have to go with them?” I asked Jesse, taking his hands in mine.
“I need to protect the others. Plus help carry back everything,” he replied.
“Why don’t some of the Dark Ones go with them?” I questioned, lifting myself up to give Jesse a big hug, “I have the feeling that something bad will happen to you.”
“Nothing bad will happen to me. You just watch and see,” Jesse smiled.
“I agree with Jesse. Nothing will happen,” Lance replied as he came out of the shadows, “I may not like him very much but I promise you that he won’t get hurt.”
“What if Joe and Mike discover we’re out here?” I said.
Lance smiled weakly, “Don’t worry about that, Aleena.”
“Let me go with them,” I suggested, “I’m a go—“
“NO! I will not have you fighting in your condition,” he commanded, and then his tone softened a little, “I’ll have Troll-killer, Night, Kree, Brightwing, and Spearthrower go to protect them.”
“Why send your best warriors and probably get them killed when I can go and fight for what I should?” I pointed out. I refused to let the issue drop.
“NO! You are staying here. That’s the end of it,” Lance growled.
“Fine,” I sighed.
“I’m going to get the others ready to leave,” Jesse mumbled, walking out the door. I watched him walk before turning to Lance.
“You listen and listen good! Just because you are chief does not mean you have any right to tell me what I can or cannot do!”
“I’m sorry I have to do this. You are to stay in this room. That’s an order, Styr,” Lance gasped at the last word out of his mouth.
“Don’t ever call me that again!” I cried, getting out of bed.
“Please Aleena, get back into bed.” Lance rushed over to me and tried to get me to lie down.
“Don’t touch me! Don’t ever touch me again! It’s your fault that I’m like this! If you wouldn’t have attacked the camp, we wouldn’t be here!” I screamed at him. He stepped back, stunned. I sat back down on the bed because it was too painful to move.
“I’m sorry I had them attack your friends, Aleena. It shouldn’t have gone the way it did. The only reason we had them tied up was because we were afraid they would retaliate against us. You have your brother to thank for that fear,” Lance explained, “If he wouldn’t have attacked me and my sister, everything would have been fine. But that’s over and done with, and it’s been taken care of. It was just a misunderstanding.”
“Why did you attack the camp? What is your great reasoning behind that?” I demanded.
Lance sat down next to me. “It really wasn’t me. Some of the others didn’t want humans so close to our home so they decided to attack the camp. I let them do it so they could see that these humans weren’t here to hurt us.”
“I don’t suppose Deerhunter was one of those elves who didn’t want us here, was he?” I asked sarcastically.
Lance looked away. “Yes.”
“Figures. I should have stabbed him when I had the chance,” I grumbled. We were distracted by the sound of footsteps on the wooden stairs leading to the room we were in.
“Lance, I think it’s time Aleena got some sleep. Maybe you should go,” the motherly Skywatcher suggested.
“You’re right. Aleena needs her rest,” he replied, “I’ll talk to you later.” He left the room and Skywatcher came over to the bed.
“Come on now. You need to get some sleep so you can heal that wound,” she said, puffing up the furs I was using for a pillow. She was sweet and reminded me of my grandmother.
“Can you get Catcher for me?” I asked, lying down.
“No, wait until after your nap, dear,” Skywatcher replied. She pulled the fur blanket up around my body and tucked it in to make sure I couldn’t go anywhere.
“Skywatcher?” a voice asked from the doorway.
“Where’s Windy?” he asked, glancing at me thoughtfully. It was the warrior who had been staring at me earlier in the night. Our eyes met and he looked away. I felt that same strange sense of openness when our eyes met, like my soul had been bared to him. A few of the elves that were getting along with Jesse had told him Kree had been acting funny since he had seen me earlier. Now I could understand why.
“She’s helping your father get ready to leave,” Skywatcher answered as she went over to him, “Now let’s leave Aleena.”
“All right,” Kree sighed. He looked at me one last time before she shooed him out the door. I guess he was feeling the same thing that I was feeling after all.
I never did get any sleep. I was so busy thinking about what Lance had said that I didn’t hear what was going on outside. Suddenly I was pulled out of bed and onto the floor. Icewalker put his hand over my mouth and told me to use telepathy.
What’s going on?
We’re being attacked by humans. They say they are looking for two half-breeds. he answered.
“Uh-oh,” I whispered. I absently played with the crescent-shaped opal necklace around my tanned throat. Jesse was in terrible trouble! Mike had decided to come after us.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Icewalker whispered.
Jesse and I are the half-breeds they want. He’s in danger!
“Let’s go.” Icewalker stopped. “I know you’re wounded but you have to help Lance. Most of the warriors went with your friends and Deerhunter told me that you know what you’re doing when it comes to battle.”
“It’s all right, Icewalker. I’ll get whoever tries to hurt Lance,” I growled, grabbing my dagger and running out the door. I went down the stairs of the large tree and into the arms of Joe Stevens.
“Let me go!” I growled as I tried to get out of his grasp.
“Well, well. Look who we have here. Aleena Yellow Hawk, you look gorgeous in that tunic,” Joe laughed, “Let’s go to my place and have some fun.”
“What are you going to do? Rape me a few times and then throw me back into the forest to die?” I asked, “Sounds like a dumb idea. It won’t work. The elves will find out and come after you.”
“Is that so? You really think I’m afraid of a few miserable elves?” Joe asked.
“Yeah, that’s so,” I replied, acting like I wasn’t scared. In reality, I was afraid to death of him.
“Well, I think I’ll kill you right now then,” Joe laughed, “Say goodbye to your life.”
“HELP! PLEASE SOMEONE! HELP ME!” I screamed.
“Quit yelling. There is no one to help you,” Joe growled.
“Yes there is!” someone said from behind him. Joe threw me to the ground where I hit my head against a rock. He turned so fast I didn’t see who it was. Joe fell with a cry and Deerhunter came over to me.
“Thank you so much,” I cried, throwing my arms around his neck. I held on to him for a while. He didn’t say anything. He smelled so nice and I needed something to cuddle up to. He moved me over to the side by a tree and held onto me. I cried and told him I was sorry for all the things I had done to him.
“It’s all right,” he assured, “I really should be the one to apologize to you. I shouldn’t have cut you up so badly.”
“It’s okay,” I sighed. I giggled a little. “My head hurts.”
“Let me take you upstairs,” Deerhunter explained, picking me up in his strong arms.
“Please stay with me,” I mumbled, “I don’t want to be alone.”
The last thing I remember was falling asleep in his arms. The smell of his tunic filled my nostrils and I dreamed about racing through the forest, hunting deer with the rest of the tribe.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
When we came back to camp, it was a disaster! There were tents laying upside-down and clothes were thrown all over the place. It kind of looked as if a herd of wild horses had stampeded through it. Suddenly Destiny and I were pulled behind some bushes.
“What’s going on?” I questioned Dusty.
He ran his hand through his hair. “I don’t know. There are only a few of us left from the raid though,” he replied quietly.
“What raid?” I demanded.
“Where’s Shane?” Destiny asked.
“We don’t know. The last time we saw her was right after you two left,” Rob answered.
“She might ha---“
“Shhh!” I growled and put my hand over Jeremy’s mouth. Quietly, I whispered, “Don’t say anything.”
“What are you talking about?” Dusty whispered.
“Look over there,” I replied, pointing to the far corner of the campsite, “I’ll be right back.” I slipped through the woods between where we were hiding and where the movement was. Behind a bush, I found a large bag. It appeared to be Jesse’s clothes bag. When I was just behind the creature, I counted to ten and jumped on its back. I pulled the bag over its head and tied the end of the bag with a piece of rope I had also found.
“Come on out,” I called, “We need to see what this creature is.”
“All right. We’ll come out,” Destiny grumbled, “If we get attacked, it will be your fault!”
“Quit your bitching,” Dusty mumbled.
“I heard that!”
“Quit fighting,” I sighed.
“If you insist,” he said.
“Anyway!” Rob exclaimed, “What is that thing you’ve captured?” Rob and Destiny glared at each other. It amazed me how they could still be dating after three years.
“I don’t know,” I answered. The creature in the bag began to cut through with something sharp.
“Quick! Grab it before it can get out!” Jeremy cried. Rob, Dusty, and Leif jumped on the creature as it lifted out of the bag.
“Let go of me! What are you people? CRAZY?” the creature screamed at us.
“Who? Shane, don’t sneak up on us like that!” I snapped at her when the guys let go.
“Sorry. I didn’t know I was going to get ambushed when I came back.” She studied the camp. “Um, was there a party while I was gone?”
“We were attacked by the forest spirits. They don’t want us here,” Dusty said, running a hand through his tousled blonde hair.
Shane stared at him as if he had flipped out. “Forest spirits attacked us?”
“Yeah, they had these long pointed ears,” Leif explained, “They came crashing out at us from all sides and grabbed as many people as they could get their hands on. We were lucky we didn’t get captured.”
“Whose left?” she asked.
“All who stand before you,” Jeremy replied.
“Let’s go try to get our friends back,” Leif said.
“That’s a good idea,” Dusty agreed.
“Let’s wait until its dark before we go get them,” I suggested.
“That’s a better idea. It’ll be easier to sneak up on them in the dark,” Shane laughed wickedly.
“Before you three let, I overheard Lance talking to himself. He said ‘tonight’ and smiled. Do you suppose he had something to do with this?” Leif asked.
“Lance must be the leader of this whole charade. I knew there was something odd about him,” Shane replied.
“He is not odd!” I snapped.
“Let’s talk about that later. Right now we should get our camp area settled. There we can make plans for our retaliation,” Rob explained.
“Good idea,” Destiny said. As we were putting the tents back up and replacing the stuff inside them, I thought about what Leif had said. Was Lance really involved? Why would he have his tribe attack us? It didn’t make sense.
It was almost midnight when we finished. The sound of drums could be heard echoing through the forest around us. I glanced up at the sky and saw the full moon bright overhead. There were so many stars out that I almost couldn’t find my favorite constellation, the dragon constellation Draco. The others finished their tasks and we met in a circle in the middle of the camp.
“Sounds like they’ve started the party without us. Let’s go crash it,” Shane suggested.
“All right. We’ll split up into pairs,” I said, “Destiny and Rob, Leif and Jeremy. Shane and Dusty. I’ll go by myself.”
“Stay close to each other and remember your calls if you should need help,” Destiny explained.
“Good plan. Now let’s kick some forest spirit butt!” Leif said with joy.
I wonder why he wants to go so bad. Does it have to do with the fact that the elves took his girlfriend? I pondered. We all went in different directions and started practicing our animal calls.
As I turned around an oak tree, I noticed a shimmering light coming out of the bushes ahead of me. As I got closer, I realized that the bushes surrounded a clearing and the light was coming from a large bonfire.
Who would have a fire at this time of night? I asked myself as I climbed up a nearby tree. I found a sturdy branch and made myself at home, making sure that I have a perfect view of the whole clearing. Lucky for me, I had been smart enough to wear dark colored clothing when I had left for the camping trip and blended in nicely with the shadows around me. Once situated, I turned my attention to what was happening inside the clearing. What I saw almost sent me reeling out of the tree!
The clearing was large and there were elves in various positions all around it. Some of them were playing the drums we had heard while some females danced around the fire. Others were lying in half-naked piles and all were drinking some liquid out of wooden cups. I figured they were getting themselves pretty intoxicated and a surprise attack on them would be perfect. After this thought, I looked more closely at the elves who were dancing around the fire. A few males had joined in and one of them was Lance. He seemed to be enjoying himself immensely. As he danced, he took a sip from his wooden cup and collapsed next to a pretty, dark haired elf. It hurt to see him so happy.
Did he use me to get to the others? Why would he want to attack my friends? They have never done anything to him or his tribe before. Is he trying to make the stories true so other humans will stay out of the forest? Or is he trying to use them to get to me? I pondered these questions as I scanned the clearing once more. My attention was drawn to a small group seated on the ground in a corner away from the fire. I realized that it was the captives from our camp. Most of them seemed pretty comfortable except for my brother, Jesse. He was tied hand and foot plus had a gag in his mouth. I wondered why he was tied up more forcefully than the others were. As I thought about this, I climbed down from my tree and called for the others. Hopefully they had seen the same things I had.
Soon I received an answer to my call. Unfortunately, it was not an answer I was used to. Someone was near me that I did not know. Slowly I took out the dagger my grandmother had given me and glanced around for a sign, any sign, of where the stranger was hiding. There was a thud behind me. Before I could turn around, my arms were restricted as someone grabbed me around the waist. I couldn’t go for my dagger, which had fallen to the ground. I was about to call for help when something was placed over my mouth. This made it so the only person I would have been able to get in contact with would have been Jesse and there was no way he was going to be able to help me.
“I don’t want to hurt you. Lance wants me to bring you into camp,” my assailant explained, “Don’t run when I let you go.”
I nodded my head.
“Don’t try to kill me either. I don’t wish to die tonight,” he said as he let go and stepped away from me, “I am Catcher. Don’t ask about the name. It’s a long story. Who are you?”
“Aleena Yellow Hawk,” I replied, “I thought I was dating Lance. Why did you attack us?”
“Oh, so you’re Aleena, eh?” Catcher asked, “We hear about you all the time. Lance will explain everything later. As a matter of fact, you do look a lot like Raven Thoughtseeker.”
“Why is my brother tied up more than the other?” I demanded.
“He tried to attack Lance and Brightwing,” he answered.
“Shhh!” I whispered. I had heard footsteps coming in our direction.
“Quick! Get into a tree so I can go find out who it is,” Catcher whispered. He helped me climb into the nearest tree and headed off to the right. I watched him go and then saw the outline of an elf coming toward my tree. I moved into a tree that was directly in line with the mystery elf and waited for my chance to strike. He moved just below me and I took the shot, landing on top of the stranger.
As we hit the ground, he rolled out from under me and sprang back to his feet. He went for his dagger and we began to circle each other. I took a slash at him and found that he had quick reflexes. He took a swipe at me and hit me in the arm. That didn’t bother me any as I kicked him in the chest. He flew backward but swiftly got back on his feet. So fast that I didn’t even see him coming at me. His dagger sank into my right side and I fell to the ground, blood coating my hand as I tried to stop it. After he had figured I had enough, he leaned down to see if I was still alive. I could tell that he was definitely one of Lance’s people because I had seen him standing by Jesse as some sort of guard. Lance was going to be rather pissed.
“Hey are you still alive?” His voice was deep and hoarse.
“Yes,” I growled and spat in his face. He slapped me across the face with the back of his hand. Catcher came up behind him then and grabbed his arm.
“Don’t do any more damage. Lance is going to be mad enough as it is,” he explained.
“She spit in my face. No one does that to me,” the other male growled, glaring at me.
I leaned up and said, “Truce?” When I stuck out my hand, he took it and I dug my nails in as far into his hand as they would go.
“You little---!” he hissed, raising his hand again.
“Don’t hit her again,” Catcher commanded. The other elf gave him a dirty look. Catcher ignored him as he helped me to my feet. They left me into the clearing. The elves stopped dancing when they saw us and Lance rushed to my side to help me walk.
As I glanced up to study the elves a little closer, a warrior that was standing off to the left drew my attention. He was tall and thin but muscular, with long blonde hair to the middle of his back and the bluest eyes I had ever seen on a man. All of my attention went to his eyes and I felt my world shift as our gaze met. Everything that I knew went flying out the window and I felt a whole new sensation. I broke the connection as I glanced up at Lance. As he led the way into a large oak tree, I could still feel the warrior’s gaze burning into my back.