When they actually found the Cave of Wonders, Jasmine couldn't believe her eyes.
Cast (in order of appearance):
Aline Morrison/Ariana Pendragon: Dianna Agron
Rachel Leslie/Jaime Locksley: Lily James
Celine Portman/Princess Aurora: Natalie Portman
Richard Stark/Prince Robb: Richard Madden
Rana Mitchell/Jasmine: Shay Mitchell
Theo Eaton/Tobias: Theo James
Holly Dobrev/Elsa: Nina Dobrev
Tyler Hale: Tyler Hoechlin
Paul Salvatore/Prince Stefan: Paul Wesley
Ian Salvatore: Ian Somerhalder
Pedro Martell: Pedro Pascal
Atie Reed: Crystal Reed
Fatemeh Tonkin/Persephone: Phoebe Tonkin
Colin Jones/Killian Jones: Colin O'Donoghue
Nicolas Grace/Peter Pan: Topher Grace
Jess/Wendy Darling: Zooey Deschanel
Ines Clarke/Ariel: Emilia Clarke
Klaus/Joseph: Joseph Morgan
Chapter 10: I'll be your soldier
Aline hated mornings. She hated the rude awakening she experienced every morning. It was either an alarm clock, her phone, some natural instinct to wake up, or Rachel banging on her door. This morning, however, it was none of these. She woke up to a nightmare she’d been having. She couldn't quite put her finger around what it had been about, but she remembered the feeling of imprisonment, the cold, and the dark. She snapped out of her thoughts when she remembered the night before and suddenly she was in a hurry to go see Rachel.
Rachel was sitting by her desk in the sheriff’s station, resting her head on her hands, drifting off to sleep when Aline walked in.
“Hey”, she said. Rachel merely grunted. Aline bit her lip. She desperately wanted to ask her friend what had happened the night before, but it was never a good decision to push Rachel, especially in the morning.
“Could you make some coffee?” Rachel yawned. “I’m exhausted.”
“Did you stay here all night?” Aline asked.
“I had a lot on my mind. And when I finally realized what time it was, it was already morning, so what the hell, right?”
“What… what happened last night?” Aline asked, making Rachel turn and look at her.
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know?” Aline raised her eyebrows in confusion.
Rachel shook her head. “I don’t want to talk about this.”
“Then I won’t make you any coffee”, Aline crossed her arms. “Tell me what happened.”
“I, uh.. I asked him why he was so dead-set on helping me, making sure I was okay, and he kept going on and on about how he was worried about me and how he cared about me, but I still don’t understand… you care about me, right?”
Aline smiled a little at how stupid her friend was being. “Yeah.”
“And you don’t run around after me every time I might be in danger. Neither does Tyler. Or Pedro, or… I don’t have any other friends. But you get my point.”
“Rachel, are you being serious here?” Aline asked.
Rachel groaned. “Yes, I am being serious! WHAT?”
Before Aline had time to reply, the door to the station burst open. Celine was standing in the doorway, breathless. “Did you guys hear?”
“About what?” they asked at once.
“Tyler! He’s in the hospital! The wolf attacked him. Come on”, Celine gestured for them to follow, which they did, practically running.
“I’m coming with you.”
When they reached the hospital, Tyler was still unconscious. Dr. Eaton was checking his vitals just when Rachel and Aline walked in.
“Is he alive?” Rachel blurted out.
“Yes, he’s alive. The wolf bit him in the neck, but gladly he was found only a few moments after the accident. We would have called you sooner but the main priority was to get him to stop bleeding.”
“Who brought him in?” Aline asked in surprise.
“Holly Dobrev”, Theo said. “I think she’s in the hallway if you want to talk to her.”
Rachel and Aline exchanged a look before heading out of the room indeed to find Holly in the hallway. Before they could ask her anything, however, Richard walked towards them at a fast pace. He’d clearly heard about Tyler. But when he saw Rachel, he paused.
“Hey”, Rachel said. It was only right she said hello first. She’d been the one to tell him to leave the night before.
“Hi”, Richard said, looking at Rachel for a moment before tearing his eyes away, turning to Aline. “Is Tyler alright?”
“He will be, according to Theo. Thanks to Holly”, they turned to look at Holly, who was sitting on a bench next to them, looking a bit uncomfortable.
She said nothing, just stared back at them for a moment before saying: “I just happened to be walking past him, okay?”
Richard turned back to look at Rachel, but this time Aline was the one to break the tension: “You should probably get back to the station, yeah? In case something happens. I’ll stay here and wait for Tyler.”
“Don’t leave the station”, Richard said before Rachel had time to even nod. “So that... nothing happens… with the wolf still on the loose.”
Rachel nodded. “I… you… we….”
Holly rolled her eyes at the drama in front of her. If only everyone would get their memories back, none of this shit would even be happening.
“I’ll see you later”, was what Rachel finished her wonderful sentence with before rushing off.
Aline smiled at Richard. “You know, she is incredibly smart when it comes to all things literal and school-subject related, but when it comes to noticing when someone likes her, she is as good as a newborn baby. Just saying.”
Richard’s eyes widened. “You mean that she-“
“Is that really necessary?” Holly snapped. “Can’t you have your little soap opera somewhere else?” In truth she was incredibly stressed about Tyler --- no, Derek – and what would happen to him. She was smart enough to realize that it was a werewolf that bit him, so now…. Holly needed help. She couldn’t make everyone remember on her own.
“Why are you still here, if you don’t even care what happens to Tyler?” Aline snapped.
“I’m pretty sure I care more than you do”, Holly snapped back.
“Okay, guys, just stop”, Richard said in a tired voice. “We’re all stressed. I have to go, I have to go give the announcement.”
“Yeah, go”, Aline nodded. “I’ll make sure Tyler is okay.”
Holly rolled her eyes. Derek was hers. She was not for anyone else to look after. But how could she possibly say something like that without appearing insane? This version of her barely knew the man. But the real version of her loved him very much.
Richard walked into the city hall to find basically the whole town waiting for him there. He walked to the center of the room, and to his benefit, everyone stopped talking.
He cleared his throat and spoke: “As you all know, there have been animal attacks in town during the past few days. Apparently it’s some sort of a wolf, perhaps a pack. So far we don’t have much other information, but what we do know is that we need to put a stop to this. But until that happens, I’m going to have to ask all of you to stay inside, and if you do go outside, don’t stay out for long and don’t go alone. I’m going to gather up a group of people who have some sort of experience with hunting and the wilderness in general. I’m sorry about all this, I know it’s inconvenient. Hopefully we’ll get the problem sorted soon”, he ended his speech with a nod of his head, moving over to talk to Paul and Ian as everyone scattered away.
“Do you know anyone who’d be good in the woods?”
“I don’t know, but I’m coming”, Ian said. “It’ll be fun.”
“Why don’t you call animal control?” Paul asked.
“I did. I tried every damn number in the book, but apparently they’ve all been disconnected. And yes, I checked the internet for numbers, too, but the phone just keeps ringing.”
“It’s because this town is so deadbeat that no one even bothers answering the phone when we call”, Ian rolled his eyes. “Anyway, when are we leaving?”
“In three hours or so”, Richard said. “But we’ll have to come back before the dark.”
Paul sighed, clapping his friend on the shoulder. “Nice first week as mayor, wouldn’t you say?”
“I can’t help thinking that this is all my fault.”
“You may be a lot of things, Stark”, Ian chuckled. “But there is no way you could be responsible for this.”
Paul nodded. “For once I agree with him. Just try to relax. You’ll need your strength for when we go.”
Richard nodded. “I’ll see you guys later.”
Paul walked over to where Celine was standing and wrapped an arm around her. “Do you mind if I go with the guys today?”
“To hunt down the deadly wolf?” Celine raised her eyebrows. “Do I have a say in this?”
“I have to do my part for this place.”
Celine groaned. “Fine. But not a moment will pass when I’m not worried about you”, she said, leaning closer to kiss him.
“You missed your boyfriend’s speech”, Rachel looked up to find Pedro walking towards her desk, a pizza box in hand. “Aline called, said you probably hadn’t had anything to eat”, he placed a cup of coffee on the table as well.
“I love you in a very platonic, you’re-like-a-brother-to-me kind of way”, Rachel chuckled as she sipped the coffee and opened the pizza box. “Oh, great you didn’t forget the-“
“Why weren’t you out there?” Pedro asked.
“I had to be here in case something comes up. What did he say?” Rachel asked, handing her friend a slice as well.
“Everyone has to remain indoors for now. He’s gathering up a hunting party.”
“He’s not going, is he?” Rachel asked, her heart skipping a beat at the thought.
“He probably is. But don’t worry, I’m going, too. It’ll be fun”, Pedro smirked.
“Yeah, I’ll go with you, too. When is it?”
“In three hours”, Pedro said. “You sure you wanna come? You look exhausted.”
“I know how to shoot a gun and that’ll come in handy. Besides, the wolf hurt Tyler.”
“I don’t think the wolf had a personal vendetta against Tyler”, Pedro smiled in amusement.
“Still.” They ate in silence for a moment before Rachel spoke. “I… I care about him…. Richard.”
“And it hurts.”
“It always does”, Pedro said quietly. He turned to look at his friend and smiled. “But it could also be great. It could make you happy. If you’d just let it.”
“He doesn’t feel the same way”, Rachel shrugged. “And how can I blame him? You know who I am.”
“Doesn’t feel the same way?” Pedro smiled. “Aline told me what happened last night.”
“What the hell is this, Gossip Girl?”
Pedro sighed. “Rach-“
“No, just stop. Eat your pizza and shut up. I’m so tired”, Rachel said, closing her eyes.
“Your father would want you to be happy”, was the last thing Pedro said.
“Father is dead”, Rachel said, and within seconds she was asleep, her head against the desk.
Rana and Atie were walking towards Celine’s diner. A lot of the people had decided to hang out there while waiting for news from the hunting party.
“It still sucks we can’t go with them”, Atie whined.
“Yep. But it would probably be pretty embarrassing considering that we don’t know how to use any sort of weapons.”
“That could be true”, Atie chuckled. They entered the diner, and Rana smiled a little as she spotted Theo talking to Ines in the corner. They seemed to be arguing about something.
“I told you, Katie told me that Nic said he got permission from the mayor!”
“I just asked him and there was no damn permission”, Theo snapped. “Has anyone seen Nic?”
“They’re talking about our friend Nic, right?” Atie went pale. “What has he done now?”
“I don’t know and honestly I don’t think I even want to”, Rana sighed.
Jasmine would never be able to have a peaceful night’s sleep ever again. Ever since the evil spirit had escaped the lamp it had been captured in, the whole kingdom had suffered. Men died in their beds, women and children got stolen, and the treasuries became empty. And the worst part was that no one knew how to capture the evil spirit. No one knew even what it looked like specifically. But as long as it was on the loose, no one would be safe.
“What’s on your mind?” she turned around at the familiar voice and saw Aladdin, one of her father’s personal guards. He was handsome, smart, funny and about Jasmine’s age. He was the only person in the whole castle who she could talk to freely. And of course, since it felt so right, it was wrong. Jasmine’s father, the sultan, didn’t like the idea of his daughter befriending a sellsword, however happy he made her.
“The evil spirit”, Jasmine sighed. “Doesn’t it bother you? We’ll never be safe.”
“Someone will find a way to get rid of it”, Aladdin reassured her as he walked closer. “I won’t let anything happen to you.”
Jasmine shook her head. “It’s not just about me, it’s about my father, my friends, my kingdom as well. I will be the ruler of this place one day, and I can do nothing to protect it.”
Aladdin bit his lip, turning to look away, but Jasmine had already recognized the look on his face.
“There’s something you’re not telling me.”
“There is a place. I’ve heard of it. It’s called the Cave of Wonders, and it’s said that inside each man or woman will find what they’re looking for, no matter what it is”, Aladdin said.
“We have to go there!” Jasmine said enthusiastically. “Where is it?”
“Out in the desert, but Jasmine, are you sure? It is said that the cave is a dangerous place. I don’t think your father would let you go.”
“No one has to tell him”, Jasmine smirked. “Let’s go.”
Holly was still sitting in the chair, waiting for news when Fatemeh rushed into the hall and sat next to her. “What are you doing here? I’ve been looking all over for you.”
“I don’t want to talk right now”, Holly said quietly.
“That is not my name, don’t call me that”, she said sharply.
“What’s wrong with you?” Fatemeh asked. “I came here to get you and take you home, Richard says we can’t be outside alone.”
Holly shrugged. “I’ll stay here and wait for Derek to wake up.”
Holly sighed. She was not in the mood for this. “Yes, his real name is Derek. I love him.”
Fatemeh raised her eyebrows. “That was quick.”
“NO! I’ve always loved him. Don’t you understand? The Queen took away my memories of him”, Holly said, trying to get her friend to understand. “So that I wouldn’t feel love. I’m sure she did the same for you.”
“I doubt it”, Fatemeh said. “Even… even if you remember, that doesn’t mean he does.”
“No. But when he wakes up, I’m going to kiss him, and he will.”
“I don’t think that works”, Fatemeh said quietly. “According to Irene it doesn’t.”
“I have to try. Just go home. I’m staying with him”, Holly said sharply, and didn’t even turn to give her friend one last look as she walked off.
Aline was in Tyler’s room, waiting for him to wake up, reading a book. She figured he’d want a friend waiting for him when he did wake up.
“He looks good”, she turned over to the doorway to find Colin standing there. “For someone who got bit by a vampire, at least.”
“That’s not funny”, Aline said as Colin sat next to her.
“I know it’s not. I’m sorry. Is he going to be okay?”
Aline nodded. “So, what did Richard say in his speech?”
“The hunting party leaves in three hours”, Colin said. “I’m going with them.”
“So am I”, Aline said firmly.
“Pedro just called me and told me Rachel is going, too. So I get to go as well.”
“I don’t think Richard would be okay with Rachel going if he knew, and I’m not okay with you going.”
“So you feel for me what Richard feels for Rachel?” Aline asked sharply.
“Yes---“, Colin paused, turning to look at his hands. “I mean, I care about you.”
Aline stared at him for a moment, saying nothing. Until she said: “I’m coming with you.”
Colin nodded. “If you insist”, he stood up, trying to get rid of the awkward situation. “I’ll come and pick you up, okay?”
Aline nodded, refusing to look at Colin. The last thing she needed now were her overwhelmingly strong feelings for him to rush to the surface.
"Okay, I'll explain to you one more time." Nic had been trying to explain to Jess the curse and why she had to keep both their identities a secret, at least for now. However, this was not a easy task. First of all, she was still confused of having two different set of memories in her mind.
"The Evil Queen has cast a curse to punish Snow White. By doing that, she sent everyone from the Enchanted Forest here, in Rosedell. She wiped out everyone's memories and created fake ones so we would keep on living, completely oblivious to each other's pasts and connections."
"Why would she do that?" Jess asked in confusion.
"Because she's a spiteful bitch. Because she can. I don't know and I don't even try to understand her. The point is, we were supposed to live like this forever, alone and miserable."
"But you remember. And I do too. Why?"
"The curse has a flaw, a way to break it. There is supposed to be a boy that would have the power to awake everyone from the curse and make them remember their past selves. And I'm that boy... I touched the Queen's mirror and it's like everyone's stories were downloaded in my brain."
"Downloaded?" Jess asked, still confused.
"Hum. Never mind. The thing is, some things were left out. I didn't know you were still alive and I don't know who the werewolf is."
"You still haven't told me why I have both memories from here and from there."
Nic sighed, it was his fault. "It's the Evil Queen's twisted irony. Having those two different lives in you head made you a bit mad, didn't it?" Jess nodded "Well that was the goal. She had a motive to keep you locked up and it was also fitting given what happened to me in Wonderland."
"What happened to you there?"
"That's a long story. Not one I'll tell right now. Anyway, it's important that you don't call me Peter, okay?"
"How long are we gonna be Nic and Jess? That's not the real us."
"But it is in a way, isn't it? Sure, our past is fake but what we did since the curse was cast is real too."
Jess put her head in her hands "It's too confusing. I don't know who I am."
"It will get better, I promise." Nic said, while taking her in his arms. "But for now on, you have to call me only Nic okay? You didn't ask for Peter did you?"
"Only to the blonde woman who took me back to the hospital."
Nic frowned "Aline's not going to be a problem for now. I just need them to trust me before I try to make them believe."
"Okay. I think I can do that. And I'll help you too." Jess added with a smile, feeling safe in Nic's arms.
"But you remember. And I do too. Why?"
The moment the hunting party started, Rachel knew it would be useless. Couldn't they hear how noisy they were being? There was no way a wolf couldn't hear them coming. Rachel sighed and look around. The hunting party was quite big, with at least thirty people. All men. This detail made her curious about Aline's whereabouts as she didn't see her anywhere. But she wasn't worried. Knowing her friend, she most likely went another way to avoid all this crowd. Lucky her, Rachel thought with a scoff. She hoped Aline was being careful though but noticing that Colin was nowhere to be seen as well, Rachel knew her friend would be safe. Lowering her gaze to her hands, she felt embarrassed. She didn't know why she had brought it, it was not like she could aim right or anything but here she was, waiting for Pedro and holding the bow and arrow she had found in the police station weeks before. Oddly, it felt right, holding the weapon in her hands. Like it had always been there and that is why she brought it, somehow she knew she had to. Her thoughts were interrupted as she noticed the men forming small groups of five and parting ways. She looked for Pedro and found him talking with Richard. She hesitated, after all that has happened between the two of them for the past few days, she was confused. Aline and Pedro seemed to think he had an interest in her but she didn't have a single clue about what he was thinking. Anyway, it was too late to pretend she didn't see them as Pedro just waved at her.
"Hey, I've found us a group." He said, while pointing at Richard and Sam.
"Great." Rachel replied with a small nod. She surely wasn't stupid, she knew Pedro was up to something.
"You're gonna shoot the wolf with that?" Sam asked, pointing at the arrow.
"Yeah. I thought it was better than to shoot it with a gun. But I came prepared anyway." Rachel replied, pointing at her gun placed on her belt.
She noticed Richard's smile but ignored it. She was here for the wolf, there was no way she was going to be distracted by him now.
Tobias and Jasmine have been riding all day in the desert. Nightfall was almost upon them and the camel was tired. They had decided to establish a camp for the evening. While Tobias was setting up a fire, Jasmine was thinking about the Cave of Wonders. It seemed to good to be true. But she knew she had to take a chance anyway. What the worse that could happen? If they didn't find it, they would return to Agrabah and find another way. When Tobias took a seat next to her, she decided to voice her concerns.
“I… I care about him…. Richard. And it hurts."
"Do you think it exists, this Cave of Wonders?"
"I truly don't know. I heard various tales about it but I haven't heard a single person claiming they had found it."
"So are we wasting our time? I fear for my father. The evil spirit will go after him and I took you with me, whereas you should have stayed to protect him."
"I couldn't let you go by yourself, Jasmine. If something happens to you... I would never forgive myself."
Jasmine smiled at him and took his hand "Nothing will happen to me, don't worry so much."
Tobias didn't say a word but just continued to look at her, with sorrow. He could never have her. She was a princess. Who was he to think he had a chance? Even if he hadn't been a soldier, he wouldn't deserve her. Not in a million years, he thought with resignation.
Getting up, he cleared his throat and pointed at the resting place he had set up for her.
"You should go rest. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow."
Jasmine didn't understand Tobias's mood change but she knew he was right. If they did find the Cave, they had to be able to face whatever will come their way.
Rachel detached herself a bit from her group and made her own path into the forest. She felt a bit overwhelmed by the tension between Richard and her. Besides, she always worked better on her own. Unfortunately for her, Richard joined her a few minutes later.
"You shouldn't be wandering here alone, you know."
"I know. But it's not like I'm that far from you guys anyway." Rachel replied with a smile, trying to dispel any awkwardness between them.
"True. But still, this wolf is dangerous. How's Tyler by the way?"
"Still unconscious but stable. Theo is no longer worried about him though, so that's good."
"Yeah it is."
They walked in complete silence for a few minutes until Rachel spoke up.
"I'm sorry about yesterday night.. I mean if I sounded harsh. I didn't mean to."
"No worries, we're okay." Richard said with a smile. She really didn't seem to notice that he liked her, he thought while looking at her. There was still hope for him.
"I'm glad." Rachel said while tapping lightly on his arm.
Rana was a bit worried. She didn't understand what was going on with Nic lately. First he asked weird questions, and now he was bailing out a mental ward patient. Which was apparently a big deal since Theo was freaking out. So Atie went looking for Nic by herself while she and Theo went looking for him as well. They went to his house but no one seemed to be there.
"So, is it that bad what Nic did?"
"You're kidding? The patient is unstable. I don't know what he was thinking about."
"Nic seemed convinced that it was all Irene's doing... The girl staying in the mental ward I mean."
"That's crazy. How could she have done that?"
"I don't know. Who diagnosed her?"
Theo slow down his pace, thinking "I don't remember actually. It wasn't me but it couldn't have been a setup."
"You know what? When we found them, we should get to the bottom of this story, before locking her up again."
"Yeah, you're probably right."
"Good. So that means our date is off?"
"What? No! I mean unless you don't-"
"No. I do." Rana interrupted him with a smile "You just don't seem in the mood for a date, that's all."
"Actually it makes me want to go even more."
Rana raised an eyebrow but she was glad "Good" she said again, smirking this time.
"I will be the ruler of this place one day, and I can do nothing to protect it.”
"What are the odds of us actually finding this thing?" Colin asked. He and Aline had been circling the woods for hours. Nothing. Occasionally they even heard the voices of the other hunting party. They were making too much noise.
"Oh, slimming to none, to be honest", Aline said. "But it was worth a shot. I don't like the idea of my friend getting attacked and the attacked just getting away. Even if it is just an animal."
Colin nodded. "I get it." Things had been slightly awkward between them since the encounter at the hospital, but they were both trying to brush it off.
"If we do find it, what then? Just kill it?"
"Yeah, what else?" Aline asked.
"What if it has a pack? There could be more of them out here", Colin pointed out.
"True, but we can't just let it go in the hope of it leading us to the pack. A few people even live here in the woods, remember?"
Colin nodded. "Aye. So, I was thinking..."
"Thinking. That must be dangerous for you", Aline joked.
Colin laughed a little. "I think that you and I should go out again."
"Oh, you do?" Aline smiled. "When?"
"Too short notice. I will not be a back-up choice", Aline joked. "This weekend?"
"Are you going to tell me what we're going to do on the date?" Aline asked.
"Nope. It makes life more fun", Colin smirked. They walked in silence for a while. And neither of them minded, just enjoyed each other's company.
Rachel had spend the rest of the hunting party with Richard and was really pleased. It was a bit awkward at first but the more they talked, the more comfortable they were being. It was almost as if they were back to where they were during Richard's campaign.
"So we kind of ditched Pedro and Sam huh?" Richard said, gesturing at the trees behind them.
"Oh yeah. I completely forgot about them." Rachel said, feeling a bit bad for her friend. But it was probably Pedro's intent so she quickly put her guilt aside.
"Me too." Richard admitted with a smile.
Rachel felt incredibly flustered when he smiled like that so she decided to change the topic.
"We're are so not gonna catch this wolf..."
"Probably not. Maybe it comes out only at night? The whole thing is really weird. Tyler was attacked near Celine's diner."
"Yeah, I don't know how it get that far into town without being spooked by anyone..."
"Maybe we should have done this hunting thing at night." Richard said half-joking.
"Yeah right. Like everyone here wouldn't love an excuse to forget about the curfew." Rachel said with a laugh.
"True. Oh by the way, do you have any plans for tomorrow night? I thought we could go grab a bite." Richard said casually, actually hoping it sounded casual. He didn't want to freak Rachel out. It was why he had avoided to say 'dinner' as it sounded way too date-ish.
Rachel was a bit taken aback by his offer. She wanted to say yes but she knew there was no way he liked her the way she liked him. But she was tired of trying to guess what was going on between them. He was the one asking after all. "Yeah... yeah okay. Sounds great." Rachel said with a small smile
Richard smiled widely, the kind of smile that made Rachel weak at the knees "Great, I'll pick you up around eight then."
They walked back to the edge of the forest, as the hunting party was coming to an end, both of them grinning like idiots the whole time.
When they actually found the Cave of Wonders, Jasmine couldn't believe her eyes. It was real, it had been real all along. The entrance was a simple entrance to a cave, which was probably what kept every nosy person away. But when they tried stepping inside, they felt an invisible barrier in front of them. They couldn't step forward, nor could they step back. And then Jasmine realized to look to the wall of the cave and noticed text written there. It told them to drop three gold coins to the ground. Jasmine realized that this also might have been something that would have stopped the previous travellers. Not everyone was a princess. She reached into the bag she had tied to her belt, and dropped three gold coins to the floor of the cave, as instructed. And suddenly the invisible barrier crushing them was gone.
He didn't want to freak Rachel out. It was why he had avoided to say 'dinner' as it sounded way too date-ish.
"That was close", Tobias said with a small smile.
Jasmine chuckled. Only then did she notice the skeletons in the corner. Perhaps everyone who went in didn't get out.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Tobias asked.
"I'm sure", Jasmine nodded. "If there is something here that will help us keep the spirit away, I'll take it."
They walked inside the cave in hesitation. At first it looked like nothing but an empty, dark cave. But then suddenly it lit up like a forest fire, and all around them they saw gold, silver, copper, rubies, sapphires, everything any poor man could hope for. The cave was full of riches. Tobias and Jasmine stared in awe for a moment before Jasmine turned back to look at the writing on the wall. At the same time she noticed that the three gold coins were gone.
"It says we can take one thing with us. But only one", Jasmine said. "How do we know what the right thing is?"
"I don't know", Tobias looked around the place. It seemed to go on for miles and miles. It seemed as if the cave had gotten bigger. Which it probably had.
"I think that's what happened to the people who tried to take more than one thing with them", Jasmine said quietly, pointing at the skeletons.
Tobias nodded, looking around. "Do you think it means one thing for each of us, or one thing for us both together?"
"I think it means together. We shouldn't take any risks."
Tobias walked over to a sword that was taller than he was himself, and seemed like the sharest blade he had ever laid his eyes on.
"Do you think this would be good for killing the evil spirit?"
"No. It's just a blade. We have those back at the palace, too. We need something different. Something... with magic", Jasmine said as she looked around. She came across a small, white box. It was sealed shut, but as Jasmine walked closer, she could swear she heard a sound from inside. Much like the sound of a heartbeat. "Do you remember what the spirit came in? Wasn't it a black box?"
"Yes", Tobias walked over to her and noticed the box as well. "Do you think.. that there could be a different kind of spirit inside that box?"
"It looks the same. And I can hear a heartbeat."
"But what if this is just another evil one?" Tobias asked. "Do we really want to risk it?"
"Look around. What else is there that could help us? There's nothing but riches, and we have enough of those", Jasmine said. "This is our only chance, and we need to take a risk to do it. I've heard of good spirits. And so have you, surely."
"Alright", Tobias said in hesitation, watching as Jasmine reached and took the box in her hands. Just then the ground of the cave began shaking.
"I think that's our sign to leave", Tobias said, dragging Jasmine out with her. And seconds after they were outside, the box in hand, the cave entrance closed. Simply snapped shut, making it seem like nothing but a big rock in the middle of a desert.
"I suppose we don't get a second try", Tobias joked a little as he helped Jasmine up from the ground. "Are you alright?"
"Yes. You don't have to worry about me", Jasmine smiled a little as she held the box in her hands.
"I do have to worry about you", Tobias smiled softly at her. But before Jasmine could respond to this, he continued: "Let's go, shall we?"
Jasmine nodded, following the man back to the palace.
She was a princess. Who was he to think he had a chance?
"I am exhausted", Paul announced as he walked into Celine's diner. It was late at night and they were finally done with the hunt. And to Celine's surprise it seemed that everyone who had been a part of the hunt walked in, hungry and tired.
Ian and Richard sat down at a table, and Pedro even managed to drag Rachel to sit down. She looked around for Aline, but she had already slipped out with Colin.
"So, you're Rachel, right?" Ian smirked at her. "Richard here has told us a lot about you. Do you want to know what he's told us?"
"Not in particular", Rachel said in a dull voice. Richard blushed a little whereas Pedro rolled his eyes at his friend's stupidity. "Ignore her, Ian. She's always like this."
Paul smirked at the group of his friends before turning back to look at Celine. "And how are you?"
"I'm fine. I missed you. I was worried", Celine said, leaning forwards and taking Paul's hands in hers.
"Did you find the wolf?" Celine raised her eyebrows.
"Well, no... but we will", Paul said.
"Uh-huh", Celine smiled before kissing him. "Well, I figured you could stay the night tonight. To keep me company."
"I'd be happy to", Paul said before kissing her back.
"Stop it with the PDA, guys!" Ian shouted from their table. Rachel turned to look at him in disbelief. "Are you five years old?"
"No, actually he's 7", Richard smiled at her, making Rachel's angry glare at Ian turn into a warm smile in Richard's direction.
Pedro watched them with a smile on his face. They were going to be alright.
"Thank you for walking me home", Aline said. "Again."
"No problem. But it is weird that I still haven't seen your place", Colin said as he walked Aline to her door.
"How about after we go out this weekend?" Aline smirked.
"Something to look forward to", Colin smiled. "I'll see you tomorrow."
"Good night, Colin."
Ines was walking home, trying to rush, actually, because it was almost dark and she was alone, against orders. She almost jumped out of her skin when she heard a voice speak:
"A woman shouldn't be out here alone at this time of the night."
She turned around to find a young man with sandy-blonde hair looking at her. He seemed awfully familiar to Ines, but she couldn't quite put her finger around it. "Who are you?"
"My name's Joseph", he said as he walked a tad closer. "You're Ines, right?"
"How do you know that?"
"Well, this is a small town. Everyone knows everyone."
"I haven't seen you around before", Ines pointed out.
"I keep to myself usually. But I'm quite the expert when it comes to hunting, so I figured to try and catch the wolf, do everyone a favor", Joseph smiled.
"That's very nice of you", Ines smiled back. She was both confused and intrigued by this man.
Before Joseph could speak further, they heard a voice behind them:
"Asshole! I'm walking here!"
"I'm sorry, sorry, I didn't notice you!"
They saw Ian and Atie standing in front of Celine's diner, and Atie was staring at her shirt, which seemed to be covered in coffee.
"If it makes you feel any better, it's ice coffee", Ian said quietly.
"No, it doesn't make me feel any better. If you thought about anyone but yourself for once, you'd notice people around you", Atie snapped.
"Bye, Ian. Good night", Atie walked off, and Ian just stood there, staring as she left.
"Ouch. Friends of yours?" Joseph asked.
"Not really. But they seem to have a thing for each other", Ines shrugged. "Anyway, it was nice to meet you, Joseph. I'll see you around."
She didn't notice the fact that he kept his eyes on her long after she turned her back on him.
"This isn't exactly the kind of first date I was expecting, to be honest", Rana said as she and Theo were in his office at the hospital, eating Chinese take-out.
"I know, and I'm sorry about that", Theo sighed. "I just couldn't get out of work. Patients just seem to be piling up."
"Not victims of the wolf attacks, though, right?" Rana asked.
"No", Tobias said. "There's a flu going around and I'm one of the only attendings on call today", He smiled at her. "You look incredible, though. Next time I'll take you somewhere nice."
"Hey, well, as long as the food is good, what does it matter?" Rana chuckled.
"What about the company?"
"The company is alright, too", Rana nodded with a smile on her face. "You're interesting."
"Interesting? Quite the contrary if you ask me", Theo snorted.
"I don't know. You're selfless, you're smart, you're sexy", Rana smirked. "I've seen worse guys."
"Yes but that doesn't make me interesting."
"Most guys would hang onto the fact that I just called you sexy", Rana pointed out.
"Maybe I want to impress you by being different."
"Or maybe you're different without even trying", Rana said. "Which makes you interesting."
"It's impossible to argue with you", Theo smirked. "I like that. I like you."
"I like you, too. You know, there is that annual carnival coming up tomorrow, remember?"
"Oh, they didn't cancel that?" Theo asked.
"Nah, they'll set up gates around the place. Anyway, wanna go with me? There's a ferris wheel and all that."
"Yes, I do", Theo smiled. "I do, very much, but.. can we not go on the ferris wheel?"
"Why not?" Rana frowned.
"I'm not a huge fan of heights", Theo said after a moment of silence.
Rana chuckled. "Ha. You're scared of heights."
"I wouldn't say scared."
"I would. Alright, no ferris wheel", Rana smiled. "But it's a date?"
"It's a date."
Holly was still in the hospital. She was now sitting in the chair next to Tyler's bed. She figured it'd be okay because no one else would be coming to visit that night anyway. She was writing a letter for when he'd wake up. She knew that it was a mistake, that she shouldn't be doing this. He wouldn't remember, simple words wouldn't make him remember. She would only make him think of her as crazy if he read the letter. But still the words came pouring out. About how she had missed him without even knowing she had, how she wanted him to remember, and how she loved him. She even left the letter on his night stand before quickly taking it back in her hands. She was being insane. She couldn't let him read it.
“That is not my name, don’t call me that”
Eventually she stood up from the chair and walked out of the room, giving the man she loved one last look. As she was headed out of the hospital, she bumped into someone.
"Watch where you're going", Holly muttered when she noticed it was Nic. Without saying anything else, she walked off.
Nic chuckled, holding her letter in his hands. He had come in earlier, and seen her writing it. But Nic had known she wouldn't actually let Tyler read it. So he had to take matters into his own hands. This might not work, but it was worth a shot. He walked over to Tyler's room and put the letter on the night stand before heading back home to Jess.