Chapter 16: A Leader

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Author's Note:

We are ONE chapter away from Norah and her team going to find their dragon! I plan on posting two chapters at once after work tomorrow because I feel too bad leaving you all on a cliff hanger. 

I took my last finals on Wednesday, and I'm literally dead from the lack of sleep and constant studying, lol. But whatever, now I get two weeks off before my next college quarter starts, and high school (I do both college and high school) is a breeze, I literally have two classes, art, and P.E.

Also, I'm almost to ONE THOUSAND readers!!! Holy crap guys, I never thought I'd get more than maybe fifteen reads, but holy shit, here we are with almost a thousand readers. I am so thankful to have you guys, and I really appreciate you guys leaving comments telling me how to be better, even if it's just saying I used the wrong there or your.

Please vote for this chapter, it really helps motivate me to really proofread everything.

I stood leaning against the tree Holland had told Easton and I to meet this morning. My arms folded over my chest as I avoided the rays of the early morning sun. A thin coat of mist blanketed the field around me, and a nip filled the air which seemed to affect my teammates than it did me. And unlike Cora who constantly wept for the heat of summer, I wished for it to be colder.

My foot tapped against the trimmed grass impatiently. Of course, Easton would be the one to show up late for our new morning run. But as I thought of the little scale-sucker, I saw his athletic figure appear through the mist in front of me.

Annoyed, I let out a long sigh, pushing myself against the tree to stand upright. "You're late."

He shook his head, swinging his arms in front of him in for a quick stretch. "Relax, Princess, I know these paths like the back of my hand, we still have plenty of time before we have to meet Holland and the others."

Silently, I mocked his voice and found a sense of satisfaction from it. "I mean your sense of direction is amazing, I mean it's not anyone who can walk into the bathroom door." I sneered, giving him a side look.

He huffed, easily catching up with my jog in a few long strides. "One, it was in the middle of the night. Two, I've grown up on these islands, and already know where the mile markers are. Three, I don't remember asking for your opinion on my sense of direction." He smirked. "You know because I'm an actual dragon rider."

"You know, most people just give two excuses for sucking at something." Easton pushed a tiny bit faster, just enough to be ahead of me and lead me into the small forest Holland had told us to run our ten-mile punishment in. I didn't mind Easton leading because I knew he would tire out faster and fall behind while I breezed past him and finished first.

"Whatever, Princess." Easton rolled his eyes. The two of us fell silent, keeping our eyes drawn forward in a silent protest to talk to one another. But I had to admit, Easton was in better shape than I thought. When we passed the number "3" carved into the trunk of a tree, he hadn't even broken a sweat. "5" came by longer than I wanted, and we were both panting slightly.

Feeling myself starting to tire out, I slowed my fast jog and fell a foot behind Easton. He grinned, looking over his shoulder at me. "You tiring already, Princess?"

"No," I replied flatly. "I just know how to conserve my energy when we still have five miles to go."

He chuckled like he knew something I didn't and sprinted off down the mulched path like lightning. "Hey!" I shouted, chasing after him. My arms swung side by side, the trees beside me moving faster than they had been before. My breath picked up as Easton veered off the trail and into the forest. I pursued, jumping over a bush and weaved in and out of the tree lines to catch up with him.

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