The Mission, Part 2

You can read part 1 of this story here.

The Mission

He kicked her, still sound asleep in the tent, and snarled, “Get up!” Instinct made her jump into a defensive stance while her brain sifted through the morning fog. 

“Think you’re tough?” He laughed sarcastically. She cautiously watched as he leaned over the fire, put rough food on a metal plate, and handed it to her. “Eat.” Reluctantly, she did as he commanded. She had a mission to complete, and for now, she needed him. It didn’t matter if last time they’d vowed never to set eyes on each other again. Circumstances change.

They eyed each other wearily as he broke down camp. When she finished the food, she dropped the plate at his feet. She needed him, but she didn’t have to act like it. He pushed her. “Bitch. Pick it up!” She strode purposefully away. He grabbed her arm, pulled her back, and close against his chest. 

“NO!” She cried and pushed back. They fell to the ground, struggling for dominance. Rolling on the icy ground, she kicked and punched, while he held her off, his anger building.  Finally, he overcame her fight. Sitting on her legs, holding her arms in front of her he spat on the ground beside her. “Woman stop! I get it. Neither of us wants to be here. Get over yourself.” 

He loosed her unexpectedly, stood up, and continued breaking down the camp. She slowly stood, wiped herself off, and walked over to him. Tentatively touching his shoulder, she said, “Cal…” He brushed her off. 

“There’s nothing you can say, Caro. Just pack the tent and let’s go. We have to reach the cliffs before dark, and I’m not waiting for you. The weather isn’t going to hold out either.” It had always been like this between them. Words were mostly unnecessary; actions were their love language until they weren’t. 

The tent packed, they distributed the gear evenly and started across the moor. The cliffs in the distance beckoned. Caro needed to stay focused. I can’t let this distract me. The mission is too critical. That was easy to say back home, but here, watching the muscles in his back ripple, and hearing him breathe as they quickened their pace: well this was a different story.  

373 words


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