Sally, Part 41
Syrin was the first to stand, wordlessly commanding the other two men to follow. All three had finished their cherries long ago and were as ready as they'd ever be. Stacey wondered why Syrin had stood. Maybe this mission was real, and Syrin's desire to save his brother overcame his love of the soft grass and cool breeze. Stacey could think of no other reason. Even slavers had to enjoy slowing down for a moment. He wanted very strongly to believe that they were going on this journey for the reasons Mattias gave, and for a moment, he almost allowed himself to.
The forest looked terribly ominous. Behind the timberline was nothing but black, even the brilliant sunset to the east could not break through the thick branches. Stacey wondered if there was another way, but said nothing. As they approached the first two trees, unofficial sentinels guarding the path, Stacey thought he saw something out of the corner of his eye, a small person, but when he turned to look the vision had vanished. He immediately told himself that he must be seeing things, but the jumping of his stomach would not listen. This forest is not where he wanted to be, but Mattias and Syrin kept moving, and his legs could do nothing but follow.