because I said I'm only human

Henry had gone, Renn had gone, Danny was...Aura alone knew where Danny was. Dylan hadn't seen him for days. It had been the same for years, ever since their father had died. Danny would vanish off on his own for days, having adventures, meeting new people, making new friends, all without Dylan. He'd tried not to mind, to tell himself that it wasn't personal, that they were just interested in different things, but Dylan wanted to spend time with his twin. He wanted them to be close. And Danny's constant quest to find new people to talk to made Dylan feel increasingly that he just wasn't good enough for him. Danny was smarter than him, that wasn't a secret, but they were brothers, that should have been enough to keep them talking. Dylan felt increasingly like he was being left behind. He'd seen for himself now how close Henry and Renn were, and it had made him jealous. Why wasn't he good enough?

Screw him. Dylan thought, as his hand slammed into the bank. He resurfaced, taking a deep lung-full of air as he stood up and removed his goggles. He threw them onto the bank where they landed directly at Lunarian's paws.
"You nearly hit me," the tiger complained in an unimpressed monotone. He was dripping wet too. The water on his coat caught the sunlight to make him shine.
"Damn," Dylan replied with a smirk, "you mean I missed?" Lunarian humphed. Dylan rested his hands on the bank and lifted himself out of the water with ease. He lingered a moment at the edge of the lake, his legs submerged up to the knees. Fine. If Danny thought he was better off without him, two could play at that game. Slicking his collar-length hair back and away from his face with his right hand Dylan jumped to his feet and grabbed his towel from the branch of the nearest tree.

Making use of the guard changing rooms, Dylan switched out his swimming trunks for his running shorts and shoes. He carried his vest in his hand as he headed for the door and back out into the sunshine. It was a bright day, a nice change from the rain, but there was a cold bite to their air. Lunarian was waiting for him. He'd been sharpening his claws on the tree by the lake and was already looking bored. They were due a boxing lesson later in the morning, but judging by the position of the sun they had more than enough time to run a few miles before breakfast. Dylan grinned, pulled on his vest and then ran straight past his familiar.
"You snooze, you lose, Lu!" he shouted back over his shoulder.

They soon settled into an easy pace side-by-side. They'd come a long way since they'd first started training, when they'd both ended a run complaining about aching muscles they hadn't known they'd even owned. Now an early morning run felt good. As their bodies became more and more finely honed, Dylan felt increasingly like they could do anything.

"Who do you suppose that is?" Dylan asked, spotting the young girl jogging along on the opposite side of the lake. She was slim, with copper-coloured hair, pulled back in a pony tail. There was something familiar about her, even from this distance.
"I don't know," Lunarian admitted, "but I'm sure she's pretty if the way you're staring at her is anything to go by." Dylan grinned and quickened his pace.

Closing in behind her (and enjoying the view despite all of his best intentions) Dylan slowed down again. He did recognise her. She'd joined the guards as a trainee at the same time he had, but had been assigned to a different company. He'd heard some of the other recruits talking about her and had known, with some certainty, that his father would not have approved of what they were saying. Dylan had kept his distance.
"Talk to her," Lunarian encouraged him coyly, flicking Dylan's legs with his tail. "You know you want to." Dylan threw him a look.

And then he drew alongside her.
"Hey," he smiled, glancing at her out of the corner of his eye, "Saffron, isn't it?"

because I said I'm only human


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