camp staghorn - 4
it’s finally here - been a second ik. updates may be a tad slow these coming two weeks because so much stuff is about to be going on but hang tight. i might extend the story and just have the parts be a little shorter so it’s more manageable because right now it’s suppose to be around 9 parts. anyway, enjoy!
masterlist, AO3, main masterlist
Hours later the memory of Rowan’s face as he wrapped the towel around her was still drifting around Aelin’s mind like a feather in the wind.
He looked so unguarded, his features soft and his perpetual frown absent. Aelin wished she could have paused time right there. She wished she could’ve taken a moment to study him. It made her want to pick up a pencil and sketch him though the most she could draw would be a lopsided stick figure. If she were an artist she would’ve made him her muse.
Her campers, however, demanded revenge, an eye for an eye. As far as they were concerned, Rowan had made a direct attack on Aelin. A punishable offense. They’d been eagerly chattering all afternoon, developing plan after plan of intricate ways to right Rowan’s wrong. Aelin, though, was a little preoccupied.
She desperately needed to snap out of it, she needed to splash some cold water on her face and come back to reality. Rowan had trespassed into their camp site and outwardly tampered with their plumbing, she couldn’t let it go now.
No, Aelin Galathynius wasn’t really the kind of girl who let things go. It didn’t matter how attractive the perpetrator was.
Aelin and her girls now found themselves roaming aimlessly through the main camp. Technically it was their rest time when they were supposed to cool down and get out of the sun for a while. They were on a different mission though, they needed to scope out Rowan’s camp.
Luckily, it wasn’t long before they were found. His boys were loud and rambunctious their voices led Aelin’s group right to them like a bread trail in the woods. They were on the rock wall, taking turns racing each other up while the others cheered from below.
Each boy was suited up in harnesses and helmets. Aelin might’ve spent a little too long checking out Rowan. He was at the bottom of the wall with a rope attached to his harness, acting as one of the counselors managing the boys as they climbed up and then propelled down.
Aelin deduced it was the perfect time to strike, they were distracted and unsuspecting. He likely didn’t intend for her to have a new plan up her sleeve so soon.
Aelin and her girls kept their distance, crouched behind a line of tall pine trees that acted as the perfect cover.
“Well, ladies, what’s the plan?” Aelin inquired.
The girls gave each other a few affirming nods, silently agreeing upon a plan.
“We think we should put a butt load of salt into their water jugs back at camp,” Ansel finally spoke up.
“Yeah, they’ll have to be thirsty now and drink all their water. Then they’ll have to fill them up when they get to camp,” Borte declared.
Aelin decided to let her girls take the lead on this one and agreed. “Well, let’s go grab all the salt shakers from the dining hall.”
The girls nodded their heads in excitement, racing back down the path. Aelin followed behind, making sure none of their commotion drew unwanted attention.
After conjuring up at least 14 salt shakers and even an extra container of salt they found in a cabinet they trekked to cabin 1E as denoted on the map in the front of the dining hall.
That map has turned out to be quite convenient indeed.
They went to work quickly, splitting up and unscrewing the lids of the three multi-gallon water dispensers around the boys’ camp. Their hour of rest was quickly coming to a close and they needed to execute their plan quickly.
Aelin and the girls dumped generous amounts of salt into each jug. Ansel even made rounds stirring each one with a stick.
“Where did you get that stick?” Aelin asked.
“The ground,” Ansel replied simply, continuing to stir in the white granules.
“And you're stirring their water with it?” Aelin clarified.
“They’ll survive,” Ansel said earnestly as she removed the stick from one water jug and started on another. Aelin only shrugged, she probably wasn’t wrong.
The girls heard laughter from afar and perked up.
“Put the lids back on!” Aelin commanded quietly. The girls scrambled to cover the water again and camouflage themselves in the forest.
Aelin tightened the lid on the remaining jug and raced to join her girls concealed behind the trees and undergrowth.
The laughing got louder as the group got closer and closer, making their way up the rough dirt path. When they came into view Aelin could tell with their sweaty, flushed faces that they were definitely in need of water.
Much to Aelin’s luck as soon as Rowan came over the slight incline he started filling his empty water bottle with the dispenser situated just outside his camp’s cabin. The other boys also lined up at the various water stations, taking turns.
“Rowan,” one of the boys spoke up. “This water tastes funny.”
“Camp water always tastes funny,” another boy replied. “I’m sure it’s okay,” Rowan insisted. He squirted some water over his face in an attempt to cool off after being in the hot sun for hours. His cheeks were red, heated by the sun, it made his green eyes impossibly greener to the point they resembled the bright green of the surrounding foliage. He ran a hand down his face and through his hair.
Immediately, as soon as the water hit the boys’ tongues, they started spitting it out, Rowan included. A few yucks and why is it so salty could be heard, but the best part was definitely the boys’ faces. Even Rowan’s was morphed into an expression of pure repulse.
Aelin’s girls struggled to contain their giggles, clamping their hands over their mouths in a futile attempt to stifle them. Rowan seemed to be the only boy to clue into the muffled noises coming from the forest that definitely weren’t the chatter of songbirds. Aelin could tell his eyes were searching the surrounding greenery, on the lookout for anything amiss.
“Alright, I’ll go get us some fresh water, okay guys?” Rowan decided.
The boys nodded their agreement, a few still wiping at their mouths. Rowan turned around, starting down the path back to the main camp once again. A few of the girls around Aelin gave each other silent high fives, celebrating their successful prank. One more point for Aelin.
Aelin was about to suggest that they move out and get ready to feign innocence back at lunch when a pair of thick arms wrapped around her waist and hoisted her up.
“Thought you were sneaky, huh?” Rowan spoke directly into Aelin’s ear, his breath ruffling the golden blonde hair that had escaped from her ponytail.
Rowan spun her around and exclaimed to his boys, “I’ve caught the offender!”
Her campers were playing along, pulling at Rowan’s shirt, trying to save their counselor. Even Aelin was laughing as she was trying to wiggle out of Rowan’s strong embrace but he kept her back pressed firmly to his chest.
“What should we do with her boys?” Rowan asked.
“Make her walk the plank!” A boy with curly brown hair shouted, punching his fist in the air.
“Alright,” Rowan conceded and began dramatically leading Aelin towards the dock down by the lake.
“No! Rowan, no, please!” Aelin began struggling but she couldn’t keep the smile off of her face.
“What else do you suggest, princess? I can’t just let you go free after committing such a crime.”
Aelin shifted just enough so she could face Rowan better, “I’ll do anything,” she breathed in such a way that she knew it would catch Rowan off guard. Just as she predicted, Rowan’s arms loosened for a second. Men were just too easy.
Aelin took the moment of reprieve gratefully and tore out of Rowan’s grasp, dashing back into the forest for cover. Rowan chased her, twigs snapping close behind. She bolted, swatting low hanging branches out of her way and gritting her teeth as thorns tore at her shins but she couldn’t afford to be caught again. She could hear Rowan following but losing ground as the forest grew denser.
Aelin took the moment of reprieve gratefully and tore out of Rowan’s grasp, dashing back into the forest for cover. She knew Rowan was chasing after her by the sound of twigs snapping close behind. She increased her speed, swatting at low hanging branches and gritting her teeth as thorns tore at her shins, but she couldn’t afford to be caught again. Rowan began to lose ground as the forest grew denser while Aelin was able to maneuver through from years of experience playing hide and seek in the woods with Aedion.
The forest suddenly opened up into a small meadow, long grass and bright wildflowers swayed back and forth with the breeze. Aelin looked back to determine Rowan’s position for only a moment when he was on her, pulling her down into the delicate green grass that spread across the field like a blanket.
They were both panting and could still hear the shouting of their campers through the trees. Aelin and Rowan were both on their backs, gulping down air.
“You know I’ll have to get you back for that now.”
Aelin pinched his side, “I know.”
Rowan only swatted her hand away before pushing himself back up to his feet. He held a hand out for Aelin, an offer. Aelin decided to take it, allowing him to effortlessly pull her to her own feet. He held onto her hand for a beat longer than necessary before letting it return back to her side.
Rowan was studying Aelin, making her suddenly feel self-conscious. Was there grass in her hair?
“What are you staring at?” Aelin finally caved.
Rowan smirked. “Nothing, just thinking about how I should repay you for that salt water fiasco.”
“Do your worst, Whitethorn.”
“I intend to, Galathynius.”
hope y’all like it so far & you’ll get some more rowan’s part of the story & his revenge in the next part. very fun. xoxo. let me know if you wanna be added to my rowaelin taglist!
taglist: @live-the-fangirl-life // @rowaelinismyotp // @gosuckadickghostman // @camilamartinezdunne //
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