"If you were poisoned, wouldn't you feel sick?" Corban asked, thinking. This was confusing. "What's your birthday?"
"August twenty-fourth," Isabelle replied easily. "But I'm guessing today must be the twenty-fifth, right? Because I fell asleep..." She sighed; her hands were really starting to burn now.
Corban stared at her. "It's October. October nineteenth." If she was kidnapped, why would she be kept in a cave, unguarded, with a small fortune? Why would she had slept so long? Was she in a coma? Why hadn't she been in a hospital then?
Isabelle frowned in confusion for a moment, before laughing a little, shaking her head. "No, no, you must be mistaken. How could I have slept that long?" That couldn't be right. Nobody could sleep for months at a time, could they? But she wasn't sure now, and she stared up at him, swallowing hard. "It's got to be August... I mean, unless I fell asleep for a really long time, but... That doesn't make sense..."
"Believe me, it's October." Corban said frowning up at the darkening sky, "If it was August, it would still be a bit cold up here on the mountain, but at the bottom it would be hot. There's frost down there, you'll see it when we arrive." And if that didn't work as proof, there were always calendars and newspapers when they got to the city.
Calendars. Duh. There may not be any cell service up here, but the battery on his phone was good. He pulled it out and opened up the calendar, showing it to her. "See?"
"What the..." Isabelle took the strange object away from him, totally forgetting about the whole August/October thing, her eyes bright in wonder as she turned it around and over and backwards.
"What is this?" she said, grinning up at him, but obviously not about to give it back anytime soon. "It lights up! But there are words on it..." Were these buttons? She pressed one of them and jumped when the thing made a beeping sound. "Amazing..."
"It's a cell phone." He watched her quizzically. "They've been around for a couple decades. You talk to people on them. Of course, you can't make a call up here in the mountains."
Against his will, Corban found himself grinning at her enthusiasm. She looked like he'd just handed her the moon. Only, she acted like she didn't even know what it was, so she would have had to stay in her cave her whole life and never see the moon...
He dragged his rambling thoughts back to the present, and the little black phone in her hand. "It's not that cool. It doesn't even have a camera."
"A couple decades..?" Isabelle's smile immediately faded. If they had been around for that long, why had she never seen one? That didn't make any sense... She jumped again when she heard a knew sound:
She blinked. "Hello?" she said back, looking around before she realised the voice was coming from the cell phone. She glanced up at Corban, obviously confused. "Who is talking to me..?"
The voice continued, angry and ranting, spewing threats. Corban pressed a button quickly. "Nothing, just an old message. It's a recording." He'd already listened to it, sick to his stomach. He needed money, he was way too far into debt. "Ignore it."
"Well... Why was it yelling at us?" Isabelle's brow furrowed as she studied the cell phone a few more seconds, then handed it back. What was so great about a little black box that cursed at you? "I like your smile, by the way. It's very nice."
"He was yelling at me, not us." Corban said, stuffing it into his pocket and avoiding the question. His eyebrow raised at the compliment. No one had ever said his smile was nice before, of all things. "Thanks, I guess."
"Oh." Isabelle shivered; it was getting sort of dark now, and this jacket wasn't doing as well as one of her fur coats from home... Home... She shook her head, getting back to reality. "Why was he yelling at you?"
Corban exhaled, and there was a puff of fog in the cold air. "I owe him money." David Nolan was not a man you wanted to cross. His brother was even worse. "Forget about it." He kept walking, even though it was getting dark. They'd have to stop soon and build a fire. Instinctively, he started glancing around for a good place to camp.
Money... "Ah! So that's why you kidnapped me," Isabelle said with a nod. "Because you could get a ransom that way, right?" Why did she feel so calm about this though? Like it wasn't a problem. "You know, if you just go to the king and ask him, he's nice enough to probably give you as much as you need..." Father was always too nice.
"For the last time, I didn't kidnapp anyone!" Corban snapped, getting peeved. "I'd never even heard of you, or your father, before today."
Isabelle was frozen for a second before she forced herself to start walking again, but keeping a distance between herself and Corban. He was scary when he was mad... Keeping her mouth shut, she looked around, shoving her hands into the pockets of his jacket.
Corban's foot slipped for the first time during their hike, and he almost stumbled. "It's too dark, we should set up camp. This is as good a place as any." There was rock on three sides to shelter them from the wind, and no trees directly under them to brun if they lit a fire. He started gathering wood.
Still keeping silent, Isabelle sat against one of the rocks, pulling her knees up to her chest. Was she supposed to be doing something? She opened her mouth to ask, but shut it again; why risk getting yelled at again? So annoying.
Corban set up a fire quickly, then pulled out a little metal lighter. Soon he had a roaring fire going, the orange and yellow flames leaping and dancing, casting everything else into shadow.
Other than the fire, and the occasional owl, they were in complete silence. Corban liked it better that way. He settled down near the fire, using his arm as a pillow.
Isabelle watched the flames for a while, entranced by them. She sighed softly and finally crawled over to Corban, shrugging off his jacket and draping it over him like a blanket. It was his, after all. Besides, with the fire, it didn't really matter; she'd be warm without the jacket.