Ebb and Flow: Tides of the Heart — The Wilds fanfiction

Between Leah Rilke and Fatin Jadmani and Toni Shalifoe and Shelby Goodkind as romantic.

Chapter One: Shifting Sands

The sun was an unforgiving blaze in the sky, leeching color from the sand beneath their feet. Leah Rilke couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt this parched, her throat a raw chasm begging for relief. Fatin Jadmani trudged beside her, her usual aura of confidence dimmed by the swelter of the afternoon heat. There was the ocean, infinite, taunting with its undrinkable expanse of salt water. There was the sky, a static blue canvas. And there was the island, their unsolicited home, thrumming with secrets just beneath its lush canopy.

Elsewhere, Toni Shalifoe’s temper flared as surely as the fire they struggled to keep alive, the strikes of flint and steel sparking frustration as much as flame. Shelby Goodkind knelt opposite her, trying to coax the fire with a gentleness that Toni found infuriating and endearing in the same breath. Their friends, a group of disparate girls brought together by circumstance, had spread out on their own tasks, but it was the four of them who found themselves adrift in the fray of their shared tumult.

Leah and Fatin had been walking for hours, the silence between them a dense fog. It was Fatin who broke it, her voice surprisingly soft. “We should’ve seen something by now, right? Like a stream, a pond, anything.” Leah’s jaw tightened, but she couldn’t argue. Their water supply was dwindling dangerously low; the last storm had been a week ago, and they were all on edge.

Back at the camp, Toni sucked in a sharp breath as her hand slipped, the flint scraping her skin. “Damn it!” she cursed, more at herself than anything. Shelby reached out, her touch light on Toni’s hand. “Let me see,” she murmured. There was a concern there that made Toni’s heart thrum a dangerous rhythm, but the mask of annoyance was easier to wear. “I’m fine,” she snapped, but didn’t pull away.

The crunch of dry leaves underfoot had Leah pausing. She crouched, ran her fingers through the foliage, and there it was. The subtle dampness of the earth beneath, a promise. She met Fatin’s gaze, a spark igniting between them, hope mingling with fear. “Dig,” was all Leah said, and they set to work with whatever they had – hands, sticks, desperation. The soil yielded, bit by bit, a burgeoning dampness seeping through.

Shadows grew long as Toni and Shelby finally managed to build a fire that crackled with life. Toni watched the flames weave an intricate dance, Shelby’s face aglow with the firelight. They were close, enough to share warmth, and Shelby's hand brushed against hers as she shifted closer. Her eyes were filled with something too potent for the bonfire between them, and for a moment Toni’s world narrowed to the gravity in Shelby’s gaze.

Water. It was a mere trickle at first, but as Leah and Fatin burrowed further, the earth relinquished its grip on a hidden spring that bloomed beneath their frantic hands. Laughing, crying, they drank their fill, the cool sweetness a balm to their parched souls. They were more than the sum of their parts in that moment – survivors, yes, but something more. Fatin reached for Leah’s hand, her eyes shining with unshed tears and a question, and this time Leah didn’t hesitate to squeeze back.

The night settled with a gentleness contrary to the day’s hardship. Toni and Shelby sat by the fire, the words they didn’t say simmering between them. Meanwhile, Leah and Fatin returned to camp, carrying the promise of life. Their shared triumph wove through the group, igniting whispers of hope. That night, as they huddled close for warmth, the lines between them blurred – friends, enemies, something like siblings, and those whose hearts dared to beat in tandem. Amidst the unforgiving wilds, connections formed and strengthened, tethers in a storm-tossed sea.

Chapter One of "Ebb and Flow: Tides of the Heart" revealed the first fissures in their makeshift society, the trials that would either break them or bind them closer. It was about more than survival now; it was about the unraveling threads of humanity that tethered them heart to heart, soul to soul, in the vastness of their isolation.

Get the next chapter custom-written just for you