Before I could collide with the ground, his arms wrapped around me and sat me upright on the bed.
"What do you want with me?" I turned to face him only to be greeted with a frown. The thumping in my temple, died down but not to the point I could even think properly.
"Nothing, I just want to keep you safe. I've been assigned to do so-"
"No, what do you really want from me?" It was becoming increasingly hard to believe his outlandish stories and I really couldn't tell whether it was a pure truth or simply something fabricated in his mind.
He let out a deep pent-up breath. "Take this. It'll make you feel better." He fished into his pocket and unwrapped a piece of cloth offering me a pale white pill.
"What is it?"
"It helps with after-effects of shifting. It'll calm down headaches and dizziness."
"I'm pretty sure we didn't time shift or whatever you called it, to where ever we are right now." I looked around in the little room that surrounded me, the wooden beam barely holding up, the scent of sea salt engulfed the air, and the wooden and metal decorations scattered around the place.
"Location shift. And what makes you so sure?"
Wearily, I glanced down at the white object that was placed in my hand, I turned and looked in his warm gentle eyes and saw no malice of any kind, maybe what he said was the truth, or maybe not. All I knew was he wasn't a bad person. My racing heart was put a little bit at ease.
His eyes were burning into my cheeks and it was like he could sense my nervousness, "Take it," He encouraged, "It'll make you feel better."
Without a second thought, I downed the small tablet and swallowed hard making sure it wouldn't get lodged in my throat.
Instantly I began feeling better; my migraine was fading, the pain between my eyes halted and the dizziness stopped.
"Works like a miracle, doesn't it?"
I nodded, "What is it?"
"It's from my organization. They give it to rookies and first years since the whole experience can be quite daunting. For your first time, I'd say you handled it pretty well, most definitely better than the rest. I remember my first time, a harrowing experience. " I could tell what he was trying to do, put me at ease and comfortable space so that I couldn't feel threatened or scared in any manner. And it was working.
"I know I look like the clean, cut guy to you that never make a mistake. But I didn't choose proper coordinates. I ended up in Wales. Actual Wales, Milford Haven. You could imagine how shocked the locals were when they saw a young English boy, swimming in the middle of the marina."
For the first time, I smiled. "You were in the middle of a river."
He nodded. "More or less. Crazy, right?"
"Yeah. It is." It was becoming clearer to me that he wasn't dangerous, at least not how I viewed him. No skittish, eccentric behavior, just refined and somewhat calming.
He proceeded to start walking away, closer towards the door to the far end of the sparse room. "Where are you going?" I had to remind myself to breathe and not haste into assumptions. He wasn't a bad person and he didn't want to hurt me.
"To get you some food in you, I assume you must be hungry and thirsty." And he was right. I didn't realize, the empty deep feeling I was feeling inside me. I didn't know how long I was out for but I just knew I needed some sort of nourishment.
Standing up, I was eager to follow him. Even though I knew I was safe, it wasn't wise taking unnecessary risks. "I'm coming with you."
"Are you sure? I could easily bring it here."
"No. I'm going with you. It'll do me some sort of exercise."
"Still, you really should be resting."
"Is there a reason that you don't want me to go?"
His trail of gaze sealed with mine. "No. Let's go then."
The sea salt strongly hit me. The wooden beams of the worn-down shack struggling to support each other's weight. The whole shanty surrounded by vast trees and crawling with plants whilst the hot sun reigned down on them. Taking in the bewitching view of the sea, I knew I was lucky to be alive.
Isaiah made his way up to me, in his hand, a big green leaf folded filled with a clear substance. Water. "Here." He offered, holding the greenery near my face.
"Is it fresh?" Tentatively he nodded. "Did you drug it?"
Rolling his eyes and sighing heavily he asked. "Do you want it or not?" A smirk forming on his lips. It seemed like he didn't have any products of his own, never once did I see him carrying anything. Maybe he traveled light?
Throwing my head back, in taking gulps of freshwater, which I guess was from a nearby stream. After it finished and I drained every last drop possibly, I found myself craving more. There was only so much a flimsy leaf could hold.
He must have gauged my reactions as he attempted taking the leaf from the comfort of my hands. "Let me get you more."
I shook my head, I didn't want to have to be dependent on a complete stranger. "No-"
"What?" He smiled. "And risk you running away, not a chance." Making another attempt to tear the leaf from my hand but as quickly as he lunged for it, I moved it away. What was the desperation for?
It seemed that now I need to know more than what he wants to tell me or whatever this was couldn't work. And whoever wanted me, simply couldn't have me. "Why? Am I a prisoner here?" I held his gaze, unflinching. If he thought intimidation would work, for right now regardless it wouldn't work on me.
"No, but there's no way that I'm letting you wonder in that dense forest alone." I followed his line of sight, leading to the densely packed, thick forest, that seemed not to have an ending point. Even if I tried, the possibility of making it one mile in there, by myself was low. Very low. If he was trained for different kinds of environments and certain situations, he'd be trained for this.
"Fine, then. I'm coming with you." Brushing past him, I emerged deeper into the jungle, branches stuck out like twisted snakes, the green emerald emergent clashed with the grey sky. It seemed like our sky itself was suffering, mirroring billions of people's emotions.
This mirrored the same dilemma from yesterday, but this time we weren't running. And nothing visibly seemed to be chasing us. Naturally, we fell into a comfortable stride, linking to each other's movement. "You need to tell me everything, Isaiah. Who you work for-"
"I told you already. An organisation."
"Okay, but what's their name? What do they want with me? I need all these details you keep leaving out. Please, tell me." I might have seemed desperate but if I could appeal to him, I was almost certain he'd reveal to me all he knew.
His face softened. "I work for an organisation called the Nations, Alexis."
I nodded. "And why did they send you to get me?"
Then his features hardened, maybe contemplating if he should tell the truth. I hoped it was the truth because his expression was becoming increasingly hard to read, as the emotion in it seemed to drain out. "I don't know." Was he lying? "Really, I'm confused as you are."
"Are you certain?"
"Is there any reason I have, to lie to you?" His voice was so distant, detach, that I truly wondered if he was even invested in this conversation.
"Okay, but do you want to help me? Or were you forced to? And how did you know where to find me?" I don't know why I even needed a response to that, if he was telling the truth it didn't matter if I was willing to do this. All that mattered was why he wanted to do this.
"We've been monitoring you for months now, we knew where you lived, your relationship with your family. And your relationship with Mr. Wright." That was the name belonging to Eaton, I never chose to abide by his last name and I never will. "And I'm sorry for the way he treated you, it was messed up. Regardless we knew you were planning to take your chances and run away, it was just knowing a matter of when. All the people you had to leave behind, we're aware of all of them. Alexis, I am not your enemy, you need to believe that."
Throughout his whole explanation, he didn't once fall on the topic of whether or not he wanted to do this willingly, but I felt it wasn't a necessary push. If I was stuck with him, I knew it's time for him to start answering my questions. Every single one of them.
But, maybe he was right, I mean he saved me from that monster, he kept me safe, he made sure that when I was most vulnerable I wasn't alone. "You're right-"
That ringing, shriek echoed waves upon waves of thundering vibrations. Whatever that creature was, it'd found us again. But how? How was that even possible? How could it have possibly known where we were?
"Ready?" I looked at him, his eyes glowing with adrenaline. Before I could even attempt to even protest, that agonizing blinding flash, filled my senses.
Falling. I was falling helplessly passing parts of the sky in a split second. The air was too thin. Winds too harsh. Stale tears trickled down my cheeks, I was in shock, the whole world was now moving in slow motion. Every passing moment represented all the parts that made up me; Evan, my mother, my father. All the people I subsequently left behind. Maybe it was honestly for the best, truthfully I knew that surviving on my own was edging on absolutely impossible but one thing my father always managed to hammer into my head, was never stay in a place that's mentally and emotionally draining, that's how you truly lose yourself. All the aspects, the hopes, the dreams, the aspirations, that make you, you. Gone. Never, ever find yourself in that situation. Stupid really thinking it was the right thing to do. But either way, I'd be free, so I couldn't r
Fifteen minutes later of speechlessly walking and mostly blending into the shadows we arrived at our destination, to be honest, I was still trying to grasp what Isaiah told me, yes I mean it's his mission to protect me but I never actually thought he really cared. Maybe I really should put my trust in him.But then how many people have screwed me over, the people I thought I trusted the most. I shouldn't be so naive to fall for his tricks. You're better than this, sternly I had to remind myself.You get nothing from putting your faith in others.The vast change of environment slightly stunned me, coming out from the vast busy, crazy streets into the somewhat quiet green area, the complex more like a skyscraper which merged to appear as a single mansion without a doubt looked out of place with the rest of the greenery. But this couldn't possibly be our destination."We're here."I
Chapter four It was weird really, I mean I saw myself, I saw a reflection of me. Tell me why did it feel so unusual, it didn't seem like me, I swear. Having had a long-needed shower I was gifted the tight attire I was currently wearing, the figure-hugging dress, black as night with even darker boots paired with a leather jacket. Everything pronounced my curves, but I was covered. I knew I was but I couldn't help but feel so naked. I guess I was too oblivious to notice that almost all of them wore black and dark colors. Was that a requirement or just a choice? Presentable. I looked presentable. Zee helped me pack my hair into a tight bun, it was a two-person job. They weren't allowed makeup, I knew that itself was a must, but it didn't even occur to me why they would, they were agents wouldn't it just be a huge waste of time? Nevertheless, they were both naturally beautiful, I would be lying if it didn't make me a l
"Alexis?" I recognized that voice. This was a dream. "Alexis!" The voice strained, unsure what to do. Another series of footsteps charged through, followed by another and then another until I lost count. Wet. I was wet. My cheeks felt unbearably damp. The paralysis slowly drained from my systems. A dream. It was a dream. Forcefully I snapped my eyes open the smell of sulfur disintegrated and sweet chocolate filled my senses instead. Instantly I locked my eyes onto Zee, her expression screamed everything, fear. Absolute fear possibly the overwhelming thought that I was the key to fixing the world, I could remember what she said about me being the 'savior' and Isaiah agreed with her, my mind flowed back to him saying he didn't know why they wanted me and he seemed surprisingly honest. Did he lie to me? If he did, how, why would he choose to slip up like that, right in front of me? Could I trust him?
With the boys already explaining to us that there was no one around for miles, I think it really dawned on everyone that this was deadly serious, eradicating the threat of an intruder instead was something we all could cling to, even hoped for, anything was better than the truth. But to our dismay, the boys extinguished our hope. My hope. Privately they chose to talk from earshot away from me, probably what they thought was for my own good. As if. They practically had to pry Isaiah away from me, he was so reluctant to go that when he left his fire and warmth died with him, at least I had Zee still by my side she thought it was best for me not to be left alone. I couldn't help but agree with her, silently of course. If they were nervous, how should I be feeling? Fearful? Scared? After their private get-together, all the boys stormed back into the room, Veronica still lingered in the hallway like she was anxious to come close to me, not sc
Chapter five My eyes felt heavy, my breath hitched, my body weak and despite it being morning since the sunlight ripped through the curtains I was still undoubtedly finished. Sleep didn't seem enough for me currently, maybe it was because I couldn't get enough of it or maybe because I didn't want to. Stress does extraordinary things to your body. I felt his presence before I heard his voice, "Good morning." My eyes flickered to him, Isaiah, standing towards the door fully clothed, holding a bottle of purple thick liquid, his eyes traveled down to the bottle too, "Oh I made a smoothie for you, you were fast asleep I thought you needed all the rest you could get, " Smiling he handed me the bottle, "Apples, grapes, and strawberries. I thought you'd prefer that over the protein-packed one we're required to drink, doesn't taste as good." Gratefully I accepted the bottle with my non-injured hand, his eyes glazed over to my bandaged one, "How's
It was hard getting ready with one damaged hand, but Zee being the type of person she is, helped me with everything. The pain was slowly subsiding and the pain killers seemed to be doing their job well enough. The soft fabric clung tightly to my skin, I guess they didn't wear anything loose-fitting. Tight black athletic wear pants and a sleeveless top. It looked relatively normal, nothing overly fancy like yesterday, for that I was grateful. Veronica insisted on wearing makeup and edged on forcing me to, when it was clear that at least for now nothing particle-filled will be even touching my face she dropped the subject. We were about to 'train', that meant physical activity, right? Wouldn't she just sweat the makeup off? Or was it so easy for her that she didn't even break a sweat? But weren't they forbidden to wear makeup or were those rules just a 'guideline' meant to be there but not meant to be fully followed?
Hastily I nodded, knowing that if I spent a moment of hesitation, I would just chicken out. And I needed this training, I had no idea how to protect myself. So I guess it's essential for survival. "Okay." Leading me to a training mat, he looked into my eyes, there were gentle, soft, somewhat understanding, "Don't worry. It's you're first time, I'm not going to go full out, Alexis. We'll build you up there, and one day you'll be as good as me, maybe even better." Despite him smiling up reassuringly, the only question that seemed to burn through my head was how long did I really have? Not even Isaiah could soften that worry. I tried to muster up what was my best attempt of a smile, it didn't seem to convince him, but he took what he could get. "Right. Position your body like this." His hands grabbed my waist, even though I was clothed I swear I still feel his bare skin, the burning and the tingling sensation I was feeling was so enticing a