I gently pull my black tank top over the bandages covering my entire side and proceed to slip on a pair of jean shorts (I think you can guess what color they are by now). I pulled my hair up into a high ponytail and slipped on my boots before exiting my room and walking down the stairs. As usual, I was the first one up, no surprises there considering I hardly ever sleep.
I turn on the stove and begin to boil some water for tea before digging through the fridge for eggs and bread. I figure I’ll make myself some breakfast while waiting for these numbskulls to wake up. They can’t be that tired, after all, I did all the work last night.
I pop the bread in the toaster and begin to heat up a pan for the eggs. I glance at the time on my watch, 5:26, that means I have approximately forty-five minutes before Devin wakes up, I’ve figured out he’s a morning person, the other three...not so much.
I finish cooking and take a seat at the table eating my breakfast in silence, though I know it won’t be silent later after all Devin is a loud person and I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s on drugs.
I place my plate in the sink and turn it on as I begin to clean up my mess. I glance at my watch again, 6:07. I continue washing off my plate and pan as a loud thud echoes through the house followed by the sound of shattering glass. I silently slide open the knife drawer as I hear Jason yell out.
“I’M GOING TO KILL YOU DEVIN!!!” I instantly relax and close the drawer; did I mention Devin’s favorite morning activity was waking everyone else up? No, well now you know. I’m thankful I’m always up before him.
The thudding of footsteps brings me back to reality as Devin descends the stairs and runs through the kitchen with Jason right on his tail. I shake my head silently, how these guys-scratch that, how Devin was considered to be deadly I will never know.
The sound of splitting wood causes me to turn my attention to them only to see them wrestling on what remains of the coffee table. I turn my attention back to the dishes which I have finished cleaning and progress to drying them. I finish the last dish as Chase and Cody step into the kitchen, Jason and Devin are currently outside...I think. I lost track of them about five minutes ago.
“Where’s Devin?” Cody asks coldly. I shrug back cause let’s face it I honestly have no idea where they went, Devin was running...Jason was chasing and they could probably be in Canada by now.
His eyes narrow into slits “Where is he?” he grits out Remind me never to wake him up in the morning, he’s worse than a teenage girl during her time of month.
“I don’t know, Canada?” I suggest my tone surprisingly calm. I’ve decided I’m not going to fight with him anymore, I’ll just ignore him or answer with as little words as possible, oh wait I already do that. As soon as I finish my sentence Devin comes running into the kitchen and hides behind me.
“Nope, you’re on your own,” I answer back. He places his hand over his heart dramatically.
“And here I thought we were friends.”
“Where in the hell did you get that idea?”
He sighs loudly right as Jason enters the room and spots Devin who grabs me by the shoulders and uses me as a shield. I throw my head back and it collides with his nose causing him to cry out in agony. Serves him right, I’m not a damn shield.
“Consider this a warning,” I state icily, as Jason stops in his tracks and smirks.
“Looks like she got you for me.” He says, the smirk never leaving his face. Devin lets out a string of curse words before grabbing an ice pack from the freezer.
“Hey look at the bright side man,” declares Jason, “it could be bleeding, and broken.” Devin pulls his arm back and chucks the ice pack at Jason who manages to duck at the last minute leaving the ice pack to fly into the wall and create a large hole. Fantastic Devin...you’re fixing that.
I reach my arm up to the top shelf and place the plate back in place next to the teacup, my shirt rising silently as I do so.
“I thought you said it was only a scratch.” Chase comments. I focus my gaze on him.
“It is,” I reply. So maybe it was slightly bigger than any normal scratch, but when I think of all my previous injuries...yeah this was defiantly a scratch in my book.
“Then why such a big bandage?” Devin questions curiously as he holds a new ice pack up to his nose, drama queen. I didn’t hit you that hard...at least I don’t think I did.
“Cause I needed one,” I respond slowly as if he’s mentally challenged, for all I know he could be. He scowls at me. I’m done with this conversation, so...let’s change it.
“Does this mean you two are done with your mantrum?” I ask innocently as I point Chase and Cody.
“Mantrum?” Cody questions, a baffled yet cautious look etched across his face. Oh good, he’s learning.
“Yeah you know man tantrum,” I reply with the shrug of my shoulders as I watch their faces go red. “You guys argue very loud, and over me, I feel so honored,” I say the last part sarcastically.
“It wasn’t over you.” Cody snaps back at me.
“No, but it was about me none the less.” I am dead serious when I say they argue loudly. I mean come on the whole block could probably hear them plain as day. I’m honestly surprised Jason and Devin didn’t wake up last night, what with all the whining Cody was doing to Chase about putting me in charge. Grow a pair.
“That was like at two in the morning,” leave it to Chase to notice the details that I would rather leave unmentioned. “What were you still doing up? We got back at eleven.”
“I uh, don’t really fall asleep till two in the morning. If I’m lucky, one.”
“What time did you wake up?”
“You only got three hours of sleep?” Devin asks in disbelief.
“I don’t really sleep all that well.”
“Why not,” Cody interjects, “Your guilty conscious keep you up at night?” he says in a taunting tone. If only he knew how spot on he actually was.
“Something like that.” I shrug as if the reasoning behind my lack of sleep isn’t as big of a deal as it actually is.
“That’s not healthy.” Declares Jason, who I’ve come to notice isn’t a fan of talking to me all that much. I just roll my eyes in response, what I do and don’t do isn’t any of their business. But hey I could allow them to keep believing it is.
“I’ll be in my room if you need me,” I say as I turn and start up the stairs.
I push open the door of my room and grab my laptop off the dresser, crossing my legs as I take a seat on the floor, my back against the baseboard of my bed. My fingers glide effortlessly across the keyboard as I type. I reach under my bed and grab the flash drive I stashed there the first day we arrived. I carefully insert it into my computer and watch as a list of several different files pop up. I click on the fourth one. Should I be doing actual work? Probably, though unfortunately for me my mind was anywhere but on mission work. I wait patiently for the video to load before hitting play.
The screen turns black before focusing and a campsite comes into view. The camera that recorded this jumps around instead of staying in one place. I turn up the volume.
The sound of heavy breathing and thudding footsteps becomes audible.
“Yes I won! In your face suckers!” The camera points at the sky and spins in circles before turning to face the person recording. Her familiar face comes into view, her impossible to miss neon orange hair flying in her face, and her bright green eyes sparkle with excitement.
“You freaking cheated Fifty-seven.” A boy’s voice shouts back.
“Now, now, now, liars go to hell Eighty-three.” She teases in return. The camera focuses on him, his hair is disheveled and his eyes narrowed at Fifty-seven.
“Give me that damn camera.” He strikes his hand out in an effort to snatch the camera but she’s too fast as she dances gracefully out of the way causing the camera to swing back towards the campsite as another boy exits one of the seven tents.
“Where have you two been?” he asks.
“We took a three mile one,” Fifty-seven says making Eighty-three snort.
"I took a three-mile run.” He says ”She took a two-mile run.”
“Did not!” Fifty-seven shouts back. “Hey, where’s Sixty and Sixty-one?”
“They went down to the river.” The second boy answers, “We should probably be getting ready to go soon.”
“I can agree to that.” The camera swings around once again as it finds a boy with dirty blond hair and light grey eyes.
“Hey Seventy-seven.” Eighty-three greets, “Where’s your girlfriend?”
“How the hell am I supposed to know, she comes and goes as she pleases.”
“Well I think that-”
A knock on my door interrupts the video as I slam the laptop screen shut.
“Come in,” I say. The door opens to reveal Jason. My hand immediately finds my dagger. “What do you need?” I ask my tone clipped.
He shrugs before speaking “What are you doing?” I relax slightly.
“Nothing.” He takes a few steps forward till he’s sitting on the floor next to me.
“Why are you here?”
“Is it bad that I kind of wanted to get to know my new teammate?” He asks and I open my mouth to amend his question but he beats me to it, “Temporarily.” He adds a slight smile playing on his lips.
“No offense, but I’m not exactly the kind of person to get to know.” I pause slightly as I release my hold on the dagger. “The less you know about me the better.”
“Pushing people away can’t be fun.” He states as he stares at me, waiting for a response of some kind.
“It’s not” I reply truthfully “But it’s the only way I know how to live.” I stand up from the floor and make my way towards the door, I’m done with this conversation.
“Wait.” I stop and turn towards him again, “Can you help, train me?” he asks. I stare back at him as I weigh my options, finally I shrug.
“I don’t see why not,” I answer and watch as he smiles back at me. “Meet me out back in fifteen.” I know what he’s doing. He’s trying to get to know me. But he won’t succeed, I’ll make sure of it.
There’s a reason I do what I do, a reason I shove everyone away. And it’s never for my safety, it’s always for theirs. Some people will argue and say that they don’t need to be protected. I would know, I’m one of them, but even I know when I need help.
These boys are a strong team, a team I don’t want to mess up. Sure they’ll fight and argue but they’ll always come back around. All the best teams do. Which is why I can never be a part of any team. All teams are established when they’re younger. Usually when the agents are between the ages of fourteen and sixteen, sometimes slightly older.
There was only one team in the history of our agency that was formed when the agents were all eleven years old. They were the strongest team, the best. Some would say it was because they had been placed together at a younger age than any other team, and they were right. But that’s also why the team fell, and they fell hard. One mission no survivors, at least, that’s what the mission file says but, it’s wrong.
Take it from the person who was there, that saw the downfall of the greatest team in the agency firsthand. Take it from me, the only survivor.