It’s silent for while and all eyes are on me.
“What?” I question.
“That is the most suicidal plan I’ve ever heard,” Jason exclaims.
“I thought we already established she has a death wish,” Chase says as he lets out a resigned sigh.
“I’m in!” Devin shouts enthusiastically.
I just get a blank look from Cody, and Zack looks at me confused.
“I’m sorry, I got lost right after you said the.”
“That was the first word I said, Zack,” I mutter through clenched teeth.
“Oh,” He says, though seems to be having difficulty not only understanding, but keeping his eyes open. That’s not at all like Zack. I immediately narrow my eyes at Devin.
He looks up from the papers on the table, his eyes widen slightly, and I cross my arms over my chest. He starts to shift uncomfortably under my gaze. He suddenly jumps up from his seat and points to Chase.
“It was all Chase! I didn’t do it this time I swear!” He yells out, panic in his voice as if I’m going to kill him.
I turn towards Chase who merely shrugs.
“He wouldn’t shut up.“He puts his hands behind his head and leans back in the chair, placing his feet up on the table. “So I may or may not have slipped something into his coffee.”
I run a hand over my face in exasperation. “You’re all so unbelievably childish.”
“I didn’t do anything you wouldn’t have.”
“I wouldn’t have drugged him.” Chase gives a look that says he doesn’t believe me. “I would’ve knocked him unconscious.”
“Yeah, that’s better.” He retorts sarcastically.
“He’s helping us.” I pronounce each word as if it’ll help it sink into his head.
“He’s a bad guy.” He growls back at me in the same tone of voice.
“No, I’m a good guy...I think.” Zack pauses and looks around. “You are the good guys right?”
I sigh and grab hold of his arm, dragging him out of the room and up to his.
“Look Cody, you’re getting replaced.” I hear Devin chirp. There’s a thud as something, Devin, falls on the floor, unfortunately he can’t take a hint. “Ooo, they’re going into his bedroom, I wonder what they could possibly-OW, OW, OW! Alright, I got it, I’ll stop!”
I take Zack into his room and sit him on the bed. He groans and his hand moves up to his forehead, massaging it with his fingers.
“Is the room supposed to be spinning?” He asks me. I sigh and remove a syringe from my boot, loaded with the same stuff I used on Hayden. His eyes widen slightly. “What is that?”
I shrug. “It’s going to hurt,“I say right before I stab it into his thigh. He grits his teeth and grabs at his leg.
“What the hell?! That freaking burns!” He shouts out after a little while.
“Well look at the bright side.”
“What bright side?”
“You’re no longer drugged,” I reply with a shrug.
“I was drugged?”
I run a hand over my face and shake my head. “Do you even remember, the past couple hours?”
“Why? What happened?” He questions, slight panic in his voice.
I shake my head again. “Never mind,” I mutter as I walk into the bathroom and toss the syringe in the trash.
“Can I ask you something?” He questions, scratching at the back of his neck nervously.
“Does my answer even matter?”
He laughs lightly. “What’s with you and that Cody guy?
“Nothing,” I respond shortly.
“Are you sure?”
“Why wouldn’t I be?”
“Cause he’s been sending me death glares since the moment I got here.” He says, a smirk on his face as if he just solved all the world’s problems. I just shrug in response.
“You ever been in love?” He asks suddenly.
“Yeah. Why?” I question, taking a seat on the bed next to him as I do so.
“Then you know how what it feels like.” He pauses. “So why don’t you want it again?”
I look down at my hands. “First time he turned out to be a murderous psychopath, and the second time the guy just...made a promise he couldn’t keep. So excuse me if I’ m not too eager to fall in love again.”
I take a moment to think over his words. “Have you ever been in love?” I fire his question back at him. He turns away. “I’ll take that as a yes.”
“What was she like?”
“She was everything to me. She was my world.”
He grits his teeth together. “Garrett got in her head...Turned her into something she wasn’t.”
“A killer.” I finish for him.
“I’m sorry,” I say. “He has a habit of forcing people into things they don’t want to do.” He gets this look on his face as if he’s thinking really hard about something.
“What did he force you to do?” He questions.
For once I don’t know how to answer. I just turn away from him and make my way towards the door.
“Why are you avoiding the question?”
I pause in the doorway and look over my shoulder at him. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
I exit the room quickly and make my way down the hall. I walk into the room I had picked out earlier and close the door most of the way. I’m not really expecting anyone to just barge right in...at least, not quietly that is.
I sit on the floor in front of the floor length mirror. I remove my combat boots and roll up my pant leg.
I just sit and stare at the scars, the reminders, of exactly what it was he forced me to do. I run my fingers over them lightly and just continue to stare, trying to force the memories away.
I look in horror at her lifeless body lying on the floor less than three feet away. Her dull, glazed over eyes staring back at me, blood running out of the several slashes covering her body.
“Now look at what you’ve done.” He taunts, voice full of venom. “You just had to go and make a mess out of everything.”
“No.” I murmur under my breath, partially in disbelief, and in anger.
“You killed her.” I hear him hiss, though his voice seems to just get drowned out by what seemed to be a loud ringing in my ears.
“No,” I mutter again, looking up to meet his eyes.
“Yes.” He says as he lowers himself to my level, I turn away from him. “It’s your fault.”
“No, it’s not.”
End of Flashback
A slight knock on the wall brings me back to present and I quickly slide my pant leg back down and my boot back on. I turn only to face Cody, who leans against the wall with his hands shoved in pockets.
“Can we talk?”
“No offense,” I start. “But you are the last person I want to talk to right now,” I reply, getting to my feet in the process.
“Offense taken,” He opens his mouth to say more, but is cut off as Jason, very rudely, barges through the door.
“Just let yourself in,” I grumble.
“I will thanks.” He says. “We need to talk.”
“Wow you and Cody both have something in common, now go talk to each other instead of me.”
“Yeah you know what, this is kind of important so Cody can stay. I’m sure he’ll want to hear this.”
“Did you go snooping through my stuff and find something you shouldn’t have.” My face is schooled into an innocent look, but my tone holds warning.
“No.” He says, but the look in his eyes says he knows something he probably shouldn’t. He holds up a gun.
“We need to talk about my gun?” I question, a look of disbelief plastered across my face. If this is seriously what he wants to have a conversation about, then hell, I’ll humor him.
“Yeah. Any particular reason why it’s not loaded?” He asks.
“Because I’m in a nice house and don’t want to risk Devin getting a hold of another loaded gun beside his own.”
“That the only reason?” He presses, eyes narrowed slightly.
“Darn you got me,” I say sarcastically. “I’ve been melting the bullets down and slipping them into your food.” He gives me the most unimpressed look a human can bestow.
“What?” I ask innocently. “Is that not the answer you were looking for?” I see his jaw clench and Cody tries hard not to laugh.
“No, it’s not.” He growls through clenched teeth.
I shrug. “Well, then I can’t help you. I’m not quite sure what it is you want me to say.”
“It’s not a matter of talking, it’s a matter of actions.”
“Not following you,” I answer calmly. “Now if you don’t mind, I’m kind of hungry so I’m going to fix something up for myself.” I push past both Jason and Cody and head off towards the kitchen. Unfortunately, they both follow.
Who’s the lost freaking puppy now?
“You know what I’ve come to notice?” Jason questions as he follows right behind me down the stairs with Cody right behind him.
“No idea, do enlighten me,” I reply as I walk into the kitchen where Chase and Devin sit at the counter playing a game of chess, they look up as we enter.
“Your gun is loaded when we leave the house, but in the house it’s empty.”
“Wow, what a stunning observation,“I exclaim sarcastically. “You should become a detective.”
He glares at me. “You want to know what I think?” He asks.
“I think you only bring the gun along to give to someone else to use if they need it.”
“Gee, you’re just full of thoughts aren’t you?” I retort. But inside I begin to panic slightly. “Why do you say that?”
I pull out a cutting board along with some vegetables and begin chopping them up.
“Because even though you’ve aimed a gun, I’ve never actually seen you fire one.”
I stop cutting and I make sure to keep my back to him. “Oh really?” I question.
“Yeah.” He says. “I don’t think you use guns, because I’ve never once actually seen you do anything besides aim it.”
“What an interesting theory.”
“So I’m right aren’t I?”
I sigh and put down the cutting knife. “Yeah, you are,” I mutter dejectedly.
“You won’t pull the trigger on a gun?” Cody asks, shock written all over his face.
“It’s not that I won’t, I just...can’t,”
“Why the hell not?” Jason presses.
“It’s in my past,” I growl, getting slightly angry now. “Look I just freeze up alright. Just drop it.” I hiss. “Besides it’s not like I need a gun. I’m fine without one.”
I’m never going to tell them why I can’t pull the trigger, why I freeze up. How could I ever tell them? If they knew the truth, they’d look at me the same way she does.
And I don’t need another reminder. The marks on my leg, are good enough.