I roll out of bed and grab my house coat from its hook pulling it on I ambled down the hall to the stairs. She never stays just takes what she wants and leaves, this is fine by me. It is dark and quiet as I make my way to the kitchen to get a drink of milk. The nearer I get I can hear voices and laughter. I stop unsure and then shrugging my shoulders I continued toward the kitchen.
I pushed the door open to find a group of the staff sat around the table, glasses in front of them and several bottles on the table. They all stop and turn to look at me as I hover in the doorway unsure and a little self-conscious, now every face in the room is looking in my direction. Andrea is the first to react and pushes Naomi off her lap and climbing to her feet she advances toward me.
‘Andrea will teach boy to drink like a Russian,’ she laughs and slaps my back leading me to a vacant seat she pushes me down into it and selecting a glass and bottle she pours me a drink.
‘What is this?’ I ask cautiously, looking to Naomi, who is swaying slightly as she stands next to Andrea.
‘It is Vodka boy, make you a man,’ Andrea announces and putting her glass to her lips she empty’s the glass in one go, she then indicates I should do the same, which I do, with a lot of coughing and watery eyes, followed by raucous laughter from the occupants of the room. That seemed to be the ice breaker, as the conversations started up again, as did the drinking. I slump down on the table my head on my arms, I have no idea of the time or how much I have drunk.
‘Boy, needs his bed,’ Andrea announces and scoops me up.
‘I don’t feel so good Andrea?’ I mumble into her large chest, as she carries me from the kitchen back up the stairs to my room. Naomi follows, swaying as she goes and giggling a lot. Andrea kicks the door open and strides to the bed she puts me down and I just lay their unable to move. ‘Andrea,’ I announce all serious, a large grin on my face.
‘Yes Aaron,’ Andrea slurs.
‘Thank you,’ I manage and then I run to the bathroom to throw up the entire contents of my stomach and pass out. I hear Andrea chuckle as she wipes my face and then picks me up and places me in bed.
‘We had better stay with him, in case he is sick again,’ Naomi suggests and giggles again, I crack one eye open to see them making out and I am grateful when the darkness takes me again. I don’t want to see that, and I am never drinking again.
Two days Naomi kept me in my room and Andrea told me Naomi was very cross, but Andrea kissed her out of her bad mood over me. I laughed at that and wanted to know how long they had been together. Andrea’s voice always softened when she talks about Naomi and I had noticed how Andrea’s eyes followed Naomi if she was in the room.
Today I am going to sit on the beach, I like it down here and I am stronger now the doctors have left me alone. I amble down the path and find a spot out of the wind where the sun can warm me up. I watch Andrea, for a bit as she walks around the beach. Going to each end looking for other ways off the beach. I like Andrea she is Russian and although she says very little, I think she likes me.
Her small form stalks around the beach looking for any sign of intruders her short dark brown hair blows in the breeze from the sea. She doesn’t look how I imagined a bodyguard should look. Her sharp brown eyes miss very little and I know she is strong from when she got me drunk and carried me to bed that time.
I return my attention to my laptop and the latest report She has sent me; I am starting to understand now how something that should have been our saviour caused our downfall.
I look up as Andrea stiffens and moves to the start of the path that leads back up to the house. I can hear popping noises and wonder what they are as I go back to the report, I am reading on the Adam program. She sends me all this stuff to read, she emails as well, flirting in between the serious stuff, that girl thinks about nothing else but what she has planned for me next time she is here. I do enjoy her company, she is witty and very sharp, and I enjoy the challenge of her.
‘Aaron,’ Andrea calls and I look up again.
‘Just stay here a minute, no matter what you hear don’t follow me, understood,’ I nod my head, and a shiver runs down my spine.
‘Um, yeah, okay,’ I manage and watch as she disappears up the cliff path. I get up and move off the beach I go and sit near one of the sand dunes that will conceal me from the path if anyone other than Andrea comes down. I don’t know why I do this; it just seems sensible.
I have no idea how long I wait as I go back to my laptop, I only look up when I hear Andrea call my name. I don’t get up as she has drummed into me not to for security. I shout from my place.
‘Yeah, Andrea,’ I stay sitting as she has taught me.
‘I need you to come here,’ she says quietly. I climb to my feet shutting down my laptop and pushing it into my bag. I see Andrea hurry over to me she takes my arm and pulls me along the beach away from the path, I find this odd.
‘What’s going on?’ I manage as we run.
‘We are under attack and Madam Ramsbottom entrusted you into my care,’ She answers tersely as she pulls me behind an outcrop of rock, she pushes me down and takes her pistol from its holster. I sit quietly as she peers over the rock watching the beach. It isn’t long before we hear voices.
‘Helena said to search the beach, she said he is here somewhere, and we are not leaving without him.’
‘What the hell, what’s so special about this one, ever since we raided Glasgow, she has been hunting Blond, blue eyed boys.’
‘Yeah, well I heard there is a special one, an Echo child and he is worth a small fortune.’
‘Maybe if we find him, we should keep him, sell him to the highest bidder, after we have had the pleasure, obviously,’ I shudder at this and look at Andrea, my eyes wide with fear. If that is true what is stopping Andrea from doing the same. She must have seen my expression and smiles at me in reassurance.
‘I am sworn to protect you,’ she whispers, and I relax slightly. The women on the beach are getting closer and the tide is coming in there is no escape I realise. I look at Andrea, poised, ready to protect me, and I know someone else is going to die because of me.
Andrea’s gun going off shocks the life out of me, so when it goes off the second time, I shudder as she grabs hold of me.
‘Come Aaron,’ she leads me away from the beach, but the tide is coming in and already it is swirling around my ankles.
‘Andrea, the tide,’ I look behind us and can see people on the beach.
‘There is another path, we swim.’
‘Swim!’ I can’t hide my hesitation or surprise as my brows disappear into my hair line. Andrea pulls me along the water is freezing and I don’t speak anymore as I concentrate on staying on my feet as the waves crash against me. The cold is sapping my strength as I hold tight to Andrea’s hand. She stops and turns to me.
‘See that cave,’ she points to an out crop of rock and a thin shelf of sand.
‘Yes,’ I nod my eyes follow her finger.
‘There is a smuggler tunnel back up the cliff, we swim to their.’
‘Okay,’ my teeth are chattering as the water has reached my waist.
‘Good,’ Andrea flashes a smile. ‘I keep you safe, Aaron, always,’ I nod to scared to answer.