Adam wakes to his bed bouncing up and down.
‘Ah…stop, hurts,’ he manages as pain streaks across his stomach. It takes him a while to work out why that is.
‘Truda, stop he is hurt,’ Helena’s voice cross as she enters the room.
‘But mama I want to play with my new brother,’ a little girls voice answers full of petulance. Adam frowns at her as he estimates her age at about ten. If he were honest, he isn’t very good at judging age. Helena pulls back the covers and removes the bandage. Adam peers down to see the neat red mark slightly raised.
‘You should be up and about tomorrow,’ she smiles at him as she passes him a glass of water and a couple of tablets. ‘Take these and sleep I will wake you for lunch hmm,’ rising gracefully to her feet she pulls the little girl from the room.
Adam opens his eyes to see Truda dressed and sat bobbing with excitement. Adam pushes up and blinks a few times trying to wake up properly.
‘Oh, at last, I thought you were going to sleep forever,’ Truda grins at Adam and he manages a smile back at her enthusiasm.
‘What time is it?’ Adam gazes around looking for a clock. It feels much too early to be awake. To be fair he had thought if he slept long enough all this would go away, stupid he knows, but he hasn’t the first clue as to how he is going to find Aaron here. Adam’s attention is drawn back to Truda, as he plasters a smile on his face.
‘Daddy, is making breakfast and then he said I could show you around, you will like it here, it’s amazing and no one will hurt you cos you belong to mummy and daddy,’ she says all this in one go and then takes a huge lung full of air and Adam thinks she is going to say something else but she doesn’t.
Adam looks around, as he didn’t get much chance last night, he notices some clean, new clothes laid out on a chair and his old ones gone. Climbing out of bed as Truda shows him the shower room. Once showered, finding Truda sat on his bed. She has no intention of leaving Adam alone.
‘Can I brush your hair?’ she gazes at him.
‘Sure,’ passing her the brush she kneels on the bed and brushes his hair. ‘You are very pretty. Mummy says I have to look after you,’ she chatters making Adam laugh.
‘I can look after myself,’
‘No, here you have to be careful, daddy says you are special,’ she hugs him. ‘Come on, let’s go get some breakfast,’ Truda insists, as she leads into another part of the tent. This room is sparsely furnished, with a simple wooden table dominating the space. There is also a stove against one of the walls plugged into what Adam assumes is a generator by its hum. On the stove is a large cooking pot that the man is busy stirring. He like Adam is dressed in pale chino’s a shirt and sweater, on his feet sturdy boots. Adam wonders if this is a uniform of sorts, to show they belong to Helena.
‘Ah Adam, you’re up, good you’re just in time for breakfast,’ the man says as Truda and Adam take seats at the wooden table. He then fills two bowls with porridge and places them in front of them. ‘Dig in,’ he says as he fills a bowl for himself and sits across from them. Although it doesn’t look to appetizing the porridge is delicious and Adam happily devours it.
‘Well I am Troy madame Helena’s match. I think you’re going to like it here Adam, just a couple of ground rules I need to laydown first, nothing to intense just some things you need to know,’ he says with a smile as he eats his own porridge. ‘You belong to Madame Helena, daughter of Lady Ariella of the Dread Riders, one of many wandering hordes that have arisen since the sterilization. It would be best if you forget everything about your past life it is no longer relevant. Helena is a fair mistress as long as you obey her and respect her.’
Yeah like I am going to do any of that, first chance I get I am outta here. Adam thinks to himself spooning another spoon of porridge into his mouth. Adam holds his gaze keeping his expression neutral. Troy has finished his porridge now and leans back in his chair, fixing Adam with a cool steely gaze.
‘You need to forget about everything previous to being here,’ he repeats, which immediately alerts Adam to what he is really saying. Yeah, that would be good for you, not me, Adam decides sipping his tea as he watches him.
Troy is quite stocky in build; Adam can’t quite place his age, but he is younger than Simon at Commune but older than Thomas. His body language and posture are passive as you would expect from an Adam. It’s his expression that makes Adam wary, there is a calculating look to his eyes as he watches him.
‘Helena, says you are unusually smart for an Adam, so I have enrolled you in the camp school,’ his gaze unwavering if he wanted a reaction like gratitude, he is going to be disappointed.
‘Thank you,’ Adam pushes his bowl away and picks up his mug, sipping the tea, keeping his expression neutral as he holds his gaze.
‘Can I show Adam around now, please daddy?’ Truda asks gazing at Troy her features expectant, their relationship is a parental one. Adam finds this curious, as well as endearing and maybe a little envious, not that he wants Troy as a father figure, he just finds the concept intriguing.
‘Okay, but you stay away from the east side of the camp,’ Truda nods, getting to her feet and grabbing Adams hand, forcing him to stand, as she drags him outside.
‘What’s on the east side?’
‘Nothing, just rubbish skips and stuff,’ Truda gives a shrug and Adam gets the feeling it isn’t very interesting and so has to wonder why Troy even mentioned it. Hmm, will have to pay that a visit, need to see how much freedom I am allowed first. Adam smirks slipping away from Truda might be a challenge though.
‘Lunch is at Twelve Truda, don’t be late,’ Troy calls after them.