‘Aaron did, where is he?’ Adam is trying to organise his thoughts, because the sane bit of his brain is telling him Aaron is dead, he died years ago when they were fourteen. The plan, the stupid idiotic plan Thomas came up with has worked, unbelievable.
‘So, you aren’t Aaron, you look just like him, if this is one of your stupid jokes, I will be so mad,’ the girl peers at him.
‘Adam, I really think we should go now,’ Harriet is by his side, but he ignores her.
‘Where is Aaron, take me to him now,’ she isn’t listening, Adam grabs her shoulders and shakes her a bit, ‘Aaron, where is he?’
‘Adam, stop, let go of her, you need to calm down, you are frightening her,’ Harriet grabs hold of his arms and forces him to let the girl go.
Walking back to the tent we have for all intense and purposes been abandoned in. Idiots Aaron thinks as it would seem Thom’s stupid plan might work. He knows where the boy thought to be his brother is all he has to do is pick the right moment to snatch him and leave. His thoughts move to Florence he really shouted at her earlier and now he regrets that. Making up his mind to be nicer to her.
Thomas has spies throughout the camp looking for Charlie he would be walking by now as he is almost two. Of course, Aaron is assuming he is still alive.
Turning down the dirt track that leads to the tent that is currently home. As he approaches, he can hear raised voices one of which is Flo. Does she really have to argue with everyone she meets. Aaron stands and listens for a bit. He hears a male voice ask where he is. Why would a male be questioning Florence?
‘I’m here,’ a voice says from the other side of the door, Adam lets go of Harriet as he turns and yanks the door open and there he is, stood in the main room staring back at Adam as he stares at him. He has changed the colour of his hair and has cut it, so it is close shaven against his head, and he is muscular, not weedy like Adam, he still looks like him, but different, older.
‘You’re not dead?’ they both say together.
‘Wow look at you all grown up,’ Aaron looks at Adam and then chuckles.
‘Oh, yeah,’ Adam stutters and then collapse into him, Aaron catches him before he hits the floor.
‘Oh shit,’ Harriet swears as Adams vision blurs and he struggles not to pass out.
‘My god, he looks just like you, except, I dunno posher?’ the girl mutters.
‘Well yeah, that’s how it works, identical twins,’ Aaron snarls back his voice full of sarcasm.
‘Oh, shut up, Aaron, you smug git,’ the girl retaliates back.
‘Whatever Flo,’ Aaron grunts. ‘For a princess you have a dirty mouth.’
‘I thought you liked my dirty mouth?’
‘Yeah I do, but not in front of my brother.’
‘Have you two quite finished, this isn’t exactly the time for a domestic,’ Harriet huffs.
‘Who are you?’ Aaron glares at Harriet.
‘His friend,’ she growls back.
‘You said he was dead?’ Florence interrupts them and their glaring match. ‘Look at him a true Echo child,’ she just stares at Adam and it is creepy.
‘No, I told you they told us the other was dead. I knew he wasn’t Gillian told me,’ Aaron huffs with annoyance. ‘We got sick, we were always sick, and he was always so fragile, even when we weren’t sick. Then I woke up and he was gone, and they told me he was dead, and I haven’t seen him since, until now okay,’ Aaron huffs as he carries Adam to the girl’s bed.
‘One day you will listen to me, told you looking for him was important,’ Flo crosses her arms over her belly while glaring at me.
‘What I did listen to you, how could I not you have been going on about this for bloody ages. Go and rescue your brother you said, it will be easy you said,’ Aaron huffs and looks at her annoyed even more so as she is smiling at him. ‘I knew looking for him was important, but you had to seduce me and get pregnant,’ he retaliates.
‘I did not seduce you,’ she glares indignant.
‘Well it wasn’t me crawling into your bed every night sweetheart,’
‘Oh, I really dislike you,’ she huffs sitting on the bed.
‘Aaron, you can let go of me now,’ Adam manages as he struggles to sit up. ‘What are you doing here Aaron?’ Adam asks narrowing his eyes as he shifts his gaze from Aaron to the girl Florence. ‘Who is taking care of you?’
‘No one really, we came to negotiate with Ariella, but she won’t let us leave.’
‘This is how they make their money; they find runaway Adams or steal them when they are being shipped, some they keep and those not needed they sell,’ Aaron shrugs glaring at Florence. ‘Yeah I read all that stuff you dumped on me while taking care of the baby,’ he crosses his arms over his chest with a scowl.
‘Yeah your life is so hard,’ Flo glares before turning her attention back to Adam. ‘Recently, they have been raiding my villages and taking our boys, so we were sent to acquire information on their next raid so we could stop them.’
‘They took my son, killed my wife,’ Aaron says quietly.
‘You had a wife?’ Adam looks at Aaron his features sad.
‘So, do you I have met her,’ Aaron chuckles.
‘She isn’t my wife, she was just someone who wanted something from me,’ Adam answers his voice quiet the disappointment and hurt evident. ‘Once she got it she left,’
‘No mate she asked me to find you,’ Aaron moved to Adams side. ‘She and your son are safe you on the other hand are not,’
‘I came to bargain with Arellia, but it didn’t go so well,’ Florence shrugs.
‘She wants me to breed with,’ Aaron shrugs as if that suggestion is perfectly normal.
‘I was kidnapped, not caught.’ Adam chimes in. ‘Got shot, now that hurt. Thom and his stupid plans,’ Adam lifts his shirt to show Aaron the neat scar.
‘What was Thoms plan?’
‘To find you,’ Adam looks at Aaron.
‘Well that sort of worked,’
‘Why are you here?’
‘Apart from stopping the raids, to find my baby son,’
‘We planned on leaving in the next few days if we don’t find him. I am sure Ariella is just waiting for me to lose my nerve what with the baby and all. Waiting for me to give in and hand this idiot over for breeding,’
‘The hell you are,’ Aaron glares at her.
‘I will if you shout at me again,’
‘You need to leave, they have been raiding your villages because they are looking for something, someone,’ Harriet looks at Aaron. ‘They have found it---you; you have to leave both of you,’ Harriet looks at them both. Her face is a picture of worry. ‘I heard she already has a couple of Echo girls. I don’t know where she got them from but as girls aren’t as valued and not many people know about Echo’s it probably wasn’t hard for her to obtain them. Echo boys on the other hand are like hens’ teeth and then here you two are,’ Harriet looks at the boys. We need to get Adam away from here as he is in the most danger. Florence Ariella won’t wait indefinitely,’
‘Can’t do that until I find what I came here for, my son,’
‘Shit Adam, this is bad, on every level,’ Harriet mutters.
‘Well, yeah and I thought being matched was bad,’ Adam tries to laugh but doesn’t quite pull it off as Harriet thumps his arm. ‘Ouch,’ he frowns and rubbing his arm as Harriet raises both brows at him.
‘You were being matched?’ Aaron looks at Adam who can see he is trying not to laugh.
‘Why is that so surprising?’ Adam asks with indignation as he crosses his arms over his chest.
‘Come on Adam, you need to go,’ Harriet buts in as he climbs to feet.
‘People will be looking for me,’ Adam explains.
‘Adam, you will come back, won’t you?’ Aaron has moved to Adams side.
‘Yeah Aaron, I will come back, we will get away from here.’