We'd been weaving through the woods for at least twenty minutes and I knew the talk I was dreading was going to happen at any moment. "See anything yet?" I asked. He shook his head.
I saw him open his mouth and then hesitate and close it again. Warning bells went off in my head and I seriously considered sprinting back to camp and the safety of Raven's company. "I've been wanting to talk to you since the other day."
"Yeah, I know, I've been busy."
"Well, you aren't now."
"Really? Cause I kind of thought we were supposed to be hunting for food."
"I know what I did before, on the Ark, was shitty-"
"That's an understatement," I mumbled.
"And I know I've told you this, but I'm sorry."
"And I've told you, you're forgiven. So we can just forget about it," I said with finality. But of course that wasn't the end of it.
"I've been trying to make it up to you, to show you that I'm not the same person I was before. But I'm doing a pretty bad job of that."
"People don't change."
"No, I guess they don't." He was quiet for a minute. "When I found out you were alive I tried to tell myself there could never be anything between us again, too much had happened for that. But then at the Unity Day celebration-"
"That was a bad idea and I take full responsibility for that. I honestly didn't expect you to take that so seriously. If I had known you would have expected it to lead to anything more than a one-night thing, I wouldn't have kissed you. I'm really-"
He cut me off. "Maia, I'm still in love with you." I stopped midsentence and stared at him. "I mean it. I love you."
"That's not exactly the reaction I was hoping for."
"I've been avoiding you for the last two days because I had a feeling something like this was coming." I sighed. "It's not that I don't love you, because I do. It's just that this is the worst possible timing."
"When's a good time then? I tried to tell you when I thought we were going to die."
"Yeah, and in case you hadn't realized, the likelihood of us dying soon is still very high. And it isn't just that, I need time, Bell. It's been what, a few weeks since I decided to forgive you? I love you, but love isn't enough to build a relationship on. I need to trust you, and right now I don't."
"Then I'll gain your trust back."
"Please do. I mean that. I want to give you a second chance, I really do." There was a rustling in the trees. I held a finger to my lips and stepped quietly towards the slope of the hill. Just a few feet away stood a boar. I raised my arm and threw the spear with perfect accuracy into its side.
"You do know how to throw a spear."
"How'd you think I managed to survive own my own out here? I wasn't stealing from you all the entire time."
I walked back to Raven's tent but she wasn't there. So I checked the drop ship, instead of Raven I found Monty on the second level. "Seen Raven around?" I asked.
He shook his head. "Not since she came in here to rip apart the radio for her walkie-talkies."
"Oh, well, how's the uh, whatever that is you're working on."
"It's the log from the exodus ship. I still don't know what happened. How was your hunting trip?"
"Well, it went about as well as I expected it to."
"Catch anything good?" He asked.
"Yeah, got a pretty good sized boar. But, hunting is not what I was referring to. Bellamy and I finally had a little chat." Monty made a face. "I take it you don't want to hear the details."
"Not really, sorry."
"This is why I need Raven. Maybe I'll look for Octavia." I yawned.
"You sound like you could use a nap."
"If I take a nap, some great crisis will occur."
"Just take a nap here and I'll wake you up if something happens."
I sighed and sat down in the corner. Monty tossed me his jacket, which I folded up like a pillow. He went back to work and I closed my eyes. There was a static screeching noise. "Shush!" He laughed and I rolled over to face the wall.
I was woken up by the sound of the hatch to the second level being opened. I sat up and saw Raven climbing up the ladder. When she made eye contact with me her hand faltered on the bar and she almost slipped. "Shit." She climbed up the rest of the rungs and stood just at the top, like she hadn't decided if she was staying or going yet.
"There you are, I was looking for you earlier," I said.
"I, um, was-" she stopped and looked at Monty.
"You know, I need to go show something to Clarke."
"She's not back yet," Raven told him.
"Oh, well, then, I'll go check on Jasper." He hurried down the ladder.
"Clarke isn't back yet?" I asked.
She shook her head and walked towards me. "No, neither is Finn."
"Oh. Well that happened quickly."
"Yeah." She interlaced her fingers and clasped her forehead with both hands. "I had sex with Bellamy."
I laughed. "Very funny."
"He told me about your conversation and I just wanted to forget about Finn, so I kissed him. It sort of just happened."
"I wasn't thinking. God, I went in there– What was I thinking going in there? Maia, I'm sorry."
"How could you do that?"
"It was a mistake, it didn't mean anything."
"I may be new to this whole friend thing but I'm pretty positive this isn't how it works, Raven."
I walked past her to the ladder and she grabbed my arm. "Please, Maia." I shook her off and left without saying anything else.
When I got outside I saw Octavia coming towards the drop ship. Father behind her was Bellamy. "Hey," Octavia said. "Clarke, Finn and some kid left with the hunters a while ago and-"
"Octavia," I said loudly, loudly enough several people glanced up. "You've been in a few relationships since landing, I don't know how serious those were but I'd think you know a few things about love, right?"
She looked at me funny. "What are you doing?"
"Like you could give me a basic definition of word, yeah?"
"Maia, what's going on?" She hissed.
"Or maybe we could ask your brother," I said. By this point everyone outside was watching. "Since he seemed so convinced he was in love with me a few hours ago. He was so set on getting me to trust him again and I believed him."
"Maia," he said. "Listen-"
"I think I've listened to you enough for today, I'd rather not. Now, Octavia, when you tell someone you love them you don't typically turn around and hook up with their friends, do you?"
Octavia glanced at Bellamy confused. "Neither of us were thinking straight," Bellamy said. "She thought that-"
"Raven thought she could forget all about Finn by having sex with you. I get it, I do, but there are eighty something people here and she had to chose you."
"Maia, can we do this later, in private?"
"You didn't let me chose when we had your conversation, so you don't get to chose when we have mine."
"This isn't a conversation, this is an ambush."
"If you're done, Clarke and Finn are missing and we're going to look for them," Octavia said. "Would you like to come with us?"
For a second I just stared at her before I comprehended what she was saying. "The grounders are out there."
"Yeah, so the sooner we find them the better," she said. Octavia walked past me into the drop ship and I turned to follow her. Raven and Monty were standing there with the walkie-talkies staring at us.
"There's three of them," Raven said.
"I'll go with Monty," I said.
"Raven and I can go together," Octavia said.
"You ok with going alone?" Monty asked Bellamy. "We can grab someone else to come with us."
"He's fine," I said. "Let's go."
Monty and I walked through the woods looking for signs of Clarke or Finn. "Your arguments are entertaining, and good for exposition purposes. I always feel very informed after them."
"I'm glad someone got something out of that."
"You seem so quiet and reserved but when you get pissed off…let's just say if the Ark is still up there, they probably heard you. If I ever want to get into an argument with someone, I'm going to ask you to fill in for me, ok?"
"Sure, I'll be your pit bull."
"You know, some of these guys are ready to lynch Bellamy if you asked them to."
I groaned. "I over reacted. I don't even have a right to be mad, I told him I wasn't ready to get back together. I shouldn't have done that in front of everyone and I definitely shouldn't have dragged Octavia into it."
"Anyone found anything?" Bellamy asked over the walkie-talkie. I cringed.
"Negative," Monty answered.
"The worst thing is I really thought he was trying to change. But my gut told me he wasn't ready for a relationship anymore than I was, and clearly I was right."
"I know you're upset but-"
"I need to focus on looking for Clarke and Finn, I know."
"No, well yeah, but I was going to say people make mistakes a lot and sometimes we've just got to forgive them and move on." After a pause. "Mostly I mean you should think about working things out with Raven, I don't really care if you forgive Bellamy or not."
I rolled my eyes. "Thanks for the sage advice, Monty, you're really-" mid sentence I noticed a green dot on his shoulder.
"What?" He looked down. "Where is that coming from?" Within moments half a dozen more green dots appeared. The last thing I saw before I blacked out was a man wearing a gas mask.
I rolled over, tangling myself even more in the sheets, and faced Bellamy. "Good morning."
"Happy anniversary," he mumbled, half asleep.
I smiled. "Come on, get up."
He slid out of bed reluctantly and started getting dressed. "Don't you have job shadowing today?"
"Yeah, but the librarian doesn't actually care what time I show up. I'm going back to sleep. You on the other hand should get going." He jumped back on my bed and grabbed me around the waist. I squealed. "You know how ticklish I am, stop it!"
"Are you getting up?" He asked.
"Fine! I'm awake, I'm awake!" I sat up and sighed. "I hate you."
"Liar." I started to stand up but he grabbed my shoulders and sat me back down.
"Make up your mind, do you want me to get up or not?"
"I have something for you." He stood up and dug through his bag for something. "It's not wrapped."
"I thought we decided no gifts."
"You decided no gifts, I just let you think you'd won. Close your eyes." I sighed dramatically, but did as I was told. He took my hand and wrapped something around my wrist, the beads felt cold against my skin. I heard a click and opened my eyes. Black pearls wrapped twice around my wrist and in the middle was a flat stone.
I inspected it closely. "Is this Earth-made?"
"That's what I was told. The woman I bought it from also said the stone brought good luck." He shrugged. "I don't believe all that stuff." But you do, was implied.
"It must have cost a fortune, you really shouldn't have."
"Too late. Do you like it?"
"I love it."
"I love you."
We left my apartment and instead of going our separate ways, Bellamy walked with me toward the library. "Don't you need to go the other way?" I asked.
"Is it a crime to walk my girlfriend to work?" He asked.
I laughed. "No, it's not, it's just not normal. But I like it, I miss you all day."
We approached the last turn that led to the library's quiet hall. Before we reached it Bellamy stopped me. "No matter what happens, remember that I love you, ok?"
"I love you too." He pressed me against the wall and kissed me. I laughed and pushed him away. "You're going to be late."
"I don't care."
"Well I do." I kissed him again. "No more surprises today, right?"
"Ok, well, see you tonight. I might be late, there's something I've got to take care of. You know the drill." He nodded. I stepped around the corner and saw a group of guards standing outside the library door talking quietly. "Did something happen to the librarian?" I asked. Mr. Carpenter was old but he'd always seemed so lively, I couldn't imagine something bad happening to him.
"This is her," one guard said quietly.
"Maia Farrin?" Another asked. I nodded confused. "You are under arrest for multiple robberies on the medical center, among other places."
I backed away but two guards were already behind me. They grabbed my arms and I struggled. My bracelet snapped and black pearls went flying everywhere. I grabbed a guard's gun and backed myself against the wall so no one could surprise me again. "Bellamy!" I screamed down the hall, I looked in the direction from which we'd come and I saw him standing there.
One of the guards lunged at me and I fired, the bullet hit the man in the head and he crumpled to the ground. My eyes locked on his body, half his face had been blown off. I screamed and tried to run, another guard lunged at me, this time armed with a knife and sliced across my stomach. It took me a second to even realize what had happened. I looked down and saw the blood staining my shirt. I dropped to my knees, suddenly light headed.
The last thing I heard before I passed out was Bellamy asking, "Where's my sister?"
I woke up in the infirmary. I was shivering and a woman quickly brought me a blanket. "You're awake, how are you feeling?" She asked.
"What happened?" I whispered.
"I'm Dr. Griffin. You were stabbed by a guard during your arrest, but you're healing up nicely."
"Arrest?" Slowly the memory came back to me. "How long was I out?"
"Almost a week."
"How did they find me?"
She hesitated. "I believe someone turned you in, but I shouldn't talk about it."
"But no one knew about me, no one except…" I trailed off. Dr. Griffin watched me. "It's my arrest, don't I deserve to know what happened?"
"A boy turned you in, that's all I know. The guards that brought you in to the council were very vague on the details."
"Bellamy," I said quietly. "Bellamy turned me in." I looked at Dr. Griffin. "You're on the council?" She nodded. "Do you know if a girl was pardoned? Octavia Blake?"
She shook her head. "I'm sorry, but the chancellor hasn't pardoned anyone in months."
I started to laugh but my laughter dissolved into tears. "He made a trade and it didn't work."
Dr. Griffin let me cry, I hadn't even realized she'd left until she came back with a tablet. "As soon as you're well enough to be moved, they want you moved in with the rest of the prisoners."
"How soon will that be?" I asked.
"A few days at most." She shook her head. "I'm sorry about your boyfriend. That was what he was, wasn't he?" I nodded.
"Words don't matter very much now, do they? It's all over."
She pulled something out of her pocket. "They found this in the hall. Is it yours?" She dropped the orange stone into my hand.
At first I clutched it tightly, then I flung it across the room. It made a metallic ping as it bounced off the wall and hit the ground. "If you see Bellamy around tell him he can go fuck himself!" I yelled.
Dr. Griffin's assistant started towards me but Dr. Griffin held up a hand to stop him. "Maia is fine, she doesn't need a sedative. Right?" I nodded. The outburst had exhausted me; I wanted to go to sleep even without the sedative. Dr. Griffin continued scrolling through my file. "I'm afraid they're placing you in solitary."
"You are quiet popular among the working class," Dr. Griffin told me. "The rest of the council is afraid you could amass a following."
"I don't want anyone to follow me, I never wanted that. I just wanted to help people."
"You have, I've seen what you've done for others. You've saved people that I wasn't allowed to. You're a hero."
"It's lonely being a hero," I told her. "You should've let me die."
She shook her head slowly, the tiniest of smiles on her lips. "Your journey isn't over yet."
When I woke up, I was cold. I looked around trying to discern my surroundings. It felt like I was in the infirmary all over again. Everything in the room was white, including my new clothing.
I slid off the bed slowly. There was an IV in my arm and I pulled it out. I walked across the room to the door and tried the handle, locked of course. I stood on my toes to get a better look out of the tiny porthole window.
The hall was just as sterile looking as my room. I pressed my cheek to the glass to get a better look down the hall but it all looked just the same. Door after door with circular windows as far as I could see. I looked in the other direction; the only thing that set the right apart from the left was a sign on the wall that read in large block letters "Mount Weather Quarantine Center"
I stepped away from the window. "What is this place?"