Helena - Chapter 13
A slight laugh passed Joshua's lips. He understood Helena's earlier joke about it being good enough for Walt Disney.
'That’s why you chose red hair then?'
It was all he could say. What do you say when someone tells you they're a mermaid. His mind was telling him that she was crazy. A mermaid? Such things don't exist. That's the kind of thing people say before the men in white coats come along and take them away. But why would she lie to him? After all she had nothing to lose and it would explain why the Directive wanted her so much and put so much effort into tracking her down. He knew that they were working with something unusual, he just didn't know how unusual things truly where. It had been enough of a shock to him when they had told him that werewolves existed. But deep down he still didn't believe them and thought the man’s attributes where clearly down to some kind of genetic mutation. He thought more natural selection not full blown X-men stuff.
He looked at her. Her bright green eyes, so green you could almost believe that they had made up a new shade just for her. Those green eyes looked at him with such trepidation. The silver flecks in her eyes seemed to flash and shine as she looked at him. She bit down on her lip and her pale cheeks began to flush slightly.
'Joshua' she reached out to him cautiously. Her hand resting delicately on his leg. 'I thought you knew what was going on at that place?'
'I knew something was different but this is mental.' He stood up casting her hand off his leg and began to pace the room. This motion consisted of him walking in a horse shoe shape from the en-suite bathroom door, around the bed till the door to the hallway. Helena watched him as he tread the path around the room. She could see the cogs turning in his mind. He mumbled to himself under his breath and she could only catch every other word.
'Mermaid.....compatible species.....inconclusive ultra sound.'
He stopped at the foot of the bed and stared at her.
'That’s why they needed you so badly, they needed someone with a chance of compatibility to the male samples.'
'I guess so' she answered him not really knowing or caring why the Directive did what they did.
'They had us inject you with a serum that was to increase the chances of your body not rejecting the specimen. They created from another captive, Peter.'
Again she didn't care what they had done, though she had expected that she hadn't been the only one they held in captivity.
He sat back down on the bed, his head rested in his hands. Muffled from beneath his fingers he asked her another question.
'Do you have any idea what the child would be like?'
This was a question she didn't want to think about herself.
'There have never been any case of cross species mating before, or at least any that I know of. It's the same as humans mating with apes. We have the same ancestors but it wouldn't work.' Helena stared at him wishing he would look at her. She wanted to feel his lips against hers again but she was scared of him. Now that the initial thrill of escape had worn off she realised that besides his name there wasn't much else she knew about this man at all.
'Right, right, the serum from Peter.' More to himself that to Helena he replied. 'To increase the chances.'
Could she really trust this man? After all he did work for the Directive. What if this was part of their plan. Get her to open up. Spill more secrets about her kind. But why would they have blown up the Directive? It's a little counterproductive. She moved over to him and wrapped her hands around his wrists and dragging them from his face. Lifting his chin she stared into his eyes. Deep chocolate brown. They were inches from each other and she could feel his breath on her cheek. Inhaling the same air. She wanted to kiss him but she wanted to trust him too.
'Did you not know what the Directive were doing?'
It was a simple question but from the look of horror on his face he was disgusted with her, no he seemed more disgusted with himself.
'Not at first, but by the time I did it was too late. I'm just a doctor Helena. A plain bog standard run of the mill doctor. Not a scientist, a chemist, a geneticist just a doctor. I wanted to look after people. It turns out they had me looking after the captives.'
'Why didn't you leave before you got in too deep?' She asked him, hopefully.
His face set like ice and a voice as cold to match he answered her, 'it's not the kind of place you can just walk away from, surely you could see that?'
'But we did today, what changed?' He lip trembled as she waited for his response.
He looked at her. Time seemed to slow down and they just looked at each other. The man with the newly shaved head and the woman with the red hair. He noticed she had a small freckle on her left cheek beside her nose, some of the hair dye had stained the tip of her left ear too.
'For you' he whispered.
She leant in. That settled the first part of her question. She wanted to kiss him before asking the second. She didn't want to offend him. With her eyes still open she pressed her lips to his. She breathed in his aroma. Fresh lavender soap from the shower with an underlying odour of smoke. No doubt from the fire. She felt his tongue gently brush her lips and a breathed a sigh of exhilaration. She had to ask him, she needed to know, before they could go any further she needed to know and she pulled away. Before she could chicken out of saying it she blurted it out.
'You not still working for the Directive are you, this isn't some kind of trap to get me to tell more secrets?'
He stood up, quickly and stepped away from her.
'How could you even think that? If you knew what I had done, what I've sacrificed.'
He looked hurt, she wanted to hold him again to apologise but his closed arms told her that he wouldn't be embracing her anytime soon.
'I need to go out, I need air.' He stormed out of the room.
Helena sat on the bed, too big to be able to run after him. Lying back she wondered. Was he really offended or was he just a good actor. She wouldn't put it passed the Directive to try something underhanded like this.
With what felt like it took all her effort she managed to stand off the bed clicked the lock on the door. She walked over to his bag, a simple black back pack with green trim. Checking over her shoulder at the locked door she pulled the zip to the main compartment. A phone charger, a few toiletries, maps, a small first aid kit. She had to force herself to stop looking at his passport, it provided her with more information about him than he had told her himself. He was from up north, born on the 7th of June, he was a Gemini. He was 24 and his signature was all beautiful loops. It looked nothing like his name though, typical doctors writing. She opened one of the side pockets on the rucksack and an envelope fell out. Cursing it she had to get onto her knees to pick it up.
The envelope was addressed to Joshua and she worried about opening it. But if it was an unopened envelope in his bag that meant he hadn't read it either so it might tell her something she needed to know. She ran her finger along the sealed paper and tore it open. Inside was a two sheets of paper scrawled with untidy handwriting.