I woke up with a headache on Monday morning, and though it was vicious I still dressed to go visit with Anna. I chose a simple light green dress and strappy sandals with a small heel. I ran my brush through my hair until it was smooth and straight.
The knock at my door came as I was slipping on a light jacket.
“Miss, there is a gentleman here to see you.”
I frowned as I pulled open the door. Mr. Wilkens stood there in his impeccable suit and tie. He smiled at me from his old withered face.
“Who is it?” I asked him.
“A Mr. Rupert, Miss.”
“Mr. Rupert? I am going there in an hour, it seems rather odd that he would come visiting.” I shrugged, and closed the door behind me. And then I had a thought. What if he was here to talk about his wife; maybe he believed that Anna should Harvest me too. Maybe he was here to talk strategy! I turned to Mr. Wilkens and asked, “Where is he?”
“He is waiting in the West tea room, Miss.” He gestured for me to follow him but I just nodded and sprinted off.
I wonder what insight he has for me. Maybe he knows just the right place to appeal to with his wife – after all they were in love, and who else would know her better?
I jerked to a halt. Amy stood in the door way of her room, frowning at me.
“Amy.” I nodded.
“Where are you going in such a hurry?”
“I have a visitor.” I told her, “And I need to be on my way, so…”
“A visitor? Who?”
“I don’t have time to explain.” I moved passed her and continued on my way, promising over my shoulder, “I’ll explain later.”
“You better!” She called after me.
I hurried down the hallway, around the corner and down the stairs. I crossed the foyer and stopped at the entrance to the tea room.
Mr. Rupert wasn’t waiting for me. Sawyer was.
“You.” I frowned.
“Me.” Sawyer replied, his arms crossed over his chest as he leaned against the back of a chair.
“What are you doing here?” I asked, taking a few steps into the room.
“I have some questions.”
“I am heading to your estate in an hour. Couldn’t they have waited until then?” I asked.
With a sigh I gestured for him to sit. He watched me a few moments more before moving around the chair and sitting. I followed, but sat on the couch to his right.
“What is it that you wish to ask me?”
“Why do you want to be Harvested?”
“Because it’s what I was created for.”
“You seem more in to it than most – they all seem resigned to their fate, but you seem to openly embrace it. You want to be Harvested.” He watched me with sharp eyes, his full mouth pursed. “Why?”
“I don’t expect you to understand the bond I have with Anna. It’s more than just her having me created. It’s more than just Harvested to Harvester. It’s more than just one stranger to another. I’ve known Anna my entire life. She’s the only person outside of the Institute that I have known and she is the reason that I was created.”
“You keep saying that.” Sawyer murmured.
“’Created’.” He said, “You keep referring to your birth as your creation.”
“That’s because I wasn’t born.” I told him. “I have no mother, I have no father. There is nobody else in the world that shares my exact DNA. I hold inside me the DNA of every female that lives. I was created in a lab with a mixture of chemicals specific to Anna’s requests. I am what she wanted, down to the color of my eyes.”
He nodded, understanding. “If she was to agree to a Harvest, would you back out?”
“Of course not!” I gasped, surging to my feet. “I would never disrespect Anna like that!”
Sawyer held up his hands in surrender. “Alright, alright. No disrespect intended.”
I slowly sat back down.
“I have a question of my own.” I told him.
He considered me, “What is it?”
“Why don’t you like me?” I asked, genuinely curious. “I want to prolong your Mother’s life yet you watch me like I am an animal in a zoo.”
“I don’t not like you. I just don’t understand how you can give up your life so easily.”
I sighed. “It’s not my life. It’s Anna’s.”
“I love my Mother. I’ll do anything to get her to Harvest again.”
“So will I.”
“We’re in agreement then.” Sawyer held out his hand and I slipped mine into it. It was warm and firm, calloused by whatever work he did and I tried to ignore the tingle the contact gave me.