Chapter 13: Run
FORMING a plan to save everyone in the hotel as soon as possible wasn’t as easy as Anya Romans had thought it would be, while she observed the oblivious crowds still happily and cheerfully mingled and danced away, following to the beat of the music.
Neither was prepared for anything like this to happen, hence, they had absolutely no idea what to do.
“Can’t the night get any worse?”
Anya gulped on a mocktail in her hands, her sixth of that night. Seated on a chair at a bar, her eyes moved to her two best friends, smiling widely. Love was evidently in their eyes as they gaze at each other. The night could not be any perfect than this for the couple ― except that it might also be their last night on Earth.
Anya sighed. Looking at her wristwatch, she contemplated how long Aidan had been away when she heard a voice calling out her name.
Turned around, Anya sighed in great relief to find the butler approaching her with steady steps. He stopped at the young woman and slightly lowered his head in a bow.
“Firstly, I’d like to apologise for leaving you alone for some time, Miss Romans. After I’d informed His Highness of the current situation, His Highness has returned to the kingdom to speak and further discuss details of the situation with His Majesty and formulate a plan to capture Motýl.”
Aidan took out a piece of neatly folded paper from his pocket and showed it to her. “I’ve looked around the hotel and drew a map to the potential areas Motýl may have had implanted the bomb.”
Anya listened attentively.
“Judging on how tall this hotel building is and the layout of this banquet hall, I suspect that the bomb would be implanted located in…” He drew an x on a large box that indicated the banquet hall.
Aidan nodded firmly. “Magic is definitely involved. This explains why the bomb is impossible to be seen with a naked eye. The question now is where is it?”
Anya contemplated on his words and pondered.
“That aside, how shouldn’t we first evacuate everyone without stirring any troubles or chaos? We have only an hour left, though.”
“If I still have my magic, this would only take me a minute to get the job done and afterwards, perhaps you could enlighten me with a thank you kiss.”
Anya glared sharply at him, though her cheeks turned deep red at his remarks. Tapping her fingers on the chin, a sense of realisation suddenly overcame to her.
“Say, Aidan. Can I ask you something? How badly your condition if you were to use magic? I mean, it’s not like you have completely lost your abilities to cast magic, right?”
“As far as any of us concerned, my magic has merely being reduced to a beginner’s level. Mind you, I can still cast moderated-level magic, but not the high-level ones.”
Anya nodded. “Then how about a hypnotise spell? Do you think you can do at least something like that?”
As soon as those words left her mouth, a wide grin began to spread on the butler’s lips.
“As Milady wishes.”
Lifting both of his hands in the air while facing the big crowd, it took Anya few seconds to realise the time has literally stopped and the people have frozen like statues.
“This is what you called ‘Time-Out’.”
“You literally stopped the time!” Anya gawked in awe.
Aidan subtly wiped the damp sweat that was slowly forming on his forehead with a clean piece of cloth.
“I could do this for an hour, the longest. If you have any more ideas, Miss Romans now is the time.”
The young woman moved quickly through the frozen crowd, carefully not to touch or pushed them as she went by.
“Miss Romans? Where are you off to?”
“I’ll be right back! I just need to get someone― Oh, where the hell is he?”
Aidan stayed where he was, waiting for the young lady’s return. He could clearly hear her swore profanities on the other side, though he could hardly see her due to the still crowd.
Sighed, Aidan continued to wipe the sweats dripping from his forehead again. How odd. Usually, he wouldn’t sweat this much. Still, he had to constantly remind himself that dreadful night and the risk and consequences that may cause him.
In order to perform Magic, it requires one’s life force. The power of the magic is also depending on how much life force it consumes. That’s the bittersweet life such as magicians, and even more so as the Gran Mago. No magic is done without heavy consequences.
Aidan smirked bitterly at the reminder of someone very close to him. Blinking his eyes as he looked up, the butler composed himself when Anya returned ― half-dragging her statued uncle with a broad flirtatious and handsome smirk plastered on his face.
Aidan had to bite his inner cheeks to stop himself from chuckling. No doubt the detective was busy flirting.
“God, this man is heavy!” Anya. “I mean, I know he’s packed with muscles and everything, but damn!”
“Why have you brought your detective uncle all the way here, Miss Romans?”
“I want you to hypnotise him.”
When Aidan didn’t reply and simply stared back at her as if she had grown another head, Anya rolled her eyes and explained.
“Okay, here’s what I have in mind: you know Josh is a detective, right?”
“Well, I thought if we could hypnotise him and get him into ordering everyone to evacuate the building for police-related stuff. Let’s make it that he’d just received a phone call from his Boss stating they received information that a bomb has been implanting somewhere in the hotel.I’m just playing around with the ideas in my head right now, but yeah, that’s my idea for now. So, what do you think?”
“I like the idea, Miss Romans. I honestly do. However,” Aidan tapped one finger on his smooth chin. “Getting your uncle into this mess will put not only put his career on the line, but it contains many loopholes. Are you sure you want to take such a huge risk and heavy responsibilities?”
“As I was saying, I’m just playing the ideas with my head right now. What about you? Do you have any other ideas we could use?”
Aidan sighed. His mind insisted that her less-than-perfect plan contained many loopholes no doubt that could get the both of them into a whole lot of trouble ― if they survive the aftermath. Regardless, her idea itself was good enough considering the time that they have left. The problem is… Would she be brave enough to carry out the responsibilities that may befall her should the plan backfire?
“If you have something to say about my ideas, then spill it out! Even if it sounds stupid, just say it!” Anya spoke after she could no longer stand the silence.
“It’s not stupid. Definitely not. I’d say let’s not waste any more time that we have and proceed with your idea. If there are loopholes along the way, at least we’ll have the time to think about it. Well done, Miss Romans,” Aidan smiled kindly.
Anya’s heart was pounding so hard against her chest. Never before had he ever provide her with that smile that no doubt could make any women fall heads over heels and melt on the spot.
Anya shook her head and focused on the issue on hands instead.
“Now then,” Aidan straightened his back before offering his hand.“Shall we get down to business?”
“HE will be okay, right?”
“He will be just fine. Please, have faith and trust in me, Miss Romans.”
At the snap of his fingers, Josh and the others were jolted back to life when time began to move again. Josh’s charming smiled faded instantly at the sights of the two figures standing before him.
Josh recognised his niece, but not the man standing beside her. Though he had seen him before but could not remember where. Wait! This is not the time to ponder about that! Why the hell is he in the courtyard? Whatever happened to the ladies he was having so much fun flirting with?
“Anya,” Josh slowly forced a smile. “Please tell me I didn’t do anything stupid. What am I doing outside?!”
“At ease, soldier. You were so drunk you started to babble nonsense. Honestly, someone had to take you outside for a bit of fresh air before they decided to call the security and thrown you out!”
“I-I was?” Josh looked horrific. “Oh my God! Did I say something stupid to those ladies? I did, didn’t I? Daaamn! Just when I had the chance, I’d totally blew it off! Why didn’t you stop me? You know I act totally weird when I drink too much!”
Anya handed over his mobile phone. “While you were so out of your comfort zone, your superior called. Cragon, was it?”
“He what? Shit! You didn’t tell him I was drunk off my arse, did you?”
“Will you just relax? I didn’t say any of those things! I’d just told him you went to the bathroom for a while and had told me to watch over your phone. By the way... Have you been gossiping about me with your Boss behind my back? He kept asking about my campus life with a certain boy as soon as I picked up the phone! ‘Oh, this must be the little minx Campbell can’t keep his mouth shut about!’”
Anya frowned deeply then sighed.
“Anyway, he’d left you a message. An urgent message. He said he would call you back, but there wasn’t enough time, so he’d asked me to let you know...”
Anya leaned forward and whispered to his ear.
“What did you say?”
Anya backed away after relying on the message to him.
A moment ago, he was acting so ludicrously. Josh took out two things from his pocket, his phone and police badge. He dialled a number and spoke in a quiet tone, possibly to Cragen to confirm the matter before he hung up quickly.
Turned around, Josh noticed the two of them were still there, staring questioningly at him.
“The hell are you two still standing there for? Get the hell out from this place!”
Grabbing Anya by the arms, he dragged her all the way to the Hotel’s lobby, where there were two security guards were. Showing them his badge, he informed them what happened and proceeded by ordering them to inform the other securities about the problem while he called the SWAT team.
“You,” Josh pointed a finger at Aidan. “Stay with her. Make sure she stays outside. And you, no funny business. I mean it, Anya. You two better be outside by the time I get back! Now MOVE!”
Anya could hear clearly what was happening inside: the music suddenly stopped, before Josh’s voice interrupted the party as his voice echoed the banquet hall. Apologising over the matter, Josh went straight into the business using his professional detective tone, he calmly asked everyone for their full cooperation.
As soon as Josh finished his speech, sirens could hear outside of the hotel as the police forces filled in, guiding the guests to safety. Within minutes, more people were able to evacuate to the Safe Zone Area safely ― a distance away from the hotel. By the time the last person got out, police forces, SWAT Team and ambulances were already standby outside the hotel.
Meanwhile, a distance away from the Safe Zone Area, Anya was peeking through a looped hole behind a few stacks wooden planks in the Janitor room. She watched Josh was talking to a bald, marine-type and middle-aged man named Cragon, his Commanding Officer.
She and Aidan had sneaked into the hotel after the last person had evacuated from the hotel without being spotted by anyone. They got in through the back door, where Aidan had once again, used the ‘Time-Out’ so that the SWAT Bomb Squad team wouldn’t be able to come in.
WHEN Anya and Aidan arrived at the empty ballroom, she was huffing and panting. Still, in an evening dress, the only thing that changed about her was the shoes she’s wearing. Instead of the evening heels, Anya had asked the butler to cast her heels into sports shoes temporarily.
“Phase One completed!” Anya fist her hand in the air. “Though, I didn’t expect you to hypnotise everyone, including Cragen! How on earth did you do that?”
“A magician never kiss and tell,” Aidan put a finger on his lips and smirked. “Besides, it is without a doubt, impossible to execute your plan without hypnotising the rest. Now that’s done and deal with, let us look for the bomb and defuses it, shall we?”
Aidan who had discarded his black suit and now wearing the white shirt rolled his sleeves up to his arms. Unknown to him, Anya who stood slightly behind him found the sight to be very fascinating. Sexy even.
Immediately after that single word crossed her though, Anya horrifyingly swore to herself in silence, before turning around to hide her flushed face from being seen.
Thankfully, Aidan decided to break the silence.
“We know the bomb is somewhere here. However, we have little clues about its whereabouts. It could be on the ceiling, floor, or even the walls. We won’t have much time to search them all with just the two of us.”
“Right. So, any idea what kind of bomb our friend’s talking about at least? How did you know him anyway?”
“Motýl is an acquaintance of mine. We’re both from the same ‘Magician Guild’. Back in those days, the two of us were the top magicians constantly battled against one another due to our similarities in our abilities and strengths. Our final battle came to end when I won the fight for the ‘Gran Mago’ title and became His Highness’s Magician teacher and swore protector. Due to the bitterness of losing the fight, Motýl had turned his back against the Kingdom and went to the side with the Demon King and became a powerful mage infused with dark magic. Come to think about it, it’s been twelve years since I’ve seen him up until tonight.”
Anya clenched her fists tightly. “So this is one of those personal grudge moments, huh?” She gritted her teeth before she exhaled deeply. “As much as I loathe this whole happened due to a personal grudge you and that psychopath, I can’t bring myself from hating and blaming you for what happened. We’ll find the damn bomb, and when we do, I’ll be sure to shove that thing up his ass!”
Aidan snorted softly before the sound of his chuckles filled echoing in the air. It was unusual to Anya to say at the least, how endearing to hear him chuckling.
On the other hand, it had been years since Aidan had a full grown laugh at something silly or entertaining. While the butler greatly appreciated her enthusiasm, Aidan doubted very much she could lay a finger on Motýl. Aidan was about to open his mouth and comment when he saw a flash of silver ray heading toward them.
In a blink of an eye, Anya felt her body being pushed down on the ground, with Aidan on top, pulling her protectively close against him. His eyes glared at the sharp and poisonous dagger aimed at her forehead if not for his interference, now laying on the ground.
Once Aidan confirmed nothing else was attacking them, he mutely got off her and helped Anya get back on her feet.
“Ouch!” Anya yelped, looking at her left ankle.
“Shit. I’ve twisted my ankle!”
Aidan reached out a hand to her ankle and about to heal it when Anya stopped him.
“Don’t worry about me. Go and look for that stupid bomb!” Hopping on one foot until she found a chair nearby, Anya quickly sat down and rubbed her ankle.
“Healing you will take less than a minute.”
“Yea well, we have no time for that. Besides, not think I didn’t know how much the whole ‘time-stopper’ thing has affected you. You’re literally filling a bucket with all the sweats dripping from your head. Every minute count, remember? The sooner you can locate the bomb, the faster we can get out of here.”
Still reluctant to leave the young woman alone to her injury, nevertheless, Aidan decided to continue walking around the area and searched for the bomb. He made a point to not wander off too far away from her, lest the same thing happened again.
Now that he was able to think with a clear mind, Aidan started analysing the situation, specifically the attack that just happened earlier. Anya had stood closely behind him, threatening loudly to put a shovel on their enemy’s ass. Aidan admitted it certainly would be very entertaining to see that happen and about to let her know when he suddenly saw a flash of silver streaked toward them, her specifically.
Anya must have somehow activated it without realising it. But how? Aidan stopped when he suddenly remember how she had raised a hand in the air to brush her bangs away.
Aidan’s eyes instantly grew widened. He turned around swiftly to see her just finished nursing her ankle and about to stand up when Aidan shouted all the sudden.
“Don’t get up just yet!”
That startled Anya that she immediately fell back on her seat, eyes widened.
“W-What do you mean?”
Inhaled deeply, Aidan cautiously approached her.
“There are very fine and almost undetectable Spider Webs surrounding you, Miss Romans. These spider webs are trap triggers. If you ever move, it will trigger a death trap like just now. It’s one of Motýl’s oldest tricks: the Spider-Webs Bombs.”
As carefully and as delicately as he could, he murmured a spell that made his hands glowed in white, leaned forward towards her and proceed by untangling the spider webs around her neck area.
“What are you doing?”
“Untangling these webs. What else?”
“Shouldn’t you be, like, searching for the bomb?”
“Ah. That can wait, Miss Romans. This, however, cannot be delayed any seconds,” Aidan replied shortly.
Confused, Anya frowned deeply.
“These spider-webs are actually the bomb that we’ve been searching for. Nano-bombs, actually. After Motýl had joined the Demon King’s forces, he’d developed a way to combine the use of technology and magic. It started as curiosity, but later, he began developing an unhealthy obsession with it. One would have assumed he’d discovered a way to come to this world, hence, enhanced his abilities as magician and scientist to create these nano-bombs.”
“Indeed,” Aidan nodded. “No matter. Once he’s captured, I’m sure His Majesty and His Highness would punish him severely for his crimes. The most they could do is to imprison him for a life sentence. Now then, Miss Romans. Do keep quiet and breath slowly while I untangle these webs.”
SEVERAL minutes passed by in silence. With quick fingers, Aidan had successfully untangled the spider webs from Anya’s neck. Currently, he’s untangling the webs around her waist.
Having him standing so close, bending his neck slightly toward her while his eyes keenly and eyes delicately untangling the webs around her waist was nerves wrecking for Anya. She could practically feel him breathing on her face.
It didn’t help either that she’s still in her dress, and his fingers brushed against her part of her skin that’s bare every now and then.
Sighed deeply, Anya closed her eyes, hoping, to think of something else when she decided to ask.
“How much time do we have left?”
“About forty-five minutes.”
Anya gasped loudly. Tension grew despite both trying to stay calm as best as possible.
Wiping her damped forehead, she checked on the time and decided to ask again.
“Any progresses down there?”
“I’m having a slight problem with the webs around your waist. Tell me Miss Romans, have you been losing weights lately?”
“Don’t you know it’s rude to ask a lady about her weights?”
“Ah. Please don’t misunderstand my question, Miss Romans. The reason why I’m asking is due to the lightness of your weight when I’d carried you earlier. It seemed that you’ve lost quite an amount of weights since the last time we met.”
“Of course. Why would I lie about such things? It made me wondered if you’re losing weights have something to do with the engagement party’s preparation or did something happened that disable you to neglect your health?”
“It’s nothing,” Anya sighed deeply, “I admit these past few weeks have been tough on me juggling between Home’s, the preparations for this Engagement Party and the upcoming examination... So yeah, I guess you could say that I’m quite stressed out.”
Aidan stared at her for a while but said nothing. He resumed untangling the last web of the nano-bombs as fast as he could.
A couple of minutes later, Aidan successfully untangled the last strings of spider webs off her and backed away as Anya immediately stood up and stretched her arms and legs. She checked on the watch, about twenty minutes have passed by.
“Does this means we’ve successfully defused the bomb?” Anya asked, turning to look at the butler who nodded.
“It is best if we escape here as soon as possible before-”
“How very impressive! Truly, I am impressed that you’ve managed to detect my little nano bombs sooner than I’d thought!”
Motýl’s voice boomed throughout the empty banquet hall. Instinctively, Aidan pulled the young woman closer behind him when something fell from the ceiling followed by thick grey and puffy smoke that clouded their visions.
“Like my little surprise?”
Motýl appeared before them inside a long mirror, still in the same outfit with a papillon mask covered half of his face after the smoke dispensed.
“I must say, your name does lives up to your reputation as the Gran Mago. Even without using magic, you still managed to figure out the missing pieces of the puzzle.”
Motýl tilted his head slightly to the left to the voice who called out to him. His eyes immediately grew bigger when a fist suddenly raised up in the air and then hit hard the middle of the mirror, shattering it.
“W-What is this?!” Motýl shrieked horrifyingly. “You, girl. Just who do you think you are?!”
“Listen up, you papillon freak. I couldn’t care less about what happened in the past between the two of you. The fact that you’ve roped innocent people involved in this sick twisted mind game is truly unacceptable.”
Anya cracked her bruised knuckle, gave the man a malice glare.
“A real man will not just stand and watch from afar. If you have enough balls, then come over here and fight us like a real man!”
The whole room fell into complete deep silence when Motýl started to chuckle all the sudden.
“What a fierce little Devil you got there, Gran Mago. It is unfortunate that our parting comes in so soon.”
A sudden explosion at the further back caused both of them to gasp in shock.
“What the hell?! We’ve defused the bombs, didn’t we!”
“Oh, you think those are the only bombs I’ve planted? Better run your little legs off if you want to survive.”
Motýl mocking chuckles quickly faded when half of the banquet hall was suddenly caught in an explosion and blinded by a searing white light.
“Go! Just run!”
Aidan grabbed her arms and made a mad dash toward the exit. Anya didn’t even have the time to catch her breath or winced because as soon as she ran to the exit, the shock wave hit and threw them across the hallway.
Heavy and thick smoke instantly filled in the hallway.
Coughing loudly, Anya shakily got up to her feet and winched in pain at her now swollen ankle. Hands flapping to clear the smoke, Anya was just about to call out to Aidan when suddenly, she felt someone gripped on her wrist and pulled her closer against a warm body.
“Are you okay?”
Anya instantly recognised the musky cologne mixed with sweat and something else… blood?
With a nod from Anya, Aidan wasted no time and assisted her toward the exit. The sound of explosive getting closer behind them. The rooftops began to collapse, walls crumbled and pillars dropped from out of nowhere, made their escape harder.
The two were almost to the exit when they heard an explosion right behind them.
The blast slammed into them hard. Anya felt her body starting to fall when she felt strong arms wrapped around her and shielded her using his back, against the explosion.
Aidan smiled wearily at her.
“Aidan, move!” Anya tried to shove him away, but Aidan kept his ground and refused to budge.
“Let me protect you. Please.”
Anya barely heard him over the sound of the explosions behind them before another blast, far more powerful than the last one. Then everything went dark.
“MISS, can you hear me? Hey, ― Sir! You cannot be here!”
“I’m her goddamn relative! Anya!”
Anya heard a distinctive voice faintly called her name.
“Uh...Urgh...” Anya muttered unrecognised words. Horrible pain in her chest greeted her. As her senses began to clear, Anya could hear faintly the sound of sirens.
Her eyes fluttered open slowly when the same voice kept shouting her name over again. The first thing she saw was Josh’s worried face with watery eyes and a deep scowl on his handsome face, hovering over her. Next, Anya noticed she was surrounded by a group of medical team and that she was laying on a stretcher.
“Thank God! Oh, thank God that you’re all right!” Josh pulled Anya into a tight embrace despite loud protests from the medical team who scolded him.
“You stupid idiot! What the hell is the matter with you? Did you NOT hear me when I said NO funny business? How on Earth ― what the hell were you thinking sneaking back into the hotel anyway?!”
“Detective Campbell,” A deep grunted voice spoke calmly behind him.
Turned around, Josh came face to face with the proud and reliable Commanding Officer of Hillview’s Police Department Major Case Squad, Captain Cragen Marshall. A bald man in his fifties, Cragen has a look of a firm and no-nonsense personality when in reality, he was such a lovable and doting grandfather to a pair of two-year-old twin girls.
“May I please speak with Miss Romans alone for a while?”
“Sir, I got this.”
Cragen took a step forward and put one hand on the man’s shoulder and whispered. “Josh, I must ask for you to stand down during the interview sessions. You know the protocols, don’t you?”
Josh swore under his breath.
“Hey. I’ll be around here if you need me. Just shout if anything happens. Got it?” Reluctantly, Josh let go of her. He gave her a final and firm look before walking away to get himself a cup of dark roasted coffee.
The medical team already finished treating her had been ordered to leave as well. Carefully getting up from the stretcher, Anya nervously waited for the Commander to say something. She half expected to receive more of less lecture from the older man when the Commander suddenly grew a smirk.
“My, my, my. It seems that I may have missed my chance to kiss a sleeping beauty,” Soon as those words left his mouth, the man named Cragen changed his appearance.
Cautiously as she approached him, Anya grabbed a handful of his shirt, before pulling him close and wrapped her arms around him tightly.
It literally took his breath away ― to have her holding him this close. Granted, he’d always thought Anya would be the last person to ever give him any affections given their intolerance relationships… Nonetheless, it actually felt nice to have her close.
Aidan hesitatingly reached out his arms and wrapped around her waist, pulling her closer against him. They stayed like that together for a while before Anya slowly and shyly pulled herself away from his warm embrace.
Meanwhile, Aidan was having a rather hard time not to grin at her flushed face, while he waited patiently for her to compose herself.
“That for uh… an assurance! Yeah, just to make sure that we both still kicking and alive.”
“Indeed. Should I expect a kiss for the next time we both made it out alive out of a deadly situation then?”
Anya made a weird noise at the back of her throat and rapidly shook her head. “A-Absolutely not! This is one time AND one time only!”
The deep crimson blush on her cheeks was definitely worth the tease, Aidan mused.
Maybe if he could…
While Anya continued with her babbling, all the sudden, Aidan pushed the bangs of her hair behind her ears and pulling her in for another hug. Trying desperately to control how rapidly fast her heart was beating, and why she suddenly felt very embarrassed being this close to him when ―
“Over there, Marian! Miss Anya! Aidan!”
Duke’s voice broke whatever spell between them as he and his fiancée marched toward them. Anya gently pushed away and pointed out at their incoming guests.
Neither Duke nor Marian commented anything about the hug between those two, they were more concerned and glad the two made it out alive.
“Thank goodness you both made it out alive! We weren’t so worried if my magic came in too late.”
Duke and Marian had their arms wrapped tightly around them.
“When Aidan had informed us about your brief encounter with Motýl, he’d also made sure that you have a backup plan in case things turned bad ― us!”
Anya blinked her eyes confusingly. “Do you mind explaining this further?”
“Of course,” Duke nodded, taking a step back. “Aidan had warned us that things may turn for the worse especially when defusing the bomb and had asked us to prepare the necessary should it ever happen. During the ‘Time-Flow’ period, only the four of us were not affected. Hence, while the two of you rushed into the hotel, Marian and I had sneaked out and waited in front of the hotel.”
“The moment we saw the two of you running out toward the exit, Duke had used his magic to restart the flow of time and cast a shield to protect you two from the last explosion, while I went and told your uncle that I might have seen someone coming out of the building a little while ago,” Marian continued explaining the rest.
“The last explosion happened closely to everyone… It actually caught us off guards. To be honest, we weren’t quite certain if Duke’s magic would reach you in time. But thankfully, it did!”
Mocha eyes watched from the Prince and his fiancée to the tall butler standing opposite them, holding his lower abdominal.
“Are you okay there, Aidan?”
Aidan waved his hand casually. “I’m fine, Miss Romans. Thank you for your concerns.”
“Liar,” Releasing Marian gently, Anya slowly walked toward the butler and looked at the wound on his abdomen that he tried so hard to hide.
“You obviously need a treatment. Excuse me!” Anya called out to one of the medical staff passing nearby. “My friend here is hurt. Can he get a treatment please?”
AIDAN soon found himself laying on a stretcher. His once wounded abdomen had been dressed perfectly. He had broken his ribs as well as tore a muscle on his right shoulder from the blast.
It would be so much easier for him to heal himself, however, Duke had prohibited him from using any magic at the moment. So here he was, waiting to be carried into the white vehicle known as the Ambulance that would take him to the General Hospital to get further treatment.
Despite his protest, the medical team insisted to get him a full scope check up ― just to be sure the wounds he received were more than just a wounded abdomen and muscle strained.
While Aidan was contemplating his thoughts when out of nowhere, he heard chuckles from his further left. Anya watched him amusingly with a broad smirk. There were plasters and bruises on some part of her pretty face during their escapade.
At least her twisted ankle had recovered ― Duke had insisted to heal her ankle that would cost him absolutely nothing.
“Does me being in this position really amuses you by any chance, Miss Romans?”
The two kept silence yet amusement still lingered in their eyes. While waiting for the ambulance to drive him away, Aidan offered a hand to her.
“Miss Roman? You look like you have something to say.”
Anya quickly shook her head. “It’s nothing. More importantly, will you be all right? The syringe can be quite painful, you know.”
Deep chuckles escaped from his mouth, caused Anya’s heart to once again beating rapidly fast. Aidan raised up, using both of his elbows.
Aidan grew a smirk. “I’ll be fine, Miss Romans. As long as I have you thinking about me, I’ll overcome every pain that the evil syringe has to offer.”
“You silly man,” Anya poked his shoulder gently. Just then, one of the medical staff approached them and informed that they would be leaving shortly and asked Anya if she would go with them, which she declined.
“Duke and Marian will be there with you. As for me, well, you’ve seen how Josh reacted earlier and besides, my mum would probably be worried sick if I disappeared again without telling anyone. Expect to be lectured by the twins over the phone soon,” Anya winched at the thought.
Aidan reached out his hands and pulled her closer and caressed her head, affectionately. “It’ll be fine. They care about you.”
Despite the dark shades of red on her cheeks, Anya couldn’t resist looking away from him. Not when he kept caressing her head so gently like this. Not when he stared at her so intensively, from her face down to her lips like that...
The spell was ultimately broken when the medical team returned quickly and prepared to usher Aidan into the ambulance.
All the while, none of them looked away until the ambulance was just a tiny shadow as they drove away.