End Game

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Chapter four part 2

“Alexis?” I recognised that voice. This was a dream. “Alexis!” The voice strained, unsure what to do. Another series of footsteps charged through, followed by another and then another until I lost count.

Wet. I was wet. My cheeks felt unbearably damp. The paralyse slowly drained from my systems.

A dream. It was a dream.

Forcefully I snapped my eyes open the smell of sulphur disintegrated and sweet chocolate filled my senses instead. Instantly I locked my eyes onto Zee, her expression screamed everything, fear. Absolute fear possibly the overwhelming thought that I was the key to fixing the world, I could remember what she said about me being the ‘saviour’ and Isaiah agreed with her, my mind flowed back to him saying he didn’t know why they wanted me and he seemed surprisingly honest. Did he lie to me? If he did, how, why would he choose to slip up like that, right in front of me? Could I trust him?

My shoulder shook with violent force, reality seemed to seep back in. Zee.

Opening my mouth to somewhat reassure her, nothing come out only air. I had to catch my breath. I had to calm down. Quickly I placed a cold hand on her warm ones making sure I locked eyes with her, I nodded. Her tense, hunched shoulders relaxed. That was enough for now.

With dry lips and even drier throat I managed to croak out what I could deduct was a question, “What happened?”

She gave me a ludicrous look like I was the crazy one, she took a seat on the bed, I guess she had quite the shock, but weren’t they supposed to be trained for this, it was in their job description to handle crazy, right? “What happened? What happened! Angela, you were the one screaming, we thought something bad happened, or someone broke in-”

“We?”

She gestured towards the entrance of my room, everyone like everyone was there, which explains the multiple footsteps. This was unbelievably embarrassing, a grown teen that had a nightmare acting like a baby. But that nightmare, that nightmare was so realistic I could have swore it happened and that sulphur smell afterwards. How? Maybe it was a good thing, Evan was safe, home tucked in by now and fast asleep.

Threatening tears nearly started spilling but then I laid eyes on Isaiah, his face held no amusement of any sort, just immense worry, he communicated with his eyes asking if I was okay, quickly I turned, I wasn’t a child. One nightmare. No big deal.

I could swear even Elijah looked slightly upset, only slightly his sweatpants hung loosely around his torso, his rigid abs bear covered with intricate tattoos, I could nearly make out, we were all engulfed in mostly darkness except the hall light outside radiating light, that I learnt turned on automatically. Leave it to Elijah to be the only one practically naked, Veronica wore a black nightie with blinders wrapped around her head, ready to go back to her ‘beauty sleep’ even Jordon looked worried. I could make out a musk of chocolate from he too, did him and Zee sleep together? Was that even allowed-

“Alexis!” Her tone come out practically harsh for Zee, my eyes snapped directly to her “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, thank you,” Shifting upwards with Zee’s help, I sat upwards, my face were soaked in tears, even dampening the pillows, bringing up my hand to wipe away the liquid from my face. “Thank you all, I’m okay-”

Something caught my eyes, instantly I stopped. My right arm bared three ruby red, deep, twisted scratches, to the point I was drawing blood. That definitely was not there before. My nails were not remotely long enough to make those marks that deep.

Silence. Complete silence.

Looking through my lashes, Isaiah eyes met mine, instantly he ran to my bedside, taking my arm in his hands carefully analysing the damage.

Jordon dragged Elijah who was leaning on the wall obviously madly confused “We’ll do a perimeter check.”

My eyes met Zee’s. Trying to be somewhat comforting she placed a hand on my other arm, ” They’re just checking if we have an intruder. Common procedure.” We both knew it was a lie, something would have triggered off their security, it was state of art. But was there really a procedure to this?

Veronica proceeded to start investigating my room, looking out the window as if anyone can survive a first floor fall. This surely woke her up, her faltering eyes suddenly buzzed with life.

“Alexis,” He placed a hand tenderly onto the top of my wound, a little bit too hard, pain shot through my entire arm, I concealed it as best I could but knowingly he always saw through it, ” Do you know how you got this?”

Irritated. Confused. Scared. Wasn’t the best all mixed together, ” Do you think if I knew I wouldn’t tell you?” My voice was intended to come out hard, but I wasn’t entirely comfortably talking to him in that manner, I know, he was just trying to help.

“I’m sorry Isaiah, it just all too, well, you know.” He knew exactly what I meant, he and I both knew it wasn’t an intruder or self inflicted. So what was it?

His eyes softened only to comfort me, I could see the worry behind it, slowly but surely he placed his hand, cupping my left cheek trying to wipe away the wetness. I know it’s stupid but I felt myself slowing leaning into it. It was the only comfort I could hold onto right now. “We’ll figure it out together.”

* * *

With the boys already explaining to us that there was no one around for miles, I think it really dawned on everyone that this was deadly serious, eradicating the threat of an intruder instead was something we all could cling on, even hoped for, anything was better than the truth. But to our dismay the boys extinguished our hope. My hope.

Privately they chose to talk from earshot away from me, probably what they thought was for my own good. As if. They practically had to pry Isisah away from me, he was so reluctant to go that when he left his fire and warmth died with him, at least I had Zee still by my side she’d though it best for me not to be left alone. I couldn’t help but agree with her, silently of course. If they were nervous, how should I be feeling? Fearful? Scared?

After their private get together, all the boys stormed back into the room, Veronica still lingered in the hallway like she was anxious to come close to me, not scared, but unsure. They insisted that I shouldn’t stay alone and instead should share with Isaiah as he readily volunteered, I made no quick protest. Trying to distribute my weight evenly, I remember attempting to take two steps only to find myself crumble to the ground, Isaiah was there almost in an instant but Elijah beat him to it, picking easily my off my feet as my robe hung loosely around my bare body.

His hold felt so alien but he was so sure of himself that even I felt like I was meant to belong there. He kicked the already slightly ajar door belonging to Isaiah room, meticulously placing me onto his king sized bed, the satin duvet cloaked around me and warmth shot through my entire body, that sweet smell of Isaiah clung to my nostrils. I guess I’ve encompassed that smell with safety. I was safe. At least for now.

Isaiah had attentively followed, cleaned up my wound, I quickly thanked Elijah and everyone for helping, I know this would be completely rather what they’d be doing. Knowing that I’d be safe with Isaiah they had left.

Right now, he was fishing out extra blankets and pillows from his closet, the bed had enough. Why was he getting more? “Why do you need that?” I could feel my eyebrows scrunch together as I pointed to the array of bed supplies he was currently holding. Trying to relax my face so my features wouldn’t be so tense.

He gave me a bewildered look, like it was a outrageous question to ask, “Alexis , I’m sleeping on the floor,” His eyes flashed down to the blankets, “Unless you want this? Are you warm enough?”

Was he actually being serious. I had the thickest duvet possible and comforter and I was in fact too hot which in fact was a major surprise compared this to the terrible English weather. His zeal for my wellbeing was invigorating. He really cared. “You’d sleep on the floor without anything just for me and my wellbeing?” It wasn’t supposed to come out as a question and I could see his immediate reaction, hurt.

“Why would you think anything less,” He paused forcing me to look into his now blue orbs, “Look Alexis, I know you have a hard time letting people in, I could sense that when we first met, but if it takes a week, a month, hell if it takes years. I will help you open up-”

“How can you be like, like that,” Struggling to find the words to form a coherent sentence I took a deep breath, “What I’m trying to say, I’ve known you what, a couple of days and you’re ready to lay down your life for me, you’re ready to do all these things for me, I’m no one special Isaiah, and that’s even regarding if I make it the next couple of months-”

“What do you mean?” A dangerous edge held his voice like he didn’t want to hear what I was going to tell him next.

“I’m going to die aren’t I? That’s why you had to protect me, deliver me to the Nations, so I could ‘save’ the world. That usually means a sacrifice and that sacrifice is going to be me.” I guess it’s always been in the back of my mind, I had always known, I’ve read enough novels to confirm this. If I at least save Evan I was happy. And I guess him too.

He tried to close the distance but the look I gave him stopped his in his tracks, frowning he continued, “Look I know I said I didn’t know what they wanted to do with you and I still really don’t, but yes I was assigned on this mission to recover you and deliver you safely to Nations’ HQ they believe that you hold the key for saving the world, they never told me how, we’re restricted to the level of information we receive. Alexis if I even had a hint of what they planned to you was bad, I’d never except in fact, I would still rescue you but never put you in their hands, Alexis I-” He paused trying to use his hand to express his out bursting emotions, “And it hasn’t been a couple of days at least for me. I was always infatuated by you since I first was assigned your case a few years back, it just surprised me how someone going through what you’ve gone through still manages to hold onto sanity. I’m mean I never saw you physically in person, but I could visualise everything about you. You are special especially to me. Believe it or not you were perfect for me - are- and I just knew I had to volunteer being assigned to this case despite the dangers-”

Clouds of feelings were swirling inside me, should I feel angry for my privacy or lack there of. Or for Isisah practically professing his love to me. Was he actually saying that? Usually I’m good at reading people but he was just whack, completely out of focus for me right now. “You - you volunteered?”

“Who else am I going to trust with your life Alexis?” His hand fell down to his sides and crept into his pockets, his head dwindled and he whispered it, to the point I could barely make out what he was saying. Almost.

His was now looking down at me, expecting a response, racking my head throughout I couldn’t find anything to say the room was getting smaller and smaller, despite it being us two I felt immensely pressured, “What about that demon that keeps following us?” I blurted out, seeing his face in a instant made my heart clenched. How would you feel if you poured your heart to someone and they just turned around and slapped it in your face.

It looked like he was just slapped in the face, quickly collecting himself he give a tight reply, ” I don’t know, it must be one of the Unknown or it could just be a ridiculously big bird. The Unknown usually hunt deep in the night time. And we don’t know what they actually look like. I’ve logged it into HQ they’ll send backup before we leave.” It must have left my mind when he apparently logged it in, but I trusted it nevertheless. “Don’t worry, you’ll be safe. That I can promise.”

Silence. I simply nodded and he accepted that.

“If there’s anything else,” He glanced up towards me, laying out his bed on the floor for the night, the floor as polished and gleaming as it appeared must not be all that too comfortable, I shook my head, “Okay then, goodnight Alexis.” He proceeded to turn the lights off, stopped in his tracks to look back at me, “Do you want them on?”

I nodded.

“Right good-”

“Stay up here.” I sprouted out, completely astonished by my own words, “Please.” Again completely unlike me.

He looked weary, like if I would back out any second, “Are you sure?” His thick eyebrows furrowed.

My throat closed up, my mouth dry, all I could managed was a nod. Slowly but surely, he climbed into the bed, his weight shifted it down as I had my back turned to him. His breath trickled down my back fully bringing my awake again in more ways than one, “Goodnight-”

“Can you hold me? I just want to feel the warmth of someone.” It was the only reassurance I had that someone was actually there.

He didn’t hesitate, he wrapped his arms around me, also wrapping his heat around me. Any regret dissolved. This felt right.

Again he whispered a quick, “Goodnight.” Before another set of darkness entrapped me. I needed to know how these marks and that strange dream came to be. But I guess things had to be taken once at a time.

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