End Game

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Chapter five part1

Chapter five

My eyes felt heavy, my breath hitched, my body weak and despite it being morning since the sunlight ripped through the curtains I was still undoubtedly finished. Sleep didn’t seem enough for me currently, maybe it was because I couldn’t get enough of it or maybe because I didn’t want to. Stress does extraordinary things to your body.

I felt his presence before I heard his voice, “Good morning.” My eyes flickered to him, Isaiah, standing towards the door fully clothed, holding a bottle of purple thick liquid, his eyes travelled down to the bottle too, “Oh I made a smoothie for you, you were fast asleep I thought you needed all the sleep you could get, ” Smiling he handed me the bottle, “Apples, grapes and strawberries. I thought you’d prefer that over the protein packed one we’re required to drink, doesn’t taste as good.” Gratefully I accepted the bottle with my non injured hand, his eyes glazed over to my bandaged one, “How’s it holding up.” I almost forgot that I was injured, events of last night flooded over me.

“It’s fine.” Lie. It might not have been burning as it was before but it still hurt just as bad.

Again, he saw right through me, “I thought we’ve already been through this, you don’t need to lie to me.” Instead of frowning, he actually smiled a somewhat heart warming, reassuring smile. “There’s some pain killers in the upper drawer,” He gestured towards the cabinet drawer beside the bed. Pain killers were increasingly rare to come by, if it was available the prices were too high for the lower or even middle class to afford. Funny what we take for granted. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

I nodded, unsure what to say, last night burned through my head again, incessant with the memory of me practically begging him not to leave me and his warm strong arms wrapped around me. Strange? I could still feel the imprint now, his scent clung stubbornly to my clothes, but I guess, I guess it wasn’t unpleasant as I thought it to be.

Focus. Focus.

Snapping back into reality and bewildered by my momentary lapse of sanity, I realised that it was painfully silent and for too long.

Suddenly long fingers found their way onto my face, gently, meticulously, cupping my cheeks he forced me to look into his ethereal eyes. Anybody else probably would get slapped or worse. But this wasn’t out of malice. How do I know? I just do, malevolence just didn’t adjust to his character.

His voice gruff and laced with concern asked me carefully, “Alexis, how many fingers am I holding up?” With one hand free, he held up what I could clearly see was three rough, calloused fingers.

Cracking a smile, I looked back into his eyes, “Three. I’m fine really. No headache, no concussion, nothing.” Reassuring him seemed to work, he softly left go, striding back up regaining his tall, now quickly composed posture.

“It’s just after last night, with everything that happened and what you went through, I am honestly surprised you didn’t go into shock or worst, I couldn’t go to sleep until you went to sleep and now you abruptly zoned out. I thought-”

“You waited until I feel asleep?” Despite everything that happened previously and the brunt of the fall that he took, which now he still managed to dazzle and look perfect and knowing how much it drained out of him, he still waited for me. “Thank you, for last night, you know for being there. ”

Clearing his throat he began scratching the back of his head, I could tell he was nervous, I just didn’t know why. “It’s fine. It’s my job.”

“It’s my job.′ That phrase stung much more than it should have. I guess I deserved that, after what he told me yesterday night and how I completely disregarded his feelings. But such feelings were dangerous in his line of work, he knew that and I knew that. But why would he risk everything for me? Who am I that he would do something so dangerous like that, “Nevertheless, thank you.” I inputted quickly, giving him more of a reason to stay and talk, to carry on the conversation.

No.

Reminding myself over, weakness means death. Playing it like a broken record over and over in my head until I made sure it stuck there. What happened last night to me wasn’t an accident, I had to stay on my game, I had to not get caught up in feelings. I had to. Or to put it simply I’d die.

He was watching me, maybe looking for a break in my walls, maybe, or looking for something else I couldn’t decipher. And neither could he. “Why did you leave last night, at dinner?”

That question clearly took him off guard, his face contorted, straining his features, ” I just wasn’t feeling well, ” He paused to see if I was buying his flimsy excuse, “Migraine, I get those frequently. I never knew my family but I’m guessing it’s genetic.” He laughed trying to fill in his excuse and make it somewhat more believable, maybe to an everyday passer by it would be plausible, but I’m not one of them.

“And now?” I pressed on, his eyes locked on mine again, it took me everything in my power not to look away, but the way he was looking at me and how expressive his blue orbs were, it was hard not to.

The corner of his lips hitched up into a smirk, his signature smirk. “Enough about me, you’re the one I’m here to protect. I have to deliver you to the Nations in one piece. ” He pointed to the end of his bed, ” Some change of clothes courtesy of Zee, we’re training at 0900,” He stopped again breaking it down for me, “In thirty minutes, should give you enough time to shower and do whatever girls - women need to do. I’ll get Zee to help you out. But nine o’clock sharp.” Proceeding to walk away, he stopped and turned back, “Oh and Alexis we need to talk more about how you got those marks. But training first, I need to make sure you can protect yourself when I’m not around.” With one more smile thrown my way, he left, closing the door behind him.

He didn’t slam it, didn’t bang it shut but it still felt like hoards of bullets shooting right past my ears inhibiting any sound from passing and that gut wrenching hole left in my chest. Digging deeper and deeper.

*****

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