My entire body was sore. I tried moving but felt a stinging pain on my lower part of my stomach. Gasping for air, I try to open my eyes. Blinding light making me frown. What was this? Where was I?
Confused, I wait for my eyes to adjust to the light. Looking around, I see I’m in an enormous room. White walls and a small air conditioner greeted me. A vase with white lilies stand nicely on a shelf, and a chair with a black coat rested. Was someone with me?
I tried recalling what happened. The explosion, but before that, I remember seeing someone familiar.
Recalling who it was, I sat up suddenly. My complete body throb in pain as I hissed at it. My face in tears as the pain becomes unbearable to hold it. Laying back down, I try to take deep breaths. My stomach throbbed in pain. How did I survive? The explosion must have had killed me, but how was I alive?
Sighing, I try to think about what I missed. It still confused me. Did I imagine things and see the wrong person?
“No way…” I whispered loudly.
“Really? I thought things were possible…” a voice said, making me look at the entrance of the room.
“The fuck?” I curse as I sat up. Groaning again, I hold my stomach.
“Lay down,” the voice said as she flicks my forehead, “If you continue getting up, the wound will open. The doctors had to stitch that twice already.”
“Allorah?” I mutter, “How…”
“That is a long story. Right now, it would be best if you had a quick checkup and some good rest,” Allorah said, smiling warmly.
I stare at the woman right before me. Her smiling face was making me smile even though I was in deep pain.
“You look different,” I said as I check her out.
She looked different. Her long white hair was gone and now replaced by a short shoulder-length cut. She had dyed it in black. Her face looked a little chubbier.
She smiled at me as I stare at her. I could see she had gotten some weight. It must be the exercises, but still, what was she doing here? And wearing a uniform?
“Allorah, could you please explain?” I asked as the bedroom door open and in walked two doctors in white robes.
“You are finally awake. How was the nap?” one of the doctors asked, smirking.
“Uh… excuse me, what?” I asked, confused.
“You’ve been sleeping for ten days,” the other doctor said smiling, “If Allorah hadn’t saved you, you would be rotting somewhere right now.”
“Raphael, this is Doctor Smith and Doctor Laurence,” Allorah said, introducing them.
“Nice to meet you,” Doctor Smith said as he checked the machines.
“Where am I?” I asked, confused, “What is this place?”
“Can you wait and allow them to check on you first?” Allorah said with a sigh.
Giving up on my persistence, I let them do so.
“You have a deep wound on your stomach; literally, it was open. The piece of metal that went through didn’t touch any organ, but still, it was a dangerous thing to happen. You were lucky,” Doctor Smith said, “You have a broken ankle as well and a slight concussion. That one will be under observations.”
“Yes, so take all the rest possible, and need not worry, we will help you recover as soon as possible,” Doctor Laurence said. “You will explain to him the rest, right?”
He looked at Allorah, who nodded. After explaining to me I could not eat for a few days, they excused themselves. I observed Allorah from afar. She was on the phone.
She looked different. Like she was a completely different person. Even her way of speaking changed.
A soft knock had me looking over at the door. Who might it be? Excusing himself, the person peeks in. Smiling brightly, he walks in and closes the door.
“How are you feeling?” the stranger asked.
“I could be better…” I spat.
“That’s true,” the stranger said, “Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Karl.”
“Nice to meet you; I’m Raphael,” I said as we shake hands.
“Yes, I know. I heard a lot about you. Your reputation proceeds you,” Karl said, smiling.
“Here you are. I thought you were coming later,” Allorah said as she put her phone away.
“No, I came earlier,” Karl said, smiling warmly at Allorah.
Lifting my eyebrow, I stare at them. The blonde guy named Karl looked at Allorah with eyes full of love.
“Ok, if you say so,” Allorah said, giggling. “Now, I bet you have a lot of questions, right?”
“Yes…” I mumble.
“Very well, hope you are ready!” Karl said as he moves and brings the chair over for Allorah to sit.
“Where should I begin?” Allorah said as she closed her eyes and crossed her legs.
Allorah had explained what happened after she disappeared a year ago. She explained to me how she became a soldier, well, a more professional assassin. Dominique’s grandfather offered her the chance to become stronger. We were all aware she wished to become stronger, and because Dominique didn’t give her an opportunity, she agreed to it. The following month she spends her time recovering and training slowly as a soldier. She explained how harsh the training was.
She also told me how her body took a toll, and she had to rest for an entire month. I felt she wasn’t telling me the complete story about her health.
Allorah also explained how only Farah and her mother knew where she was. Farah would visit her every two weeks to check on her. As the month went by, she started training and started taking arduous tasks that required even her body to take part. Allorah explained that she was doing it for herself, not because of something else. She didn’t want revenge or anything to do with Stefan. She only hoped to help and protect herself in case something happens.
A few months ago, Mr. Montiel offered her a position as the leader of the Black Coral Squad.
The Black Coral squad was a group of people trained to be assassins. They had many tasks to do, but one important one was to infiltrate and extract vital survivors. This squad has been famous in the underground organization. I knew Dominique’s grandfather was one of the head leaders of that group. This group was an extension of the organization I worked.
We barely heard of them, and when we requested them to assist the others, it was for an extraction or a mission. They feared the Black Coral reputation in the underground organizations. Even the Dragon Organization feared them. So hearing Allorah say she was the leader had me left in complete shock. Allorah wasn’t the bloody person. She was too pure for this.
“Wait, I just don’t understand why accept this position?” I asked, confused as I massaged my face.
“Because she’s perfect for the role of leader,” Karl explained, “She can handle it, and this is what the entire team needed.”
“Capable she is, but what I mean is that she isn’t a person who would shed blood!” I said, frustrated.
“And I don’t,” Allorah said as she glared at me, “This team doesn’t do this.”
“Doesn’t?” I asked, shocked, “So what do you do?”
“That I can’t tell you,” Allorah said, standing up, “You should rest.”
“What?” I said as I try to sit up and stop her.
“Whoa, stay still,” Karl said as he holds me from my arms, “Your wound like seriously.”
“Let go!” I snap at him.
“Enough!” Allorah said in a commanding tone. “Once you had to calm down, I will tell you, now follow orders and rest. Remember, you’re under my command, so this is an order.”
Laying back down, I watch Allorah close the bedroom down.
“Don’t worry; she hasn’t changed that much.” Karl said smiling, “Allorah just became stronger, and well, she sees life differently.”
“Can I ask you something?” I said as I lower my gaze, “what’s with you and Allorah?”
“Excuse me?” Karl said with a frown.
“I asked what’s happening between you two?” I snap.
Karl just stood looking at me. Furrowing his eyebrows, he covers me and then turns away.
“That is not my place to answer,” Karl said as he turns off the lights and closes the bedroom door.
The next day, I woke up to the noise of doctors checking on me. Groaning in annoyance, I open my eyes. Doctor Smith and Allorah were discussing on a corner of the room.
“What time is it?” I asked.
Allorah and the doctor looked my way.
“Morning, it’s eight in the morning. It’s early,” Allorah said as she sat on the edge of the bed.
“I see. Is something the matter?” I asked curiously.
“No. Doctor Smith, will he have his medicine?” Allorah scolded.
“Yes, the nurse would be here in a while,” Doctor Smith said and excused himself.
Once the door close, Allorah sighed and massaged her temple.
“Is everything ok? You look tired,” I mumble quietly.
“Yes, thanks for asking. Now tell me, how are you feeling? Your body will be sore,” Allorah said, smiling, “Once you recover, you will start your therapy.”
“Ok,” I nodded, “Um, I was wondering, did you let Dominique know about me? You know that I was safe?”
Allorah flinches as I said Dominique’s name.
“No, they won’t know you are alive,” Allorah said, lowering her gaze.
“What, why? They should know they will think I’m dead!” I argue.
“And that’s how we will leave it!” Allorah snapped back. “It would be wise if we pretend you are dead. I’m saying this because there is a reason behind it.”
“A reason?” I said, frowning, “What might that be?”
“Stefan,” Allorah said, standing up, “I will tell you later. Now I need to go.”
“Wait!” I said, stopping her, “I just want to ask you something.”
“What is it?” Allorah asked as she looked over her shoulder.
“What’s your relationship with that guy Karl?” I asked carefully.
“Karl?” Allorah said, raising her eyebrows, “Why the question?”
“Just answer me,” I said, annoyed, “Did something happened?”
“I will answer that some other time, now if you excuse me,” Allorah said as she turns away from me.
“What was Allorah hiding?” I mutter.
I wouldn’t say I liked this at all. Allorah was hiding things from me, and I needed to find out what it was. This was strange for me. I needed to speed up my recovery and find out what all this was about.