The door opened Julian entering through the living room locking the main door behind him. He had not been here in the last few days. Julian took a deep breath everything still strongly smelled like her leaving longing ache in his chest. Pictures filled the one bedroom apartment from one hall to the other even to the kitchen there whole life their family, their friends littered her walls. He realized he was in so many smiling to himself. Julian turned to notice one in the hall of Tessa and Addie, than of him hugging Tessa in his lap smiling at Jared who was sitting with Addie in his lap all laughing living in the moment and happy just graduating out of the academy about to take their places in society as new leaders. He’ll never forget how excited Tess was to be in charge of her own life. So ready for the next step. Now look at where we are. The door was opening Julian ducked down in the closet. It shut and locked someone was walking to the kitchen. He heard glass clattering around and a pop, than pouring. He crept around the hall corner and saw the back of the intruder. “I’m not surprised you’re here, your not the only one who misses her you know?” Kylie said handing Julian the second the second drink while sipping her own. He took it happily thankful not to be alone here in her place wrapped in his thoughts and their memories. “I’m going to be straight with you Julian. She kept me in the loop the whole time with everything. I believe she found out something dangerous information and it got her in trouble. I believe she left us answers right here, so we need to find it quickly. The beauty of the way Tessa’s mind is quiete remarkable she broke each of us up and gave each of us information bit by bit to each one of us got a different piece I’m sure if we take whatever we find here and pull the rest of us together we will know all she did. So let’s get started we will not be the only ones trying to get in here. “ I agree. I’d like to start in her room.” “After you.” Walking in the room Julian heart feeling so much pain he wasn’t use to being this long with out her. “She’s been… before.” He was struggling with his words. “Days before the… I started to feel like she was having doubts. Did she ever say anything to Kylie?” Julian asked realizing he was scared to hear the answers now that he’s bringing his fears out in the open. “No. Tessa didn’t have any doubts. She was nervous though. Even with her title she still didn’t feel as if she was good enough for you, always thinking you could do better. I told her she was nuts there’s no way in hell you can do better than Tess.” Kylie laughed at him being honest, kneeling under the bed searching for any type of clue. Julian opened the closet. Kylie jumped quick. “Julian wait! Don’t open that!” Too late, as he slid the door all the way over starring him straight in his face was a beautiful white wedding gown it seemed to be glowing it was so glittery and elegant. ”She altered her mothers dress.” Julian asked happily excited next to the night stand inside the closet he opened it there were three pictures. One of her and her parents, the second one was of Tessa her parents and Julian with his dad the day they were told that he and Tess were arranged to be married. Looking deeper at how young they were. The third picture was of Tess and himself with some blood on their faces smiling at each other. Next to the pictures was a small present with a note. “Looking forward to the future old and grey still hot heavy. Love Tess. He laughed opening the box reading the note. “What is it?” Kylie asked. “It’s her grandparents wedding rings. Remember when they used to joke around and always tell us they maybe old grey but at least they still hot and heavy. So gross at the time, but man it felt like that was a life goal to be.” He laughed hard with Kylie letting the memory fill the room. “I was starting to think she wanted back out, but she was just getting ready to pull forward with me. I’ve loved her since the first laid eyes on her as kids. I was so over the moon when our parents sat us down and told us of the match they have made. Tess was not happy at first. She took me aside the next day and said she always to marry for love and how stupid she felt believing in something so silly in a place like this. She apologized for how she treated me the night before, I mean she wouldn’t even look at me or said a single word that night. Tess told me we were always friends so at least she wouldn’t be with a stranger and she was grateful for that. I as so crushed. I told her things didn’t need to change between us, that I would never hurt her, or force her to do something she did not want. If the time came and she didn’t want me I would simply say I change my mind. The look in her eyes filled her with what looked like respect, hope, trust even faith. We grew close rafter that. We were walking home when Eric started trouble he and his friends tried to come onto her she took most of them down quickly when she turned Eric slammed her in the head I was so enraged I pounced on him from whoever was under me and she yanked me off Eric his friends covered in blood from the busted lips and noses. I remember Brent saying You would settle with an orphaned ruined girl? This was a few years past her parents disappearance. I don’t settle for my girl, she settled for me. I stand by her as strong as she just stood on top of you, you damn worthless coward. That day was the day.” He held up the bloody picture with them so happy. “That was the day everything started to change her mind and saw me for more. We were inseparable after that.” “That’s a good story, it sounds very… Tessa.” Kylie grinned knowing there is no real one word to describe Tessa. “Very Eric.” She growled the last part. “Let’s hurry and keep looking. Hey, what’s this?” She asked Julian holding the picture he shown her. She took it out of the frame and held it to the light he pulled out a special flashlight, and gave it to her. Turning off the light’s holding the back of the picture under the flashlight. “21-100-17-9? Numbers? Julian quick take the other two pictures you found out. And give them to me.” Kylie stressed out. Pulling out her handheld computer searching those numbers in every part of her system she could find hoping to find some result. “18-100-17-9. 15-100-17-9. What do these even mean? Codes, addresses, keys it could literally be anything.” Julian said. “Do any of these ring any bells for you?” Kylie asked him stumped. “No.” He said flatly feeling confused. “Julian the note, look at the note behind it.” Julian again turned off the lights and there it was starring back at him. “21-100-17-9. Don’t forget me Jules I’ll try to do the same love Tessa.” Julian read shocked. “She knew you would find this.” Kylie’s eyes began to water as she told Julian. “Do you still think that should would believe you are like your father now?” Kylie smirked smugly. “She never gave up on me, and I never heard her out I just sent her away. How will she forgive me now?” He asked broken heartily “I need to get ready for a council meeting, tell no one about this and get started we need to know what this is.” “On it sir, let’s leave before someone starts looking for us.” Kylie said. “What are you doing?” She asked. “I’m gonna take these to the ground when I find her and maybe it’ll be a start to forgiveness I don’t deserve they weren’t just her grandparents rings they were her parents. It’s last thing beside picture she really has of family.
“Okay, troopers here’s the game plan Addie and Jared you are to break off and get to scout and become familiar with the land and Lelani will be your lovely tour guide.” Brantly yelled. “To the rest of you to your posts techs are working on finding our last shipment gone missing council is guessing the Rebels onboard purposely launched them towards the inlands. “Did they say which prisoners they were?” A random guard asked. “It was most of the East Wing.” Jared answered back the guard swallowed hard. “SO let’s get started on finding the most dangerously psychotic prisoners aboard shall we? To your psots.” They all broke away quickly Adelyn and Jared making their way to a young woman her patch proved to be a lower rank than them both but she knew the lands. “Lalani?” Jared asked. She gave a nod. “Jared.” He gave a small finger wave. “Please call me Addie.” Addie smirked. “Ok, Addie, stay close to me and do exactly as I say and maybe you’ll actually make it home alive.” She replied back sarcastically. “Lani take it easy on them we need all the help we can get down here and your smart mouth doesn’t help anyone!” Brantly snapped “Sure thing sugar.” She replied with a wink. “Get your gear let’s move out.” She said pushing past them to go further outside. “Well Lalani sounds like she needs to get la-laid.” Addie said out loud and proud. Jared snickered. “Play nice, my love.” He replied back “Eyes open remember why were here.” He added clocking his gun back as Addie placed a knife in her boot, and gun in her back. They learned the land quickly and the restrictions, the poison plants how radiation from the past wars and the last bionuclear way had transformed the animals to like three eyed deers, and two headed dogs. They were mesmerized by everything around them. The smell the feel it was so much to take in. When their shift ended they headed back to the mess-hall. Addie was in the middle of her plate. “What is it Jared?” “When we complete our mission and find her what than?” Addie looked up confused. “We get get her and figure out was going on with this mess.” “No, I mean after all this and that? Addie maybe we don’t have to go back, maybe we can stay here. Julian and Tessa are going to have to stay down here for a few years soon any way that’s always been the plan so we would have our friends here. Look around kids are playing outside. This was once our home, maybe we can settle here?” “Settle here? What are you saying” She asked pushing her plate away. “Adelyn we’ve been together for years and I mean years. I want a life and kids eventually not anytime soon obviously but I want it all and I want it with you. I would follow you to the end of the Earth and I strongly think we should get married and make this our home.” “Wow, exactly how long have you been holding all that in?” “Long, long, long enough. What say you?” Jared asked nervously starting to fill himself sweat. He can’t believe their having this conversation how he just blurted it all out instead of doing some romantic gesture like she deserves. Another part of him wondering why he waited so long to do this. “ I say… anywhere you lay your head is my home my love.” She replied back taking a deep look around “ I could get use to this place.” “I-i-is that a y-y-yes?” He stuttered shocked. “Yes.” She said simply. “But well talk about that later.” She added. “Yes, but we will talk.” Jared added with a wink his heart full enough to explode. They finished their plates got their next day orders and parted ways to sleep. Both so excited of what’s t come sleep did not come easy.