When Poppy snapped out of her reverie she realized if Mark didn’t get here soon they would miss their reservations and she was getting very hungry. She hoped the camera was not picking up on her agitated state, the last thing she needed was the Peacemakers up here trying to talk her down from a suicide that wasn’t even going to happen, try explaining that to them though. Taking in the view on a rooftop was not normal but it wasn’t frowned upon unless you were showing signs of distress, life was hard now and suicide illegal so any sign of possibility brought the Peacemakers out of their headquarters to do their duty. Finally, Poppy heard the sound she had been focusing her hearing on all night, she would never forget the sound of Mark’s footsteps so fluid and clean. Something was off though, his normally even pace had a quickness she had not heard before, even his heart beat and breathing just seemed a little too fast. She decided to wait until he got to her before turning around, she didn’t want to show off just how good her hearing was, it was decidedly on the More side of skills but, she was growing up when the Summation started and her parents had made it clear how important it was for her to be like all the other kids, besides it was hearing she reasoned, how dangerous could better hearing be.
Poppy never did get to turn around, it was one thing that she would never forget about those moments, there she was listening to his footsteps and the next thing she knew she felt his arms go around her and was pinned along his body. At first, she wanted to just relax into his embrace until she felt the tension in his arms this was not just a mere embrace, this was a power play and he was showing Poppy just how in control he was. Mark had always been larger, stronger, but that was his appeal he made her feel little and protected, now he just made her feel trapped.
“What is it Mark?” she got out between trembling lips that she couldn’t quite get under control.
“Why didn’t you just leave?” Mark exclaimed in harsh tones “I was late, I was so late that I was sure you wouldn’t be here but, of course you had to get stubborn on me.”
It was full body trembles now, he had never spoken to her like this, there was an edge of danger, like that of a hunted animal, to his voice that kept her in fear.
“You asked me to wait for you here.” She tried reasonably.
Mark was past listening though, as she looked over her shoulder at him she registered that he was not truly even there, under the anger in his green eyes emptiness could be seen. This was not the man she had just spent a blissful week with, who said yes to her in front of family and friends, this was a monster in fear for his own life.
“Now you have to do it.” He said through gritted teeth, “I knew it would happen when I picked you out as their target, you were just what they had asked for. They knew I was good at the seduction too, that there would be no way for you to suspect anything. Last week though, I thought maybe you had started to catch on, it was the skeptical look that you kept giving me when you thought I wasn’t looking.”
Poppy’s breathing caught, she had been giving him questioning looks all week as he had grown more and more distant but, lost in bliss, she had convinced herself it was just the thought of leaving their paradise and coming back home, she had ignored her instincts because it was Mark.
“What do I have to do Mark? What are you talking about? Who are they?” Poppy asked in rapid fire hoping, if she could get him talking there would be some chance of letting her go, or that his guard would be down enough she could escape.
Poppy was wiggling in Mark’s arms when a camera caught her eye, the Peacemakers, surely the camera had caught the sounds of distress, they would be there soon. Mark caught the direction of her gaze, “My darling Poppy, your trusted Peacemakers have no idea you are even here, one of my friends on the inside has set that camera on a loop since the moment the roof access door opened, they haven’t seen you on the roof at all. To them you have merely just disappeared.”
“I… What do you mean Mark? People just don’t disappear, believe me I know. They will start hunting for the both of us if what you say is true.” Poppy was trying to take control of the situation, she knew that she didn’t have the strength but maybe with the right persuasion he would come back to her.
“You are a fugitive now, that part is true. It really works out in our favor that you are, that way you can get to them. They wouldn’t believe a Hunter unless she was a fugitive like them.” Mark absently stated like it was as mundane as the color socks he was wearing. “We are running out of time. You need to go. Head to the old museum ruins you will meet your contact there.”
“Mark, you still haven’t told me what I am doing. Who am I looking for?” She was grasping now hoping there was some explanation, through her fear she could feel her training kicking in. Poppy would see this to the end, whatever that may be, there was no other option now, her husband had forced her hand the moment he married her, she was bound to him and couldn’t refuse, not with the way courts worked, he was truly the head of the household in their eyes.
Mark released her and ran both hands through his dark hair, still Poppy couldn’t turn not with the length of him pressed against her. She was starting to get a crick in her neck from trying to make eye contact over her shoulder. “You will see... I can’t explain. When you get there you will see... an old friend possibly an old enemy, depending on how you look at it.”