I wince at the pain burning in my leg. I look at it and find my knee bleeding. What a thing I must’ve done! I forgot I broke the glass in the first place. How can I run now?
I get on my feet with full force and start running ignoring the pain. I hear footsteps rushing behind me but I dare not make an attempt to look back.
“Stop!” a voice commands.
I keep running increasing my speed. I hear a gun being fired behind me then collapse on the ground. “Stay strong, Zoey, it’s just your leg.” I encourage myself as I press hard on my nerves trying to straighten up. I sit up on the floor and look around at the horrible disappointment. Max is just two steps away from me. He stretches his hand for me to get up but I reject it leaving it hanging. How dare he shoots me! I stand back up on my shivering feet, facing him. I look straight into his eyes with hatred and disgust, spit on him then turn back to keep running.
“Run away and you’ll never see your friends again.” he threatens.
“You can’t.” I say in a nervous tone over my shoulders.
I slowly turn my gaze to him only to find a slight smirk on his face.
“If I could get you, then why can’t I get rid of them?”
I grit my teeth while his smirk intensifies before he speaks up again.
“It’s all in my hands, Zoey. Think well live well, isn’t that your life motto?”
I clench my fist and punch him hard on his cheek.
He furrows his eyebrows and looks at me in wrath, I grin slightly.
“Hit the coward is my motto as well if you remember.” I say.
He laughs hysterically.
I narrow my eyes at him, confused at his reaction.
“I’ve never forgotten,” he pauses, “But you should put something in your mind now. Just as a brother might save you, he might wipe you off leaving no signs of former existence.” he warns.
I glare at him, my eyes wide and hateful as he grabs my hands tightly behind my back and pulls me forcefully.
This isn’t over, I’ve to think of a way to keep my friends safe and get out of this prison.
"So, you’re trying to tell me that Zoey got kidnapped before you black out?” I ask Peter raising an eyebrow.
He nods, “Yes, that was the last thing I saw.”
“Why did you black out?”
“I saw him and he sprayed something that smelled stingy and then I blacked out.”
“Can we stop talking about it and go find her?” Edward asks worryingly.
He’s right. I can’t stay a minute without her. Worse than that, she might be in danger.
I take a breath, “I’ll go.” I state.
Peter looks at me furrowing his eyebrows, “Where?”
I sigh, “To find her, obviously.”
“You won’t.” Edward orders in his serious tone.
“That isn’t a suggestion, I’ll find her and you stay here with Jimmy.”
“We can’t leave you in danger. We’re coming with you.”
“Peter, can you calm down for a second.” I say looking at his shivering hands.
I sigh, “I see.”
“All right , Jo. Do whatever you want but take this with you.” Edward says handing me a device.
“What’s that?” I ask.
“It’s a detecting device that I took the last night on Polina. It detects Poliners only, so as long as we’re only four, follow the signal that leads you somewhere else other than the apartment. That’ll be her.”
I grin, “Thank you! If I needed anything, I’ll call you.” I say walking out of the kitchen.
“One thing more, Jo!” Edward shouts.
“Get back before the time of the attack.”
I nod, “I’ll try my best.” I say grabbing my backpack and the device. I tie up the laces of my boots and walk my way out, shutting the door behind me.
“You can do this.” I murmur to myself. Nothing can ever separate us except for the unfortunate death that has to knock our doors. I hope she’s okay because if she’s not, I don’t know what I might do but I’m sure it’ll be a disaster.
Why am I drowning in negative thoughts again? Let me be positive at the moment. “She’s all right, she’s fine.” I keep repeating to myself.
The signal is too far. I keep walking following the signal with caution. I pass by buildings, malls and quite a lot of things I can’t recognize from the corner of my eye. Following the signal, I take one more step forward and that’s when darkness stretches around me. I look up only to see tall trees grown so close to each other surrounding me. The device glows red and the sound of a peep comes out. I turn my gaze to it. The signal is near.
I start walking faster through the trees and the little shrubs around and the light shines again. I’m out of the forest. The device glows brighter as I move towards the little cabin in front of me. She must be locked in here. I make my way to the house looking for a window to break through.
Glass is scattered everywhere. I follow the little pieces of glass that eventually lead me to the window. It’s broken. She must’ve tried to escape.
Without a second thought, I slip into the house through the window. Pain rushes to my hands and I know why. I take some bandages out of my backpack and wrap my hands with them .
The device peeps and glows but there isn’t any way to go through. No rooms, no trapdoors - Wait, what?
I take a step backward and look at the spot I was standing on.
It’s a trapdoor. I sigh in relief then pull it up. I can’t believe it’s unlocked. Maybe they didn’t expect my visit. Anyways, I jump into it pulling it shut. I look around at the room I’m in and there she is, sleeping on the bed at the corner. I smile but as I get closer, I see blood on her pants and the smile fades away.
“Zoey.” I whisper
“Zoey.” I whisper shaking her shoulders. She opens her eyes and I grin slightly. She jumps off the bed and hugs me.
“I’m so glad you’re here.” she says as tears flow down her cheeks.
“You’re to have to tell me about all this blood, but later, we need to leave.”
She nods, and I help her get on her feet.
“Without me?” a voice asks.
I turn around to see Max smirking at me.
“Without you.” I say rolling my eyes.
Zoey looks at me, her eyes filled with terror. I wonder why she’s so scared.
I ignore her glare, grab her hand and walk towards the trapdoor without looking back.
I hear a gun shot and collapse, Zoey shrieks.
“What did you just do?” I ask holding in my wrath.
He rubs the back of his neck before sheepishly smiling at me, “I just shot you?”
“How dare you!” Zoey shouts walking to him, I hold her wrist. She looks down at me, “Leave him, Zoey, we need to get out of here.” I say, wrapping a shirt from my backpack around my bleeding shin. Too bad I’m emergency clothes for bullet wounds. That’s two shots a few weeks, people!
She nods and helps me balance more on my uninjured leg. I ignore the pain and pull the door down.
I hear a gunshot, again but this time Max groans.
I turn around to see Zoey holding a gun. She smiles as I grab her out of the room, above the ground.
“Hurry up.” I say in a whisper while taking the gun from her.
I break the window further with the gun.
“Watch out!” Zoey warns.
I turn around but that was too late.