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   Chapter 11 NO.11

The Rouges By Alzek16 Characters: 13911

Updated: 2018-01-05 17:40


THE UNFORTUNATE PART of caring about a person other than yourself, is that you become tethered to that someone. Suddenly every action you make has double the consequences, which not only affect yourself, but that other person as well.

I hated that feeling.

I have never had to think about anyone else before. Since the day my parents died, I have only had to think about my own survival. But now there were two of us to think about. I couldn't even say what made me feel so protective of Mouse. Maybe it was that she reminded me of myself, a small child alone in the world. Not the me now, but the little girl who died that day in the alley with her parents. That little girl.

Maybe it was the way she exuded innocence, the way a child should. Maybe it was the way she looked at people with trusting eyes. The way she turned to me for protection, even though I was not the most trustworthy person. Still she looked to me for security, clung to my side when she was frightened. Mouse looked at me like I was a better person, and for her sake I wanted to be.

I just wasn't sure I could be.

Some things that are broken stay broken. There is no putting the pieces back together.

The dreams still haunted me every morning. Nothing could change that. Even with the tiny, fragile body sleeping beneath my cot, a fresh scream caught in my throat choking me awake every day. Those dreams reminded me why I didn't want to get close to others. Why I had chosen to be a recluse. After starting awake I would stare at the vent hidden behind Arden's bed. Plans would form and my legs would itch for freedom.

Then the tiny hand would creep over the edge of my bed and I would stay.

We had found an odd rhythm to our days in captivity. A small part of me felt comfort in the routine. Every day was new, but the expectancies were the same— eat, work, divulge my secrets, eat, work, sleep. Each day moved like the consistent tick of my father's pocket watch. That's why when I awoke this morning I knew something was different.

When I jolted from my bed I could feel the room was different, that something was off. Even in the dark, I could feel it. Searching the barren room, my eyes lit on Arden's bed.

It was empty.

I had heard him come in after lights out. I was sure of it.

Wasn't I?

After working long days with Triven, I had begun to sleep too hard. I didn't hear as much as I should have. A month ago I would have heard a moth's wings and now I couldn't remember whether or not a man had walked just three feet from me.

Matters only got worse when the lights came on. His bed was made. No, he did not sleep here last night.

As the footsteps came down the hall, the accusing words were out of my mouth before Triven could walk in.

"What have you done with Arden?"

No, not Triven.

Every nerve stood at attention as Maddox's black eyes leered at me. I moved between him and Mouse, shielding her from his view.

"What, not happy to see your old friend?" Maddox taunted.

"Where is Arden?" I asked again.

"You'll find out soon enough."

Moving with surprising speed he grabbed my upper arm and yanked me against his chest, lifting me painfully, until my face was inches from his.

"Reckoning time has come." His breath smelled foul.

I wanted to punch him. Break his nose and laugh as the blood poured down his chin. But Mouse was watching, her tiny feet shuffling behind us. I swallowed to keep from spitting in his smug face.

Someone else was coming, his or her footsteps rapidly approaching. Maddox kept his grip, but pushed me further away. I found myself actually hoping for Triven's face to appear in the doorway, but I was disappointed. Veyron's blonde head came into view as she pressed her hand to the scanner. Her blue eyes narrowed at us, but she said nothing.

"Mouse, do you want to go get some breakfast with me before class?" Veyron's tone was motherly and comforting but Mouse recoiled from her. Her stringy hair draped her worried face as she shook her head. Normally she would have clung to my side, but it was obvious she was scared of Maddox.

"Mouse, you should go with Veyron. I am sure there

urned to see who had spoken, but I knew that voice. What surprised me was that Arden's mouth had opened to speak too, but Triven was faster. Maddox's fingers were beyond excruciating on my arm as Dr. Porters fidgeted in the back, hidden next to a bookcase.

Arstid looked furious, her usually pallid face flushed. She spoke through her teeth, "Fine. Triven, she is yours to watch. Meeting adjourned."

The bodies filtered out of the room quickly now. It was easy to pick out those who had wished for my termination. Their quickly moving feet skirted me with a wide berth, their eyes averted from the girl they had just condemned. Triven appeared out of the crowd, his steady gaze fixed on my arm still in Maddox's grip.

"Maddox." He said raising his eyes.

The behemoth did not release me, but his grip loosened. Taking full advantage, I ripped my arm from his hold. I was pleased when his balance faltered as I yanked away. Maybe he wasn't as strong as I had thought he was. Big man could be shaken by a little girl. The air was practically vibrating between the two men. Someone else must have sensed the tension, because a heavy hand fell on Maddox's shoulder. It was the blonde guard with the ponytail.

"Come on man. Let's get something to eat."

Shoving his friend's hand from his shoulder he pushed his way through the room. The blonde guard shrugged at us and followed.

We waited until the room had emptied, until our quiet breathing was the only sound that could be heard. Even the echoing footsteps had fallen away. Triven stood behind me and I kept my back to him. For some reason it didn't bother me like it should have anymore.

"Now what?" I asked looking at the open doors.

"Now you get the tour." He walked past me without glancing to see if I followed.

Despite myself, I did follow. Grabbing my bag Maddox had unceremoniously dumped on the floor, I jogged out the doors after Triven.

It was strange moving through the tunneled halls now. No guard pointing a weapon at me or wrenching my arm from its socket. Triven acted as he always did, nonchalant and careful not to touch me. But it still felt different. Now that I thought about it, unlike any of the other guards, he never touched me. With him I was allowed a personal bubble.

But I was no fool. Even though I moved through these halls no longer a prisoner, I was still far from free.

**********

Let us just assume for a moment that this works is ream shall we?

So The Rouges reached to #238 in What's Hit Science Fiction List.???????????????????????????. Unreal right? My brain can't handle. Anything. I just want to find each one if you guys and just Thank you till I pass out or choke on my own saliva. Thankyou thankyou and thankyou a million times over!!!??????

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