“Poppy? What the hell happened?”
I turned around to stare into Mel’s shocked face. The woman stood behind him, her face blank.
I tried to speak, but my lips were dry and the words died in my throat.
How did he sound more distressed than I did?
“It’s not–” I wanted to tell him that it wasn’t his fault, because I seriously coudln’t see how it could be, but the words were swallowed by a sob. Then the tears burnt my eyes, and my body was shaking.
“It’s okay, Poppy. You defended yourself, right?”
I nodded. The movement stained his jacket where I rubbed tears into the fabric.
“Ssh. It’s all right.”
How could he say that? Why was he so fudging calm? How had he collected himself so quickly? None of this was all right!
I told you. He’s used to it.
I didn’t care if the voice was right. I just needed to be held.
“You’re not. That guy would have tortured you if you hadn’t done something, Poppy. You did the right thing.”
“I killed him!”
“He was a bad person, Poppy. I can explain everything, I promise. But not here. Right now I need to get you out of here.”
I didn’t want to go anywhere. I just wanted to stand here, safe in his arms. I also desperately wanted to leave and never come back to this place. Would I go to prison? Would they execute me for having killed someone?
I wanted to believe him, but I failed to see how he could promise me something like that.
He said he’d be able to explain everything later. I’d come to rescue the woman who had invaded my thoughts for the past few months, and it looked like she was okay. What if we didn’t leave now and more military guys showed up?
“Okay. Yeah. Let’s get out of here.”
My body felt like someone had poured lead all over it. I wasn’t sure how I could move; I just knew that I had to. I could always break down later, in my room, with my parents none the wiser to what I had just done.
A nervous, sobbing mess of a giggle escaped my throat.
“Do you think you can walk?”
I nodded. Anything to get away from this dungeon.
I had a feeling I’d have nightmares about tonight for the rest of my life.
“Are you okay?” I asked the woman. Her arms were scratched in a few places, but she didn’t look injured otherwise. She was the reason I was here – if I could just focus on that, I could have my meltdown later.
She looked at me then, and I was lost for words. Her smile was small but genuine, her eyes shining bright in the darkness of this prison. Everything about her looked perfect. Maybe I’d rescued a model? A rich one? Maybe there was a reward for her or something – enough money to pay the lawyer I’d no doubt need.
“I am fine, thank you. Are you hurt?”
“No,” I lied. Physically I was fine. I didn’t want to go into it right now. Berry, I didn’t even know her. She could still be a serial killer. Maybe the military guy I’d shot had a loving family, a just reason to lock her up. And in swoops Poppy, ready to ruin everything.
I shivered. Mel went first, and the woman took my hand and pulled me after her. I didn’t resist. I didn’t hesitate. All of me just felt numb.
If this was a nightmare, after all, I was ready to wake up now.
I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get these out, friends ❤ You will now get two chapters a week – one on Tuesday and one on Friday – until this rainbowcy has finished 🙂 The last chapter is 8.20 😉 Six left to go!