Myah’s explanation of what happened to Stinger threw me into shock. I saw the look on Camille’s face when my jaw dropped open and quickly shut it, I know I shouldn’t be so surprised; I’d been here as long as I could remember, I knew that the Admiral was shady. My brother possibly remembered what it was like to be somewhere other than here, with the circus. But I was just a baby when I came. He was only three.
After Myah explained what she’d seen I felt shakey for a reason I couldn’t explain. It was like a memory, something my body remembered but my mind had blocked out. A feeling like an electrical current flowed down my arms, threatening to jump out of my fingertips. I clenched my fists, trying to control the feeling. Camille was staring at me, her eyes suspicious. She didn’t trust me. I felt my shoulders slump, feeling defeated. I should have stayed away from this. I knew how Camille felt about me, even before this night. Ever since she found out I’d had feelings for her partner. But my feelings for Eli was no reason for the distrust. I tried to think of anything I’d done to deserve the lack of faith. I was new, I’d just found my way into the small clique of people when we’d left New Orleans. When all of the odd things started happening.
"Let's end the conversation right here," Camille growled the words. "And as of now, it never happened. That means don't tell anybody about it for God's sake." She looked pointedly at me, and I felt my shoulders slump, genuinely hurt that she would assume I’d spread this around. Nixie put a hand on my shoulder, smiling at me, as if to assure me something. Unfortunately I hadn’t been with this group long enough to guess at what.
Camille stood up, claiming something about needing some air and she left in a hurry. I looked after her, thinking about going after her to make sure she was ok, and it looked like Myah and Nix had the same idea, as she stalked past our car I saw my brother, poor man, come out of the car and with a glance in our direction, followed after her, keeping out of her sight. She would be fine.
I said my goodnights to the other girls and left the trailer. I headed straight for my own car, where the fire dancers were probably practicing and I could get some energy out and deal with people who knew me.
I walked into my car and flipped out of my hoodie and jeans to change into my practice gear of tight fitting yoga pants and a cropped tank. Glaring at Alejandro and Roberto for staring while I changed. I blew some sparks in their direction and reminded myself that it was my own fault for not giving any warning before I undressed. I pulled my hair into a loose bun, brushing the extra strands out of my eyes and with e a final look at the lounging members of my team, I stepped into the practice arena set up behind the car and set my torches alight with a flick of my wrists and began throwing them in a simple pattern. The flickering torchlight was the only light in the arena, the car’s light blocked by shutters and the back door, it threw the world into strange shadows. I heard the crunch of boots behind me and snuffed my torches. I knew that no light was better than uncertain light in certain circumstances. At least the eyes could adjust to a steady darkness, rather than an unsteady light.
“Woah, its dark isn’t it!” It was the Admiral. He laughed at the darkness, deep chuckles echoing around the small area. My eyes adjusted to the dim light until I could see the faint outline of the Admiral’s large form.
“Yes sir,” I said quietly, still wondering at his presence.
“Lisette.” The admiral’s voice was gentle, and I relaxed. It was the voice I most associated with my fathers, he being the closest thing to a father I had. Yet at the same time an involuntary shiver ran through me. I felt cold, which was strange for me, I usually felt warm.
“I was looking for you,” the Admiral stepped forward and put and hand on my shoulder. He could see now too. He looked in the direction of the big top
"I'm thinking about opening with fire dancers this time, and at the end of your act, light the cannon."
That was odd, why was he changing things up? Stinger had opened every show since he joined the circus, and he'd been there as long as I could remember, even when we were children. Why did my act come first this time? Why did Stinger need the delay?
But I didn't let my face betray my thoughts, despite the dark I kept it still.
"Yes sir, I'll make sure everyone knows, we'll be ready for the show." I turned away from him and went back to my fire. Relighting the torches and tossing them in the air. After a few moments I heard the admirals boots crunch away.
The next day the troupe was busy getting everything ready for the afternoon show, it was only a matinee to prepare the crowds for the evening performance, but the top had to be set up for both shows before the matinee, so that everything was ready to go. After the admiral had left last night I had called to my team to get some practice in before both shows. We needed to change our act so I would be in position tonight to light the cannon. I had kept everyone up late, except Sandra who claimed important business in the admirals car. I hoped she wasn't giving those bodyguards any undo entertainment. It would reflect badly on my team, we already dressed far too provocatively for my liking. But Sandra just showed it off. When I saw her saunter back to our car this morning I was surprised not to see stinger following after her, I knew that he needed to recover but what about the fast healing thing that Myah was talking about? He was no where to be found. I made my way to the big top where Eli and Camille were setting up their act.
"Hey," said Eli to me. I looked down, feeling nervous suddenly. I shot a quick glance at Camille wondering if she'd told Eli anything about yesterday. I guessed not, judging by her words yesterday.
"Hey um, you guys seen Stinger?" I asked. Eli's face was blank, he couldn't care less about Stinger. So she hadn't told him. Camille's face was stony.
"He must still be resting," she said stiffly. I'd never know stinger to lay around while there was work to be done.... Or rather women.... I shook my head unwilling to accept that answer, I turned to go looking for him and nearly bumped into someone.
I craned my neck upwards to see Stinger grinning at me.
"Where you off to in such a hurry?" He asked loudly. He seemed normal, it was like nothing had ever happened.