Everyone was probably getting ready for the night's performance. I walked across the frost-covered grass towards the dressing rooms and knocked on Eli's door.
No answer. With a sigh, I leaned my head against the door and knocked again.
I heard shuffling inside and the muffled voice of my trapeze partner soon afterwards.
"Go to hell!"
Yep, that was him. I smiled to myself and rapped sharply three times, before promptly falling in the room as the door was whipped open.
Eli managed to catch me mid-fall and held me at arm's length, shocked.
"Camille..." he breathed, "Camille, you're....you're..."
"Alive?" I offered, smirking.
A second later I was being crushed in a hug.
"I...I thought I lost you." he murmured, "After what you told me, I was afraid that-"
"Please, Eli, I can't breathe."
He let me go but was still looking at me as if I would disappear any second. I just hoped to god he didn't ask-
"...Where's your scar?"
"Really Eli," I started, trying to look hurt, "I'm missing for a week and when I get back the first thing you ask is where my scar went. Really."
"You're right, sorry, I'm just...I'm really glad you're okay."
Did Eli just say that I was right, and...apologize? Whoa.....weird.
"I'm glad you actually noticed I was missing." I chuckled, trying to lighten the mood.
Eli was looking at me with a combination of relief and pain brimming in his beautifully mismatched eyes and it was too much for me to take at once without wanting to curl up into a ball in the corner.
"Where were you?" he asked, reaching over and toying with my hair without looking away.
"I-uh, I..." my amazing improv skills started to lack because of Eli's easy intensity, "It's a long story. You don't want to know."
Wow Camille, that was a great one. Not overused or anything.
"You were missing for a week and you tell me I don't want to know what happened?" Eli asked, some of his confident skepticism filtering back through his concern.
"Fine. You know that stuntman, the one that wants everyone to call him Stinger?"
Eli nodded, probably wondering where I was going with my explanation. His hand brushed against the staples and I breathed sharply.
"He beat me to a pulp and I was in hospital for a week."
I used Boltake's cover story. Consistency was something I had to keep.
"What?" Eli demanded, dropping my hair, even though I knew he had heard me.
He looked mad. Seriously mad.
"It wasn't his fault, Wiseacre was using some kind of mind control on him." I quickly explained, not wanting to cause some kind of confrontation.
Eli stared and shook his head in resignment.
"I don't even want to know anymore. Just promise me you'll stay away from the both of them."
That wouldn't be an issue.
Something I couldn't recognize passed through Eli's eyes and he looked like he wanted to say something but it faded and he just kept...looking at me.
"Well," I started awkwardly, "I've got to go check in on some other people too now, so uh, bye."
I turned and left, making my way to Nix's door.
Before I could chicken out I knocked, waiting and praying for an answer.
The door opened slowly and I let out the breath I had been holding.
Everyone would be okay.