I hadn't left my room in over two weeks. I had barely slept, and the only food that I had eaten was anything that anybody remembered to bring me. But I didn't want their charity. I just wanted to be alone.

When I finally decided I wanted to come out again, it was because I could hear the racket that the new assassins were making. I don't like calling them assassin's until I've seen what they can do, but I disliked being called a recruit when I was in their shoes, almost three years ago now. I had been invited by L when I was ten years old. Apparently I was the youngest person ever 'recruited'.

Walking down the hall, I could hear Lorna, one of my oldest friends, talking in the common room, probably providing the new 'assassins' with a debriefing after some kind of training exercise. Doing the polite thing, I decided to wait outside the door, slumping against the wall and throwing my small rubber ball against the opposite side of the corridor and letting it bounce back to me. This had been one of the few things that had stopped me from going insane over the last two weeks. Why I had spent that long in the confined space that is my room is not important. Let's just say it was a self-discovery exercise, and something that I doubted that the new recruits could have stomached.

It wasn't long before the debriefing was over, and I expected the recruits to charge out of the room like a bunch of school children. I ran my hand over my bald head nervously, but there was no movement until I saw Lorna open the door silently and leave the room, shutting it behind her. She saw me straight away and looked pleased.

"Amber, good to see you," she said cheerily. "I imagine you're here because you want to meet the new recruits." This wasn't a question, because Lorna knew as well as anybody that she wouldn't get a response beyond a facial expression. There was a twitch in her lip that indicated that she knew that wasn't the real reason.

I'm good at seeing things. Body language can say a lot about a person, and I'm certainly an expert in it. I could tell you - if ever I was inclined to speak - what a person was going to do next, what they meant when they said something, and to a certain extent, even what they were thinking. But this ability was only for my use - my silence stopped me from sharing this information with people, and it also ensured that nobody knew when I knew they were lying. Something I regularly use to my advantage.

I got up and smiled softly at Lorna, who smiled back. I then walked down the hall, knowing that Lorna would follow out of interest and respect. We had come a long way over the last three years, and she would probably want to talk to me, even if I couldn't talk back. I certainly didn't want to meet these new recruits, but I definitely wanted to find out a little bit about them...

The End

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