Chapter Forty Eight: Genesis

Silas Alberec

Word Count: 1992

Grabbing Rory beneath his armpits Silas treaded water for several seconds, running his eyes briefly over her naked body to make sure she wasn't injured. He didn't say anything; he needed to get her out of this Gods forsaken ocean and somewhere safe. How could he have been so stupid! The same had happened to him in the ocean sector! I should have been here with her! I should have thought! Damn it Silas! He shouted at himself as he wrapped her arms around his shoulders and powered them through the freezing water. He had no time to shed his clothes when he heard her scream, the water absorbed into the fabric weighed him down like he was wearing lead, Rory's slender frame weighed hardly anything. But still her added weight slowed him down through the water, his muscles burned as the lactic acid built in their workings, every sinewy fibre felt ablaze. Until finally they reached the shore. Dripping wet and exhausted Silas still managed to stagger to his feet and fetch Rory's clothes, she sat panting with her knees tucked against her chest and hands shaking again when he returned. 'Here,' he said softly. Rubbing a consoling hand against her shoulder and trying to give her a reassuring smile. 'Are you hurt?' he whispered as she dressed. 

It was only the gentle shaking of her head that came to him as an answer. She's in shock. He realised, noting the bruises around her ankles and wrists where her attacker had tried to drag her under Silas knew she wouldn't talk to him until she wanted to. 'We need to move, anyone wit...' that was as far as he got before Rory nodded and strode off. 'Hey! Rory!' he shouted through his fat lip. But she ignored him. 'You're welcome!' She's still pissed off? He laughed a dry laugh as he slumped his shoulders, what had he done to deserve all this? Closing his eyes for a minute he remembered why he was doing this, and how much he loved her. 'Give me strength.' he said looking up at the sky briefly before following her through the jungle. They reached their tree, dismantled the traps, packed their equipment and reloaded all of their guns in total silence. When they were about to leave Silas clipped a new set of throwing knives to his hip and looked to her, she couldn't even meet his gaze. What was wrong with her? Had he done something? Was she upset about their argument? 'I forgive you, for hitting me, just so you know...' he said weakly. Rory just nodded before choosing her own heading and powering off through the jungle.

It seemed for the next twelve hours that he was walking with a completely different person than the one he had met and fallen in love with. Something was wrong with Rory. She barely said three words to him the whole day, she barely ate, drank only when Silas made her and could hardly even look him in the eyes. It mad for an incredibly awkward journey as they moved through three sectors and reached their mountains once again, this is where Silas had found her...bleeding and dying with Tyberos looming over her. Now they were barely speaking. Where had it gone wrong? What had Silas done? This woman who walked in front of him wasn't his Rory, it wasn't the fun loving women with that playful spark behind her was some pale stranger who barely spoke to him.

Has the Arena done this to her? He wondered staring at the back of her head as she walked on the path ahead of him. The Arena would do many things to a lot of people, he'd seen competitors crack under the pressure and go mad within its boundaries. If the Arena had done that to his love...if they had stripped the one good thing in his life from him...he swore to all the Gods that would listen. Government will pay! Reaching a mountain they hadn't been too before Silas and Rory began to climb, in silence, towards the summit, hoping the height and the frightening cold will deter most people from trying to climb it. Soon snow replaced rock beneath their feet and still they climbed. Rory powering through the white tundra like a woman possessed. Her arms wrapped around her body and her breath creating large contrails of grey twisting through the air. The wind battered against Silas, frost grew in his beard around his mouth and the cold bit icy fangs into his exposed skin. Their clothes were not built for a blizzard like this, and if it became a white wash then there was a high chance they could be separated. 'Rory!' Silas bellowed over the wind, reaching out a trembling hand and grabbing her shoulder.

She spun, knocking his arm from her shoulder. 'Hey!' Silas shouted as pain lanced up his arm. Rory graced him with one, frozen faced, look before looking to his feet. 'We won't survive much longer, we need to find cover from this blizzard! Now!' striding passed her Silas knew he was being childish. But the reason why she was giving him the silent treatment still baffled him. Walking ahead through the waist thick snow he had to squint against the snow glare when Rory's hand took his gentle, she lead him further up to the tiny entrance of a huge cave he didn't even notice. He hand fell from his the instant they entered the reasonably warm confines of the cave, Silas couldn't even look at her now. He just set too preparing a fire and their sleeping mats. Long after the sun had set Silas was laying on his mat with the wool blankets wrapped around him, rolling over he expected the warmth of his girlfriend beside him. But she wasn't there. Springing up right panic flew through him, his hand drifted to his revolver and his heart thundered in his chest. Where is she? He got his answer quickly. She sat staring into the flames of the fire like she often did when something was troubling her, her blankets draped around her shoulders, porcelain skin glowing a soft yellow in the firelight.

Enough of this. Silas thought bounding upright. He only wore his trousers, he didn't care about the cold. Something was bothering her and he needed to know what. 'Right, enough of this brooding silent treatment Rory,' he said rounding the fire and looking down at her. 'What's wrong?' she didn't answer. She just continued to stare into the twisting flames that warmed them, as if they were somehow the answer. 'Rory, you haven't been the same since that night. You hit me, I don't care, you were angry and you needed to vent! Besides I pretty much forced you to hit me. Is it that? Do you feel guilty?' no answer, no look. 'Rory, whatever this is baby we can get through it together, I know you're scared but...Rory...Rory look at me when I'm talking to you!' he thundered. Voice like the sound of a cracking mountain as it echoed around their cave. Rory didn't even flinch. And slowly her azure eyes grazed up his body, before eventually landing on his face and eyes. 'Rory...what's wrong?' he whispered softly. Trying to apologise without saying sorry for his violent outburst.

Her usually beautiful face was a vacant mask. No emotion seeped from her eyes or lips. No trace of anything human. She was empty. A vessel waiting to be filled. A brief sigh escaped her lips before she spoke. Two words they fell through his ears like muffled bees. His heart froze, caught in his chest by icy cold hands, fear stabbed up under his ribs and blossomed in his heart like the blooming of some beautiful flower. 'What?' he whispered.

'I'm pregnant.'

The words were as clear as day the second time. They seemed to hang in the air. Buzzing around him. Standing across from her, bare chested in the firelight, he smiled. 'What are you smiling at?' she hissed. Face twisting in anger. 'You think this is a good thing?'

'You're pregnant...' was all he could say.

'Yeah Silas! I'm pregnant! Happy now, the secrets out...I'm pregnant...' tears suddenly welled in her eyes and she was quickly in hysterics. Weeping into her arms.

'Rory, what's wrong?' he asked slowly walking towards her.

'None of this was meant to happen Silas, none of this was ever supposed to happen...' she wept. Bone shuddering cries ripping through her body.

'Rory...sometimes you just can't fight fate. It's not possible.' Sitting beside her Silas wrapped an arm around her but she shivered at his touch and sprang to her feet. Taking several long steps away from him.

'You don't get it Silas! You don't get what this means for us do you?!' she said hotly.

'Why don't you tell me.' Silas said resisting the urge to run over and hug her.

'Oh well lets see, if you win this me and the baby die. If I win this I bring a new life into the world that will never know its father because its mother killed him...I can't let my baby die Silas...not in this place. Not like this...but the thought of losing you...'

'Rory, you never did understand. This was never about winning for me, after you said your winnings would go to Eliza I knew she was safe. I knew you could raise her, I knew she'd get out of District Thirteen and have a life she deserves. All because of you Rory. Sweetheart I never stepped foot into this arena with ideas of walking out of it...' standing slowly Silas looked at Rory as tears rolled down her porcelain cheeks, biting her fingernails nervously while her other hand rubbed her stomach. He wondered if this was a subconscious act or done on purpose. He didn't really care. He just wanted to do it as well.

'I can't lose you Silas. You're the only man I've ever loved...'

'And you're the only woman I've ever loved. And I love you all the more know you're bringing our baby into the world.' stopping in front of her Silas dropped to his knees and rolled up her shirt, exposing her scarred, taught midriff. 'Look at that Rory. That scar. How close did that bastards knife come to killing our baby, he couldn't have missed on purpose. Call it fate or the will of the Gods or whatever...' staring at her stomach Silas wondered if he could already make out a slight bulge, he knew it was impossible. But still. His child was in there. Their child was in there. Somewhere deep in its mother’s womb beneath that snaking scar. 'We're having a baby.' he smiled at her stomach. Kissing it Silas pulled Rory close to him. This wasn't just about getting her out anymore, this was his family, his name, his blood, a niece or nephew for Eliza, this was his child and its mother. They would get matter the cost to him.

'We're having a baby...' Rory said with a ghost of a smile across her face. Smiling up at her Silas rocketed to his feet and picked her up in his arms. Spinning her around and kissing her with all the love in his body.

The End

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