Alexandra: Intruders

I was never going to get any sleep.  I don't know how the others managed to drift off so easily; it must have been the fear of being locked up that had drained their energy from them.  Instead I lay on the cold floor staring at the ceiling, listening to my friend's breathing deeply around me.

Nellie had been nervous, I could see it in the way she was holding herself; hunching over to make herself as small as possible.  I had felt a huge surge of love for her, my maternal instincts telling me to look after her.  She had fallen asleep now and was looking so peaceful, her eyelashes resting beautifully on her skin.

I was feeling restless and finally got to my feet and began pacing around the cave.  I couldn't stand the waiting, at least when I was spying I had a job to do.

"You need to get some rest Alexandra," James said, walking up behind me.  "You must be tired."

"I can't sleep," I said bluntly, walking away from James.  The truth was that I wasn't comfortable with him being our guard.  I would rather I sat up all night looking after my friends and colleagues than put my life in the hands of a man I barely knew.

"Is it something I've done?"  James asked me.  "Because everyone else trusts me, yet you refuse to let me watch over you alone."

"It's nothing to do with you," I lied.  "I'm to worried to sleep.  I hate not knowing what's going to happen next, it makes me feel so...unprepared."

"Like you have no control?"

"Exactly," I said, some of my frostiness melting and a small smile pulling at my lips.  "I'm sorry if I come across a little confrontational, I just want the best for me and the other girls and Jon."

"I understand," James said.  "You want to get home safely and for the war to be over so you can live peacefully.  Isn't that what most people want?"

"It seems not," I grumbled, sitting down on a stray rock, "or this war wouldn't have been started in the first place.  Why do people get so attached to power?  It would be better for everyone if Handrin let go of control over Iberia and just let us get on with our lives."

"But that would be too simple," James replied, sighing as he sat on a rock close to mine.  "Everything has to be made complicated."

"I know, it's so stupid.  Why can't people just get along?"

"Like we are now?"  James smiled at me.  I'd tricked me into letting my guard down, exposing my true self to anyone who was watching.

"I suppose so," I said, closing up as fast as I could.  I felt even more vulnerable now that I had let James in.

A distant bang broke the tense atmosphere of the cave, reverberating around the stone walls and bouncing around my head.

"What was that?"  I was on my feet in a split second, looking into the darkness where the noise had come from.

"It was probably nothing," James said, trying to reassure me.  It wasn't working.

"Jon," I whispered, hurrying over to where he was lying on the floor close to Katrina.  His hand was still clasped around hers.

"Don't wake him Alex," James protested in vain.

"What's wrong?"  Jon asked drowsily, sitting up with his eyes half open.  "Are you alright Alex?"

"Jon," I hissed, "I think there's someone in the tunnel."

The End

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