“Hi,” she said again, though her voice was a lot more cautious than before as she studied Zoe. Zoe looked at Calvin and he was still staring, she felt her muscle tense and mouth become a thin line. She tightened her grip on his hand enough that he yelped in pain and stepped away from her. At least he'd left whatever odd state he'd been in. Zoe kept telling herself it was just a state, there nothing else behind the action.
“Ow, that hurt,” he mumbled, rubbing his wrist. Zoe and Glenn exchanged a look of confusion but Calvin seemed to be acting normally now.
“Then don't lag behind slowpoke,” Elrik threw over his shoulder. Zoe could tell by the way Elrik's eyes flashed from the girl to Calvin that he understood something. Zoe was sure as hell going to find out what the something was.
“Sorry,” the girl mumbled, obviously something clicking in her mind. She backed up a few steps before abruptly turning to cross the road.
“Really, really sorry!” she yelled over her shoulder. Aloud horn beep was the only thing that made her sidestep from an oncoming vehicle. Zoe saw Calvin move as if he were going to save her then stop when he realised she was fine. He seemed to visibly sigh with relief. The girl's cheeks were flushed with embarrassment and she quickly crossed the second half of the road.
“What's your name?” Calvin asked. The girl paused mid-step and glanced across the road, teeth attacking lower lips furiously. She looked at Calvin then to Zoe nervously. Zoe wondered why she looked so guilty. Or maybe she thought Calvin's actions were inappropriate as Zoe did.
“April,” she finally said, her voice was normal, and surrounded by crowds it should've been impossible to hear. And yet they all heard it loud and clear.
“And he's Calvin, let's go,” Elrik butted in, giving the girl a chance to break away from Calvin's eyes. They walked quickly, Zoe having to use more force to drag Calvin than should've been needed. She looked over her shoulder again at the same moment that the girl April did. She turned away quickly while Zoe's own eyes narrowed. Zoe pushed thoughts of the strange girl from her mind, she had more life-threatening issues to worry about. As if answering her change of thought, her phone buzzed ominously in her pocket.
Keep going down the street you're on, then turn on the second right. Then turn left at the crossway.
Zoe shivered at the implications of the wording. This creep could see them all right this moment. Her eyes scanned their surrounding as she continued. She kept hoping to meet the cruel eyes of the man in the crowd or in one of the many shops lining the busy street. She saw the first right pass, it led towards more shops and was busy. She eyed the second right that no one was paying any attention too. How was she going to convince the others to follow her this way? Her phone buzzed.
And I see you brought some others. That's going to make negotiations considerably harder if you can't lose them...
Zoe's jaw clenched and she looked around, eyes locking in on a burger stand.
“Hey, why don't you two get us some lunch? Me and Glenn will wait here,” Zoe suggested, her voice sounding sickly sweet and fake to her ears. Calvin snapped out of deep thoughts and murmured a sure. Elrik on the other hand raised an eyebrow.
“I'm not hungry,” he said. And Zoe knew from the way he spoke that he knew something was wrong.
“Then maybe you're thirsty, get some coke,” Zoe replied, crossing her arms. Glenn looked back and forth between her and Elrik in confusion. Elrik opened his mouth to reply but Glenn stepped in.
“I'll pay for it when you get back.” Elrik didn't look very happy about the suggestion but followed Calvin.
“Well, I hope this is good since you're being pushy,” Glenn asked. Zoe din;t bother replying, she just grabbed his hand and ran.
“Zoe?!” he asked. Zoe could feel her chest tighten at what she was doing. She knew Calvin could find them fast if he wanted, but prayed he'd take a while to realise something was wrong. The first street was empty except one homeless guy sleeping on a step. She raced past it, hauling a annoyed but silent Glenn. The left turn was up a head and she pulled them round it and stopped dead. Because staring back at them was a dead end.
“Wow, when he said he'd deliver dinner to our doorstep he wasn't kidding,” a male voice said from above. Zoe glanced up at the overhanging balcony. There wasn't one guy, there was three and a women. All with suspiciously sharp teeth.
“Zoe, I hope you have a good explanation....” Glenn trailed off. She didn't bother to reply, just tightened her grip in his hand and ran.