Breathing heavily, I leaned against the wall and tried to dispel the large amounts of adrenaline that had built up in my system. I didn’t notice my saviour until he stepped by my side and helped to fix up my clothes. Looking up, Oli’s hair was all I could see. Shaking violently, I did up my shirt back up. My fingers were trembling so much that Oli gave me a hand.
He leaned back against the wall beside me and waited for me to pull myself together. He muttered a few incoherent swear words once or twice and I looked at his face. In the shadow of the building, it was the perfect picture of an avenging angel. His hair still hung down and shadows formed on his face. His eyes and expression clearly showed he was disgusted and angry at what had just past.
I finally had the courage to speak. “Thanks... for helping me.”
“You’re welcome,” he mumbled.
We stayed like that for a short while. In that time, I could feel a mix of emotions radiating from him. Although I couldn’t read his mind, he showed clearly how shocked, embarrassed and relieved he was. No one had ever had the courage to stand up to Angus and it was surprising that he backed down without much of a fight. It was even more astonishing that quiet, withdrawn Oli was the one to stop him.
“Did he... umm..... are you hurt?” he asked tentatively.
I did a quick mental check over myself before saying, “No, I’m alright.” My upper arm felt a bit sore and but I should be able to heal before a bruise could form. My nose felt like acid had been poured down it. The suffocating stench had vanished with Angus and the fragrance of pine and lemon grass now filled the air. I breathed it in deeply and my tensed shoulders dropped. Looking up, I could see the moon peeping out through the dense cloud cover above us. It was almost full. I stared at it in wonder and breathed in again. I turned to my right to see Oli gazing at it too.
Unexpectedly, a couple of boys and a girl burst out from under the willow. The girl shouted to Oli, “Is she caught?” and the boys jogged towards me.
I dodged them both easily by sidestepping to the left. One crashed into the wall and the other turned round to see me sprint away over the field. Regan and Jazz had been long gone as I could no longer see their silhouettes above the tennis court. Quickly leaving the hunters behind, I veered round and ran back to the hall. I was almost at the bench that was “home” when a figure stepped out in front of me. I ground to a halt just as my chest touched his.
“One two three manhunt!” snickered Oli smugly.
I chuckled and put my hands up for him to take me back inside. As I was walking through the door, I caught a whiff of black pepper and straw. Then the wind changed direction.