“I’m ready to fight,” she said through her tears. “I’m ready to take all the bad and use it for something better.”
“You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to,” he told her gently. “No one’s going to make you do it.”
She shook her head vehemently. “I have to. I have to show Fagin that I’m not his puppet anymore. That night when he had those men beat you in front of me, he wanted me to start killing members of congress. He wanted to use us to take power. There were others he manipulated, too. It wasn’t just us. We were just the youngest.”
“We never should have been picked,” he said. “You were four when you were first taken to the base, and I was six. That’s what bothers me most about the whole thing.”
Ren sniffed and wiped away the mascara running down her face. “Well, now we have to use what we know to help. There’s only so much we can do though.”
Trey nodded in agreement. “As fucked up as the whole thing is, that’s our only option. My sister’s talked to the general, and he knows we’re not superheroes. He just expects a couple of kids to help with training. Nothing more.”
“They’ll expect us to fight,” she said, her voice strained from crying. “That’s what everyone thinks we were made to do.”
He lifted her chin, his grey eyes boring into her green ones. “It’ll be okay. I’ll still be here to protect you, like I always did. I’m not going to leave your side.”
“You’re my partner. I can’t do this without you,” she answered. “This is all happening so fast.”
“I know,” he said. “But that’s how this stuff always happens, remember? We used to be pros at going through all this crazy stuff at the speed of light. Do you remember the other kids that were there with us? They couldn’t do half the things we could, let alone keep up with us.”
“We were the only ones with nothing else to lose.”
“Speak for yourself,” he said in mock shock. “I still had a sister and parents.”
Ren smiled. “And all I’ve ever had is you.”
Trey leaned his forehead against hers. “Is there anything else you’ll need?”
“A way to see in normal light? I don’t think this entire fight will take place in the dark,” she replied jokingly.
“We’ll see what we can do. The guy that mentioned those glasses from that movie, he might be on to something there,” he replied, his voice husky.
She bit her lip, noticing for the first time how close they were. She knew he couldn’t see her very well in the dark, even though she could see him perfectly fine. This close, she could see the concern and emotion in his clear eyes. There was a faint white scar that ran from the left side of his temple to the middle of his cheek. She’d asked him before where it came from, and he always refused to tell her. She eventually quit asking.
His warm breath suddenly washed over her face, and chills ran down her spine. This was nothing like when Fagin had been close to her. Her breath hitched, unsure what to do. He tilted his chin and barely brushed his lips across hers. Before she could react, he pressed his lips against hers and kissed her. His lips were warm and soft as they molded hers against his mouth. He pulled her closer and she leaned into him as he deepened the kiss. He pulled her onto his lap and gently brushed his lips across hers before slowly pulling away. Glad the darkness hid her blush, Ren stared at him, still trying to catch her breath.
“I’m sorry,” he finally said. “I’ve wanted to do that since I found you yesterday.”
She shook her head and leaned against his chest, listening to his heart racing. “Don’t apologize.”
He smiled and she felt laughter rumble in his chest. They sat like that for a while. Ren broke the silence first as she leaned back and studied his face.
“What?” he asked.
She shook her head and gently traced the scar on his face with her index finger. “You’ve still never told me where that scar is from.”
“And I never will. That’s one story I’m not going to tell you,” he replied, standing up as she slid to the floor. “As much as I’d like to keep you here with me longer, we have work to do.”
She blushed again and followed him out of the room.