My eyes stared at Ben, but did not see him. Instead, they saw the massive glass dome of Morphentine, miles underneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. A chill ran down my back as I remembered the first time I had been down there. I'd almost been blown to bits by two guards before Ben stopped them. The city itself was magnificent- modern skyscrapers, all elegantly metallic, bustling streets, a bright faux sun shining down. My eyes refocused on Ben.
"Why do you need my help?" I asked, attempting to sound disinterested. But suddenly I wanted nothing more than to follow him out that door and into the ocean. Stop, my voice of reason commanded. This is the guy who not only broke your heart, but scattered it across the world on his way to the Indian Ocean. Think this through!
"Marissa has returned."
I was confused. "I thought that was why you left," my voice suddenly caught and I coughed to clear it. "I thought you left to chase her down."
His eyes lowered, ashamed. "We couldn't stop her before she was back to her territory. Over the past two years she's been growing her following of transmutations." He saw the look on my face and further explained. "They are waterpeople, remember, but their powers are evolved. We call them Transmutes."
"I still don't understand why you need me," I repeated, my voice taking on a rough edge. My voice of reason was winning out- I didn't need any more complications in my life. I was completely content to live out the rest of my life as a football player's armcandy and live a simple existence. Ben looked into my eyes, then, and my resolve began to crack. His eyes swam in a swirling pattern, making it impossible to look away...
"Remember the prophecy? You are the special weapon. Your talent is undeniably unique, and the only chance we have of stopping Marissa and the Transmutes from taking over the seas. You know firsthand how powerful they are." I nodded, in full agreeance. They needed me. And I would do whatever I could to help...
"Hey!" I exclaimed, and shielded my eyes. "No hypnotizing. That rule hasn't changed." I glared down at Ben. His eyes popped open and a small smile formed on his lips. It was so familiar, our banter, and the fractions of my heart pulled together slightly. And then they fell apart again.
"I'm afraid I cannot help you, Ben." His face dropped.
I sighed, unsure of whether or not I should tell him the truth, about how he left me a mess of broken parts, and how I had just finally begun to fix myself, and couldn't afford to be roped back into his tangled web of secrets. Then the doorbell rang.
I shook my head, clearing my thoughts, and ignored his question. "I am just getting all kinds of visitors today, aren't I?" I muttered, and jogged to the door.
Crap. I looked out the window and saw his face staring back in at me. He jumped back in surprise, then flushed, but didn't smile. Too late to pretend I'm not home, I decided piteously.