Chapter ElevenMature

Me and Hayden followed the Petpin around the perimeter of the City Hall in hot pursuit of the glimmer of fluttering briskly above the grass. Hayden and I laughed as we chased it like young children, the buzzing of Sparky filling the empty space in the breaks of our laughter.

"Abandoning your training are we?" A harsh voice cut our childish actions short and we stood frozen in the middle of the jungle of dandelions and grass. The voice belonged to Red; who stepped from the shade of the side of the Hall to face up to us in the sunlight.

Hayden squared up to her. "We have a reason not to be training. What do you have?" Red looked shocked at Hayden's outburst. Usually he would have stayed quiet when confronted she confronted him. I stood back from them both, feeling that getting involved was the least smart thing I could do at this moment. Red simply raised an eyebrow and Hayden confessed our reason. "We came across a Petpin who had lost their way and we were going to return it but it flew down here so we followed after it so we could escort back inside.

"It came..." Red frowned then smiled deviously. "... because I called it." She continued, reading the expression that was present on Hayden's face. The diamond Petpin was bound with Red. That would make sense. Ria told me before she left that Red's parents were also part of the Brotherhood. There is a possibilty that the Petpin was given to her from her parents.

"Anyway..." Hayden began to head back the way we had came. "Instead of standing here talking about the training, why don't we go to the training area and do some?" I didn't speak but followed Hayden back through the high grass as he held his hand near to his chest so Sparky could relax his wings and sit on his hand. As the training area came back into our view, I looked back at Red who was ushering her own Petpin onto her shoulder and the silver stood out against her red hair like a beacon.

That Petpin was proberly Red's only reminder of her parents and I felt guilty about Hayden's words to her. She looked up at me and for the first time smiled. She then seemed to remember something and began to make her way over to me. Hayden also saw this and quickly left me and joined his group at the other end of the area.

When Red joined me, she ran her fingers through the tattered white shawl I had draped over my shoulder. "Let's see if we can get you some kind of outfit, hey." I didn't answer but I followed her away from the training area and back into the City Hall.

I followed Red back through the hollow halls until she led me into a square room furnished with a single wooden bench and two doors on either side; one of which we had just entered through. Red geustered for me to take a seat and I didn't not hesitate. As soon as I was seated, she left through the opposite door, the sound of her shoes fading too.

I sat in the room alone and lsitened to the murmurs from behind the door. After a moments silence, Red re-emerged from the other room and guestered for me to follow her into the room. Rising slightly from my seat, I flicked my hair over my shoulder. Breathing heavily, I walked towards the wooden door which lef us into a small, boxy room lined with shelves stacked with different fabrics of many colours in varaint tones and shades.

The small corridor then opened up into a much larger room with two of the four stone walls plastered in floor-length mirrors; the third with drawers containing ribbons and other accents used for textiles and the final wall had a single, plain, wooden door under a coat of arms which I believed could lead off into an office or dressing room. On one side of the door stood a tall, wooden and skin-coloured maniquin which I could only assume was used to design outfits when the cilent is absent. One side of the room's wall displayed the same amount of material that my mother would only get through in a single year!

I then remembered the murmuring I heard from Red so I began to stop examing the look of the room and I attempted to find the third person to be present with us; however I only caught myself and Red in the reflection of the mirrors. I observed the perimeter of the room numerous times before I noticed the figure standing in the far left of the room standing in amongst the towering shelves. The figure moved slowly towards me and Red, who grabbed my arm and pulled me forcefully into the center of the room before pushing me onto a slightly raised platform which I had seen in other dressmakers in the upper part of the city.

"Are you here for your Brotherhood outfit?" The figure asked and I could work out that they were male due to the deep tone of their voice.

Red answered for me. "Yes, she is. I believe that Madame Smith has showed you the desired design for her." Advancing further out of the shadows, the figure nodded and started to pull a piece of paper out of the pocket of his trench coat. He held it in his hand but didn't open nor look at it. Instead, his eyes fell onto me and he slowly began to circle me.

Feeling uncomfortable, I pulled my arms around my chest and dropped my head.

"No, no, no." He soothed, walking towards me before delicatly moving my arms back into a netural posititon before he started circling again; with added hums. He circled me many times still holdingthe folded piece of paper tightly in his hand. I looked over to Red who was examining her pink-painted fingernails, a glazed look in her eyes.

Eventually, he stopped in front of me and smiled weakly whilsy running his fore finger down the edge of the paper until he found the fold on the edge and flicked it over so the paper was only folded in half. He then watched his fingers as he fully opened the paper and he stared down at it, the changing the angle he was holding it at to get a better image.

He then walked up to me, holding the paper to his right so he could match it up against me. I looked at him as he did so… his face seeming rather familiar to me.

“Stay away from me.” I whispered and stepped down off the platform. Red coughed but I don’t take my eyes from him as he walked over to me. I held out my hand to create a barrier between us.

“What’s with you?” Red questioned, puzzled by my actions. “He’s designing your uniform.” She rolled her eyes.

I gulped as he held out a hand to try and make me break the space barrier I had created. “No.” I whispered. “You were there that night… tied me to a bed for my tracker.” He looked as confused as Red did. “Your face is too hard to forget in a hurry.” I backed up further and didn’t stop until I hit the wall behind me.

“Nieve, he makes uniforms. Nothing else.” I looked over at Red since she had called me by my first name.

“No. My tracker, my scar” I looked back at him, focusing on his eye. “Look at the scar across his left eye. I am making no mistake, Red. He tied me to a bed on my first night in the Brotherhood.” I couldn’t control myself and began to sharpen my tone of voice until I was snapping at her. I curled my lips and showed my teeth like a wolf against his rival.

Red walked up to me and put her arm around my shoulder, trying to restrain me from getting angrier. “Get off me.” I growled, pushing Red’s arm off my shoulders. I stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind me.

I saw a number of other Brotherhood members filing into the building to head for dinner but I didn’t want them to see the tears of fear streaming down my face like salt filled rivers so I made my way back to the sleeping quarters, rubbing my eyes on my sleeve as I did.

As soon as I entered the room, I was glad that my bed was away from everyone else and I flung myself onto it, and let the tears flow from my eyes.

The End

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