Chapter Twenty-SixMature

I looked around to the door when I heard another being opened in the distance. Crap. They were back to add to the damage they had already caused. I couldn't take much more of it; the pain was unbearable.

I started to panic and looked around the room for somewhere which I could hide. There were not many places since the room was almost completely barren. I had to hurry, if they saw me then I knew what was in store... and increased number of bruises and cuts on my already fragile skin.

Hurriedly, I looked around in the darkness and clutched my neck as a searing pain trembled through the nerves pulsing adrenaline and fear through my already tense body. I heard their heavy footsteps pounding on the tiles, even though I could tell that they were trying to be quiet about their movements.

I was too late in hiding as I heard the footsteps come to a halt outside of the room I was in and the shadow of a figure fill the doorway. Looking round and knowing I had to be fast to prevent further injury, I scurried into the small space under a cabinet and ducked my head further under. The only thing that I didn't want was for them to see my figure through the door and find me through all my small attempts of keeping myself safe and out of harm's way.

The pain I was in when I was curled up like this was so unbearable, I couldn't help but let out the faintest of cries as I sat scrunched up in the darkness, wishing. Wishing that whoever was outside was coming to take me out of the madness.

* * * * * *

Hayden looked towards the door as he heard a small noise coming from it.

"More than likely just a rat." Red whispered and continued down the corridor, looking up at a swinging light as she passed under it. She heard a crunch under her feet and bent down to inspect the floor.

Small fragments of glass littered the tiles. "Someone's been here recently." She ushered Hayden over and he ran his fingers along the rough edges of the window of the door. He pointed for Sparky to fly in through the broken glass and light up the room that lay within.

* * * * * *

I could hear people talking outside before I heard the crunch of glass... the glass that had been smashed and fell on top of me. That's when I heard the buzzing of wings and looked up to see a little robot fly into the room with me before sending an ominous green glow out to paint the walls an emerald colour.

Emerald? Robot?

Sparky?

If Sparky was here then so was Hayden. That's who I could hear shuffling around outside. They had tracked me down. I was too scared to call out to them in case I was wrong but banged loudly on the cupboard next to me instead.

They shouted out to me. "Who is in there?" That was Hayden. It had to be. No-one else I knew spoke so formally.

"Nieve." I replied slowly, not talking to loud in case it was a trick. I heard him shout to Red and that's when I knew it was them. Hayden attempted to open the door but it was locked from the inside. I know it was, I had locked it myself. I crawled out slowly and made my way to the door, watching for the glass that still lay on the ground. Unlocking the door, I looked up to meet Hayden in the eye.

That's when his faced changed and I knew instantly what he had saw.

Without thinking, I ducked my head back into the shadows as a small gasp escaped from his lips. I noticed Red walk up along side him and push open the door stepping inside, finding the small light switch and flicking it on, although no power was flowing through the building - something both of us knew.

She spoke hurriedly. "We're getting you out of here. I don't know who did this to you but whoever they are are not going to continue!" I was shocked. Surely she hadn't seen the marks.

"Done what?" I questioned, hoping, praying, that she had not seen me. She had. Red grabbed hold of my arm and pulled me further in Sparky's light and gazed in awe at the cuts and bruising that covered my body, the blood-soaked bandage on my wrist and the deep cut across my chin. Hayden came over and tugged a section of the bottom of his shirt of and placed on my cheek as I flinched in pain and pushed him away. They sat me down and Red held me as they wrapped it across my cheek and tied it in a knot behind my head, far enough back that I wouldn't be able to reach and undo it.

I didn't know what to feel; lucky, scared, relieved? They had found me but was it in their best interests or was it purely for my sake? Had it been their mission to retrieve me or had they done it from their own free will?

I began to stumble over my words. "Than... How long..... Hayde.....Red......Why....How?" Hayden smiled sweetly and glanced up at me, a small green-tinted tear forming in his eyes.

"We've found you, Nieve." I smiled back at him. "You're safe. That's all that matters." I hugged him thankfully, my tears rolling uncontrollably down my face, the salt making my wound sting. After a while we looked up, and I held my arm out to Red who eventually joined us. Sparky flew above our heads, glowing with happiness and buzzing quietly.

The End

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