Chapter 14

How am I going to get out of this? There's no way I can get to the door without being noticed, and there aren't any windows from what I saw before I decided to hide under the bed. Finally I conclude that I'll have to wait until whoever this is leaves to make my escape. But the boots start moving again, and my heartbeat picks up, betraying me, as the boots come around to the end of the bed.

I hear the click and thud of the dresser doors being opened then closed, and the boots come around to my side. I close my eyes and breathe in and out through my nose. The blood pulsing through my ears muffles every other sound. So when he speaks, my heart literally skips a beat. "You're going to have to do better than that if you want to get out of here."

A hand clasps around my upper arm and my eyes pop open. My breath comes out in a panicked gasp and I'm pulled out into the room by a man in a mask who grabs my other arm and pulls me to my feet. I start screaming and kicking wildly, looking for any point of contact, but a hand over my mouth swiftly silences me. I stare at him, eyes wide. His eyes meet mine and I blink.

He has blue eyes. "Would you stop screaming?"

I still shout against his hand, but I stop fighting him. It won't do me any good- it'll just tire me out. "If you stop," he says softly, like he's talking to a child, "I'll take my hand away. Deal?" I breathe heavily against his skin, still uncomfortable, but nod.

I'm fully intending to scream when he takes his hand away, but instead, the first thing that comes out of my mouth is, "Where's Peter?" He ignores my question, though, and his light blue eyes focus on my forehead.

"You opened up your cut again. You'd better keep some pressure on that." I lift a hand to the throbbing point above my eye and my fingers slip. Blood. I press down on it, even though it stings. Here," he says and turns around to a table behind him. "Put this on it." He hands me a white tube and twists off a cap. I look up at his mask, then back at the tube, skeptically. He rolls his eyes. "It's a salve from the infirmary. It'll help the skin heal. It's better than stitches, trust me. I've already put it on you twice, when you were unconscious. I figure you can do it yourself now."

He turns away and heads through another door and I look back down at the tube. I squeeze a little of the pale liquid onto my finger: it smells like peppermint. Hesitantly, I spread it over the bloody spot and the pain stops immediately. I sigh with contentment and close the tube. Blue-eyes returns from the other room with an ice pack and hands it to me.

"For your arm," he says, nodding to my right arm. I look down. It's black and blue from the shoulder to the elbow. I nod in acknowledgement and press the cold ice to my arm. It's painful for a moment before the coolness begins to spread to my aching muscles. Why is he acting like this? I wonder. I thought everyone here was a demon out to hurt us but he seems...kind. He looks at my arm for another moment, then his eyes flick up to mine. He turns away and goes back through the door. I watch him before he disappears behind the door, and then I hear water running. I sit back down on the bed.

This is it, I remind myself. The perfect time to escape. He can't see me and I have a clear shot to the door. I look over my shoulder at the door, but my eyes land on the painting. After making sure he is still in the other room, I go up to look at the painting again. I still cannot discern any pattern or shape, but it seems almost familiar in a way.

The End

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