"Like it?" Blue-eyes asks, and I turn around to see him leaning against the wall opposite of me. He is calm, collected, entirely in control of the situation. I wrap my arms around my side and say nothing, still wary of this stranger.
He laughs softly, but it is a mocking laugh. "Come on, I know you're not mute. You've got a loud scream." His eyes narrow beneath the mask. "And I heard you ask for that guy- Peter, was it?"
The sound of his name resonates in my chest and I find my voice, unable to keep the question quiet. "Where is he?"
He shrugs. "I haven't heard anything for a few days now. They were keeping him in confinement, but then they moved him to the infirmary. It's not my job to keep tabs on the denizens."
"Denizen?" I ask.
"Resident. Patient. You know."
I don't know, actually. I want to know more, but he can't know I'm desperate for information. I have to take this slowly. I turn around and face the painting. In the right hand corner there is a stroke of black paint in delicate spirals. They looks like letters. It almost looks like a name.
"Picasso," a voice says, inches from my ear. I jump and my shoulder hits his chest. His face leans towards me and I can feel the warmth of his breath on my own face. He doesn't move away, though, so I back away from him. Even though his eyes are calm, everything about him screams "danger" to me.
"A famous artist. You wouldn't remember." Remember? Am I supposed to remember him? My eyes narrow but he doesn't say anything more.
I cross my arms over my chest and take another step back. My mind refocuses. "You said Peter was in the infirmary."
"Yes," he says simply.
I wait for him to elaborate. He doesn't. "Mind telling me where that is?" I ask with ice in my voice.
He looks at me and his eyes are wide. Surprise. "A tad anxious, are we?"
I don't respond. Instead, I take another small step back, and he follows like we're doing a dance. I don't like the glint in his eyes. His hands clasp casually behind his back and he looks at the painting for another second before refocusing on me- or more specifically, the ice pack on my arm.
"Is that still cold?" I hadn't even noticed I was still pressing it against my swollen elbow. It's warm now. I shake my head and hold it out for him. He takes it back and our fingers brush briefly. I pull my hand back, disgusted with the contact. He laughs again and I scowl.
"The infirmary?" I press.
He turns and goes behind the other door which can only lead to a kitchen, I conclude as I hear a door open and close with a soft thud. He comes back empty handed. "They wouldn't take too kindly to your visiting there, I don't think."
"And why not?" Who is he to tell me that I can't visit my friend in his time of need?
"Because," he says softly, and bends down to me, "you are still supposed to be in solitary confinement. And if they found out that you're not, it could be bad. For the both of us."
"Wait," I interrupt him, piecing my thoughts together. "Solitary confinement? How long have I been unconscious? And why would you get in trouble because I'm not there anymore?"
He sighs and I can tell he's not fond of all my questions. "I have a right to know," I say firmly.
"Actually, you don't," he counters with a pointed look. I glare at him and his eyes close. "What you need to know, what you actually want to know, is something that I can't tell you. You have to figure it out for yourself."
"What's that supposed to mean?" I exclaim, throwing up my hands. I don't appreciate this ambiguity. I want to know what I've wanted to know since I can remember waking up in this place: what the hell is going on!?